Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Feature: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Thank you for stopping by, and remember—Christmas presents are a tinsel away!

My purpose in writing faith-based historical romance is to spread the truth about our American heritage. These historical novels are more relevant to our present problems than any moment in our nation’s history. Oftentimes, posing the question: How did our ancestors survive the insurmountable hardships and calamities of their era?

My novels are clean, historically correct and the perfect gift for a teenage girl, mature woman, or man who never tires of adventure rich in romance and tradition. That is the reason why I started my adventure by traveling out west while writing Wilted Dandelions.

Wilted Dandelions
is about a missionary who during the Second Great Awakening accepts a marriage of convenience with a man she knew little about to sojourn into the wilderness west of the Rocky Mountains. She soon learns that God doesn’t create coincidences—He designs possibilities. Grandaddy A., an Amazon reader, writes:

"I loved this quote from the heroine in the story: 'I'm still such a babe in Christ. Will I ever stop seeking my desires and reasoning it is God's will that I satisfy my own whims?' Can you relate?...you will have to read it--if you want to know what wilted dandelions have to do with a missionary journey." 

Glancing across the space of years, I realize I have trekked across a Great Divide of my own that only God knew the outcome to. I can see His hand orchestrating the events leading up to my writing career.

 My grandmother came to visit us often. She eventually moved in with my husband, children, and me and lived with us for twelve years. Then Gran left for another adventure—to live with Jesus. I will never forget how obeying God’s wee voice, inspired my writing career and my Destiny Series. How my faith-based novels wove around true-life experiences rich in romance and tradition.

 My children and I would listen to Gran’s Southern down-home dialect, and my imagination would form the pictures she drew with her words. I visualized the gypsies perched upon their tall wagon seats, driving their horses down the dusty road in front of Gran’s home. Heard the taffeta gowns rustle in the night breezes, saw the gigot sleeves adorning the slender shoulders of the ladies that depicted the Gibson Era.

But love has its villain—our flawed human nature. Listening to Gran’s true-to-life family romances and heartaches, I formed my Christian-Judeo American characters, arming them with unquenchable faith, perseverance, and dogmatic hope in Christ Jesus. I sprinkle Bible verses through my stories like you sprinkle salt on your food. Gran always said, “The Word always adds just the right flavor!”

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NKJV)

My grandmother did not want to relinquish all the ugly truth about her nationality, who clawed their way out of the hole of prejudices for decades. My mom provided valuable insight into this.

She explained because of the overwhelming numbers of Irish immigrants landing in America, they became discardable. To survive, the Irish immigrant was forced to take the life-threatening jobs no one else would. Dredging out snake-infested swamps and channels, working in mines, and the back-breaking work of building the railroad.

My Destiny series begins in 1857, during the Antebellum Era. My readers will glean valuable historical knowledge and enjoy a romance that any woman or man of today can relate to, learn from, and be inspired with.

Swept into Destiny transports readers through the Antebellum Era and the Civil War; Destiny’s Whirlwind rides through the Gibson Era and the Spanish-American War; Destiny of Heart, through World War I, and the Great Depression; Waltz with Destiny, the Big Band Era, and climaxes with the end of World War II.

This epic Destiny Series did not arrive without conflict. I prayed, arguing with God! I wanted my characters to be the perfect individuals I wanted in myself, my husband, and my children. God let me know in no uncertain terms—not His plan.

For instance, Ben McConnell in Swept into Destiny is a proud Irish immigrant who has an unforgiving spirit toward the English and rich landowners of Ireland and America. Because of his unshakable faith in Jesus, he realizes he has an unforgiving spirit keeping him from being healed and reaping God’s blessings. The mustard seeds he brought over from Ireland reminded him that “nothing was impossible” wouldn’t do him any good if he didn’t forgive.

Rich Southern belle, Maggie Gatlan is both Irish and English. She’s a rebel disguised in frilly clothes and prefers riding astride rather than side-saddle. She refuses to allow her countrymen to dictate to her conscience and educates the slaves against their owners' wishes.

This isn’t just a world of beaus, belles, and balls, but of moral ambiguity and searches for truth…” L.H. Amazon Reader 

Collina McConnell in Destiny’s Whirlwind doesn’t understand her father’s passion. Ben McConnell wasn’t materialistic. Just what was the mystery behind his legacy for Shushan?  The parable of the sower in Luke 8:5 takes on new meaning when Collina’s life choices become as interchangeable as the rocky and thorny soil beneath her shoes. All she has to hold onto is her father’s mustard seed of faith.

Was Rough Rider Franklin Long placed in her life at such a time as this for a reason or was Austin Blaine right about him? War is declared and Franklin leaves. Will he return from the wave-tossed shores of Cuba to resolve his battles—or remain in the dark reaches of his past—and Collina’s?

“… if you've ever loved, then you'll empathize with the feelings and events that unroll in this story!” Rick Barry author of The Methuselah Project

In Destiny of Heart, Collina battles insurmountable odds to rescue Shushan.

