The Gathering Table by Kathryn Springer ~ Book Excerpt

September 25, 2021


About the Book

Book: The Gathering Table
Author: Kathryn Springer
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Publisher: Love Inspired
Release Date: September 28, 2021

“A feast of small-town charm and characters who feel like dear friends.” —Liz Johnson, bestselling author of The Red Door Inn

USA TODAY bestselling author Kathryn Springer comes a tale of starting over when life takes an unexpected turn.

Winsome Lake, Wisconsin, is postcard-pretty, but for chef Jessica Keaton it’s also a last resort. Fired from her dream job, Jess is starting over as a live-in cook and housekeeper. When she arrives, she finds her new employer is in rehab after having a stroke, and Jess expects she’ll be all alone in Elaine Haviland’s quaint house. A chef with no one to cook for.

But instead, she encounters a constant stream of colorful visitors who draw her back into the world. As Jess contends with local teenagers, a group of scrappy women and a charming football coach, Elaine faces some battles of her own that extend past her physical challenges. For both of them, all the ingredients for a fulfilling life are within reach, if they’re willing to take a leap. And maybe Jess will start to see that it’s not just what’s on the table that matters—it’s the people gathered round it.

A must-read novel from Love Inspired: Stories to Uplift and Inspire.



She might have lost her reputation and her career and the keys to the Audi, but she’d worked too hard to let go of her name.

The fairy godmother exchanged a quick look with the others and then silently passed the verbal torch to the next one in line.

The two women appeared close in age, Jess guessed early-to midsixties, but a sleek helmet of copper hair accentuated every angle and plane of her companion’s exotic features. Spandex workout clothes did the same for her statuesque frame. When she extended a hand, Jess half expected her to strike a warrior pose.

“Nita.” The brisk catch and release matched the wom­an’s tone. “Elaine isn’t here. We think she might have had a relapse.”

Elaine. As in Elaine Haviland? The woman who’d offered Jess a place to live and a steady paycheck?

“I just spoke with Ms. Haviland a few days ago.” Jess strug­gled to make sense of the words. “What do you mean…a relapse?”

“From the stroke, I imagine.” The third member of the mismatched trio joined the conversation. In khaki cargo shorts and an oversize T-shirt with an equally oversize photo of a French bulldog silkscreened on the front, she was still the most ordinary-looking one in the bunch.

“We don’t know any details. My cousin’s best friend’s aunt is a patient at the rehab center and she told me that what­ever happened caused quite a stir in the wing.” The woman’s voice picked up steam as she rolled on. “I called a few hours ago, but Vanessa, she’s the social worker, was in a meeting and the receptionist wouldn’t tell me a thing. Those Hippo laws, you know. Pain in the neck if you ask me.”

Jess might have laughed if the diet soda and energy bar she’d eaten for breakfast hadn’t started burning holes through the lining of her stomach.

About the Author

Kathryn Springer grew up in a small town in Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent many hours sitting at her mother’s typewriter, plunking out stories, and credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books – which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own.

After a number of busy years, when she married her college sweetheart and became a stay-at-home mom, Kathryn rediscovered her love for writing. An unexpected snow day from school became the inspiration for a short story, which she submitted to Brio magazine. She went on to publish over a dozen more short stories for Brio, but it wasn’t until her youngest child started school that she decided to pursue her dream to write a book. In August 2004, her Love Inspired® debut novel, Tested by Fire, was published.

Fast forward to today and Kathryn has written over thirty novels. She lives on a lake in northern Wisconsin where she enjoys long walks in the woods and the change of seasons (although sometimes she wishes the "change" between winter and spring didn't last quite so long!) When she isn’t at the computer, you’ll find her spending time with family and friends, paging through cooking magazines or sitting in the sun. A really, really good day includes all three! If you want to know more, follow her blog Table Grace. . .thoughts and musings on living a life with nothing artificial added. 

1 comment

  1. This sounds like the book I absolutely need for this fall! Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours