Novelist and Children's Author

Featured Book: As Waters Gone By

Posted by on Sep 3, 2015 in Faith, Fiction | 16 comments

And the winner of Two Roads Home by Deborah Raney is:

Virginia Carr

Congratulations, Virginia!

And now for our featured book . . .


As Waters Gone By high res

Are the walls around her heart more daunting than the other barriers separating her from the man she married?

Emmalyn Ross never thought a person could feel this alone. Sustaining a marriage with a man who’s not by her side is no easy task, especially since her husband currently resides behind impenetrable prison walls.

Now, on a self-imposed exile to Madeline Island—one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior—Emmalyn starts rehabbing an old hunting cottage they’d purchased when life made sense. Restoring it may put a roof over her heard, but a home needs more than a roof and walls, just as a marriage needs more than vows and a license. With only a handful of months before her husband is released, Emmalyn must figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again. And his silence isn’t helping.


An Interview with author Cynthia Ruchti:


Finish this sentence. Inspirational fiction is . . . truth in story form. I’m convinced that the best fiction is a reflection of truth lived out through the characters of an engaging story.

Tell us how you got the idea for As Waters Gone By: I’m watching someone I care about walk through the soul-stretching challenge of life with an incarcerated husband. Unlike the heartbreaking statistics, this couple is learning how to GROW their marriage despite the distance and the circumstances. How inspiring! Even though their story is rooted in a different inciting incident than Emmalyn and Max’s story in As Waters Gone By, their courage works its way onto the page, their forgiveness, and their pain as well.

Wow, what an inspiring couple—and book! What’s one of your favorite scenes in As Waters Gone By? The end scene…which I dare not talk about! There are others. I was forced to stop writing and absorb what was happening on the page when I wrote certain other scenes, including the Thanksgiving dinner scene, the first time Emmalyn walks into the empty second bedroom in the cottage… Ooh! My emotions got a work-out writing this book!

Are you anything like Emmalyn Ross, your main character? I’m like Emmalyn in sometimes overanalyzing life. But I aspire to be more like the secondary character, Boozie Unfortunate. She oozes grace. She loves the unlovely with compassion and ease. She lives her faith simply and elegantly. And she is unbounded by societal norms!

Yes, Boozie is quite the character! If you could cast her in a movie, whom would you choose? Imagine Boozie represented by a combo of Goldie Hawn and Mother Teresa in their younger years.

What do you want readers to take away from this novel? Boozie gave Emmalyn a chalkboard with the words “Hope lives here.” Later in the story, it hung in Emmalyn’s cottage with an additional message added: “Hope lives here. Even here.” I believe the undercurrent of the novel is encapsulated in those phrases. No matter what we go through, we can’t unravel if we’re hemmed in hope.

Do you have another book in the works? Tell us about it. In April of 2016, I have another Abingdon novel releasing—Song of Silence. It’s the story of a music teacher who loses her job, her career, her passion when the music and art programs are eliminated in their school system. It’s also the story of how her healing—and ours—can be found in the spaces between the notes of our lives, in the song of silence.

I have a hardcover Christmas novella releasing this fall—An Endless Christmas (Worthy Inspired). Set in beautiful Stillwater, Minnesota, it’s the story of Christmas week at the Binder family cottage and the challenges Katie Vale faces when she’s forced to face the differences between her family experiences and the Binder’s unconditional love.

Why do you write the kind of books you do? I write the kind of books I do—contemporary fiction that treats tough subjects tenderly—because those are the books that touch my own heart. And I believe I’m not alone. We want to read real stories in their true light, but with an enduring, unshakable hope.

For fun, what do you snack on while you write? It used to be potato chips. And although that’s scientifically proven as the perfect brainstorming food, it wasn’t kind to my hips, heart, or double chin. So I’ve switched to…drumroll…green tea. I know. Glamorous, isn’t it?

