Character Spotlight: Christine Johnson’s Catherine & Tom (with giveaway)

freedoms-priceMeet an immigrant and a ship wrecker in

Christine Johnson’s

historical romance

Freedom’s Price



The Story

When Englishwoman Catherine Haynes loses both her parents and her home in 1856, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find her American mother’s family in Louisiana. She enlists the help of Tom Worthington, a dashing Key West man who makes his living salvaging wrecked ships, but whose real goal in life is to bring to justice the man who stole his father’s ship and caused his untimely death.

When Catherine finally arrives at her family’s plantation, she finds it in disarray and her family absent landowners. Torn between returning to Key West with Tom or beginning the hard work of restoring the plantation, Catherine soon finds herself snared in a plot to steal her inheritance. When an incredible secret comes to light, both she and Tom will face a choice. Can they relinquish the dreams that have been holding them captive in order to step forward in faith–even if it costs them everything?

Introducing Catherine & Tom

Brief physical description

Catherine Haynes’ auburn red hair couples with her green eyes and fair skin to reflect the Irish heritage on her father’s side of the family. From her mother she inherited a sense of adventure and the determination to stand up for what’s right.

Tom Worthington’s height and dark brown hair accent his rakish good looks. When captaining a ship, he dresses like a gentleman in order to garner respect in an industry much-maligned by ship masters and ship owners.


See the images saved to my Pinterest board

Strengths and weaknesses

Catherine’s quick wit and courage get her out of more than a few hard spots. She is also willing to think beyond convention, which raises a lot of eyebrows. Once she makes a decision, she will see it through to the end. Though this is usually an admirable quality, it can make her inflexible when flexibility is needed.

Tom is loyal to those he cares about and he can be overly protective. When hurt or betrayed, he holds a grudge. He is on a ten-year quest to avenge his father’s financial ruin and death—with the blade, if necessary.

Quirk (if any)

These aren’t so much quirks as key aspects of the characters…

Tom tends to rush into things with his mind made up. That makes him a bit fidgety when forced to wait or suffer through social occasions.

In 1856, Catherine’s knowledge of and willingness to dive into financial records both helps her and gets her in trouble with men who prefer she knew nothing about the subject.

Your inspiration for the character

The kernel of an idea for Catherine was sparked by a real-life story of Key West. In 1846, teen-aged Elisabetha Merklin set off alone from Germany aboard a ship bound for Tampa, Florida, where she would join her uncle. She carried her passport in a tube that she wore around her neck because she couldn’t speak English. Her ship wrecked on the reef off the Florida Keys, and she fell in love with and later married the wrecker who rescued her. That story got my mind working. What circumstances would force such a drastic decision? I made Catherine an Englishwoman and then had to devise a reason for her to cross the Atlantic without family. The rest of the story? Well, you’ll have to read Freedom’s Price to see how closely it follows Elisabetha’s real-life tale.

Tom appeared in the first book in this series, Love’s Rescue, and I knew at once that he would demand his own book. He was carrying around a big chip on his shoulder in that book and was too ready to leap into action with a blade. The hero of that book, Rourke O’Malley, had rescued Tom from a duel and was trying to set him on the straight and narrow. I had to know Tom’s story. What a story it turned out to be!

Thanks Christinerp_Christine-Johnson-251x300.jpg

Christine Johnson is the author of several books for Steeple Hill and Love Inspired and has been twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award. When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God’s majestic creation. These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys.

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48 Responses to Character Spotlight: Christine Johnson’s Catherine & Tom (with giveaway)

  1. I haven’t traveled on my own anywhere, but my husband and I took a work trip to San Antonio when we were younger. It was the first time we’d gone somewhere completely new!

  2. this sounds like a riveting book. I flew by myself for the first time to pick up my daughter from CA. I had always flown with some one before and this was totally out of my comfort zone. But I did it. And my daughter and I drove home to IL with no problem. All in all it was a memorable experience.

  3. Where have I traveled on my own that took me out of my comfort zone? I once navigated the O’Hare airport on my own. Being a small-town girl, that was a bit overwhelming.

  4. When a newlywed . I travelled to Guam from Chicago. It was 1970 and my husband’s was in the Navy. I still can’t believe I did it alone! I latched on to some nice people ….. go thing they were nice!

  5. When I was 14 my parents sent me up to Illinois to stay with some people who were friends of friends. I then traveled with them to the Dominican Republic for a missions trip. Even though I love to travel it was a little scary staying with people I had personally never met. And that was my first and last missions trip ever.

