Monday, October 10, 2016

The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne + Giveaway


"When things got bad or she got hurt, Cassie would catch her bottom lip between her teeth and squeeze hard enough to feel the pain. Doing that kept her from crying.  Quiet was her best choice. She'd figured that out a long time ago." (102)


Title:  The First Gift
Author:  Ruth Logan Herne
Publisher:  Franciscan Media
Release Date:  September 23, 2016
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction


Bringing to mind classics like Catherine Marshall’s Christy, society’s standards are put to the test and a Northern Appalachian town comes together to save a neglected child in Ruth Logan Herne’s new romance, The First Gift.

This poignant novel tells the story of five-year-old Cassie Carruthers, who lives in a bug-infested shack in the hills of Western New York’s Southern Tier. Her mother has died and Cassie spends her days fending for herself while her alcoholic father drinks himself into a stupor. But Cassie’s isolation has not gone unnoticed in the tight-knit community of Phillipsburg. When a concerned neighbor alerts the county, the community sets a plan in motion to rescue the neglected little girl. Through fundraising efforts, Cassie is tucked into the kindergarten classroom of independent, beautiful Kerry McHenry. Kerry has her work cut out for her in dealing with Cassie’s depressed father, but despite the child’s loveless start in life, she soon reveals herself to be an intelligent, eager student. Moreover, she possesses a resourcefulness that has saved her life more than once—and will be called upon again. Kerry McHenry is nobody’s fool. She sees her own tough upbringing in Cassie’s dire situation, so she works tirelessly to guide the young girl, trying to help her become everything that God wants her to be. At the same time, she finds herself torn between a commitment-phobic pediatric oncologist from a nearby town and Phillipsburg’s widowed deputy sheriff, a complicated man who is still angry with God. As the stakes grow ever higher and the characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways, each will face a true test of faith—and come face to face with indisputable evidence of God’s love.


Cassie is five. She's a smart little five-year-old, but what she goes through knocks hard into your heart. It makes you want to grab her and hug her and just make things right for her. The First Gift by Ruth Logan Herne tells of a story in a poor and rural area, where life for adults, let alone little ones can be quite difficult. As the caring community comes together to rally for this one little girl, we readers see the light a single gift of love can give to a girl, and to themselves.

I was rendered speechless as I close the last page of The First Gift. It tugged so hard the many heartstrings my role as a reader, a Christian, a wife, and a female, not to mention the natural motherly instincts, I couldn't help but be drawn to it. The author has done a marvelous job showing the contradiction between society's rules and the very basic human decency. With faith, we come together to let God be our guide. Many times through the story, I couldn't help it but yell out or hold back tears. Despite the deep emotional pull of The First Gift, we also have a little romance (more like a triangle) and some fun characters that showed us a little of the author's humor. (The quote below about us women totally cracked me up!) Kerry's focus lies with Cassie most of the time, yet her relationships with Ryan and Jack brings out a realistic element of romance that isn't just about kisses, going out to eat, or just the two people involved. I appreciated this aspect of the storyline, adding in the familial facet to it.

In all, the poignancy of The First Gift, along with the message of love in God's timing, makes for a touching story. I had a hard time leaving The First Gift.  I don't think my review gives it enough praise as it deserves. Filled with multiple message and themes, it needs to be discussed and shared. It will make a great book for book clubs and shared amongst friends.  I hope you'll enjoy this one as much as I do.

"Pray for it...Pray for the insight, the ability to believe. Pray for his guidance, his eternal love. Faith will come when you turn yourself over to Christ fully.  But I can't promise there won't be doubts...Life isn't easy. Doubts come. They're part of the package." (161)

For one of my readers, I'm gifting you a copy of The First Gift through the giveaway below. I truly hope you'll be able to read this and share it with someone else or with your local library, church library or book club. Happy reading!



Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.


TO PURCHASE A COPY

   




Ruth Logan Herne has more than a million books in print, including eighteen Love Inspired contemporary novels and Back in the Saddle, Book 1 in the Double S Ranch series. Ruth is a founding member of Seekerville, a popular writing collective blog. A country girl who loves the big city, Ruth and her husband live on a farm in upstate New York.

CONNECT WITH RUTHY:  website,  facebook,  twitter,  pinterest





                                                                                                                                                                      


33 comments :

  1. I love reading stories with kids! I think kids, pets, and elderly characters make stories more authentic and often more entertaining! AND of course, I love Ruthy's stories!

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  2. A gift that means the most is one that comes from the heart. One of my most treasured gifts is a sticky note that one of my children drew a picture on and gave to me. I use it as a bookmark.

