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For Truth with a Texas Twang, join Fireside Talk Radio, the show where women ponder the things we store in our hearts. Host Cathy Krafve invites experts to share their personal stories and talk openly about all the things women care about. You name it, we talk about it.

Thank you for downloading our shows and sharing them with your friends. Whatever else you do today - whether you are on your recumbent bike, walking your neighborhood, traveling, or sitting at your desk trying to get inspired - thank you for joining us.

Your comments and input for future episodes are joyfully welcomed at CathyKrafve.com, where women courageously talk about the tough stuff!

Fireside Talk Radio, where Truth and Twang meet. Join us now for our next conversational adventure!

Flashlight Readers: Inspiring Your Kids to Love Books With Anna Krafve Pierce

 

Inspiring Flashlight Readers  CathyKrafve.com
I confess. My family loves flashlight readers. We sneak flashlights to bed often. Maybe, like us, stories excite your imagination even more than chocolate! Are you a flashlight reader, too?

My own mom, Ann Primer, caught us at every naughty moment growing up. Yet, somehow, she never caught any flashlight readers. She, too, was a self-confessed flashlight reader. 

(Pictured above: One of our beloved grands cuddles up with a good book in her "library tent" during a recent power outage.)

Do you want your kids to love books so much they sneak their flashlights into bed under the covers? Sweet Anna Krafve Pierce, joined me on Fireside Talk Radio recently to give us some great ideas for inspiring flashlight readers in the next generation. 

Nurturing a Lifelong Love of Books

Anna went from the slowest reader in her first grade class to the kid who wanted to read and write all about Shakespeare’s plays by 6th grade. Listen in on our relaxed, honest conversation about parenting—two totally different points of view--mine and my daughter’s.

In this no-holds-barred conversation, Anna shares a bunch. An educator, mom, avid reader, and creative soul, you'll love her perspective. If you wonder whether we ever disagree, um, yes we do. (All my kids’ are independent thinkers!) You can also click here for more interviews.

Inspiring Your Own Flashlight Readers

In order to inspire the flashlight readers at your house, Anna suggests starting today, even if they’re not reading yet. (For more on nurturing confident girls, click here.) She offered the following quick tips on creating a book-friendly mindset.

#1 Well-traveled Books

No matter where Anna travels, she and her hubby find a used book store and buy their kids books as souvenirs. 

“For two dollars I can bring them a souvenir that’s not a key chain,” she laughs. “Last time we went on a trip, I found an oversized teacher’s book, you know the kind you read upside down to the class. It’s huge.” 

Is a book worthy of your child? Pick books your children will want to read to their stuffed animals, Anna suggests.

#2 Make Reading a Fun, Team Sport

Different children learn in different styles, even in the same family. (For more on how strong-willed children grow up to be dynamic adults, check out the interview we did with Cynthia Ulrich Tobias.) 

Don’t forget to appeal to auditory learning styles, says Anna. Hearing stories can inspire flashlight readers as the suspense hooks their imagination.

“We always liked it when you read best because you used voices,” Anna reminded me on our show, “I loved Brian Jacques’s Redwall series because all the creatures. He wrote those out where you can hear all the accents and voices.”

We spent many happy hours passing books around to each other, taking turns reading in front of the fireplace on cloud January and February afternoons.

“I loved it when we read those out loud. I was never very good at the voices. Then, Ellen, my sister got to be as good or better than you,” Anna told me. (Ellen, if you’re reading this, Anna tells listeners why we read Pollyanna. Click the above podcast to hear more or click here to find more Fireside Talk Radio podcasts.)

#3 Reading Out Loud 

Oh my gosh, I’ve done everything else today and now I have to read out loud. Really? Okay, okay. We feel your pain. Many people don’t like to read out loud because it's hard work. 

“You would trade us. At first, you said ‘if you’ll read this one paragraph’ and then you’d read two pages to keep the book moving,” recalls Anna. 

Pretty soon we were passing thick books around trading chapters. Before long, I just listened in as the kids traded chapters while I folded laundry.

#3 Reading, Writing, and Acting Together

Play acting is another way to spark your child's literary imagination. As a family, we like the way storytelling brings us together. Often we connect with others through sharing treasured family stories. If you can get your child on his feet acting, family stories come to life.

