Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ALL MY BELONGINGS - Cynthia Ruchti - One Free Book on This Blog, Plus More

Bio: Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction projects, speaking events and a history of 33 years of on-air storytelling through The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. 

Her books have been recognized by Retailers' Choice, RT Reviewers' Choice, Family Fiction Readers' Choice, ACFW's Carol Award nomination, and other honors. All My Belongings is her eighth release (including three non-fiction books). Ruchti has also written articles for numerous magazines and industry publications and currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. 

Ruchti lives in Wisconsin where she spends her days diving into words, worship, and wonder. It is her delight to serve on her church's worship team and creative arts team. One of her greatest joys is helping other writers grow in their craft. Cynthia and her husband have been married for 40-plus years and have three grown children and five grandchildren.

And, dear readers, All My Belongings and my book, Catherine’s Pursuit are both finalists in the Can Gold Scroll Awards for Novel of the Year. I’m honored to be considered with her book.

Welcome Cynthia. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Seasons in life bring us to a place of a far deeper understanding of a Scripture verse we may have seen many times, even memorized. I feel that way right now about the verse that says, “To whom much is given, much is required.” God has provided publishing opportunities and a great relationship with my publishing house. He’s blessed me with contracts into the future—both fiction and nonfiction. But all that comes with a sober realization that I’m responsible to handle these gifts well, to give every opportunity my all, and to stay alert to the needs of others—both family and readers—while on this journey. Every book challenges me personally, so whether fiction or nonfiction, I finish the project changed. What do I see on the horizon? More of that! More insights into the human heart, and God’s heart, and what happens when they touch.

Tell us a little about your family.
I’m married to my grade school sweetheart. We met when I was in fifth grade and he was in sixth grade. We married young—he was 21 and I was 20—but we’d already been in love for eight years! Three years into marriage, we added our beautiful daughter Amy to the family. Three years later, a son. When she was eleven, our daughter stomped her feet and said, “Why won’t you have another baby!” We calmly told her that our family was large enough. God thought differently. When said daughter was thirteen, we welcomed another son into our world.  Raising teens and a toddler at the same time offered us all kinds of growth potential as parents. Now, all three are grown. They’ve blessed us with five grandchildren. So far. My husband is semi-retired, so we’re doing the dance of figuring out how best to not get in each other’s way. It seems most joys in life come with a flip side called challenge.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
As I’ve grown as a writer, I’ve expanded not only my bookshelf capacity (I think we’re up to five full-sized bookcases at the moment), but my reading breadth as well. I read more and a wider variety. Reading great writing makes me a better writer, no matter the genre.

What are you working on right now?
Any day now, I’ll receive the edits for my 2015 novel from Abingdon Press—As Waters Gone By. Oh, that book took a lot out of me, in a good way! Emotionally taxing, it also is a balm, an ointment for broken hearts. Can’t wait for that one to hit the shelves, too! I have a nonfiction due to the publisher on August 1st, and am working on that right now. It’s tentatively titled Tattered Souls: Embracing the Mend. That book is complementary to last year’s Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices.

What outside interests do you have?
Music is a large influence in my life. I sing on the worship team at church and sometimes lead worship in other venues. If I’m in a setting with no music for more than a day or two, I start to twitch. God has often used music as a way to reach me when few other things could. I also love to travel and dream about new places to explore.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far, all of the settings for my books have had some kind of influence on me personally. In All My Belongings, the location to which the main character runs is my birthplace—Oceanside, California. I’m not sure now when or why I made the decision to choose Oceanside. But I’m glad I did. Now, to have a book signing in Oceanside! Maybe next winter when here in Wisconsin we’ll be battling dangerous wind chills again. Some of the locations have been a matter of “It absolutely has to happen here.” Others have had a less pointed, but definitely Midwestern feel, in part because it allows writing true seasons, and because it’s what I know best. I’d love to write Southern fiction—my mind somehow thinks that way—but I couldn’t do it justice without an incredible amount of research. Self-fulfilling prophecy?

If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
The Mary who was the first to see Jesus alive again. I’ll bet she’s still telling that story.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d known that each rejection formed a tread or a riser for the staircase that would eventually lead to publication…if used that way. I wish I’d known that timing had less to do with my being educated enough and more to do with when God knew my heart would be ready…and my readers ready for the stories I write. Relaxing into His timing would have removed some anxiety for me.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
I’m still dreaming smaller than God’s imagination. We all do. I’m practicing dreamer bigger.

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Here are three among many:
Define success the way God does—obedience to Him. The math works out better that way.
Apply yourself diligently to learning, no matter how long you’ve been writing…and then apply what you’ve learned!
Resist comparisons. No other writer’s journey will be exactly like yours. Nor should it. If the path God takes you on has far more twists than others, it’s because He’s creating a more compelling plot out of your life!

Tell us about the featured book.
The dedication page of All My Belongings reads: “To those who feel homeless when they aren’t, whose journeys take exceptional courage, whose hearts tell them the love they seek is possible, present, and not at all what they imagined. It’s ocean-deep and laced with grace.”

A new identity can’t protect Becca from a past that refuses to go away.

Where do you turn when changing your name doesn’t give you the anonymity you want? When running hundreds of miles away isn’t far enough? When your search for a place to belong lands you right back where you began?

