Monday, June 23, 2014

Interview and Giveaway With Cathy Gohlke


I'm honored to be a part of Christy Award winning author Cathy Gohlke's blog tour for her latest book, Saving Amelie. Cathy's one of the most talented authors I know, so it's always a treat to have her visit. She's giving away a paperback copy, so check out the details below.


Here's a Peek at Saving Amelie:

Increasingly wary of her father’s genetic research, Rachel Kramer has determined that this trip with him to Germany—in the summer of 1939—will be her last. But a cryptic letter from her estranged friend, begging Rachel for help, changes everything. Married to SS officer Gerhardt Schlick, Kristine sees the dark tides turning and fears her husband views their daughter, Amelie, deaf since birth, as a blight on his Aryan bloodline.


Once courted by Schlick, Rachel knows he’s as dangerous as the swastikas that hang like ebony spiders from every government building in Berlin. She fears her father’s files may hold answers about Hitler’s plans for others, like Amelie, whom the regime deems “unworthy of life.” She risks searching his classified documents only to uncover shocking secrets about her own history and a family she’s never known.

Now hunted by the SS, Rachel turns to Jason Young—a driven, disarming American journalist and unlikely ally—who connects her to the resistance and to controversial theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Forced into hiding, 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.


Interview

Welcome Cathy! Congratulations on Saving Amelie!  What inspired you to write this book? 

Thank you! It's great to be here. After attending the world’s longest running Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany (380 years), I wondered how the Alpine village had responded to Hitler and the Nazis, which represented anything but the sacrificial love of Christ.

When I learned that the scheme to create a master race by eliminating bloodlines deemed “unworthy” was not confined to the Nazis, I wondered how we can prevent stepping onto such slippery moral slopes today. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a WWII controversial German pastor and author of The Cost of Discipleship, gave me that answer, and a story was born.
 

It is indeed a thought provoking story. How did you first learn about the pseudo-science of eugenics and its bent toward creating a superior race of humans? 

I’d come across tidbits in history in relation to human experiments conducted by the Nazis, but my first real awareness came when I read in the news—just a few years ago—about people in NC seeking compensation for forced sterilization. I was astonished. How could such a thing happen in America? From that moment the research trail opened, winding its way through history I’d never learned in school.
 

I read that story too, and like you, never learned about it in school. Very sobering. Stories or characters sometimes mirror the author’s life in some way. Is that true for Saving Amelie

I think there is something of the things authors have learned or known or emotions we’ve experienced in every book, even if no part of the story is truly ours or no character portrays us. Sometimes stories are simply stories, parables clearly parables.

While that is true, there was a time that I feared I would not be able to bear children, so I understand Lea’s anguish and how very much Amelie means to her. There have also been times I’ve struggled—like all of us—with whether to do the right thing or the expedient thing, with “who is my neighbor” and how to identify those answers and act upon them.
 

"Who is my neighbor?" That is a good question, and one I've thought more of since reading Saving Amelie. What do you hope readers will take away from the story?

I hope Saving Amelie will provoke thought and questions for discussion. Questions like, how do we keep history from repeating itself? How do we make certain we are not taken unawares, that we are not seduced in the name of “progress” or “compassion” into giving up our rights and taking away the rights of others—the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, the unborn, people of nationalities other than our own?

What must we do to stop the changing of our laws and culture by those with agendas they claim are more “compassionate” than God’s laws? Where do we find the courage to rise from apathy, indifference, from political correctness and fear of offending others to stand for God’s truth and for liberty in Christ?

Saving Amelie does all that and more, Cathy. Thanks so much for sharing with us. Wishing you all the best with your books! :)

Thank you, Karen!


My Review 

Saving Amelie offers an interesting perspective on the events prior to and during World War II. The story illustrates inner workings of not just the Nazi regime, but of the resistance. It was this inside view of the resistance that I found most interesting. It’s easy to see the German citizens as the enemy, but many who were swept into the fray did not embrace the beliefs and atrocities that unfolded in their homeland.  This book offers insight into the hearts and actions of the people who risked their lives to help others.

