Facing the Dawn (2021) — A Celebrate Lit Tour: A Guest Post, My Thoughts, and a Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Facing the Dawn

Author: Cynthia Ruchti

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Release date: March 2, 2021

Mara Jacobs has been struggling. While her humanitarian husband is digging wells in Africa and caring for widows and orphans, Mara has been battling the home front—working a demanding yet unrewarding job, trying to manage three detention-prone kids, and suffering from exhaustion and depression. Even her own marriage is deteriorating after a three-year separation.

Then Liam’s absence turns into something more, changing everything and plunging her into a sunless grief. As Mara leans on those around her to find her way to healing and renewed faith, she discovers that even when hope is tenuous and the future is unknown, we can be sure we are not forgotten . . . or unloved.

Facing the Dawn is an emotionally evocative novel that will resonate with readers’ lives and their life challenges. Hemmed in hope, this tender story will be one readers will not soon forget.

Click HERE to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Cynthia Ruchti is the award-winning author of more than 30 books, including the novels Afraid of the Light, Miles from Where We Started, As Waters Gone By, Song of Silence, A Fragile Hope, and They Almost Always Come Home. Her books have been honored with more than 40 readers’, reviewers’, and retailers’ awards, including Romantic Times’s Inspirational Novel of the Year, four Selah Awards, and five Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and has been a finalist for many others, including the Carol and the Christy. Former president of and current professional relations liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Cynthia lives in Wisconsin and can be found online at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.

More from Cynthia

When I sit down to write a novel, I sometimes have little more than a title or a single scene in my head. For Facing the Dawn, I had a mental picture of a woman who felt like circumstances had drained all the “color” out of her life, as if she were a piece of fabric that had been left out in the sun too long. Faded. Threadbare. Bleached out.

Where was I supposed to go from there? What would have made her feel like that? (Oh, I could imagine, but I needed to know THIS character’s story.) I visualized her called in the principal’s office at her kids’ school, not knowing which of the three was in trouble this time. But it was her. The ridiculousness of it all was almost enough to push her over the edge. Ever been there?

For Mara in the story, a long string of disappointments clogged her life like a backed-up sink (which she also had). Then true tragedy struck. And again. But I couldn’t leave her in that place.

When I wrote the last few words of the story, my heart was full. Tears fell on the pages—or the keyboard. And I reflected back on all the symbolism in the story that actually revealed bits of hope embedded in its fabric.

I’m excited to see how readers respond when they discover those little bits—a cardinal in a stand of birch trees, an oil painting with unusual brushstrokes, a papered wall, a cup of soup, a long-forgotten song, an envelope of ashes…

A story comes to life when readers dive in. I’m looking forward to hearing what they find when they do.

My Thoughts

Facing the Dawn by Cynthia Ruchti is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I have never read a story that deals with grief as realistically and as beautifully as this one does. Personally, I believe this book needs to be required reading for all humans. Facing the Dawn has a great storyline, one that I flew through. The characters are the BEST. They are dynamic and very relatable. And, they are incredibly endearing. My heart broke for Mara, but it also really hurt for Mara’s children and her forever-friend, Ashlee. And you know why? Because we ALL experience pain. We ALL walk through some really low valleys that hurt us. Pain is a universal human experience and we all deal with it differently, and Ruchti does an excellent job illustrating these points. My favorite relationship in this novel is between Mara and Ashlee. I love that Mara calls it her forever-friendship and I LOVE how Ruchti shows the depth of relationship that comes with a forever-friendship. Forever-friendships are a true gift from God. If you’ve ever been blessed with a forever-friend in your life then you know how precious such a gift is, and Mara and Ashlee’s friendship is a great picture of this blessing. The themes discussed in this novel are truly thought-provoking and timely. I really believe this book would make a fabulous book club read as it could be talked about in great length. Facing the Dawn is a wonderful read I just cannot recommend enough.

There is a moment in the novel where Mara states, “We’ll walk through it together. I didn’t think I needed another reminder that God is my only hope, and [Ashlee’s]. But it’s becoming my default thought now, rather than my last resort.” This is brilliant Truth! The first time trauma happens in your life it feels like a bomb has exploded. You feel like you’ve been shattered into a million pieces and you are not sure how you will gather those pieces back together again. It’s super easy in this state to feel like you are all alone, like God has abandoned you. This is, of course, so far from the truth, but in trauma feelings can be very deceptive. This is why we absolutely need a strong, sure faith in God. He must be our foundation or we very well could walk away from God. As Mara puts it, God is our only hope. What I appreciate so much about this quote is the word “default.” Many of you who read my blog know that the last three years have been the hardest of my life. I have lost loved ones — my big brother, my dad, and my forever-friend — and my daughter was diagnosed with seizures we still can’t get under control. What I have had to do for self-preservation’s sake is make my relationship with God my default, #1 relationship. He is my immediate go-to now. He is my true forever-friend. Am I super glad the last three years have been devastating?! Not even a little, but I am grateful that the valleys I’ve been forced to walk through have allowed my relationship with God to grow as strong as it is today. I love God more now than ever before. He is my default. He is my one true hope. Mara getting to this understanding is my most favorite moment in this wonderfully poignant story.

Facing the Dawn is a story that truly will stick with me long after the final pages have been read and this review has been posted. I loved everything about this cathartic read and highly, highly recommend it!

I received a review copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Revell, via Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.


To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away the grand prize package of a DrinkCo Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated BPA-free beverage container (keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours/hot up to 12 hours), two Sunprint Notecards (Cynanotype art by Anna Atkins), an autographed copy of the novel Facing the Dawn, two Hemmed in Hope magnets/note card inserts to encourage you or a friend, a Hemmed in Hope flash drive, and Facing the Dawn bookmarks (not shown in picture above)!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!

Click the link below to enter.

PromoSimple Link

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 4

lakesidelivingsite, March 4

Through the Fire Blogs, March 4

Rebecca Tews, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations , March 5

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, March 6 (Author Interview)

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 6

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, March 7

Reviewingbooksplusmore, March 7

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, March 8

Kathleen’s Blog, March 8

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, March 8

Texas Book-aholic, March 9

Cats in the Cradle Blog, March 9

Locks, Hooks and Books, March 10

Simple Harvest Reads, March 10 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, March 10

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, March 11

Artistic Nobody, March 11 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Older & Smarter?, March 12

deb’s Book Review, March 12

The Christian Fiction Girl, March 13

Inklings and notions, March 13

Pause for Tales, March 13

For Him and My Family, March 14

Mary Hake, March 14

By The Book, March 15

Christian Bookaholic, March 15

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, March 16

Spoken from the Heart, March 16

Southern Gal Loves to Read, March 16

A Baker’s Perspective, March 17

Writing from the Heart Land, March 17

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