Thursday, August 30, 2012

BAND OF SISTERS - Cathy Gohlke - One Free Book

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
Slavery, oppression, setting boundaries—physical and emotional, standing up for what we believe, the all encompassing love of God, the redemption and forgiveness Christ offers, and the ultimate freedom we find in Christ.

William Henry is a Fine Name is about realizing we’re not victims, that we’re free to choose what we believe and how we act on those beliefs. It uses the Underground Railroad to tell that story.

I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires is about surrendering our agendas, our control, our very life and heart to the Lord, and inviting Him to lead us, then stepping up in obedience—and understanding that that process of surrender to God is not defeat, but true victory. It uses the Civil War to tell that story.

Promise Me This is a picture of Christ’s love story to the world, and our response to His amazing, unmerited gift of sacrificial love and grace. It uses the Titanic through WWI to tell that story.

Band of Sisters is about fighting human trafficking—the abolition of modern day slavery—and what we can do to help in a need so desperate. It uses Ellis Island (1910-1911), the plight of immigrants, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire to tell that story.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?
Band of Sisters will release from Tyndale House Publishers in September. I’m working with my agent on a proposal for a new book now.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I’d love to meet and get to know Christine Caine, of A-21 Campaign—which stands for Abolishing Injustice in the 21st Century. Christine is a highly motivational speaker, on fire for the Lord and for using our God-given potential to be and do all He’s called us to. Specifically, she’s about fighting modern-day slavery and rescuing, restoring, and rebuilding the lives of young women—one person at a time. She travels the world raising awareness for the need for abolition, and bringing countless others into the fight to stop human trafficking. A-21 Campaign began its program in Greece because she sees that as the trafficking hub of Europe, and from Europe to the world. But as the word spreads, so does the rescuing of women.

There are so many questions I’d like to ask her.

Christine has been a speaker at my church’s Women’s conference for several years. We love her, and we connect with her on the A-21 Campaign. What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
William Wilberforce—Despite ill health, despite the hostility of those who opposed him, and against the all-powerful powers that be, William Wilberforce fought Parliament for over twenty-six years to abolish slavery in the British Empire.

He wrote in his journal, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the Slave Trade and the Reformation of Manners (moral values).”

His was the voice of a prophet crying in a wilderness society of greed and self-indulgence, and his words are as applicable to us as they were when he wrote them in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Wilberforce demonstrated what one voice can do—one life surrendered to God, and inflamed by the Holy Spirit—in the face of injustice.

How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
My husband has a saying that begins our every road trip, “When we’re lost, enjoy the scenery.”

It used to drive my let’s-just-drive-from-Point-A-to-Point-B nature crazy (in road trips and writing), but in writing I’ve come to see that I can either embrace the journey that is (rejection and all), or make myself miserable by wishing it was a different journey with a different navigator in the driver’s seat.

Rather than think of the journey as long, I encourage writers to think of it as just what it is—a journey in which we’ve invited God to be the driver and navigator. By making the most of the up-and-down, twist-and-turn opportunities along the way—including flat tire rejections, we have much needed time to learn the craft, improve our skills, build relationships, build platform, and very importantly—to find our writing voice and niche.

This is so important—In every circumstance we can ask God what we can learn from this experience. He wastes nothing—look at Christ’s redemptive act of grace—one life for an entire human race! Knowing how He loves us, knowing how He rejoices in our praise of Him—in words from our mouths and pens—we can also know that He is training us, preparing us for the very best road ahead.

Every journey has a route and a destination. It might not be the one we’ve mapped out. But if we faithfully persevere in learning and practicing the craft, and embrace what we find along the way, we’re sure to have an adventure uniquely designed for the unique writers we are.

I’ve often said that the writing life is all about the journey, not publication. Tell us about the featured book.
New York City, 1910

Driven by a shameful past and perilous future, Maureen O'Reilly and her sister flee Ireland in search of safety, liberty and opportunity. But after surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor has died, and his family—refusing to own his Civil War debt—casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to find employment in a prominent Manhattan department store, only to discover the elegant facade hides a dangerous secret.

