Summerfest at Christ the King Tomorrow, August 13!

Summerfest with Charley

If you haven’t tried it, why not take the plunge and come to Christ the King’s Summerfest? Enjoy the thrill of an old-time social event starting with a great sermon from Pastor Bob Holt at 10:30 a.m. Christ the King Church is located on 1550 W. Drahner Road in Oxford, MI.

So grab your lawn chairs and enjoy a day of swimming, boating, and barbecuing.  There will be plenty of delicious food to enjoy, as well as inflatables, mid-way games, cotton candy, slushies, and delicious Cook’s Dairy Ice Cream!

I will be there to sign my newest book Swept into Destiny.  I hope to see you there!

Summerfest is Tomorrow!

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Zelma and me at 2015 Summerfest

Enjoy an out-door social experience of listening to scripture by the lake, fellowship, and carnival fun tomorrow starting at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Bob Holt at Christ the King Church will be preaching on Abraham: “When You don’t Understand God’s Ways”.  I will be there signing my newest book, Swept into Destiny, for a discounted price, in addition, ten percent of  Swept into Destiny book purchases will be donated to Christ the King Church.

There will be baptisms in the lake lead by Pastor Bob and afterwards you can enjoy a leisurely swim, or fun with their paddle wheel boats. There will be lots of Bar-B-Q and delicious home cooking to enjoy afterwards.

There will be inflatables, KnockerBall, Mid-Way Games, cotton candy, slushies, a pie judging contest, delicious Cook’s Dairy Ice Cream and much more to enjoy!

If you are searching for a church home, why not take the plunge and come to Christ the King’s Summerfest. They are located on 1550 W. Drahner Rd in Oxford, MI. I hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 15th Leonard Strawberry Fest!

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Clear the streets—the Strawberry Festival is this Saturday! Parade is at noon, craft booths, delicious food, free rides for the children and don’t miss the thrill of the soapbox derby! Entertainment includes: country-western singer Lisa Mary and a Toby Keith impersonator, street dancing by the Haulin’ Ellis Band.

I will be there to sign my latest novel. Swept into Destiny which relates the story of Irish immigrant Ben McConnell and his encounter with the spunky Maggie Gatlan. The story opens in 1857 in Tennessee and carries us through the tumultuous years leading up to and through the Civil War.

Rick Barry, best selling author of The Methuselah Project, writes: Catherine Brakefield’s Swept into Destiny breathes new life into the years before and during the CivilCatherine Ulrich Brakefield with Swept

War, a time when unstoppable forces clashed and changed the United States forever. Some of Brakefield’s characters you’ll love; others you’ll hate for the scoundrels they are. But through it all you’ll hold your breath and hope the main characters can survive and find love despite turbulent events swirling around them.

See www.strawberryfest.net and www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com for more information.

“…Catherine has Captured the Determined Nature of the Irish…”

Booksigning:   June 24 at 1 to 5 p.m. at Discount Bible Book and Music Store, 26756 Dequindre Rd. in Warren, Michigan  

 “Catherine has captured the determined nature of the Irish, their perseverance amid extreme difficulties…” writes Cindy Ervin Huff, winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for Secrets and Charades. “Swept into Destiny is a wonderful historical romance that gives the reader a glimpse into the Irish immigrants in the Civil War.

Swept-Cover small“This well-researched story moves along like the splendor of Gone with the Wind. We experience life on the plantation, life as the poor Irish and life in a divided nation and the war devastation that changed the culture. Ben McConnell is a wonderful character who portrays the best of the Irish spirit and Maggie Gatlan the heart of Southern charity.

“The Irish song lyrics on the battlefield added to the creation of the brave warriors willing to sacrifice their lives for a new beginning in a new land.”

 

Rick Barry, best selling author of The Methuselah Project, writes, “Catherine Brakefield’s Swept into Destiny breathes new life into the years before and during the Civil War, a time when unstoppable forces clashed and changed the United States forever. Some of Brakefield’s characters you’ll love; others you’ll hate for the scoundrels they are. But through it all you’ll hold your breath and hope the main characters can survive and find love despite turbulent events swirling around them.”

Marcia (Mitchell) Lee, author of Surviving the Prodigal Years writes, “Catherine Brakefield has caught the heart and soul of the Civil War through the eyes of the South. She has diligently incorporated scripture in appropriate places to bring God’s love and guidance in turbulent times. Historically accurate, the action kept me turning pages from the onset and I loved the depth of emotion she has woven into each character.”

From CrossRiver Media’s Blog: “Her dedication to historical accuracy and faith in Christ are hallmarks of all her historical fiction, and this first book in Catherine’s Destiny series doesn’t disappoint. Swept into Destiny relates the story of Irish immigrant Ben McConnell and his encounter with the spunky Maggie Gatlan. The story opens in 1857 in Tennessee and carries us through the tumultuous years leading up to and through the Civil War.

