An Endless Christmas: A Novella

An Endless Christmas: A Novella

by Cynthia Ruchti

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Overview

An Endless Christmas: A Novella by Cynthia Ruchti


Award-winning novelist’s heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617955877
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author


Drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry, Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of “hope-that-glows-in-the-dark” through her novels and novellas, nonfiction books and devotionals, and speaking for women’s and writers’ events. Her books have been recognized by Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, Selah Awards, the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, Christian Retailing’s BEST Awards, and Carol Award nominations, among other honors, including a Family Fiction Readers’ Choice Award. She and her plot-tweaking husband live in Pittsville, Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Read an Excerpt

An Endless Christmas

A Novella


By Cynthia Ruchti

WORTHY PUBLISHING

Copyright © 2015 Cynthia Ruchti
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-61795-587-7


CHAPTER 1

"What did she say?"

A carol played in the background. Carols perpetually played in the background at the Binders' cottage at Christmas, Katie Vale had quickly learned. The music almost covered the whispered "What did she say?" that made the rounds of the room built for two that now held twenty.

"She said no." Dodie Binder — matriarch and tone-setter — leaned closer to her husband, Wilson, whose smile collapsed, stroke-like, when she repeated the answer in his good ear.

"She said no?" He wasn't the only one asking for clarification.

Katie fingered the heirloom ring. In her hand, not on it. A square-cut diamond surrounded by tiny sapphires. A narrow, glitter-edged ribbon looped through its circle. Moments earlier it had hung on the Binders' tinseled Christmas tree. "I said ..." — she apologized to Micah Binder with her eyes and with all she couldn't express — "no. I can't accept this. I can't —"

Was it her imagination, or did the room tilt when all the Binder women shifted to where she stood, wrapping their sweatered and fleeced arms around her, even the youngest? The eight-year-old. What was her name again?

If she'd had more than ten minutes to meet the family before Micah drew her to the Christmas tree and the one ornament out of character with the others, she might have remembered. Twilight. That was her name. The girl who hugged her around the middle as if grabbing on to a teddy bear after falling off her bike.

All Katie wanted to do was apologize properly to Micah, to explain why she had to say no. But the chaos of comfort kept them apart. She caught a glimpse of Micah's face — iconic for the word crestfallen — in a sea of three uncles and his dad.

She closed her hand around the ring to keep it from slipping to the floor in the melee of "It'll be okay" and "Don't you worry, now" and "All is well."

"All Is Well." Really? That's the Christmas song that decided now was a good time to make its presence known?

A voice with the timbre of an eighty-year-old woman — must be Grandma Dodie — said something that sounded a lot like, "Good for you, honey."

Should she worry or feel blessed that the Binder women gathered around her like professional mourners? Mourners with sweet smiles, no tears. Curious. She dug in and inched closer to Micah, who sat on the arm of the couch where he'd landed after she refused his proposal. The crowd of huggers moved with her like a swarm of shiny fish that swim in circles through the sea.

Micah. He didn't deserve what he was probably going through right now. "Can we talk?" she mouthed, peeking between two of Micah's aunts. If his heart ached like hers did ...

Before he could answer, an earsplitting sound pierced through the supposed-to-be-soothing Christmas music. A smoke detector.

"To the kitchen!" Grandma Dodie shouted. "You little ones stay back." She gave Katie one final squeeze. "It's tradition to char at least one pan of cookies every year. Let's assume that's all this is." She limped behind the uncles, who raced past her. They called out the "Not to worry. We've got it under control" before she made it through the kitchen door.

One of the college-aged grandkids — Bella? Elisa? — rounded up the younger ones and steered them to the overflowing pegs of coats and boots lined up near the front door. "Outside, kiddies. Let's go get the mail, okay?"

It took seven people to get the mail? None of the children objected. Within minutes they were out the door as if on an epic adventure. Micah and Katie were the only two left in the family room. It adjoined the kitchen in Dodie and Wilson's small cottage in the woods, but the other adults had formed a hedge of noise between the two rooms, leaving the couple virtually alone.

"Micah, I —"

He raised his hand to stop her. "No explanation necessary."

"You're okay with this?" Maybe she'd overestimated his affection for her. Good to know.

"Not okay." He tapped his heart with a closed fist. "But you don't have to say anything. No is an answer."

"But it isn't the whole story."

He stood then and stepped close enough to plant his hands on her shoulders. "Katie?" The tremor in his voice and the look in his eyes told the truth. He wasn't brushing off her rejection as if it didn't matter. Those pale blue eyes that had at first startled her, then captivated her, blinked back man-tears. "I ..."

"What is it?" Would she have the resolve to refuse if he asked again? It was for his own good. If only he knew that. God, a little help here?

