GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW: Author Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

by | Jul 27, 2018 | writing

Hello, readers! I have an author for you to meet today that you will adore! A clean Historical Romance author!! I am always excited to introduce you to new authors, but I can’t help but be a little bit partial to my favorite genre. Author Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is here to talk about her Destiny Series. And I can’t wait for you to meet her. So, without further ado, let’s move on…

Welcome, Catherine! And thanks for joining us today. First, can you tell us a little about your novel?

Destiny’s Whirlwind is the second book of the four-book faith-based Destiny series: Collina McConnell is thrust from adolescence to adulthood as she promises her father she will manage their estate, but her father dies before disclosing the mystery behind his legacy for Shushan. Dashing Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help, and suddenly Collina’s heart has a will of its own. Does he feel the same for her? War is declared, and he leaves for the Cuban shoreline. He holds the key to her heart, but will he return?

I like the premise! Of course, Historical Romance is my favorite genre. So you have definitely piqued my interest. If you can, tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

Because Destiny’s Whirlwind is part of a series, Swept into Destiny is the first book of the series. I shall supply a special Bonus Chapter to anyone who asks for this to go along with Destiny’s Whirlwind.

Swept into Destiny is about an Irish Immigrant named Ben McConnell and a southern belle named Maggie Gatlan.

Collina McConnell is Ben and Maggie’s daughter and the story begins just before the Spanish-American war in 1898. In Destiny’s Whirlwind, the McConnells have just come through battling smallpox.

You’re not making me want this series less 🙂 I am super intrigued now! Would you share the more historically significant events behind your story?

During the late 1800s up to around 1906 this time in America was much like the Victorian Era in Europe. This was America’s “coming out” era for women, so to speak, as portrayed by Charles Dana Gibson’s interpretation of this time in his Gibson Girl.

Roosevelt’s Rough Riders were volunteers and didn’t have a regimented uniform when the Spanish American War began. Because of the Rough Rider’s heroic exploits, they became the forerunner of the Great War’s cavalry unit in 1917.

Love those historical tidbits! What was the inspiration for your novel?

My grandmother inspired Destiny’s Whirlwind and the Destiny series. I never knew that the Irish immigrant often did the work that the slaves were too valuable to do. I had heard little about the Spanish-American War in school. It was my grandmother who drew my attention to that era. I never heard about the Gibson Era until Gran told me about the large sleeves and taffeta skirts that rustled when you walked.

Gran told me stories about her family, their determination to keep Shushan (a fictitious name) and about her eldest sister who drove a team of six white horses and managed the farm after their father had died unexpectedly.

So neat! I, too, have a novel with pieces inspired by my grandparents. It’s very sweet.

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

I became serious about writing after I won a contest to go to the Billy Graham School for Christian Writers. That was back in the summer of 1976. I remember the year, because I was pregnant with my daughter then. That autumn my grandmother came to live with us after her son had died. My daughter was two months old at the time.

That sounds like a lot going on at one time!

I love what we as writers can glean from other writers intuitively through reading… What are you currently reading?

I’m reading a contemporary fiction by Cindy Ervin Huff, New Duet.

I really love this book. It’s about Isabella Wilson who’s a guilt-ridden widow and Dan Sweeney, a disabled veteran.

She was on my blog just a few weeks ago. That storyline touched me too. I live in a military town and come from a military family (my grandfather was career military). The wounded warrior character is a personal read here.

Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?

I like to get my outside ranch chores done. Haha, maybe not full fledge ranch, but close. We have four Arabian horses, two dogs, four cats and eight chickens. After they are taken care of I’m ready to sit down and do some serious writing on my computer. I like to write in my study where it is quiet.

You sure do have your hands full…full of good things, though!

Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?

I’m so glad you asked! I have just completed book three of the Destiny series, A Destiny of Heart. This should be released sometime in October of this year.

A Destiny of Heart is a handshake away from Destiny’s Whirlwind. My characters and their life choices are vividly real, and I feel that is why many of my readers totally relate to this Destiny series.

Thank you so much for being on the blog and sharing about your books and your inspiration! I look forward to my readers learning a little more about the series in the following information. And, readers, there will be details of a giveaway at the end of the post. Don’t miss it!!

Swept into Destiny

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?

Destiny’s Whirlwind

Collina McConnell is thrust from adolescence to adulthood as she promises her dying father she will manage their estate, but her father dies before disclosing the mystery behind his legacy for Shushan. Dashing Rough Rider Franklin Long offers his help, and suddenly Collina’s heart has a will of its own. Does he feel the same for her? War is declared, and he leaves for the Cuban shoreline. He holds the key to her heart, but will he return? A disgruntled in-law and a vindictive lawyer place the McConnell clan in the clutches of life’s tangled web of deception and greed. As Collina fights to keep her promise to her father, the words of Esther 8:6 ring in her thoughts. “How can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people?”

Enjoy an Excerpt

“Come, child.” Maggie rose tiredly from the large Bentwood. “Death never waits on convenience.”

“Pa?” Collina bent low toward the still form.

Her father’s eyes opened, fluttering for a moment. His lips worked their way into a crooked grin. “You got that hay and grain from the McWilliams okay?”

“With the usual measure of trouble thrown in.”

His lips creased into a smile. “It’s the pepper sprinkled on our table meat that gives it flavor. What’s the date? Are we still in February or—”

“No, Father, it’s March and would you believe, I just rode our whites through what felt like a blizzard.”

“It’ll not last. Hard times never do…Hardened people…nursed on God’s Word…endure. Collina, above all, ye must take up the armor…the shield of faith…to quench the fiery darts of the wicked one…”

Buy Links

Amazon – Swept into Destiny

Amazon – Destiny’s Whirlwind

More About the Author

Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing!”

Catherine is an award-winning author of faith-based historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her new Destiny series begins with Swept into Destiny. The second of her four-book Destiny series Destiny’s Whirlwind released this past spring. A Destiny of Heart will release this autumn.

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; 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!

Connect with Catherine and her books

Blog: Hopes, Hearts,& Hoofbeats

Twitter :



Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is offering a copy of Destiny’s Whirlwind, the first book in the series, to one (1) winner, chosen by Rafflecopter (Continental United States only.) Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter to enter, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

"Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE copy of the Hope in Cripple Creek prequel novella!"

Sara R. Turnquist