“We had to do a book report about one of the Greek tragedies. You told us we could either write a book report or say all the lines, in togas. In public,” laughs Anna. Barns and Nobles will never be the same!  (For many more ideas from Whitney Patterson about creating a childhood filled with wonder,  click here.)

#4 Radios, Reading, and, Yes, Our Family Loves Podcasts

Anna remembers the rule I enforced with vigor: "No T.V. until Dad gets home!" Instead, when we needed a diversion, we listened to tapes, like the Adventures in Odyssey series. (Find the Adventures in Odyssey podcasts here.We also listened to dramatized versions of old radio shows, like Agatha Christie and the Green Hornet. In fact, many of the shows from the 1930s and 40s were based on literature.

Teaching your kids to love stories, inevitably helps them appreciate all forms of literature. Story writing is another way to get your child engaged in books.  (For how to encourage the writing gift in your child, click here.)

#4 Choose and Treasure Your Favorite Books

Nowadays inspiring flashlight readers at your house is easy-smeasy with many ways to enjoy stories. I asked Anna for her favorite book.

“My favorite book is the Bible,” she answered without hesitation. “The way you visualize and imagine and relate to it—and know the truth—is part of the purpose for the imagination God gave us.” 

We believe God equips us with imagination so we develop compassion and empathy for others.

Most importantly, imagination is a huge component of faith, according to Anna because “you have to be able to imagine that God loves you.”

May we pray together?

Father, in a miracle beyond imagination, you inspired generations of people to record your stories. We read the Bible now and marvel at your goodness. Surely, if you love both the written and spoken word so much, we can treasure it with joy, too! We thank you, O Lord, that your spoken word has creative power. Teach us to guard our hearts today so the words we speak and write reflect your goodness and glory. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from you!

What is your favorite book ever? Which books do you delight in sharing with your kids? When have you marveled at another person’s ability to inspire young people to love books?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Don’t Give Up! Encouragement for Leaders with Pastor James Dill

James and Linda Dill smile together as Pastor James recounts touching stories about shepherding others and finding the right mentor.Pastor James Dill with his beloved wife and champion, Linda. Yep,we really love these two!!

Don’t give up! That’s the advice James Dill enthusiastically gives to lay leaders, pastors and their families. Founder of Shepherd’s Heart, Pastor James and his wife, Linda, began ministry in the 1970s. He shared one story after another with me in a recent interview for Fireside Talk Radio.

He shares about a small, but beloved church, where they served. No growth. No new interest in Jesus Christ. Weary with struggling, he reached his wit’s end. One afternoon, he walked into the tiny sanctuary and looked out an open window.  

“I just began to cry. Very seldom do I get emotional like that,” he recalls. “But the Lord spoke to me gently and told me an exact direction. He shared with me exactly what I needed to do to correct the things that were going wrong with my church and myself.”

Don’t Give Up

Within a year, God blessed the little church and it began to grow quickly. Soon they went from 125 in attendance on Sundays (and nobody accepting Christ) to 1300 in attendance. Each Sunday was a joy-filled celebration as people experienced salvation at the alter of the vibrant, growing congregation.

With so many years of ministry, Pastor James understands the pressure pastors and their families can face. In fact, all families face pressures! (If your family is in need of wisdom and help for your aging parent, click here.)

To all those who work in light of a calling, he says, “Don’t give up!” He sees the interwoven connection between churches and leaders who serve in nonprofits. Healthy leadership in church means healthier communities.

“Probably the highlight (in any calling) is the intervention of Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the times of crisis. It (the Bible) says, ‘In the times of trouble, God will hide us in his pavilion.’ 

He said, ‘Come unto me all ye that labor and I will give you rest.’ That’s applicable not only to the pastors, but it is applicable to every one that is a born again child of God.

As we talked, James shared amazing stories, like living in the Sunday school classrooms with his family. You’ll love what he says about his sweet and amazing wife! For more of his stories, click here.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

When have you felt like giving up? How do you say, Don’t give up to other leaders? What encouragement really hits the spot for you?