Through her wonderful, signature style, Cathy Gohlke shares how Rachel, Jason and their friends and family stretch beyond their comfort zone through this terrible war. I enjoyed getting to know each one as they faced unimaginable danger on their heart-changing adventure.  The thing I found particularly interesting was Jason’s spiritual awakening, the journey he took after meeting Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Once again, Cathy has written an entertaining and compelling story that shares thought provoking and timeless lessons. Saving Amelie‘s intricate plot offers the whole package:  great characters, redemption, adventure, and suspense.  Two thumbs up – definitely.



Visit Cathy at her website, blog, or Facebook

Find Saving Amelie on Amazon


Giveaway Info

  • You must be a GFC (Google Friend Connect) follower of Write Now.
  • You must leave your email address with your comment.
  • Open to residents of the United States.
  • Deadline to enter is midnight EST Thursday, June 26, 2014. Winner will be chosen by random.org, notified via email, and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Do you have any questions for Cathy? What are you reading this week?

Happy reading and writing,

Karen

38 comments :

  1. I was hooked just reading "the peek" and love the premise of this book. Bonhoeffer is a man I would loved to have met. Hope I'm a winner! www.scsundwall@gmail.com Happy sales!

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    1. Susan Sundwall--I, too, would have loved to meet Dietrich Bonhoeffer. His writings have changed my thinking, inspired and challenged me. I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie!"

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  2. Wow, I live in NC - how could I miss that story?

    Congrats on the book, Cathy.

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    1. L. Diane Wolfe--Thank you! Karen is right--it was not a well publicized story in either NC or national news. But the astonishing thing is that it wasn't and that so far nothing has been resolved for those in need. The last I read is that a June 30 deadline is pending. It will be interesting to see what the next week brings in the news.

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  3. Susan,
    It is a wonderful book, and I think you would like it. Thanks so much for coming by. I've got you on the list! :)

    Diane,
    I just happened across it online one day, so maybe it wasn't a big headline. Sobering though, you know? Thanks for stopping!:)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  4. Her final questions really hit upon the truth in today's world.

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    1. So glad those questions resonate, Alex. That's exactly what I hope for readers! God bless!

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  5. Thanks for the introduction to Cathy and her novel. We are Bonhoeffer fans in our house, too.

    I'd love to be entered into the drawing! srdietze at sbcglobal dot net

    Thanks!

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    1. So glad you're already familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Susanne. His writings have inspired, challenged, and changed my life and thinking. It's wonderful to have the printed page--or electronic page--to still be blessed so many years after his death, isn't it? God's blessings!

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  6. Wow, Cathy's newest book sounds tremendous! I LOVE stories of intrgue and redemption. Please enter my name in this drawing, and thanks for your generosity!
    Jen
    jeanette(at)jeanettelevellie.com

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    1. So glad for your interest in Saving Amelie, Jeanette! I hope you enjoy the read--it sounds like your kind of book. : )

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  7. Very sweet cover. WW2 books are always fascinating. Love that this one has intrigue too.

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    1. I love the cover, too, Diane. Tyndale did a tremendous job. I received an email from a friend of the family whose little girl modeled for Amelie--the young girl on the front and back cover and just inside the book. She told me how much it meant to the family that she had modeled for this story. But, I felt it was the other way around. How wonderful that her sweet innocence captured the story for every reader!

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  8. Alex,
    I know, don't they? This book really makes you think! :)

    Susie,
    You are welcome! I think you might like her books. :) She's a wonderful writer!

    Jen,
    It is! She is one talented writer! I think you will like this story. :)

    Diane,
    I agree, this is a sweet cover. It's a great time period for historicals, too. :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  9. Hi Cathy and Karen -

    Thanks for an enlightening interview. I just finished Saving Amelie, and I think it's Cathy's best book so far. It touches on many subjects dear to my heart, like freedom of speech and religion. The preciousness of life is a theme throughout the book.

    Keep on prodding the collective conscience of the nation, Cathy. If we don't do it, who will?

