God’s Survival Manuel

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield: Let’s Chat! By Linda Brooks Davis

linda brooks davis

Welcome, everyone!

Cathy BrakefieldLet’s welcome Catherine Ulrich Brakefield to our circle.

longtime Michigan resident, Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township. She has two adult children and loves traveling the byroads across America and spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters.

An award-winning author of inspirational historical romance, Catherine has also written two pictorial history books and numerous published articles. She loves “to tell America’s story one truth at a time.” Her four-book Destiny series is rising in popularity with nationwide book clubs. The series includes Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s WhirlwindDestiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield: God’s Survival Manual

Have you ever noticed that people experience and react differently to the news on television and their everyday hardships? Take, for instance, the Coronavirus. This has swept through our country with a vengeance. President Trump often calls this the invisible enemy.

Coronavirus invaded our workplaces, homes, and killed our loved ones. This invisible enemy lurks in the shadows of the present. And it cripples the corridors of our future. No one knows what to expect.

Our way of life has drastically changed: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

How long will this virus play havoc in our families, communities, and lifestyles? Do we know? Will life as we knew it five months ago, return to normalcy?

What we do know is this. We know what our parents, grandparents and their parents endured and victoriously survived to birth another American generation. How did they do it? Beneath the insurmountable odds of their circumstances, how did they survive?

One reader wrote me saying: “I keep remembering the issues and events from your novels.”

I do too! Especially those sicknesses and emotional and physical deprivations relatable to the pandemic we face today. So, how did my characters over a span of a hundred years manage to survive and thrive? Was it through political manipulation and complaining? Pilfering and hoarding?  What would you do if the following hardships, political manipulations, and racial discrimination happened to you?

History binds us with one solitary cord of truth: Destiny Series by Catherine U. Brakefield

Catherine Brakefield

1857-1866. In Swept into Destiny, during the Antebellum Era, Ben McConnell is faced with two alternatives: starve or take a life-threatening job dredging out the snake-infested swampland at a plantation estate located in heart of Tennessee.

He left his home in Ireland in search of a new start, a new life, a little piece of land. Believing he’d find his dream in America, he got to America’s shores only to learn that he and his kindred weren’t wanted. “No Irish Need Apply.” Those signs were everywhere! What would you have done?

Catherine Brakefield

1898-1906. Destiny’s Whirlwind brings to culmination Ben’s life-long dream. Only, it is his daughter, a feisty brunette named Collina, who sees this to fruition.
During the Gibson Era, it will take the handsome Rough Rider Franklin Long to tame her. But Collina had a few lessons to learn along the way.
Cathy Brakefield

1917-1932. In Destiny of Heart, Collina’s sister Ruby McConnell Meir leaves with her husband, Stephen, and son to the prairies of Colorado to homestead a section of land. They hoped that the drier climate might heal her husband’s strange illness.

That did not conclude the hardships for Ruby, Collina, or Maggie. In 1929 a new disaster plagued the land, the Great Depression. How did these women survive with no money or food? The flapper of the Roaring Twenties fell like a wounded eagle into the want Maggie remembered of the 1860s. She comforted her family with these words: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken.”

Destiny of Heart won first place in The Maxwell Medal 2019 fiction category.

Cathy Brakefield

1941-1944. Waltz with Destiny “The jewel of the Destiny series.” The 1940s was a period in American history often referred to as the Big Band Era. It was also a time of grueling work with factories and workers scrambling for a piece of the American Dream. After the Great Depression, work was still hard to come by with little monetary compensation. Seeing Hitler and his Nazis marching across Europe, many a voice echoed the deep undercurrent and rumblings of anxiety.
No one knew what America’s fun-loving youths would have to endure in World War II or if they could even beat the Axis powers back. Japan thought Americans were too soft and not much more than playboys, and they wouldn’t be able to fight—at least not against their trained professionals.