Franklin lost what money couldn’t buy. Is it too late to make right his failings?

Ruby McConnell Meir leaves for the prairies of Colorado hoping the climate might cure her husband’s illness. Confusion and uncertainty hover around her skirts like the dust storms, rattlesnakes, and droughts, consuming her energy and weakening her faith. Will her husband live—or die?

The Roaring Twenties dive like a wounded eagle into the Great Depression, placing the McConnells in a battle for survival.  

“I read it in 2 days! I read it on my Kindle but bought copies in paperback for gifts. My friends loved it… A great book historically and a great testimony of God's faithfulness… Catherine's books just keep getting better and better.” Peggy, Amazon Reader

 Waltz with Destiny has been hailed “The Jewel of the Destiny Series” by Novel Pastimes Reviewer, Kathleen Rouser

The Great Depression was just a bad dream. For the first time in Eric Erhardt’s life, he doesn’t feel hunger pains or wears hand-me-down clothes. He was proud of his accomplishments, his well-paying job, and balancing engineering courses at night. He owned his own car, he was a talented dancer, and could have any girl—well, almost any he set his dimpled smile to winning.

Leaving the little farm in Kentucky for college in the big city of Detroit, Esther Sloan, daughter of Ruby McConnell Sloan, felt she was living an enchanting Cinderella story, complete with prince charming—but was Eric Erhardt for real or just another playboy?

Esther’s story-book romance swirls into a battle for survival when Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. Eric is drafted into the Army and the McConnell legacy is suddenly threatened into extinction.

 “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

My characters are flawed, some more than others. We might see ourselves in a few, cry, and rejoice with others. Throughout history’s timeless halls, they forge across the insurmountable hardships to reach their destinies.

At the end of your novel journey, you may feel what one of my readers felt enduring and persevering through the Coronavirus Pandemic, “I keep remembering the issues and events from your novels.” Robin R.

I will give away a novel of your choice to the fortunate commenter!

Catherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romances Wilted Dandelions and Destiny of Heart. Her popular Destiny series includes: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and Waltz with Destiny.

She has written 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 Media, and Bethany House Publishers.

She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), President of the Great Lakes Chapter (ACFW GLC). Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years, has two adult children, and four grandchildren.

Visit my website at: https://www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com/

Be first to know my latest news and giveaways by signing up for my Newsletter: https://www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com/newsletter-sign-up-form.html

Amazon Author Page and learn about my newest books:  https://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Ulrich-Brakefield/e/B001H6UI8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Catherine+Ulrich+Brakefield&qid=aqKTjRCaFn

BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/profile/catherine-ulrich-brakefield?list=about

Blog: Hope, Hearts, and Hoofbeats  https://catherineulrichbrakefield.wordpress.com/       

Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-brakefield-4710b315/


  1. Thank you for your post today. Learning about your journey toward your stories is a treat. And I love that you learned so much from your Gran. That's a joy many people don't have, or just don't take advantage of, because many of us don't treasure those perspectives while our beloved "sources" are here with us.

    1. Thank you Connie for your comment. So true. Our grandparents and parents are a window into the past that few history books can touch on. I thought I was doing a huge Christian deed inviting Gran into my household--I learned you can't out give God. Blessings come in brimming buckets to you and yours from His loving hands.

  2. Thank you for your sharing your very interesting post. It sounds like your Gran was a very special lady. The memories that you have will last a lifetime.
    mauback55 at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you Melanie for your comment. Yes, she was quite a remarkable lady. The term "Survivor" took on a whole new meaning knowing her. Catherine

  3. I enjoyed the Destiny series. So well-written and inspiring. I haven't read the Wilted Dandelion though. That is the one I'd choose. cindyhuff11 at gmail dot com

    1. Cindy, thank you so much for your endorsement! It is an honor knowing how much you enjoyed the Destiny Series, because you are such a beautiful writer yourself! Blessings to your and yours. Catherine

  4. Catherine you are a new author to me. Your books sound like ones I would most certainly enjoy reading. I loved learning about your Gran - I never had any grandparents so I can only imagine what a treat it must have been to have her living with you! Thanks for the giveaway:) bettimace at gmail dot com

    1. Thank you Betti! Yes, looking back, Gran and my mom left me with a treasure chest of faith, hope and love! I will be on HHH Mid Month Madness Facebook party this Sunday at 5:30 Eastern. Hope you can make it!

  5. I read the entire destiny series. Ever nook was very good. I really enjoyed them. If you have not read any pick a few up. You will not be disappointed.

  6. Having seen all the wonderful books that Catherine has written, it would be awesome for anyone to read the Destiny Series. Knowing that Catherine grew up in a family that was blessed and religion was in the forefront, it has helped her to be able to express her knowledge so eloquently in her writings. May she continue to share all of her books with everyone������������. God Bless you Cathy ������