Phyllis Clark Nichols: Let’s Chat!

Welcome, everyone!

Phyllis Clark Nichols grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

Multi-Faceted Phyllis

Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis Clark Nichols brings creativity and compelling storytelling. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Now here’s Phyllis Clark Nichols:

How grateful I am to Linda for inviting me to share this blog today and to connect with you. I have such tremendous respect for her and her writing that this is quite an honor. So, thank you, Linda.

As a life-long reader, I have always found it intriguing to discover why writers write what they do. I’ve been asked that question myself on many occasions. My answer is simple. I write stories to tell the Truth.

Phyllis Nichols writes Truth.

Stories by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Realizing that many readers enjoy the escape that a good book brings, I want to provide a safe place where readers feel comfortable and a time with characters who are not that different from the folks around them. But on occasion, I do like to take them to some places where they might not have been before and introduce them to some characters who are differently-abled. My character-driven stories always include a bit of romance, humor, mystery, and food. After all I’m Southern, and food is important, and so are those stories told as we put our feet under the same table at mealtime.

Looking back over my writing, I have discovered a theme—people surviving life’s hardships because God is present.  

Family Portrait Series

In my Family Portrait Series set in Kentucky, I write in the voice of ten-year Kate whose family is learning to live after the death of Kate’s mother. Kate has learned the value of family traditions, and as Mama taught her—the importance of faith, family, and forever. Although grief is a theme, the books are not sad. They are filled with hope and joy and life lessons that Kate learns from the memories of her mother, from Granny Grace, and from the mysterious Mr. Josh. The Christmas Portrait and The Birthday Portrait tell the Harding family’s story of love, faith, and healing from loss. I have plans for two more books in this series in the next couple of years.

Rockwater Suite Rockwater Suite

The Rockwater Suite

Set in Georgia and Kentucky, The Rockwater Suite is a series telling the story of Caroline Carlyle, a gifted pianist whose life took a sudden turn with the death of her fiancé six weeks before their wedding. In her crisis of faith when she can no longer hear the “Music,” Caroline stays close to people who do hear the music. Slowly as new characters enter her story, her life purpose is renewed, and her music and joy return. Again, you’ll find romance, mystery, hope, and humor.

Return of the Song

This story introduces you to Caroline and her family and friends and to Roderick Adair, the Kentucky gentleman who causes her heart strings to resonate again. Phyllis is offering a signed copy of Return of the Song as a giveaway to someone who joins our chat.

Freedom of the Song 

In this story you learn much more about Bella, the gifted musical savant, as the relationship grows between Roderick and Caroline. 

Ransom of the Song will be released in April, and the fourth book in the series (which I’m keeping secret) will be out in November in time for a special Christmas “event.” 

My bookshelves are filled with Christmas books and Christmas music. It is my absolute favorite time of the year. So, if you want a good Christmas read, you might check out Christmas at Grey Sage, endorsed by Debbie Macomber, or Silent Days, Holy Night. They’re both tender stories that have that resounding theme I’ve been telling you about—that theme of a faith that sustains us through life’s hardships.

Phyllis Nichols

Dark Days Brightened by The Light

On a more personal note, my husband was diagnosed with a very serious cancer in September 2018 and began “industrial-strength” chemotherapy before the removal of his kidney on December 31, 2018. What a way to end that year!

With treatment and a much more difficult recovery than we expected, we were advised by doctors to basically hibernate for seven months. We only went to doctors’ appointments, and I made a weekly trip to the grocery store. It was a quiet time of solitude where we were alone. Oh how we missed our extended family and friends and our church! They called and wrote and kept us encouraged with their words. But I can tell you, in our solitude, we experienced Immanuel. God was truly with us providing the peace of His presence.

Phyllis Nichols

And on the darkest days, we could always find things throughout each day for which to be grateful. We expressed our gratitude out loud all throughout the day to our Father who cared for us. His presence brought us peace, and our expressions of gratitude brought us joy. I’m happy and grateful to say after one year, my beloved is cancer-free and healthy again.

