Wednesday, February 03, 2021

VALUING GOLD - Cynthia L Simmons - One Free Book

Welcome, Cynthia. Why do you write the kind of books you do? I’ve always loved mysteries. When I was a girl, I devoured Trixie Belden books and then graduated to Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. Researching history also fascinates me, and I love unearthing interesting facts. I’ve also worked on my family genealogy. I’ve combined those two and I’ve been writing historical fiction mysteries. I spent about five years researching the history of money and banking before I started the Gold Series, which covers how money changed in the United States. Valuing Gold is the first novel.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life? That would have to be my wedding day. I married my best friend, and my bridesmaids wore lavender and blue, my favorite colors.

How has being published changed your life? I don’t read as much as I used to, but I still love it. Sometimes I take a day off and suck down a mystery to relax. I stay busy writing, researching, doing podcasts, and videos to help my readers.

What are you reading right now? I’m reading The Sky Above Us by Sarah Sundin. She knows the World War II era, and I always learn fascinating facts about the war.

What is your current work in progress? I’m working on the first edits for the third book in the Gold Series: Reflecting Gold. It should be out in the spring. Pursuing Gold, the second novel is already in print.

I want to feature both of those on my blog. What would be your dream vacation? I’ve been to England and Germany and loved the history and the castles. I’d go back to either place, or maybe visit Italy to see the museums. I enjoy anything old. Gothic cathedrals make my heart sing. Walking along the aisles and reading the epitaphs make me wonder what the people looked like and how they lived.

How do you choose your settings for each book? The Gold Series takes place in Chattanooga, my hometown. I spent hours in the Chattanooga library getting a picture of Chattanooga during the mid 1800s. It always helps to be there. When I was in Germany, the little hotel called itself the Alabama Boarding House. But the dining room had steers and cowboy décor on the walls. Obviously, the people who named the hotel had never been to Alabama. They should have called it Texas Boarding House.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why? I would like to meet Franklin Graham and thank him for all the hard work he’s done for people around the world, including sharing the gospel. I would also like to meet Stephen Meyer, head of Discovery Institute, which publishes and researches intelligent design. My husband and I are fond of apologetics so we follow the newest releases from Discovery Institute.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading? My husband and I love ballroom dancing. Waltz is my favorite although I like foxtrot too. I also grow orchids and make jewelry with my disabled son.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it? I always read for the story line, and I don’t care as much about the details. However, readers like to see what’s happening. In order to flesh out the scene, I’ll imagine I’m there. What do I smell? What do I see?

What advice would you give to a beginning author? Write, write, write! You develop a style as your write and work out your kinks. Join a critique group and attend workshops and seminars to learn how to write for publication.

Tell us about the featured book. In Valuing Gold, the author unfolds the continuing saga of Mary Beth Roper. While the war threatens to push her home state of Tennessee to secede from the Union, Mary Beth finds herself caught in the middle of a mystery that threatens her father’s bank and her family’s livelihood. 

According to the Chattanooga native, this historical fiction series is unique in its presentation of biblical truth embedded in a story with a Civil War setting. “I like history to come to life. I think that anyone reading this series will gain valuable insight into what it was like to live during the Civil War,” says Simmons. 

Please give us the first page of the book.

June 1861


Peter was thankful Citizen’s Cemetery had tall, thick trees to protect them from the heat of the blazing June sun. Sweat trickled down his back as he opened the black wrought iron gate for his mother and ambled with her through the grass-filled plot. What a lovely walk, except for gray and white stones dotting the landscape—a reminder of loved ones now passed.

“Just over there.” His mother pointed. “We only … erected a wooden cross. For now.”

Peter understood. She had waited until he came home. He followed her to the spot. Dried dirt covered the oblong bit of land before him, like a huge scar amongst the green, reminding him of the freshness of his grief. His mother clung to him, weeping, and tears streaked his own face. He came here to learn the whole story, to let his mother cry, to grieve for the father he admired. “Tell me … how you heard.”

His mother hiccupped and sighed. “I was expecting … a telegram. Your father … always let me know he was safe. He had never visited that particular bank. It was in … Alabama. New client, you see.”

Peter would ask Mr. Roper if the bank needed another visit. He sighed as her tears flowed anew. “Train accident?”

She sniffled. “No. Bits of the track … came loose from their fittings … crashing into the train car.”

Northern train systems outstripped the South in safety and efficiency, but the facts would not help his mother grieve.

She blotted her face with her handkerchief. “I did not hear … for several days … I worried.”

A footstep behind Peter caught his attention, and he turned to see their butler, Billy. A tall, muscular Negro, Billy stood back from the grave holding a slip of paper in his hand.

“Did you need me?”

“Sir, a message be comin’ for you from Mr. Roper, and I thought you might be needin’ to know the information.”

Peter took the paper Billy extended. “Very good. You have done well.”

“Will ya be wantin’ to answer, sir?” He shuffled his feet. “I can be waitin’ if ya do.”

How can readers find you on the Internet? I’m on facebook, Twitter, MeWe, Instagram as Cynthia L Simmons. I’m named after my father, who didn’t have a name. He was C. L. Thomas. He gave me his initials so I use them when I write in memory of him. My website is and you can listen to my radio here or on my website.

Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to read it, and my copy was ion my PO Box when my daughter check the mail.

Readers, here are links to the book. Paperback - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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, 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: Http:// 


Wendy Newcomb said...

This sounds interesting, thank you for the chance to win a copy.

Wendy in Nebraska

wfnren at aol dot com

Unknown said...

Hi Wendy, thanks for leaving a comment. I hope you win a copy.


traveler said...

A captivating and fascinating historical. I enjoy historicals since they are meaningful and memorable. Anne in NM.

Cynthia L Simmons said...

Hello Anne, I love historical novels too. You can learn so much. Thanks for leaving a comment.


petite said...

A most interesting post about your writing and interests. This novel sounds like a real treasure to savor and enjoy over a winter weekend. Many thanks. Pearl in NM.

Cynthia L Simmons said...

Hi Pearl, What a pretty name! I love to curl up and read too, especially during a storm.


Lucy Reynolds said...

Pearl was my grandma’s name, so pretty. I enjoy reading books set in the Civil War Era. Blessings from WV.

Cynthia L Simmons said...

I love to wear pearls. They feel so good against your skin.

Melissa M. said...

Sounds interesting, especially since I'm writing a Civil War-time novel and I live in TN!
-Melissa M. from TN

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway SC.

Cynthia L Simmons said...

Hey Sharon, I hope you win. Good job, Melissa. Keep writing!

Patricia B. said...

The story is set several hours from where we live in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Cynthia L Simmons said...

I would love to read it when it's finished.