Despite her family's disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father's debt but can't find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, who Olivia dares hope will become more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he's hiding. 

As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But will they be too late, and in the midst of a world gone mad can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?

Please give us the first page of the book.
October 1910
Widowed crones, their ragged skirts and shawls flapping in the rising gale like so many black crows, threw back grayed heads and keened a wild lament. Though slow of gait, they kept a dozen steps ahead of Maureen O’Reilly, the eldest daughter of their dead neighbor. Not one dared walk beside the “Scarlet Maureen,” no matter that they’d been handsomely paid for their services from the young woman’s purse.

Maureen didn’t care so much for herself. She expected nothing more or less from the village gossips. But she did care for the heart of her younger sister.

She pulled Katie Rose, the lily flower of her family, close. Together the sisters trudged up the rocky hill, part of a bleak and broken parade, toward the stone-walled churchyard. Twice they slipped, cutting their palms, the path muddy from the morning’s rain. Once past the churchyard gate, Maureen pushed to the front of the troop, lifted her chin, and set her lips tight as the prow of a ship, daring the women to snub her sister.

The Keeton brothers had dug the grave that morning, and Joshua Keeton, the second eldest, nodded respectfully toward Maureen—an act so out of village character that Maureen turned away without acknowledgment. The priest intoned his series of Latin prayers into the wind, finishing with the “Our Father.”

The Keeton brothers lowered the wooden coffin into its bed.

The priest sprinkled its top with holy water and resumed in his monotone, “Grant this mercy, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to Thy servant departed, that Margaret Rowhan O’Reilly may not receive in punishment

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Facebook: CathyGohlkeBooks
Facebook: Transformational Fiction Fans
Amazon Author Central

Thank you, Cathy, for your insightful interview.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Band of Sisters - paperback
Band of Sisters - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

would love to win. angela from ky

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you for having me today, Lena! It's a joy to spend time with you and your readers.

God's blessings for you!

Elyssa said...

This looks like a wonderful book! The cover is beautiful, and it looks really good! Please enter me! I'm from NY. =)


Jenny said...

What a great giveaway and interview! Thanks for the chance to win this book- can't wait to read it!



Ira said...

Awesome giveaway! I think my daughter would love to read this book!



The Jesus Freak said...

This book looks really good! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of it!



Amy C said...

This book looks really good. Another one to add on my wish list.
Amy C

Unknown said...

i have been having trouble connecting with your website on my blackberry this week. i have been at the bedside of my mom who had emergency colon surgery 2 weeks ago. i would love to win Cathy Gohlke's novel, as this is a subject that haunts me. Thank you for the chance to win!

Marianne from northern Alberta

Patty said...

Sounds like an interesting story... Would love a chance to win it!

Patty in SC

Emily said...

Love anything Irish! Can't wait to read this one!!!


Debbie said...

Please enter my name into the drawing! This book looks very interesting!

Long Island

John said...

Thanks for the giveaway! My daughter would really like this one!


Cathy Gohlke said...

Wow--I wish there were enough free books to go around for everyone!

Marianne--Know that I'm praying for your mom. It's wonderful that you can be with her.

The topic of human trafficking haunts me, too. I'm so thankful for the life I have, but realize that there are many in bondage that we can't even imagine. What is hopeful is that we can actually do something to help.

Diana Gardner said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks! Portsmouth, VA

Karen G. said...

I really, really would love to win and read this book. I read Promise Me This and really enjoyed it. Looking forward to reading Band of Sisters. Putting it on my wish list.
Karen from Troy, NY

Cathy Gohlke said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed "Promise Me This," Karen! Thank you for including "Band of Sisters" on your wish list!

Sparks of Ember said...

Sounds very interesting. And nervewracking!

From sd!

ASC Book Reviews said...

I LOVE a good tale about strong Irish women!!! Enter me PLEASE!!!

