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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The B&B Media Group's blog tour stop for Cherished by Kim Cash Tate, plus a bonus review!

Why is forgiving ourselves so hard?
Kim Cash Tate shows how God cherishes us and provides our hearts’ desires.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.  Kim Cash Tate explores Psalm 103:12 as she takes her readers down the path to God’s forgiveness and reconciliation in her newest novel, Cherished.  Readers will discover that God can still use them in spite of their worst choices.  And He doesn’t just forgive them, but they are truly cherished!

Tate’s story will show her readers how God can bring beauty from ashes.  She has a unique way of weaving her characters’ lives together, leading back to one great point—God’s tremendous mercy and grace.  In the words of one of her characters, “I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I felt like it would take a while to work my way back into God’s good graces, but it was like…”—she flung wide her arms—“…He just embraced me.”  We too can be embraced by the same great love when we learn that true forgiveness for ALL of our sins is right before us. 

Growing up in Saint Louis, Kelli London 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 to become a full time Christian rapper. 

In her interviews, Tate discusses topics such as:

·         Learning to forgive ourselves
·         Choosing to forgive others and allowing God to change them
·         Following the dreams God has for us
·         Surrounding ourselves with Christian friends who will pray for and encourage us
·         Understanding God’s unchanging love

Tate was a speaker for Women of Faith in both 2010 and 2011.  She appeared as the cover girl for the May issue of Empowering Everyday Women and will be featured in the September edition of Significant Living.  A song based on Cherished will be featured on the newest album for Da’ T.R.U.T.H., a Christian wrapper.  Tate is also the founder of Colored in Christ Ministries.  Her appeal as a Bible teacher and a “big sister” in ministry, as well as her messages of hope, is what attracts discerning fiction lovers worldwide. 

Tate’s characters bring a reflection of our own poor choices.  Readers walk away knowing that despite their worst mistakes, they are cherished by their Creator.  “The enemy will try to make you feel guilty about your past, and he’ll use your own thoughts or he’ll use other people.  But if you know who you are, he won’t succeed,” says Tate.

Cherished by Kim Cash Tate

Thomas Nelson/September 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59554-855-9/336 pages/paperback/$15.99

My review:

I have a lot of thoughts about this book. Mostly good. First of all, it made me cry a few times. Yeah, like the tears rolling down your cheeks kind. I get a bit misty eyed sometimes when I read, but not usually real tears. I have never suffered like Kelli had, but there was just something about her grief and healing that was very inspirational. I loved how the characters all focused so much on prayer and seeking God's will for their lives... even for the seemingly minor stuff. We should all be like that. Sadly, we aren't. It made me think of "The Cosby Show" from the 80s and how it was criticized by some as being unrealistic. The way I saw the show was the it introduced to viewers how families could communicate and act. Not that families did that, but it was an inspirational example to me when I was a teen.

But life tends to be more like the "Roseanne" show from the 80s. Kids are snarky and disobedient and the communication is anything but positive. I couldn't stand to watch that show when I was a teen because everyone was so disrespectful. So the author did a Cosby spin on what could have played out like a Roseanne show. People could have been more hateful, rude and ugly. They could have wanted to make the other person suffer to the extreme. But how do you show healing that way? So technically some things wrapped up in a fairly tidy fashion...probably tidier than they would in real life. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be inspirational in that it shows how people can support each other, pray for each other, forgive each other, etc. Yes, there were imperfect characters and realistic scenarios, but healing was the emphasis in this novel. I couldn't help admiring that.

I found the romantic aspects of the novel quite good. I loved how realistic Heather's emotions were and how her transformation was truly a miracle. If Heather had been real, I'm not thinking things would have played out quite as nicely. She became kind of child-like in her innocence, but then again, she was "born again" and that is supposed to give us all a fresh start. In real life the baggage tends to sneak back and hang on more than it did in Heather's life, but I still admired her. I hope there is a third book starring Heather. And I adored Logan. I want to see how her life plays out in a third book. Please?

The message regarding Kelli and Miles was good. Faith is important in any relationship. Do you really want to be praying for the man you love for years hoping he will go to church with you and find God? If you love Jesus, is loving Him and hoping the man you love will change when that man doesn't love Him, too? I also loved the realism with the guy Ace. There are some wolves in sheep's clothing out there (ironically I have a book with this title myself) and that was how I saw Ace, the drummer. Sadly, many women who are band chasers give them what they shouldn't, and this just perpetuates the sin.

It's hard to say more without posting any spoilers. I loved the men in this book. How I wish all men were the same way. But one can dream, right? Thankfully I have a great husband myself. If nothing else it shows single Christian women what a man can be like and to aim higher than just accepted love on a surface level.

Last, the coolest message in this book was the one about taking risks. If we keep our pain to ourselves, there is no healing. If we keep our healing to ourselves, then we can't help others to heal. The message is clearly that God wants us to humble ourselves so He can use us, even our mistakes and bad choices, to help others know Him more. That's my review and I'm sticking to it. All in all, a great book!

Cherished  was published by Thomas Nelson and released in August 2011. A copy of this book was provided to me for the tour (to review and give my honest opinion) by The B&B Media Group. The opinion expressed above is my own.  I think this book is a perfect choice for the "Women of Faith" fiction list due to it's strong inspirational message. Plus, the title fits the book perfectly. 

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