Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Interview with Anne Carol, Author of the Faithfully Yours Series

Hi guys! V. Joy Palmer here! Since we are all friends here, you guys can call me Joy. ; ) And since we are all friends, one of my favorite things to do is talk with my friends, family, the teens I mentor, and everyone else at coffee shops/bookstores. Books and yummy drinks are the perfect combination, after all. So, consider this our virtual coffee shop. I’ll wait a second for you to get your warm drink and a fuzzy blanket before we chat with today’s guest. ;-)

We are chatting with Anne Carol, author of the Faithfull Yours Series!!! I'm super excited, so I'm going to stop babbling so we can finally talk!

Anne Carol grew up reading, writing, and listening to English rock bands, obsessing over one in particular. Continuing her fascination with musicians, she married a bass player, with whom she has two sons, both blessed with the music gene. Besides reading, writing, and music, Anne also loves traveling, visiting with friends, watching Netflix, and daydreaming on Pinterest. A native of Northern California, she occasionally indulges in good red wine and a square of dark chocolate.
Connect with Anne ~ Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Interview ~

First things first, would you order coffee, tea, or hot chocolate in our virtual coffee shop? Something else altogether? This is possibly the most important question…
Coffee, with a little half and half. I’m trying to stay away from sugary Starbucks coffees, but I do treat myself to a Peppermint Mocha during the holidays. In 2018, I need to work on cutting caffeine, so herbal tea will be my new friend.
I love Peppermint Mochas! I would pound those all year if I could. Haha! On to our second most important question: if you could order anything in the world to eat, what would it be?
(Assuming I’m not gluten-free or watching my carbs), I’d go for a big plate of creamy Fettucine Alfredo, along with a Caesar salad and a piece of parmesan-garlic bread. For dessert, a slice of cheesecake. Yum!
*dabs drool from chin* We should be lunch buddies. :-) Where is your favorite place to write? And why is that your favorite place?
Twelve years ago we added on to the back of our house, creating a family/TV room. That left the front room to become a peaceful area in front of the fireplace. The couch in that room is my “office”- at least until I can get my real office organized and set up! But I love this space because my husband and boys leave it alone, except for when they practice their instruments. I’ve stocked the coffee table with writing reference books, notebooks, reading glasses, and coasters for my water and coffee/tea.
That sounds so beautiful!! Do you have an odd habit that is only explained by your bookish, writer tendencies? Safe space. ;-)
Sometimes I get ideas for scenes or plots at random moments, either for my current project or a future project. That’s when I want to rush to the nearest pad of paper so I can jot them down. Another quirk I have is listening to the same three John Barry music scores while writing. I have a playlist which includes scores for “Somewhere in Time”, “The Scarlett Letter”, and “My Life.” I’ve also been known to make a playlist for each of my books. I’ll listen to these around the house while doing chores; it helps me think about my stories while doing mundane tasks.
I love the idea of making a playlist for your books, but I’ve never done it. *hangs head* What inspired you to write the Faithfully Yours Series?
I began reading young adult and teen romance novels around the time I had a mad crush on a member of the popular British band, Duran Duran, in the mid-1980s. Like many pre-teens and teens of that era, I fantasized about being swept off my feet by my favorite band member. So at the age of 11 ½, I started writing a story about a California girl who spends a summer in England and falls in love with an aspiring guitar player. I remember entertaining my close friends with the story, but I never did anything more with it. During high school, I sort of pushed my writing aside, though to this day I’m not sure why. Then one summer while I was home from college, I buried myself in this same story again. It was therapeutic after going through my first breakup. Fast forward fifteen years, the story resurfaced in my mind after I read the “Twilight” series. This time I decided to publish it. It was never going to leave me, so why not?
I love reading stories that have been with the author for years! There’s something so beautiful about them. What led you to write in this genre?
I self-published the first two books of the series in the general market. At the time, I was mostly reading mainstream romance novels and didn’t know much about the clean or inspirational romance markets. After I published my second book, I went through a dry spell. I lost the passion to write, and then I discovered Christian fiction. The more I read, the more I thought, “This is how I should be writing.” As a lifelong Christian, it just made sense. That was early 2016. Since then, I’ve done a lot of soul searching, reading Christian and clean fiction, studying Scripture (I joined Bible Study Fellowship in 2016), and getting to know other Christian writers. My motivation for writing has completely changed, and I finally feel like I’m following God’s plan.
That is so cool! I love how God faithfully led you to His plan. <3 What message do you hope to convey to your readers?
My current series, Faithfully Yours, takes the reader on a journey from the beginning of a romance, when the characters are teenagers, through the development and maturing of the relationship as adults. I want to show the messiness of young love and (eventually) marriage, and how a couple strives to hold it together, even during the dark times. Their faith gradually becomes stronger, and they learn how to become “one” with each other, with God by their side. 
Okay, I’m seriously loving this story concept! <3 It’s so hard to find stories with that kind of journey. Can you tell us a little about your next release?
I’m finishing up the third installment of the Faithfully Your series, Never Change. This is the continuing story of Beth and David, an American girl and her rock musician husband, who is now touring with his band, Vinyl Fog. It’s set in 1983-1984, in London and California. In this installment, they deal with some issues which began in the second book, Never Fall. They also embark on a new adventure and must learn to juggle additional responsibilities.
I also plan to change my first two books, Never Let Go and Never Fall, to fit into the clean general market. All three books will have faith weaved throughout the stories. New editions of #1 and #2 will be published prior to the release of Never Change. After the holidays, I plan to nail down a release date, but I’m aiming for April or May.
Yay! Sounds wonderful! I will be frantically checking for updates in April and May. :-) What is your favorite Bible verse or story that inspires you on a soul level?
My overall favorite verse is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” It’s a great verse to live by when you feel insecure about life and what’s up ahead.
But this year, Romans 8:28 seems to be my verse. Earlier this year, I read this verse in a devotional, and it felt like God was speaking directly to me. And then I kept seeing this verse everywhere, and now we’re actually studying Romans in BSF. It reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Two years ago when I stalled out on my writing, I know God was calling me to change my motivation for writing as well as the content of my books. It wasn’t easy, but I’ve been obedient to that call. However, I often struggle over the past and wish I’d done things differently to begin with. But I can’t change that. This verse reassures me that God will take my winding path and use it for a good purpose, as long as I follow His lead. It’s so comforting to know this!

