2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Cathy Gohlke & The Medallion

Posted September 9, 2020 by meezcarrie in 2020 Carol Awards, Author Interview, Cathy Gohlke, Christian, giveaway, historical / 50 Comments

Happy Wednesday! Continuing until September 19th (culminating with a list of winners), I have the privilege of sharing mini interviews with nearly all of the 2020 ACFW Carol Award Finalists! Today I’m starting with Cathy Gohlke and her Carol Award finalist book The Medallion! You can check out a list of all the finalists HERE.

FYI – There will be 2-3 posts per day, and a series-long giveaway, so make sure you catch them all!

Three-time Christy and two-time Carol and INSPY Award–winning and bestselling author Cathy Gohlke writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons, speaking of world and life events through the lens of history. She champions the battle against oppression, celebrating the freedom found only in Christ. Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children’s and education ministries. When not traveling to historic sites for research, she and her husband, Dan, 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

GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2019
PAGES: 432

For fans of bestselling World War II fiction like Sarah’s Key and The Nightingale comes an illuminating tale of courage, sacrifice, and survival, about two couples whose lives are ravaged by Hitler’s mad war yet eventually redeemed through the fate of one little girl.

Seemingly overnight, the German blitzkrieg of Warsaw in 1939 turns its streets to a war zone and shatters the life of each citizen—Polish, Jewish, or otherwise. Sophie Kumiega, a British bride working in the city’s library, awaits news of her husband, Janek, recently deployed with the Polish Air Force. Though Sophie is determined that she and the baby in her womb will stay safe, the days ahead will draw her into the plight of those around her, compelling her to help, whatever the danger.

Rosa and Itzhak Dunovich never imagined they would welcome their longed-for first child in the Jewish ghetto, or that they would let anything tear their family apart. But as daily atrocities intensify, Rosa soon faces a terrifying reality: to save their daughter’s life, she must send her into hiding. Her only hope of finding her after the war—if any of them survive—is a medallion she cuts in half and places around her neck.

Inspired by true events of Poland’s darkest days and brightest heroes, The Medallion paints a stunning portrait of war and its aftermath, daring us to believe that when all seems lost, God can make a way forward.


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Also available to read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited

Hi Cathy! Welcome back to the blog!

Q: How has Christian fiction impacted you personally?

Cathy: Christian fiction fills my mind with possibilities and hope.  It has inspired and broadened my horizons, given me new ways of thinking about difficult and sensitive topics through a high moral lens.  I’ve found valuable life lessons in CF stories—parables, really. I’m reminded that I am not only assured of an eternal home through faith in Jesus Christ but that He is with me as I journey through life’s challenges. I often close a book thinking, if the protagonist can do this, overcome that, lean hard into the Lord, continue on, so can I.

Carrie: i love that – so well put. I feel the same way.

Q: When you’re not writing your next award-nominated book 😉 who are your fave authors to read & why?

Cathy: I read both fiction and non-fiction and cannot list all my favorites on one page.  I love the stories of Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Victor Hugo, Sarah McCoy, Melanie Dobson, Lynn Austin, Tamera Alexander, Carrie Turansky, Terri Gillespie, Amanda Barratt, Catherine Marshall, Jacqueline Winspear and so many more.  I love the non-fiction of Lucinda Secrest McDowell, Jane Rubietta, Oswald Chambers, Lettie Cowman, Corrie ten Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and so many more.  And then there are the dozens of historical writers and biographers that I read for research.  I recently discovered Michelle Ule—wonderful!  I love each of these because they introduce me to new thoughts on old ideas, insights that thrill me and that I can apply to life.

Carrie: I see a couple of names on your list that I need to add to my TBR list 🙂

Q: Do you have any strange writing habits/quirks?

Cathy: I love to sit in a comfy chair before a roaring fire to write—that really takes me away to story world.  In hot weather I sit in front of an electric fire (no heat), just for the imagination of sitting with friends to chat over tea—my story characters, of course.

Carrie: that sounds absolutely delightful!

Q: Which of your characters has really stretched you as a writer?

Cathy: In The Medallion, Rosa stretched me as a writer. Her ability to give up her child to strangers when she knew she could not save her life, then to go forward into the frightening unknown doing the best she could imagine to do with the Nazi Regime against her was unnerving.  Walking with her to the end of life when her heart was so full of love and loss was both heartbreaking and convicting.

Carrie: so powerful!

Q: What is something God taught you while you wrote The Medallion?

