Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Cathy Gohlke & Until We Find Home

January 24, 2018 Author Interview, Cathy Gohlke, Christian, giveaway, historical 70

I am beyond excited today to welcome THE Cathy Gohlke to the blog! If you haven’t yet read any of her fabulous books, you are absolutely missing out.

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com and find her on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

Her new book, Until We Find Home, released January 9, 2018 from Tyndale House.

For American Claire Stewart, joining the French Resistance sounded as romantic as the storylines she hopes will one day grace the novels she wants to write. But when she finds herself stranded on English shores, with five French Jewish children she smuggled across the channel before Nazis stormed Paris, reality feels more akin to fear.

With nowhere to go, Claire throws herself on the mercy of an estranged aunt, begging Lady Miranda Langford to take the children into her magnificent estate. Heavily weighted with grief of her own, Miranda reluctantly agrees . . . if Claire will stay to help. Though desperate to return to France and the man she loves, Claire has few options. But her tumultuous upbringing–spent in the refuge of novels with fictional friends–has ill-prepared her for the daily dramas of raising children, or for the way David Campbell, a fellow American boarder, challenges her notions of love. Nor could she foresee how the tentacles of war will invade their quiet haven, threatening all who have come to call Bluebell Wood home and risking the only family she’s ever known.

Set in England’s lush and storied Lake District in the early days of World War II, and featuring cameos from beloved literary icons Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis, Until We Find Home is an unforgettable portrait of life on the British home front, challenging us to remember that bravery and family come in many forms.

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Hi Cathy! Welcome to the blog! I am so honored to have you here!

Cathy: It’s completely my pleasure, Carrie! Thank you for having me!

apples or oranges

Cathy: I love oranges in the morning to start my day with their juicy sweetness, and crunchy apples in the afternoon to keep me alert while writing.

Carrie: Apples are great as a midday wake-up!

winter or summer

Cathy: Winter is great for writing by the fire, and summer for walks by the sea.

Carrie: ooo I love that! beautifully said 🙂

dogs or cats

Cathy: Dogs—they walk with you as friends and always welcome you home with glad tail wags.

Carrie: Hear, hear! Dogs are just the best. ♥

coffee or tea

Cathy:  I drink black half-caf coffee in the morning to wake me up, and tea in the afternoon because it feels like grace.

Carrie: ‘because it feels like grace’ – love.

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Cathy: I’d love to break the chains of oppression, injustice, and poverty. Since I don’t have the power to make those changes, I’ll watch and pray as the Lord who is able moves, and shadow His steps. I can’t do everything, but like all of us, I can do something.

Carrie: “shadow His steps” – YES! This.

Q: Tell me some good books you’ve read recently!

Cathy: Sensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

A Question of Honor: The Kosciuszko Squadron: Forgotten Heroes of World War II by Lynne Olson and Stanley Cloud

Life in a Jar: The Irena Sendler Project by Jack Mayer

Carrie: I spy some research books,  I think! Yay!

Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?

Cathy: “That woman is relentless! She’s forever looking over my shoulder, watching everything I do. I concede she has a good heart, but she insists on getting into my head, asking probing questions, and drawing out my thoughts, my feelings and motivations, my hopes and dreams—even my family’s history and personal baggage and angst from the depths of my soul! Then she weaves all that into stories found in history—convoluted tales threaded with love, pierced by forgiveness, and redeemed by God’s grace. I’ve often wished she’d mind her own business, but in the end, I suppose she writes stories worth telling.”

Carrie: I need to have a chat with your characters & tell them there’s no ‘supposing’ about it. You definitely write stories worth telling – and reading!

Q: I must confess that I’ve been flailing with anticipation for this book since I read the blurb. It teases that we will see cameos from Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis (aaaaahhh!! I love!). If you could sit down to chat with any beloved literary icon, who would it be and what would you like to ask them?

Image Source: wikipedia

Cathy: I love those characters, too, Carrie! It’s so hard to choose just one beloved literary icon, but I think my first choice would be William Wilberforce. He was uniquely convicted and passionately focused, and he accomplished so much in life that helped others—a true inspiration to me. I would ask him how he balanced his passion for the life- and history-changing causes God placed on his heart with the needs of his family and the demands of his precarious health—or whether it was possible to balance those things.

Carrie: Balance – especially when facing health challenges – is so essential but also so difficult to find sometimes, isn’t it? I would love to sit on this chat and hear his answers ♥

Q: Which aspects of your heroine Claire Stewart do you most relate to? Which aspects are completely different from your own personality?