Yes, yes, yes! All the hearts! God is awesome! What are you currently reading? Inquiring minds – mine – want to know. :-)
I typically read four books concurrently: one audiobook, one Kindle, one paperback, and one nonfiction book. Right now, I’m reading The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen, The Esther Paradigm by Sarah Monzon, Cowboy Lawman’s Christmas Reunion by Louise M. Gouge, and The Happiness Dare by Jennifer Dukes Lee.    
I should stop asking this question. My TBR pile always grows. Haha!
Thank you so much for answering all of my prying questions, Anne! I had a blast hanging out with you today!
You can check out the Faithfully Yours Series below, as well as the cover reveal for Book Three, Never Change!
Deep breath. In. Out. In. Out. Here we go! ;-) *squeals*

 The Faithfully Yours Series ~

Is it possible to find your soul mate on the other side of the world?
Beth Johnson is an ambitious high school senior from suburban California with a secret passion for writing. David Somers is a charming young Englishman who wants nothing more than to play guitar in his up-and-coming rock band. Though worlds apart, when fate brings Beth and David together in London in the summer of 1979, sparks fly. After Beth receives upsetting news from home, she finds herself drawn to David’s warm character, and an all-consuming love develops. Theirs is the kind of love one never forgets, and as Beth’s stay in London nears the end, the young devoted couple must face the inevitable question: will their romance fade with the passing of summer or will they realize their promise of never letting go?

“Your fairy tale is about to begin.”

Beth and David’s whirlwind romance has survived a year of long-distance dating—dodging exes, dealing with jealousy, and syncing future goals. Eager to move into the next chapter of their lives together, Beth leaves California after graduation to follow her heart, joining David in his native London.

