A Valentine’s Give for the Heart

Book Review: Destiny of Heart by Catherine Brakefield

Destiny of Heart is the third book of Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s saga of the McConnell family, the Destiny series. This novel sweeps around the country, covering events in Colorado, Michigan, and Kentucky.

While Collina battles fever and illness at Shushan, Ruby and Stephen must head to the prairies in hopes of bringing him back to health from his battle with a strange lung disease. Collina’s husband has left her and all that remains to fight for is what is left of a dwindling Shushan and her mustard seed of faith. Eventually, Ruby faces her own tragedy and returns to her family in Kentucky. Then Franklin Long, former rough-rider and Collina’s lost sweetheart, unexpectedly runs into their sister, Myra, in Detroit. This sets into effect a chain of events that will test the McConnell family even farther, into the days of the Great Depression.

Brakefield has done her research and goes to great lengths to interweave historic events into the novels she writes and this one is no different. Her characters battle not only the difficulties around them but also wrestle with relatable spiritual issues within that can be understood in today’s culture as much as in the past. Destiny of Heart is also sprinkled with bright spots, past love fulfilled, and hope in God for the future.

For readers left wondering at the end of Destiny’s Whirlwind they will find some satisfaction in this third installment of the McConnell family saga. An enjoyable and hopeful Christian fiction read!

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is an ardent receiver of Christ’s rejuvenating love, as well as a hopeless romantic and patriot. She skillfully intertwines these elements into her writing as the author of Wilted Dandelions, published by CrossRiver Publishing, an inspirational historical romance, along with her first Christian Romance novel, “The Wind of Destiny“, and her other history books,  Images of America,The Lapeer Area and The Images of America, Eastern Lapeer County. published by Arcadia Publishing.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books; Extraordinary Answers to PrayersUnexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, and The Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Publishing, The Benefit Package, and Abba’s Promise; and Bethany House, Jesus talked to me Today.

Catherine lives in Addison Township, MI., with her husband Edward of forty-four years, and her beautiful Arabian horses. She enjoys horseback riding, swimming, camping, and traveling the byroads across America. Her children are now grown and married with families of their own. Catherine and Edward are now the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and one preciously adorable granddaughter.

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Guest Post — Catherine Brakefield ( + Giveaway )

Thank you Donna Schlachter for this great article!


Today I’m happy to welcome author Catherine Brakefield as she discusses historical romance. Read through to the end to find out how to enter her giveaway.

“There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” Harry S. Truman

What is your favorite part about faith-based historical romance? Is it the humanistic facts or the immemorial story of true love?

Wilted Dandelions begins in 1837; my Destiny four book series begins with the antebellum era in 1857 and climaxes through to World War II in 1944.

I soon learned I couldn’t rely on the internet for my research, nor modern-day history books, movies, or Hollywood films. I felt like I had one foot in modern pop culture and one foot in a watered-down version of the past.

My Grandmother and my Amish friends were instrumental in helping me to feel the history.

Through my experiences, I learned that the mind-set, emotions, and needs of the populace of the 1800 and 1900s versus modern-day people of 2000s were polar opposites!

What my Grandmother knew to be true and I what I now know about her generation was dissimilar. I understand that this century’s generation is ‘the enlightened generation’ but I want my readers to experience a feeling of entering a time capsule. I decided not to watch any show or read any books dated from the 1960s forward.

History books published before 1959 gave me insight, as did old newspaper clippings, and interviews. I felt the nostalgia of our forebears as I leafed through these books and newspaper clippings.

Vivid words and pictures of the southern plantation life, and Rough Riders on their faithful steeds encouraged my imagination. The cavalry of the Great War, the silent films of the Roaring 20s burned into my imagination. Glenn Miller’s rise to fame and the exploits of our determined World War II infantry inspired me.

The typical American did not cherish modern conveniences. Their family, however, was a vital part of their existence. When I wrote history books for Arcadia, I learned that the first settlers that came to Lapeer County in Michigan came for their Christian values. They built schools because they wanted their children to learn how to read The Holy Bible!

Scripture verses were as common as everyday language in the 1800s and on up through the 1940s. Families recorded their marriages, births, baptisms, and deaths within their Holy Bible.