Cathy: I relate to Claire’s propensity to compare real life to what she’s read in fiction—characters, settings, dilemmas, possible solutions. I understand her desire for family and her need to belong and be loved. Earlier in life I knew Claire’s anguish in believing she must become worthy to be loved, and in thinking that Jesus couldn’t possibly love her if He knew the real Claire. I also relate to her unbounded joy when she experiences and realizes Jesus’ unconditional love for her. Like Claire, I’ve always loved to read the epitaphs in old cemeteries, to create grassroots theatrical performances, and to engage children in literary journeys.

I can’t say I’ve ever carried a torch for someone who disappeared from my life, as Claire does for Arnaud. Claire has difficulties relating to children, and that is opposite to me. Children have always been an important part of my life, and I so enjoy viewing life through their never-a-dull-moment eyes. 

Carrie: I can’t wait to meet her on the pages!!

Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Until We Find Home?

Cathy: I hope readers experience the relief and joy of surrendering fear and insecurity—which torment—to the Lord. I hope they embrace the freedom and amazing grace found in Christ. I hope they experience how “perfect love casts out fear,” just as the Scripture says. I also hope Until We Find Home opens readers’ minds to their potential to creatively help others, to open the doors of home and family.

Carrie: Amen ♥

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Cathy: My next book takes place in WWII Poland, weaving two historical events into a fictional drama. The Medallion (working title) presents a cameo appearance by Irena Sendler, the Polish social worker responsible for establishing a network that rescued 2,500 Jewish children, mostly from the Warsaw Ghetto. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, of jumping in when help is needed, no matter the cost. It’s a story I’m excited about, and one that I’ve felt compelled to write.

I’m also excited about plans for a tour that my friend and fellow author Terri Gillespie and I will co-lead in 2020. We’re creating “The Saving Amelie Tour: A Unique Journey through Israel to Oberammergau’s Passion Play” through EO (Educational Opportunities Tours), and we’ll include a discussion of my book Saving Amelie, which is set during WWII against the background of Oberammergau’s Passion Play. Those interested in joining us or learning more will find information this spring on my website, cathygohlke.com.

It’s been my joy to share this time with you, Carrie! Thank you, and happy reading!

Carrie: It is MY joy, Cathy! You are always welcome here 🙂


Cathy Gohlke & Tyndale House Publishers are offering a print copy of Until We Find Home to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What interests you about Cathy Gohlke and/or her new book, Until We Find Home?

Carrie

70 Responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Cathy Gohlke & Until We Find Home”

  1. Karen

    I can completely relate to Claire’s need for family, for a sense of belonging and needing to feel loved! I love my large family and knowing that they love me unconditionally!

  2. Jeanne C

    Fun interview! I so want to read her Until We Find Home. I love what she said she wants people to take away from the story! I also watched her FB video from the other day talking about C.S Lewis, that was so interesting. I am also excited about her upcoming book. I have the book Life In A Jar, and a documentary about Irene Sandler that I need to read and watch. As always, thank you for the fun interview Carrie!

  3. Cathy Gohlke

    Jeanne, I love that book, Life in a Jar–and the Irena Sendler documentary! Yes, I’m using those in my research for the new book. Irena Sendler and the brave people in her network have so inspired me. I hope you enjoy Until We Find Home!

  4. Lori Smanski

    what a great review. I love the cover of this book. romance and reality come crashing together. I have always wanted to be a mother and it came true. I have always surrounded children that have needed a home.

    • Carrie

      “I love the cover of this book. romance and reality come crashing together.” – what a great way to say that, Lori!

    • Cathy Gohlke

      Lori, I love your description of the cover, too! I’ll have to share that with the designer. I absolutely loved that she placed the handwriting in the sky on the cover–that handwriting was taken from C. S. Lewis’s original manuscript of “The Problem of Pain.” What a great surprise that was for me!

  5. Arletta

    I love Cathy’s books. She makes the WWII stories come alive and you feel like you’re in that setting. They also make me think as to what I would have done, had I been in that situation. Touring a concentration camp last fall, really made me ponder how people could become so calloused to their fellow country people and turn a blind eye to all the horrible acts done to them or actively participate to make their lives hell. It’s unfathomable.

    • Cathy Gohlke

      Arletta, those are just the thoughts I had while walking through Ravensbruck, Natzweiler and Sachsenhausen concentration camps. It’s simply mind boggling what evil man can conceive and carry out. Touring such a place–even in its modern sterile form–forever changes us. God bless you!

