Saturday, November 21, 2015

"an endless christmas" by cynthia ruchti

Imagine the potential for awkward: your boyfriend has just proposed, you've said "no," and now you have to spend Christmas week in the middle of nowhere with his entire family. That's the situation in which Katie finds herself in An Endless Christmas.

Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster.

Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their grandson Micah is planning to ask his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him so they can celebrate with the whole family. But things go very wrong when she says, "no." Now they are stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it's Christmas.

'Tis the season for all things Christmas: Hallmark Christmas movies playing 24/7, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Christmas decorations, holiday baking, and—of course—Christmas reading. An Endless Christmas fits that last category, though it's far from the fluffy romance that comprises many Christmas novellas. In fact, while there is romance, An Endless Christmas is more about embracing family and cherishing each other than it is about romantic love.

We never know when we'll have our last Christmas all together as a family—a fact that has become more real to me after the deaths of three of my four grandparents. That's a concept the Binder family embraced, and I loved reading about their traditions and extreme love for each other. I also thought the way they rallied around each other and clung to the Lord amidst difficulty was inspiring and realistic. (I may have shed a few tears.)

The majority of the story is told from Katie's perspective, and I enjoyed trying to learn about the family members and figure out what was wrong with Grandpa Wilson along with her. However, I never quite understood Katie's hesitance to accept Micah's proposal. When her reasons were revealed, they seemed a little too inconsequential to me—that doesn't mean they were inconsequential, but I certainly didn't understand them.

I did enjoy almost everything about the novel, especially the way Ruchti told the story. I knew that she and I would be on the same page when she touched on one of the things that annoys me most in romances—"just talk about it already" syndrome. As Katie said to Micah, "It frustrates me when I read a novel about a conflict between people that goes on and on when all they'd need to do is sit down and talk to each other for a few minutes" (p. 103). At that moment, I wanted to give Ruchti a high five :-)

With a plot that I could easily see as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, An Endless Christmas is both a good read and challenging. As I head into the Christmas season, I will certainly be considering how I can make the most of each experience with my family. 4 stars.

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Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of hope-that-glows-in-the-dark through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women's and writers' events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers' Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Connect with Cynthia: website, Twitter,Facebook

There's no getting out of Christmas now, despite Katie rejecting Micah's marriage proposal. Cozy up this holiday season with Cynthia Ruchti's new novella, An Endless Christmas. The Binder family celebrates every Christmas as if it were their last. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas.

Celebrate the holidays with Cynthia and An Endless Christmas by entering her $100 Target gift card giveaway!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A copy of An Endless Christmas
  • A $100 gift card to Target
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on November 30th. The winner will be announced December 1st on Cynthia's blog.

endless christmas-enterbanner

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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