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.
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.
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!
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!
Cathy: Winter is great for writing by the fire, and summer for walks by the sea.
Carrie: ooo I love that! beautifully said 🙂
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. ♥
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?
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.
What about you? What interests you about Cathy Gohlke and/or her new book, Until We Find Home?