Friday, June 13, 2014

SAVING AMELIE - Cathy Gohlke - One Free Book

Welcome back, Cathy. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
I see just enough to reach the next bend in this amazing journey—the current releasing of Saving Amelie and the thought provoking questions this book raises among readers, the pouring of my heart into my next book, Into the Valley of Secrets (working title), and the joyful anticipation that a new story will emerge from my recent trip to England’s Lake District and Scotland. What the Lord has in store, I cannot say. But each day is a new adventure. Each door the Lord opens is one I’m thrilled to walk through.

Tell us a little about your family.
My family is growing ... our first grandchild—a granddaughter—was born last year. She’s changed everything—my husband and I have even temporarily moved to Virginia to be near her. I babysit for her 3–4 days per week while her parents work. My husband generously brings or prepares lunch and pinch hits when I have telephone interviews or book club meetings or radio broadcasts. Our grown son studies and works in China. My mother’s health is challenged, and she and we are planning moves. Our nest is not empty, but ever changing.

Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes, I’ve always loved to read a great deal of fiction. Now, although I still read fiction when possible, I focus primarily on nonfiction for research purposes. I read a great deal of history—something I didn’t consider entertaining early in life, but find absolutely fascinating now.

What are you working on right now?
Into the Valley of Secrets (working title), due to release from Tyndale House Publishers in 2015. This is my first time-split novel and is the story of a young woman who discovers, much to her horror and shame, that her grandfather was a Nazi who exploited Jewish friends and strangers during WWII, as well as his very own daughter, her mother. The story, separated by decades, follows conflicted mother and daughter—as well as the men they grow to love—on parallel journeys of discovery, each seeking understanding and a road to redemption.

Sounds very interesting. What outside interests do you have?
Right now my chief interest is my granddaughter! Each day is new, and witnessing her accomplishments, reading to her, teaching her and caring for her are great pleasures. I also love reading, cooking, exploring historical sights and gardens, and travel. I’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to England (researching another new book) with author-friend Carrie Turansky (The Edwardian Bride Series) and a fascinating tour of Scotland guided by Liz Curtis Higgs.

I love those two ladies. I read on Facebook about some of those travels. How do you choose your settings for each book?
I think settings choose me. When I traveled to Oberammergau to view the Passion Play, I had not planned to set a book—Saving Amelie—there. But after leaving, I couldn’t help but wonder how this Alpine Passion Village, committed to portraying the sacrificial love of Christ, had responded to the cruelties and dictates of Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. The question would not let me go, so I began to research, and found the story beyond fascinating. That happens often. Sometimes, the very history I’m writing about leads me/draws me to a particular place—as in Promise Me This, when the Titanic sailed first from Belfast, Ireland, and later began its maiden voyage from Southampton, England.

I found Promise Me This a fascinating story. If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
William Wilberforce. His long commitment, even through terrible health, to the abolition of slavery in England has long inspired me. His crusade to elevate the society in which he lived through his writing, speaking, volunteering, campaigning, and crusades amazes and thrills me. He demonstrated what a life entirely focused can accomplish. I’d love to stand in the presence of such passion and faith.

What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
I wish I’d better understood technology and the tools needed to reach readers through today’s social media, as well as the importance and “how” of gradually building relationships through social media.

What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
He’s teaching me, day by day, to trust Him for strength and time. I believe He has led me to and is blessing these months of caring for my granddaughter. At the same time, I’m concerned about the management of time for research and writing, for public speaking and the needed promotion of books. Wonderfully, I’m learning that when I lay aside worry and trust Him most, He blesses me with the most productive writing and work sessions—often at unexpected times and in unexpected places. His gifts are new every morning!

What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
a. Read classics and poetry, certainly the Bible. Nothing better teaches the beauty and rhythm, the essence of words and the economy of expression.
b. Study human nature. Get inside the heads of people you know and love—and love to hate, of those you admire and those you find most difficult, of those you glimpse on the street or hear or read about in the news. Understand what makes people tick and you will write compelling characters.
c. Write. Write. Write. Nothing beats the doing of a thing.

