Happy Monday! Starting today and continuing through Saturday (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2019 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m covering the contemporary category, including Cynthia Ruchti and her nominated book Miles From Where We Started! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.
FYI – There will be several posts per day, and a week-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in Hope through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books, devotionals, and speaking for women’s events or retreats, drawing from 33 years writing and producing an on-air radio broadcast. Her books have been recognized by RT Reviewers’ Choice, Selah Awards, CR’s BEST Awards, Carol Award honors, Christy Award honors, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year honors and others. Cynthia is the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s been privileged to write and publish more than 25 books, with more contracted. Cynthia and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren. Since 2017, she’s also served as a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Management. Connect with her at https://www.cynthiaruchti.com
MILES FROM WHERE WE STARTED
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Gilead Publishing
RELEASE DATE: October 16, 2018
These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip–and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off-ramp.
Weeks away from their one-year anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.
The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition, and an at-risk, trouble-seeking missile of an eleven-year-old is unexpectedly launched into their travel plans. Close quarters get even tighter, and the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.
But as new challenges pop up around each bend, Mallory and Connor are surprised by the strengths they see in one another–and how they complement each other. Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected . . . but can they find a new beginning when the road ends?
Hi my dear friend! Welcome back to the blog!
Q: Why do you write fiction? And, why specifically Christian fiction?
Cynthia: I’m one of those curiosities who writes both fiction and nonfiction. But I always say the nonfiction I write are books I’d like to hand to the characters in my novels. I’m convinced that story is the strongest and most effective method of communicating truth. We are moved by story. We may be able to tune out teaching and lecture, but we can’t ignore story.
I write Christian fiction because the human heart can’t survive without hope, and the only long-lasting, trustworthy, unshakable hope comes from Jesus Christ. Unarguably, the world around us—in our families, neighborhoods, and beyond—is in desperate need of a hope they can count on. So I tell stories hemmed-in-Hope.
Carrie: “we can’t ignore story” – YES. So true. And stories hemmed in hope stand out even more…
Q: Other than the Bible, what are a couple of your most cherished books and why?
Cynthia: On my shelf is an antique, embossed cover book of poems by Tennyson. It speaks to me of the longevity of the written word, the beauty of language, and the power of a well-turned phrase to evoke emotion or express what we thought inexpressible.
I have an original paperback copy of Love Comes Softly—the book that launched Janette Oke’s prolific writing career—that was passed from me to my sisters and sisters-in-law and then to brothers and my husband too. Each reader wrote a couple of sentences on the blank pages about how much the story meant to them. In 2010, I took it with me to a conference where Janette was honored. Now her autograph rests among those sweet words by my family members. The paperback copy is pretty love-worn and tattered, but it’s a treasure.
Carrie: Ok, well that made me all teary. How special to have that much beloved copy of a much beloved story – especially as Love Comes Softly celebrates its 40th Anniversary!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Cynthia: Well, I needed a not-easily-detectable method of causing death in someone who was already dying of congestive heart failure. No puncture wounds. No stomach contents giveaway. Found it, but I had to ask a friend who is a nurse. Googled a great guacamole recipe for the same book. 🙂
Carrie: I’m glad you mentioned the ‘no stomach contents giveaway’ because otherwise I would forever steer clear of your guacamole, just in case the two were related 😉
Q: Which of your main characters (either in the nominated Miles From Where We Started or over all you’ve written) is most like you?
Cynthia: There’s a lot of the younger me in Mallory in Miles from Where We Started. And the older…I mean…more mature me in Lucy from Song of Silence. And I aspire to be Bougie Unfortunate in As Waters Gone By. I could go on.
Carrie: Random fun fact – Whenever I read Song of Silence (it’s a multi re-read for me), I ‘hear’ Lucy’s dialogue in your voice. (Ok… maybe that’s more of a creepy fact, depending on one’s perspective lol)
Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote Miles From Where We Started?
Cynthia: Wisdom is waiting around every turn in the road. We can ignore it or embrace it. If we embrace it, we’ll find ourselves blessedly miles from where we started.
Carrie: I love that. Yes.
Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from Miles From Where We Started & why do you love it?
Cynthia: “Marriage isn’t about avoiding discomfort. It’s about commitment.” Mallory was standing on top of a round hay bale when she hollered this into the atmosphere, and to herself. It flies in the face of what so many newly married couples—and veterans of marriage—assume. But it is a truth that can change everything when marriage enters a week or a season or a long stretch where discomfort threatens its underpinnings.
I also love almost everything 11-year-old Judah says in the book, including (when speaking about his misguided mom, “She doesn’t have to deserve me,” Judah said. “Just choose me.”
Or this one:
Connor: “Judah, did you take your shoes off?”
Judah: “Is that a felony in this state?”
Mallory: “It is if you didn’t change your socks this morning.”
Judah: “What day is it?”
Judah: “Then no. My policy is to change socks on Wednesdays.”
Carrie: Judah had some of the best lines – that rascal totally stole my heart!
I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2019 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most from Cynthia Ruchti’s Q&A or the contemporary Carol Award finalist Miles From Where We Started?