While Beth keeps busy with her university courses, David focuses on building his music career—recording and touring with his band, Vinyl Fog. They’re young and in love with the world at their feet.

Life seems perfect.

But it doesn’t take long before a series of unforeseen events challenges them like never before. How will Beth and David cope with one battle after another, and ultimately hold each other up while life keeps trying to knock them down?

Falling in love was easy.
Surviving love is the challenge.

Two souls becoming one…
The marriage of David and Beth Somers has survived many challenges in its first three years. The London guitarist, still faithfully devoted to his wife, has a new dream which pushes him to remain strong as he recovers from drug and alcohol addiction.
Ready to take on a new adventure, Beth and David discover they still have a lot to learn about marriage. Through many ups and downs, the young couple realizes it takes more than love to make a relationship thrive.
It takes commitment.
When Beth and David are gifted with a new blessing, they feel rewarded for all the heartache and tragedy of the past few years. Life on the road with Vinyl Fog, David’s band, becomes a three-ring circus, yet the changes are embraced by all.
But just as things are going well, an illness hits a loved one, forcing Beth to leave the tour and move in with her parents. Temptations surround David, now that his wife is away. Meanwhile, Beth turns bitter as she questions David’s commitment to his family. Will their marriage survive this separation, or will their souls remain one, even as life changes around them?

I don't know about you guys, but I'm definitely going to check out this series! And can I just say that those cover are gorgeous!!! I want to draw a big heart around them. <3

Thanks for stopping by, my writerly, bookish friends! <3 See you next time!


V. Joy Palmer

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


Today I’m delighted to have Julie Cosgrove with us on the Rough Diamond Mine. However, this special diamond is neither rough nor unknown to many of us and she ranks in my five top-

favorite-must-read authors. I hope after today you’ll place her on your list of favorites too! Julie and I met at North Texas Christian Writers and became part of the roll call of DiAnn Mills Ripplers Authors. That was quite a few years ago.

Julie, in case someone has not read any of the Bunco Biddies Mysteries, tell us a little about them.

Thanks for the glowing introduction, DiAne. Yes, it was a few million words ago, wasn’t it? But let me give a brief summary of the Bunco Biddies Mysteries.

A group of twelve active, sort of quirky, senior citizens living in a senior community get together every Thursday for a pot luck dinner and to play Bunco, a dice game. When their quiet, rural retirement plans are invaded by crime, the ladies decide to help the police find out whodunnit. After all, they know their community better than anyone else.

Janie, the ring leader, is the widow of a renowned Austin, Texas police detective. Her son-in-law is the chief detective of Alamoville, the nearby town which is growing by leaps and bounds. Her power walking buddies, Ethel and Betsy Ann, also bring their sleuthing skills to the table.

Criminals beware. These gray-haired ladies are sharp, funny, and deadly serious about preserving their way of life.

I’ll second the motion for these off-the-charts comical ladies. Gives me hope that retirement life can be a blast. But how in the world did you come up with this idea? These mysteries are nothing like your other books. I love ‘em and so does my Florida life-long BFF who will read this interview and wonder where her book is.

My older sister, who knows I am a mystery buff, asked me why I didn’t write mysteries instead of suspense and romance. At a writer’s conference, I cornered an editor and asked her the formula for a cozy mystery. She said they involved amateur sleuths and are usually in a small town where everyone knows each other.

I’d recently had a book booth at a festival in a senior community in Texas with a little over two-thousand residents. Most lived independently in condos or garden homes, but others resided in assisted and full nursing care faculties on the property. Theses 55 plus communities are springing up all over the country. I asked the editor if that would suffice as the setting for a cozy and I couldn’t miss the twinkle in her eye
So, I went home, wrote up some synopses and the first few chapters of the first one, Dumpster Dicing, and sent it to her. Unfortunately, her publishing house didn’t contract with me, but my current publisher decided to step outside of the romance genre box and give me a contract for all three.

And Dumpster Dicing won an award, right?  

Yes, it did — Best Cozy Mystery set in Texas for 2017 by the Texas Association of Authors.

