Shannon here: Women’s fiction author, Cynthia Ruchti shares her inspiration for writing her latest release, When the Morning Glory Blooms plus an excerpt. Comment on any post dated April 22 – 26 to get your name in the drawing for a copy. Deadline: May 4th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Cynthia:
Three key romance stories are tucked within the pages of When the Morning Glory Blooms. No, four.
Anna in the 1890s and the lawyer who not only befriends her and helps her with adoptions, but also shows her what real love looks like.
Ivy and Drew in the 1950s. Drew is serving in the Korean conflict. A child grows inside Ivy, a child Drew doesn’t know exists. Their love story unfolds long distance through airmail letters.
Becky and Gil in 2013, parents of a teen mom.
The fourth romance is the heart of a romancing God for all of these women caught in the aftermath of unplanned pregnancies, all the babies, all the fathers—present or absent.
Becky and Gil’s story resonates with me as a tender love story staying strong through family crisis. Gil is tender with Becky. They find humor even in the midst of the drama. They don’t abandon one another because life is hard. They are intentional about investing in their marriage relationship, and that isn’t always easy with the sacrifices Becky’s making, with Gil on the road too much and Becky wishing she were. They don’t always see eye to eye, but have mastered the art of giving the other the benefit of the doubt…in most cases. They trust each other’s wisdom. They retreat into each other’s embrace when the winds of adversity howl. As in this scene from When the Morning Glory Blooms:
Excerpt from When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti:
“I made tea,” Gil said, as if needing to explain the teapot and cups on the tray in his hands.
“Thanks, honey.” Becky accepted the cup from her new perch on the bed, propped by what Gil insisted were too many pillows. Tea weather. The furnace kicked in, its reassuring warmth accompanied by the faint smell of fried dust. “No hope the company will reconsider?”
“It’s a done deal.”
“Any explanation, other than the obvious?”
“From what I hear, this is a last ditch attempt to stave off bankruptcy.”
“Who else was let go?”
Gil settled against his own collection of pillows and took a sip of his tea before responding. “It might be easier to list who wasn’t.”
He set his teacup on the nightstand. “Doesn’t it seem as though we’re asking that question a lot lately?”
“Nice fake smile, Gil. One thing we know. You don’t have a future in the theater.”
She didn’t need a cup of tea as much as she needed his arms around her. Divested of her cup, she snuggled into his chest, her ear against his heartbeat. Steady. Stable. Sure. And a little bit broken.
He smelled newly showered with a lingering hint of lemon. Lemon? Oh. From dusting. Bless him. The perfect man? No. Perfect for her? Maybe more than she realized.
“Becky, my peach cobblerness, can we make a pact?”
“I married you, oaf. We’ve already made a pact.”
“About this current crisis. Can we agree not to get consumed by how we’re going to get out of this mess for…for three days?”
His heart beat a drummer’s timekeeping intro before he answered. “Because it’s less than four?”
How humiliated he must feel. Jobless at his age, when finding other employment wasn’t automatic and switching careers carried more risk than a high-risk pregnan—
“I need time,” he said, “to process what happened without the pressure of needing to have an answer right away. Does that make sense?”
“It’s called a gestation period, hon.” She reached up to stroke the curve of his jaw. “And yes. It makes perfect sense.”
She and Monica were only in the first trimester of their shared grief over their lost friendship. The nauseous stage. Lauren, Monica, and now Gil. Becky was expecting fraternal triplets. Or troublets.
That scene doesn’t drip with romance, but within it is a picture of true love that moves me with its simplicity and beauty. Gil and Becky cared about how the other felt. They respected each other’s need for time. They didn’t attack each other but linked arms to face outward and direct their efforts toward the trouble instead. They didn’t let the fact that this was one in a long string of hurts and disappointments push them to respond unkindly or rudely to each other.
This small scene in a much larger story shows what it looks like to live out I Corinthians 13:
The King James version reads “Charity suffereth long, and is kind.” For Gil and Becky, that meant they didn’t run at the first sign of disappointment or disaster. In the middle of their deeply rooted concerns, they remained kind to one another. (Author’s note: The word “oaf” was a term of endearment. 🙂
Take a look at the other character traits of the kind of love described in I Corinthians 13 and see if they don’t also show up in this scene. Not boasting or provoking or misbehaving or seeking one’s own benefit only, not rejoicing in the bad but demonstrating a love that “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things…”
About Cynthia: Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction, speaking for women’s events and retreats, and writers’ events and retreats, from a history of 33 years as writer/producer of The Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast. She currently serves as Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Her books have been honored through RT Reviewers’ Choice, Retailers’ Choice, Family Fiction Readers’ Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and as a Carol Award finalist. Her recent release–When the Morning Glory Blooms (Abingdon Press Fiction)–received a top ranking of 4.5 stars and a Top Pick. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin near their three children and five joy-producing grandchidren. You can connect with Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/, http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/books/when-the-morning-glory-blooms, www.facebook.com/cynthiaruchtireaderpage, and www.twitter.com/cynthiaruchti.
About the book – When the Morning Glory Blooms: Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancé Drew in the middle of the Korean Conflict, Ivy throws herself into her work at a nursing home to keep her sanity and provide for the child Drew doesn’t know is coming. Ivy cares for Anna, an elderly patient who taxes Ivy’s listening ear until the day she suspects Anna’s tall tales are not just idle ramblings. They’re Anna’s disjointed memories of a remarkable life. Finding a faint thread of hope she can’t resist tugging, Ivy records Anna’s memoir, scribbling furiously after hours to keep up with the woman’s emotion-packed grace-hemmed stories. Is Ivy’s answer buried in Anna’s past? And what connects them to Becky?
Becky, Ivy, Anna–three women fight a tangled vine of deception in search of the blossoming simplicity of truth.