Highlands of Guatemala: God Is Here

Phyllis Nichols ministering in Guatemala

I recall a scene, a real one, from one of our mission trips to the Highlands of Guatemala to work in an orphanage in a remote area. Four Cappucine nuns cared for about thirty young girls. It was an incredibly beautiful morning. We had delivered the medical team to a one-room clinic in the middle of a cornfield. And our teaching team had arrived at the orphanage. We gathered the girls in the open courtyard for a morning of our version of Vacation Bible School.

God Is Here

We started our day with robust singing that echoed through those cinder block hallways to the heavens above. All of a sudden, Sister Grettel came running from the laundry where she was working. She slammed on brakes just as she reached me and raised her hands high in the air. She raised her cherubic face to the sky. With a big smile she said, “God is here.” Then she ran back to the laundry room, her habit flying in the wind.

Truth in Stories

That’s the story, my friends, and that’s the Truth I write about. The characters may change. The setting may change, but the Truth remains. No matter our circumstances, God is present. I write to tell that Truth.

I hope you’ll visit my website, www.phyllisclarknichols.com to learn more about my books and to read my blogs. 

~ ~ ~

Lord, please bless each word Phyllis writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

30 thoughts on “Phyllis Clark Nichols: Let’s Chat!

  1. I found this blog very interesting,as I have never read any of your books. I will be exploring your selections because the topics you write about interest me. I am an avid reader and always appreciate authors who include faith in our God and creator of all that we enjoy. Southern topics and food are a natural interest to those of us that come from a southern heritage. We need all the positive energy you can generate during this time in our history where our county is embracing everything that the Bible says is wrong. Keep on writing. Thanks for sharing this author, Linda.

     
     
    1. Thank you for stopping by, Jane. I agree that we all need some hope and light, and we know whence that comes. Blessings on you, my new friend. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome, friend Jane. You always lift up authors. Thank you.

       
       
  2. Linda Hibner

    It’s exciting to see you featured on Linda Davis’ website! Both of you are wonderful story tellers. With every book you’ve released I’ve seen your skills as a wordsmith develop and grow. I’ve enjoyed my 2nd and 3rd reading of your books as much as the initial one. Your characters are well developed and memorable and your story lines are rich with meaning. I know that your readers will be delighted to read today’s blog post.

     
     
    1. Thank you so much, Linda. There’ll be a special place in heaven for you because of the encourager that you are to all of us. Love you, friend. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome, Linda. So glad to see you in our circle. What an encourager you are. Please come back.

       
       
  3. Phyllis, I am glad someone’s FB post sent me to this site to read your words and desire to have those words be the vehicle to deliver truth. I sense that women may be your audience and readers for most of your books. I’m a guy and surely can’t change that. I found a resonance in the hints you gave of the contents of your books and look forward to reading them. I usually read about my field of work in healing trauma, abuse, and neglect, spiritual disciplines, and brain based learning. I’ve needed to read the types of books you write. Thank you for reminding me with your words here. I look forward to meeting your well-crafted characters and catching the Truth they deliver. Blessings!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful message. Sounds like you have volumes you could write about, and you certainly have the heart. I do pray you’ll find some Truth as you read my books. Blessings on you and the important work you do.
      Phyllis

       
       
    2. Hi, Ernest. So glad you stopped by. I know Phyllis’s books will both engage and encourage you. Please come back—- a new author to meet every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  4. Cecilia Childree

    Phyllis,
    Your characters come to life so vividly, and their struggles and joys have become my own. Thank you for the reminder that no matter what we face, God is our strength and goodness prevails. Can’t wait until April. Thanks for sharing your storytelling gift. Hope to see you real soon!
    Love to you & Bill!

     
     
    1. Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving that sweet message friend. Sorry I missed seeing you on our last visit. Love to you and that handsome fellow you married. Phyllis

       
       
    2. Amen, Cecilia. Thanks for joining us. I hope you’ll come back to meet a new author every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  5. Blanche Armendariz

    Phyllis, how can I ever tell you how much joy your books bring me . Your characters have become my friends and companions! I have loved them from the very first page I read in your very very rough draft of your first book. Blessings and love my good friend.

