Dear Readers, I was hooked on Cynthia Ruchti books when her first novel was published. Now I wait eagerly for the next one to come out. I loved last year’s Christmas book. I haven’t read this one, because my copy hasn’t arrived yet, but it will go to the top of my to-be-read pile.
Welcome back, Cynthia. Why did you become an author?
I was motivated to become an author because of the way the written word impacted my life, the way story changed me, moved me, educated me, expanded my compassion and understanding. I longed to be able to interpret life through words for someone else, for my readers.
If you weren’t an author, what would be your dream job?
Such a difficult question for me. Sometimes I think I could be happy as a wedding planner, or a photographer, or a florist. At one time, I went back to college with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. But there’s something to be said for pursuing a career as a secret Bed and Breakfast inspector.
If you could have lived at another time in history, what would it be and why?
Before Downton Abbey captured my attention, I might have answered differently. I might have chosen a Little House on the Prairie time period, despite its challenges. But the costumes, the immaculate manners, the culture, and the architect of the Downton Abbey aristocracy—minus the arrogance, secrets, and drama—is captivating to the imagination.
What place in the
have you not visited that you would like to? United States
How about a foreign country you hope to visit?
What lesson has the Lord taught you recently?
At the recent ACFW conference, Ted Dekker challenged us to consider God’s admonition that our spiritual survival depends on “renewing our minds” applies to all areas of our lives. That had a significant impact on the way I view disappointments and distresses.
Tell us about the featured book.
Restoring Christmas is the story of a woman who sets out to restore a neglected fieldstone farmhouse and earn herself a spot on the Heart-and-Home Christmas renovation special. What she doesn’t expect is to restore a life.
Alexis Blake has one chance to land her own show on the Heart-and-Home network and nothing—not an uncooperative client, a job site without indoor plumbing, or a challenging videographer—is going to stand in her way.
Elsie, at seventy-plus, is far from the ideal client, but she knows exactly what she wants her fieldstone house to look like, and no designer can tell her otherwise.
Gabe Langley, the man with the camera, is caught in the middle, and it is his wisdom and warmth that just may be the bridge that will bring these two women together. Can they restore more than just a house and save Christmas memories from being lost forever?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Roasted chestnut latte? How can that be a bad thing?
Alexis Blake shuffled forward in line as two of the three customers ahead of her finished paying for their beverages. The only person left now in the chasm between her and coffee stepped up to place his order. A defensive linebacker-sized guy with espresso hair curling over his collar. Alexis caught sight of the chalkboard boasting the Caffé Tlazo breakfast special of the day. Wild mushroom and crispy shallot quiche. Not her typical organic yogurt and blueberry quick-fix breakfast. And not what she expected from an unpretentious café in an unpretentious town along the western shore of Lake Michigan.
Algoma. She rehearsed it in her head for the sake of any sensitive locals: Al (as in Pal) GO-muh. The town might have shared Lake Michigan with Chicago more than two hundred miles to the south, but it had little else in common with the metropolis. Alexis hadn’t seen much more of shore-hugging Algoma than what edged the road that brought her to town. The highway wove through farmland and orchards, slowing her down with interspersed villages clustered around a cheese factory, winery, or connection to the “Old Country.”
She’d sat at the stop sign in Algoma too long where Highway 54 decided it was done, the highway creators as startled by the view as she was, apparently. The road teed with a wide-sweeping vista of Lake Michigan and the curious, skinny red lighthouse at the tip of the breakwater. Turning south at the tee would have taken her toward Kewaunee by way of Alaska. The town, not the state. North led to the heart of her destination, home to the most important client she’d never met. Would soon meet. Right after Alexis signed the contract with the videographer.
After a flood of email exchanges, she was about to meet the local videographer who could either propel her career forward or ruin it.
While she waited for the linebacker to finish gabbing with the barista, she checked the clock on her phone. Fifteen minutes. She had fifteen minutes to place her order and get settled before George Langley arrived. Not much breathing space, but the drive from Green Bay, across the stubby base of Wisconsin’s thumb, took longer than expected. As had picking out an outfit that said “confident but approachable.” She unbuttoned her wool coat. Late October. Too warm for wool. Too cold for a lighter jacket.
Alexis scanned the customers already seated. As eclectic a mix as the artsy décor. Nobody matched the description of the George Langley she’d seen on the website, a man with silver hair, distinctive bushy eyebrows, and sparkling deep-water eyes.
The chatty guy in front of her turned after slipping a dollar into the tip jar and headed toward the small, mismatched tables scattered throughout the compact café. A room that looked as if it had lived an earlier life as a screened-in porch held additional tables and chairs—slate-topped wrought iron, patio-style.
No. No, no, no. The ex-football player chose the one table he couldn’t have, the one by the windows in the southeast corner. The spot where she and George were destined to plot out the next eight weeks of her life, and maybe longer. Maybe the next eight, ten, twenty years, if the audition video went well. No. This guy could not have that table.
She corrected the details of her fumbled order—her fault—focused on the task at hand, added more to the tip jar, and launched herself toward the corner table.
“Excuse me, sir. Would you mind moving to another spot? I’m meeting someone here.” She tapped the slate tabletop with her index finger. “Here.”
“No can do.”
Nice smile. Nice try. “I’d really appreciate it. I’ve never met the man before and…”
“Blind date, huh? Breakfast blind date?” He nodded as if contemplating. “Uncommon, but not unwise.”
A waitress set a blue-green and chocolate brown pottery mug in front of the irritant. The foamed milk on top sported a design that looked like a cross between a heart and a fern leaf. Classy touch.
“It’s a business meeting,” Alexis said, pulling her laptop case off her shoulder as if that would convince him.
“Me, too. Here. Right”—he tapped with his index finger—“here.”
I love this opening, Cynthia. How can readers find you on the Internet?I love to keep in contact with readers through facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage, twitter.com/cynthiaruchti, or my website—http://www.cynthiaruchti.com
Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing this holiday treat with us. By the way, I love your new headshot.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Restoring Christmas - Christianbook.com
Restoring Christmas: A Novella - Amazon hardcover
Restoring Christmas: A Novella - Kindle
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