Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5)
A Christmas novella to launch a brand new three-book series . . . The Carnton Novels   Amid war and the fading dream of the Confederacy, a wounded soldier and a destitute widow discover the true meaning of Christmas - and of 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, she discovers an advertisement for the Women's Relief Society auction and applies for a position - only to discover it's been filled. Then a chance meeting with a wounded soldier offers another opportunity - and 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 Women's Relief Society auction. He respectfully objects.Kowtowing to a bunch of "crinolines" isn't his idea of soldiering. But orders are orders, and he soon discovers this group of ladies - one, in particular - is 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.

Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) Details

TitleChristmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 2017
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780310293248
Rating
GenreHoliday, Christmas, Historical, Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Christian, Historical Romance, Fiction

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Christmas at Carnton (Carnton, #0.5) Review

  • .
    January 1, 1970
    i am absolutely astonished. i sit here minutes after having completed this title feeling wounded, empty to a degree, needing to feel a fraction of the tenderly layered chemistry this title provides. this is so pleasantly poignant at times, other times it is greatly heartwarming and radiant.christmas at carnton is based on a real plantation house (currently a museum) in franklin, tennessee, built in 1826. the mcgavock surname in this story is the actual surname of the estate's original owners. i am absolutely astonished. i sit here minutes after having completed this title feeling wounded, empty to a degree, needing to feel a fraction of the tenderly layered chemistry this title provides. this is so pleasantly poignant at times, other times it is greatly heartwarming and radiant.christmas at carnton is based on a real plantation house (currently a museum) in franklin, tennessee, built in 1826. the mcgavock surname in this story is the actual surname of the estate's original owners. it is set during the civil war, 1863, and is about recently widowed mrs. aletta prescott. her husband, warren, is another casualty of the confederates. hard times have led to the impending foreclosure of her home leaving her and her young son, andrew, unsure of what's next (there's a little bit more to it, but you need to experience it yrself). cut to having found opportunity of temporary employment at the plantation house to assist in raising funds for the war effort, she meets wounded(?) soldier, captain jake winston, and the. spark. is. set. this is a clean romance, which, to me, should be a given when labeling anything romance (i don't think people should confuse romance with erotic/erotica/trysts). it is also considered christian fiction, and, yes, there is mention of believing god will provide, but i wouldn't say this is slathered in sermon; i'd be up front if it was. this is my first tamera alexander experience and i am entirely enthralled to read more of her work (this was a #0.5 with three more to come in the series). this author has a gift for wonderfully captivating description of elements of people apart from physical attributes. an example is how she relates the class, dignity, and strength of mrs. col. john mcgavock (carrie), owner of carnton. an even stronger example is aletta herself. i usually get verklempt when i read/hear about the love that a good woman, mother displays for her family by any means necessary in the toughest of times. christmas at carnton was no exception. ms. alexander also knows plenty about the subject she's writing, as you can feel its researched authenticity complimenting the allure she captures of the conflict both in love and war.this is also a civil war era title, on the confederate's side at that, so we cannot escape the topic of slavery. it was difficult at times for me to grasp i was reading & enjoying this title. i will say that this is not focused on battles nor slaves (all but one, tempy, the cook, had been relocated further south), but it's not like there's not a (wrongly captive) elephant in the room. even while many characters were not in agreement with slavery, and even with mrs. col. mcgavock removing a lady from her home for disrespecting tempy, a scene that i highly enjoyed, still... thanks to thomas nelson / harper collins and all involved in this goodreads giveaway. *****which, by the way, giveaways will probably go by the wayside since the site is going to make it extremely difficult and uninviting to do so by charging exorbitant prices just to give books away starting early january. this is going to hurt indies most definitely as well as most anyone who currently lists. such a shame.*****
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  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    I chose to read this book from my picks because it mentions the Battle at Chickamauga, Chattanooga and some other places. The Chickamauga Battlefield is about 15 minutes from our house here in Chattanooga and this is one of the places me and my dog used to hike, dad would come with us a lot as well. I wanted to add some pictures of us but they are all on cd's unfortunately. At the Battlefield there is a lot of land and trails into the woods where you can hike or ride your horses. We would go on I chose to read this book from my picks because it mentions the Battle at Chickamauga, Chattanooga and some other places. The Chickamauga Battlefield is about 15 minutes from our house here in Chattanooga and this is one of the places me and my dog used to hike, dad would come with us a lot as well. I wanted to add some pictures of us but they are all on cd's unfortunately. At the Battlefield there is a lot of land and trails into the woods where you can hike or ride your horses. We would go on the horse trails a lot because they have some steep ones and I loved walking up those hills and we would sometimes get to meet the horses and people along the way. We would hike from 2 to 4 hours, that is how big the Battlefield is but you could easily hike longer than that. They have monuments all over the place, even in the woods. There is also a visitor center where you can buy different things. This story takes place at the Carnton Plantation in Franklin, TN. I have never been there myself but it's still there. Aletta Prescott lost her husband, Warren to the war. Now she has to leave their home as she has no money to pay for it. She has a six-year-old son, named Andrew and a baby on the way. I felt really bad for her to be kicked out of her house that she lived in with her husband for so many years but that's the way it goes. Luckily, Aletta gets a job as a cook at the Carnton Plantation and a room to live in for her and Andrew. She's also helping with the Women's Relief Society auction to help the troops. Captain Jake Winston gets sent to help the women after he is wounded in battle. He was one of their sniper's and a hit to the head stopped his career as his long vision sight was ruined. It's a bitter sweet story of people helping people and finding love and friends in time of need. *Thank you to BookLookBloggers for a print copy of this book.