     
     
    1. Blanche, your my forever friend and encourager. I’m so grateful to you and for you. Much love, Phyllis

       
       
    2. Welcome to our chat circle, Blanche. What an uplifting message you’ve left. Thank you and please come back—a new author every-other Wednesday.

       
       
  6. Peggy McAuley

    Love Phyllis as she and her family were my Grandmother’s neighbors growing up in South Georgia . Now I am in the Fort Worth TX area.

     
     
    1. Hi, Peggy — you’re in Texas??? I went to seminary in Fort Worth. Lots of sweet memories of you from Georgia. I saw your mom at the library when I was there back last fall. Thanks for dropping by and letting me know. Blessings on you and your family.

       
       
    2. Thanks for stopping by, Peggy. I love hearing from people who have known authors for years. I know you’ve encouraged Phyllis. You’ve encouraged me. Please come back—a new author ever-other Wednesday.

       
       
  7. Debbie Dunbar

    We love Phyllis and Bill Nichols! You will NEVER meet more wonderful people! Phyllis’ books are so enjoyable because it’s easy reading and the characters are very real. I have to warn you, when you start reading one of her books you won’t want to put it down, it’s that good.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Debbie. Wow, what a tribute you’ve written. I’m so glad to have gotten to know Phyllis. Thank you for your encouraging remarks. I hope you’ll visit Let’s Chat again.

       
       
    2. Thank you so much sweet friend. Just so you know I love and admire you and Ken and your kids and grandkids. Would that the world had more salt of the earth people like you.

       
       
  8. Marti Wilson

    Love Phyllis Clark Nichols ❤️ My favorite is Christmas At Grey Sage. Have read Return Of The Song and Freedom Of The Song. Just finished The Christmas Portrait. Cannot wait for the next “song” book. So glad your family is well and blessed.

     
     
    1. Hi, Marti. Love your encouraging remarks. I hope you’ll come back.

       
       
      1. Thanks, Marti. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to share with me.

         
         
    2. Thanks, Marti. I appreciate your comments and the time you take to share with me.

       
       
  9. Mary Jo Burton

    Love this lady and her wonderful books.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Mary Jo! It’s great to have you join our circle. You’ve encouraged both of us. Please come back.

       
       
    2. Thank you Mary Jo. Looking forward to May 18.

       
       
  10. I can identify with your year of quietude following your husband’s treatment. Four years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Before he was finished with his cancer meds, he suffered a subdural hematoma, requiring two surgeries. Even with his chemo, stem cell treatment, and surgeries, the most difficult thing for him was not being able to drive for a year! Thanks be to God, my husband is doing better and back to driving. I am celebrating his renewed strength.

    Your stories do sound encouraging. Though I’m from New England, I have family in GA, and I love southern writers!

     
     
    1. Thank you for sharing your story. I celebrate with you your husband’s recovery. I understand completely your role. God bless you.

       
       

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Catherine Brakefield Let’s Chat!

Welcome, everyone.

Catherine BrakefieldCatherine Brakefield guest blogs for us this week. Catherine is the author of several historical novels and is a delightful person. She’s offering a free print book, winner’s choice, inside the U.S. and a Kindle version outside the U.S.

According to Catherine, “My readers inspire my writing!” I’m looking forward to hearing about her books.

Catherine is an award-winning author of the inspirational historical romance Wilted Dandelions. Her four-book Destiny series is growing in popularity: Swept into Destiny, Destiny’s Whirlwind, Destiny of Heart, and the fourth book of the series, Waltz with Destiny released on June 6, 2019.

She has written two pictorial history books. Images of America: The Lapeer Area, and Images of America: Eastern Lapeer County. 