Micah's forehead became as rutted as the snow-packed lane that had brought them to the cottage. He opened his mouth, then closed it again. A deep breath. "I'll show you where you can put your things. You get the window seat in the kitchen. It's not as bad as it sounds. Pretty roomy, actually, and more than long enough for ... the petite." He headed toward the luggage they'd left near the front door in Micah's haste to move straight from, "Hi, everyone. This is Katie Vale," to "Katie, will you marry me?"

"I can't stay," she said. He couldn't think she would stay there at the cottage with the family whose favorite — and only — male grandchild she'd just jilted, could he?

He turned to face her, eyes wide. "Do you want me out of your life?"

"No!"

Micah smiled. "That 'no' stung a lot less than the first one."

The man was not right in the head. Better to find out now.

He opened the front closet and slid her luggage into the only horizontal shelf space not already occupied. "You'll have to tuck your carry-on into the storage cubby under the window seat. Just lift off the cushion and you'll find a hinged lid. Your blankets and pillow are in there, too, Grandma Dodie said."

She was staying? No. Talk about awkward family gatherings. She thought she'd seen them all.

"Did I hear my name used in vain?" Grandma Dodie poked her head around the corner between the family room and kitchen.

Micah waved her into the room. "I was explaining the intricacies of finding sleeping accommodations for a crowd this large."

"We're all set for you, Katie. Your towels are the pink ones in the bathroom to the right."

"Why is no one booting me out the door?" She kept her voice as light as possible, under the circumstances.

"Oh, honey," Dodie said. "You don't want to miss the Binder Family Christmas. Does she, Micah?"

"I wouldn't, if I were her." He walked past Katie and whispered, "It'll be okay. Promise."

How, how, how could it be okay? And how had they gone from wheels down in the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport to this new episode in the chronicles of Katie's failed relationships?

TWO HOURS EARLIER

Katie slid her phone into her purse, the flesh of her heart still smoking from the way the texted words burned.

"Anything important?" Micah asked, glancing only briefly from his position behind the steering wheel of the economy rental car.

Important? A death knell. "It can wait."

"You really are trying to unplug from work this week, aren't you? Proud of you," he said. "If I hadn't forgotten my charger, the challenge would be harder for me. Battery will last maybe through the rest of the day. Then I'm turning Amish. Unless somebody at the cottage has a charger to match. They have to. Won't last long, though, with Grandma's house rules."

What did that mean?

He pointed to the dash display. "Hey, look. The temp has dropped another two degrees. We're now officially sixty degrees colder than we would be at home right now."

Katie rubbed her jean-covered knees and wiggled her toes in her new-enough-to-be-stiff fleece-lined boots, as if the rental car's heater wasn't adequate to ward off the chill threatening outside the vehicle. December in the Northwoods. Stunning in pictures. Frostbite waiting to happen, up close and personal. Her Southern roots were showing. "I'm not sure I'm ready for this."

Micah reached for the heater control.

She stopped him with a gloved hand over his. "It's not the weather." Katie leaned her head against the passenger-side window. Cold as an ice pack but without its pain-reducing effects. Even if she could discount the hollowing text message, who wouldn't feel at least mild apprehension at the thought of meeting "the parents" for the first time?

Meeting Micah's parents at Christmas meant meeting the whole Binder family — his grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles ... Everybody except Micah's sister Courtney and her husband, Brogan — the two closest to their own age — who had an excused absence. They waited in a South Korean hotel for the final processing of their international adoption.

Family tradition — the can't-miss Christmas Week extravaganza at the grandparents' cottage north of Stillwater.

She should have turned him down, should have told Micah she'd use a vacation week for the meet-the-parents challenge some other time, when she'd only have two names to remember and a smaller tangle of relationships to navigate. Christmas Week with all the family appendages present? This could only end badly. Especially now, when she was on the verge of saying the words that should have been said months ago.

If Binder family traditions followed the Vale reputation, somehow the fingers would point to Katie when it all fell apart.

Case in point. She was free to follow Micah to Minnesota because her own parents had bailed on her. As if their passive-aggressive divorce wasn't enough of a barrier to a Currier and Ives Christmas, they'd both called at the last minute to cancel their individual plans with her. No awkward dinner out with her dad and his smartphone. No post-Christmas, unnecessary shopping excursion with her let's-make-up-for-everything-by-buying-us-both-a-new-purse mother.

"Katie?"

She tugged her thoughts back to the question at hand. "The flight tired me out more than I thought, I guess."

"We could still be stuck in Fort Myers or Atlanta if they hadn't gotten the remnants of this last snow cleared so fast. Minnesota sure knows how to move snow."

He meant that as a comfort, right? It sounded as if he considered snow removal an Olympic event. Stuck in sunny Fort Myers sounded pretty good at the moment, empty Christmas or not.