Survival Techniques: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

As you can see through a few of the characters in my stories, they lived, endured, fought and died during the pivotal years of our nation’s history. What survival techniques worked and what did not? You will be surprised to learn that through the pages of the Destiny Series, practical horse sense with a well-educated knowledge of God’s Survival Manual carried my characters through their sickness and deprivation, births and deaths—to the end of their destiny. Through the worst Satan can throw at you, keep faith—God will work His victorious victory.

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord!” Romans 8:38,39 NKJV

Where to Find Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Website: www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com/

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/2X5P0EZ  Sign up for the latest news and giveaways.

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/2X9r5nT

Author Facebook: https://bit.ly/2ZeJmD2

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3dVDx1j

BookBub: https://bit.ly/2Tk0zqO

YouTube: https://bit.ly/2X6LNoG

Blog: Hope, Hearts, and Hoofbeats: https://bit.ly/3fZABmg

Twitter: https://bit.ly/3cE1BFT

Linkedin: https://bit.ly/2WIKbCq

Other Works by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Wilted Dandelions won Honorable Mention in the Eric Hoffer Book Award and Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award in 2016.

She has written two pictorial history books:  Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern 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. From Baker BooksRevell, The Dog Next Door, Horse of my Heart, Second-Chance DOGS, and  Horse of my Dreams. From CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise. And from Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today.

Catherine has been featured in numerous periodicals over the last thirty years, Michigan History and Southern Writers Magazine to name two. She is a member of Heart of American Christian Writers Network (HACWN) and American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and is president of the ACFW Great Lakes Chapter. She loves to tell America’s story one truth at a time through her speaking engagements.

~ ~ ~

Dear Lord, please bless each word Catherine writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

A Time to Forgive

As Published in Heroes, Heroines & History: A Time to Forgive

The year was 1866, the devastation of the Civil War could be seen as far as the eye could see. Clothed in faded, worn-out dresses, women of the war-torn South made their way toward the hallowed graves of the dead. Civil War grave site 1

The firing on Fort Sumpter in 1862 incited the Civil War. The southern states wanted their own way; their own flag, their own money, their own president. However, not all Southerners wanted to secede from the Union. They were swept into the turmoil just the same. One’s destiny is often created from circumstances beyond one’s control.

Michigander Nathaniel Greene volunteered for the Civil War on the day he turned 18. He did so through the Enrollment Act, signed into law in 1863. He took a neighbor’s place in trade for 60 acres of farmland.

The Enrollment Act, also known as the Conscription Act, allowed for said individuals subject to conscription to hire a substitute, who might normally be exempt from service. Substitution quickly proved to be unpopular since it allowed wealthy men to escape military service while leaving men of lesser resources exposed to the draft.

Greene was a soldier in General William Tecumseh Sherman’s army. He took no pride in burning Confederate homes, as stated in a letter to his mother, Martha Greene:

Civil War N. Greene small“Some of our soldiers brag about burning the homes of the confederates. I think it is wrong for them to do so. I ask them how they would like it to have their homes burned over their mother’s head.”

Once a land of plenty, many Southerners were left with only the clothes on their backs. Their money, bonds, and homes burned away. Still, the Christian Southerners clung to their biblical principles, nursing Union as well as Confederate soldiers back to health. They displayed through their deeds, their forgiveness, and determination not to succumb to self-pity when they knew there was no hope in winning the war.

Civil War Abe Lincoln
On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, during his Second Inaugural Address in Washington D.C. ended with these words:

“The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.”

Families in the south felt daily the depravity, hunger, and devastation caused by the Civil War that had ransacked their beloved South.

Memorial Day Arlington Cemetery 1873In May 1866, as far as one could see, ghostly ash-colored buildings and barren fields stretched before the women’s tear-filled eyes. Some had lost sons, brothers, and husbands to the war. Their arms folded around the flowers they’d salvaged from their almost-forgotten gardens as they trudged forward toward the thousands of tombstones of marked and unmarked graves sweeping before their eyes with increasing clarity.