For Christmas Giving: Books! Yay!!

Since I promised to share, here are some of my favorite books for Christmas giving. With delight, I sincerely hope this makes your shopping easier! (Nobody pays me for recommendations, these are just some of the ones under my tree this year.)

For Kids: 

Want to share the marvel of God’s creation with your grands? Dinosaur Devotions made it into my grandkiddos’ stockings. Filled with dinosaur facts and fun pictures, older kids will love it for independent study. Written with her dinosaur-loving daughter in mind, Michelle Medlock Adams calls this book “a project of the heart.” To add our interview with Michelle to any of your gift books, click here.

For History Lovers and Men Who Love Battle Stories:

Now don’t miss Danny Sessums’s new 2-volume set of fabulous first-source A Force to Be Reckoned With. Also, Dann’s books make a great gift for research-loving writers. With a few clicks you can download Danny’s own personal stories and wisdom on Fireside Talk Radio to include in your gift to a history-loving friend!

For Gals:

For an inspiring devotion, Michelle and Bethany’s book, Platinum Faith: Live Brilliant, Be Resilient, & Know Your Worth. Happily for me, Michelle and I connected through our mutual friends at Elk Lake Publishing. (For more positive insight from other Elk Lake authors, click here.)

Also, remember to look for historic novels from Sandra Melville Hart. For more, click here to find the interview we did together or her mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. As a personal touch to your gift, you can download our interview and include it with any of her entertaining historical fiction.

For more about Catherine’s hallmark-friendly romance books or to discover more fiction and nonfiction from our friends at CrossRiver Mediaclick here.

I’m wishing you a cuddly Christmas with those you love and a good book!

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Holiday Romance: Sparking Commitment with Catherine Ulrich Brakefield

Holiday Romance with Catherine Brakefield  CathyKrafve.comWas Catherine destined to write romance? Maybe. Just check out her love story!

Snuggled in front of the fire. Sipping hot chocolate. Is it just me or do Hallmark Christmas movies stir up the holiday romance in all our hearts? Maybe, like me, you want a little holiday romance under your Christmas tree with all the other packages.

With six romance novels, not counting her other nine books, Catherine Ulrich Brakefield qualifies as a romance expert. Of course, her own love story reads like an epic novel with a swept-off-her-feet beginning!

Holiday Romance in Hawaii

Finally settled in her seat, she glanced up as the handsome sailor, Edward Brakefield, sat next to her on the plane. Polite but firm, she tried to ignore him to watch the movie. On holiday with her sister and a dear friend, she daydreamed of sandy beaches. Naturally, romance never climbed to her top ten things to do in Hawaii. 

To hear Catherine’s love story in her own voice, click above or go here.

Little did she know, Ed’s naval intelligence skill set played full force to his advantage. Even before she knew he existed, he spotted Catherine and negotiated pre-flight with the boarding agent for the seat next to hers.

As they chatted, he asked how he could find her once they arrived. She shrugged her shoulder. With proper manners, she refused to give him any information on the plane. Once they arrived, the girls further sabotaged his efforts accidentally.

A God Thing!

“I wanted this hotel that was hundred years old,” says Catherine, laughing about how her devotion to history led her to make a big mistake when booking the reservation. “But, no air conditioning! You know me, history, history.” (For more on raising history-loving kids, click here.)

Since the hot weather forced the young women to change hotels, they unpacked in the new accommodations. When they returned to the lobby, Ed was waiting for her. She was amazed.

“Wow! How did you find me?”

He told her it was a God-thing. Amazingly, he happened to see her turn the corner with her suitcase. For the next week, he spent every waking hour trying to be in her company. Undeterred, he even lined up blind dates for her two travel companions. 

Only a week later, on the last night of her trip, he proposed! Bewildered, she laughed!

“You’re kidding, right?”

Romantically Inclined

Over forty years later, she still prizes a couple of suitcases full of love letters she and her husband wrote back and forth in the months that followed. Today, real life still informs her writing.

“My novels don’t have the normal feel-good romance you see in most novels. It’s a tug of war romance; a true romance,” she says, adding, “It’s hard out there to know the truth about a man! We need to know what to look for, the signs.”

