Before healing can begin for Kelli and Heather, they need to believe they are worth cherishing.
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her even while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared as high-school students would grow into marriage. But choices that still haunt her destroyed those dreams. Until now—when a series of love letters reawakens her hope for the future.
Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control—first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band has left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One able to save her. He met her there, but it was just the beginning. Because now she must take a different path. And the one God has planned for her looks nothing like the one she envisioned.
As Kelli and Heather awaken to their true worth, they find the freedom to pursue their dreams—and relationships—based on the security of knowing God's unconditional love.
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About the Author
Kim Cash Tate isthe author of The Color of Hope, Hope Springs, Cherished, Faithful,Heavenly Places, and the memoir More Christian than African American. A former practicing attorney, she is alsoa Bible teacher and women's ministry leader at The Gate Church in St. Louis.She and her husband have two children. Twitter: @KimCashTate Facebook: kimcashtate
Read an Excerpt
By Kim Cash Tate
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Kimberly Cash Tate
All right reserved.
Chapter OneKelli London took her place on the piano bench and waited for her cue, grateful that her jittery hands were hidden from the crowd. She shouldn't have agreed to do this, but she loved her brother and had never seen him happier. How could she say no to singing at his wedding?
But it was the song Cedric had asked her to sing, one he'd heard only by chance. He had no idea what it meant to her. He didn't know that singing it would unleash memories of the last person she ever wanted to think about.
Laughter rose from the pews, and Kelli looked up, wondering what she'd missed.
"... and I'm sure Cedric wants me to get to the vows ASAP," Pastor Lyles was saying, "so they can get to that kiss they've been waiting for."
Kelli had only met the pastor once before, at her brother Lindell's wedding last fall, but it didn't take long to love his spirit and his style. A black man in his late fifties, he'd started Living Word Community Church decades ago and watched it grow into a multi-ethnic megachurch. At least a couple hundred members were here today. Kelli guessed none of them thought twice about the various hues and accents that had gathered to see this black couple wed. She loved that spirit too.
Cedric was shaking his head with a shamefaced grin as the pastor called him out. Cyd was smiling up at him, gorgeous, beaming like the bright light she'd become in Cedric's life.
Pastor Lyles continued. "But I don't think he'll mind one last song, and it's a special one, written by his sister."
Kelli drew a deep breath as Cedric and Cyd smiled over at her, Lindell and Stephanie too—the flip side of last fall. Then Stephanie and Lindell were the bride and groom, and Cyd and Cedric were maid of honor and best man, which was how they met. Kelli loved the story, how Cyd turned forty on her younger sister's wedding day, thinking she'd never marry herself. Now here she was—a June bride. It was romantic that her brothers would now be married to sisters, but it somehow added to her melancholy, that each of them had found the love of his life.
Kelli gazed at the piano keys, and knowing they had to, her fingers tapped the first notes. She fought to stay in the moment, in the church. Her eyes swept Cyd and Cedric, imagined the lyrics were just for them ...
I will love you till the stars don't shine
And I will love you till the oceans run dry
I will love you till you know every why
I will, I will
Her eyes closed, and he was there. A shiver of remembrance danced down her arms. She could still see that distant look in his eyes, could even hear him, that tone of indifference that echoed forever in her head. Kelli opened her eyes to capture another image—any image—but he was everywhere now. And her heart allowed itself to be crushed all over again.
I will love you like an endless stream
A million miles won't take your heart from me
I will love you every breath you breathe
I will, I will
Almost to the bridge, Kelli could feel her emotions cresting with the song. She closed her eyes again as they took over, filling her voice, magnifying her range, powering her through. She played the final chords with the salt of tears on her lips and bowed her head at the last note ... and heard—applause? She looked out and saw the guests on their feet and Cedric and Cyd fully turned, facing her—Cyd wiping tears from her cheeks. With her own anxiety about singing it, Kelli hadn't given thought to whether people might actually like the song.
She pulled a tissue from the box atop the piano, dabbed her cheeks, and blew her nose, then muscled a heart-heavy smile to acknowledge everyone's kindness. When she moved back to the front pew beside her mother, only then did the guests stop clapping and sit.
"When did you write that?" her mother asked, patting her thigh. "That was beautiful."
"Thanks, Mom. I wrote it ... a long time ago."