  6. Many years ago (1996), I traveled with my (then) 4 year old daughter on the Greyhound bus from IL to OR to start a new life with my (now) husband. It was scary venturing out on my own as a single mom, but I knew I was going to a better place and the Lord was with me all the way! I’m now happily married for 20 years, have two grown children and one 3 year old grand-girl!! :-)

    My husband and I have also done a lot of traveling together to many places we’ve never been before! It’s a lot of fun.

    Thanks for the character spotlight and giveaway chance Rel!

    • Hi Trixi! That is a long way to travel by Greyhound, especially with a young daughter. I’m glad you felt the Lord’s presence during your trip. Thank you for sharing your happily-ever-after!

  7. I flew to Indiana from Utah alone to help my daughter when she had her first baby. It wasn’t too far out of my comfort zone, though.

    I enjoyed the character spotlight. This is a new-to-me author, and her book sounds intriguing.

  8. Traveling to Houston is out of my comfort zone! The traffic is so aggressive! I would much rather drive in Dallas.

    Christine is a new-to-me author. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Four years ago, I visited friends in China. I wouldn’t have gone but they would be retiring soon, so I said, “why not”? And I did.

    • Wow! That’s awesome. Did you get to visit any sights? If so, what was your favorite?

    • Just being able to visit China was an experience that I will never forget.
      I would say my most memorable experience was attending the wedding of Olivia and Ken who were next door neighbors of my friends.
      I’ve been to lots of weddings over the years but not in China.

  10. When I was discharged from the Army I traveled from Texas back to my home state of Maine by myself.

  11. I really don’t care to travel on my own.

  12. When I first started dating my husband I would drive an hour and a half away to meet him. It was before gps was on cell phones, so I had my printed out directions and that was it. Very nerve wracking for me. That is it! I have never done long distance trips or anything so far in my life.

    • Hi Laura! I so remember driving before cell phone GPS. Lots of maps, and many times I would have to pull over and try to decipher how to get out of the place I’d ended up in. Once I took the wrong exit and while trying to turn around ended up in an alley in a bad part of Detroit. Scared?? Terrified. I sure could have used GPS that day.

  13. When I first started flying from CO back to TX to visit my family. I had no idea where to go at the airports. It got easier as I traveled back to TX three or four times a year.

  14. I traveled on my own to visit my parents when I was living in WI and they were in WV. I was scared but it was easier after the first time.

  15. Thinking back, I think my first airline flight I was about 16 and traveling on my own. That was an adventure.

    I wants drove from South Carolina to Michigan on my own which is quite a trip to make by yourself in one day.

  16. I flew to Canada for my sister’s wedding. I loved Canada but I hated the flying!

  17. The longest trip I have made alone was from NC to GA. I travel mostly with my husband.

  18. Truly have enjoyed your books.

  19. Where have you travelled on your own that took you outside your comfort zone? I guess that would go back to before I was married and I drove from SC to Norfolk, VA all alone! Really took me out of my comfort zone. I love historical romance novels and this looks like a great one!

  20. I was a chaperone on a youth mission trip to Paraguay two years ago. There were definitely times on that trip that I was out of my comfort zone, especially as I know next to no Spanish.

  21. Love your books,would love to win

  22. Washington D. C. was a bit out of my comfort zone. This country girl just couldn’t imagine living in a place with that much traffic!! :-) lol!

  23. Traveling on my own, out of my comfort zone…I had to think a bit. The only time I went on a trip on my own….when I was 21, I did a 12 hour road trip by myself. I ended up running into the middle of a snowstorm, so had to stop for the night and get a motel. This was before the days of cell phones! (thinking back now, I can’t believe I did it! :/ 😉 )

  24. Thank you so much for the chance to win! I have not read any of Christine Johnson’s books yet! I look forward to reading her stories!

  25. When I was 18, I left home after school to be a nanny in France. It was so scary as it was my first real time away from home…what an experience!

  26. I went to the UK by myself, I had a wonderful trip and it was something I will never forget

  27. I always get nervous when I travel but I love to go out of town.

  28. I took a trip on my own to CT from IN it was scary for me but after that I had no fear

  29. Jessica M Miller

    My first time travelling to Chicago I was kinda scared but not to much. I did just fine and could drive all over that place now.

  30. Difficult question to answer so, I would have to say the back streets of Singapore. Long story, trust me LOL

  31. Hawaii~~

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