Tell us about the featured book.
Summer, 1939
Rachel Kramer is visiting Germany when a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, upends her world. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter—deaf since birth—as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.

Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that now hang like ebony spiders across Berlin. She fears her father, an eminent eugenics scientist, may know about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems unworthy of life. But when she risks searching his classified documents, she also uncovers shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.

Hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young, a driven American journalist whose connections to the resistance help Rachel and Amelie escape the city. Forced to hide in the Bavarian village of the Passion Play, Rachel’s every ideal is challenged as she and Jason walk a knife’s edge, risking their lives—and asking others to do the same—for those they barely know but come to love. 

Please give us the first page of the book.
Rachel Kramer dropped her linen napkin across the morning newspaper’s inflammatory headlines: “Cold Spring Harbor Scientist in League With Hitler.” She glanced up,  willing herself to smile innocently as her father strode into the formal breakfast room.

“You needn’t bother to hide it.” His eyes, bloodshot and mildly accusing, met hers as he took his chair at the head of the polished mahogany table. “I’ve already received a phone call from the Institute.”

Rachel glanced at their butler’s stoic face as he poured her father’s coffee, then carefully framed her statement. “It isn’t true, of course.”

“In league with the Fȕhrer? You believe the ravings of that maniac hack Young?” he scoffed. “Come now, Rachel—” he jerked his napkin from its ring—“you know me better than that.”

“Of course, Father, but I need to understand—”

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I love to connect with readers at my home on the web, and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

Thank you so much for having me, Lena!

It’s always a pleasure to host you, Cathy.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Saving Amelie -
Saving Amelie - Amazon
Saving Amelie - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Carrie Turansky said...

Such a great interview! I love Cathy and her books. I read an early version of Saving Amelie, and I am enjoying reading it again this week!

Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Cyndi said...

Definitely looking forward to this book! I agree... William Wilberforce is a fascinating person to spend time with!

Cyndi in AL

Terri Gillespie said...

Very interesting interview, Lena and Cathy. Saving Amelie holds a special place in my heart. I have many friends who lost family in the camps and others who were saved by the sacrifice of others. Cathy honors them both with this novel. Love you, Cathy!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, insightful interview with Cathy Gohlke. I recently met her on the trip to Scotland (along with 40+ other women)that she mentioned. Reading her comments and the first page of her book within this interview, I am looking forward to reading "Saving Amelie". LouAnn

KayM said...

Saving Amelie sounds like a fascinating and exciting novel. I am looking forward to reading it.

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, Carrie Turansky! I'm so glad you're enjoying "Saving Amelie" the second time around!" God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thanks for stopping by, Diana Gardner! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!"

Cathy Gohlke said...

I'm a huge William Wilberforce fan, Cyndi--and I always love to meet another one! Amazing Grace was my favorite movie of all time! : )

Hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!"

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you, Terri Gillespie, for stopping by. You certainly blessed me with help in the research of this book, and I'm looking forward to interviewing your new contact for my next book tomorrow evening. God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

I loved our tour in Scotland, LouAnn, and meeting you and all the other dear ladies--what a privilege! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie"--after you finish reading the wonderful Scottish material on your nightstand! ; )

God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

KayM--I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!" It was a challenging book to write, but one that blessed me to the core. God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Lena, I am loving visiting with you and your readers today--you know I always love talking books and blessings!

I'll check in again later--looking forward to continuing the joy!

God's blessings today!

Danielle Hull said...

IF I don't win, I am definitely buying this one ;) In Indiana!

Cathy Gohlke said...

I'm so glad to hear that, Danielle! I hope you'll enjoy "Saving Amelie" and pray God's rich blessings for you. Thank you for stopping by!

Pam K. said...

Cathy's books are well-researched, well-written, and out of the ordinary.I love her historical books. Thanks for this interview and the chance to win Saving Amelie. It's been on my "want to read" list since I first heard about it.


Jean said...

Thank you for this opportunity!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Cathy Gohlke said...

