Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti Review and Giveaway

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About the Book

Miles from Where We Started

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!

 

My Thoughts

I enjoyed this story. It had a lot of depth and substance. The 2 main characters, Mallory and Connor are dealing with some heavy issues and find themselves on a cross country road trip with a troubled pre-teen as their marriage is on the brink of dissolving.

I appreciated the honesty in the story…neither of the characters had a deep relationship with the Lord at first and their growth came very naturally. They also struggled realistically with having a troubled youth tagging along on their trip while dealing with relationship issues.

The story progressed naturally and along the way the characters met many interesting people and saw many sights. I love a good road trip story and this one was very well done…atmospheric and definitely worth a read. I highly recommend it!

I received this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About the Author

cynthia ruchtiCynthia 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,

Cynthia

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid ReaderOctober 25

Reading Is My SuperPowerOctober 25

The Power of WordsOctober 25

All-of-a-kind MomOctober 26

Lighthouse AcademyOctober 26

Real World Bible StudyOctober 26

Quiet QuilterOctober 27

Kristin’s Book ReviewsOctober 27

Christian BookaholicOctober 27

cherylbbookblogOctober 28

Simple Harvest ReadsOctober 28 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)

RemembrancyOctober 28

Godly Book ReviewsOctober 29

Captive Dreams WindowOctober 29

By The BookOctober 29

Maureen’s MusingsOctober 30

Spoken from the Heart , October 30

SusanLovesBooksOctober 30

D’S QUILTS & BOOKSOctober 31

Truth and Grace Homeschool AcademyOctober 31

Locks, Hooks and BooksOctober 31

Mary HakeNovember 1

Book by BookNovember 1

amandainpa , November 1

Pause for TalesNovember 2

Abba’s Prayer Warrior PrincessNovember 2

Just CommonlyNovember 2

Southern Gal Loves to ReadNovember 3

Baker KellaNovember 3

Two Points of InterestNovember 3

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly KissesNovember 4

Inklings and NotionsNovember 4

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 4

Texas Book-aholicNovember 5

Debbie’s Dusty DeliberationsNovember 5

Janice’s Book ReviewsNovember 6

Carpe DiemNovember 6

A Baker’s PerspectiveNovember 6

A Diva’s HeartNovember 7

Reader’s Cozy CornerNovember 7

BigreadersiteNovember 7

Giveaway

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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 link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ea/miles-from-where-we-started-celebration-tour-giveaway

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Inspire Bible for Girls Review

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Description

The #1-selling Inspire Bible is a beautiful single-column, wide-margin New Living Translation Bible for coloring and creative journaling that has become a treasured legacy Bible for many. Young girls have enjoyed coloring and creative art-journaling in the Inspire Bible, and now there is an edition just for them!

The new Inspire Bible for Girls is designed to draw girls ages 8 and up deeper into God’s Word and to inspire creativity and connection with God! In addition to the much-loved features of Inspire, the Inspire Bible for Girls includes over 300 devotionals written by bestselling author Carolyn Larsen plus book introductions, journaling prompts, and interesting Bible facts to enhance girls’ coloring and creative journaling journey through the Bible.

Over 500 beautiful full and partial-page Scripture line-art illustrations to color are attractively displayed throughout the Bible. There are lots of pages with open space for creativity in the lightly-ruled, two-inch-wide margins. Girls can leave traces of their faith throughout their Bible for a unique treasure that will truly inspire!

The 8.65-point font is larger and more readable than other coloring Bibles, and the high-quality white Bible paper makes it a great choice for creatively responding to God’s Word right on the pages of the Bible. Instill the joy and value of reading the Bible in young girls’ hearts so they can learn to connect with God and discover valuable truths from Scripture–and ultimately live it out in their lives!

My Thoughts

I know that this Bible is marketed towards girls 8 years old and up but I love it as well! Pink and blue is my favorite color combination and the cover is full of those colors…there are also flamingos on the spine! The cover of this Bible is very girly and the silver accents really shine.

I was a bit wary of the paperback cover as I own some paperback Bibles and they are very flimsy. This cover is very durable…it’s more like a cardboard cover and if taken care of, seems like it will last for a long time. The Bible comes with a nice slipcase box for storage.

There are so many great features in this Bible:

-There are over 500 illustrations to color and the illustrations are very pretty…they range from very simple designs to much more intricate.