She turned her gaze to the ceremony, her heart beating a little faster still, puzzled by the response to the song. It coaxed a different memory to the surface, and as Cyd and Cedric exchanged vows, Kelli thought about her long-ago dream of writing music that God would somehow use. Then the better part of her brain kicked in, reminding her that she'd left songwriting behind, that she knew better than to dream.
That all those dreams had turned to dust.
"Kelli! Girrrl ..."
Kelli looked up—midpivot in the Electric Slide—and saw Stephanie threading her way through the line dancers in her champagne-colored dress. Soon as the song started, it seemed everybody left tables and mingled to claim a spot on the parquet floor. Kelli waved her sister-in-law over.
"I've been looking for you." Stephanie scooted between Kelli and Devin, a nine-year-old cousin, as rows of people sidestepped to the right. "I haven't had a chance to tell you ... girl, you sang that song. I had no idea—hold up, am I doing this right?" She was headed a different direction from everyone else. "Why am I even out here? I hate this stupid dance."
Kelli laughed. "Back, Steph. We're going back."
"Oh." Stephanie checked Devin to get in sync, then leaned her head Kelli's way again, her voice elevated. "Anyway, I told Lindell I couldn't believe he didn't tell me about that song, 'cause I would've had you sing it at our wedding. And he said he'd never heard it ... and then I couldn't believe that."
"I know. Crazy, right? This way, Steph. Pivot left."
Stephanie was behind her now, and Kelli turned to make sure she was following, but Devin had it under control.
Like a traffic cop, he moved his hands left, then right to direct her which way to go next. "And pivot," he announced, to the amusement of those around them.
Side by side with Stephanie again, Kelli continued. "Lindell and Cedric had already moved out of the house by the time I started writing songs in high school, so it was easy to kind of keep my music to myself." She shrugged. "Cedric overheard it because I didn't know he was there."
"Hmph," Stephanie said. "If I had that kind of talent, everybody would know about it. They'd have to tell me to be quiet."
The music switched, and they could hear people near the center of the floor cheering, "Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric! Go, Cyd! Go, Cedric!"
Kelli and Stephanie craned their necks, moving toward the action.
"Oh, goodness," Stephanie said, laughing. "Look at your brother. He's at it again."
Kelli laughed too, remembering Cedric and Cyd on the dance floor at Stephanie and Lindell's reception. Now the two had cut a wide swath in the middle of the floor with a different line dance, this one a little livelier.
Kelli and Stephanie worked their way to a spot in the inner circle.
"Have you seen this version?" Stephanie asked.
Kelli nodded. "But you know Cedric's gonna add his own twist."
Instead of a simple sidestep, Cedric led Cyd in bouncy moves to the left, with a slide before going right. And instead of a normal pivot, they did some kind of kick, kick, turn—with Cedric twirling Cyd into a two-step before moving back to the line dance, all of it seamless. The crowd was fired up.
After a couple of rounds, Cedric spotted Kelli and pulled her to the center.
"I don't know if you can hang with a twenty-five-year-old, big brother." Although Cedric was a fit forty-two, Kelli didn't miss an opportunity to tease him about his age. "I'd hate to embarrass you in front of your guests."
"Oh, you got jokes? We'll see about that, baby sis."
Cyd led the cheers this time as Kelli whipped some different moves on him. Cedric paused, then mimicked every last one to let her know she couldn't show him up. Lindell dragged Stephanie out there—literally—and Kelli was in stitches watching them try to copy what she and Cedric were doing. Soon everyone on the floor had joined in again, and then the music switched to Motown, which got its own cheers.
Cedric draped one arm around Kelli and the other around Cyd and led them off the floor. They stopped at the bridal party table, which had emptied of all but Dana, one of Cyd's bridesmaids.
"Why aren't you on the dance floor?" Cedric asked. "We need all the forty-and-over folk representing."
Dana glared at him. "Let's see how well you 'represent' with some heels on. My feet are killing me." Then she nodded toward the dance floor. "My husband left me. He's out there with the kids. And last I saw, Scott wasn't representing too well either. He looked almost as bad as Stephanie with that Electric Slide."
"I heard that, Dana," Stephanie said, walking up with Lindell. "I could learn the dumb dance if I cared to. And since you're trying to clown me, I might do it just to keep my black rhythm points. Can't have a white guy showing me up."