The road from the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport to Stillwater had narrowed from six lanes to four to two as their destination neared. Micah insisted the scenic St. Croix Trail — Highway 95 — would be worth the extra time. She didn't mind dragging out the inevitable.

On the map app, the St. Croix River sported a seam down its middle, a dotted line drawn by cartographers with loyalties to Minnesota's rights to the waterway on the west and Wisconsin's on the east. Katie rubbed at an invisible dotted line on her forehead. Cartographers? Her territory-war parents. The line bit deeper the closer she and Micah neared Stillwater.

"You're not worried about meeting my family, are you?" Micah had the pecan-pie-rich voice of a radio announcer without the affectation. Soothing whether he meant it that way or not.

Katie sensed her heart rate slow in response to his words. Or his tone. Or the fact that he cared. "Meeting them isn't the problem. Meeting them at Christmas seems ... serious."

Trees flashed past the car window like warp-speed timekeepers. This is it. The moment he realizes you're not worth fighting for. They all do. My parents included. Worth fighting over. Not worth fighting for.

How many hash marks would tick by before he said something?

Serious. She'd said it sounded serious. Bad call, Katie. It no longer surprised her when relationships collapsed. But this one? The threat of losing Micah? She couldn't dodge the text's revelation about her genealogy, as if that were her only concern. It would come to light sooner or later. The sting sliced through her like a laser torch through steel. That would leave a permanent scar.

Micah pulled on to the apron of a plowed driveway, easing the car farther off the road than the snow-packed shoulders would have allowed. He killed the engine and faced her. "Katie, if you're that uncomfortable, we'll turn around and head back to the city. I can get you a hotel room near the airport while we figure out an earlier flight home."

How did he do that? Make his voice as mellow as peach blossom honey even on a subject like this one? He was willing to sacrifice the week he hadn't stopped talking about since before Thanksgiving?

She looked past him, to the right of his disarmingly tender smile. Snowing again. The flakes floating more than falling. If only she could master that technique. "I don't want to be responsible for your missing Christmas with your grandparents."

He shook his head as if that had never been a consideration. "I'll drive up alone after we work out your flight change. I can't miss this Christmas. It might be their last." His face had lost its normal guileless confidence.

He stroked the side of her face with the backs of his fingers, then leaned in to kiss the same spot. "Meeting my family is not for the faint of heart. Or for a woman who isn't sure she wants to be there. With me."

How could he think this was about him? She was the high-risk half of their relationship. Wasn't it obvious? She was the one genetically predisposed to messing up anything remotely promising. Wait. He'd said, "It might be their last." Why hadn't he mentioned that earlier? "Their last Christmas?"

"Maybe." He leaned back against the driver's seat, hands now on the steering wheel, eyes forward. "Could be for any of us, couldn't it?"

On another guy, the expression might have seemed contrived. A guilt-producer designed to change her mind. But Micah didn't operate that way. He could teach seminars on integrity. And he was clearly hurting. Or thinking ahead to life without one of his grandparents.

She had to be there. Whether she was ready or not. Katie could bear a week of emotional discomfort. She'd mastered the art in twenty-nine years as the daughter of parents who ate conflict for breakfast. Stillwater was as good a place as any to hide from the inevitable. She had to be there. Not just with him but for him. He needed someone to lean on. She wanted it to be her.


Before pulling back onto the highway, Micah checked his phone. "Oh."

"What?"

"We have to kill some time in Stillwater."

She shifted in her seat. "Why?"

"We're waiting for Twilight."

"Won't it be harder to find the place after it gets dark?"

"Twilight, my cousin. Eight years old. Her final performance in the Nutcracker Suite was this afternoon. They're hightailing it from White Bear Lake but haven't arrived yet."

"I don't understand why we can't —"

Micah replaced his phone. He rubbed the steering wheel as if the genie inside would grant him the right words. "I wanted everybody to be there when you walk in."

With the engine off, the air temp in the car had dropped dramatically. But his words and tenderness spread warmth through her like a Bradenton Beach sun.

"You're a remarkable man, Micah." She ran one finger — feather-soft — across the back of his neck. His love language.

He caught her hand in his. "You made me this way. I was a complete louse until you came into my life." He started the engine. "And if you believe that," he said, flicking ashes from an imaginary Groucho Marx cigar ...

He'd done it again — gotten her to shrug the concern from her shoulders and laugh in spite of herself.

"So how will we kill time in Backwater, Minnesota?" She flicked her own imaginary cigar.

"Stillwater, my dear." He maintained his Groucho Marx improv. "We could get a cup of coffee or tea. Or I could show you around town." Back to her Micah again.

Hers. She'd better be careful with thoughts like that. Disappointment fed on impossibilities. "Sounds good to me."