Amy Chavez, NM

monica said...

Sounds amazing!

Monica Ontario Canada

Cathy Gohlke said...

I love the enthusiasm of your readers, Lena! I'm looking forward to signing a book for the winner of your drawing!

Melody said...

We've been told that Oklahoma is a major human trafficking source which astounds me. Looking forward to Cathys book.

Missionary stationed in Donna,.TX working in Mexico and Nicaragua!

Katie said...

Please enter me! It sounds like a very thought provoking book! I'm from NC.

Mary Preston said...

What an amazing first page. BAND OF SISTERS looks fabulous.

Mary P


rubynreba said...

Human trafficking is a serious problem. I would really like to read this book. Thanks.
Beth from Iowa

Unknown said...

I enjoy Cathy's book. Thanks for this review. It sounds really good.
Buffalo, MN

Sharon Moore said...

Cathy - Would love to read "Band of Sisters". I am fortunate that my great-grandparents had a destination of MN (and to meet each other!). All four great-grandparents from my dad's side came over on a ship from Sweden and went through Ellis Island. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of your book.
Sharon from Eagan, MN

Cathy Gohlke said...

Melody--your words truly hit home. I'm astounded to learn about human trafficking centers in places I never expected them. It's all about shining a light on and in the darkness--the only way we can do something is by knowing about it first. God bless you in your work for Him and His people.

You're right, Beth--human trafficking is a very real and serious problem. I hope this book raises awareness and inspires others to take a stand.

I'm so excited about the interest expressed in this topic, and am praying, praying, praying for abolition of this horrific slave trade.

God bless!

Judy said...

I would really like to win a copy of this book. Human trafficking is so alive in the world today. The stories are heart breaking!

Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

Judy B from Indiana

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win

live in ND

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

spangldlady said...

I surely would love to win this book, it sounds awesome. Always looking for authors new to me. The genre is a favorite of mine. Blessings.


Lexiquin said...

All three of my daughters would read this book--thanks for the giveaway.
We live in Oregon ;)

Nancee said...

Please enter me in your drawing for this book. Thanks for offering this giveaway!
Nancee in Michigan

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me this book looks great!!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Linda Cacaci said...

I love that time period in New York! Please enter me in the drawing.
Linda Cacaci

Cathy Gohlke said...

I'm fascinated by this era, too, Linda. I keep thinking of my grandmother as a young girl in New York, 1910-1912--almost the age of one of my characters. I wonder about her life, the things she saw and thought and the people she encountered. I wonder if it was like the world I've painted. How I wish she could read it and tell me what she thinks!

I hope you enjoy the book!

Ladette said...

I am very interested in this book! My eyes were opened to this horrific problem first at a conference in CO (where I was living at the time) and then again by Kathi Macias' books Deliver Me From Evil, Special Delivery and The Deliverer). I also found out that Atlanta, GA is one of the number one areas for Human Trafficking!!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Ladette in GA

Cathy Gohlke said...

Ladette--I LOVE Kathi Macias' books and her heart for those trapped in human trafficking. I've read her first two on this subject, and am looking forward to reading "The Deliverer."

Yes, I, too, have heard that Atlanta, GA is a hub of human trafficking.

God's blessings for you!

Shopgirl said...

This book sounds amazing! I live in MN.

Unknown said...

What a fabulous book to read!! I would love to win it. Thank you.
Kay from NY

Dee's Grandma/Illinois said...

This is a book I would like to read as I have 3 sisters...Dee's Grandma

Cathy Gohlke said...

So many interesting stories of families that came through Ellis Island! I love hearing those stories--thank you for sharing them!

"Band of Sisters" officially releases this Labor Day Weekend--I hope each of you enjoy the read and are moved by the message.

God's blessings for you!

Evlin said...

It would be a pleasure to win this wonderful book. Checked the library and they don't have it.
Kevlin in NY

Jes said...

Great interview! This book sounds really good! Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

jswaks at gmail dot com