-There are over 300 devotionals and prayers geared towards girls…the devotions focus on scripture but also use real life situations that young ladies may be facing. Each devotional ends with a prayer.

-Over 160 journaling prompts: These are in the margins and have questions that prompt the reader to ponder things found in the scriptures and apply them to their lives

-Key scripture verse coloring pages: This is one of my favorite features…at the beginning of each book, there is a coloring page with key scripture verses found in that book.

-Fun Facts: These are sprinkled throughout the book and contain interesting facts about the stories and scriptures.

-There is also a topical index of the devotionals in the front of the book that is very handy. Devotionals cover a variety of topics including Laziness, sadness, suffering, sin, complaining, self image, etc.

The Bible is in the NLT translation which is one of my favorite translations as it is very reader friendly and easy to understand.

I highly recommend this Bible, I love it and I know that many young ladies would love it too!

My Rating

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I received this Bible from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Girls’ Guide to Conquering Middle School by Erica & Jonathan Catherman Review

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Description

The transition from elementary school to middle school skirts the borders of traumatic for many girls. Their bodies are changing, their moods are shifting, their friendships are tested, and boys can become a big distraction. Girls may begin to struggle with grades, behavior, and relationships with family and friends. How do they know what to do and what not to do in this new environment with new expectations?

Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer girls ages ten to twelve the practical help they need to make the move to middle school as painless as possible. The “do this, not that” format covers a hundred relevant topics and situations middle school girls will face, including the first day, bullies, test taking, cell phone use, homework, gossip, leadership, respect, sports, PDA, and many more.

My Thoughts

This book gets rave reviews from my 12 year old daughter in 7th grade. It has a really fun format…broken down into many categories (gossip, body odor, swearing, mean girls, detention, etc), each page explains the category in a fun, easy to read way with very cute illustrations to demonstrate “do this” and “not that”. The illustrations remind me a bit of the Goofus and Gallant features in Highlights magazines…they were always my favorite part of the magazine and the illustrations in this book really add to the fun as well as provide a visual aide.

I wish this book would have been around during my middle school years. Navigating those years is not easy and it’s nice to have a book that discusses things that young girls might not feel comfortable asking about. It also addresses things they may not have even thought about.

Overall, this book is a definite winner and I highly recommend it for all pre-teens and early teen girls.

My Rating

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I received this book to review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

NIV Journal the Word Bible for Women Review

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Description

A reflective journey through the Bible

Do you seek stillness and inspiration in your quiet time? The NIV Journal the Word™ Bible for Women guides you through God’s precious Word with reflections and thought-provoking questions placed beside Scripture. Explore God’s Word for you and express your heart in the wide margins with room for responses, journaling, and artistic expression.

Over 500 reflective journaling prompts carefully crafted to equip you to contemplate Scripture
Full-text of the accurate, readable, and clear New International Version (NIV)—the most read modern English Bible translation in the world
Presentation page for personalizing and gift giving
Beautiful page design
Satin ribbon marker
Subject index of journaling prompts
Exclusive Zondervan NIV Comfort Print® typeface
9.9-point print size

My Thoughts

This is a lovely Bible. I own a Journal the Word Bible but the cover is plain black. This one has a beautiful navy cover with gold and coppery red flowers and text that says, “my soul finds rest in God. Psalm 62:1”. The spine is also very pretty with decorations. The material of the cover is cloth over board which is not my favorite as I find that pet hair sticks to it and if it becomes dirty, there is no good way to clean it.

The Bible includes a very nice gold satin ribbon bookmark. The margins are spacious and allow for many notes and journaling. The text is single column, which I prefer. On many of the pages are prompts for the verses that ask questions that allow the reader to ponder the verses further and apply them to their lives. There is space below each of these prompts which allows for answering the questions or journaling.

The text of the Bible is navy and the Chapter headings are in the coppery red color. The text is very easy to read. I like the size of the Bible, it’s a nice size to hold and read but it’s not too big or heavy.

Overall, this is a wonderful Bible that I feel blessed to own. It would be a lovely gift for anyone.