One phone call destroys all the hope Becca Morrow has for a life beyond the shame of her past. Further discredited by the death of her elderly, ailing patient—the mother of the influential businessman, Isaac Hughes—Becca’s new life is shattered and her longing for love slips away. Working to clear her name, Becca must learn to see the beauty in the ugliness of dying, to accept the tenderness in forgiveness, and—at last—discover that where she belongs isn’t as much about her family history as it is about her faith in the One to whom she’ll always belong.

Please give us the first page of the book.
The coffee tasted like burnt marshmallows. The charred bits. Jayne set the vending machine cup on the corner of her advisor’s desk.

            Patricia Connor smiled over half-glasses. “Don’t blame you.” She nodded toward her oversized thermal tankard. “I bring my own from home.”


            “I’m surprised you wanted to see me today, Jayne. Aren’t they—?”

            “Yes.” Jayne directed her line of sight through her advisor’s office window, over the tops of the century-old oaks and maples lining the campus, toward the courthouse in the center of town.

            “And you didn’t want to be there?” The woman removed her glasses as if they interfered with her understanding.

            Oh, I’m there. I’ve been there every agonizing moment. Several little shards of me are embedded in the hardwood floor in that courtroom. What’s left of me wants an answer from you. “I need to find out if I can reenter the nursing program where I left off.”

            Patricia leaned back in her nondescript office chair. “And you have to know today?”


            Her advisor’s head shook so slightly, Jayne assumed the movement originated in the nervous bounce of the woman’s knee, not her neck. “We have…concerns.”

            “My grades were good.”

            “It’s not that. Most nontraditional students are committed enough to pull decent grades.”

            Twenty-seven and nontraditional. In every way. Jayne leaned forward and added, “And work two jobs while doing it.” She wouldn't look out the window again. Her future lay here, in this decision. “If you’re worried about the financial aspect…”

            “Aren’t you? Word is, you’re tapped out with what your family’s gone through.”

            She’d shelved the word family a year and a half ago, the day she found out her father’s middle name was Reprehensible. Bertram Reprehensible Dennagee. Her mother didn’t think she could endure the pain one more day. Her father made sure she didn’t.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love connecting with readers and invite them to find me at,, or

Thank you so much, Lena! It’s always a joy to talk to you…and your readers.

We love having you, Cynthia.

Cynthia Ruchti asks what it takes to overcome your past and become who you were meant to be in her latest novel, All My Belongings. Cynthia has woven a heart-wrenching tale of forgiveness, grace, and learning what it means to truly belong.

Cynthia is celebrating the release of her latest novel with a fun giveaway and a live webcast event!
One winner will receive:
  • A $200 Visa cash card
  • All My Belongings by Cynthia Ruchti
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on June 11th. Winner will be announced at the All My Belongings LIVE webcast event on June 11th. Connect with Cynthia for an evening of book chat, trivia, laughter, and more! Cynthia will also be taking questions from the audience and giving away books, fun prizes, and gift certificates throughout the evening.
So grab your copy of All My Belongings and join Cynthia and friends on the evening of June 11th for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by signing up for a reminder. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Jon and Vicki Marney said...

This book sounds intriguing & I would love the opportunity of winning it. You talk about Becca's past--I'm wondering, if there was a book before this, or do we learn what that past was in this book? Another words--series or stand-alone?
Vicki (my home is in Oregon, but I am all over the world--currently in Madrid for one more week). :-)

Melanie Backus said...

All My Belongings sounds like a wonderful book and Cynthia sounds like a wonderful lady. I would love to find out more about Becca's story. Thank you for the port unity.

Melanie Backus, TX

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Jackie McNutt said...

Congratulations Cynthia And Lena on your book nominations !
All My Belongings looks like a great read. Thank you for review.
Ohio reader

Jean said...

Thank you for this opportunity

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Britney Adams said...

I enjoyed Cynthia's interview and book excerpt. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of ALL MY BELONGINGS!

Britney Adams, TX

Mary Preston said...

An interesting first page thank you.

Mary P


Jean said...

Sounds like a great book.

Jean K
West Palm Beach. FL

Marianne Barkman said...

Lena, as always, you pick the best ones! I would love the opportunity to win.
I live in Alberta Canada, but have an US address.

Library Lady said...

We have Cynthia's books in the church library.
I would love to win this book to add to our shelves.
Janet E.

Anonymous said...

Reads like a great book. Thank you,

Julie (WI)

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Pam K. said...

All My Belongings sounds like another great book by Cynthia. I loved When the Morning Glory Blooms.
Thanks for entering me in the book drawing.


sm said...

I live in Oceanside, CA and would love to come to a book signing here in Oceanside,CA. sharon,CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Courtney Clark said...

I'd love to win!

Courtney C. from AR

Merry said...

Just the little taste of All My Belongings, makes me want more! Please include me, I love Cynthia's books.
Merry in MN

Jackie Tessnair said...

I enjoyed this interview,thanks for sharing.Jackie Tessnair N.C.

Kandra said...

very interesting~ sign me up!
Kandra in OK

Anonymous said...

would love to win. Angela in KY

CentralEast2 said...

I would love a chance to read this book Carol from AL centraleast2 at gmail dot com