“Catherine keeps us on the edge of our seat as she weaves the history of Irish immigrants, the Civil War, and the Gospel of Christ into an inspirational story of action, suspense, and romance. As you turn the pages, you’ll experience renewed faith and encouragement in your own walk with Christ.”

Follow Catherine on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield

Stay up on Catherine’s book signings, latest books and short stories by clicking on: www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com

www.crossrivermedia.com/portfolio/catherine-brakefield

Wilted Dandelions: Traveling into the Unknown

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Council Bluffs Western Historic Trails Center, Catherine and Christopher Blue.

In my previous article; First Footsteps of Western Expansion, I described the process I took creating my historical romance Wilted Dandelions. How I needed to know that every detail, every mile which Rachael and Jonathan traveled was as close to authentic as humanly possible for a writer of the 21st century. Little did my husband and I know what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to follow the route I described in Wilted Dandelions

My husband and I were at one of the Western Historical Trails Center, when an old newspaper clipping caught my attention. Harold of the Newport Times wrote back in 1846, “Might as well attempt to march an army to the moon as to march overland to Oregon.” That article was written ten years after Narcissa and Jonathan’s trip.

Everything went fine for my husband and me until we drove through a dust storm in Nebraska, then we lost our cell phone connection in Wyoming, and the red light on the dashboard of our car blinked, “low fuel”. There were no gas stations in sight!

If this wasn’t enough to get us worried just a little, what I thought was a lovely white puffy cloud turned out to be snow flurries that soon covered the steep mountain side. We could only pray that our little Ford fusion was capable of hugging the steep icy and snow-covered pavement. One slip would land us upon a rocky precipice and into the gaping abyss beneath us. I glanced down at our road map. The tiny black print I had missed earlier stood out like a neon light “Wyoming back way  may not be suitable for travel during inclement weather.” We safely made it to our destination. However; the experience is imprinted upon our minds forever. casper-wyoming-national-historical-trails

I admire the bravery of these first missionaries who left the comfort of their professions and homes to ‘march to the moon’, believing in God and their Savior, Jesus. These missionaries did not come for wealth or adventure. They sacrificed their lives in order to preach the Holy Bible and Christ’s salvation message to those who were ignorant of Satan’s abyss.

The publication of Wilted Dandelions and the book signings in Michigan, Missouri, and Kansas, brought another unexpected surprise to me that ignited my passions again. Rachael and Jonathan were no longer fictitious characters. They were as real as was their over 200-year-old story about the Second Great Awakening and our nation’s history.  A story about a woman seeking God’s plan for her life, yes a woman on a mission who met her destiny, in spite of difficulties, and learned through her experiences how God doesn’t create coincidences, He designs possibilities!  wilted-dandelions-with-awards-2

Note: I will be selling copies of Wilted Dandelions at the Local Author’s fair at the Warren Civic Center Library from 12 to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 7. I hope to see you!

Writing is a Business

Southern Writers - Suite T

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WRITING IS A BUSINESS

By Catherine Brakefield

A well-written book should inspire your imagination.

I shall never forget when I read about Helen Keller. I remember thinking, “I want to write so descriptively that a woman like Helen Keller who has never seen the sunset, heard the laughter of a child, or smelled the lusty scents of horses, will have no problem experiencing it through my words.”

I use descriptive scenes in my novels because I want my readers to be immersed into my settings, swept away into that time period, and to enjoy stepping into the role of my hero or heroine. This is so important to me that in my recent novel, Wilted Dandelions, I took a road trip out west just to make sure my scenes accurately depicted the landscape of my story.

But I often get too caught up in my characters and settings and forget that writing is a business. In “How Much Do you Know About your Target Audience,” author and writing coach Debra Butterfield writes “People read to meet a need in their life.” Butterfield does a great job in describing how the author must be very familiar with their target audience and how this steers their writing.

I steer my writing toward saved and unsaved women between mid-twenties to seventy years old. In the past, I wrote editorial articles for local newspapers and magazines. I have also written some history books, and I find that most of my readers are historically curious and romantically inspired by my novels. But men and young adults have expressed their appreciation for my novels as well.

Here comes the hard work. How do you get that great book of yours into your unknowing readers’ hands and into their hearts?

In Emma Siemasko’s article dated February 17, 2011, “15 Ways to Let the World Know About Your Awesome Business,” she says “When our founders started Grasshopper, they were intent on using natural and transparent ways to get the word out. Their goal was (and still is) to get people gabbing about what we do. If they’re happy with our product, they’ll tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on and so forth.”

