From Whom All Blessings Flow

It has been a wild but wonderful several weeks. One of the reasons I haven’t posted much here lately is because I’ve been caught up in a whirlwind of activity. The novel releasing next year is edited and on its way to the printer for Advanced Reader Copies for early reviewers and industry connections. That book–As Waters Gone By–is still many months away from release, but lives with me still every day, a book I pray will offer hope as well as an intriguing story.

The nonfiction that will release in 2015–Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Soul–is in its final stages of being written. The month of July, I’m doing very little other than focusing on getting this book right.

And contest season has been a wild ride, too.

In May, I was notified that both When the Morning Glory Blooms and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices won Selah Awards in their individual categories from the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference. What an honor!Selah Awards

In the middle of June, at the Golden Scroll Awards in Atlanta, Ragged Hope took second place honors in nonfiction from the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and All My Belongings was awarded a Christian Authors Network Golden Scroll Award.AWSA Golden Scroll Awards 2014

Two days later, at the International Christian Retailers Show in Atlanta, When the Morning Glory Blooms was graced with a Christian Retailing’s BEST Award for fiction and Ragged Hope won a Christian Retailing’s BEST Award for nonfiction!1 Christian Retailing's Best Awards 2014

I had the privilege of teaching a fiction workshop at the AWSA conference and emceeing their Saturday afternoon program. Then it was my honor to represent American Christian Fiction Writers at ICRS, which included coordinating a press conference for ACFW and hosting a Christian Fiction Trends Workshop, among other things.Cyn at ICRS Abingdon Booth

Just as I was settling in back home again after being on the road, I received word that When the Morning Glory Blooms received Honorable Mention from the prestigious ForeWord Reviews IndieFab Awards at the American Library Association convention in Las Vegas! If you’d like to leave a comment for librarians about When the Morning Glory Blooms, here’s the link for that:
https://indiefab.forewordreviews.com/books/when-the-morning-glory-blooms/

Abingdon Press–my publisher–received numerous recognitions at both ICRS and the American Library Association convention. An overflow of favor!

The awards sit not in front of me as I write, but behind me. The honors are a thrill, but are a constant reminder that it is God from whom all blessings flow. Please join me in praying that what comes from these recognitions will be an ever-expanding audience of readers waiting for the hope that hems these books.

Thank you, readers, for joining me on this exhilarating journey!

Tonight is the LIVE webcast discussing All My Belongings, why I write, how I write, and offering an opportunity for interaction through questions and comments from viewers like you. This is from the Litfuse Publicity Group’s email:

Celebrate the release of Cynthia Ruchti’s novel, All My Belongings, at Cynthia’s LIVE webcast TONIGHT (6/11 8PM EDT)! Click here for a time zone converter.
Connect with Cynthia and other fans for a fun evening of book chat, fun, and giveaways. PRIZES UP FOR GRABS: Amazon, Starbucks, and Barnes & Noble gift cards, and copies of All My Belongings! Cynthia will also be announcing the winner of the $200 Visa cash card giveaway! You can still enter to win here.
Grab a cup of your favorite drink and join us!

I Was Minding My Own Business…

…when this news came through social media from one of my editors.

Scroll down the list on the link to see that two books you’ve been praying for and reading–TWO–won Selah Awards in their individual categories this week! When the Morning Glory Blooms and Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices.

My heart is so full of gratitude, it’s spilling over. Messy, but fun.

2014 Selah Awards

Selah Awards

“An important and timely book for our generation”

A “Life Lessons” interview with host Rick Tocquigny offered the insight that we’re now living in a generation that will spend more time caring for aging parents than we do raising our children.

How does that information affect you?

How did it affect Becca and Isaac in the new release All My Belongings? You can take a peek at the answer here: Life Lessons with Rick Tocquigny talks to Cynthia Ruchti.

Current Lifestyle Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Lessons Learned on BlogTalkRadio

Interview with Alton Gansky

Two things converged to help make this recent interview with Alton Gansky, director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers’ Conference, especially gratifying. It was recorded via Skype just the day after the release of my newest novel–All My Belongings. And the BRMCWC Selah Awards program had just announced that another of my novels–When the Morning Glory Blooms–and my nonfiction–Ragged Hope: Surviving the Fallout of Other People’s Choices–were both finalists for Selah Awards!

The video (thanks, Alton) dives a little deeper behind the writing process and one of the main themes of All My Belongings.

If watching the video leads to any questions in your mind, please let me know in the comments section.

Writer’s Talk interview

Ruchti WT screen capture

Spring Scavenger Hunt

So glad you stopped by today. This is my first time participating in a Fiction Scavenger Hunt. It’s an honor for me to be included with these dozens of fiction authors whom I’ve long admired. And I’m excited about the interaction with readers–both those whom I already consider friends and those new to me. The prizes will amaze you…and so will these authors’ stories!
Spring-scavenger-collageThis hunt is a virtual scavenger hunt for clues that will lead you to and through the blogs of more than thirty Christian Fiction authors! You’ll find a new clue on each blog. The hunt begins on April 4 at noon Mountain time. Some posts will be up earlier, but the loop won’t be live until noon on that day. The hunt begins and ends at http://www.robinleehatcher.com/scavenger-hunt-stop-1/  If you stopped by for another reason but want to join, start at Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog. The hunt ends on April 6 at midnight Mountain. You have all weekend to complete the hunt, so there’s no need to race. It’s a journey!
You’ll collect a clue in red at each stop, writing them down as you go. Prizes include a Kindle Fire HDX + $100 gift certificate, and two runners-up will receive all 32 of our books. This hunt with its giveaway is open to international entrants.

