Two characters with much to lose... Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons (Blog Tour Interview)

Pursuing Gold: A Novel of the Civil War
Pursuing Gold
by Cynthia L. Simmons
Christian Historical Romantic Suspense
Paperback & ebook, 308 Pages
October 27th 2016 by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.


With his father dead and his business partner incapacitated, Peter Chandler inherits the leadership of a bank in economic crisis.

With only a newly-minted college degree and little experience, Peter joins his partner’s daughter, Mary Beth Roper, in a struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat while the Civil War rages around Chattanooga. Political pressure for unsecured loans of gold to the government stirs up trouble as tempers and prices rise. Their problems multiply when Mary Beth discovers counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Can they find the forger before the bank fails? The two friends must pursue gold on behalf of their business, as they learn to pursue their heavenly Father to find hope and peace.

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I'd like to welcome the author, Cynthia L. Simmons, to Wishful Endings today to talk about her new book!

What inspired you to write PURSUING GOLD?

I learned about banking and finance from my husband, who is an accountant. When I got interested in counterfeit money, I researched Civil War banking and discovered few people had written about it.

Would you give us brief descriptions of the two main characters, Peter and Mary Beth?

Peter’s lifelong dream was to bank alongside his father, but his father died as he graduated from college. He must run a bank with little help as the Civil War starts. Mary Beth was very close to her father who taught he book keeping. Her father, Peter’s bank partner, became very ill and she attempts to nurse him back to health while helping with the bank. Things get worse when she finds counterfeit money with Peter’s forged signature. Now the bank is in danger because clients can bring the dollars and demand gold.

What did you find the most unique or surprising while researching the story?

I particularly enjoyed researching herbal medicines and was delighted to learn lily of the valley has digitalis which is used for heart patients.

Do you have a favorite scene you could share with readers?

     Anna Chandler hadn’t expected the trip home to be so hard. Perhaps she hated the journey so much because she hadn’t recovered from the long trip down. She loved her sister, but this time, she couldn’t stay long enough to enjoy being with her. Anna couldn’t ignore her husband’s bank.
     Ruth hadn’t given her any problems traveling back. The child behaved like a lamb and was even ready to carry her trunk indoors when they arrived home. Given that her baggage weighed almost as much as she did, her meekness impressed Anna. How grateful she was to find a cab to escort them home. Larger cities had them, but she had believed Chattanooga was too small for such luxury.
     Peter never needed to know what she planned to do tonight. In fact, this escapade would be a secret she intended to take to her grave. A woman did things for her family. She would not allow some foolish man to destroy what her husband and son built. Mr. Roper’s poor health probably resulted from running the bank without Andrew. C&R Bank was a legacy that would pass to the next generation. She had the power to make his heritage continue.
     She dressed in black and wore soft shoes that would allow her to steal through the city without a sound. Before she hung her drawstring purse on her arm, she added her husband’s old pistol. 
     As she headed for the city, she stayed in the shadows as much as possible, not that anyone would be out at this late hour. Andrew always said a wise person took precautions.
     Once she reached the bank, she reached into her bag and drew out her husband’s spare key. From the lobby, she went straight back to the offices behind the teller’s counter. She wasn’t surprised by the oil lamps burning in Sadler’s office. He often stayed overnight to work. His feelings about his mother might have something to do with his love of his office, but no one could blame him. The old lady’s mind left when her husband died. Anna held onto her sanity with ferocity because her children needed her.
     A few strides led her right to Sadler’s office, his body bent low as he pored over an open ledger. His meticulous hand required hours of effort. Such frilly numbers didn’t have to fill the dreary bank books only accountants read.
     He gasped as he turned his wrinkled face to her. “Mrs. Chandler? What are you doing here at this hour?”
     “I could ask you the same.” The shocked expression on his face pleased her.
     “I have a job here, and I do it well.”
     “Do you?” Her mind went to the pistol in her bag. She couldn’t use it, but it kept her from losing her determination. Andrew should have fired this man years ago. “Trying to undermine my son isn’t wise. He owns fifty-one percent of the bank.”
     Sadler’s face blanched as he rose. His hands knotted into fists. “Your boy doesn’t know how to operate a bank. His expensive education is worth nothing. I’ve been here long enough to do all the jobs, without errors, mind you.”
     Anna erupted. She yanked off her hat and cloak, dropping them at her feet. “I’m going to say this once more. Be sure you understand. Don’t ever speak evil of Peter again. In fact, why not go ahead and resign? You’ve done enough harm already.”

What do you hope readers will take with them after they’ve read the story?

I hope they will learn to pursue God even if they find themselves in difficult circumstances.

What are you working on next?

I have a sequel to Pursuing Gold, and I’m working on a biographical fiction on Susannah Spurgeon.

What book are you most looking forward to reading in 2017?

I love reading Sandra Byrd’s books, and I’m anxious to read her next release.

Thanks so much for answering my questions, Cynthia, and sharing more about PURSUING GOLD!

About the Author

Cynthia L Simmons and her husband, Ray, have five children and reside in Atlanta. She has taught for over thirty years as a homeschool mother and Bible teacher. She's a columnist for Leading Hearts Magazine and she directs Atlanta Christian Writing Conference. Cyndi has a heart for encouraging women in today's crazy, upside-down world. She loves history and peppers her speaking and teaching with fascinating vignettes from the past. Her first book, Struggles and Triumphs, was nominated for 2008 Georgia Author of the Year. She co-founded Homeschool Answers and hosts Heart of the Matter Radio.

Have you read any books involving a bank in the setting? I think I've only read one that had a bank involved, but that would be it. What do you think of the plot or the interview?

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