Dana got a kick out of that, laughing as auburn wisps fell about her face. "How about a white girl? Let's tell the deejay to play it again and see who's got it."
Stephanie eased into a seat. "Uh, no thanks. I always told you, you're one of those black white girls. You can go on the dance floor."
Dana eyed the dancers out there. "Well, pray for Mackenzie. I think the poor thing takes after Scott. Look at them."
Kelli's heart was smiling. Because she lived out of state, she didn't know these women well—not even her sisters-in-law—but from her brief interactions, including last night's rehearsal dinner, she could tell she would like them.
Cyd pulled out a chair and sat, her beautiful gown, passed down from her mother, swishing over the sides. "Ahh ... think I can get away with sitting like this for maybe five minutes?"
Cedric massaged her shoulders. "You're good. The Jackson Five's got everybody occupied."
Dana touched Kelli's arm. "The bridal table was talking about you earlier."
"Me? Why?" Kelli took a seat.
"Are you kidding? That song. It was beautiful."
Kelli blushed. "Thank you."
"That's my little sister." Cedric beamed.
"Mine too!" Lindell said, giving her shoulder a squeeze. "So proud of you, girl." He looked at the others. "Just got her master's too, from UT–Austin."
"I heard," Dana said. "Is your degree in music?"
Kelli shook her head. "One's in communications and the other's in public relations."
"Wow, two?" Dana nodded. "That's awesome."
"Well ... not really. Just means I didn't know what I wanted to do." Kelli didn't mind admitting it. "But I'm done being a professional student. I'm looking for a job now—"
"—in Texas." Cedric's tone made clear what he thought of that.
"What part of Texas?" Stephanie asked. "Are you trying to stay in Austin?"
"I've been looking at possibilities in Austin and Houston ... and Dallas."
"Mostly Dallas, I'd bet," Cedric said. "That's where her boyfriend is." He looked around playfully. "Where is he anyway? I wanted to meet him, see if he measures up. What's his name? Miller?"
Kelli smirked at her big brother. "Miles. Miles Reed. He wanted to meet you all too, but he had a conflict."
"I'm sure we'll get another opportunity," Cedric said, "if I can get you to move back to St. Louis."
Cyd perked up. "Ooh, Kelli, I'd love that. Any chance?"
"I ... doubt it." Kelli hedged to be polite; her mind had said a fast no. She hadn't lived in St. Louis since she left for college, and the distance had been good. Her mother had relocated to Little Rock to care for her mother, so Kelli had gone there on school breaks.
"How's the job market in Texas?" Cedric asked. "Improved any?"
Cedric knew the answer perfectly well. He was a VP at a head-hunting firm. He'd made some calls for her, but nothing had materialized.
"Not exactly," Kelli admitted. "I've been looking since early in the year, and, well ... it's nearing the end of June."
Lindell rubbed his chin. "I'm thinking you can be unemployed in St. Louis just as well as in Austin."
Cedric gave a big nod to his brother. "Better than in Austin. In St. Louis, you can be unemployed and hang out with your brothers."
Cyd raised a hand. "And sisters. Don't forget about us."
"All of us," Dana said. "We'd love to plug you into Daughters' Fellowship."
"What's that?" Kelli asked.
"It started years ago with Dana, Phyllis, and me." Cyd pointed toward the dance floor at her other bridesmaid. "Real informal. We'd do potluck and talk about—sometimes cry about—what God was doing in our lives. Stephanie crashed the party last year." Cyd smiled at her younger sister. "It's evolved into kind of a Bible study/gabfest."
"Emphasis on gab," Cedric said. "Amazing how two hours can turn into five—every single time. You'd think you'd run out of things to talk about."
"Now, now, brother," Lindell said, "don't exaggerate. I think it was four and a half hours last time."
Cedric and Lindell shared a laugh as the women pounced.
"We're praying too, you know," Dana said. "Getting that fuel we need to be the best we can be."
"Lindell knows." Stephanie gave him the eye. "I left the house with an attitude before that last meeting. Came back changed. Didn't I?"
Lindell threw up his hands. "Hey, I'm not complaining. I might be the biggest DF fan at the table. Stephanie's not the same woman I married."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Babe, that's a good thing! I'm just sayin'."