My Rating

4.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Renewed by Leigh Powers Review

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About the Book

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Book Title: Renewed

Author: Leigh Powers

Genre: Devotional

Release date: November, 2017

Ministry is a privilege, but it can also be a painful experience. Unrealistic expectations, church conflict, forced resignations, and our own struggles with burnout, loneliness, and insecurity can make church feel more like a place of wounding than a place of healing. How can wounded leaders find the courage to reject bitterness and keep loving the church?

Renewed is a forty-day devotional for women in ministry, ministry wives, and lay leaders who have been wounded by their congregations. You are not alone. God sees your pain. He knows your hurts. And he is waiting to bind up your broken heart. This forty-day journey into the healing love of Jesus will help you find the courage to stop hiding and start loving the church again.

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

 

My Thoughts

This devotional touches on something that I haven’t found often in books…healing from hurt caused by Christians. I think it’s difficult (or nearly impossible) to be a Christian for a long period of time without being hurt by those who also claim to be Christians. To me, this is one of the most painful kinds of hurts because “they should know better”.

Written by a Pastor’s wife, Leigh was no stranger to criticism by others. Her writing is honest and gritty and not sugar coated. I found these devotionals to be very helpful in finding ways to change how we react to situations because we cannot change other people.

Each day reflects on real life, realateable situations, then has a scripture for reflection and a prayer . They end with some questions to contemplate throughout the day.

I think this devotional would be extremely beneficial to all Christians. I found it to be very healing and is a book I will keep on my shelf and come back to in the future.

I received this book from the publisher/author to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

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Leigh Powers is passionate about helping women find hope and healing in God’s Word. A pastor’s wife and mother of three with fifteen years of full-time ministry experience, she is a freelance writer, Bible study and devotional author, and a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She blogs regularly at www.leighpowers.com. You can usually find her with either a book or knitting needles in her hand—and sometimes both.

 

Guest Post from Leigh

I love ministry life. Several years ago, a young woman from Southeast Asia came to my English as a Second Language class for a year. Her English wasn’t very good, and I had to tug to get a word out of her. She came every week, but I wondered how much she was getting from the Bible stories we did during each class. At the end of the semester, I asked our class to share what they wanted to tell their friends and family when they went home. She looked up at me with big brown eyes. “I want to tell people about Jesus.”

Those are the ministry moments that thrill us. It is a privilege to help people find freedom in Christ, teach God’s word, worship with the congregation, and walk alongside people in their moments of joy or sorrow. On those days I can’t imagine choosing another life. Then there are days that make me want to hang it all up and go work at Wal-Mart. Days when anonymous letters get slipped under the office door. Days when you’re the brunt of gossip, when loneliness is like an ache in your bones, or when you start sending out resumes for new positions because you aren’t sure how much longer you’ll have the one you’ve got.

Ministry can be tough. Over the years I’ve met many women who have experienced the painful side of ministry. Church conflicts, forced resignations, depression, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and our own struggles with faith can take a toll. That painful side of ministry can make us start looking for an escape hatch.

I wrote Renewed in the middle of a difficult ministry season. It was a hard season, but it was also a season where Jesus showed up for me in an almost tangible way. At the same time, I was also hearing stories from other ministry wives and women in ministry that sounded all too familiar. I started putting words on the page, hoping that somehow God would use them to bring healing to other women in the same way he had brought healing to me. That outpouring of hurt, healing, and hope eventually became Renewed.

Some of you reading this are nodding along right now because you’ve been there too. You love the church, but you’ve seen how ugly it can be when we get it wrong. You’ve got wounds of your own, and sometimes you wonder if you can ever risk your heart again. If that’s you, I want you to know that there is hope. God has not abandoned you. God sees your hurt, he knows your pain, and he is waiting to bind up your broken spirit. He’s waiting. Turn to him, and may you find your spirit renewed.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, October 6

amandainpaOctober 7

A Baker’s Perspective, October 7

The Becca Files, October 8

Mary Hake, October 8

Living Life Free In Christ, October 9

Genesis 5020, October 10

A Reader’s Brain, October 11

More Of Him, October 12

proud to be an autism mom, October 12

Godly Book Reviews, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Carpe Diem, October 14

Kelly Harrel, October 15

Texas Book-aholic, October 16

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 17

Bigreadersite, October 17

Janices book reviews, October 18

Real World Bible Study, October 19

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, October 19

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Leigh is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d4ee/renewed-celebration-tour-giveaway

 

ESV Story of Redemption Bible: A Journey through the Unfolding Promises of God Review

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Description

The Bible is the epic story of the unfolding plan of God over the course of the history of the world. The Story of Redemption Bible: A Journey through the Unfolding Promises of God leads readers on a journey through this storyline from start to finish, with conversational commentary written by pastor Greg Gilbert interspersed throughout the full ESV text. With the aim of encouraging interaction and contemplation passage by passage, Gilbert explains how every part of Scripture fits together and is ultimately centered on Christ. Particularly suitable to those who are new to the Bible but rich with insights for even the most seasoned Bible reader, the Story of Redemption Bible will draw readers in as they see their place in the greatest story ever told.

