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The Carnton Plantation, Franklin, Tennessee
Captain Jake Winston is a Confederate sharpshooter who suffers a head injury that may cause blindness. While he waits for his diagnosis, and still has his sight, he sketches and journals events of the war. As he heals, Jake receives orders to help with the local Women’s Relief Society Christmas auction. A society which supports Confederate and Federal soldiers, makes a difference in soldiers lives. Aletta Prescott is a widow with a six-year-old son and a child on the way. She applies for a job at the auction, only to find the position is no longer available. She meets Jake and as she gets to know him she must try to let go of the fear begins to grow inside her.
Number of Pages: 240
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2017
Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of ChristmasOlivia NewportShiloh Run Press / 2017 / Trade Paperback$10.99 Retail:4.5 Stars Out Of 5 71 Reviews
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"This tender love story between two wounded people whom God brings together for healing is a book readers will enjoy anytimebut especially at Christmas!" Francine Rivers, New York Times bestselling author of Redeeming Love and A Voice in the Wind
Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmasand sacrificial love.
Recently widowed, Aletta Prescott struggles to hold life together for herself and her six-year-old son. With the bank threatening to evict them, she discovers an advertisement for the Womens Relief Society auction and applies for a positiononly to discover its been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunityand friendship. But can Aletta trust this man?
Captain Jake Winston, a revered Confederate sharpshooter, suffered a head wound at the Battle of Chickamauga. When doctors deliver their diagnosis, Jake fears losing not only his greatest skill but his very identity. As he heals, Jake is ordered to assist with a local Womens Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects. Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isnt his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladiesone, in particularis far more than he bargained for.
Set against the backdrop and history of the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, Christmas at Carnton is a story of hope renewed and faith restored at Christmas.
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award (two-time winner, seven-time finalist), the RITA Award (two-time winner, four-time finalist), the Carol Award, the Maggie Award, the Booksellers Best Award, and Library Journal's top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, where they live a short distance from Belmont Mansion and Belle Meade Plantation, the setting of Tameras two USA Today bestselling Southern series.
lambAge: Over 65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5PrequilMarch 30, 2018lambAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Absolutely wonderful. As usual Tamara Alexander writes a warm look at a different time in our history. I'm looking forward to the new series later this year.
Wonderful, easy read.
ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Heartwarming and impressively detailed for a novella!March 26, 2018ADFehlArden, NCAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4It's the winter of 1863 in Franklin, Tennessee. Twenty-five year old Aletta Carnton has recently been informed that she's now widowed. In true "when it rains, it pours" fashion, life deals her a few more blows to boot: she's laid off from her job at a textile mill, she's facing eviction, and she's seven months pregnant as well as now being a single mother to her six year old son. Not one to cry too long about hardships or lean on excuses, Aletta immediately sets herself to finding solutions, mostly in terms of finding employment again as soon as possible. Persistently putting feelers out pays off for her when she hears word of a job opportunity at Carnton Estate.
Upon first arriving at the estate, Aletta is crushed to find the position she's after has already been filled, but her personality wins over the household and before long, luck provides her with the setup she was looking for... even if it proves to be only temporary, it gives her a stepping stone to future security for her and her children.
One source of this luck for Aletta comes in the form of Captain Jack Winston, a wounded Confederate officer. Jack sustains a serious head wound in battle that damages his eyesight. A medical examination determines that Jack's eyes may fully recover, but it can't be guaranteed. So it's a waiting game. Jack's commanding officer sends him to Carnton Estate to help with the Women's Relief Society auction. It'll not only give Jack something to do as he recuperates, but the auction is also raising funds for much needed supplies for the guys still on the battlefields. Though Jack understands this, he's still not happy about the assignment, having to, as he sees it, "kowtow to a bunch of crinolines". But just one interaction with kind-hearted Aletta, and his perspective certainly flips in a hurry!