Kelli laughed as Lindell backpedaled. For years her brothers had been busy with their careers, living the bachelor life. Hadn't occurred to them or her that they should live near one another, be a part of each other's lives. But now they were both settled down, with wives Kelli would love to know better. She'd always wanted sisters. And it was strange that she, Cyd, and Stephanie kind of looked alike—all of them tall with honey brown skin and long brown hair.
And Daughters' Fellowship sounded great. Her own relationship with God wasn't where it should be. She'd known that for some time. Just wasn't sure how to get it back on the right track. The thought of getting together with these women, talking and learning from them, felt like water to her parched soul.
If only it were in another city ...
Kelli sighed as she looked around the table at the laughter, the ribbing, the love. Did she really want to stay in Austin, away from all of this?
And what about Miles? They'd been dating almost a year. Although he'd graduated from UT–Austin last December and moved back to Dallas, the distance didn't seem so great with them both in Texas. Still, they were already several hours apart. Would a few more make a huge difference?
Kelli looked up as her mother stopped at their table.
"Hey, it's my gorgeous mother," Cedric said, placing an arm around her.
"No, it's my gorgeous mother," Lindell said, hugging her other side.
Francine London glowed with pride. "You boys are something else," she said. "And I didn't come to see y'all. I came to see how my daughters-in-law are doing."
"Oh, it's like that now?" Cedric asked. "I get married, and I get kicked to the curb?"
Francine laughed, keeping her arms around her sons' waists. "I'm wondering what's gonna happen when you all start having my grandchildren. I'm not gonna like being all the way in Little Rock."
"You need to move back too," Lindell said.
Francine dismissed it with a shake of the head. "Your grandmother's not doing well, can't get around, so we're better off staying put."
"Well, help us convince your daughter to move back," Cedric said. "We've been working on her."
Francine looked at Kelli, nodding. "I was thinking about that today, how nice it would be if you could be around your brothers and their wives. You know I'm big on family."
"Yes, I know, Mom." Kelli cut them off at the pass. "So ... which one of you would be willing to let your little sister move in?"
Excerpted from Cherished by Kim Cash Tate Copyright © 2011 by Kimberly Cash Tate. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
What struck my attention the most was the real life instances where any of us could have been in at one time or another. I would also go on to say that it was a tad unrealistic to an extent. This is definitely a light read and has some thoughtful elements to it that made it fairly enjoyable.
Kelli London doesn't think she can ever be cherished because of past mistakes. She doubts God will ever use her and thinks her dream of songwriting can never come to anything. Heather Anderson - she had an affair with a married man and now with a drummer for a christian band - only to find out that he has a girlfriend (soon to be fiance) and that she is just a fling...she feels like a tramp and wonders if she can ever be truly remade and cherished. I really liked 'Cherished'. The story was great and the characters held my attention. I loved the Gospel message throughout and I think it dealt with an issue a lot of people deal with - guilt. Kelli had an abortion years ago and still lived with the guilt. Heather, after her one-night-stand, realized how in need of Jesus she is and how God will forgive her (Matthew 12:31). But when confronted by Ace (the drummer) she starts to see herself again as who she was, until Logan reminds her that she is a NEW creation 2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (KJV) I found out that there is a first book with a lot of the same characters - 'Faithful' - and I plan to read that book as well, because it sounds really good. I recommend 'Cherished' if you enjoy reading stories that show the Gospel message throughout or need assurance of God's grace. *Much thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me a complimentary ebook copy of 'Cherished' through their review program 'Booksneeze'!*
Awesome book! It is a must read! Definitely encouraging and inspires change. I'm buying this book for all my close girlfriends. It's a realistic view if Christianity without it being too "churchy". I enjoyed every minute of reading!
Just as good as the first one.
This book is an awesome display of relationships. Both singles and married alike can gain insight on the in and outs of relationship, self discovery, and the grace of God.