*Mel ♥MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    Come on weatherman,Give us a forecast snowy white.Can't you hear the prayersOf every childlike heart tonight? Rockies are calling,Denver snow falling,Somebody said it's four feet deep.But it doesn't matter, Give me the laughter;I'm gonna choose to keepAnother tender Tennessee Christmas,The only Christmas for me. -- Songwriters: Amy Grant and Gary ChapmanThis is a novella, a prequel story meant to tug at your heartstrings, and it succeeds. A story that is partially about the loss and cruelty Come on weatherman,Give us a forecast snowy white.Can't you hear the prayersOf every childlike heart tonight? Rockies are calling,Denver snow falling,Somebody said it's four feet deep.But it doesn't matter, Give me the laughter;I'm gonna choose to keepAnother tender Tennessee Christmas,The only Christmas for me. -- Songwriters: Amy Grant and Gary ChapmanThis is a novella, a prequel story meant to tug at your heartstrings, and it succeeds. A story that is partially about the loss and cruelty of war, set in a bygone era, on the Carnton Plantation, which really exists, in Franklin, Tennessee. It is also partially a love story, a story of love, and loss, and opening your heart again to all the possibilities of life. The details of wars change over time, place, but the despair, heartbreak, and worry by loved ones at home remain fairly constant. This story takes place as Thanksgiving is about to take place and continues through the holidays that follow. Recently, before I read this, I’d seen ‘Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller – American Sampler’ (PBS) which, unsurprisingly touched on his Civil War Series. Included was a narration of a letter written by a soldier, Sullivan Ballou, a Major in the Second Rhode Island Volunteers, to his wife during the Civil War. Reading this story felt a little like listening to the reading of that letter. The reflections on the past, the uncertainty of the tomorrow, and the fears for the future, yet, it never felt bleak.
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    I just thoroughly enjoyed reading about a slice of life taking place at a slower pace than we do now. Where people had more time for each other and really cared enough to listen to what you said. The novella I just read is a prequel that sets up the story so you can enjoy the other 3 books in this series. The next book releases in Fall of 2018. I am so impressed with the research Tamera Alexander puts into not only this book of hers but all of them. It makes it so much more enjoyable to read all I just thoroughly enjoyed reading about a slice of life taking place at a slower pace than we do now. Where people had more time for each other and really cared enough to listen to what you said. The novella I just read is a prequel that sets up the story so you can enjoy the other 3 books in this series. The next book releases in Fall of 2018. I am so impressed with the research Tamera Alexander puts into not only this book of hers but all of them. It makes it so much more enjoyable to read all of her books. Historical fiction is a favorite genre of mine to read and I am always looking up details of what I read on my computer and there is no denying her research is tops! I experienced so many emotions while reading this, in fact it even made me cry. Heartache,despair,warmth,compassion,loneliness,faithfulness and more are emotions you will experience as you read this.In my own research I found out that Carnton Plantation is a real place that still stands and offers tours. Carnton is a historic plantation house and museum in Franklin, Williamson County, Tennessee, United States. The home was turned into a make-shift hospital during the Battle of Franklin. 7 generals were laid out dead on the front porch during the Battle. You can still see blood stains in the wood floors under the upstairs windows where amputations and surgeries were performed for the natural light coming through the windows. A large confederate cemetery is also on the property.Highly recommended book!Pub Date 03 Oct 2017 Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson--FICTION for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas at Carnton is a lovely introduction to the Carnton series upcoming from Tamera Alexander. Though it's called a novella, it's actually a quite complete story, with very little feeling rushed or glossed over. Perhaps in comparison to one of the author's full length books, it's short, but happily it's a full story. Aletta is an admirable lead, pressed into hard circumstances as a widow in the middle of the Civil War. The mother of a precocious six year old and a baby on the way, her deter Christmas at Carnton is a lovely introduction to the Carnton series upcoming from Tamera Alexander. Though it's called a novella, it's actually a quite complete story, with very little feeling rushed or glossed over. Perhaps in comparison to one of the author's full length books, it's short, but happily it's a full story. Aletta is an admirable lead, pressed into hard circumstances as a widow in the middle of the Civil War. The mother of a precocious six year old and a baby on the way, her determination to find a way to provide for herself and her children is compelling.Jake, a wounded Confederate soldier, is tasked with helping the Women's Relief Society with their auction, however, he is doubtful that it will do any good. Though at first I felt a bit cool toward his character, he goes through plausible changes of heart that really endeared him to me. His sweet way of dealing with Andrew, Aletta's little boy, warmed my heart for sure.As usual with this author, the historical details are wonderful. I love that there are real historical figures included in the story, and I appreciate how careful Alexander always is in her Author's Notes to explain what is based on fact and what is more fictionalized. She has provided great set up for the first full-length book in this series, and I am already so eager to read it. If you have a bit of room on your Christmas reading list, definitely consider adding this gem. In fact, if you enjoy historical romance at all, at it to your list.I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review; this review is my honest opinion.