Husband, son, and brother, Union or Confederate, they decorated the soldiers’ graves in this one voluntary act as a sincere demonstration of their repentance and forgiveness for the bloodshed on both sides. These men who wore the blue of their enemies were now united beneath one common cause and sharing the rewards of heaven with their loved ones.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 6:14 NKJV Civil War grave flowers 1

Our war-torn southern neighbors displayed in May 1866 their heart-wrenching sacrificial love toward the husbands, sons, and brothers of their northern neighbors.

Today, some feel Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. In December 2000, Congress passed into law The National Moment of Remembrance, a resolution stating that at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day all Americans informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence.

A time to remember that in 1862, America stood upon a precipice of either being forever divided—or eternally united. Rising above that moment’s circumstances, to step out from the ashes of regret and loss. This Memorial Day, take time to remember how our forefathers forgave, never turning their backs on their duties to God, family, and country. God Bless!
Swept into Destiny, Book 1 of the Destiny Series; One brave decision lead to serious consequences. Ben McConnell, a handsome Irish immigrant, and a gutsy Southern belle, Maggie Gatlan unite in a common cause during the Civil War.

Catherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Destiny series: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.Book Signing White Horse Birg.

She is a member of Heart of American Christians Writers Network (HACWN); American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC), and is a longtime Michigan resident. Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren. See https://www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com for more information about the Destiny series.


Though change is constant, history tends to repeat itself, so why stay in the DARK?

Check out what satisfied readers are saying about:

Wilted Dandelions coverWilted Dandelions:…one gripping, compelling read. Wilted Dandelions by Ms. Brakefield had me eagerly turning pages and sighing over the love story premise as well as taking comfort in the spiritual message…” ES


Swept into Destiny:  Book 1 of Destiny Series:   “Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s flowing descriptions pull you into Swept into Destiny and keep immersed in the world of the Antebellum south…This isn’t just a world of beaus, belles, and balls, but of moral ambiguity and searches for truth…”   L.H. Amazon Reader

Destiny’s Whirlwind: Book 2 of Destiny Series: “Destiny’s Whirlwind by Catherine Brakefield is a beautiful inspirational love story that will reel you in and win your heart…The story is beautifully written and filled with triumph and heartbreak. I couldn’t put it down…”      VV Amazon

Destiny of Heart:.  Book 3 of Destiny Series: “…Brakefield carefully weaves in historical events from 1917-1932, through the lives of characters and families so beautifully detailed, you become emotionally immersed in every page, every struggle, every triumph. ‘God can’t wipe away a person’s past…But He can help us rewrite the ending.’” Amazon Reader


Waltz with Destiny

Book 4 of Destiny Series: “…I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor…” Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse

Need a book in a hurry? Contact me: CatherineUlrichBrakefield@yahoo.com 


Author/Book Spotlight with Catherine Brakefield (+ GIVEAWAY)


Today I’m happy to welcome author Catherine Brakefield for an author/book spotlight. Read through to the end to find out how you can enter to win the giveaway.

What genre(s) do you write in and why?

Currently, I write inspirational historical romance. I have completed my four-book saga with Waltz with Destiny.

In Waltz with Destiny, my readers will learn the reason why this World War II generation was named The Greatest Generation; and why America’s greatest generation is yet to be!

The following Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote is apropos and meaningful for our generation:

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

My Destiny saga begins in 1857 with Swept into Destiny, continues in 1898 with Destiny’s Whirlwind and in 1918 with Destiny of Heart. After nearly one hundred years of faith, hope, and Christ’s sustaining…

View original post 1,501 more words


The splendors of fall colors cannot compare to the brilliance yet to come!

Fall colors 3

Where has the time gone? It seemed only yesterday when spring was in the air and I wrote to you about my newest book Waltz with Destiny.