A book that from the start had a story that made you want to keep reading, but was very "churchy" with its delivery. I enjoy Christian fiction, but I do not enjoy when it takes a little while to get to the depth of the story. I was pulled in with intrigue, but didn't feel like the reader hit the meat of the story until you were over half way through the book. I liked this book, but I sit on the fence because the tone of the story was not subtle. In the same token, the characters were captivating and some real issues were tackled, which is surprising at times for Christian fiction. Although the reader may have been left with a perfect happy ending, at least the characters development through the book was somewhat realistic and they had to overcome some large issues in their lives. It all felt too Brady Bunch to me, where things work out way too perfectly in the end. Maybe,I would have preferred if one of the characters didn't end up exactly where they were expected to end up. I think many Christians can agree that it doesn't always work out with a perfect bow at the end, sometimes you are left in a situation that isn't great, but with the help of your faith you can find the light at the end of the situation.
Cherished by Kim Cash Tate is an inspiring book that reminds us that it is never too late to find unconditional love and feel cherished. Two young women Kelli and Heather make some wrong choices in their personal life. These choices have consequences and affect their lives. As with all sin, it leaves us feeling unworthy and full of guilty and shame. It takes the guidance and friendship of other women to guide these two women back to Christ. They are made to realize is that to be truly loved unconditionally, comes from Christ. Their journey to this truth gives us valuable insights into truths that remind us all of God's grace and love he freely gives us. Although this book depicts what all girls wish for in life; to be cherished and loved unconditional, it is not a smooth road. These women must first face the choices of their past. It also made me really think about the lives and choices of someone who we would deem as the "guilty one". Often it is hard to move past judging them to see that they too need God's grace and love, but often need someone willing to show them the way. I enjoyed this book, because I got to see things from both view points, the innocent and the guilty. It made realize how often I judged the one I considered "guilty" harshly and didn't show them the love of Christ. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
I think one of the biggest issues we deal with as Christians are our feelings of shame, unworthiness and inadequacy. Being human we have all had failures in our lives, many of them moral failures and we allow those failures to make us unworthy of God's love and forgiveness. Kim confronts this head on and leads us on a journey to that acceptance of God's forgiveness and self-forgiveness. This is a moving book that had me in tears a few times. Kelli and Heather have different pasts that have brought them to different places but with the same outcome - they are both overcome with shame. God brings them to a place of grace and I loved the vessel that God used as a mentor in their lives. It helped me realize that God will use even the most unlikely people to be His vessels of ministry to others. In this case an older woman steps in to be Heather's mentor and ends up mentoring both of them but she is the most unlikely person to mentor Heather (the best friend of the wife of the married man that Heather had an affair with...). It turns out to be the most amazing spiritual support system and just what they all needed. Seeing how God made something beautiful out of the situation was a excellent example of God's grace. I love how reading books by Kim Cash Tate is like having a Bible study while you are enjoying a story - she weaves spiritual truths into everything in a beautiful way!
After I started reading 'Cherished', I realized that there was another book, 'Faithful', that the author had written before this one that had many of the same characters in it. So now if I were to read that book, I will know what happens - ugh! However, 'Cherished' is a novel that can be read on it's own. Kelli and Heather both have their share of guilt, shame, and regrets for choices that they made. For Kelli it's the choice she made when she was a teenager. For Heather the decision she made to have an affair with a married man. Both are learning that they need to lean on the Lord and trust in Him to heal their wounds. 'Cherished' was so much better than I expected it to be. I completely enjoyed reading it and even though I know what the outcome of 'Faithful' will be, I still want to read it. This was such a great book! *** I received a complimentary copy of this book from the B & B Media Group to review. I was asked to give my honest opinion of the book - which I have done.***
This book was a slower read for me, especially in the beginning. Over the course of a month or longer, I finally made my way through, and ended up being happy with the ending. I did enjoy the story of Kelli, her love of songwriting, and using that gift to work through some things in her past. I wasn't sure where her relationship with Brian was headed, and there were many bumps along the way. At times it seemed that Brian and Kelly would only reconnect through their family and friends, but the Lord had other things in mind for them. The other storyline that got my attention, was that of Heather. Heather always seemed to be making bad choices, from a one-night stand with a Christian musician, to an affair with a married man. Just as she comes to the end of her rope, God is their to catch her, if only she will let Him.
