Tag Archives: Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family

Interview with Author Cathy Burnham Martin

1) Tell about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am a person who loves people and helping others be their personal best. My husband and I enjoy art, music, traveling, and great food.

As a child in elementary school, I loved Show & Tell, and I often found myself making up stories to tell the class. I was also among a little group of classmates honored when our poems were published in the newspaper. I ended up writing a lot of poetry straight through college. As a marketing major, poetry took a backseat to business writing through most of my jobs. Eventually, I became a broadcast journalist, news anchor, and documentary host/producer at an ABC affiliate in New Hampshire. As I looked toward retirement, I embraced writing as my next career.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

This historical fiction trilogy tells the story of the Armenian side of my family. Initially, I was inspired to write it to capture the heritage for future generations. Once the first book “Destiny of Dreams: Time Is Dear” came out, I quickly learned that the story brought a great deal of information and inspiration to a far wider audience.

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Themes in the trilogy focus on family, faith, love, and perseverance. With so much divisiveness and war and seemingly ceaseless examples of man’s inhumanity to man, bigotry, and intolerance continuing all around the world, I hope readers will appreciate the message that we can and must do better. We need to forgive our human weaknesses, but we also live far better lives, when we make calm decisions and learn to respond, rather than react to the bitter challenges that may be thrown in our paths.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve written several non-fiction works in a sort of “life lessons” genre, as well as 9 cookbooks, because I am a dedicated foodie. I have also written a couple of light comedy books, told from a dog’s perspective. Well, I guess I should say that the dogs wrote their stories. I merely held the pen because they don’t have thumbs. So, I should not classify them as fiction, as the dogs swore every word was true.

Writing facts… nothing but the facts… is what journalism taught me. On the other hand, living life and performing in musical theatre taught me the importance of celebrating creativity, drama, and comedy. Historical fiction shines as a happy combination for me. I love researching to be sure the facts, settings, and historic reflections are accurate. I learned that I truly enjoy fictionalizing, which lets me use characters to bring slices of history to life.

5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook is definitely my social media site of preference. While I write articles for my GoodLiving123.com website, I can repost them on sites like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. However, I found a particular hunger… a need… for positive thoughts and comments on Facebook. Friends and Followers… whether they hail from childhood or various stages in my career or from reading my books… have been most generous in their comments and support of my endeavors. I have also started reaching out on Facebook to encourage readership of my books and audiobooks, particularly when someone has expressed a specific need that I believe a particular publication can help meet.

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

I am very enthusiastic about encouraging aspiring authors to follow their hearts, even when they must be their own cheerleaders. Naysayers often come in the form of those closest to us. It’s the old put-downs, like, “You’ll never make money as an author.” So, what?!!? I like to remind writers to keep on sharing… keep on writing. When people ask why I write, I love honestly saying that I write because the words and stories simply must come out!

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books / projects on the horizon?

While none of us truly knows what our futures hold, I continually add to my “To Do” lists as if I had a million tomorrows to get all the projects done. I have absolutely no idea how to be bored, as I am regularly working on 2-3 books at a time. The next book will be the Destiny trilogy’s conclusion, which will be released in 2023. I also have a few more food-oriented projects in the works as well as a couple of mysteries. I keep hoping for that elusive 48-hour day!

About the Author

Born in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Cathy Burnham Martin’s eclectic career path wove through recruiting, communications, television broadcasting, management, and bank organizing. An active board member and community volunteer, she received Easter Seals’ David P. Goodwin Lifetime Commitment Award. This professional voiceover artist, journalist, corporate communications geek, and dedicated foodie earned numerous broadcasting awards as a television news anchor. She wrote, produced, and hosted dozens of groundbreaking documentaries, TV specials, and news reports, ranging from the Moscow Superpower Summit and the opening of the Berlin Wall to extensive coverage of New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primaries.

Some of her most challenging work includes news stories behind the Iron Curtain under the scrutiny of foreign military personnel touting loaded AK-47s. While she met and interviewed Presidents and candidates, other interviews ranged from inventor Dean Kamen, best-selling authors Og Mandino and Richard Lederer, and Star Trek originator Gene Roddenberry to Popcorn icon Orville Redenbacher, Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler, superstar New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, and filmmaker Ken Burns.

Among little-known facts about Cathy? She once sang with The Beach Boys and with the marvelous Marvelettes, shared a dressing room with Ella Fitzgerald, and emceed for Tony Bennett. She also performed on stage with comedian Adam Sandler, actor Dan Lauria, and director Alek Keshishian.

Dubbed The Morale Booster, this 20-year professional member of the National Speakers Association remains a business speaker, media coach, and member of the Actors Equity Association. Proud of her Eurasian heritage, Cathy Burnham Martin narrates her own books and those of other authors. Audiobooks appear on such sites as Audible.com as well as Amazon and iTunes. Author of 20+ fiction, nonfiction, and cookbooks, Cathy writes articles for her  http://www.GoodLiving123.com website. When not writing or in full production mode, Cathy and her husband enjoy traveling, boating, music and visual arts, and great food.

Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family (The Destiny Trilogy Book 2) by Cathy Burnham Martin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The journey and struggle to escape a horrific attack and genocide of the Armenian people at the end of the Ottoman Empire leads to a new life in America and the struggle to overcome new prejudices and persecutions in author Cathy Burnham Martin’s “Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family”, the second book in the Destiny Trilogy. 

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The Synopsis

“Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family” illuminates the stark realities of immigrants determined to settle in America, a land of opportunity and freedom. While young Hrant’s Armenian story parallels the horrors experienced by far too many cultures in both the past and present, book 2 in the Destiny trilogy also highlights the strength and hope that live within survivors of various nightmares. After witnessing and escaping genocide, Hrant may just find American prejudice and bigotry to be manageable hurdles.

Book 1 found Hrant Gulumian, the youngest child in his family, deeply relating to his granddaughter, Cassie when her nightmares precisely mirrored his traumatic childhood experiences. Destiny of Dreams… Time Is Dear shared young Hrant’s harrowingly narrow escape from the mass deportations and attempted annihilation of the Armenians in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire.

Despite the hauntingly intense and dramatic truths in Book 1, the Destiny trilogy resumes with the powerful hope and strength known only to survivors. Book 2 completes Hrant’s voyage and sweeps the reader into his family’s new life in the USA, illuminating the vulnerability of the diaspora and all forced refugees in a new and unfamiliar land filled with language, cultural, and discrimination challenges.

Author Martin celebrates her family’s quiet determination and its refusal to lose faith, despite intolerance and numerous economic woes. Set in the 20th Century, her family’s true story shines a beacon of optimism and comfort for countless other families, hailing from many nations and struggling to endure on the way to freedom and a chance for a better life in this century.

The Review

This was such a brilliant blend of both fiction and nonfiction storytelling. The author did an incredible job of relaying the experiences and powerful memories of her family, showcasing the struggles to make a place for themselves in the United States and the hurdles they had to overcome from a society that judged and looked upon them with suspicion and even at times hatred. The themes of immigration, family, and the pursuit of acceptance were felt so powerfully here in this narrative and made the story flow smoothly. 

The author’s emphasis on character growth and history and culture was brilliant to read. The knowledge that the “characters” were actual family members that the author changed the names of made their experiences and pivotal moments in the story much more impactful, and allowed the reader to really connect to them and the narrative, especially as it relates to the immigration story. The way the author pivots this immigration story between the character’s desire to maintain their culture and practices after the events they survived, and the hope of building a new life in this land of opportunity despite the bigotry they are faced with, allowed the reader to feel connected to the narrative. 

The Verdict

Captivating, inspiring, and hopeful, author Cathy Burnham Martin’s “Destiny of Determination: Faith and Family” is a must-read genre fiction meets biography nonfiction style narrative that you won’t be able to put down this fall. Due to release on November 2nd, 2022, the book brings readers a heartfelt, emotional, and engaging story of survival, family, and finding the balance between honoring one’s culture and history with the hope of a brighter brand new future. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder or grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Cathy Burnham Martin’s eclectic career path wove through recruiting, communications, television broadcasting, management, and bank organizing. An active board member and community volunteer, she received Easter Seals’ David P. Goodwin Lifetime Commitment Award. This professional voiceover artist, journalist, corporate communications geek, and dedicated foodie earned numerous broadcasting awards as a television news anchor. She wrote, produced, and hosted dozens of groundbreaking documentaries, TV specials, and news reports, ranging from the Moscow Superpower Summit and the opening of the Berlin Wall to extensive coverage of New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primaries.

Some of her most challenging work includes news stories behind the Iron Curtain under the scrutiny of foreign military personnel touting loaded AK-47s. While she met and interviewed Presidents and candidates, other interviews ranged from inventor Dean Kamen, best-selling authors Og Mandino and Richard Lederer, and Star Trek originator Gene Roddenberry to Popcorn icon Orville Redenbacher, Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler, superstar New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme, and filmmaker Ken Burns.

Among little-known facts about Cathy? She once sang with The Beach Boys and with the marvelous Marvelettes, shared a dressing room with Ella Fitzgerald, and emceed for Tony Bennett. She also performed on stage with comedian Adam Sandler, actor Dan Lauria, and director Alek Keshishian.

Dubbed The Morale Booster, this 20-year professional member of the National Speakers Association remains a business speaker, media coach, and member of the Actors Equity Association. Proud of her Eurasian heritage, Cathy Burnham Martin narrates her own books and those of other authors. Audiobooks appear on such sites as Audible.com as well as Amazon and iTunes. Author of 20+ fiction, nonfiction, and cookbooks, Cathy writes articles for her  http://www.GoodLiving123.com website. When not writing or in full production mode, Cathy and her husband enjoy traveling, boating, music and visual arts, and great food.