Her short stories have been published in Guidepost Books True Stories of Extraordinary Answers to Prayer,  Unexpected Answers and Desires of Your Heart; Baker Books, Revell, The Dog Next Door, Horse of my Heart, Second-Chance DOGS, and Horse of my Dreams scheduled for Fall, 2019 publication; CrossRiver Media Publishers,The Benefit Package and Abba’s Promise; Bethany House Publishers, Jesus Talked to me Today.

longtime Michigan resident, Catherine lives with her husband of 45 years and their Arabian horses in the picturesque hills of Addison Township.  She loves traveling the byroads across America, and spoiling her two handsome grandsons and two beautiful granddaughters!

Welcome, Catherine Brakefield

The definition of history, according to Oxford Dictionary is “The study of past events, particularly in human affairs.”

You probably don’t consider yourself making history, do you? But you are. Just as my characters did in the Destiny series. What kind of life-history lessons will you make? 

Catherine Brakefield’s Novel Series

In my novel series, my readers are provided with the concrete wisdom of our ancestral Christian foundation. Here are a few samples:

Catherine BrakefieldMy series begins with Swept into Destiny. It opens during the Antebellum Era with Ben McConnell, an Irish immigrant, who believes he can change the tide of hate and prejudice against his kind. Maggie Gatlan is a rebel disguised in frilly hoop skirts. Beneath the cover of night, she educates slaves and immigrants alike. She lives up to her biblical beliefs and claims Galatians 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free.”

Book 2, Destiny’s Whirlwind

This story opens in 1898 during the Spanish-American war and the freedom of choice of the Gibson Era.  Daughter of Ben and Maggie, Collina McConnell realizes Rough Rider Franklin Long arrived for just a time as this. Catherine BrakefieldCollina must choose. Ride off with him, or stay and fight for the family farm, Shushan? Her faith often feels as small as that mustard seed Father brought over from Ireland. Ben’s words of Esther 8:6 hold her to the course she must trod, How can I endure to see the evil that will come to my people?”Catherine Brakefield

Book 3, Destiny of Heart 

This story awakens with the Great War when Collina’s sister Ruby and her husband, Stephen, leave for the prairies of Colorado. Here Ruby’s second child is born, her daughter, Esther. The Great Depression crashes the nation into its darkest hour. Maggie, Collina, and Ruby determine not to lose hope, claiming Proverbs 28:6,
Better is the poor who walks in his integrity.” Ruby meets a boy following an ice wagon named Eric Erhardt and invites the Erhardts to share their Sunday meal. Unbeknownst to her, God has a plan for Eric and Esther.

Catherine BrakefieldBook 4, Waltz with Destiny

Esther and Eric’s generation walks out of their rags from the Great Depression to stroll into the splendors of a new era. They enjoy the age of automobiles, dude ranches, and the Big Band Era. Ill-prepared, they are thrust into an all-consuming war that rips away the boundaries of countries and eventually thrusts the world into the atomic age.

IWaltz with Destiny, our young men, who were fed on a solid diet of reading the Bible, going to church, and obeying the Ten Commandments, were unprepared to kill. During 1942 there were few victories in the theater of World War 2 for Americans.

So the military asked for help from some well-known celebrities and songs like “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition” became hits to help our GIs over the hurdle of killing their fellow man.

Catherine Brakefield’s Faith and Family

My father cherished his Christian heritage. Entering the service, he was given a small Bible with Theodore Roosevelt’s signature in the inside flap. Prayer tracks of “A Soldier’s Prayer,” “Jesus Help Us,” and “Our Divine Protector,” Dad kept in his wallet throughout his lifetime!

Dad often said, “You’ll never find an atheist in a fox hole.” After describing some battle scene where his buddies died, he’d explain, “Their number was up.” Mom said Dad’s faith grew stronger during those years he fought in Italy.

Dad believed in the Holy Trinity and that God is omnipotent. In Luke 12:20 God says, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be…?”So that was Dad’s practical, no-nonsense outlook about life and death. Worrying about what he couldn’t change wasn’t in his vocabulary. That helped me throughout my lifetime.