Woo Hoo! Congrats! But how did you come up with the titles?

I wanted each title to have something to do with the dice game, Bunco. Dumpster Dicing of course is a play on words. I hoped the title would clue the reader into the fact it is a mystery but also humorous. The title also describes the first murder.

Baby Bunco is one of ways to score in the game. Each table is given three dice, and each person at the table takes turns rolling them. The object is to roll as many of one particular number as you can. If you roll three ones in the first round, that’s a Bunco. If you roll three of any other number while rolling for ones, that is a Baby Bunco. In this book, a baby is found abandoned in a vacant condo’s bathtub. Not an everyday occurrence in a 55 plus community.

The third one, Threes, Sixes, & Thieves, derived from the fact that a roll of three sixes ends the Bunco game. But to title a faith-based novel, (Ahem) Three Sixes? Well… So, my publisher came up with this name. It continues the theme, gives a clue to the crime, and also contains alliteration like the other two titles.

I’ve read both and absolutely love ‘em! They’re all you say and so much more. I feel like I know each one of your characters personally.  Now, tell us about the third book, Threes, Sixes & Thieves.

Condos and apartments in Sunset Acres with three and six in their house numbers are targeted by burglars. Janie sees a pattern, though her son-in-law Chief Detective Blake Johnson isn’t convinced. Besides he is on administrative leave after his involvement in one of Janie’s unauthorized sleuths. Janie and the Bunco Biddies decide to watch their friend’s house who they believe might be next one to be robbed. It is, and there is a shootout, resulting in a manhunt. Throngs of outlying communities send in their forces to help, and they catch one of the thieves.

However, he is found hanged in his jail cell. And no one can identify exactly who the arresting officer was. Blake’s partner, Mitch, who is back from medical leave, is put in charge. Janie isn’t so sure he is doing a good job tracking down the other thieves, or that the one they caught really hung himself.

All can be found in paperback and eBook on Amazon. 

To make sense of your series, does the reader have to read the books in order?

Not at all. Each is a story unto itself. There is a development of characters and their ongoing lives, but clues to that is revealed in summary in each book. However, I hope they will be like potato chips—the reader isn’t satisfied with reading just one.

I can’t wait to get a copy and send to my Florida BFF. If it’s not in her Christmas package, I’ll be in big trouble. Anything else on the horizon?

I am contracted for Bunco Biddies #4, Until Dice Do Us Part. It will be out later in 2018, though I have not been given a date as of yet.

I am also starting a new contemporary cozy mystery series about three thirty-something ladies who become interested in researching their genealogies after studying who begat whom in the first Chapter of Matthew. In the process, they discover a few skeletons in the familial closet. The synopses for the first three books in the Begat Buddies Mysteries are being reviewed by a publishing house that showed great interest in them, and I am hopeful they will be contracted soon.

I have written the first in a crime mystery series set in the 1970’s in Austin after interviewing some retired APD detectives from that era. However, the publisher and I agreed to cancel my three-book contract, because writing about that era involved a plot with sex, alcohol and drugs. It didn’t fit her company’s guidelines, even though it is a redemptive story and the main detective is a believer. She has encouraged me to seek publication with someone else because she thinks they are sellable, and I respect her decision. So, The Case Files of Gabe McGammon have been shifted to the back burner for now.

And of course, I continue my day job as a digital missionary with Cru Canada editing and writing for their two websites, Issues I Face and The Life. With half the world now on the internet, it is the new mission field. It is exciting, and humbling to be a part of this ministry that right now reaches over a half-million people each month. To find out more, you can visit my website

Because it's Christmas, Julie is giving away an ebook of Threes, Sixes, and Thieves to one lucky responder to this interview. We'll be announcing the winner this coming Sunday afternoon. So be sure to leave Julie a comment and stay tuned to see if you've won!

Julie, as always, it’s been a pleasure to visit with you today and receive an update on what God’s doing in your life. My husband and I pray for you each day—and I’m delighted to hear there’s going to be a Book 4 in this series—and Book Five--Maybe? Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

                                                                                         See y'all next time...Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Hi Diamond Mine fans. Julie B Cosgrove here. Today I have the privilege of introducing you to a multi-published author named Shellie Arnold.  

