Catherine Ulrich Brakefield Speaks Up!

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Everyone’s Story give a very warm welcomes to author Catherine Ulrich Brakefield. It’s exciting for me to be hosting Catherine this new week (fresh back from a blog vacation) because not only have I read and enjoyed her novel Wilted Dandelions, but I’ve also recently won her newest release Swept into Destiny that I’m looking forward to ripping into! And, Catherine is  also a Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award winner for 2016!! So, get comfortable and check out Catherine’s teaser, book trailer, Giveaway offer, and read what she speaks up about. We’re both looking forward to hearing from you!

**Please check out a special fun offer, after Catherine’s feature, for a BookGiveaway collection from several great authors. I’m offering Christmas Treasures, an anthology.

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Catherine is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter  a print edition of Swept Into Destiny (US only). The winner will be announced between 6-7 PM EST on July 21st.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.


Swept into Destiny book teaser:

…Strong hands grabbed her waist. A large man swept her into his embrace with ease, his eyes gleaming into hers with amusement. “What is a dandified lady like you doing in the swamp?”

A dirty red bandana wrapped his forehead, and curly black hair covered his head. This was not the time to be chivalrous and he was hardly the man to offer it. His close-clipped black mustache curled about dimpled cheeks and there was a glint of amused contempt in his black eyes.

“I live here. Now unhand me. This poor man needs your attention.”

Dark of face, swarthy as a pirate, his hot glare swept her face like fire. “I think you’re hardly wearin’ the right clothes to be livin’ here.”


Beating the Odds By Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

For Grandmother, storytelling came as natural as honey is to bees. Raised in Kentucky, her southern dialect added to the flavor of her artistic words. I never dreamed her storytelling skills would inspire me into a writing profession.

My seventy-nine-year-old grandmother needed a home. I felt God’s direct guidance to take her in to live with my husband and me, instead of seeing her placed in a nursing home. What could be so difficult about that? She stood only five feet tall and weighted ninety-five pounds—I never expected my tiny grandmother to dominate my family so quickly.

Gran had had rheumatoid arthritis for years. The disease left her with enlarged joints and limited mobility. With the aid of her gold winged-back chair specially equipped with a built-in lift, she could rise to a standing position and then lean on her walker to shuffle her way around her small world of bedroom, bath, and kitchen.


Gran became my confidant and chief baby advisor for my two-month-old daughter. Five years later, my son joined our household.

Each year my children grew stronger, and each year brought another obstacle for Granny Ruby to hurdle. Shingles, pneumonia and a stroke, added to the mounting sicknesses she endured. She persevered, beating down the melancholy of her sicknesses. All through the course of Gran’s twilight years, for her great-grandchildren, she kept a smile on her face.

Yes, if I was too busy, Gran was always there. Her big winged-backed chair rocked back and forth to the tempo of my children’s escapades as she exclaimed over their bruised knees and scraped elbows. In her down-home dialect, she told them stories about herself as a little girl growing up, and suddenly I wasn’t too busy to listen.

On many occasions, she told us the Civil War stories passed along through the corridors of time. Oftentimes, in the middle of a story, she would pause, and that pause filled our ears with the heartache of a people and a nation, the southern part of the Union that lost more than words could say. Land her great-father donated to the state. The plot of earth, which before the war the townsfolk used as a campground, became a Civil War cemetery, donated like so many pieces of land in the south that spoke of the fathers and sons who never returned home.

Her stories never centered on her tragedies, but on her triumphs. Gran always said, “There’s nothin’ that life can’t dish out, Jesus can’t make into a feast.”

I have often wondered what my life would have been like if my grandmother had been placed in a nursing home, if I had not accepted God’s challenge, stepped out in faith and put my tomorrows and those of my family into His keeping. Would I have found my way?

Little did I dream that obeying God would bring me face to face with my calling! That beating all the odds meant perseverance no matter what the trials, disappointments, and endless rejections.

The first year Gran came to live with us, I fought the yoke of servitude that taking care of my grandmother curtailed and prayed continuously for God to “get me out of this impossible situation.” God didn’t. Nor did God make my writing pilgrimage any easier. Only through Scripture did I find solitude.

Those twelve years with Gran equipped me for the next phase of my life. Instead of looking to get out of an impossible situation, I look instead into “beating the odds” through God’s word, the Holy Bible.

Swept into Destiny, book one of the Destiny Series, was inspired by my grandmother’s stories of the Civil War era. Please let me know if the story has blessed you!