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  • Hannah
    January 1, 1970
    An excellent shorter Christmas story. Aletta is a young widow in 1863, partway through the Civil War—facing the birth of her second child, the loss of her job, and foreclosure of her home, all at the same time. For a novella this book is pretty chunky, which makes me quite happy! (Oh, if only it would be published in one of those darling mini hardcovers!...)Jake has a new future to find after a head injury leaves him with impaired vision and an inability to shoot. It's devastating to the sharpsh An excellent shorter Christmas story. Aletta is a young widow in 1863, partway through the Civil War—facing the birth of her second child, the loss of her job, and foreclosure of her home, all at the same time. For a novella this book is pretty chunky, which makes me quite happy! (Oh, if only it would be published in one of those darling mini hardcovers!...)Jake has a new future to find after a head injury leaves him with impaired vision and an inability to shoot. It's devastating to the sharpshooter to realize he's no longer useful for the war effort. His general orders him to a house party as an ambassador of sorts, or as a sort of thank-you to the women's aid group so the general can show his gratitude by letting them meet one of the soldiers. He definitely didn't expect to run up against a fetching young widow and her energetic son and to feel his heart stirred by thoughts of home and family for the first time.Aletta's son Andrew quite steals the show for me, also. He's such a vibrant and typical six-year-old. There is so much I enjoyed about this book! Very good job, Mrs. Alexander. And I can hardly wait for that real-life love story we'll be getting next year, in the first book of the series. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free review copy.
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  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    Tamera Alexander purely knows how to tell a good story. Beginning a new series with this novella (which felt like a full-length book, by the way), she sets her story in the last 2 years of the Civil War, a time of unrest and great deprivations in this nation of ours. She writes with deep feeling and has created a cast of characters that were so easy to fall in love with, for this reader. I loved every single minute. I found myself crying through the last portion. I love it when an author brings Tamera Alexander purely knows how to tell a good story. Beginning a new series with this novella (which felt like a full-length book, by the way), she sets her story in the last 2 years of the Civil War, a time of unrest and great deprivations in this nation of ours. She writes with deep feeling and has created a cast of characters that were so easy to fall in love with, for this reader. I loved every single minute. I found myself crying through the last portion. I love it when an author brings out such emotion in a reader. Don't miss this one, folks!*I was given a copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley. My review is my own honest opinion.
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  • Trisha Robertson (Joy of Reading)
    January 1, 1970
    See full review at: www.joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com Bundle up and get ready for a Christmas story you won’t soon forget! With the perfect setting and dynamic, resourceful characters Tamera has set the perfect backdrop for a perfect cozy Christmas story and the introduction to her newest series.The next book releases in 2018 and I am excited to read more about Carnton Plantation and discover more about the people who called the beautiful plantation home.Aletta’s husband has died, leaving her an See full review at: www.joyofreadingweb.wordpress.com Bundle up and get ready for a Christmas story you won’t soon forget! With the perfect setting and dynamic, resourceful characters Tamera has set the perfect backdrop for a perfect cozy Christmas story and the introduction to her newest series.The next book releases in 2018 and I am excited to read more about Carnton Plantation and discover more about the people who called the beautiful plantation home.Aletta’s husband has died, leaving her and their 6-year-old son, Andrew to survive the civil war on their own. With the mortgage due, groceries to buy, and winter clothes needed for Andrew how will she manage to make it? With prayer and hard work, will Aletta find employment at Carnton Plantation? Will it be enough to save her home and see her and Andrew through Christmas?Captain Jake Winston is a well-known and decorated sharpshooter, but an accident causes him to be sent to Carnton Plantation to assist in the Ladies Aid Society. He is less than thrilled about the assignment, but determined to make the best of it and sets out to help with the work at Carnton.With 256 pages and 23 chapters, Christmas at Carnton is a nice beefy novella. The end wrapped up nicely while still giving you glimpses of what is to come in the future for Carnton Plantation.As a special bonus, the end of the book includes favorite holiday recipes to bake and enjoy with family and friends.(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely start to a new series! Set on the Carnton estate in 1863 just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, in the middle of the Civil War. I love how this author ties together real people and places with her own set of fictional characters, making it feel so authentic. Her characters struggle with real-life problems--foreclosure, widowhood, single parenting, loss of income, poverty, pregnancy, loss of health--something many can relate to today even. They question their faith, but come out stronger A lovely start to a new series! Set on the Carnton estate in 1863 just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, in the middle of the Civil War. I love how this author ties together real people and places with her own set of fictional characters, making it feel so authentic. Her characters struggle with real-life problems--foreclosure, widowhood, single parenting, loss of income, poverty, pregnancy, loss of health--something many can relate to today even. They question their faith, but come out stronger for it, learning to trust that God has a plan for them despite difficult circumstances, especially in Aletta's case. "...even though she didn't know what the future held, she knew who held it."The group of women who gather to bring support to the troups are inspiring too, as they rally around each other and unite in their purpose; they were fighting on a battlefield of their own, as Jake realizes. The romance is sweet and tender, and though it develops quickly, not unrealistic due to the circumstances. Some interesting history, plus delicious recipes are included at the end too. I look forward to this new series with a little tie in to the Belle Meade stories. Readers who enjoy historical Christian fiction with a romance will want to add it to their reading list. (An e-book was provided by NetGalley and Thomas Nelson publishing. All opinions are my own.)