So tell us -  Who is Shellie Arnold (inquiring readers want to know)?

Hi Julie. Thanks for having me. I’m a wife, home school mother of three, mother-in-law to Kate (whom I adore), and a lover of movies, Chili Cheese Fritos, power tools, and cuddly critters. We have one dog, two cats, and three bunnies.

Chili Cheese Fritos takes me back to hosting the snack stand as a band parent at football games. 
Good for you for homeschooling. So, tell us, with all you have on your plate, why do you write Christian fiction?

Actually, writing Christian fiction wasn’t on my radar until 2006. Prior to 2002, writing non-fiction about marriage was my goal. I hoped to share everything I was learning the hard way about marriage. From August 2002 to May 2005, I faced a near-debilitating illness that halted all my writing dreams. After God healed me, my husband and I both prayed for eleven months before I began writing anything. I tell people God healed my brain, then turned my head to fiction. I said to God, “That’s not what we were doing.” His response, “That’s what we’re doing now.” So, I write novels about the perfect storms in marriage—what happens when my weaknesses hit yours head-on, and we’re both left wondering if anything can be salvaged. Then I speak and write other non-fiction works about marriage, too.

 Do you write anything else?

I have a blog that I’m sort of re-starting now. Right now, I’m finishing my fourth novel, then I hope to buckle down to write some romances. I also hope to pursue publishing my first non-fiction work next year, as well as launching online courses for those who want to strengthen their marriage.

Tell us briefly about these three novels  you have written and if they stand alone or are sequels you have to read in order?

My first three novels are the first three books in The Barn Church series, a series that focuses on couples who attend The Barn Church in Rowe City, Alabama. Each story highlights a specific couple within that church body. 

My first novel, The Spindle Chair, is the story of Pierce and Laurie Crane. They’re a youngcouple who is desperate to have a child, but they have no idea how their marriage will be threatened when God grants that request.

 Book two is Sticks and Stones, about Rick and Julie Matthews. They’ve been married almost twenty years and have a special needs child. But coping with that unexpected blessing had some negative effects on their relationship that won’t be ignored after Julie is injured in an accident. 

Abide With Me is book three and looks at Nicholas and Angelina Rousseau, a couple who lacks no material thing, but their marriage is emotionally bankrupt. Each of these couples comes to a crossroad where choices must be made, and hopefully I’ve realistically portrayed the various challenges and struggles they face. While it’s not critical they are read in order, a reader might enjoy them better in order, simply because each consecutive book highlights a couple the reader meets in a previous story.

What do you hope your readers will take away from the third book we are featuring today?

First, that no marriage is beyond saving. I believe that with all my heart. It’s why my tagline is “Live Happily Even After.” I truly believe despite baggage, or past mistakes, any marriage can thrive if both parties obey God. God can heal, redeem, and restore anything. I’m living proof.

Second, that God is always there, always trying to speak to us, lead us, teach us, and grow us into becoming more like Jesus and stronger in His love. It’s only when we are growing in God’s love and in relationship with Him, that we can truly grow love in our marriage and our relationship with each other. It’s a win-win that so often gets overlooked when we stare at our problems.

What else is on your to-be-written list?

As I said, I’m completing my fourth novel. It’s my first stand alone. It’s not part of The Barn Church series, although I don’t think I’m finished writing the series. And my non-fiction projects include a book on sexuality in marriage. I think I have a different perspective than most, since I’m not a psychologist or pastor’s wife or even a counselor. I’m a kid from a broken home, as well as a sexual abuse survivor, as is my husband, so I approach the subject from a different place.

When you aren't writing, what do you like to do?

I wasn’t kidding that I love power tools. Home improvement projects are fun to me. Last weekend we hung new drywall in my kitchen ceiling. If I had my way, I’d be renovating and remodeling houses on a regular basis, but so far that hasn’t been God’s path. I enjoy reading and I really do LOVE watching movies. I enjoy watching sports—football, tennis, world cup soccer, the Olympics. Dates with my husband. Shopping with my youngest, my daughter. Writing or working at my desk with the dog or a cat on my lap.

