Good morning. Welcome to another exciting Friday Fellowship/Author Interview. This morning one of our Heart”wings” sister/authors, Christian author, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, is with us! Cathy is offering a GIVEAWAY to one commenter, so stay tuned for more details. I know you’re as excited as I am, so let’s get started.
Good morning, Catherine. Tell us about yourself.
I’m a grandmother enjoying my second installment of grandkids, a soon-to-be one-year-old and a just-turned-four-year-old! I’m a sucker for happy endings. I’ve been married to the same man now for over forty-five years.
I love everything outdoors, swimming, horseback riding, hiking, and cutting grass. I prefer mucking out stalls to cleaning my house. I usually watch television with a bowl of popcorn in my lap or a book.
Speaking about books, I have a new one coming out in October! Book 3 of the Destiny series, Destiny of Heart. Like its name implies, this book is emotionally packed with many of the characters you have already met in Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind, and Book 1, Swept into Destiny.
I’m so excited for you! Congratulations on the new book. Now, tell us a little about the characters in the Destiny Series.
Swept into Destiny
Ben McConnell in Swept into Destiny is a proud Irish immigrant who takes on a life-threatening job in Tennessee during the year 1857, and meets Maggie Gatlan. Maggie is a rebel disguised in frilly clothes and detests her Southern Belle image. She prefers riding astride rather than sidesaddle and refuses to allow her countrymen to dictate to her conscience.
In Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Collina McConnell, daughter of Ben and Maggie, strives to keep the family estate, Shushan, running and profitable. The parable of the sower in Luke 8:5 takes on new meaning for Collina when her life choices become as interchangeable as the rocky and thorny soil beneath her shoes. She knows Rough Rider Franklin Long was placed in her life at such a time as this. He claims the key to her heart, but when war takes him to the shores of Cuba, she is left to wonder if he’ll return.
Destiny of Heart
In Destiny of Heart, tragedy and faith collide as 1917 arrives. Collina’s sister Ruby and her husband, Stephen, leave home and family behind for the prairies of Colorado. Back home, Collina battles to save not only Shushan, but her own life as well. Franklin Long realizes he lost what money couldn’t buy. Is it too late to make right his failings?
Each yearns for contentment. But life has other plans… Will their legacy of faith help them persevere through the tattered fields of their life choices?
You have my attention! They all sound like interesting reads. Tell us, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I dreamed about it, but never thought I could be a novelist. In 1976, I won a trip to the Decision School of Christian Writing. Here I was, pregnant with my first child, at this conference with over a hundred other hopefuls.
Two months after my daughter was born, my grandmother needed a place to live. Little did I know I was now enrolled in God’s School of Christian Learning. From those years Gran lived with my family, the inspiration of this Destiny saga evolved, and the idea of writing faith-based historical novels formed.
In my first book with CrossRiver Media Group, I wrote about a missionary traveling west to witness to the Native Americans about Jesus. About the time Wilted Dandelions went into print, I met my agent Cyle Young of Hartline Literary Agency. He landed me a four-book contract with CrossRiver’s Tamara Clymer. Needless to say, I was thrilled! I loved working with her. I consider CrossRiver the best publishing house in the country.
The blessings just kept on coming. Debra Butterfield is a former Marine Corps drill sergeant (no, not really). She is a former Marine and that training and discipline serve her well as an editor. She hung up her boots for a keyboard. With her as my critic, coach, and awesome encourager, I know my books are the best they can be!
It’s amazing how God always sends the right person at the right time. What a blessing. Last question. Is there one particular message or “moral of the story” you hope readers walk away with?
I was immersed in diapers, bottles, Gran’s ailments and doctor visits. I figured God had something else planned for me to do than writing. I placed my trust in Him, followed His lead, and ended up here.
Proverbs 3:5,6 most always appears after my book signature. Why? Because I learned by trusting God, He never closes a door without opening a window. His window of opportunity that He alone can find the latch to open!
You are so right, Cathy. Readers, here’s an excerpt of Book 3, Cathy’s latest release.
Destiny of Heart ~ Catherine Ulrich Brakefield
Stephen avoided her eyes…
“What’s wrong?” Ruby said.
He pulled her toward the dance floor. “Till We Meet Again” hummed in the distance of Ruby’s tumultuous thoughts. The lyrics sent a sudden chill through her body. “Smile the while you kiss me sad adieu…”
Ruby realized she’d been too wrapped up in her pity-me world to see clearly the strained expression of pain on Stephen’s face…
He placed a gentle finger to her lips and whispered in her ear, “I’m fine, Ruby, really, just a little tired. Enjoy this dance with me, and don’t worry, my love…There is more to think of than ourselves. Our children need us to be strong and to plan for their futures.”
She stifled her cry.
Noting this, he soothed his voice. “‘Far better it is to dare mighty things…even though checkered by failure…’ In this twilight of my years, remember that my victory over this quintessential life—is Jesus. No matter what happens, remember this when you think of me. I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course God has laid before me and I have kept the faith. If the time of my departure is at hand—”
“Stephen—” Pools of tears escaped her eyes. She nodded and swept the wetness off her cheeks with the back of her hand.
The dancers who glided beneath the moon’s glow conjured a faintly whimsical appearance. The reality of her predicament drew her eyes toward the heavens. The stars sparkling in the velvet night shone down with startling clarity. As clear as day, Ruby thought, thinking of Stephen.
Catherine Ulrich Brakefield Bio:
Catherine says “my readers inspire my writing.” She is the author of five faith-based historical romances: Wilted Dandelions, and the four-book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny. Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart and Waltz with Destiny, due out spring of 2019. She has also written two pictorial history books: Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County.
She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township, Michigan, 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 two beautiful granddaughters!
Have you ever been enrolled in God’s School of Christian Learning?
Readers, Cathy is offering a giveaway of Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind to one commenter. Please be sure to answer the question in order to be entered for a chance to win. The giveaway will be open for commenting through Tuesday, October 16th. I will post the name of the winner on Wednesday, October 17th.