 

My Thoughts

This is a very lovely Bible. The dust jacket is cream colored with gold foiling. It also has a beautiful gold foiled presentation page and title page.

Illustrated by Peter Voth, each book has an illustration that perfectly describes a scene or symbolism in the book. There is a very nice index of title illustrations that shows each illustration and describes the meaning behind them. The illustrations are beautiful and very well done.

The color scheme of the Bible is very simple and pleasing. It would be suitable for both men and women. The pages are thick for Bible pages and there is room in the margins for notes, journaling, or artwork. There is also one chocolate colored ribbon bookmark included. I prefer more than one bookmark but I’m pleased that there is one with this Bible.

Throughout the book are notes of running commentary by pastor Greg Gilbert. I found these notes to be very thought-provoking and interesting. There are also maps included within the text of the Bible.

The Bible has reading plans in the back and a very nice fold out “Story of Redemption” Timeline. The timeline has the beautiful artwork and spans from Creation to the New Heavens and a New Earth. I love this timeline…visual aids are always helpful to me and this one is very well done.

Overall, this Bible is beautiful and would make a wonderful gift for a baptism, Easter, or even a birthday. I highly recommend it.

My Rating

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I received this Bible from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Three Spiritual Classics in One Volume by A.W. Tozer Review

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Description

Encounter God. Worship more.

What Tozer lacked in formal education, he more than made up for in experiential wisdom.  Tozer was a man who really knew God, and it showed. People came from all over to hear his sermons because they knew they would go home more in awe of God.  That’s why millions keep coming back to his writings, but particularly these three books.

Considered to be Tozer’s greatest works, Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, and God’s Pursuit of Man are now available in a single volume.  In 3 Spiritual Classics, you will discover a God of breathtaking majesty and world-changing love, and you will find yourself worshipping through every page.  Encounter Tozer and the God worth worshipping today.

My Thoughts

Non-fiction is something that I don’t particularly enjoy picking up but I almost always find that I benefit from the time I’ve spent reading it. This collection of 3 of A.W. Tozer’s Classic works (The Knowledge of the Holy, The Pursuit of God, and God’s Pursuit of Man), took me several months to read but the time spent was definitely worthwhile. I’ve always wanted to read something by Tozer as he was a very well respected theologian who spoke the truth.

This book brings 3 of his greatest works together in one volume that I will return to again and again.

I did struggle a bit at first with the writing as the books were written in 1948, 1950, and 1961. The language is different from the language of today, which slowed me down at times.

The first book, The Knowledge of the Holy was about the attributes of God and discovering who He really is and who He is not. I have learned about God all through my life in church but never have I seen it broken down so clearly as it is in this book. I love how Tozer has a chapter for each attribute and he explains further how God fits that attribute.

The second book, The Pursuit of God, was my favorite of the three. It discusses the importance of man’s pursuit of God and how we can pursue Him. Tozer discusses removing the veil that is inside of us…a veil that separates us from being close to the Lord…a veil that is made of self (selfishness, self-pity, self-love, self-righteousness). This chapter resonated deeply within me. To think that this book was written in 1948 amazes me…how much more do people suffer from this problem now than they did then?

There were so many treasures found in this book that all of the pages in my copy have been highlighted and sometimes annotated.

The third book, God’s Pursuit of Man discusses what it means to be truly saved. This book did not flow as well as The Pursuit of God to me but there were still some gems in it.

I enjoyed how Tozer discusses the Holy Spirit, and His important work in our lives. Often, the spirit is not discussed (or “forgotten” as Tozer states).

Overall, this was an excellent collection that I highly recommend. I know that this will be a book that I will never get rid of and will return to in the future.

My Overall Rating

4 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.