Maybe I'll see you on HGTV? But for now, where can people find you? (Website, FaceBook, blog, etc).

I maintain a web site at and my blog is there, as well.
On Twitter I’m @ShellieArnold1

Thanks, Shellie, for reaching out to the Diamond Mine of Christian Fiction. Please let others know about our blog!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield Interview

Hello, Diamond Mine readers! Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is on the Mine today to give us a sneak peak at her latest book Swept Into Destiny, a Civil War historical and the first in a series that you won't want to miss.

One brave decision leads to serious consequences. Maggie is secretly educating the slaves at Spirit Wind Manor. But the manor’s serenity is soon threatened by abolitionist John Brown. A new republic looms on the horizon and with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, her countrymen’s anger escalates as secession spreads across the southern states. With the fires of civil war glowing on the horizon, Maggie is swept into its embers realizing she is in love with the manor’s hardworking, handsome Irishman Ben McConnell. Ben joins the Union Army and Maggie is forced to call him her enemy. An unexpected chain of events leads her into choosing where her loyalties lie. Conscience and consequence—did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South? As the battle between North and South rages, Maggie is torn. Was Ben right? Had this Irish immigrant perceived the truth of what God had predestined for America?



When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

When I fell in love with books! I did dream of some day writing my own book, but that seemed impossible to me. I wasn’t good at spelling or grammar. I didn’t like school much and preferred being active. To me books were an active pursuit. My imagination was always in overdrive as I pursued my heroine through the written word. The colorful places, the leaps I took into another time period, wow, books continue to be an exciting adventure.

When I grew up we had black and white television sets, no internet, and, would you believe—no cell phones. So, if I wanted color, I read a book. I was captivated with the rhyming sonnet of words, the flowing musical notes of the written language!

But it wasn’t until my grandmother came to live with me that I actually sat down and put my thoughts and love for words on paper and began my first novel.

Yes, books! The love of story. Where it all begins. I couldn't agree with you more.

What inspired you to write about the Civil War?

My grandmother’s stories about the South, her down-home dialect captured my imagination. Gran was originally from Kentucky. Also, my husband is from Alabama. I realized that many southerners did not want to secede from the Union; they fought because of their loyalty to their beloved South. I also learned that only a small percentage of southerners owned slaves. However, Irish immigrants were often hired for ridiculously low wages to do the work normal people, even slaves, were too valuable to do.

I was amazed to learn about the sacrifices and loss of property the southerners endured. But what surprised me the most was the southerners’ strong Christian beliefs. In spite of untold hardships, instead of being bitter toward God, they embraced Him. I wanted to write the truth about the antebellum era, the political unrest, and the spiraling effect that people and events had in opening the door for a civil war.

How long did you spend researching before writing Swept into Destiny?

I feel like saying twelve years, because that is the length of time my grandmother lived with my family. But my serious research started about 2005, when my grandmother left to be with Jesus and my children were grown. I knew I wanted to write a sequel and I wanted the first book to begin during the antebellum era and for the last book of the four book series to end after World War II. 

I love how your grandmother inspired your writing. I wish I'd had more time with mine to tap into that wealth of history and truth. What a wonderful gift.

What were your goals on writing the book?

It is my prayer that people, after reading Swept into Destiny, will come away feeling uplifted and edified by the Irish immigrant’s fortitude and courage. This book is for every immigrant, every ethic group and every person who has felt the lash of inferiority. Ben McConnell’s faith was put to the test repeatedly. When Ben was slapped in the face with injustice, prejudice, hate, or with “No Irish need apply” verbiage, he responded, “We’ll show you through our attitude and work ethics that we shall persevere and with God on our side, we will become victorious.”

I loved Ben's drive and strength. Are any of your characters based on real people or just from your imagination?