    I've read Back in the Saddle and thought it was very good. Thanks for the chance to win!

    Staci

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  3. What a fabulous review! I'd love to win your copy and share it. Thanks for the chance.

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  4. This sounds like a gritty but great story!! But then all of Ruthy's stories are great! Thanks for the review!
    Cheers,
    Sue

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  5. The gift that I received that really meant a lot to me was the Christmas when my parents gave me a strand of pearls and pearl earrings. It meant a lot because my Mom loved pearls and it meant a lot to her that I had my own pearl jewelry.

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  6. Beth! Everything you said was right on mark!

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  7. Staci, kids gifts from the heart are such treasures! Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Mary, thanks for stopping by! You'll love this, actually any of Ruthy's are great!

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  9. Hi Sue! Yes, definitely! Ruthy's stories are all fabulous! This one just kicks you and makes you see!

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  10. Dianne! Thanks for stopping by! How precious! I know how you feel. One of my most treasured gift was my mom's graduation gift for me. It was my first real piece of jewelry - a silver ring.

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  11. The most precious gift I received was my daughter. Miscarriages before and after. She is an only child. As for things...I would say the gift of a camera changed my view of the world. No pun intended. It opened up a creative side of me that I did not know existed. I can't get out and take pictures like I used too but it was an important time in my life. I like reading books with children in them, as long as they are not whiny brats that do not learn how to behave. I can't remember the book, but there was this spoiled little rich kid that got on my nerves! The only reason I kept reading was the hope that he would change, he didn't.

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  12. I got my grandmothers engagement ring after she passed but it was missing the diamond. I discovered my original engagement ring diamond fit perfectly! It was meant to be. Now my daughter is wearing it.

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  13. Probably my most favorite gift was on my 50th birthday my daughter surprised me with the gift of becoming a grandmother. And now 16 years later today we celebrate that gift's birthday.
    Thank you for sharing.

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  14. Andrea. Thank you for sharing this. I do believe kids are the greatest gift in a parent's life. I understand completely.

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  15. This looks like a wonderful story. I love the cover of the book, too. Yes, I have received wonderful lots of gifts that have special meaning. One of the gifts is a teddy bear that my husband gave me years ago. I still sleep with that bear and I am 56 years old. :-)

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  16. Gail, that is one beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. I've always love the idea of heirlooms, being passed down and to be repurposed for the family. How special!

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  17. ANNE, Happy Birthday to your gift! *wink wink.

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  18. MELISSA, I LOVE this cover too! Perfect timing! I love that you still have that teddy bear!! Thanks for dropping by!

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  19. i love stories with children in them. My favorite gift is an Amish doll I just one thru Celebrate Lit.

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  20. Oh, Annie, what a wonderful review!!! Thank you so much, and I'm so glad you loved Cassie's story... and Kerry's story, interwoven kind of like life should be, right? I am so thrilled that Franciscan gave me a chance to get this story out there... and I love how it came out....

    Bless you for taking the time to do this, and I'm going to go retweet it right now.... and then again for the next few weeks, LOL! I'd love this story to land in as many hands as possible because every little kid deserves someone who just plain loves them!

    Ruthy

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  21. Melissa, I love the thought of you and the teddy bear!!!!!

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  22. RUTHY! Well said! Yes, EVERY kid deserves someone who loves them!! YES!

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  23. I have three special christmas ornaments given to me by 3 sweet little girls that I taught in Sunday school over the years. I always think of them when I see the ornaments on our christmas tree.
    marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com
    Merry

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  24. One of my special gifts is a Christmas cd given to me by my sister that passed away in April of this year. I love stories with kids in them. I love kids and have worked with them at two different day cares. Thanks for this giveaway. d[dot]brookmyer[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  25. I enjoy stories that feature children. Kids can get away with such funny stuff that adults just can't pull off!
    This book sounds really good, but I also think I might be ugly-face-crying through most of it.

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  26. I love reading about kids, especially when the book is narrated by a child. They are just so innocent, and funny without meaning to be.

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  27. My husband gave me a tiny flower ring before we were married. I knew he had to save up for it, and it meant so much to me.
    Dianna

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  28. Gift - probably would be my engagement ring received as Christmas gift! Always enjoy Ruth's books and this sounds very compelling!

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  29. I love stories that feature kids! I hope to be a mom one day :)

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  30. I love books with children! They make it extra special!

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  31. Yes I love stories with kids they usually make it fun and very interesting Thanks for sharing this book with us it looks great

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  32. Gifts that well thought out and given with love are priceless treasures. I enjoy stories with children. Children bring life and fun to the story.

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  33. I enjoy books and movies with children, as they are so delightful.

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