Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: Miles from Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

About the Book

Book Title: Miles from Where We Started  
Author: Cynthia Ruchti  
Genre: Christian Romance/Family life  
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 wedding 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.

Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness they expected. How can they find a new beginning when the road ends?

Click here to purchase your copy!

Microcamper teardrop trailer

My Thoughts

     A surly preteen was ensconced behind her, grumbling under his breath. The man she loved but couldn’t keep was positioned behind the wheel. And they were towing an impossible housing situation to parts unknown.
     She couldn’t think of a single reason for peace to have appeared on the scene. But there it was.

Cynthia Ruchti is consistently among my very favorite authors, and Miles from Where We Started is her latest release in a long line of outstanding, hope-filled stories. She has the ability to craft real situations and characters – imperfect characters – place them in tough circumstances where self-reliance isn’t enough, and infuse them with the hope and grace that we all long for. Miles from Where We Started is filled with Ruchti’s lyrical prose, emotional, humorous, heartwarming, and relevant to our daily Christian walk.

Work had always anchored him when his
thoughts whipped up whitecaps of what-ifs.

It’s refreshing to read a story that focuses on the marriage rather than courtship. If ever a couple needed the hope that Ruchti beautifully reflects in everything she writes, it’s Connor and Mallory, a young couple who are almost one year into what seems to be a failed marriage. Connor lived with the 50/50 chance that he had inherited the gene for a debilitating disease, and thought he was acting in Mallory’s best interests by walking away.

Mallory had a heart for troubled teens, working to help “displaced, confused, bullied or bullying, lost or listing – God love them – teens in search of a secret passageway to hope. Some had never seen a glimpse.” With no advance warming, Connor and Mallory are given a unique road-trip/video blog opportunity, which will hopefully impact their respective businesses – and maybe impact their marriage and the life of a young boy in the process. Eleven-year-old Judah tugs at the heart and is one of the most memorable characters ever. A delightful secondary cast, rich in all they contribute, populates this novel also.

A mile of silence is longer than a regular mile.
- Day 2

As each day’s journey increases the physical miles beyond the starting point, the spiritual miles also increase. Faith, mercy, grace, commitment and second chances are a huge part of this story, skillfully woven in the narrative for maximum impact. Two things stood out to me … One, that the waterfalls they visited were symbolic of God’s peace and healing. Secondly, that directions for each stop were given in daily increments, just like God only gives us enough light for the step we’re currently on.

Miles from Where We Started is to be treasured and read slowly, so as to savor each nuance and thought. “Best of the Best” list for me!

Very highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope through novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and speaking events. 

She serves as the professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers and is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences across the country. 

She married her grade school sweetheart, and the two live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Guest Post from Cynthia

I have a confession to make. I heart millennials. 

My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture? 

Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis. 

As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success? 

Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!” 

Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired. 

Can’t wait for you to read it, too. 

Hemmed in Hope, 


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image above or the link below to enter.

Blog Stops

The Power of Words, October 25
All-of-a-kind Mom, October 26
Lighthouse Academy, October 26
Quiet Quilter, October 27
Christian Bookaholic, October 27
cherylbbookblog, October 28
Simple Harvest Reads, October 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Remembrancy, October 28
Godly Book Reviews, October 29
Captive Dreams Window, October 29
By The Book, October 29
Maureen’s Musings, October 30
Spoken from the Heart , October 30
SusanLovesBooks, October 30
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, October 31
Mary Hake, November 1
Book by Book, November 1
amandainpa , November 1
Pause for Tales, November 2
Just Commonly, November 2
Baker Kella, November 3
Inklings and Notions, November 4
Bibliophile Reviews, November 4
Texas Book-aholic, November 5
Carpe Diem, November 6
A Diva’s Heart, November 7
Bigreadersite, November 7


  1. Replies
    1. Me too, Teena. Cynthia's publisher did a great job.

  2. Sounds like an awesome book. Looking forward to reading it.

    1. Do read it, Dianne. I don't believe you will be disappointed.

  3. I've loved every Cynthia Ruchti's books that I've read! I know this will be terrific!

    1. Same with me, Susie! Cynthia's excellent writing always moves me.

  4. Cynthia is one of my must read authors! I'm excited to read this one.

    1. This is definitely one to read, Caryl. Cynthia is a consistently excellent author, in my opinion.

  5. Replies
    1. I hope you do get to read it, Brenda. It's that good!

  6. This book sounds really good! I don't think I have ever read anything by Cynthia.

    1. Cynthia is one of my favorite authors, Patty. Please do try some of her books if you get a chance. One of her Christmas-themed books, An Endless Christmas, is a "best of the best" for me. Here's my review, in case you're interested:

  7. This book sounds great! I am looking forward to reading it. Thanks for sharing.

  8. This book sounds fabulous! I still haven't read any books by this author but I really want to. Your review makes it seem like a must read. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on! It's great having you back!

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, Tina. As for Ruchti's books, I can't imagine you not loving anything she writes. I'll just have to start nagging you about her books! A book that I mentioned to one of the other commenters - An Endless Christmas - would be a great place to start, especially during this season.