Thinking about the intersection of perseverance, fun, and romance, Catherine has some great insight about how to create your best life, including how to stir up holiday romance in your marriage. For tips about sparking life-long romance, click here.

May we pray together?

Dear Father, Life has a way of teaching us hard truths about endurance and commitment. Thank you for your example of unfailing, unconditional love. Your grace strengthens us for the day’s challenges. Give us hearts to love each other in a world full of rejection and bitterness. Help our hearts forgive each other. Draw us close to you, O good Father, as we spend time with family over the holidays. 

Please, strengthen us to see the delight you have in those we love. Give us hearts to cherish our loved ones, especially a spouse. Help us create romantic moments filled with tenderness and thanksgiving. Thank you, O Lord, for blessing us with your divine presence. We are grateful for the gift of your Son. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from you!

What’s your favorite romantic way to spark holiday romance? Who’s your favorite book character ever created and why? Which books are on your Christmas giving list this year?

For Christmas Giving: Books! Yay!!

Since I promised to share, here are some of my favorite books for Christmas giving. With delight, I sincerely hope this makes your shopping easier! (Nobody pays me for recommendations, these are just some of the ones under my tree this year.)

For Kids: 

Want to share the marvel of God’s creation with your grands? Dinosaur Devotions made it into my grandkiddos’ stockings. Filled with dinosaur facts and fun pictures, older kids will love it for independent study. Written with her dinosaur-loving daughter in mind, Michelle Medlock Adams calls this book “a project of the heart.” To add our interview with Michelle to any of your gift books, click here.

For History Lovers and Men Who Love Battle Stories:

Now don’t miss Danny Sessums’s new 2-volume set of fabulous first-source A Force to Be Reckoned With. Also, Dann’s books make a great gift for research-loving writers. With a few clicks you can download Danny’s own personal stories and wisdom on Fireside Talk Radio to include in your gift to a history-loving friend!

For Gals:

For an inspiring devotion, Michelle and Bethany’s book, Platinum Faith: Live Brilliant, Be Resilient, & Know Your Worth. Happily for me, Michelle and I connected through our mutual friends at Elk Lake Publishing. (For more positive insight from other Elk Lake authors, click here.)

Also, remember to look for historic novels from Sandra Melville Hart. For more, click here to find the interview we did together or her mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. As a personal touch to your gift, you can download our interview and include it with any of her entertaining historical fiction.

Of course, several of my kids are getting prayerwalking Janet McHenry’s books this year. If you order through her website, they arrived signed by the author. Be sure and tell her I sent you in the comment block! For her Fireside Talk Radio interview, click here.

For more about Catherine’s hallmark-friendly romance books or to discover more fiction and nonfiction from our friends at CrossRiver Mediaclick here.

I’m wishing you a cuddly Christmas with those you love and a good book!

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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Sassy Faith: Walking in Platinum Faith with Michelle Medlock Adams

Michelle Medlock Adams: Sassy Faith on CathyKrafve.comPlatinum Faith Co-Author, Michelle Medlock Adams wowed me with her sassy attitude about faith!

Who ever heard of sassy faith?! Yet, talking with Michelle Medlock Adams sure put some sassy faith spring in my step. Sign me up for more of this sassy faith Michelle talks about!

With joyful energy, Michelle offers insight for how to be victorious, even on days when we all feel like a hot mess. An award-winning journalist and best-selling author, she joined me recently to talk about putting the sassy in our faith as we pursue Platinum Faith. If you’re a mommy or grandmom, you’ll especially love what she said about spending time with youngsters!

To hear more of her story including how to keep praying for grandson Bear and his family, click here or go to Fireside Talk Radio.

#1 Start Your Day with the One who Loves You

First thing in the morning, she recommends a simple act of faith.

“I don’t mean you have to go in your prayer closet. Although, you probably will want to hide in your closet sometimes just to get some privacy! I don’t think I went to the bathroom by myself for like ten years,” laughs Michelle.

When your feet hit the floor, begin your morning with a prayerful thank you to God, according to Michelle. By committing our day to God first, we invite him to line up our steps according to his plan for our day. (Personally, I think this approach helps me be a little more chill when unexpected stuff happens, as it frequently does at my house!)