Catherine’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Author Catherine Ulrich Brakefield @CUBrakefield speaks up: Beating the Odds. (Tweet This)

Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s @CUBrakefield: Did your grandma shape your writing? (Tweet This)

Win Catherine Ulrich Brakefield’s @CUBrakefield #BookGiveaway: Swept into Destiny (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Catherine says, “My readers inspire my writing! 

She is the author of three faith-based historical romances; The Wind of Destiny, Wilted Dandelions, and the first of a four-book Destiny series, Swept into Destiny. She has also 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 and Horse of my Heart; CrossRiver Media Publishers, The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today.

She enjoys swimming and horseback riding and lives in Addison Township with her husband, Edward, and their Arabian horses. Now that her children are grown and married, she and Edward are the blessed recipients of two handsome grandsons and a lovely granddaughter!

Places to connect with Catherine:





Catherine and I look forward to your comments.


Christmas in July Kindle Giveaway

For 1 week only!



Need a break from the summer heat? Think Christmas stories!

Here’s the link:


38 comments to Catherine Ulrich Brakefield Speaks Up!

  • Isn’t it amazing what God can do when we are obedient to His calling? I enjoyed getting to know Catherine and look forward to reading her books. The excerpt was awesome!

  • Esther Bandy

    Hi Elaine,
    Thank you for inviting Catherine to your blog. I haven’t read any of her books but I enjoyed her story and I look forward to reading some of her books.

    Hi Catherine,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us and for offering a giveaway of Swept Into Destiny. I enjoyed reading about Gran’s influence on your life and on your writing. I love the quote, “There’s nothing life can’t dish out, Jesus can’t make into a feast.” Truly, the struggles and challenges we endure in our lives are often blessings in disguise that help us become who God wants us to be. I look forward to reading some of your work. May the Lord bless you as you write for His glory.

    • elaineadmin

      Esther, when Catherine first sent her material to me for this blog feature I read her grandmother’s quote about Jesus making messes into feasts and loved it as well… and emailed Catherine to say so. There’s so much truth in those words, powerful stuff that is holding me upright these days.

    • Thank you so much Esther Bandy for your kind words and it is so true, you never know what Jesus can turn out from the mess we can often make of our lives. Thank you again and I hope you enjoy Swept into Destiny.

  • Evangeline

    Loved the stories about your gran and the fact that you took her into your home. You are a new author to me, and I would love to win your book. Thanks for the chance. 😊😍

  • Ann Ellison

    Loved the interview and the stories she shared about her gran. Her books sound really good.

  • Thank you for this wonderful interview, Elaine. I love Catherine’s writing style. I’ll be sure to put her books on my TBR list, which keeps growing and growing. LOL And I especially liked that wonderful meme. There’s nothin’ that life can’t dish out Jesus can’t make into a feast. How true. God bless both of you.

    • elaineadmin

      Thanks, Sharon, for your kind words on the meme (something I don’t received too much feedback on, so that’s good to know). I’m glad you enjoyed Catherine’s feature.

    • Thank you Sharon K. Connell for that wonderful compliment! You are already an encouragement to me and I eagerly look forward to your comments after reading Wilted Dandelions or Swept into Destiny. God Bless!

  • It is always wonderful to hear of those like you Catherine, and Elaine, who take the time to listen to others’ stories. There is such a richness there that so many miss for not taking that time. I’m so glad you honored your gran by listening to her stories.

    The excerpt from your book certainly leads one to belief that your Gran’s feisty personality made its way into your stories too..

    • elaineadmin

      A sweet hello, Delores. I’m always happy to see you here. I really believe it’s essential to listen and learn from others’ stories. I’ve always felt that way.

    • Haha, yes, you are right on Delores Liesner. She was a tiny woman, but had a big imagination and a 6′-5″ ability to make sure others knew she was in the room. Hope you get a chance to read Swept! God Bless.

  • Aren’t grandmothers wonderful? 🙂 Mine are now gone to Heaven, but was blessed to have five generations alive at one time or the other, on both sides of the family. None of them lived with me, but my Grandma and Grandpa Reynolds live across a field from us. Great Grandma Riness lived with them. When my second child was born, we had a picture taken with the five generations. By then Grandma Riness was very feeble, and she thought my new baby girl was her baby. 🙂 So, every evening, I had to walk across the field to Grandma’s house and carry my daughter with me. Even when my daughter was old enough to sit up and crawl, she sometimes spent time sitting in bed with her great, great grandmother. We have four generations alive now. We lost my grandmother shortly after my grandson was born. And yes, there are many family stories to be told!

