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About the book
Out with Murphy and in with O’Reilly!
O’Reilly’s Law: Murphy was an optimist!
Marriage has been good to Aggie. After a few years and a baby under her belt, she’s confident that she can take on anything–including adding child number ten to the home! Blessings aren’t always easy, and Aggie is about to discover that in a whole new way!
When their near-idyllic life was turned upside down by senseless vandalism, Aggie and gang spent a week on “Aunt” Willow’s farm. Luke worked day and night to get them back home for Thanksgiving. But when things, once more, seem to pile up, Aggie flounders. Her pregnancy grows precarious, and her husband doesn’t recognize her anymore.
Only the Lord can soothe her rumpled spirit, but will she allow Him to comfort her as only He can?
Aggie’s sure that she just needs to “knuckle down” and “ante up” to keep from losing ALL her marbles.
Ante Up! is the fourth book in the Aggie Series
About the Author
Chautona lives in a small, remote town in California’s Mojave Desert with her husband and six of her nine children. When not writing, she enjoys paper crafting, sewing, and looking forward to retirement from home education. Chautona writes stories of fictional people who have real problems, weaknesses, and triumphs. Through their stories, she tries to share the Hope that is within her.
Guest Post from Chautona Havig
“You have eight kids? How do you do it? I can barely manage with the one (or two or three) that I have! I could never do eight.”
How many times had I heard those words? Ten? Fifty? A thousand? I suspect it was between fifty and a thousand. I guarantee it felt like a million. And the reason wasn’t that people were rude or unkind about it. It was simply because they assumed things that weren’t reasonable. They acted as if I’d woken up one day with eight kids and never had a problem with adapting to it.
The cold, hard truth? I never planned to have children—ever—much less the eight I had then or the nine I have now. I didn’t like children, and even now, I really just prefer mine and others’ in very small doses. I’m naturally a very selfish person. So the comments that made me sound excessively patient and maternal were, in a word, ridiculous.
I had one answer I always gave—just one. “I didn’t get them all at once. I got them one at a time, the old fashioned way. And with a minimum of about eighteen to twenty-two months of getting used to having two, three, six, seven before I got the next.”
But that thought haunted me for weeks. What would happen if someone did get eight at once? How would she handle that? Not like the women with multiples—five, seven, eight at a time. No, I was thinking of what it would be like for someone to have my kids just dumped on someone all at once with all those different ages to deal with. I think I should have known at that moment that my childhood dream of being a writer would come true, because my next thought was, “And what if she was single?” From there, I added more. A grandmother-in-law to rival any horror stories of mothers-in-law, home renovations with kids (every mother’s nightmare), grieving, and accident prone kids who can’t stop calling 9-1-1 and you had all the worst things I could think of without becoming ridiculous.
I had originally decided that Aggie would remain single. Yeah, that didn’t happen. So, I gave her personal convictions to follow. I added to that her sister’s convictions, just to keep things interesting. I wanted to show that people have convictions for a myriad of reasons, and just because they hold one, doesn’t mean they look down on those who don’t. That original story grew from a sixty-thousand word single book into a trilogy—each book being over one hundred twenty thousand words! I was sure people would hate the length, hate the story, and ride me out of the country on the proverbial rail. I just hoped I landed in the southern Atlantic—nice and warm.
Instead, Ready or Not has been my best selling book—an Amazon bestseller. The first promotion we did resulted in the book being downloaded every 3.6 seconds in a twenty-four hour period. I was flabbergasted. I did the math a dozen times to make sure. When the last book came out, fans bemoaned the loss of their favorite character. I added more of her to another series, Past Forward. That helped—a little.
Eventually, I agreed to write a fourth book. I waited, and I’m so glad I did. Nearly five years have passed since Aggie inherited her eight nieces and nephews, and nearly four have passed since she married and began a new journey with him. She’s a mother now, not “just” an aunt. She’s a wife. Her life is rich and full of the craziness readers have come to love. So in this book, I decided to explore what happens when life throws just one too many curve balls. I decided to show the children growing up and facing new trials and temptations. And, I wanted to give just a little bit of joy in the extended family front after three books of trials there. I thought it was about time.
My goal for these books has always been to point my readers to the Lord. I did that through one character’s wisdom, another’s steadfastness, and of course, through Aggie’s songs and bite-sized prayers (p-mails). In this book, I wanted to point readers to the Lord through Aggie again, but in a different way. I hope it is as encouraging to them as it was to me. I learned so much in the writing of this book. It laid open my heart before the Lord and I saw things in myself I didn’t want to see but needed to. The Lord is so good to us.
Don’t forget—for those who purchase before July 7, 2016, we’re giving away a FREE bonus devotional, Tune My Heart: 25 Hymn-Filled Moments with the Lord. Each chapter corresponds to the book and examines some of the themes of the book, so you don’t want to read it before you’ve read the book! To get your free copy, just forward your Amazon receipt to THIS EMAIL.
June 27: Reading Is My SuperPower
June 28: Melissa’s Reviews
June 29: Texas Book-aholic
June 30: Quiet Quilter
July 1: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberation
July 2: Mary Hake
July 3: Petra’s Hope
July 4: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner
July 5: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
July 6: 100 pages per hour
July 7: Cassandra M’s Place (spotlight)
July 8: His Grace is Sufficient
July 9: Red Headed Book Lady
July 10: Karens Krayons
July 11: cherylbbookblog (spotlight)
To celebrate her tour, Chautona is giving away a Kindle Fire! Click to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/9d3a
I read the first three books in this series as they came out as someone who loves kids I was drawn to the story line and I also loved the name "Aggie" for the main character. So I was excited to hear that years later I would get to read a continuation of Aggie's story. I have to admit it was weird transitioning to Aggie already having one biological child and all of her nieces and nephews being so much older but the story picked back up and I quickly remembered how quirky the kids were and how much I loved Luke. However, I also soon realized that pregnant Aggie was very different than the Aggie I grew to love in the first three books. But even though I didn't love pregnant Aggie I did love that the author so well portrayed how hormones can change how a person acts and feels. And I really appreciated the honesty that was given to the hard times in life when you don't even know how to pray. I also liked how even though they didn't mean to both Aggie and Luke made mistakes but figured out how to move past those mistakes and still loved each other just as much.
The first three books made me laugh more than this one did but I found humor in this one too. I loved so many of the conversations between the kids and the adults in this book. I love how honest kids are and how they don't even realize how funny they are. This book focuses a lot on pregnancy including the mental, emotional and physical side effects of it and for me focused on it too much. Maybe because it is Mother's Day weekend and my inability to get pregnant is heavy on my heart but I felt overwhelmed with how much of the book was about pregnancy. I was also overwhelmed by how she treated her husband during her pregnancy. I'm sure that it is very common for pregnancy to get the best of women but it saddened me to see it portrayed the way it was in this book. I missed the Aggie and Luke from earlier books.
Overall this was a good read. It kind of felt like a whole book for an epilogue instead of just a few pages which was fun for a change. Aggie and Luke are still two of my favorite Havig characters.
This book was provided to me by the author and Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review.