Cherished Kim Cash Tate Despite our past sins, our past choices, we are loved by God and cherished as a child of His. Kelli has run from her past, from a potential career as a song writer because she felt God wouldn't have anything good for her after having an abortion. She returns 7 years later to her hometown to stay with her brother and his wife. Suckered into going to a conference for Christian Music writers, Kelli feels a renewed relationship with God. She runs into her old boyfriend Brian, who left her not wanting anything to do with the baby. He is a Christian Music Rapper who is trying to decide whether to pursue his music career of get his PHD in science. Kelli makes it clear to Brian that she wants nothing to do with him. Both Kelli and Brian walk through the past and counsel with godly role models as they seek the path God would have them go on. Set in St. Louis the author introduces us to Kelli's family, and friends of theirs also struggling to feel cherished by God. God uses people in unique situations to share of his grace. A contemporary fiction novel that can easily reflect some of the past mistakes of its readers, causing them to pause and see that God does indeed forgive, and love unconditionally. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Sometimes the mistakes we make in our life can act as road blocks. They can prevent us from ever seeing our true potential and pursuing the dreams we were meant to fulfill. I read the most amazing book that sets out to show you through fictional characters just how those road blocks can prevent us from finding our purpose in life and what God wants for us to become. In the book, Cherished by Kim Cash Tate, we find ourselves in the second book of the Women of Faith series. The three characters whose lives we will follow are that of Kelli London, Heather Anderson and Brian Howard. Kelli London has always dreamed of becoming a songwriter and glorifying God with her songs of praise. But after falling into sin, she walks away from her dreams. Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control - first an affair with a married man and then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band. Broken and alone, she discovers the only one who can save her. Brian Howard grew up as a science geek. But after making the worst mistake of his life after high school, he finds forgiveness in Christ and is being led down a completely different path. Now he must choose whether to continue pursuing his PhD in biochemistry or become a full time Christian rapper. This novel shows readers that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices. He doesn't just forgive them, they are truly cherished. We can be embraced by the same great love when we learn that true forgiveness for ALL of our sins is right before us. Through these characters we see how they struggle to resolve their own personal conflicts and find a way to finally forgive themselves. I think this book is very relevant to our times because so often we feel like a choice we may have made so long ago, is the very thing we can't be forgiven for. But there is nothing, NOTHING, you can do, that God will not forgive you for if you just ask and believe that you are valuable in His eyes. When we do that, we can see what God's future is for us and how we can move forward with nothing holding us back. I received this book compliments of B & B Media Group for my honest review and think this is a MUST READ! Especially in today's world, we find our value in the wrong things, be it a job, a title, the things we own, what we do, who are friends are, and most of all what we think of ourselves if often times so wrong. Self Esteem issues for women is at an all time high, with teen suicides, bulimia, anorexia and eating disorders dictating what is acceptable for society. I would rate this book at 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Hello, there. How are you? I've just received a new book from booksneeze, called "Cherished" by Kim Cash Tate. Before I get started, however, I simply must say that I received this book for free from the booksneeze blogger program from the Thomas Nelson publishing company. I am under no obligation to give this book a positive review, and everything that I say is honestly and completely my opinion. Now, on with the show! So, this new book, "Cherished" by Kim Cash Tate, was pretty good. A fairly easy read, it's one of those books that you'd read on the beach or on a patio with a glass of iced tea in hand. It's not entirely memorable, and the plot has been worked through dozens of times (Girl has problems. Girl turns to God. God gives girl a guy. Girl and guy get married. Happily ever after.) Of course, there's more to it, and there's a few twists, but still a fairly mellow read and just a good way to relax the afternoon away. If you just want some down time, a book that you don't really have to think about to understand, this is it. I give it four out of five stars.
Is there a place in God's kingdom, a chance for forgiveness, for a woman who has committed one of the biggies, sin-wise? That's one of the questions addressed in Kim Cash Tate's novel, Cherished. Most of us, Christian or otherwise, know the answer in our heads. But in our hearts? It's difficult to fully embrace God's forgiveness and unconditional love when the guilt we carry is too big to make room for anything else. Tate's two female protagonists chose abortion and adultery and struggle now to step back onto His path. One of the strengths of Cherished is the fact that it considers the heavy-duty, imperfect lives many Christians lead, as well as the consequences of their choices. No cookie-cutter, perfect Christians here. And not every character who talks Christianese is sincere. That's the real world, folks, and it's frankly refreshing to see in an Inspirational novel. Conversely, some readers might find themselves skeptical that Christians would invoke prayer and Scripture and references to a good God as often as Tate's characters do. Considering the setting-the Christian music industry, the world of worship leaders, youth ministry, and families firmly ensconced in the Christian faith-the behaviors are fitting. The more time one spends with fellow Christians, the more prevalent is the connection between everyday life and the One who makes it both tolerable and a joy. Cherished makes that clear, without coming right out and overstating it. In reading this novel, the reader is drawn toward that connection, as well. And no reader will finish this book with my opening question still rattling around in her heart. Tate's heroines are forgiven, loved, and cherished, and the reader will believe that she is, as well.
