BOOK REVIEW: "Yesterday's Embers" by Deborah Raney

I feel especially blessed to get to read two new Deborah Raney novels back-to-back. Yesterday's Embers is the third book in the Clayburn novel series, and one you won't want to miss.

Mickey Valdez is a thirty year-old daycare teacher who has started to wonder if she will ever have the husband and family she's always longed for. When she hears about the tragic death of Doug DeVore's wife and youngest daughter, her heart breaks for him and his remaining five children.

She quickly steps in and offers to help, but soon finds herself pulled in over her head. Is this what God has planned for her, or are things moving too quickly?

This is a story of compassion and concern, gutwrenching pain and forgiveness, commitment and renewal, and portrays so beautifully how God can bring good out of life's difficulties. There are so many things I love about this book, I almost don't know where to start.

Unforgettable Story: This is a love story in every sense of the word, but with a twist. I can't say much more without spoiling the story, but this book will leave you thinking about the characters long after the last page is read.

Dramatic Tension: Can you imagine the horror of coming home to find your spouse and child dead? And that's only the beginning of the conflict in this wonderful story!

Amazing Characterization: This book has five children in it. Sometimes in stories with that many children, it's difficult to keep them all straight. Not in this story. Deborah Raney does a terrific job of portraying Mickey's large extended family, the DeVore children, and especially Mickey and Doug. Her characterization of the oldest child in the family, a tween-ager by the name of Kayeleigh, is outstanding.

Add to these, Raney's penchant for vivid detail and a remarkable plot, and you have a delightful story that will keep you sighing in joy for days after you've finished reading the book. I loved it!

Normally, I would pass this book on to readers. Deborah was kind enough to sign this one for me at the Christian Book Expo, so I plan on keeping my copy. However, if you leave a comment to this post (with a way for me to reach you if you're the winner), I'll enter your name a second time in the drawing for her equally delightful book, "Insight." (It's an autographed copy!)

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