Christmas at Carnton offers a sweet, heartwarming holiday story, for sure.. but there are also deeper themes here that many readers will appreciate. Just from a historical perspective, author Tamera Alexander gives readers a realistic feel for wartime struggles in this era -- horrors of slavery, the scarcity of groceries, job layoffs, struggles with bills, families broken apart from grief and struggle, the depths one might stoop to simply out of sheer desperation to survive. This is particularly admirable when you remember that this is simply the starter novella for what is expected to be a series of full length novels (at least 3) which will first start rolling out Fall 2018. To pack sufficient historical detail in novella length AND still include an engrossing storyline to boot -- that gets a nod of respect from me! Alexander even writes in a mention of chow-chow, a dish I find not to many people outside of the South or certain East Coast areas tend to recognize.
Outside of the historical aspect, readers who are mothers themselves will likely feel at least a bit of a bond with Aletta's struggles, especially if you are a single mother. Aletta has an impressive strong will that propels her to fight to give her children the best living situation she can possibly provide, even through periods where she's not sure what her options will be from one day to the next. Still, she makes it work and in true mother fashion, she often swallows her fears and stops herself from vocally airing her doubts in front of her children, instead pushing herself to find a smile every day even if it doesn't always start as a sincere one.
All of this together quietly gives the reader a kind reminder that in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, one must remember to be grateful for the blessings -- no matter how small -- that are to be found in each day if we only take the time to look for and acknowledge them with a smiling heart.
If you are interested in possibly using this as an option for your book club, this novella includes a supplemental section made up of reading discussion questions and holiday recipes pertaining to the story... including DIY chow-chow and holiday simmering spices!
FTC Disclaimer: TNZ Fiction Guild kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions above are entirely my own.
Amanda B5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Prequel!March 12, 2018Amanda BQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Christmas at Carnton is a prequel novella to a new series by Tamera Alexander. After reading it, I cannot wait for the other books to come.
As usual, Tamera Alexander has done an amazing job at drawing the reader in to another time and place. During the Civil War, Aletta Prescott must find her way through daunting challenges to survive life without her husband and her position as a seamstress.
Confederate sharpshooter Jake Winston has been injured and is struggling with his future, and whether or not his injury will heal. Jake is assigned to the Carnton Plantation to help with a local Women's Relief Society Auction, which he is not pleased about.
I feel like the characters are well developed, and the situations they find themselves in are realistic. I enjoyed the pace at which the story lines developed, and eagerly await the Carnton novels.
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review which I have provided here. I was not required to leave a positive review.
Just Commonly4 Stars Out Of 5Solid introduction to a new seriesFebruary 28, 2018Just CommonlyQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0"It's a blessed child who's carried close to a mother's heart through Christmastime. Soakin' up all that love and goodness."
I love the new start of a series. I look forward to meeting new characters, experiencing a new setting, and most of all, a new adventure. If you haven't picked up a story by Tamera Alexander, you really should, and what better time than with a new novella? Christmas at Carnton is also a prequel to a new series by the author, set to release in the Fall of this year.
Christmas at Carnton brings us to the Carnton plantation in Franklin, Tennessee during the Civil War period. A quick and lovely read from the start, the author managed to give us a story of hope and faith - in people and in God. During a time when women need to step into the shoes of men, newly widowed, Aletta has a lot on her plate, including finding a job. Whereas injured Confederate soldier, Jake would rather be in the battlefield with his comrades than being safely tucked in Nashville. Both characters have their hearts set on certain things, and only trusting themselves. I enjoyed the personal development of each, and even the eventual romance between the two. Then the other characters are also a delight, especially Tempy and Mrs. McGavock, the matron of Carnton.
All in all, a solid introduction to a glimpse of what we can expect of more stories set at the Carnton plantation.
Disclaimer: I received an ARC copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
kathy5 Stars Out Of 5good bookJanuary 19, 2018kathyQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5very interesting book easy read . I enjoyed a lot