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Embracing Hope

Embracing Hope

5.0 4
by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring.

He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s


Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring.

He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

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Meet the Author

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including newspaper journalism, Christian higher education and nonprofit public relations, and local government public information. Much of her writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel. Janell is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law and three step-granddaughters.

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Embracing Hope 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Fala19 4 months ago
Top notch writing brings depth and reality to this fictional tale, making it feel authentic and true to life. It touches upon many real-life and tough subjects not often found in Christian fiction nowadays, and I so appreciated that. It also gives a fascinating look at life on a Christian University campus. I loved the way scripture was used in dealing with many of the challenges/hardships/obstacles the characters faced. There's so many great quotes and insights; I highlighted a ton of stuff and filled a couple of pages in my notebook! Here's a couple of my favorite quotes: “Just think what He can do through you when you trust God to lead the way.” and “Some things you have to let God deal with. Maybe He'll use you as part of the solution, but the solution is His to determine, not yours.” Allison is a super relatable character. She's warm and kind, a bit serious, but with spunk and a great sense of humor. She deals with a lot, but keeps on persevering. Drew's struggling with grief after losing his wife. He's having a crisis of faith and is feeling as if there is no hope left. Everyone handles grief differently, certain things can trigger it when you think you've got it under control. It can creep up on a person at the most unexpected and inconvenient of times. There were a couple of characters in different stages of grief and this novel, I thought, gave a realistic look at what that looks and feels like. This featured the best kind of slow-building romance, but it's so much more than just a typical romance. It's about life, the good, the bad, the messy. But in essence, just as the title suggests, it's about hope... embracing hope. And words are failing me at how to accurately describe how much I loved it. I wanted to read it as fast as I could, but at the same time, I wanted to take my time and savor it, make it last as long as possible... such a dilemma! When life interfered and I'd have to set it aside, I couldn't wait to get back to it. This book and these characters will stay with me for a very long time. At times it was painful to watch the characters struggling and hurting, but what it led to was a spiritual and emotional journey that I greatly enjoyed reading. Embracing Hope has found a place on my favorites shelf and is one of the best books I've read this year. I seriously can't recommend it highly enough! I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and comments are my own honest opinion.
LucyMR1 4 months ago
Powerful..thought provoking...Kleenex worthy! This book deals with many issues and shows that even Christians struggle in this world and can be depressed and lose hope from tragedies that strike. I love the human aspect of Drew and Allison and how even with strong faith they have moments of doubt. Chris comes from an abusive background and the consequences are heart rendering. I'm usually a Historical Fiction reader, but I'm so glad I read this, as it resonated in my spirit. I would say more but I don't want to spoil this by giving anything away. A definite must read and a keeper to read again. I received a complimentary copy from the author. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.
vics49548 5 months ago
Let me start out by saying that I don’t normally become invested emotionally when I read a novel and I fully expected this to be the typical modern romance. But a few chapters in I realized that wasn’t so and I did become emotionally invested. As the title says, this book is about hope. Hope in the face of tragedy. Hope in the face of horror. Hope that regardless of circumstances, you can find joy and love once again. Author Janell Butler Wojtowicz isn’t afraid to write about difficult and painful situations. But through it all is the thread of hope. She reminds us that God doesn’t leave us alone, scared, and hurting. He walks with us and heals our hearts. With emotions often raw, the characters are authentic and honest. Dialogue flows well, and the author is well versed in college life. This book will not disappoint and I highly recommend it. I received a complimentary copy of this book but was not required to leave a positive review.
DChatley 8 months ago
Embracing Hope is an endearing tale of 2 people brought together by God to increase their hope and help them heal. In this story you will meet Drew and Allison who on the surface seem to be complete opposites yet as they find themselves drawn to one another. And I love how the author weaves the story such that Allison and Drew takes turns rescuing and healing each other. As that is how good relationships work. At one point, we may be down and need a friend to help us see our hope and at another point in our journey, they may need our support, love and encouragement. And that is exactly what you will find in this beautiful story of how God can bring two people together for his purposes. First we see Allison helping Drew find his hope again after his wife's death. And Drew has to help Allison find her hope and the path to forgiveness after a horrible encounter. So not only is this story a good read, it will encourage your faith walk with the Lord as in this book you meet characters facing real struggles in life, characters who are angry with God and resisting God's work in their lives. Yet through all of it, God is wooing them, bringing the necessary people in to their lives to help them take the next step of faith. The one quote I loved from the book was "consider today the first mile of your journey. Many more miles lie ahead, some with curves, speed bumps, and detours, but I guarantee the destination will be worth it when you follow his road map. This quote in itself sums up the Christian life as Christians are not free from the valleys of life but they do have a friend that walks in the valleys with them and a friend that will make it all worthwhile. One verse used in this book is Psalm 16:11 which talks about God making known to us the path of life and filling us with joy in His presence. As I said, this book will be an uplift to your faith and your hope in the Lord. At one point, the statement is made that this life is a potholed road that will shake our faith and bring us to our knees. And that is a key theme the entire way through this book, that sometimes surrender is the first step to freedom. Several things I liked about Allison's character was that she was an overcomer, before we meet her in this story she has overcome some difficult obstacles in life but she has not let that stop her from chasing her dreams. And she is not afraid to speak her mind, in fact, she basically tells off her boss on their first meeting. The thing I liked about Drew's character was the very real picture into dealing with grief, the grief of losing a loved one, a wife in Drew's case. This book accurately shows grief as a process, not something you just get over. Also, this book shows how each person grieves differently. Highly recommend you get a copy of this book today, you will fall in love with Drew and Allison and your heart will ache with theirs. But most of all your faith and hope will be renewed.