"You know what Einstein always said."

Katie tried to ignore signs of civilization reappearing along the roadsides and focus on Micah's camera-friendly profile. "Despite memorizing most of what Einstein wrote, I'm not sure about the quote to which you refer."

Micah cleared his throat. "'The only thing you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.' And Stillwater's is exceptional, by the way. Rooftop terrace, stained-glass windows, wrought-iron shelving. A 1901 Carnegie project. A work of art. Or architecture, which is art."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti. Copyright © 2015 Cynthia Ruchti. Excerpted by permission of WORTHY PUBLISHING.
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.

What People are Saying About This

Debbie Macomber

When I see Cynthia Ruchti's name on a book I know I'm going to be challenged, uplifted, encouraged and charmed. --Debbie Macomber, #1 NYT Best-selling author

Lauraine Snelling

In An Endless Christmas, the characters walked right off those pages and into my heart, setting up residence and bringing along all the joy and peace they had learned. I love Christmas novellas and this one is now in my top three of favorites through the years. --Lauraine Snelling, Award-winning, best-selling author of more than 80 books, including An Untamed Heart

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An Endless Christmas: A Novella 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing Christmas Story. I absolutely loved this book. When I picked it up, I thought it was a romance, but it was oh so much more than that. Katie was invited to spend Christmas with Micah's extended family. She was a bit nervous having only been dating for 10 months and coming from a rather dysfunctional family but they packed up and left warm, sunny Fort Meyers for the cold north. When Micah proposes in front of the family, she says no. This does not deter him or the family from being kind to her and treating her as one of their own. Things can be quite chaotic at times with all the adult children of Wilson and Dodie Binder there plus their children. In the small cottage and barn annex, it is a full house, full of love, laughter and joy. I loved the idea of unplugging for the holidays and hiding the phones and Ipads away in a basket. This small town had so much to offer this group of people that they were always on the go. When a terrible situation arises they all band together to support one another. Full of prayer, song and blessings, this family is one that I would love to spend Christmas with. This is a Christmas story that everyone should get the opportunity to read.
GailHollingsworth More than 1 year ago
I bought this book over a year ago and had so many others to read and review that I'm just now getting to it. It was such a wonderful, heartfelt story that I wished I had put it to the top of my pile. This book should be kept and read at least once a year. The characters were warm, fun, and loving. Katie has been dating Micah for ten months and now is on her way to a big family gathering at his grandparents house for Christmas week. He surprises her with a marriage proposal in front of grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and cousins almost as soon as they enter the house. She says "no". Could anything be more embarrassing? But to her surprise the whole family envelopes her with hugs and love. She's ready to leave but is talked into staying by Grandma Dodie. She grew up in a very dysfunctional family and this family is amazing to her. Surely no family can possibly be this "perfect"! What happens during that week, including a blizzard, will bring tears to your eyes but also joy to your heart.
BeverlyLytle More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderfully painted portrait of God’s love shining here on earth. You will enjoy a cottage, warm fires, snow, family, tradition, acceptance, love, hope, healing, and so much more. The characters were well developed and their complexity added to the story’s interest. I especially loved the healing that dealing with past regrets brought to characters. The traditions that radiated through the family generations were another favorite of mine. I am sure you will find comfort and joy within the pages of Ms Ruchti’s writing. A truly heart-warming, enjoyable Christmas book!
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
In An Endless Christmas, you'll slip into frosty Wisconsin and get snowed in with the Binders and their extended family. Their grandson is proposing to his girlfriend, but it isn't going as hoped or expected. Still the family embraces her in what could be an Endless Christmas as they get snowed in. It's a sweet story with Cynthia's trademark promise of hope and healing all wrapped inside the warmth of a winter cabin filled with love and laughter. Will it be enough to salvage this relationship? You'll have to read to find out :-)
Fitzysmom More than 1 year ago
Cynthia Ruchti has taken all of those wonderful elements from some of our favorite family Christmas stories and captured them in the pages of this wonderful book. The Binder family is large and loud and on top of each other in their grandparents' cottage. And they would have it no other way. But to poor Katie it is just a bit overwhelming. She's never experienced such dynamics and isn't quite sure what to make of everyone. To Micah this is normal. Why wouldn't you ask a very personal question in front of every single family member imaginable? Katie's answer isn't what he or the rest of the family expects but it's Christmas and there are time honored traditions in this family that must be carried out regardless. This story brought out all the emotions for me. I laughed so hard at some of the lunacy that went on in this tale. Can I just say too many people and too few bathrooms? Then quite unexpectedly I found myself sobbing . . . yes sobbing, over a scene so gut wrenching and poignant. I'm not going to tell you what happened because it would ruin the book, but I will say that it is a true picture of family. (Want to hear something really silly? I'm tearing up about it as I write this.) If you are blessed to be part of a family this book is going to tug at your heartstrings. Life can be messy, but it can also be beautiful. Experience both in this beautiful story of a flawed family made perfect through their love of each other and their trust in Christ. I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