  6. Janet Estridge

    We have Cathy’s books in the church library. Our readers can’t get enough of her books.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

  7. Anne Rightler

    What a great interview. Thank you for sharing. Having read Secrets She Kept which is an ama big book, I can’t wait to read this new one. Here’s hoping!

  8. Kay Garrett

    Personally, I love stories with history thrown in. It’s a way to get lost in history and learn some about it along the way. “Until We Find Home” sounds like a prime example of what I’m talking about and one that I’d very much love to read.

    Enjoyed the interview and learning more about Cathy Gohlke. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of her book!

    • Carrie

      you are so welcome! I can’t wait to read it too – on my list for TONIGHT! yay 😀

  9. Anne

    Cathy’s novel is profound since it is an important and relevant historical event. The era, the characters who dealt with this trauma and the realistic portrayal of the times is extraordinary and fascinating. World War 11 is my favorite era and novel set during this period are meaningful and memorable.

  10. emilee

    The history, adventure and romance are what I most look for in a book and this one looks to have all three. I haven’t had the privilege of reading one of Mrs. Cathy’s stories yet. I would love to get this one!

  11. Brittaney B

    I always love reading about a book-loving heroine. But I’m thrilled to hear Cathy’s next book is set in Poland. I would really love to read more stories set in places other than America, France and England and Poland has had such a fascinating history.

  12. Marti Wilson

    Wonderful interview. “Because it feels like grace” I will have to remember that. Thank you.

  13. MH

    WWII books always intrigue me. The premise of smuggled Jewish children is something unusual and eye-catching.

  14. Winnie Thomas

    Thanks for the interview, Carrie and Cathy. I’ve been hearing such great things about Cathy’s books! I haven’t had the chance to read any of them yet, though. I’m looking forward to changing that soon!

    We visited the Mauthausen concentration camp memorial site when we were in Austria several years ago. It was such a poignant, heart-wrenching experience, but it really brought home the horrors of WWII.

    Until We Find Home sounds fascinating. It’s going on my TBR list!

  15. Pam K.

    What makes me interested in Cathy’s books is the way she takes events from history and weaves a fiction story around them. She does so much research and writes so well that at times I almost forget I’m reading fiction. She writes about very difficult things in such a sensitive way. I love Cathy’s books!

  16. Natalya Lakhno

    The stories about Jewish people and Nazi are always close to my heart…

  17. Linda Romer

    I love World war ll books and Cathy’s book sounds fantastic! Thank you

  18. Vivian Furbay

    I love reading fiction and non fiction books about WWII. Some of the true stories about heroes in this war are very interesting. Those people put their lives on the live to save the Jews and bring down Hitler and Mussolini.

  19. Evangeline

    Thanks for the great interview. While I have not yet read anything by this author, I would love to win a copy of her book. Based on the synopsis, it sounds like a great read and she might well become one of my favorite authors! 😊 Thanks for the giveaway.

  20. Connie Scruggs

    I love books set during WWII. And saving children. And music. And that cover, wow!!

  21. Mallori

    The whole premise of Cathy’s book interests me. World War II & the French Resistance, adorable children that can also be a handful, romance (of course!), and courage in the midst of trying times all make for a very interesting story line. I loved Cathy’s “Promise Me This,” but unfortunately have not yet read any of her other books (a fact that I hope to change soon!).

  22. Julie Waldron

    I’ve never read her books. But the era interests me, right now I’m really into the WWII/40’s era. If I could time travel, that’s where I’d go. 🙂

  23. Cathy

    Having grown up listening to stories my parents, who were young adults at the time, told about WWII, the era has always been of great interest. I had several family members serving in the European Theater, of whom I am now learning even more as my latest project in my genealogy hobby. So…..Cathy’s books are so well written and fit in perfectly with an historical interest of mine.

  24. Paula S.

    I’m interested in the real life behind the scenes of the war! This seems so intriguing! Can’t wait!

  25. Janice Moore

    I like the author’s setting in history, to remind us to stand up for what is right.

  26. Caryl Kane

    Hey Carrie and Cathy! I love reading about this time period! Thank you for the fun Q&A.

  27. Brenda Murphree

    I have been watching and reading about this book and author. I haven’t ever read any of Cathy’s books. I am anxious to try this one. Thanks for the giveaway!

  28. Alison Boss

    World War II is one of my favorite genres to read about. Ever since I first heard about Cathy’s new book, Until We Find Home, I have been so intrigued! It sounds like such an amazing read!! I enjoy both Beatrix Potter and C. S. Lewis and am really curious to see how she cameos them both into the story. Thanks for the great interview, Cathy and Carrie, and for the opportunity of this giveaway!

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