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  • Loraine
    January 1, 1970
    This was a beautifully written novella (that seemed as complete as a novel) that was a wonderful start to a new series from Tamera Alexander. Dealing with life, death, and love during the Civil War, Alexander brought this time period to life til I felt like I was a part of it. Having never heard of the Women's Relief Society, Alexander obviously devoted time to researching the role of this group in the Civil War and its support of the Confederate troops focusing on this group's hard work. Troubl This was a beautifully written novella (that seemed as complete as a novel) that was a wonderful start to a new series from Tamera Alexander. Dealing with life, death, and love during the Civil War, Alexander brought this time period to life til I felt like I was a part of it. Having never heard of the Women's Relief Society, Alexander obviously devoted time to researching the role of this group in the Civil War and its support of the Confederate troops focusing on this group's hard work. Troubled times brought women together to help one another carry on both physically and emotionally creating love, friendship, and pride among this hardworking group of women. I loved Aletta's never give up spirit and her relationship with her six year old son, Andrew. She was a hard worker, industrious, talented, and organized. It was due to her that the auction became such a success. Mrs. Carnton and Miss Tempy were both so lovable and such wonderful supports for Aletta both in her relationship with Jake and her close to term pregnancy. The changes in Jake from his "oh my goodness help a bunch of 'crinolines' " to his strong supportive help for their endeavor were amazing. Add to that his developing love for Aletta and his wonderful friendship with Andrew and Winder, he made a great hero! I am so looking forward to the continuation of this new series from Tamera Alexander.
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    This Christmas novella was a nice introduction to the upcoming Carnton Series. Tamera Alexander is a master storyteller and does a nice job of blending in historical detail in her novels.In 1863 times are difficult for all in Franklin, Tennessee and even more so for a widow that loses her job. Aletta Prescott is concerned about her ability to keep her home and provide food for her son. She is a lovely example of not feeling defeated and trusting God to show a path to an answer to prayers.Most of This Christmas novella was a nice introduction to the upcoming Carnton Series. Tamera Alexander is a master storyteller and does a nice job of blending in historical detail in her novels.In 1863 times are difficult for all in Franklin, Tennessee and even more so for a widow that loses her job. Aletta Prescott is concerned about her ability to keep her home and provide food for her son. She is a lovely example of not feeling defeated and trusting God to show a path to an answer to prayers.Most of all this novella whet my appetite for her new series to begin in 2018. My favorite character was Tempy, the cook at Carnton, who was based on the actual cook at Carnton during the time period.My gratitude to publisher Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy of Christmas at Carnton. I was not required to post a review and the opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Rebecca
    January 1, 1970
    "Please do not make this more difficult on me than it already is." Aletta Prescott is not only widowed, she has just lost her only source of income as a seamstress; making survival even that much harder for her family of almost three. Desperate to locate employment, facing property foreclosure on her home, she applies for a temporary pastry chef position at a large Franklin, Tennessee estate. "At this point, we still have every reason to believe your full sight will return . . . . But the appreh "Please do not make this more difficult on me than it already is." Aletta Prescott is not only widowed, she has just lost her only source of income as a seamstress; making survival even that much harder for her family of almost three. Desperate to locate employment, facing property foreclosure on her home, she applies for a temporary pastry chef position at a large Franklin, Tennessee estate. "At this point, we still have every reason to believe your full sight will return . . . . But the apprehension in the surgeon's expression . . . . told him a different story." Captain Jake Winston has been an heralded Confederate sharpshooter until a bullet pierces his shoulder, followed by a devastating head injury. Ordered to assist a local Women's Relief Society auction while convalescing, he meets the lovely Aletta Prescott and her rambunctious six year old son. The draw between them is surprising, especially to Aletta, who tries her hardest to settle for a simple friendship with the handsome soldier. As Christmas approaches at Carnton, will the gift of love be found under the tree?
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  • Tricia Mingerink
    January 1, 1970
    This is a really good prequel start to the upcoming series by this author set at Carnton (and I simply can't wait for them after this sneak peek!). This one is set during the Civil War, though most of the focus of this book is on the damage that war caused on the home front for the women left behind. This author is so good at focusing on the small details to bring home that overall pain of that time. Like the women reading the newspaper, searching for and finding their husband's name among those This is a really good prequel start to the upcoming series by this author set at Carnton (and I simply can't wait for them after this sneak peek!). This one is set during the Civil War, though most of the focus of this book is on the damage that war caused on the home front for the women left behind. This author is so good at focusing on the small details to bring home that overall pain of that time. Like the women reading the newspaper, searching for and finding their husband's name among those killed. A new widow still grieving the loss of her husband and also being tossed out of her foreclosed home. The little boy looking forward to getting a train for Christmas like his father promised him--a father that died on the battlefield. This is a tough book. Many of the themes are very subtly done and would be easy to miss except for small moments here and there. Hopefully we'll see more of the characters introduced here in later books!