LeAnneK More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a sweet, darling escape from the craziness of the holidays by way of curling up with a book for a few hours, you definitely want to grab a copy of An Endless Christmas! I just read it this week as I traveled out of town for Thanksgiving. It is a delightful read, and I cannot recommend it enough; if I could recommend anything, it would be for author Cynthia Ruchti to continue to write about the Binder family. The novella is a tale of Katie heading to Minnesota with her boyfriend Micah, where she will be meeting--and staying in a small house with--his entire extended family as they celebrate Christmas. The story immediately takes off as Micah proposes to Katie in front of everyone and she says no. It's an extremely interesting way to begin a tale, and helps add depth and interest right away as you are drawn into the storyline. While the novella could be considered a "quick read", the characters are very well developed and the way the wedding proposal storyline weaves between several other storylines is wonderful. Ultimately, it's a great journey of watching Katie pull back the layers to see that the Binders' perfect lives aren't really perfect or easy at all. Yet, because the Binders put faith and family at the forefront, she gains a better understanding of trusting in God alone and discovering what His plan is for her life. *I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.*
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
Christmas with the Binder family is what most families dream of. The family and extended family members all gather at their grandparents' cottage for a week of celebration. Living quarters are cramped and tempers "could" flare, but there is so much love shared amongst these characters that cramped quarters and chaos are the norm, and laughter abounds. I loved this story of a Binder family Christmas. Love and respect are highlights throughout this warm and cozy novella. This is not to say the story reveals the perfect family, but the caring, love and forgiveness expressed are so refreshing. This family owns its share of troubles as any family does, but how they deal with these issues is inspiring. Katie finds that not all families are broken and dysfunctional. A journey from her childhood of brokenness, heartbreak and loneliness to eye-opening awe as the Binder family embraces her is a healing balm. Their love and respect surround her in the hope for new beginnings. Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
WishEnd More than 1 year ago
AN ENDLESS CHRISTMAS was full of the spirit of the holiday, family, a roller-coaster of emotion, love, forgiveness, inspirational moments, and a very sweet romance. With a beautiful story inside and beautiful hardcover binding on the outside, this would make a fabulous gift or book to be read each year around Christmastime. Perfect for inspirational romance readers. The reasons why Katie was determined that she wasn't the right woman for Micah didn't feel strong enough initially. However, as the story progressed it was easy to see how Katie's life, especially growing up with the parents and family situation that she did, influenced how she saw herself, particularly her value and what the future would hold for her. I loved Micah's friendship and love for her and that of his family. The teasing. The acceptance. The overwhelming and unconditional love. The protecting and caring. The inviting and comforting. The characters of this family were all fabulous, but of course Micah and Katie and then Dodie and Wilson were the most memorable. The story was paced wonderfully with plenty of Christmas traditions and spirit. Katie's struggles and the romance between her and Micah drove the story on as well as some surprises the family faces. The were so many tender moments. The ending was heartwarming and perfect for this story. This was one that I would definitely read again. Content: Clean Source: I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Litfuse Publicity, which did not affect my review in any way.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
Thrilled! I absolutely could not get enough of this story, and would love to read more, there are so many more stories there, in the awesome Binder family. I truly hope Cynthia Ruchti, considers making a holiday series with this family. The setting, the story it was all very well written and I enjoyed it. I love a good book that makes me cry, and I did cry while reading this book several times. I loved the family, and while yes they may have seemed too good to be true, it is amazing what a God-centered life and parents will do for a family unit. A strong faith message and an important message about disconnecting with electronic toys are vital parts of this story. Can't wait, hoping for more next year! 5 stars from this reviewer. This book was provided for review purposes only, no payment was received for this review.
ramagnes More than 1 year ago
Reading Cynthia Ruchti’s fiction is like playing Clue - looking for the threads and psychological hints that intertwine characters and lead to unanticipated outcomes. Her fiction is an invitation to explore the settings that shape her characters. https://www.pinterest.com/cynthiaruchti/an-endless-christmas/ In An Endless Christmas a brisk holiday in Stillwater, MN, is warmed by the intergenerational family life and traditions that are disappearing from our frenetic society. Micah’s faithful, predictable family is contraposed with the damaged fabric of Katie’s legacy. Katie wistfully hopes that “...real families could weather storms and keep loving..." Key to Katie’s healing is the Binder family blessing, the same enduring love that hems the Christmas story. As expressed by Grandpa Wilson the blessing is grounded in the faith and hope of a heavenly endless Christmas. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who call'd me here below, Will be forever mine. John Newton Litfuse Publicity Group and Worthy Publishing sent me a copy of Cynthia Ruchti’s An Endless Christmas in exchange for an honest review.