The main characters, though inspired by my grandmother’s stories, are created from my imagination. I must admit, I had to stop and think about that. Maggie and Ben became so real to me, so alive in my imagination; it is hard for me to believe they are imaginary.

The secondary characters, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, John Brown, Dred Scott, and Dr. Isaac Anderson were real people, and I attempted in Swept into Destiny to re-emphasize their forthright spirit and accomplishments. 

You highlight the Irish plight in America and their contribution to the Civil War so well. Do you have Irish ancestors?

Yes, I do. My grandmother was Irish, with a bit of Scottish thrown in for flavor. My grandfather was English. It was my mother who told me about how the Irish immigrant did the work the slaves were too valuable to do. I never learned this in my history classes or books. I had to do some extensive research to dig up this information.

To show you how well kept these facts were, I happened across a gentleman in Lexington, Kentucky, and he said the same. That he didn’t learn about the Irish immigrant or their plight until he took a college course.

When I went to Gettysburg, I saw a Celtic cross dedicated to the Irish Brigade. I thought Ireland sent a brigade to the United States to fight in the Civil War? You can imagine my astonishment to learn it was Irish immigrants who formed three Union regiments and two Confederate regiments that fought in the Civil War!

Needless to say, I include in my Author Note at the back of Swept into Destiny some interesting facts about our Irish immigrants. There is also in the back of the book, Book Club Discussion Questions.

What was the most difficult part in writing this book?

Keeping my word count down! I wanted to tell my readers oh, so much. I view history as a springboard into the future. I wanted to encompass more about the history Swept into Destiny introduced. For instance, like the plight of the Irish during the Irish Rebellion against the British of 1798 and the song “The Wearin’ of the Green.” Wearing green clothing or wearing the shamrock was considered a rebellious act, punishable by death. “They were hanging men and women for the wearin’ of the green.” Much like what is happening with what ISIS is doing to Christians.

How important is it to include a spiritual emphasis in your writing?

Very! I write because of my Savior, Christ Jesus and getting His truth out to those who do not know Him is important to me.  

I don’t believe that in heaven God will segregate us into ethnic groups. We can’t determine what nationality, eye color, physical features, not even the mental capacity we will be born with. But we alone determine what we do with what we are given.

My heroine, Maggie, was right in saying that we are all slaves. Slaves to ourselves and our sins and without the blood of Christ to wash them away, our destiny on earth is hopeless. In Galatians 4:7 we read, “Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then heir of God through Christ.”

Would you like to see this book made into a movie? Who would you choose to play the hero and heroine?

One of my dreams is to have the Destiny four book sequels placed on the motion picture screen. I just finished hearing a lecture by Stanley D. Williams about how to structure your story to make it a worthy candidate for film adaptation.

Because of my love for Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice, I’d probably pick Kiera Knightly for Maggie and Matthew Macfadyen for Ben. For Mrs. Gatlan, Jane Seymour and for Mr. Gatlan, Tom Selleck. He has a no-nonsense personality like my character.

YES! Love Kiera and Matthew for the leads. They would be perfect. :) And one of the reasons I thought of the above question was because the whole time I was reading the book, I kept thinking how great it would be as a movie. Hope I get to see it someday.

Could you share a few thoughts about the continuing story in your next book in the series?

Out of Kentucky’s bluegrass, debutant balls, and old-world charm, and into the burning ashes of a defeated cause sweeps … Into Destiny’s Whirlwind… Ben McConnell swears his oath before God Almighty and renames his estate Shushan. 

Upon the dawn of the Spanish American War, Collina McConnell promises she’ll uphold Shushan’s legacy… and ponders the mystery that lies beneath her father’s dying request. A dashing Rough Rider named Franklin Long steps uninvited into her world, and her heart suddenly has a will of its own…

Can't wait!


Catherine 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.

Catherine was a former staff writer for Michigan Traveler Magazine (Breckenridge, MI), has free lanced for numerous other publications; Woods-n-Water News, Michigan History Magazine and Tri-City Times Newspaper, L. A. View Newspaper, and The Romeo Observer Newspaper.

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books; Extraordinary Answers to Prayers, Unexpected 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.