“It seems like when you acknowledge the Holy Spirit—acknowledge the Lord—first thing in the morning as a mom, the whole day goes smoother,” Michelle says.

#2 Enjoy the Little Moments 

Even as a proponent of sassy faith, she still understands the pressure modern moms face. Laughing, she shares about a recent lunch with her own grown daughter. (With over 90 books, to find more from Michelle, click here.)

“I forgot my phone and you’d have thought I forgot my arm!” recalls Michelle, who recommends turning off phones—no matter the age of your children! 

Then, she offered a tender incentive especially for young mommies. “When you’re with your children, be present,” she says. “When they’re little they say the cutest things. So, don’t miss those days.” 

# 3 Speak God’s Word Over Them

Weaving in promises memorized from the Scriptures as we talked together, Michelle epitomizes the sassy faith she espouses. Boldly proclaim God’s word over every aspect of her family and life, she says. Michelle emphasizes the importance of encouraging our children and grandchildren in the Lord every single day.

“Things are not always butterflies and sunshine and bluebirds on your shoulder. We all have those days,” says Michelle. She has favorite prayers she’s drawn from Scripture. “I begin to say those promises that are all of ours.” (Michele shared so much more than I could include here. Find our fun interviews by clicking here.)

Sassy Faith

“No one likes to wait. But, there’s no such thing as drive-through faith. I’ve found out over the years his timing is rarely my timing. There’s always a waiting time,” says Michelle. 

“That’s when you have to put on those sassy faith britches and just stand and know God is working,” she says, quoting Ephesians 6:13. “I’m telling you, that’s the only kind of faith to have!”

“My SUV must be the most sanctified SUV in Indiana! People think I’m talking on my phone, but I’m talking to God,” laughs Michelle. “When I finish one of those sessions and get out of my SUV, I tell you I’m a different person!”

To hear Michelle talk about how God unfolded her book writing success, click on our podcast. For more from Michelle about growing your own sasy, platinum faith, click here.

My personal thanks to Michelle for the interview. She truly blessed me with her timely words on faith, words I personally need to hear. I hope you will listen in, too, dear friend. 

In the midst of busy holiday preparations, may God bless you with quiet moment with HIM, the only Holy One!

May we pray together?

Dear Father in heaven, Oh how we love you! You are the one who draws us to sit and be still in your presence. Our hearts seek you. Often we find you in a thousand small daily unfolding miracles, if only we just pay attention to you! Have mercy on us and teach us to look to you. Help us trust you with a faith that sparkles and withstands pressure. Give us resolve to stand against our enemy, the deceiver. Teach us to love truth and speak it over all those we love in our families and communities. As families come together over the holidays, give us your grace and joy. Fill us to overflowing with your Spirit. Teach us to love. In Jesus’s name. Amen.

For Christmas Giving: Books! Yay!!

I promised to share my favorite books for Christmas giving this month along the way. So, here’s a few favorites to make your shopping easier! (Nobody pays me for recommendations, these are just some of the ones under my tree this year.)

For Kids: 

Dinosaur Devotions made it into my grandkiddos’ stockings. Filled with dinosaur facts and fun pictures, older kids will love it for independent study. It’s also a perfect way to share the marvel of God’s creation with toddlers. Written with her dinosaur-loving daughter in mind, Michelle calls this book “a project of the heart.” Pet lovers might also enjoy The Little Angel gets a Big Job, with proceeds benefiting the White River Humane Society in Lawrence County, Indiana. In a wonderful application of art and community, there’s I Love You the Mostest, proceeds benefiting Riboflavin Transporter Deficiency Type2 (RTD).  

For History Lovers and Men Who Love Battle Stories:

Don’t miss Danny Sessums’s new 2-volume set of fabulous first-source A Force to Be Reckoned With. With a few clicks you can download Danny’s own personal stories and wisdom on Fireside Talk Radio to include in your gift to a history-loving friend!

For Gals:

For an inspiring devotion, Michelle and Bethany’s book, Platinum Faith: Live Brilliant, Be Resilient, & Know Your Worth. I connected with Michelle through our mutual friends at Elk Lake Publishing. (For more positive insight from other Elk Lake authors, click here.)