Since then, I have a new short story out in Callie Smith Grant’s The Horse of My Dreams, True Stories of the HORSES WE LOVE! My short story is titled: A Forever Friend. I have been invited to do a reading of my story on November 10th at Steve’s Ranch Family Restaurant in Jackson, MI. between 1-4 p.m. I shall also do a reading at Baker Book House in Grand Rapids in January. I will let you know as to the date and time. Horse of my Dreams

I will be on Kathy Krafve’s Fireside Talk Radio (podcast). The tentative date for this prerecorded talk to air is December 20th. I will let you know further details when I receive them.

My book signings are shaping up wonderfully and I hope to see your there! As many of you already know, my novels and history books make great Christmas gifts.


Check out OCTV Our Community Access on the internet or Channel 99 on U-Verse this coming week starting November 4 and running through to November 8th. I will be talking about more exciting facts regarding my novels and upcoming book signings.

After all, what better gift to give your loved ones or friends this Christmas, but a voyage into yesteryear that they will treasure forever!

Here is a list of my book signings.

November 9th at 9 a.m. from 3 p.m. at Lakepoint Community Church Craft Show located on 1550 W. Drahner Rd. in Oxford, MI. This is the 4th annual mission trip and craft show hosted by Lakepoint so come on out and purchase some wonder Christmas gifts.

November 23rd from 8:30 to 4 p.m. at the Metamora Lioness Club HolidaDaze Craft Fair located on 3790 N. Oak St., Metamora, MI.

November 30th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Almont Historical Society, 249 South Main St., Almont, MI. This is a benefit book sale and a percentage of proceeds will go to the Almont Historical Society. Enjoy a nostalgic stroll down memory lane in this the beautiful town of Almont.

People ask me where can they get my books? Usually they are found wherever books are sold: Amazon, Books-a-Million, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Family Christian Book Store in Flint, Mi. has autographed copies of Wilted Dandelions, Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, and Waltz with Destiny on their shelves. It’s a wonderful place to shop for that special Christmas gift. Their address is 4463  Miller Rd. Flint, MI.

Baker Book House located in Grand Rapids is presently carrying Wilted Dandelions.

I have found a few printing errors in Swept into Destiny. On some of the pages, the print was distorted. I check each book before I autograph them. However, if I have missed any, my editor has contacted Amazon and they are aware of the problem. All you need do is contact Amazon and they will mail you a copy. You do not need to return the damaged book to me or Amazon.

Remember, keep those reviews coming! Writing can be related to preparing for a Christmas pageant. You pile on the hours in rehearsals for weeks and months and—wait for the applause. A writer’s applause comes in the way of reviews.

You will find more about this concept and my writing challenges in my recently submitted blog for HiStory Thru the Ages which will run on November 11th. I do not   have the link, but I will also show this on my author facebook page www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield and my web page www.CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com; Hopes, Hearts & Hoofbeats.

I love seeing the red, yellow, orange and rust leaves on the trees arrayed in their full glory, sparkling like lights on a Christmas tree as sunlight gently strokes there branches. However, the splendors of fall colors cannot compare to the brilliance yet to come.

All too soon, the leaves will fall. Then soft, white snow will pepper the bare limbs. Because Christmas is just a fall away.

Our Lord and Savior came to earth as a wee babe to gift a fallen mankind an nonperishable gift; white and pure, of His Truth and unconditional love.


For every book purchased, I include a pocket Bible and a stylist/flashlight pen engraved with Matthew 17:20 “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed…nothing is impossible”. What I write can never change a person’s life—only the Word of God can. Share with your special person this year, these special gifts with each book purchased.  God Bless!





Destiny Saga Reaches a Page-Turning Conclusion!

As Hitler and his Nazis march across Europe… The final book of my Destiny series is here! Waltz with Destiny picks up where Destiny of Heart left off, and follows the Ben McConnell legacy.

2 Destiny 4 -Waltz with Destiny Front coverWaltz with Destiny begins in August of 1941. Esther Meir and her mother are back in Detroit. They are struggling to make ends meet. As Hitler wages war with Europe, the Big Band Era and the affluence of the age have Esther’s head in a whirl.

