Thursday, April 9, 2015

Which CROSSROADS Character Are You? by Cathy Bryant

Which CROSSROADS Character Are You?
by Cathy Bryant

Before I write one word of a new story, I spend a LOT of time getting to know my main characters. I fill out lengthy character charts for each of them, which includes every aspect of their background--childhood, relationships, jobs, personality traits, tough life situations, etc. I also subject them to a battery of online personality tests.

Why do I go to all this trouble? Because if my characters aren't 'real' people to me, I stand no chance of writing them well enough to convince savvy readers that they are 'real.'

Anyway, without further ado, please allow me the privilege of introducing you to the characters of the latest Miller's Creek novel, CROSSROADS.

Meet Mara, the Heroine of CROSSROADS
With each character I create for a novel, I find a picture (usually of an actor or actress) that helps me visualize the character as I write. This unusual picture of actress Julia Roberts was the perfect picture for the character of Mara Hedwig, the heroine of CROSSROADS.

To me this photo shows strength of character as well as a just-beneath-the-surface vulnerability and kindness, all of which describes Mara. She's also maternal, driven, motivated by her desire to provide stability for her little girl, lonely, cynical (especially when it comes to matters of faith), a survivor, and distrusting.

Her public persona is very different from her private persona. In public, she's all about appearances for the sake of her business, so she dresses to the hilt in business attire (yes, even in the back-roads Texas town of Miller's Creek) and drives a Cadillac Escalade to have the appearance of success.

In private, she's much more relaxed and casual in her dress, preferring to let her hair down, wear sweats or blue jeans, and to shuck her shoes. In her not-working hours, her life centers around being a mama to her little girl, Ashton.

Meet Carter, the Hero of CROSSROADS
I used this photograph of actor Geoff Stultz as inspiration for Carter Callahan. Carter is a former soldier, now serving on the police force of Miller's Creek, who is strong in his faith and struggling to raise his teen-age daughter Chloe on his own. The one word that best describes him (as confirmed by his family, the infamous Callahan clan) is protector. When he meets the vulnerable and cynical Mara and her little girl, his life is literally turned upside down.

Why? Because as a protector/defender, he sees it as his job to win Mara back to faith in God. The only problem? He has bought the enemy's lie that he's not smart enough to win a war of words. All his previous battles have been fought with brawn and training, so how could he possibly win the battle of defending the faith to Mara?

Other words that describe Carter are: thrill-seeker, action-oriented, outdoors-man, caring, compassionate, and tender-hearted.

Meet Ashton, Mara's Daughter in CROSSROADS
What is it about kids that tend to steal the spotlight in a book or movie? That definitely holds true for the character of Ashton, Mara's little girl in CROSSROADS.

To play the part, I chose this picture of actress Dakota Fanning. Isn't she cheek-pinching cute???
Words that describe Ashton are: precocious, sweet, smart, charming, and funny. She's one of those kids that has a vocabulary of a thirty-year-old. I derived a lot of inspiration for this character from the role of the little girl Susan in the remake of the movie, Miracle on 34th Street (played by actress Mara Wilson).

In the story of CROSSROADS, Ashton faces a life-threatening illness. Once Carter and his teen-aged daughter Chloe enter her life, she is impacted for the faith. There's nothing like that sweet, child-like faith to serve as the perfect picture of what faith in Christ should be like.

Meet Chloe, Carter's Daughter in CROSSROADS
There is always at least one character in any story I write that ends up surprising me. Chloe was that character for me in writing CROSSROADS. This photo of actress Spencer Lacey Ganus served as my visual inspiration for the character of Chloe.

Honestly, I think the reason Chloe's character surprised me so much is because teenagers are not normally my favorite people. To me, they tend to be self-centered, rebellious, and smart-mouthed.

Not that Chloe isn't those things. She totally is. But throughout the story she grows into a mini-adult, overcoming some of her own personal hang-ups and obstacles to become a compassion-filled cheerleader and champion for Ashton.