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    3.75 stars. This was a superbly crafted novella by Tamera Alexander. I don't normally enjoy shorts or novellas since most of them don't contain fully developed characters, settings, or plots, but this one sure did. I was completely immersed in this Civil War era tale, the historical details making this story come alive, and the characters in it were a delight. The angst was just right, not too drawn out but quickly resolved between two adults, and there was no OP drama whatsoever. There wasn't a 3.75 stars. This was a superbly crafted novella by Tamera Alexander. I don't normally enjoy shorts or novellas since most of them don't contain fully developed characters, settings, or plots, but this one sure did. I was completely immersed in this Civil War era tale, the historical details making this story come alive, and the characters in it were a delight. The angst was just right, not too drawn out but quickly resolved between two adults, and there was no OP drama whatsoever. There wasn't any unnecessary angst either, just realistic fears and qualms that anyone who had half a brain would have. The message of God's provision was uplifting and I am really looking forward to the next installment of this series.
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    "Christmas at Carnton" by Tamera Alexander is a sweet Christmas novella that will get you in the Christmas spirit. “Christmas at Carnton” is the second book I’ve read by this author. It’s a novella to start off a new "Carnton" series. It is a longer novella at a little over 200 pages. It's the perfect read for a cozy winter's night."Christmas at Carnton" reminds me of a great Hallmark movie. Its characters are real, flawed people who you grow to care about. I especially like our heroine, Aletta, "Christmas at Carnton" by Tamera Alexander is a sweet Christmas novella that will get you in the Christmas spirit. “Christmas at Carnton” is the second book I’ve read by this author. It’s a novella to start off a new "Carnton" series. It is a longer novella at a little over 200 pages. It's the perfect read for a cozy winter's night."Christmas at Carnton" reminds me of a great Hallmark movie. Its characters are real, flawed people who you grow to care about. I especially like our heroine, Aletta, who is recently widowed with a young son and another child on the way. On top of that she loses her job and home. She has a strong faith that shines despite her hardships. She prays for others, helps people even when she is barely making it herself, and shows a great deal of courage. She is a wonderful picture of strength amidst great hardship."Christmas at Carnton" is an excellent story. I appreciate how Ms. Alexander puts a lot of history in, so you really feel like you've learned something while reading a great book. This tale shows the hardships women faced during the Civil War as well as Southerners. Being from the North, I don't know as much about the South and their side of the story. They are real people with hopes and dreams, some good and some bad. Most of the people Aletta knows don't even own slaves and they see the War as being more than just about the issue of slavery. Bravo, Ms. Alexander, for shining light on the lesser known stories of the War and making history come alive!Content: I would give this book a PG rating. There is talk of a man banishing his wife's doubts that he desires her and then lying in bed and talking with her after the fact. There are hints that a woman who is behind on her mortgages is giving a man at the bank favors of a sordid nature. The word Negro is used, but not in a derogatory way.Rating: I give this book 4 stars.Genre: Christian Historical Fiction; RomanceI want to thank Tamera Alexander, Thomas Nelson and the Fiction Guild for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR 16, Part 255.
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  • Haley S
    January 1, 1970
    Short and sweet is how this review will be. This novella was a great “kick-off” for the new three-book series. I am very excited to read the next stories.I really like it that Carnton is an actual plantation. I mean, if you traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, you could see this plantation. That would be so cool!In this story, Tamera Alexander did a wonderful job writing and describing the scenes and characters. Even though it was so short, because it’s a novella, she did a great job putting enough Short and sweet is how this review will be. This novella was a great “kick-off” for the new three-book series. I am very excited to read the next stories.I really like it that Carnton is an actual plantation. I mean, if you traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, you could see this plantation. That would be so cool!In this story, Tamera Alexander did a wonderful job writing and describing the scenes and characters. Even though it was so short, because it’s a novella, she did a great job putting enough plots without flooding the story with them.SPOILER!!! However, there is one thing I didn’t like about it. The romance was kind of strange. It didn’t really “finish up.” They went from sort of liking each other to getting engaged. (Sorry for the spoilers!!!) There was nothing in between. I didn’t like that at all.The cover is awesome. That is the real Carnton Plantation! (Or at least it looks very much like the real building!) I am going to give the cover 5 stars. For some reason, I really like covers that have wintery feel.Due to the spoiler, I must give this novella only 4 stars. However, everything else about this story was great! I definitely recommend this story to all Tamera Alexander fans!Title: Christmas at CarntonAuthor: Tamera AlexanderAuthor’s Website: http://tameraalexander.com/Reading Resolution: #24I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program.This review is written in my own opinions and words.
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this introduction to the Carton Estate. I love how the characters have multiple--and somewhat surprising--skills, with stereotypes being turned on their heads: Aletta is a mother and respectable cook, but she also has a talent for (and enjoyment of) carpentry. Jake is a sharp-shooter, but he is also a decent handyman and an artist (and proves to have a way with words). Both of them have real struggles as a result of the war, but I especially can't imagine being in Aletta's position, ha I enjoyed this introduction to the Carton Estate. I love how the characters have multiple--and somewhat surprising--skills, with stereotypes being turned on their heads: Aletta is a mother and respectable cook, but she also has a talent for (and enjoyment of) carpentry. Jake is a sharp-shooter, but he is also a decent handyman and an artist (and proves to have a way with words). Both of them have real struggles as a result of the war, but I especially can't imagine being in Aletta's position, having one child and another on the way, no job, facing eviction, and no time to grieve the loss of her husband.Tamera Alexander excels at weaving historical details into her books, and this novella--short as it is--is no exception. I'm looking forward to the upcoming novels and seeing exactly what role the Carnton estate played in the Civil War; the author hints that it saw its own share of action.Thank you Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free e-book. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions are my own.
