Miles From Where We Started
These no-longer-newlyweds want out of this road trip—and their marriage. Too bad they can’t find the off ramp.
Weeks away from their one-year wedding anniversary, Mallory and Connor Duncan can’t even agree on how to end their marriage. But when a last-minute crisis lands them on a three-thousand-mile road trip together, Mallory wonders if their story may not be over after all.
The trip begins to unravel before the key is even in the ignition. When an at-risk, trouble-seeking eleven-year-old is unexpectedly thrown into their travel plans, close quarters get even tighter. Soon, the couple believes this whole experience will spell disaster.
Their first year of marriage hasn’t been the arm-in-arm togetherness Mallory and Connor expected. But is it possible they will find a new beginning at the end of the road?
Guest Post from Cynthia Ruchti
I have a confession to make. I heart millennials.
My other novels have had a few millennial characters. Some even played starring roles. But I knew there was more to the heart of millennials than I could gain from listening to the often unfair sighing or comedy routines about that generation. As a person, I wanted to know them better—what are they really like? What challenges do they face with which previous generations saddled them? What strengths to they offer our culture?
Until now, I hadn’t written a story about a millennial couple whose marriage was in crisis. Like, serious crisis. I-don’t-want-to-be-married-to-you-anymore. That kind of crisis.
As any good novelist knows, part of what we do to our characters is make the situation worse. So, millennial couple, approaching their one-year anniversary, ready to call it quits because “This marriage thing is really hard. Is it supposed to be so much work?” But what if…? What if they were forced to be together for three weeks…in a micro-camper…on America’s backroads…with an 11-year-old foster boy troublemaker…and both the husband’s AND the wife’s jobs depended on the trip’s success?
Plot idea in hand, I set off to write Miles from Where We Started, not entirely sure when I began the journey where they would end up or how they’d get there. It was an education for me in so many ways. The impact of the turning point of the story? In the words of my millennial friends, “That’s lit!”
Side note: I’m a big fan of a young teen musician at our church. The boy has mad skills as a keyboard artist. He approaches life as if it’s an endless game of Ninja Warrior. Why walk when you can vault into the room? Why walk up a flight of stairs when you can hop four at a time? He also sports a perpetual smile and is famous for his kindness, but his eyes give away that a little mischief may be hiding behind that smile. I asked Judah’s permission to use his name (and a little bit of his personality) as the foster child character in Miles from Where We Started. I can’t wait for him to read the part he inspired.
Can’t wait for you to read it, too.
Hemmed in Hope,
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed in hope through award-winning novels, novellas, devotionals, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. She makes potato corn chowder for her husband of 44 years and loves on her three kids and five grandchildren. Cynthia recently retired from 33 years of writing and producing a daily radio broadcast called THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME, is past president of the 2,700-member American Christian Fiction Writers, and now serves as ACFW's Professional Relations Liaison, all while working on more book projects in addition to the fifteen already on the shelves. Her books have been honored with two Selah Awards, three Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, and awards from CAN Golden Scrolls and AWSA Golden Scrolls, as well as finalist and top honors in awards programs such as ACFW's Carol Awards, ForeWord Book Reviews Book of the Year, RT Reviews Book of the Year, Family Fiction's Book of the Year, Cascade Awards Book of the Year, Inspirational Readers' Choice, and the Christy Awards, among others.
You can connect with Cynthia at
Book Review by Bree Herron
Miles from Where We Started is a story that reminds you that love takes work. Sometimes the work is in the form of a 3,000-mile road trip with a tween that isn’t anything but pure genius. Sometimes this work is in the form of a song, that needs to be sung. No matter the form of work that you need to put in to make the love work, this book reminds you it is worth it.
Mallory and Connor may be the primary characters, but Judah steals many scenes. For me the troubled young man was the character I kept wanting more from, maybe it is because he reminds me of many students that have crossed my path. Or it could be the comic relief that came at the right moments from Judah. But it is probably because of his antics, and all the above mentioned wove together reasons for Mallory and Connor to fight for their love.
I could go on for days about this cover and have shared it often. Recently, I shared it on my SnapChat (hello, millennial here) and so many of my friends were asking about the pretty covered book. I want to sit at the table on this cover and never leave.
I really loved when Connor finally shared his song for Mallory. It was towards the end of the book and worth the wait of feeling what Mallory felt hearing it. I would love to see it set to real music with a gorgeous male voice singing it.
A road trip for the ages is the real setting of this book. It is the time spent having to be in small quarters, larger than life experiences and the moments of love that set up this book. I think Judah did a great job of capturing the perfect settings in his videoing.
Ending this book was the hardest and easiest action I have done in a long time. It was hard because I want more from all the characters, I wasn’t ready to say The End. It was easy because I wanted to see the conclusion to these wonderful characters be able to start anew.
Books like Miles from Where We Started are few and far between. Stories that capture the emotion and complex feelings that are built within other stories are some of the best I think a reader can read. This book was everything and then some. It was hard to say goodbye in the end, but I can always start over, like Connor and Mallory, I can make another go at the book and at love.
Are you a millennial? Do you like millennials?
**DISCLAIMER: I was provided an opportunity to read this book as an Advanced Reader Copy in return for a fair and honest review.
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To celebrate her tour, Cynthia is giving away a grand prize of the Adventure begins” large tote bag, “This way to adventure” travel notebook, “Home is Where We Park It” metal wall hanging, a teardrop camper birdhouse, PLUS a $50 gift Visa gift card…to start your adventure fund!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
Find out all the details and enter to WIN at Miles from Where We Started Celebration Tour Giveaway.
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