Eric Erhardt works as a junior engineer and attends college in the evenings. His life would change for the worst if America enters Europe’s war. He meets Esther Meir, this gorgeous brunette, one evening at the Vanity. But is he ready to abandon his playboy ways for her?

Here is a list of my June appearances:

Tune in to the Voice of Lapeer, Michigan, WMPC Gospel Radio at 9 a.m. on May 30th for an inside look about how Waltz with Destiny, the final book of the Destiny saga, evolved to fruition. Greg’s interviews are always energized and educational and packed with fun!

The Write Stuff with Parker J. Cole will host me on her Blog Talk Radio Show on June 4th at 7 p.m. You won’t want to miss this experience with the queen of Blog Talk Radio! Parker brings her enthusiasm in triple proportion that is totally contagious!

I will be signing books on D-Day! June 6, 6:30-8 p.m. at Addison Township Public Library located at 1400 Rochester Rd., Leonard, MI. Desserts and beverages provided. A short, twenty-minute presentation of photos and memorabilia of my dad’s war years as a rifleman in the 34th Red Bull Division will be provided. Come herald in the new birth of Waltz with Destiny with me and find out why Dad’s company’s logo “To the Last Man” became such an instrumental part of this final chapter of this epic series!

June 8th I will be at Faith Christian Stores located on 4463 Miller Rd., Flint, MI. Noon to 3 p.m. This is a destination location and a wonderful place to visit, browse, and buy! Don’t miss seeing what this wonderful store can give to discreet and devoted shoppers.

June 12th I will be at Marguerite deAngeli Branch (Lapeer District Library) located at 921 West Nepessing St. Lapeer, MI, 6 to 8 p.m. I will provide a 40-minute presentation that includes pictures and memorabilia of my dad’s war years as a rifleman in the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division traveling up the boot of Italy during World War 2. Time for questions and answers will follow.

 June 23, 12-3 p.m., at Lakepoint Community Church, 1550 W. Drahner Rd., Oxford, MI. I will have my table set up outdoors by the lake. The outdoor service begins at 10:30 a.m. so bring your family along to drink up God’s Word and some fun in the sun!

If you are an avid Facebook fan, come to my Celebration Christian Sweet-n-Clean Book Launch on June 26. Plenty of give-a-ways will be provided to the lucky winners!

Here is what readers are saying about Waltz into Destiny:

Waltz with Destiny, the fourth book in Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s Destiny series, grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go. Every word captured my attention as the relationship between Esther Meir and Eric Erhardt unfolded on the brink of World War II. And I loved the suspenseful and well-crafted twists, turns, and vivid war scenes. They left me reading nonstop while biting my nails. Catherine’s lovely prose, sense of humor, and historical accuracy deliver an unmistakable wow factor. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys romance and/or history.— Deb Gardner Allard AKA Taylor Jaxon, author of Before the Apocalypse.

Catherine paints a vivid picture of American in wartime in Waltz with Destiny… The love story of Eric and Esther is full of faith and old fashion values. The battle scenes are realistic, and the home front scenes are believable. The characters make mistakes we can all relate too. A wonderful history-comes-alive story.— Cindy Ervin Huff, multi-award-winning author

Fans of historical romance will want Brakefield’s Waltz with Destiny. This final book of her Destiny series once again delivers romance, but not romance neatly tied up with a bow, for Brakefield’s characters must live through the gritty realities of World War 2 and other challenges of those years before they can find their destiny.— Rick Barry, author of The Methuselah Project

I hope to see you at one of these many events for this exciting climax to our three-year Destiny saga journey together!

Please spread the news. Feel free to print off this flyer. Write in the name of the book signing closest to you, time, and date. Don’t see a book signing near you? Please contact me at Cathy@CatherineUlrichBrakefield.com and we will set one up. Thank you for helping me spread the Good News of God’s unbelievable blessings! And please forward this e-mail to friends and family that might be interested, too!

Destiny 4 Waltz poster