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  • Cheryl Baranski
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas at Carnton is the novella leading to the series Carnton novels by Tamera Alexander. Tamera hooked me right from the start with this heart touching novella. A story that is full of love, hope, heartache, pain and so much more. Characters that come to life before your eyes. I so can’t wait to dive into the rest of the books in this series. I received a complementary copy of this novella. This review is my honest opinion. 5 stars!
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  • Rachael
    January 1, 1970
    As always this author delivers another wonderful read. I was skeptical at first because I love the long books, but this book contains much in its pages.The horrors of war, the community that those at home created to deal with those, carrying hearts, and hardworking women who strove every day to help their men who were in a different kind of war… both in a war of survival.The characters are terrific in this short read, and as always I fell in love with the young ones in this read.Truly worth the As always this author delivers another wonderful read. I was skeptical at first because I love the long books, but this book contains much in its pages.The horrors of war, the community that those at home created to deal with those, carrying hearts, and hardworking women who strove every day to help their men who were in a different kind of war… both in a war of survival.The characters are terrific in this short read, and as always I fell in love with the young ones in this read.Truly worth the read...and much history crammed into every page.I received this book through The Fiction Guild. All opinions are my own.
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  • CarolynB
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this introduction to the new series coming from Tamera Alexander. I have loved everything I’ve read by this author, and this is no exception. I am looking forward to the first full novel in this series. I hope we will hear more about Jake and Aletta because I fell in love with both of them in this book.
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  • Lisa at Farm Fresh Adventures
    January 1, 1970
    Will share my review shortly
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this story and prequel to the whole new upcoming series by Tamera Alexander. Highly recommended.
  • Lucy
    January 1, 1970
    My favorite Christmas read this season. Tamera Alexander draws you into the story and her research is so impeccable that you always learn something besides being entertained. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and when it includes children, romance, Faith, and Christmas then it is sigh worthy. I love the characters including the minor ones, especially Tempy. When she describes being sold as a slave while a child I had to weep. The growth of Jake and Aletta in their Faith and learning to tru My favorite Christmas read this season. Tamera Alexander draws you into the story and her research is so impeccable that you always learn something besides being entertained. Historical fiction is my favorite genre and when it includes children, romance, Faith, and Christmas then it is sigh worthy. I love the characters including the minor ones, especially Tempy. When she describes being sold as a slave while a child I had to weep. The growth of Jake and Aletta in their Faith and learning to trust is inspiring. Their is so much to love in this story, but you will have to read it to find out why. Highly recommend this for a quick read during this busy season. I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
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  • Tima
    January 1, 1970
    Aletta is war widow. She's trying to hold onto her home and raise her six-year old son. So when life forces her to take another job, she jumps at the chance to make some extra money. But she'll need the help of an injured Captain. He's staying at the Carnton Estate at the request of his boss while he waits on healing so he can return to the war. This is the prequal to a series that will be coming in the future. This book wold work well as a stand-alone, since it doesn't leave the reader hangin Aletta is war widow. She's trying to hold onto her home and raise her six-year old son. So when life forces her to take another job, she jumps at the chance to make some extra money. But she'll need the help of an injured Captain. He's staying at the Carnton Estate at the request of his boss while he waits on healing so he can return to the war. This is the prequal to a series that will be coming in the future. This book wold work well as a stand-alone, since it doesn't leave the reader hanging. I wasn't even able to tell who the next book would feature. The characters were authentic and fit well together. My favorite was actually a minor character, a cook on the estate. The story was shorter, but sweet and fits perfectly with the Christmas season. I've read books by this author before and this book falls into her normal category of well written, thought provoking, faith themed, and had elements of romance. I enjoyed reading this start to the series and look forward to seeing what comes next.I received a copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers. All thoughts expressed are my own.