And now, I’ll introduce the author I’m hosting today as one of the stops for the scavenger hunt. Donita K. Paul is a prolific author whom I first met through ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). One of my favorite memories of Donita is seeing the expression on her face when she was honored with the ACFW Mentor of the Year Award, a tribute to her heart for not only writing great stories but helping other writers create great stories, too.
dkp red_headshot[1]
Donita K. Paul has been writing all her life but began to take it seriously when she retired early from teaching elementary. She’s written novels, novellas, picture books, short stories, and has contributed to craft books and compilations. What does she like best? The readers! (Donita and I share that in common! We may not write the same kinds of stories, but we love interacting with readers.)

 

Here’s what her recent book–One Realm Beyond–is about.

One Realm Beyond

In a fantasy world with flat planets and shapeshifting dragons, two young realm walkers try to identify evil before the wicked succeed in suppressing the people and controlling the powerful. Cantor and Bixby must count on what they’ve already learned because their trusted mentors have disappeared and those in authority are untrustworthy.

Donita sent along a behind-the-scenes look at the characters in One Realm Beyond that I think you’ll enjoy–an interview with the main character, Bixby.

Bixby, we understand that you live in a fantasy land, and we’d like to know more about your world.


Bixby:  First I better explain that I live on a system of planes. We don’t have planets. Our worlds are flat and stacked like pancakes only with space between them.  We don’t possess space travel technology so the travel between planes is left to realm walkers. 

What are realm walkers?

Portals between planes are opening and shutting around us all the time, but only realm walkers can see them and go through them.  You’re familiar with the Knights of the Round Table? Realm Walkers are like the knights, dedicated to helping the poor and defenseless, clinging to a code of honor, promoting peace, and serving their God. In our society, your God is called Primen, pronounced like “prime” with an n on the end like a prime number.

How does this have anything to do with your fame as a fashion designer?

Oh, my! Fame? I didn’t know. I just have a passion for clothes and accessories. Donita K. Paul has given me my own Pinterest board to help me keep things organized.  You can see my styles there. http://www.pinterest.com/donitakpaul/bixby-styling/ 

I wear my clothes in layers. The reason is twofold.  First when I go adventuring, I put on all the clothes I might need so that I don’t have to stop and unpack a hamper. I just re-layer what I have on so the suitable garment is on top.

A hamper? What is a hamper?”

The easiest way to explain a hamper is to have you think of Mary Poppins’ carpetbag when she pulls out many more things than could possibly fit. Things like hampers and the carpetbag are staples of fantasy literature.

I see. Ummm, you said there was another reason for wearing many layers.

Yes, this is one I don’t like to talk about. Like so many girls, and women in general, I have a bad body image.  I wish I could say I’m lithe or svelte, but the truth is I’m just plain skinny. I have literally slipped through a crack before. And a strong wind has picked me up and banged me against the garden wall in our backyard. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping my feet on the floor.  That’s not so bad now that I’ve learned to control floating. At first, it was just inconvenient.  Lots of layers give me the look of being more substantial.

Your backyard? Tell us a bit about your home.

Mom and Dad are the royal rulers of Richra, so our house is a palace, and the backyard is a formal garden.

You’ve lived an interesting life.

It didn’t get interesting until I met Cantor. It would take a whole book to tell that tale. Well, I guess it did.  Read One Realm Beyond to learn more about my fashions and my terrific friends.

One Realm Beyond book trailer

Thanks, Donita and Bixby. Not only would I like to read the book, but I can think of several of my grandchildren who would enjoy it, too.

Now for more on the HUNT!

THE SCAVENGER HUNT SKINNY:

Thanks for stopping by my website. Before you move on to Stop #17, Donita K. Paul’s own site http://dragonbloggin.blogspot.com  to pick up your next clue, be sure to write down this Stop #16  clue: “everyone else

If you happen to run into a broken link, here’s the place you can go to find links to all the author blogs: http://www.robinleehatcher.com/scavenger-hunt-participating-authors-stops/

But wait! There’s more! Two more important things, in fact. See below for an additional giveaway opportunity, explained in the Rafflecopter block here. Then, keep reading for exclusive information about MY upcoming release!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

PLEASE NOTE: It looks like this Rafflecopter Giveaway has ended. I haven’t been able to get it to kick in again. So I am keeping record of those who becoming new subscribers to my email list (mailing list) and blog followers. You too will be added to the giveaway. I’ve attempted to let Rafflecopter know about the problem so this widget time is extended to the duration of the Scavenger Hunt. But as of now, the widget does not reflect that. But do not fear. You still qualify if you sign up for the mailing list and blog subscription. OR leave me a COMMENT and I’ll include you.