Pam K.--I SO appreciate your enthusiasm! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie"--it's a book close to my heart. God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you for stopping by, Jean K.--I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie," and pray God's blessings for you!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Cathy is one of my favorite writers. Her books have real substance and make you think.

I'm half way through Saving Amelie. It's a must read for such a time as this.

Melanie Backus said...

What a great interview! The book sounds wonderful.

Melanie Backus, TX

Mary Preston said...

What a remarkable story this promises to be.

Mary P


Mama Cat said...

This sounds riveting! Only in recent months has this period of history begun to interest me. This one is so personal to the good guys (gals) with a precious little one's life at stake. Blessings to both of you, especially Cathy as she devotes herself to care for her grandbaby! I live in Arizona!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, Susan and Melanie! I'm so glad you're enjoying "Saving Amelie," Susan, and hope you get a chance to read it, Melanie! God's blessings for you both!

Cathy Gohlke said...

So nice to see you here all the way from Australlia, Mary P! I hope you enjoy reading "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you, Mama Cat, for your good wishes and blessings! I think there are so many parallels between the time in which "Saving Amelie" is set and today. That interests me very much. I hope you enjoy the read!

Marianne Barkman said...

What can I say but WOW!!! This book sounds amazing. I would love to win. kathy do you need reviewers? Thanks Lena!

Anonymous said...

I've looked at this book before and wanted to read it. I know my sisters would love it as well.
J.C. -Indiana-

A Cooking Bookworm said...

I loved Promise Me This - such a great book with twists I didn't expect!! Looking forward to reading Saving Amelie -- the WWII genre is one of my favorites!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Cindi A said...

I am really looking forward to reading this book.
Please enter me in the drawing to win a copy.

Cindi Altman from PA

rubynreba said...

I look forward to reading Saving Amelie. Enjoyed the interview.
Beth from Iowa

kam110476 said...

I've been excited about Saving Amelie since I first read about it months ago, but I had no idea it's set partly in the town of the Passion Play over in Europe! Thanks for the chance to win a copy!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

susanlulu said...

It's nice reading about a new author that I'm not familiar with.

sm said...

I cannot imagine the terror of being hunted by the SS! Love to read your book. In regards to your new series and your visit to the Lake District in England- my uncle and family live in Penrith and run a B&B there. He lost all his cattle to hoof and mouth disease several years ago and they turned their farm into a B&B. Thanks for the contest! sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

Cathy Gohlke said...

Marianne--I'd love reviewers! When you read "Saving Amelie" I'd love it if you'd post reviews. Thank you so much for thinking about that. I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Stephanie--SO glad you enjoyed "Promise Me This!" I loved that story, too, and hope you'll enjoy "Saving Amelie." This one also has lots of characters and plot twists and turns. God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you for stopping by, Cindi! I know Lena will enter you in the drawing. I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thanks so much, Beth. I'm glad to meet you here and share this blog with you. I hope you enjoy reading "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Kristen--You made my day! So glad you've been anticipating "Saving Amelie," and I hope you enjoy the read. God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Susanlulu--So glad you stopped by and that we could connect in this way. I hope you enjoy reading "Saving Amelie." God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Sharon--Thank you for stopping by. I cannot imagine all your uncle has gone through on his farm! But, opening a B & B sounds like a fascinating career change. I LOVED England and Scotland--so beautiful and stories everywhere! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings for you!

Cathy Gohlke said...

Sharon Richmond Bryant--Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie." God's blessings for you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks lena for the interview with Cathy. It was a hard time in History. Can't imagine what the people had to put up with. My brother was in WW ll during this time. Please put my name in for a chance to win this book. Love the cover and the surprise picture inside. I live in Texas.
> mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Cathy Gohlke said...

So nice to meet you here, Maxie! You must have some intense memories of the time your brother served during WWII. You'll bring all the more to the story as you read. I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!" God's blessings for you!

Rebecca said...

This is a new author to me, I would love to win her book.....Oregon

Lane Hill House said...

I would like to read Saving Amelie ~ historical fiction is my favorite genre. Thank you in advance for your research. Kathleen ~ MO