Cherished by Kim Cash Tate is a delightfully insightful read from start to finish. Filled with lessons on everything from frailty to faith, it promises nothing and yet delivers so much. Picking up where Faithful left off, Cherished invited me into the lives of two women - Kelli London and Heather Anderson. Bruised and raw after losing sight of God, both women seemingly search for forgiveness, redemption, restoration and direction in their lives. Not only do their paths cross in an "only God" kind of way, but their paths bring them full circle, past to present, leading them on to a place of grace before the One who loves them best of all. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in need of healing and forgiveness. Sincerely, I believe that the way Tate uniquely weaves Scripture into "real life" can help the "irredeemable" get to the heart of God's love. This book is a must read for all those who may have lost their way due to unforgiveness, bad choices, wayward beginnings, and/or guilt and shame. Rating: 5/5 Stars
The first thing that strikes my mind when I read the synopsis of the book was "Yes, the story of these two young ladies lives could have been true stories". I discovered it was rather hard for me to start reading the story as I kept mix up who is who in this book. But after awhile, the story flows smoothly for me. Both Kelli and Heather had encountered personal set-back. Made some mistakes in their lives. They have regrets and had wish that they could turn back time but however, God have different thing installed for them I am not perfect and I am prejudiced. I can say that I don't sympathised with Heather much for having an affair with married man when I read the synopsis. But when I started to read the book, am amazed on how good Kim is in plotting out the story. It made me felt Heather's anguish and regrets. After many years, both of them found ways to heal their pain and open their hearts to God. Even if this book is a work of fiction, it does gives hope. Hope that things will be fine in future and that no matter how dark today is, the sun will come out tomorrow and happy days will be back again. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
Cherished is a novel that is ultimately about the choices we make in life and the consequences that follow. More importantly, it is a novel about forgiveness and redemption. It inspires the reader through several different story lines about a St. Louis family and their friends. I think that what works best about this book is the strong connections that the characters have toward supporting each other in their spiritual growth. The Bible study group - really, a sisterhood - shared by the female characters is inspirational in and of itself. More women should have groups like that, and I hope that this book can serve as a model there. The dialogue stands out in my mind as being realistic and enjoyable to read. I did find, though, that the many characters and their storylines were difficult to follow, especially at first. There were moments in the book when I was truly moved by the events, but there are some pretty intense issues that are handled in this book. I felt that because there were so many different story lines, the book doesn't do justice to the deeper emotions that are evoked by some of the issues covered. I think I would have preferred to see this book split into two separate novels so that the two most serious issues could have been handled with greater intensity. All in all, though, I think the author is talented, and I'd like to read more of her work. Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Just finished reading Cherished last night (at 2 a.m....COULDN'T PUT IT DOWN!!) It is an AMAZING STORY about forgiveness and God's grace for all of us in everything we do that may have displeased Him!! I am forever grateful for incidentally picking up Faithful at the bookstore....found a keeper:-) Feels great to FINALLY find some GREAT Christian fiction Authors! ANYONE LOOKING FOR A TRUE DEPICTION OF GOD'S grace and the power of forgiveness WILL LOVE THIS BOOK! Anyone who has ever been in their place of emptiness, their place of "Will God still love me...will He still even hear my prayers and forgive me...will He remove the shame I CAUSED on MYSELF?!?!?"; will love this book! Kim uses the characters in this book to make you realize that FORGIVENESS, GRACE AND MERCY, is available to ALL who call Christ their savior! No matter what we do, or think we could do to get God to stop loving us...Kim's book Cherished will make you come face to face with the realities THAT I AM FORGIVEN..NO SHAME NEEDED!! YOU WILL LOVE THIS BOOK!!