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  • Nicole
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas at Carnton (2017) is a novella by Tamera Alexander, and will be released on October 3, 2017. This novella will come in all forms including eBook, and is 256 pages in length. With a full-time job and a precocious five-year old at home, this novella took me three days to read. I received a free review copy of this novella in eBook form from NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I give this novella 5 STARS. This story is a Chri Christmas at Carnton (2017) is a novella by Tamera Alexander, and will be released on October 3, 2017. This novella will come in all forms including eBook, and is 256 pages in length. With a full-time job and a precocious five-year old at home, this novella took me three days to read. I received a free review copy of this novella in eBook form from NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this post are my own. I give this novella 5 STARS. This story is a Christian Historical Romance.This novella takes place at Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee during the height of the American Civil War. In this novella, we meet Aletta and Jake, the McGavock family (who called Carnton their home), and the McGavock cook, Tempy. As with all Alexander novels, these characters endear themselves to the reader immediately! I loved everything about this story. In fact, I was really sad when I turned to the last page…I wanted more!The main characters in this novella are Aletta and Jake. Aletta is a well written and very believable character. She is 25-years old, newly widowed, a single mother of one with another baby on the way. She is completely destitute with the bank ready to foreclose on her home. She has no job and no money. I was completely scared for her through the first quarter of this story. I had no idea how she was going to take care of herself and her son. But, what I love about Aletta is that she is a very brave and determined young woman. She knows to trust God even though she has no idea how she will keep her son fed and clothed and cared for. Aletta is a very realistically written character in the sense that she does have moments of worry, fear, and doubt just like any woman would in her situation. Instead of giving up or giving into the whims of men ready to take advantage of her, Aletta gives her situation over to God, and boy does He deliver for her!Jake is the hero in this story, and he is wonderfully written as well. Jake is powerful and strong and skilled. As a man, he is exceptionally capable. But, when he is injured during battle, Jake loses a bit of his confidence. When one loses the thing that made him/her unique, it’s really hard not to lose confidence. Begrudgingly, Jake goes to Carnton Plantation to help with a Ladies Aide Society Auction. His commanding officer believes this will be the perfect opportunity for Jake to convalesce after his injury, but Jake just sees it as a loss all the way around. He is the greatest sharpshooter in the Confederate Army, but now he has to pander to women? Why an auction? What can’t they just donate money and be done with it? But, as he gets to know Aletta, Tempy, Mrs. McGavock, and the other women of the Ladies Aide group, as he sees their hard work and their determination, and as he witnesses first hand these women lose their husbands and sons, Jake realizes that the Civil War is being fought by all citizens, not just the men and boys physically fighting the battles. Jake’s attitude changes, and with that change not only does his body heal, but so too does his heart.As with Ms. Alexander’s previous works, Christmas as Carnton is very well-researched. The damaging effects of the American Civil War are dealt with authentically and truthfully. It was eye-opening to me to read the scenes where the women would gather around a newspaper to read the Injured-Dead-Missing pages praying their husbands, sons, and/or fathers did not make any of the lists. I loved the solidarity and genuine aid the women brought to one another when a woman realized her husband or son or father had died. The sense of community as women rallied around the devastated woman in order to help in any way they could was absolutely refreshing. This novella also illustrates the plight of many young women who were widowed and made destitute because of the loss of their husbands. There were very few options available to women in the 1860s outside of cooking, cleaning, working in sweatshops, and prostitution. This story does an excellent job of illustrating the strength of women when faced with extremely difficult choices.This novella reminded me that no matter my current situation, God is there. He is waiting for me to surrender to Him and His perfect plan. When I choose to trust God, He leads me to the exact place I need to be, and blesses me in only ways He knows I need. When life deals me a blow I don’t think I can possibly overcome, God will give me the peace and strength I need if I go to Him. If you are looking for a well-written, engrossing historical romance, I highly recommend Christmas at Carnton. This is the perfect story to read this holiday season. You will not be disappointed!
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  • Kelly Bridgewater
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not a big fan of Civil War stories. I have a hard time enjoying those type of stories, but . . . Tamera Alexander does such a great job at recreating this time period and bringing me into the story that I have a hard time not enjoying her writings. I have enjoyed her Belle Meade and her Belmont Mansion series, so I'm excited that she has decided to do another series in Tennessee around another popular plantation. With any historical novel, I want to be transported to that time period withou I'm not a big fan of Civil War stories. I have a hard time enjoying those type of stories, but . . . Tamera Alexander does such a great job at recreating this time period and bringing me into the story that I have a hard time not enjoying her writings. I have enjoyed her Belle Meade and her Belmont Mansion series, so I'm excited that she has decided to do another series in Tennessee around another popular plantation. With any historical novel, I want to be transported to that time period without feeling like I'm reading a history book and have characters that have something unique.Alexander's writing is wonderful. Like I mentioned earlier, she does a wonderful job at bringing the home of Carnton come to life and the time period. She pays attention to the tiniest details like remembering what the women would be doing to raise money or knit items that could be used for the soldiers who are still in action during the Civil War. Alexander is sympathic toward the cause and shows the hurts and cares of the individual women who are left at home, trying to survive while worrying about their men who are off fighting.The plot is unique because it shows the affect that the Civil War had on the women who were home still trying to hold it together. I enjoy how in each of the novels that I have read by Alexander she shows that the slaves were humans too with feelings and family. They were just as important as the whites and still were the backbone of our country alongside the whites. The story moves along at a rapid pace and kept my attention.The romance was a little hasty in my taste. Aletta and Jake have only known each other for a month, and they fall in love so quickly. I know that this was a novella to wet the appetite of the reader. In her much longer novels, Alexander does take more time to develop her romances, so I let it slide for this novella.Overall, I enjoyed the pre-novella for her Carnton series. I enjoyed the fast pace of the setting and the wonderful characters. I highly recommend this story, and eagerly await the series to begin next year.I received a complimentary copy of Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
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  • Becky
    January 1, 1970
    Once in a while, I read a book, novella, or story of some kind where all the pieces fit together in such a way that there is no disconnect, no disjointed pieces, nothing but an enjoyable story with a completeness that brings satisfaction to the reader. Tamera Alexander's Christmas at Carnton is that kind of story. Aletta is a war widow with a young son about to lose her house to foreclosure. She looks all over town for a job, any job, just to keep the bills paid, and a roof over her and her son' Once in a while, I read a book, novella, or story of some kind where all the pieces fit together in such a way that there is no disconnect, no disjointed pieces, nothing but an enjoyable story with a completeness that brings satisfaction to the reader. Tamera Alexander's Christmas at Carnton is that kind of story. Aletta is a war widow with a young son about to lose her house to foreclosure. She looks all over town for a job, any job, just to keep the bills paid, and a roof over her and her son's heads.Jake Winston is a sharp shooter who has been injured and may never see well enough to do his job again. Both of them end up at Carnton, a Franklin, Tennessee, planttion--Aletta to work, and Jake to recuperate from his injuries. They end up working together on a couple of projects and a friendship forms. All of the characters are believable--and I found it quite easy to put myself in their circumstances. Aletta is not only skilled in the kitchen, she is also skilled in the woodshop--a deviation from the norm of the day. Jake helps her build a nativity for the front lawn of Carnton to house a live nativity during the auction to raise money for the soldiers. It's fun to watch Jake's opinions change as he sees that the ladies contributing to the auction really feel they have played a part in helping their loved ones.I give this short novel five stars, two thumbs up, and a hot, flaky biscuit first thing in the morning.My thanks to Thomas Nelson for allowing me to read and review this book.