Below is a short synopsis of each novel:

Wilted Dandelions (a stand-alone). The story unfolds during the Second Great Awakening in 1837. High-spirited Rachael Rothburn doesn’t need a husband. She wants to travel out west as a missionary to the Native Americans. Jonathan Wheaton desires the same. They agree on a marriage of convenience. In the process of co-existing, they discover God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities.

Wilted Dandelions

Book 1: Swept into Destiny. Maggie Gatlan is a Southern belle who’s a rebel disguised in frilly clothes. She is secretly educating the slaves. Ben McConnell is a proud Irish immigrant who is hired to dredge out the Gatlan’s snake-infested swampland. An unexpected chain of events leads Maggie into choosing where her loyalties lie when Civil War erupts—did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South?

Amazon: Swept into Destiny

Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Collina McConnell promises her father that his legacy for Shushan will continue. Dashing Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help, and Collina’s heart has a will of its own. War calls Franklin to the shores of Cuba. She finds herself tangled in a web of deception and greed when a vindictive lawyer places the family in peril. Will Franklin return in time?

Amazon: Destiny’s Whirlwind

Here is a link to a special bonus chapter that ties Swept into Destiny and Destiny’s Whirlwind together!


Book 3, Destiny of Heart As 1917 arrives, Ruby McConnell Muir leaves her kindred for the prairies of Colorado with her husband and child. Back home, Ruby’s sister, Collina, battles to save not only Shushan, but her own life as well. The Great War and the Great Depression change not only the nation’s borders, but theirs. Each yearns for contentment. Will their legacy of their mustard seed of faith see them through?

Book 4, Waltz with Destiny releasing summer, 2019. The offspring of the Great Depression awaken into the Big Band Era of eloquent ballrooms and frivolous gaiety. Across the ocean Hitler is awakening his youth to the idea of a “Master Race.” Esther Meir can’t halt America from entering World War II, but love was different… That is until Eric Erhardt waltzes into her life. What starts as a frolic ends in a battle for survival, heaven or hell, a heartbeat away.

I will give away a book of your choice, either an e-book or a print. (Please note: for readers outside of the United States, I can only do an e-book.)

What is your favorite part about faith-based historical romance?

About the Author:

Catherine is the award-winning author of the faith-based historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her new Destiny series begins with Swept into Destiny. The second of her four-book Destiny series is Destiny’s Whirlwind, followed by, Destiny of Heart. The fourth book, Waltz into Destiny, will release this summer. 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; Baker Books, Revell; CrossRiver Publishers; and Bethany House.

She enjoys swimming and horseback riding. She lives in Addison Township, Michigan, with her husband and their Arabian horses. Her children grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!



Blog: Hopes, Hearts, & Hoofbeats:https://catherineulrichbrakefield.wordpress.com/

Twitter: : https://twitter.com/CUBrakefield





About historythrutheages

I write stories of His Story Through The Ages that offer tales of hope and redemption.

Posted on January 31, 2019, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. If I had to chose a book, I’d chose the stand alone book, Wiltec Dandelions.
    What I like best about historical fiction, is the ability through the story to live in another time period. It can spark interest in a particular time period to possibly cause life style changes in the reader.

  2. I love reading historicals. This sounds like a wonderful time spanning series. Swept Into Destiny sounds like a great story I would enjoy.

    • Thank you! I try to give my readers insight regarding historical facts that are not always found in history books. For instance, the Irish Brigade which made up of five regiments of Irish immigrants! three from the Union and two from the Confederacy! I don’t want to spoil the interesting facts you’ll fine in Swept into Destiny, but you will acquire a much-loved romantic experience as well a interesting facts!

  3. I enjoy reading about different eras.

  4. Lual Krautter 

    In CF Historical Romance, I think what I enjoy the most is reading about a different era, and especially learning about the culture back then, plus appreciating the emphasis on manners, and Christian values. Thank you for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Would love to win a print copy of Destiny of Heart by Catherine Ulrich Brakefield! Thanks, again!

  5. Thank you Lual Krautter for your interest in my Destiny Series! You have a kindred spirit which I can totally relate to. Hence, the reason for my desire to product a time-tunnel experience to my readers to enjoy!

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