The newsletter (mailing list) sign up and blog subscription forms are just to the left in the margin near the top of this post. PLEASE consider following me on www.facebook.com/CynthiaRuchtiReaderPage or www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti!

Here’s an image of the bracelet:

eternally yoursNOW FOR THE BIG NEWS I’ve been eager to tell! My latest novel–All My Belongings–releases in one month! May 6th–just in time for Mother’s Day and in plenty of time for your summer reading. I couldn’t be more excited to reveal its new cover. You’re among the first to see it. Please help me spread the word about All My Belongings, which garnered a high honor as a rare starred review by PW (Publisher’s Weekly). Check out my book pages for more information. Doesn’t this cover draw you in to see what happens in that sunroom?

All My Belongings_MECH1.indd

 

You can pre-order a copy at your local bookstore or any of these sources (You’ll notice some don’t even have the new cover yet!):

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes & Noble

Family Christian Stores

LifeWay Stores

Parable 

Logos Bookstores

Amazon

Think Spring…Eventually

The weekend of April 4-5, 2014, I’m participating in an online scavenger hunt with 29 other authors. Come join the hunt, enjoy the unique content from each of these authors, get to know them and their books better, and enter for an opportunity to win a great prize.

If you don’t win the Kindle Fire HDX plus $100 in Kindle credit, you could win one of two prize packs including ALL OF THESE BOOKS!

Spring-scavenger-collage

To enter, you’ll start at Robin Lee Hatcher’s site that first weekend of April and follow the links to each of the other sites, gathering the clue on each one, and submitting the answer at the end. You’ll have all weekend to enter, so no need to rush through. Enjoy the journey!

PLUS, there will be additional prizes and mini-contests offered by some of the authors as you scavenge through! The prize I’m offering is a stunner. :)

Open internationally. If a reader outside the USA wins the Kindle and $100 credit, they will receive the equivalent in USD$.

So mark your calendars. This is one you won’t want to miss.

 

BONUS for my readers and those who participate in the scavenger hunt! On that weekend, we’ll reveal the new, updated cover of All My Belongings, which releases in May from Abingdon Fiction. Be among the very first readers to see that gorgeous new cover and layout!

scavengerhunt

Your Story

Your story began long before you were bornBlackberry Pictures 030

Lightyears before

A man

And a woman

Thought they made a child.

But what they did was

Step into your picture,

The storyline,

The plot of who you would be.

Can you see?

You thought they made you,

Produced a baby.

And they helped,

But maybe

They’ve gotten credit for being

The main characters in the formation of you

When they were carriers.

The idea of you,

The thought of you,

Long eons ago,

So far back it’s inconceivable,

And yet you were.

Conceived.

In the mind and heart of God.

In the once upon a timeless.

And you grew.

And the path of your story went straight up.

No.

No one’s ever does.

You flailed a while

And grasped at shiny things,

Not yet aware

That the shiniest

Was Him. God. Your Creator.

Your breaths started unevenly

Until you found your rhythm.

You bruised easily

When mistreated.

We all do.

You rode in the amniotic fluid of childhood.

Was yours a smooth ride?

Or a violent sloshing?

Either way

You rode it out and became what some call an adult.

To God, you’ll always be His child,

One He carries in His arms.

Over His shoulder, patting the bubbles out.

In a snuggly He’s strapped to His chest.

So you can be soothed by the unfailing pulse of His heartbeat.

Characters come and characters go

In the story of your life.

Some accompany you on your journey.

Some make your journey more difficult.

And a crisis hits

And a hint of denouement.

And the tension escalates

And it subsides.

Another chapter.

And another.

A cliff hanger, but you can’t leave it there,

Can’t turn the story of your life

Upside down on a tabletop

Until you feel like reading again,

Until you’re strong enough to go through the pain.

No, the pages keep turning

Whether you’re ready or not,

Whether you have time to read or not.

But it’s your story,

So you do.

And it’s His story—

The God who made you,

Who mapped out your life

Conflicts and all

Long eons ago.

Because He knew the day would come

When you would notice

The shiny thing

That caught your eye

Was Him.

And that the story was much more interesting

Read in His own penmanship.

From the page, even in the darkest passages,

A light glows.

You can barely read the words

But you can, because of the light.

His Name is Jesus. That Light.

“And the life (of Jesus) was the light for all people.

The light shines in the darkness

and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.” John 1:4-5 CEB

“But those who did welcome him,

those who believed in his name,

He authorized to become

God’s children,

Born not from blood

Nor from human desire or passion,

But born from God.

The Word became flesh

And made his home among us.

We have seen his glory,

Glory like that of a father’s only son,

Full of grace and truth.”  John 1:12-14, CEB

Jesus.

Look at the cover of your life.

See it there?

The Author’s name in letters larger than the title.

As it should be.

Jesus—the Author and editor

Of your faith story.

Hang on.

The ending will take your breath away.

 

Copyright 2013 Cynthia Ruchti