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Once you finish reading An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti, you will undoubtedly want a family like the Binders. As the family gathers at the cottage of Dodie and Wilson Binder in the woods just north of Stillwater, something of a family tradition, Micah and Katie prepare for her first visit on meeting the family and of course the parents. They have been dating for almost 10 months and while things have been going great, Katie knows no matter how perfect Micah is, he won't want anything to do with her once she reveals what she has been hiding. What she didn't expect was for him to propose just moments after they arrived at the cottage. They just didn't expect her answer to the question. Of course, she said, "No." She expected reactions she didn't get and while the woman rallied around her, the men attempted to figure out why she had said no and to hopefully figure out a plan to keep things going between the two. Perhaps she simply needed more time. Perhaps being under the pressure of being in a home filled to the brim with family members she was just seeing and meeting at the same time. No one wanted to think it wasn't because she didn't love Micah. The truth was she truly did, but now all Katie wanted to do was make plans to escape this place before Christmas arrived. Yet no matter how much she tried to pull away, the families closeness, genuine love and peace kept her from making any immediate plans. She found herself trying to come up with legitimate excuses of why she shouldn't just rush on out the door. Being a nurse practitioner gave her much needed insight that most people missed and one thing was certain, despite all appearances, Micah's grandfather didn't look well at all. What it was she wasn't certain, but perhaps she might be needed after all and it wasn't for finding time to explain things with Micah even though she needed to do that. What she would find in the course of the time she spent with the Binders is that they truly were a family that wasn't afraid of honesty or for showing one another how they truly felt. She might just get more than a miracle this Christmas. I received An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti compliments of Worthy Inspired and Litfuse Publicity for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation, aside from a free copy of this book, in exchange for my honest opinion. This is truly a beautifully inspired Christmas book that will not only get you in the mood for Christmas but quite likely change how you view the Christmas season. Life is filled with fleeting moments and no tomorrow is ever a guarantee. This story helps you to appreciate each day as if it were an endless Christmas. For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars and has found a permanent home in my personal library!
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I adored An Endless Christmas! It’s a Hallmark movie kind of story and a perfect read for the holiday season! Cynthia Ruchti masterfully crafts characters who readers love spending time with and the Binder family is no exception. I reveled in their camaraderie and Christmas traditions and was inspired by the spiritual messages of their story. I laughed, I cried, and I loved every minute of An Endless Christmas! This is one Christmas story you don’t want to miss! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All thoughts expressed are my own.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Cynthia Ruchti in her new book, “An Endless Christmas” published by Worthy Publishing introduces us to Micah and Katie. From the back cover: Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last. This year, their only grandson, Micah, asks his girlfriend, Katie, to marry him–in front of the whole Binder family. But things go terribly wrong when she says no. Now Katie is stuck. Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster. But sometimes too much is just enough. Especially when it’s Christmas. Will Katie let herself love and be loved before it is too late? Tradition. Every year for Christmas the Binder Family gets together and this year Micah plans to propose to Katie and dies. Katie says “no”. This did not go as planned but the both of them are stuck there. But Christmas is more than just a big, wonderful, meal or opening presents. The reason for the holiday is Jesus and when you have a whole family that knows Jesus and you have nowhere to go Katie hears a new message and receives healing for some of her past hurts. There is a lot going on in this very short book and this family is just incredible. This book will keep you reading as fast as you can to find out what will happen next. You won’t be disappointed I assure you. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Worthy Publishing for this review. 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.”
Baranski1987 More than 1 year ago
Wow Cynthia Ruchti has done it yet again! She has written a book that is a masterpiece. A delightful story about an uncomfortable situation. This is a book that is bound to help you get in the mood for Christmas. A place in the middle of nowhere, lots of snow and a whole lot of family. What a most wonderful way to spend a few hours reading. Be sure to get your copy of An Endless Christmas today! 5 stars!
LitWinner More than 1 year ago
I generally like novellas, especially with a Christmas theme, mostly because it’s an easy way to relax and a fast read. It’s a treat to curl up to one with a hot cup of coffee, a blanket and a sleepy cat, and when I can finish it quickly, I feel accomplished. An Endless Christmas is no different. It did take me a bit to get into this book because honestly, Katie annoyed me. Everybody’s family has dysfunction in it, which I’m personally reminded even more of at this time of year (drama!). When you have as many people as the Binders do, I’m sure there is at least one or two stories of dark times or conflict. We do eventually read of one from the unlikeliest source in Micah’s family. However, the way everybody worked together and made great efforts to just be there and fully present was very inspiring. I hope to one day have a family like the Binders, where even the teens are happy to spend time with their grandparents in an overly-full house with 15 minute bathroom slots. I was glad to read this well before Christmas so I had a chance to absorb the message I got from the book. It may not be the one the author intended but it’s still a positive one – that we all have reason to forgive and be forgiven, no matter what our lives look like now. And when we have forgiven, we need to move on and live in the joy of life. If you’re looking for heart-warming, yet realistic, holiday story, check out An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti. It’s a wonderful way to take a breather during this busy season. I received this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
