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Wednesday, October 25, 2023

About the Book

Book: Rumors and Promises

Author: Kathleen Rouser

Genre: Christian Historical Romance

Release Date: October 10, 2023

She’s an heiress hiding a tumultuous past. He’s a reverend desperate to atone for his failures.

Abandoned by her family, Sophie Biddle has been on the run with a child in tow. At last, she’s found a safe life in Stone Creek, Michigan, teaching piano. But when a kind, yet meddling and handsome, minister walks into her life seeking to help, Sophie is caught off guard and wary. When her secrets threaten to be exposed, will be she able to trust the reverend, and more importantly, God?

After failing his former flock, Reverend Ian McCormick is determined to start anew in Stone Creek, and he’s been working harder than ever to forget his mistakes and prove himself to his new congregation—and to God. But when he meets a young woman seeking acceptance and respect, despite the rumors swirling about her sordid past, Ian finds himself pulled in two directions. If he shows concern for Sophie’s plight, he could risk everything—including his position as pastor of Stone Creek Community Church.

Will the scandals of their pasts bind them together or drive them apart forever?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Kathleen Rouser is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical and contemporary Christian romanceShe is a longtime member of American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Faith, Hope and Love Christian Writers. She resides in southeast Michigan, a location which she often uses in her novels, with her hero and husband of forty-some years and two sweet cats who found a home in their empty nest.

More from Kathleen

My inspiration for Rumors and Promises came from the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and her encounter with Jesus. At the time, back in 2002, publishers weren’t looking for Biblical fiction. Instead, I felt the Lord put on my heart a story about a young woman who had to pretend her two-year-old daughter was her sister as she left behind dire circumstances at home. That was inspired by a story my mom told me about a girl she grew up who had a son out of wedlock and her parents raised him as her brother.

Since the town minister would have the most to lose if he became acquainted with her, kind-hearted Reverend Ian McCormick became the hero of the story. That’s where the comparison stops since a man with his own past failures can’t compare with our perfect Jesus. But like the woman at the well Sophie Bidershem is marginalized because of the suspicions of other less gracious individuals in the town of Stone Creek and must find her forgiveness from Jesus. And so does Ian, before they can find their happily ever after. My desire is for my readers to relate to their real-life struggles and the hope they find in Christ.

It was fascinating to see how the Lord provided for me as I researched the plight of the unwed mother at the turn of the century. I discovered that the Florence Crittenton Mission home for such mothers existed in Detroit in 1901, so that became part of the story. I even found the name of the superintendent at the time, nurse Mary Hartwell. Isn’t that the perfect name for someone who is working with young women in need?

Stone Creek is a fictional town loosely based on historic Brighton, Michigan where I live. Before 1900 it was called Ore Creek. It’s fun to include little details like the millpond or the Pink Hotel, but for the most part the small town of Stone Creek is a figment of my imagination. I hope you’ll feel as much at home there as I do.


Sophie intrigued me right away because I just knew she was keeping a huge secret. Traveling alone with a child is a big red flag for me. I kinda figured out a little about the child but I knew there was more to the story. I admired Sophie for taking a job that didn’t pay much but she worked hard and was appreciative for the  people in the town who welcomed her. 

The early 1900s were hard for everyone ,but as a young woman alone raising a child it was more difficult. Of course the town had their gossip group who loved to be judgmental instead of being filled with grace and reach out to her. Sophie will have to learn to trust God and remember that He  loves her as trials come her way. 

One of Sophie’s secrets is a sensitive subject that may trigger some readers. It has become impossible for Sophie to feel completely safe until her past is exposed and she receives God’s healing. Her self esteem at times is very low and therefore her trust is almost non existent. Perhaps the Reverend McCormick can help her. 

I did like Ian right away and thought his character was humble, kind and filled with grace. He does try to get to know Sophie better, but there is a barrier that Sophie has put up. As Sophie decides to play the piano at church, she starts to let her heart open up very slowly. Ian is very encouraging and genuinely wants to help her overcome whatever is bothering  her. He has such a pastor’s  heart and you can feel his gentle spirit. I really liked this character and how he makes everyone feel loved and accepted. 

When Gertrude made her entrance into the story, I was displeased . She is a mean spirited judgmental and unhappy woman. Why does it bother her so much that Sophie is now playing the piano at church? Her harsh words of Sophie “parading around in an evening gown at church and their questionable upbringing,” made  me instantly remember how God loved even  the lost or those who had sinned. 

I loved how the author illustrates redemption and reminds us that we all have a past. The good news is that God  forgives us and we have been set free. I loved getting  to watch Sophie mature  in her faith and begin to feel confident in herself. 

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

Locks, Hooks and Books, October 23

lakesidelivingsite, October 24

Texas Book-aholic, October 25

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 26

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 27

Artistic Nobody, October 28 (Author Interview)

Mornings at Character cafe, October 28

For Him and My Family, October 29

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 30

Guild Master, October 31 (Author Interview)

Exploring the Written Word, October 31

Holly’s Book Corner, November 1

Pause for Tales, November 2

Cover Lover Book ReviewNovember 3

Connie’s History Classroom, November 4

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, November 5 (Author Interview)


To celebrate her tour, Kathleen is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


  1. Thank you so much, Deana, for taking the time to write such a beautiful and thoughtful review of Rumors and Promises and also for hosting my book and me on your fun blog.

  2. What are you still hoping to accomplish?

  3. I enjoy redemption stories, and this sounds like a wonderful one.

  4. This sounds like a lovely book with a beautiful cover.

  5. Seems like a good read