    • elaineadmin

      Wow, Karen, you truly are blessed with a rich, loving family. Treasure those memories! They’re beyond precious. Although I come from a deeply fragmented family, my father’s mother, Grandma, lived only 1 city block away from us during my early years. For a few of my years in high school she also moved in with us. And I’m fortunate to have fond memories of her! Looking back, I’m sure life would have been much tougher without her!!

    • That is amazing! You are so fortunate to have had five generations together like that! I can just imagine what a celebration it will be when you all get together in heaven, too! I think the best part of living is what we learn from our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • Thank you Elaine, for taking time from your own busy schedule to have me on your blog post! I am sincerely blessed!
    Also, many thanks for Patricia Bradley, Esther Bandy, Evangeline, Ann Ellison, Sharon K. Connell, Delores Liesner, Karen Campbell Prough for taking time to comment and all your very kind words! I am very much looking forward to you reading Swept into Destiny and learning if the story stood up to your expectations! God Bless everyone and I pray we all come to see God’s directions in our life decisions.

  • Ann Mock

    I enjoyed reading about the wonderful role your grandmother played in your life! What a blessing. My novel is also set in the South after the Civil War. I am very interested in that era and would enjoy reading your novel.

  • Hi Catherine! What beautiful memories you have of that special time with your grandmother. Its beautiful to see the fruit of your faithfulness being harvested. Your grandmother would be so proud! Were you published while she was still living? Your book sounds like a great read! I enjoy historical romance the most!

    • elaineadmin

      Kelly, I appreciate your visit! I’m curious as to Catherine’s responses.

    • I think that is the very best thing about life, our treasured memories! It was often hard going during my grandmother’s many illnesses, but only the good memories last! No, my grandmother was living in heaven some 20 years later before the book became a reality.

  • Marilyn R

    A legacy shared with your grandmother and her stories. Thank you for sharing and your testimony how God has sustained, provided and led you through your journey. Swept into Destiny sounds like an amazing read. Civil War era in historical fiction is my favorite era for this genre. The excerpt and trailer was great. Thank you, Elaine, for introducing me to a new author.

    • elaineadmin

      Marilyn, I’m always happy to see you here. I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Catherine.

    • Thank you Marilyn R. I am so happy to know that you enjoyed the book trailer. I will let my husband know. this is his first attempt in doing one! I so look forward to your review of Swept into Destiny. This the the first book of four to come out and the series was inspired by my grandmother’s stories.

  • Hi, Cathy! It’s so nice to learn more about your personal story and inspiration. It’s wonderful
    how you followed God’s calling to care for your grandma and to learn about what a blessing
    she was to you. It’s really neat how she shared so many stories of the past with you. My
    grandma, who also had RA, shared some interesting stories with me, but never on that
    scale. Thank you for sharing.

    And thank you, Elaine, for allowing another wonderful author to share her story on your

    • elaineadmin

      Kathy, it’s always a joy to have you visit. So glad you enjoyed Catherine’s feature. Treasure your fond memories of your grandmother!

    • Thank you Kathleen Rouser! You are an inspiration to me. I think part of the reason Gran shared so much of her life with me is that during those 12 years we encountered so many peaks and valleys of our lives together. My children, pets, and current-event interaction helped Gran to recall stories about her life growing up and also many stories her mother, sisters, and aunts told to her. Back when Gran grew up, there was no radio or TV. They relied on word of mouth and their memories. I wish I just had half her memory. You could tell her your name and she never forgot a name or face!

  • Thank you Ann Mock for your interest in Swept into Destiny and the inspiration my grandmother gave me in creating this novel! I look forward to your review.

  • elaineadmin

    Summer’s in full swing, but I can tell as much as folks are getting outdoors they’re still eager to enjoy a great novel. I’m thankful to my lovely guest, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, for a wonderful week on Everyone’s Story. May He bless you with many more readers, Catherine.

    And thanks for the BookGiveaway of Swept into Destiny. And the winner is…

    Patricia B. Congratulations, Patricia!! Both Catherine and I will contact you via direct email.

    Blessing to all.

  • I was touched by Catherine’s description of her life with her Gran and how she inspired her writing. Although my grandma never did live with me, she too inspired my writing with her stories of miracles and healings she and Grandpa experienced in the early days of their pioneer missionary work in Alaska from 1917 to 1982.

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