Author Interview: Catherine Ulrich Brakefield, Author of Swept Into Destiny

Today, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield is on the blog today to chat with us on her newest release, Swept Into Destiny. Catherine's a new author to me, so I'm with you in getting to know her here too! 

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 scheduled for release in May 16, 2017. 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!

Visit for book purchases and sales.  Her books are available at, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, and   

TO CONNECT WITH CATHERINE:  website | facebook | twitter | google+ 

Just Commonly – Q&A with Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Tell us a little about you. 
I love the outdoors and enjoy swimming and horseback riding the best. Another enjoyment I have is traveling. I met my husband on a 747 going to Hawaii.  He was stationed in Oahu in Naval Intelligence.  To say the least, we had a fantastic tour of Schofield Barracks and Kolekole Pass. Marriage awakened in me the adventure of motherhood and another love of my life, watching my children grow and explore their own pathways of adventure. Today, I am thoroughly enjoying the thrill of being a grandmother! 

Can you tell us a little about your upcoming release, Swept into Destiny?
Swept into Destiny is a faith-based historical romance set in the Antebellum Era in 1857. The novel carries the reader through the tumultuous years leading up to and through the Civil War.  
Swept into Destiny is the first book of a four-book series and relates the story of Irish immigrant Ben McConnell and southern bell Maggie Gatlan. 
Maggie Gatlin’s father doesn’t want to jeopardize his slaves to dredge out his snake-infested swampland, so unbeknown to Maggie, he hires cheap Irish labor. 
Maggie is secretly educating Spirit Wind Manor’s slaves and any slave who desires to learn to read and write. Maggie could face jail or a worse punishment for her actions. After bidding her students leave before daybreak, she hears someone yelling for help. 
She fears one of her students has gotten trapped in the swampland and that is when she clashes with the fiercely proud Irish immigrant Ben McConnell. 
Like things couldn’t get any worse, abolitionist John Brown begins his rampage, galloping across the southern states raising a revolt among the slaves.  Then a new republic looms on the horizon with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. Words of secession spread across the southern states like wildfire. Maggie is soon swept up into its embers realizing she is in love with the handsome and swashbuckling Ben McConnell who decides to join the Union army.What was your inspiration? My sweet, unassuming grandmother inspired this Destiny series. She came to visit my husband and me on the weekends and ended up staying. My daughter was two months old at the time. Gran lived with us for twelve years, through my son’s birth and up to my daughter becoming a vivacious junior high cheerleader. Then Jesus decided to take Gran home to live with him. 
Gran’s storytelling talents could give Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer competition! So is it any wonder I fell into writing? My children and I soaked in Gran’s stories like a sponge. She could spin a yarn about gypsies traveling down the bygone roads of yesteryear, and they came alive before our imaginations. I wrote down her stories about the “old south,” the Civil War, and her experiences during World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. Gran was like having a living, breathing history book rocking away right in your living room.

What would you like your readers to get out of Swept into Destiny?
When I first began writing Swept into Destiny in 2005, I never dreamed how much of this early history leading up to the Civil War would relate to our 2017 current events! Nor how far away Americans would have strayed from what our founding fathers thought vitally important to the integrity of these United States of America. 
My intention in writing this series is for readers to learn the truth about these God-fearing people who designed a nation upon which half-starved immigrants, hungry and thirsty for hope, braved the unknowing span of oceans to embrace with faith in Christ Jesus, the spirit of liberty.  “…now where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

Can you share an excerpt or part (without spoilers) of Swept into Destiny that is your favorite?
Her rescuer’s powerful legs made a slurping noise in the quagmire. 
“Wait, my boot.”He ignored her plea.Maggie beat against his chest. What was he made of, granite? “I need my boot. Unhand me you nasty vagrant! And let me grab my—”“Vagrant? We’re Irish, fresh off the Dunbrody.”“That decrepit ship? Then you are pirates, here to pilfer Spirit Wind. Admit it.”“We like to keep our business to ourselves.”“Enough of that.” A man on the bank swiped the air with his mud-caked arm. “Quit sparking her and get out of there before you both get bit!”“Sparking?” With one stroke of his massive arms, the Irishman swept Maggie over his shoulder as neatly as a bag of oats.“I’ve heard about you ruffians. How dare you touch me with your filthy hands? You think I want your ghastly smell on my clothing?”

Thank you, Catherine! I look forward to reading Swept Into Destiny!

One Brave Decision leads . . .

... to serious consequences. When Maggie Gatlan’s father hires cheap Irish labor to dredge out the snake-infested swampland she clashes with a fiercely proud Irish immigrant named Ben McConnell

Spirit Wind Manor's cavalier serenity is threatened by abolitionist John Brown and a new republic looms on the horizon with Abra­ham Lincoln's presidency. Succession spreads across the southern states as the fires of Civil War glow amber beams upon the hori­zon. Maggie is swept into its embers realizing she is in love with handsome and swashbuckling Irishman Ben McConnell.

Ben joins the Union Army. An unexpected chain of events leads her to question her loyalties. Conscience and consequence — did she care more for Ben or for her beloved South? Was Ben right? Had this Irish immigrant who’d adopted these United States as his, perceived the truth of what God had predestined for America?




  1. Catherine, your gran must have been lots of fun as well as very interesting.

    1. Thanks Debra for stopping by! She does sound like a fun lady!

  2. Yes, she was. She was always finding something to laugh about and loved talking to her great grandchildren.


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