Cathy: I learned through my Holocaust research that we can live through much more in this life than we think we can—that we’re made for hard things, both to endure and to forgive. Though I knew this, it was highlighted, underlined and written in bold in my brain that we don’t do these things alone, but in Christ Jesus who lives in and sustains us and that it is in His strength that we are able to forgive the worst atrocities.

Carrie: “we’re made for hard things, both to endure and to forgive” – beautifully said & very profound. And that’s one of the many reasons I am so drawn to stories set in this time period.

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from The Medallion & why do you love it?

Cathy: “I do it—my husband risks his life each day to save others—because that is what Jesus did, and what He wants us to do. He healed, even when it risked His life, and then He died to save others—all of us. Jesus was a Jew, and as Gentiles, we are privileged, through belief in Him as Messiah and Savior, to be grafted into faith with you. We follow in His steps. . . . We do our best, for Him and for His people—our people. We, too, count ourselves children of Abraham, by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. How could we do less for our family?”—From The Medallion

I love this because it was true for this character and her husband who risked their lives to save Jewish people targeted by the Nazis in Warsaw, Poland during WWII—and it is true for each of us who profess Jesus as our Savior today. We aim to live with others as family, and help one another in need, no matter the cost to ourselves.  It is a good reminder that when the circumstances of life lead me to focus inwardly I must refocus on the One who gave His all, follow in His steps, and reach out to others.

Carrie: i love that! ♥

I am offering one reader any TWO books (print copies) that finaled in the 2020 Carol Awards! (open internationally as long as Book Depository ships to your address) 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 makes you want to read the historical Carol Award finalist The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke & what did you enjoy about Cathy’s answers?

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50 responses to “2020 Carol Award Finalists Q&A (and a Giveaway!): Cathy Gohlke & The Medallion

  1. Wow, Cathy. What a profound interview! This statement especially impacted me: “We’re made for hard things, both to endure and to forgive.” That is definitely counter-intuitive to my fallen human nature, but highly biblical. Thanks for simultaneously encouraging and convicting me today! (And thanks, Carrie, for conducting a great interview!)

  2. Perrianne Askew

    I have read and enjoyed The Medallion. It was really good but she does not skim over the hard things that went on during the war. If you read one of her points in the interview is that we were made for the hard things. I think that’s pretty profound! Excellent interview, too.

  3. Megan

    I can’t imagine how terrible it must have been for the people as the Nazis attacked, the hard decisions and fears they faced. Thank you for sharing their stories so we don’t forget.

  4. Winnie Thomas

    This book is fantastic! One of my top reads from last year, and a book I often recommend to others. Cathy is an amazing author! I’m hoping to get to some of her other books soon.

    Thanks for the lovely interview/spotlight, Carrie and Cathy–two of my favorite ladies.

  5. Donna Irvin

    I loved this interview and I love WWII era fiction. I visited Poland and Auschwitz Concentration Camp. What a somber experience. I will never forget it.

  6. Patty

    I love historical fiction, I don’t think I’ve read any of Cathy‘s books.
    Love that she sits in front of a fake fire to write when it’s hot outside=)

  7. Suzanne Sellner

    WWII historical Christian fiction is my favorite genre of literature. I read The Medallion and LOVED it! Then I shared it with numerous of my friends. I loved reading the interview too–so much inspiration!

    • she does an amazing job at that! When you have time (if you haven’t already) go back and read Secrets She Kept & Until We Find Home by Cathy also – they are my faves so far (but I’m behind & haven’t read this one yet lol)

  8. Pam K.

    Though I haven’t yet read The Medallion, I’ve read and enjoyed almost all of Cathy’s other books. Her books often deal with heavy subjects, but they are written with much sensitivity.

  9. Connie Scruggs

    World War II is one of my favorite time periods to read. The Jewish people endured such unimaginable atrocities, and so many people suffered. But I believe good conquered evil as best as it could.

  10. I was traveling yesterday when your interview was posted, Carrie, so am late in thanking you so very much for this opportunity. I always love visiting with you and appreciate all you do in sharing Christian Fiction with readers and writers everywhere! Thank you! I’m moved and honored by the enthusiasm of everyone who posted here–such an encouragement to keep on keeping on with the writing. God bless you all!

  11. Rachael de Klerk

    Cathy Gohlke’s books are high in my TBR! WWII is my absolute favourite genre (and the one that I write in), and I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Cathy’s books✨.

  12. Paula Shreckhise

    I have been wanting to read this since it first showed up on blog sites! It looks fantastic. Cathy is a gifted writer.

  13. Mallori N.

    I love reading books set in the WWII era–they are so tragically beautiful when you consider the sacrifices (willingly and not so willingly) made by so many.

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