Cynthia is offering a copy of As Waters Gone By (US only) to one of you. Please answer the question below in the comment box along with your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you’re the winner. The winner will be announced next Thursday, September 10th, so you have a week to enter. Tell your friends!

Cynthia asks:

Readers, Emmalyn retreated to Madeline Island on Lake Superior while she licked her wounds and worked to renovate both the shack of a cottage and the tatters of her marriage. What location would call to you if you were in Emmalyn’s situation, or if you were given a month away from normal responsibilities and provided a quiet mini-sabbatical?

Sherry says: Great question! If I had a mini-sabbatical, I’d choose Lake Tahoe. My family has vacationed there many times over the years, and I find it to be a very calming place. Readers, please join us!


About the author:

After three decades writing and producing a 15-minute daily radio broadcast, author and speaker Cynthia Ruchti now tells stories hemmed in hope through novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and speaking events for women and writers. She serves as professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers. Cynthia and her husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Cynthia Ruchti



Social media links:





Purchase links:

Christian Book Distributors

Barnes and Noble





Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Sherry Kyle

    The winner of Cynthia Ruchti’s novel, As Waters Gone By, is . . . Kim Harms! Congratulations, Kim. I’ve enjoyed reading all the wonderful places to take a sabbatical from everyday life. Thank you, friends, for joining in!

  2. Susan Husk

    If I could get away, I would find myself at the lake of my grandparent’s, pounding out the ideas rolling in my head for the next story. The small lake is a place where I was loved, where I was safe, where only good things happened.

  3. Melinda P.

    I would love to go to a cabin in the Adirondack mountains by a lake. When We were kids our grandmother had one on Canada Lake, NY and we would spend weekends throughout the summer. My favorite memory was of waking up on crip
    summer mornings to the sound of the lake waves washing up against the rocky shore with the smell of the pine forest and woodsmoke from our neighbors fireplaces. It is asmell that always brings happy memoriers.

  4. Laura Bennet

    Wow! A tough question as there are so many beautiful places in the world. Probably Hilo, Hawaii. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and loved the quaint, small town feel. We found a favorite cafe and farmers’ market there and loved traipsing through winding roads to the crashing waves beaches. Perfect for romance, solitude or writing 😉

  5. Marlene

    I would have to say the Mediterranean. My husband and I went to Israel in 1998. I know I did not realize it when I was there, but when we got home and to this day, we both feel that no vacation comes close to what memories we still hold dear to our hearts. Being by the Mediterranean gave me a peace that I can’t explain.

  6. Kim Harms

    I would actually choose Lake Superior as well. I love backpacking the Superior Hiking Trail with my boys and this summer we spent a few days in Grand Marais, MN. It is an idyllic little town, and I could find some rest there for sure (but not between the months of November and April.) Too cold! If it were a winter sabbatical, I would choose Kauai.

  7. Caryl Kane

    I would enjoy a mini-sabbatical in Colorado Springs, CO! The Lord allowed me to live there for a year. Beautiful scenery and awesome wildlife. 🙂


  8. Cynthia Ruchti

    Diane, that sounds divine! I’ve visited Charleston and Myrtle Beach with my husband and so enjoyed those spots.

  9. Sonnetta Jones

    I would be extremely happy by the beach(Las Cuevas, Trinidad). I just need to hear the waves and feel the breeze from the palm trees while in my hammock reading. I visited this place on Trinidad that I would definitely revisit to revitalize myself.


    Thank you for offering this book as a givaway.

    • Cynthia Ruchti

      Sonnetta (excuse me, but your name is so beautiful!), I’ve never been to Trinidad. But I share a love for palm trees and waves and hammocks! And reading, of course. 🙂

  10. P Diane Buie

    If someone offered me a sabbatical from my everyday life, I would choose any part of the Eastern Coast from NC to GA and I would try to stay near a lighthouse like Oak Island, Tybee Island or etc. I have always wanted to enjoy any of these places! 😉