How can you believe God cherishes you, when you can't forgive yourself? That is the question that two women ask in this book. Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. She dreamed about Brian, that they would have a forever love. But choices she regrets dashed her dreams, and upended her hope. But when her dreams come around again, she's forced to face her past, before she can live her future. Heather Anderson's life is a mess. First she has an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band. Broken and alone she cries out to the only One who can really save her. But now she must leave the Old Heather behind, and discover who she really is. These two women form an unlikely friendship as both are on the path for God's forgiveness. "Will they ever believe that He loves them... and can still offer them a life where they are cherished?" When I started reading this book I was immediately turned off. The dialogue felt really contrived, there were too many characters too quickly without enough character development for me to keep them straight. I love reading Christian fiction books, they are my favorite genre, but this one felt a little too 'preachy' in the beginning for me. There were many times where it just felt forced, it needed to be a little more subtle, because it distracted from the story. Then there was a major plot point which I felt was uncovered in a very unrealistic way, and had a theology attached to it that I didn't agree with. ALL of that aside though, I did find myself continuing to read the book and wanting to see how it all ended. The story was a little unreal, but the music lover in me enjoyed the main story line of the book. After I got past my initial hesitations I really enjoyed the book. It was a slow start, but a great ending. A quick read that was enjoyable. I even found myself bookmarking a few lines here and there to go back through and read again later. I would recommend this book to anyone who can't forgive themselves. Because this book is a reminder that we are all cherished. Booksneeze graciously provided me with a complimentary ebook copy of this book for review purposes. I was not compensated for my review, all opinions here are my own.
For Kelli London its been seven years since she stopped hearing music in her head. Its been seven years since she went to church. Its been seven years since she and Brian broke up. And its been seven years since she had an abortion. Now she is living with her brother and his wife, while looking for a job in St. Louis. Her sisters-in-law convince her to attend a songwriters convention despite the fact that she has all but given up on her song writing dream. She is shocked to find that Brian has become a popular Christian rapper and is a guest speaker at the convention. Can she handle the memories that come with seeing him again? Can she learn to forgive and move on? All her life all that Heather has wanted is to be cared for, to be loved, and to be wanted. As a child her mother went from one guy to the next, never giving Heather the stable and loving environment she longed for, now after an affair with a married man and a disastrous one night stand with a drummer for a Christian band she has had enough of her way of life. With help from Logan she gives her life to God and becomes a new person, but can others learn to accept her? Can she find real love? I was skeptical of this book at first and I thought about it for at least a week before finally requesting it. Having read it I will say that this book won't be going on my favorites list, but it was definitely worth reading. I really just cannot make up my mind about this book. At some moments it felt incredibly deep and very moving, while at others something about it just didn't seem right. I'm thinking this is just since it has a different style than most of what I read. The people in this book felt incredibly real, I really felt like they were real. I felt what they felt. My heart got flittery for Heather when she was with Logan. My heart broke with Kelli as she remembered her abortion. I don't think I've read anything that tugged at me this way before. I also loved the lyrics that the various singers and songwriters used, in some books the songs and poems people write are terrible but these were actually pretty great and stuff I can see myself listening to for real. Unfortunately the story itself wasn't quite as strong and something about the writing style wasn't right, especially words that didn't really fit the context. Thankfully the strong characters really make up for this. I did have one rather big complaint. The beginning really felt like it went way too fast. Both Kelli and Heather accepted God much too quickly it seemed. There was no struggle, it was implied as having happened but it wasn't shown, although the main focus of this book seems to be on healing and forgiveness after we accept God. This sort of makes sense I suppose but it still bothered me a bit. Over all I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in their teens or older. I received this book free from BookSneeze for writing my review, I am not required to write a positive review.
I loved this book. Focusing on Kelli London, a talented songwriter who has to face her past in order to move forward, and Heather Anderson, an aspiring musician with a rough past, this book shows readers God's gift of forgiveness. Kim Cash Tate creates characters that are so real--they all have made mistakes and are astoundingly human and relatable--yet, they can do incredible things when they accept God's love. The plot of this story is not necessarily mysterious or deeply intertwined, but the character development is perfect, and the authour weaves together a story that will take the reader on a journey. There was never a point when I was reading this book when I wanted to put it down--I had to read at least a chapter every single day until it was finished. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a good read, and especially anyone who is feeling guilty about their past, or not good enough for God--this book is a perfect reminder of God's unfailing love (and just an overall pleasant read). Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."