mackenzie_carol More than 1 year ago
An Endless Christmas is a Christmas novella by Cynthia Ruchti, and is the first book by her, to date, that I have ever read. Although I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect going in—since I had never read any of her novels, or very many Christmas novellas for that matter—I had heard wonderful things about both An Endless Christmas and Cynthia’s writing. Clearly I was a little excited for this novella, partly because it does sound wonderful and all, and I have to tell you that I wasn’t disappointed. This was the sweetest, most touching Christmas novella I have ever read. That may not mean much since I haven’t read that many to begin with, but this really was such a great book. Katie and Micah were such a sweet couple. I would say the sweetest, but that title goes to Grandma Dodie and Grandpa Wilson, because they really deserve it. But I just love Katie, even with all of her hesitancy and belief that she wasn’t good enough for Micah, wasn’t what he really wanted. Maybe I love her as much as I do because of all that, as those fears make her so completely relatable to me. Although I’m not in that situation or anything, I can definitely see myself, when I am eventually proposed to a million years from now, feeling less than worthy—not good enough—for the wonderful man that God will send to me. So I really understand where Katie is coming from, especially considering all of her baggage. And Micah, Micah is THE BEST guy you could ever imagine. But let me let you in on a little secret: there really are guys out there like him. I’ve seen them, they’re just a little hard to find. Because the main qualities that make Micah so wonderful are his love for his family and Katie, and his constant understanding, selflessness, and faith, he becomes so easy to love, but he is pretty far from unrealistic, which makes him all that much better. And their relationship, despite the few bumps and bruises, is one of the cutest ones I have ever seen. But, like I said, the best relationship was between Dodie and Wilson. They are, by far, the absolute sweetest old married couple that has ever existed (forget the fact that they aren’t actually real). After being married for over half a century, Dodie and Wilson have the perfect, I’ve-been-with-you-far-longer-than-I-ever-was-alone, type of companionship, and it was so sweet to see how they are still so in love with each other even after all those years, and all those children and grandchildren. Dodie is so wise, experienced, and full of all kinds of knowledge, especially the exact kind that Katie needs. Dodie is just the absolute perfect matriarch of the large Binder family, and I wish she was my grandmother so that I could experience some of her must-be-wonderful hugs and learn from her wealth of wisdom. Honestly, I want Wilson for a grandparent as well. He is the epitome of the sweet old man, and I just LOVE his nightly traditions!!! I obviously can’t tell you what they are since I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but they are the sweetest things!! Can’t I have a grandpa just like him? (Just to let you know, I don’t have an actual grandfather who is present in my life, so I’m not stepping on any toes by saying that). I received a copy of this book from the Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review. (This review is from my blog, spreadinghisgrace.blogspot.com)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I so enjoyed this lovely work of fiction. If I'm going to make it to the last page of a book, it HAS to be well written as well as having an engaging plot. This book definitely has both! The characters are delightful and real, and the story has an immediate grab that pulls you in and keeps you involved til the end. Ms. Ruchti's use of demonstrative, loving individuals as the means of breaking barriers caused by one woman's dysfunctional upbringing invites readers to enter the true spirit of Christmas. This book would make a wonderful gift, especially at this time of year.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti is a cute Christmas romance novel. Katie Vale is going home with her boyfriend, Micah Binder for Christmas. As soon as they get through the door of his grandparent’s home, Micah proposes to Katie. Katie, who had received a text on the way to the home from the airport, says no. Now this could make for an awkward Christmas if it wasn’t the Binder family. Why does Katie not want to get married? Did the text she receive having something to do with her answer? I think Christmas with the Binder’s will be a life altering experience. I found An Endless Christmas to be a delightful story. It is a charming story with very likable characters. The Binder family is a large, loving family. I, personally, would go crazy with so many people in one house (and I would never consider a window seat a bed which is where Katie got to sleep). However, it is lovely to read about such a heartwarming, Christian family. I give An Endless Christmas 4 out of 5 stars. I received a complimentary copy of An Endless Christmas from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
4aussiegirl More than 1 year ago
