Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for When the Morning Glory Blooms by author Cynthia Ruchti!

Author Guest Post

Where Did That Come From?

Conducting research for a book is both intentional and organic, both genetic and environmental. We authors write what we know, what we wish we knew, what we don’t want to know but can’t resist because it makes us better people.

As a child, I visited my uncle’s farm on a day when it was time to take the squawking chickens from feathered to freezer. I was the cousin old enough to help Mom and my aunt with the process on a day I wished I could have shaved a few years off rather than be drafted to pluck feathers. Nothing about the process was a pleasant memory for me. But it was a strong enough memory—sounds, textures, smells—that it instantly came to mind when I reached the scene in Anna’s 1890s story in When the Morning Glory Blooms. A freshly dead (interesting oxymoron) chicken arrived on her back stoop. A love gift. And it was up to Anna to divest it of its feathers.

I knew what that smelled and felt like because a corner of my mind held those memories intact until I needed them fifty years later.

I researched adoption laws the intentional way, not the organic chicken way.

And when it came time to write the 1950s scene of a young woman in a maternity ward, my fingers flew over the keys on the keyboard, creating a scene I could again see and smell and feel not from a conscious memory or from Internet research, but from story. I knew that scene because my mom gave birth to me in a maternity ward like that—an open room with ten beds, five along each of two opposite walls, feet out.

Mom told me what the atmosphere was like. I learned more of the story when going through a journal entry she wrote shortly before she died. The journal noted that she’d gotten to the hospital about 11:30 that night, in active labor. As a nurse, she knew all the signs and recognized the stages of each of the other nine women laboring in beds near her in that ward. I read in her journal that the nurses would come to the ward once an hour to check on the ten women, then leave them on their own. At that time no husbands were allowed in the room, no birth coaches, no friend or parents or sister. The women labored alone.

Mom wrote that between arriving at 11:30 and the time I was born at 7:30 in the morning, she’d gotten out of her bed to deliver two other women’s babies! The babies insisted on being born, even though the nurses and doctors were otherwise engaged.

I can picture my mother—a chicken-plucking tough woman—climbing out of her own bed, clutching her belly through a contraction, then encouraging the laboring moms to “Push!”

She wrote in the journal, in a voice my siblings would all recognize, “And neither one of those women named their child after me.”

I wonder how those boys would have felt living with a name like Dorothy.

The stories we authors write are from tangled collections of intertwined thoughts and memories, from research we discover on the Internet this morning and from the smell of singed feathers that lingers in our nostrils for decades.

What’s the story your memories tell?

About The Author

Cynthia Ruchti is an author and speaker who tells stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels, nonfiction, women’s events, and outlets related to the Heartbeat of the Home radio broadcast she wrote and produced for thirty-three years. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five joy-giving grandchildren.

Her latest book is the Christian fiction, When the Morning Glory Blooms.

When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Pump Up Your Book!

Book Review

When the Morning Glory Blooms by Cynthia Ruchti
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2013
Format: Paperback - 354 pages / Kindle - 712 KB / Nook - 2 MB
ISBN: 1426770766
Genre: Christian Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: When the Morning Glory Blooms

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours. 

Book Description:

Becky rocks a baby that rocked her world. Sixty years earlier, with her fiancĂ© 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.

Book Excerpt:

“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.”

“Now what?”

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?”

“Why three?”

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.

My Book Review:

I love a novel that has interesting intertwining stories, and in When the Morning Glory Blooms, author Cynthia Ruchti weaves a poignant tale about three women set in three different eras that are bound together by their personal stories of unplanned pregnancies.

In 1890, Anna Grissom receives a calling to the ministry, and when she inherits an old house, she opens Morning Glory home for unwed mothers who are disowned by their families.

In 1951, Ivy Carrington finds out that she is pregnant and keeps the news to herself. Her boyfriend Drew Lambert has enlisted in the army and was sent to Korea, and she didn't want the news of her pregnancy to distract him and put him in danger. Ivy works at a local nursing home where she meets Anna Grissom, an elderly resident. Ivy keeps Anna company, and what she thought was just an elderly woman's ramblings turns into a remarkable woman's memoir.

In 2013, Becky Trundle became a grandmother when her teenage daughter Lauren gave birth to a son named Jackson. Becky takes care of Jackson while Lauren attends high school, but she is struggling with conflicted feelings that maybe she is catering too much to her daughter instead of teaching her the responsibilities of motherhood.

Three different women, three different eras, one common intertwining issue of unplanned pregnancies ... each looks for hope to deal with the situation that they find themselves in.

In When the Morning Glory Blooms, author Cynthia Ruchti weaves an uplifting and beautiful tale binding three women's lives together over a span of one hundred years to tell one compelling story of hope and inspiration. Written in the third person narrative, the story flows effortlessly from one woman's story to the next while intertwining them together with the inspirational message of hope that the beautiful morning glory brings when they bloom each Spring. You can't help but become captivated by each woman's story and feel compassion and empathy for how they each handled the situation that they found themselves in. The author transports the reader into each of the women's lives and alternates between the different eras so that their individual stories unfold, then brings them all together in one satisfying conclusion.

When the Morning Glory Blooms is an emotionally charged story that portrays each of the women's struggles and perseverance to get through their situations in rough times with beauty and grace. This is a beautiful novel of hope, inspiration, grace and redemption that should be shared with women of all ages, it is a powerful and compelling story that will resonate with you for a very long time.


Virtual Book Tour Schedule

Monday, May 6 – Book Spotlight at Cheryl’s Christian Connection
Monday, May 6 – First Chapter Reveal at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, May 7 – Interview at You Gotta Read Reviews
Wednesday, May 8 – Interview at Examiner
Thursday, May 9 – Character Guest Post at Literarily Speaking
Friday, May 10 – Book Spotlight at My Cozie Corner
Friday, May 10 – First Chapter Reveal at As the Pages Turn
Saturday, May 11 – Book Review at A Peek at My Bookshelf
Sunday, May 12 – Guest Blogging at My Devotional Thoughts
Monday, May 13 – Book Review at Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, May 14 – Book Spotlight at The Busy Mom’s Daily
Tuesday, May 14 – Guest Blogging at The Story Behind The Book
Wednesday, May 15 – Book Review at Melina’s Book Blog
Wednesday, May 15 – First Chapter Reveal at Pump Up Your Book
Thursday, May 16 – Interview at The Writer’s Life
Friday, May 17 – Book Spotlight at The Book Connection
Monday, May 20 – Book Review & Book Giveaway at Queen of All She Reads
Tuesday, May 21 – Book Review at A Year of Jubilee Reviews
Wednesday, May 22 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
Thursday, May 23 – Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at 4 the Love of Books
Thursday, May 23 – First Chapter Reveal at Read My First Chapter
Friday, May 24 – Book Spotlight at Moonlight Lace & Mayhem
Friday, May 24 – First Chapter Reveal at Beyond the Books
Sunday, May 26 – Book Spotlight at Authors & Readers Book Corner
Monday, May 27 – Book Review & Book Giveaway at Create With Joy
Tuesday, May 28 – Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
Thursday, May 30 – Book Review & Guest Blogging at Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Thursday, May 30 – Book Review at Lighthouse Academy
Friday, May 31 - Book Review at Thoughts From Mill Street
Friday, May 31 – Book Review at My Devotional Thoughts
Friday, May 31 – Interview at Blogcritics


  1. Kathleen, thank you for your kind words. I'm so happy you enjoyed the book and that you found the characters as captivating as I did!

    1. Hi Cynthia! I loved the intertwining stories of Anna, Ivy and Becky, it was a delightful read! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. :)