Don’t forget to look for historic novels from Sandra Melville Hart. For more, click here to find the interview we did together or her mom’s pumpkin pie recipe. You can download our interview and include it as a personal touch to your gift of any of her entertaining historical fiction.

Next up, I’m highlighting some dear author friends who write historical fiction and hallmark-friendly romance novels. Over the holidays, my Christmas gift to myself is to snuggle in with hot chocolate and a just-for-fun book. Stay tuned for some of my top picks in the coming weeks. (For more fiction and nonfiction from our friends at CrossRiver Mediaclick here.)

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

What prayers are you praying over your children and grandchildren? When you draw near to the Lord, how does that look? What best communicates God’s love to you today?

 

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History Loving Kids: Tips from a History Nerd with Dr. Danny Sessums

Author and scholar Danny Sessums talks about his new 2-volume history of Granbury’s Texas Infantry Brigade in the Civil War, A Force to Be Reckoned With.History nerd to Ph.D and Civil war scholar, Danny lights up true stories with humor and a down home attitude!

Growing up a history nerd wasn’t easy for Danny Sessums. Maybe you’re trying to raise some history-loving kids at your house. If so, you’ll love what Danny shares. At first glance, he was probably the last kid you’d think would grow up to be a Ph.d. and real life T.V. consultant. Not to mention the author of a groundbreaking two volume work on Texas history.

Antebellum Authority, Professor, Museum Designer, Author, Civil War Re-enactor, Television Consultant. With so many titles, who would believe Danny grew up with a bootlegger for a dad?

Dinosaur Dan

As a youngster, Danny’s love of history began when he discovered an unusual fossil. When the local newspaper picked up the story, a lifelong passion for history was born.

“I became known as Dinosaur Dan,” laughs Danny, “my Borger students still all call me that.” With the odds stacked against the poor kid from west Texas, he grew up to offer some rock solid advice for young parents on how to raise history loving kids.

To hear all Danny’s insight, including a bit in an Irish accent, click above or go to Fireside Talk Radio.

A Nudge from His Grandfather Started His Quest

“My dad was killed a month before I turned nine. So, I really ran the streets of my hometown, Borger Texas. Therefore, I got a really good common sense education,” Danny told us in a recent Fireside Talk Radio interview. As always, Danny put his positive outlook on some hard truth.

“I ended up with my granddad just after my junior year working in Fort Worth,” explains Danny. “But he said, ‘You need to go back to Borger and finish school there because you’re the first Sessums kid I’ve met that I think could really be something.” With a nudge from his grandfather, Danny returned to finish school in his small hometown. Back in Borger, he excelled, acquiring college scholarships. Next, he set his course for Texas Tech and beyond.

The Adventure of History

Again sparked by his grandfather, Danny began to develop an interest in war history, particularly Civil War era. As his expertise grew, he accepted an invitation to perform on-screen in a documentary-style series, never realizing what would follow. First, he played a Virginian who fought for the British on the Tory side. Then, in the same series, he played a Texas soldier who was a Confederate.

“As luck would have it—and I mean my life has been luck, but I’m gonna say God inspired luck—a Hollywood producer saw that (series) and gave me a call. I’m gonna tell you, I thought it was a friend of mine pulling a joke on me at the time,” laughs Danny. “He said, ‘We’re gonna do a series of movies, called North and South.” 

One adventure led to many more adventures, including The Alamo: the Price of Freedom and Glory, along with some other PBS documentaries and consulting gigs. For more of his stories and some terrific ideas for raising history-loving kids, click here

Best Christmas Gift Ever For Men, History Lovers, Writers, Museum Curators…

For two special history loving people on my Christmas list, I’ve already secured a 2-volume set of Danny’s book, A Force to Be Reckoned With: A History of Granbury’s Texas Infantry Brigade 1861-1865. (Okay, one of those people might be me! Stay tuned for more books Santa delivers to stockings at our house this year.)

Notably, this two-volume set is groundbreaking research, plus tons of fun. Beautifully formatted, you will be delighted to give them, read them, or keep it on your shelf for future reference. With striking thoroughness, they contain never-before-published, first-hand accounts amid detailed chronicles of troop movement. Please, buy the hard covers; you won’t regret it.