    Blessings,
    Susan

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    1. That's right, Susan--"Keep on prodding the collective conscience of the nation"--which is exactly what you are doing! I knew this book would be your cup of tea as the themes are close to your heart and writing. So nice to see you hear. God's blessings, and keep pounding that keyboard!!! ; )

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  10. That is scary stuff for sure! Like Jen, I, too, love stories with mystery. Mr. Schrock would love the historical aspect of this particular plot, being a WWII buff. My email address is rschrockmt@yahoo.com.

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    1. This sounds like a family fit, Rhonda! I hope you and your husband enjoy "Saving Amelie," and thank you so much for joining in! God's blessings!

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  11. Susan,
    Glad you enjoyed it. Cathy makes it easy! :) I agree, this book touches on important topics and really makes you think.

    Rhonda,
    This story has got it all, and it's woven together perfectly! Cathy is a talented writer. Thanks for weighing in! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  12. Hi Karen, thanks for introducing Cathy and her book to us. It sounds intriguing.

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    1. I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie," Rachna. Thank you for joining in the discussion! God's blessings for you!

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  13. I have been wanting to read this one for awhile jazzymom1220@gmail.com

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    1. So glad it's on your TBR list, Mia! I hope you enjoy "Saving Amelie." God's blessings!

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  14. Rachna,
    You are welcome! So happy to spread the word. :)

    Mia,
    You are in for a treat! Nice to meet you. :) I've added you to the list.

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  15. Looks like a real though provoking tearjerker of a book.

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    1. I think I'm getting a reputation for those, Lady Lilith--"real thought provoking tearjerker of a book." You've nailed it. God's blessings!

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  16. Good Morning, Karen! What a pleasure to join you and your readers here this morning. Thank you so much for having me and for sharing in this lively discussion. I love the interesting conversation you've generated! God's blessings on your day!

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  17. Very cool. I love thinking books--especially anything that deals with societal and moral dilemmas. This sounds like a great read.

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  18. Cathy,
    It's always a pleasure to have you stop by! You have a standing invitation, always. :) Blessings to you and your family as well!

    Crystal,
    You just might like this one - if you can find the time while moving!:) It is a great read. Best wishes with the move!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  19. The premise is very promising and very thought-provoking. I hope it does well.

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  20. Wow! Those are great questions, and both he research and the book sound intriguing.

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  21. H.P.,
    It is just that. I too, hope Cathy has much success. It's always a good thing when people are thinking. :) Good to see you!

    Tyrean,
    Cathy does extensive research on all her books, and you can see it in the stories. So glad you stopped by! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  22. Great interview, Karen. Thanks for the introduction to Cathy Gohlke. I've heard a lot about this book and hope to read it soon. I'm sure it's a book which provokes lots of deep thinking.
    Blessings for a great weekend,
    Dotti :)

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  23. Sounds like an interesting book! I've always wondered if forced sterilization will be in the future at some point...somehow the government would put a block on young people who will then be forced to prove they're competent to have children before the sterilization is removed. I know that concept has to have been included in a sci-fi novel at some point.

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  24. Dotti,
    I cannot take credit for the interview - Cathy makes it easy! :) I hope you get a chance to read it. I am sure you will enjoy it!

    Stephanie,
    It is an interesting read, that's for sure. I can see where that line of thinking comes from, but hope it never comes to that. Glad you stopped by!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  25. I missed the giveaway, but so glad I caught the interview. It sounds like a book I will love. A sad period in history and one that I am intrigued by. I am constantly learning more about what happened during WWII and this is a book I have added to my list. It sounds different from anything I have read, but it sounds like a book I will get swept up in. I so enjoyed this interview and learning more about Cathy. Wishing her the best of luck.
    ~Jess

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  26. Jess,
    I think you might like this book. :) Glad you got to meet Cathy and check out the interview! :) This is such an interesting stretch of history.
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  27. This looks like a deep, thought-provoking read and this was also a deep, thought-provoking interview.

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!