Other words that describe Chloe are: bouncy, moody, searching, and strong-willed. Of all people, Mara becomes the voice of reason for Chloe.

Which CROSSROADS Character Are You?
Now that you've met each of the main characters in CROSSROADS, I hope it makes this little quiz all the more fun. Please let us know in the comments which character you are the most like!

About the Book
A former soldier battles for the soul of a prodigal...

After a devastating divorce, a bitter single mom and atheist starts her own real estate company in the nostalgic and picturesque town of Miller’s Creek, Texas. Then her young daughter’s disturbing symptoms lead doctors to discover that her leukemia has relapsed. With her new life now turned upside down, Mara Hedwig struggles to keep her business afloat. And her daughter’s worsening condition forces her to rethink her beliefs about Carter Callahan and his God. Will Mara make the return to Christian faith in the face of life’s greatest challenge?

An ex-military operative struggles with the return to civilian life while coping with his rebellious teen-aged daughter. During a house-search, Carter meets Mara, a headstrong Realtor who wants nothing to do with his God. But when Mara’s little girl is diagnosed with leukemia, the clock begins ticking for him to convince Mara to return to a life of faith. Just as he seems to be making headway, circumstances beyond his control throw his efforts into a tailspin. Can Carter learn to rest in the sovereignty of God?

About the Author
Amazon best-selling author Cathy Bryant writes Christian fiction set in the heart of Texas. Her popular romance and romantic suspense novels take place in the fictional town of Miller's Creek, where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth's front porch beckons. All the Miller's Creek novels have been on the Amazon Best-Seller list and are rated at 4.5 stars or higher on Amazon. Her debut novel, TEXAS ROADS, was a 2009 ACFW Genesis finalist. Since then five other stand-alone novels have been added to the series, one of which was a reader-nominated 2013 Grace Award nominee (PILGRIMAGE OF PROMISE). Readers have compared her work to that of Karen Kingsbury and Nicholas Sparks. 

A native Texan, Cathy currently resides in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of northern New Mexico with her minister husband of over thirty years. She's written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books in collaboration with other Christian authors, and for online sites. She also has released a Bible study book, THE FRAGRANCE OF CRUSHED VIOLETS. In addition to her writing, she enjoys thrift store shopping, romping in the great outdoors, and mini-farming.

Cathy Bryant Online
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Pinterest

Book Launch Party


What: CROSSROADS Book Launch Party

Where: Facebook (from the comfort & convenience of your own home)

When: April 30, 2015 ~ 7:00-8:30 p.m. (Central time)

Why: To celebrate the book launch of CROSSROADS (a Miller's Creek novel and Christian Romance by Cathy Bryant)

LOTS of Fun, Games and Prizes!

Prizes Include: Miller's Creek pens, tote bags, t-shirts, mugs, digital books, autographed print books, Amazon gift cards, and
an Amazon Kindle Fire HD6!
Click here to RSVP and enter the Kindle Fire drawing.

Cathy has been gracious enough to offer a giveaway to one of YOU. Your prize? A digital copy of CROSSROADS! We'll keep this simple. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post: tell us either which character you're most like (see the quiz above) or which character you'd most like to meet. Be sure to leave an email address so I can contact if you win. Giveaway ends April 17.


  1. Brooke, thank you so much for being part of the virtual tour for CROSSROADS and for helping to spread the news of the book's release. Sharing this post across my social media channels. Blessings to you and yours, Cathy

  2. I am most like Mara. Which is pretty appropriate since I would most like to meet Carter! LOL
    myfacebookemail23 at yahoo dot com

  3. Stopping by to enjoy the CROSSROADS blog tour! I'm Mara's private persona....not the dressing to the hilt part, for sure. Please enter me: sheridastewart at gmail dot com. Thank you!

    1. I'm like Mara, too, Sherida. And like you, just her private persona. I can dress to the hilt, but I much prefer my raggedy old jeans or sweat pants! :) Thanks so much for entering the drawing! :)


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