Danny’s books represent a dream come true for readers, history lovers, Texans, and Antebellum historical fiction writers, museum curators, students of battle strategy, Civil War aficionados, re-enactors, public speakers, you name it.

Note to Fellow Writers 

As we talked, Danny modestly mentioned the bibliography in the back of the book. What he didn’t say was that it’s ninety-eight (yes, that’s 98) pages of research footnotes and references! He included appendixes like lists of casualties originally published in the Galveston Daily News and the Houston Telegraph in the 1860s. Plus, a list of materials discovered during his archival search.

If you’re interested in these topics, he did your research for you: Civil War history, first source quotes, Texas, the midWest, pioneer era stories, uncommon war stories, antebellum, ancestral research, and much more.

Also an accomplished author, Danny’s wife Candace Sessums published over 25 books published under her nom de plume, Olivia Hardin. (Her books are fun to read and would make a happy gift in the stocking of a romance-loving friend!) When we talked, Danny couldn’t wait to honor Candace for all her help on his project.

“She has dedicated so much time to getting these two volumes published that I gotta give her a lot of credit there,” Danny emphasized.

What’s up Next for Danny?

Together, Danny and Candace are closing in on a dream to create a documentary chronicling the lives of everyday Texans in the years leading up to and including the Civil War. 

“When you read my books, a lot of it is the people telling what they were experiencing. Wouldn’t it be neat to chronicle  the lives of all these men, these women, these children?” asks Danny, “Wouldn’t it be neat to show there were people who came to Texas before the Civil War from the North who didn’t believe some of the things that were going on in the country or even in the state of Texas. But when the war came, they still fought for the South. They fought for their new native state. I had Germans and Hispanics, and blacks who fought in those regiments the constituted, Granbury’s Texas Brigades.” 

Strong Women

Naturally, I’m begging Danny to shed light on current lives of Texas women by writing about our antecedents, those amazing pioneer women who established the precedence of strong Texas women.

“Women in the 1850 and 1860s were the driving community resource,” explains Danny, “Women took over the leadership of not only their home and hearth but also the family lands. They drove the cattle. Women raised the crops. They helped work in hospitals and factories, things like that.” He’s got the research to prove it, too.

“Poor old Molly Scurlock of Johnson County and Mary Ann Cornwaldt from near Waco,” Danny offers as examples, “They’d write how the Indians were raiding in their territories, killing people and burning farms, ‘I’m afraid to go outside.’”

History Like  Relay Race

For emphasis, Danny likes to characterize history like a track relay race. 

“The relays always demanded an intricate hand off from one runner to the next runner,” he explains, “It was such perfect thing that it’s difficult for us to understand if we’ve never run that kind of race. As we look back at the past, we need to understand, I don’t get to run a lap or a part of a race unless the previous person brought that baton and handed it off to me.” 

May we pray together?

Dear Father in heaven, we are so grateful to live in the land of the free. With humility, we can’t really imagine what our forefathers went through to deliver this blessing to us. They only did so with your divine guidance and mercy. American values are not something we deserve, but a priceless treasure handed off to us by stout, courageous, faith-filled men and women who came before us. We raise you for their fortitude and vision. Thank you for your providential guidance and blessing on this nation, O Lord. Make us faithful, gracious stewards of the blessings you’ve bestowed. In Jesus name. Amen.

We LOVE to hear from YOU!

Which blessings are you counting during this special time of year? When you think back on history, which eras inspire you the most? How are you passing on a love of history to the next generations in your family?

Cathy Krafve, Columnist, Speaker, Blogger, Podcaster, and Christian Writer, invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.

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A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

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A columnist, speaker, writer, small business owner, education connoisseur, and middle class philanthropist, Cathy brings all her experience together to ask the questions we all want to know.

Like a friend you met for coffee, Cathy's guests share practical strategies for marriage, family, community, and life.

Why? Because all women deserve a break. By a break, we mean a minute alone with a strong cup of coffee and good podcast. For more great shows go to CathyKrafve.com.



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