An Endless Christmas By: Cynthia Ruchti The cover is so inviting. I love the light that is on in the cabin shinning on the fresh fallen snow. Snow on the pine trees—Wow it just glows of Christmas. I love Christmas time and what it means. This book is written so beautifully you feel as though you walked right into the story and along with the whole family hearing, tasting and enjoying the warmth of it all. There’s love, joy, sadness and all kind of lessons to learn along the way. Very important lessons to learn to help you not only grow close to God but the people you love. It’s almost like you feel their arms around you drawing you into their love and home. This is really a wonderful read for you to learn about God in a new and wonderful way and about what is first and foremost for family to come close to each other. This book brings out what a true family should be like and does together and what Christmas can be like and smell like with all the food and you can make yours be the same way Love is the most important to God. Merry Christmas everyone!!! This book is just beautiful and well worth you taking time to read it. I recommend this book highly!!! This book will be another Christmas book that I will read at the start of Christmas season from now on because it has the reminder of what Christmas should be like. I received this book free from Worthy Publishing for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review just and honest one. The opinions I have expressed are entirely my own and no one else’s. 5 Stars ISBN 978161955877
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is an enchanting Christmas story! I really loved all of the characters in this book. Katie and Micah take the center stage but it really felt more like an ensemble cast. The outlook on life and family is so heartwarming. The charming setting really added to the ambience set, and really put me in the mood for Christmas to come. Katie is thrust into the middle of this bringing along her emotional, family challenged, background and has no idea how to deal with it. As the story progresses insight is given from a number of the other characters as to how they reached the point they are at. Each of these looks into other people’s background shows how God can help people grow through their heartaches. It is truly an inspirational and encouraging story. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.
VillaSyl More than 1 year ago
Endless Christmas celebrates love, family, life, and what happens when people realize what is most important. A heartwarming story about family and love lost, found, and finally truly revealed at Christmas. I love cheesy Christmas stories and this story is much more than that. An Endless Christmas is the best of the best cozy Christmas stories, a tender love story with very real characters and plots and full of sweet surprises. Christmas takes a very different turn when the guests of honor break up instead of announcing their engagement. An emotional tale that encompass all the grace and tenderness that fans of Christmas stories love. Katie Vale agrees to spend Christmas with her boyfriend, Micah Binder, but when he surprises her with a proposal, she cannot agree to give him her hand. With no way to get out of spending the holiday with his family, who celebrate every Christmas like it is their last. Trapped with his family, they learn that love looks different than either imagined. Katie has an unforgettable time; will the redeeming love story of Christmas soften her heart? An Endless Christmas is the ideal holiday read to add to your collection. It is uplifting and full of hope. This would be a cozy book for the coming holiday season. I received a digital copy of this book from Worthy Publishing for my review.
LJShuck More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Cynthia Ruchti's An Endless Christmas! Everybody loves the Christmas season, right? Not Katie, who comes from a long history of dysfunctional family relationships. She goes home with Micah to meet his family and is thrown for quite a loop when he proposes in front of the entire clan. She said no. To her utter astonishment, Micah and his family continue to show her love; but she told him no, shouldn't they be angry with her? Read An Endless Christmas to find out how one family lives out the heart of the Christmas story, daily. "Because of our God's deep compassion, the dawn from heaven will break upon us, to give light to those who are sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide us on the path of peace."
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I did not want to put this book down because I wanted to know all the secrets of this house and family. Once she has to move to this house in the country she needs to know if she can find love or just the treasure of Pembroke Park. I loved Abigail and William. There are many twists and turns in this story. When you think you know one secret there turns up more. I received this book from book fun.org for a fair and honest opinion.
SSMiller More than 1 year ago
The story of Katie and Micah is a fun Christmas read I would recommend to anyone looking for a few hours of holiday fun. I especially love the relationship of Micah's family throughout the story and their faith which they bring to life in special ways. It makes you think of the important things in life which really matter.
RandomAmb More than 1 year ago
An Endless Christmas is a heartfelt holiday tale of faith, family, and love. One of my very favorite types of books, it’s a holiday novella focused on family during the Christmas season. This is the first book by Cynthia Ruchti that I’ve had the pleasure to read, and it was such a great experience! The characters are well developed and lovable, the story has a few unexpected twists, and the setting screams picturesque holiday. This book is by no means holiday fluff (though I do love such stories!), Ruchti weaves a bit of suspense and mystery into the story. The pace is perfect–which is tricky for some authors when it comes to novellas. You’ll finish this story longing to spend more time with the Binder (pronounced Bender) family, but also aching to hug your own! An Endless Christmas stresses the importance of family, forgiveness, and living in the moment. This is a must-read for the upcoming Christmas season, and it may well become a Christmas tradition in your holiday reading. Highly recommended for fans of Christian fiction, holiday novellas, and inspirational fiction. I received this book in exchange for an honest review.