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 love that brought Americans to the pivotal point in history to World War II, the Destiny saga concludes in August 1941 with Waltz with Destiny.
With the turn of every page and never knowing what to expect, my faithful readers have traveled through the tunnel of trepidations with my characters Ben and Maggie McConnell, Collina and Ruby McConnell, Franklin Long, Stephen Meir, and Buck Briggs. We are nearing the final stretch of the ultimate moral test of the McConnell legacy!
Beginning with Swept into Destiny, Irish immigrant Ben McConnell is determined to uphold his faith in Jesus Christ and loyalty to his adopted country, the United States, and names his estate Shushan. You will not know the meaning behind the name Shushan until you read Book 4.
Throughout the Destiny saga, I have hoped my readers would come face to face with their own spiritual goals by learning this through my character’s heartaches, trials, and triumphs. The climax of Shushan and the McConnell journey ends with Waltz with Destiny.
Can you explain this to us a little better by giving us a peek into Waltz with Destiny, your heroine’s and hero’s family upbringing, maybe through a character backstory?
My name is Esther McConnell Meir. My mother is always telling me, “When you meet the right man, you’ll have no trouble following.”
Mother doesn’t understand. I have two left feet and have gone to dances before. I always spend most of the evening plastered to the wall, watching others having a good time. Besides, I have more important things on my to-do list.
Mother is always full of hope. When there doesn’t seem anything to believe in, she says, “There is a rainbow with our names on it in Detroit.”
I want to get Mother, Brother, and myself into a place of our own, so we’re not beholding to our uncle for a roof over our heads. I’m not planning to live out my life like my mother did, working in some hot cleaners. Nor can I rely on any man to lead me. He could die like my father did, leaving me with a five-year-old toddler pulling on my skirt while holding a two-month-old baby in my arms.
I’m not so sure I want to fall in love with any guy, not with a war looming on the horizon.
Hi I’m Eric Erhardt. I knew Esther was different from the other gals the moment I met her, and I’m determined to win her over. I’m used to working hard for everything I have. The Great Depression taught me to persevere. I peddled newspapers before school, sold apples on street corners, and gave what I made to Pa.
Pa said, “With God, I can accomplish anything I put my heart into.”
So, I worked all the harder. I became a jumper for The Detroit News after high school and went to night school and landed a job in an engineering company.
With Hitler and Japan knocking on our door, well, it’s just a matter of time before I’ll have to fight in a war I don’t have time for. I heard that some outsiders think American guys like me are soft, not much more than playboys. What’s wrong with playboys? I kind of enjoy that title.
Some people over in Europe call my generation “religious mama boys.” Well, if Hitler or Japan tries to do anything to these old United States, we playboys just might have to put a few firecrackers down their pants and watch their interpretation of the jitterbug. Yeah, we don’t care what they think about us, but don’t mess with our families or the good old USA!
Here is an excerpt of Chapter 1 of Waltz with Destiny:
Esther watched as round and round the couples danced. Their laughter rose and fell in response to the waves of notes from Glenn Miller’s orchestra. Their steps were in perfect rhythm as if for one purpose, one desire.
She stepped away from the Vanity’s balcony, her gaze traveling to the multi-paned windows flanked with draping sheers. They offered dancers a peek of the stars outside, while crystal chandeliers cast a golden glow on the Mayan ceiling inside.
If she was dreaming, she hoped to never wake up. She stared into one of the glinted full-length mirrors adorning each side of the three promenades. A man smiled back, his eyes resting on hers.
“Oh!” She whirled around to find herself inches from the stranger. He had to be at least six-foot-four. Thick jet-black hair waved around a strong, masculine face. But his eyes caught her interest—intelligent, attentive, holding within their hazel depths a mischievous twinkle.
“Be careful. Some men here will take advantage of a beautiful woman.”
“Do men staring into a mirror count?”
“Only if they stare back.” A lighthearted laugh escaped. “Has anyone ever told you your eyes sparkle and get as big as saucers when you blush?”
Who is he?
His black tuxedo with shiny satin lapels emphasized broad shoulders and slender waist. An amused glint crinkled the corners of his eyes.
“I’m Eric Erhardt, a junior draftsman at Wood Industries. I’m taking night courses at Lawrence Institute, and I plan to own my own engineering firm someday. And you are?”
And besides being irresistible handsome, the man was a mind reader. “Esther Meir.”
His eyes didn’t leave her face. It was unnerving. “So, Esther Meir, what do you do besides looking like a porcelain priestess in this palace of the Aztecs?”
You’ve talked a lot about your readers here, so tell me about your ideal reader?
My ideal reader is that person who askes me when my next book will be out, and then tells me how much they enjoyed my earlier books, writes a review, and tells their friends about my novels.
A review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, BookBub, Goodreads, and Google inspires me to improve, excel and strive to make each new book better than the last. Readers are every writer’s employer, and a written review is like an unexpected bonus check.
Writers spend countless hours in what we could label “solitary confinement.” We tap away patiently on our keyboard and pour in the hours, days, and months of research so our fictional novel sings with realism. We want our imaginary characters to walk and talk with vitality, vividness, and validity. Then, like a mother caressing her newborn child, we eagerly await the debut of our new creation to the world.
A writer knows that they have achieved their ultimate goal in creating a superb novel through readers communicating their emotional experience to others. Readers can either verbally communicate this to their friends, or take time to write their review on Amazon and other search engines.
It’s like when you prepare 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.
It is always the little things in life that inspire us to meet each day with thanksgiving. Our child’s or grandchild’s first steps, the antics of our children and grandchildren. Or, the make-believe characters and story a writer creates.
That finished product of another generation, be it our children or our literary works will someday be put to the ultimate test. We will know then how well we succeeded in our job by the heroic exploits they endure.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9 NKJV
I am confident that our generation can produce an equally great and enduring generation:
GIVEAWAY: I will give away a copy of Waltz with Destiny to the winner. Please identify if you prefer a print or e-book. For those living outside the United States, an e-book version will be supplied.
Catherine is the award-winning author of the inspirational historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her faith-based Destiny series includes Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.
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; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, Horse of my Heart, Second-Chance Dogs, The Horse of my Dreams. CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to Me Today.
She is a longtime Michigan resident and lives with her husband of 45 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township. Catherine loves traveling the byroads across America and spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!
- Website: https://www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/catherine.u.brakefield
- Blog: Hopes, Hearts, & Hoofbeats https://catherineulrichbrakefield.wordpress.com
- BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/catherine-ulrich-brakefield?list=about
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CUBrakefield
- GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3387463, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB57k3YmOEw Waltz with Destiny
- Instagram: https://www.instagramCatherineUlrichBrakefield
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-brakefield-4710b315/