The book of James tells us not to boast about tomorrow, James 4:14 “You do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” Dad said his number would come up someday, but hoped when it did, he’d be on his feet when it happened. God complied.

Harry S. Truman once said: “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” 

Waltz With Destiny

Waltz with Destiny is the last novel of the inspirational Destiny series. Here is the preface:

When the men and women of World War II marched off to war, they didn’t know what lay ahead. They only knew that upon their young and inexperienced shoulders rested the plight of the free world.

From the corridors of the Great Depression, new heroes from the Old West sprang up, thundering across the talking movie screen to the pounding hoof beats of The Sons of the Pioneers, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and Gabby Hayes.

The offspring of the Great Depression, who had peddled papers and sold apples on street corners, awakened to a new era. Across the nation, they gaily glided into the eloquent ballrooms that mirrored the starlight and splendors of the Aztecs.

The American dream awakened our youth to education, jobs, and prosperity. But across the ocean, Hitler was awakening his youth to the idea of a Master Race.

A Changing Wind

So it was during the twilight of August 1941 a changing wind began to blow against America’s shorelines. Before the autumn moon could chill the summer breezes, many knew the stench of death.

As the lash of Hitler’s Third Reich fell upon Europe, the world looked to America, looked to our happy and fun-loving boys and shook their heads.

Compared to their notable fathers of World War I, these boys were like lions are to kittens. These kids couldn’t deliver the world from Hitler’s new world order. Not these playboys in their baggy zoot suits, not these “Mama Boys” still wet behind the ears. They were no match for Japan’s kamikaze or Hitler’s Nazis. They were too innocent, too young, and too inexperienced for the task.

As far as Japan was concerned, America had produced a carefree generation that couldn’t rescue themselves from a windstorm, let alone the world from a dictatorship.

Guys like Eric Erhardt remember those days vividly. “The outside world all thought Americans were too soft, and not much more than playboys, and we wouldn’t be able to fight—man, did we show them!”

What kind of history will you make to pass onto your children and grandchildren?

How to Find Catherine Brakefield

Follow me:  https://www.catherineulrichbrakefield.com

https://www.facebook.com/CatherineUlrichBrakefield

Blog: Hopes, Hearts, & Hoofbeats https://catherineulrichbrakefield.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CUBrakefield

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3387463, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Instagram: https://www.instagramCatherineUlrichBrakefield

10 thoughts on “Catherine Brakefield Let’s Chat!

  1. Vivian Furbay

    y Dad wrote down his family history and it is quite interesting. My German grandpa came to this country around 1900 by himself o a ship when he was about 15-16. he stayed with relations in New Jersey and Chicago and then headed where he homsteaded and lived out the rest of his life. he married my grandma there and they became ranchers. They were hard working people. The only legacy I want to leave is for my children to get saved and their families also.

     
     
    1. My sentiments exactly, Vivian. I want to leave a legacy of faith in Jesus Christ. God bless you.

       
       
    2. Amen to that! The best way of living is to live for Jesus Christ. And to show our faith through our life choices so our children and grandchildren can emulate that! Blessing to your and yours!

       
       
  2. Roxanne Cruz

    Christian historical fiction is my favorite genre, and I so enjoy a series that follows a family from generation to generation. This sounds like a wonderful series that reflects our nation’s spiritual heritage. More books to add to the TBR list!

     
     
    1. Great to have you join the chat, Roxanne! Please drop by again!

       
       
    2. Thank you for your comment! I also put in historical facts so you are learning more about the history of this wonderful country we live in. I hope you will check these books out! I am confident you will not be disappointed!

       
       
    3. Mine too Roxanne Cruz! I try to include historical facts that most readers know nothing or little about. Thank you for including the Destiny series into your collection. Let me know how you liked them!

       
       
  3. Love an author that is not afraid to voice Christian beliefs and Biblical facts. History always fascinates me and I love reading all genres of historical novels. Keep up the great writing so the truth can remain free.

     
     
    1. Amen, Jane!

       
       
    2. Thank you Jane Theriot! I feel blessed by your comment!

       
       

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