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  • Damaris Tonner
    January 1, 1970
    I love learning about the American Civil War through fictional books, but I had never heard of Carnton or the incredible story behind the plantation-turned-field hospital in Tennessee. I was excited to see a Christmas novella by Tamera Alexander pop up in my NetGalley feed - just as the snow had begun to fall and I was heading back to college after my fall reading break.This book was a wonderful, refreshing read. I love the fact that it was slightly shorter, as it was the perfect size to curl up I love learning about the American Civil War through fictional books, but I had never heard of Carnton or the incredible story behind the plantation-turned-field hospital in Tennessee. I was excited to see a Christmas novella by Tamera Alexander pop up in my NetGalley feed - just as the snow had begun to fall and I was heading back to college after my fall reading break.This book was a wonderful, refreshing read. I love the fact that it was slightly shorter, as it was the perfect size to curl up with as the snow twinkled outside and finish it within a few hours. I was captivated by the characters of Aletta, Jake and Andrew within the first few pages. Tamera does a lovely job at the characterization and development of the relationships between the three. I also appreciated Tamera's overarching theme of God's goodness throughout the whole story. Aletta continually muses upon His faithfulness, saying that "her faith felt so small in comparison to His loving kindness." How true this is! This was beautifully illustrated in Christmas at Carnton as problems and solutions arose within the plot.Finally, the message that love with persevere was a beautiful reminder that those whom we love - those dead, or alive - will always stay with us, through it all. Aletta's remembrance of Warren and her commitment to Jake was a touching point to remind every reader that "nothing worth having is easy."Christmas at Carnton was my first Christmas novel to read this year, and it was definitely worth my while! It's a great book to read as we enter the holiday season that reminds us that the greatest gift we can give each other truly is love.(A special thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review.)
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  • Vera Godley
    January 1, 1970
    As with Tamera Alexander's other works this novella, centered amidst the Civil war and involving elaborate preparations for a Christmas auction and festivities, was well written with characters that the reader's heart warmed to immediately and a story line that engaged.Just a bit longer than some novellas, it was a completely satisfying read from start to finish. It shows the reality of those left at home where there is scant to live on and those whose hearts and lives are broken from war. Civil As with Tamera Alexander's other works this novella, centered amidst the Civil war and involving elaborate preparations for a Christmas auction and festivities, was well written with characters that the reader's heart warmed to immediately and a story line that engaged.Just a bit longer than some novellas, it was a completely satisfying read from start to finish. It shows the reality of those left at home where there is scant to live on and those whose hearts and lives are broken from war. Civilians and soldiers alike.Carnton is a Southern home or perhaps plantation in Tennessee. The slaves are all gone except for an elderly lady who cooks and charms. This is not a story about why the war was fought or opinions and sides to be taken. It is about people. Good people that are living the best they can on what they can and helping each other at every opportunity.Christmas at Carnton is a very good read and highly recommended. It is also a prelude to a new series by the author. Based on this novella, the series should be a very good one to read.NOTE: A plus at the end of the book is a small collection of recipes that were perhaps being served at Carnton by the ladies and the beloved cook.DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and are freely given.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Christmas at Carnton is a great novella Christmas story. There is so much I enjoyed about this book. Aletta is a young widow who was partway through the civil war facing a job loss, foreclosure of her house and all the pregnancy of her second child. Will Aletta find employment at the plantation and will she be able to provide for her son? Captain Jake had an injury and is no longer able to shoot. He is devastated and now learns he must be sent to the Carnton Plantain for his new assignment. What Christmas at Carnton is a great novella Christmas story. There is so much I enjoyed about this book. Aletta is a young widow who was partway through the civil war facing a job loss, foreclosure of her house and all the pregnancy of her second child. Will Aletta find employment at the plantation and will she be able to provide for her son? Captain Jake had an injury and is no longer able to shoot. He is devastated and now learns he must be sent to the Carnton Plantain for his new assignment. What he didn't expect was the young widow and her son to capture his attention, but his thoughts are stirred of home and family for the first time in a long time.You will really enjoy this book and it will have you waiting for real life story that Tamera is writing next year. I can't wait to see how she pens the story from here. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy. A favorable review was not required.
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