Research shows that your time has become more valuable than money. I agree. Monetary pleasures will fall by the way side. Watching my parents I realized that the older we become, the more our memories become cherished commodities. Not that couch or bookcase you bought ten years ago. Ah, but your family, good songs and good books that memory remains with you…

That is why when your novel is complete, your real work begins. Fine tune the essence of your book into one sentence and be ready to stimulate your potential reader into the imagination of words. Once you get your book out there, the next step is, as Siemasko says, “To get people gabbing” about your book.

One of the best ways to get the word out about a product and about your book is through positive reviews. Siemasko says her research shows that an army of fans can out do anything a fancy PR firm can do for a favorite author. If you like a book you need to say so to your friends and social media. The best advertising is word of mouth.

Get your book in front of the right people. If you have written a children’s book, visit day cares, parent’s groups, elementary schools, and other places where your target market is likely to be. Faith-based historical romances often find their niche in libraries and women’s and church groups. Self-help and inspirational books do well with self-help church groups, YWCA groups, and adult educational groups.

Love, life, and the legacy of words, whether you expertise is intrigue, history, romance, insight, or inspiration, a thought provoking story should encourage, up-lift the heart, and carry the reader through their trials, providing biblical wisdom for life’s decisions.

Writing is a business, and no one can sell your product better than you. Be friendly, be assessable, and be excited. You’ve created a great book, now go out and tell the world!

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Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing! Catherine Brakefield is the author of three faith-based historical romances; The Wind of Destiny, Wilted Dandelions, and the first of a four book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny scheduled for release in May 2017. She has also written two Pictorial history books: Images of AmericaThe Lapeer Area, and Images of AmericaEastern Lapeer County. Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker BooksRevell, The Dog Next Door and Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today. She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township with her husband, Edward, and their Arabian horses. Now that her children are grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter! See www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information

Her author Facebook page is www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield To purchase Wilted Dandelions and book promotions visit www.CrossRiverMedia.com

 

 

FOOTSTEPS OF WESTERN EXPANSION

My adventurous spirit screamed yes. I dreamed of writing a novel about western expansion and those first missionaries who inched their way across the Great Divide, battling raging rivers, hostile tribes, and wild animals. Then that small voice whispered that I needed more than just my over-exuberant imagination to make my story a reality.

Research, research, and more research transpired before I allowed my characters access into my story. I felt like I was in a tiny time capsule in my search into ladies’ customs and etiquette of the era. I couldn’t believe that women couldn’t vote, lost their property rights when they married, and were considered old maids at the early age of 20! Ouch. I figured that my great grandmother’s marriage at fifteen was abnormal not normal.

I learned, too, that my missionary story really dated back to 1802 with the Second Great Awakening at a revival meeting in Cane Ridge, Kentucky, where 20,000 people attended. Because of the Holy Spirit people were healed of their afflictions and alcoholics freed of their habits. Lives changed and people realized they could be saved through the grace of God. The circuit riders, who were made up of Protestant preachers grew in numbers to spread the Good News to the neighboring communities.

But my surprise didn’t end there. In 1803 France sells the land west of the Mississippi River to the United States. A coincidence? Or did God orchestrate this event. The Louisiana Purchase gave the United States 828,000,000 square miles stretching from the Mississippi River to the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west and from the Gulf of Mexico in the south to the Canadian border in the north. A vast region had opened up to spread the gospel message.

Tent revivals continued across America well through the 1830s because of this Second Great Awakening. Those dogmatic circuit riders spread the word on horseback for over a decade throughout the country and tent revivals sprang up like giant mushrooms across the byways.

I knew Wilted Dandelions would need some strong characters to carry this important mission across the impregnable Rocky Mountains. After all, spreading the news about Jesus to the Native Americans and witnessing to the rowdy fur trappers would not be an easy task!

Beautiful, high-spirited, and head-strong spinster Rachael Rothburn evolved. And, of course, Rachael would acquire her calling at a tent revival. Equally head strong, opinionated, handsome and proud Dr. Jonathan Wheaton happily stepped into the role as leading man and hero in Wilted Dandelions. He took one look at Rachael and wanted to become a missionary, vowing he would tame her. Of course, Rachael would have no part of him. That is, until she learns she must be wed in order to go to the Oregon Territory. So a marriage of convenience is arranged. And what a stormy wedding night that was!

Still, that nagging, lingering feeling, that small voice in the back of my head, told me I needed to do more. Rachael Rothburn and Jonathan Wheaton deserved my best, for they had become as real to me as my closest friends. Wilted Dandelions was no longer a fabric of my imagination, it had become real.

I needed to know that every detail, every mile that Rachael and Jonathan traveled was as close to authentic as humanly possible for a writer of the 21st century. Little did my husband and I know what we were getting ourselves into when we decided to follow the route I described in Wilted Dandelions

Stay tuned to Part 2 of “Traveling into the Unknown”.