Pursuing Gold by Cynthia Simmons

Take a trip back to the Civil War raging around Chattanooga while Peter and Mary Beth struggle to keep C&R Bank afloat in the midst of political pressure in Cynthia Simmons’ new book, Pursuing Gold. Can Peter and Mary Beth find the forger who created counterfeit money 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.


{More about Pursuing Gold}

Pursuing Gold (Elk Lake, October 2016)

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.

Learn more and purchase a copy.

Cynthia Simmons

{More About Cynthia Simmons}

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.

Find out more about Cynthia at http://clsimmons.com.



    Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons is a story set during the times of the Great American Civil War, and delve a little into the banking industry during such a tumultuous and defining period of our country. It’s also part mystery and part romance, which always adds a little something for this reader. I love the premise, the idea and even our main characters, a bit. However, I find the plot somewhat convoluted and narration choppy. Despite that, with the author being a new author for me, I’d still be open to reading other works by her based on this novel.

    Written by Just Commonly on January 3, 2017


    It’s Christian based, but not overly churchy. There’s a nice balance of suspenseful mystery and sweet romance, but there is an overabundance of dialogue. I enjoy a lot of descriptive imagery, etc. and less on the wordy back and forth conversations. I nice balance is good for me, and I felt this was a bit heavy on the conversation side. I am not a fan of the cover. I know…I know…can’t judge a book by the cover, but this one is not one I’d look at and say “WOW, I want to read that!” The daughter as the caregiver for her dying father was an emotional trigger for me, as I cared for my own dad as he was dying. I wish the pace was better, and I think it could have been with less conversation and more description. The overall plot is a nice one, for sure.

    Written by Through the Open Window on December 29, 2016


    I love historical fiction and so I knew I wanted to read Pursuing Gold. It’s a great book about a “border” area during the war. The journeys of one man and one woman are chronicled as they try to maintain true to what they believe without landing themselves in loads of trouble. Plus add in the fact that her father makes him vow to marry her and it just gets better. Oh and there might be a Confederate officer trying to get Peter to invest in a scheme while also trying to court Mary Beth. It just gets better and better.

    Written by For Him and My Family on December 20, 2016


    Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L Simmons was an interesting read and had a good mixture of romance, suspense, and mystery. The chapters were very short and the book as a whole was a quick read, but the tone and style made the novel very slow paced at the same time.

    Written by Heart to Heart Books on December 19, 2016


    I enjoy a work of historical fiction, and as just that this novel is good. It feel flat on a few things though.

    It was a little too long on dialogue. It seemed a little forced and predictable. And a lot too short on description.

    It read a lot like a first novel, which I’m sure it is, and I think with practice Cynthia Simmons will make a GREAT novelist!

    Written by My Full Cup on December 19, 2016


    The premise of Cynthia L. Simmons’ Pursuing Gold intrigued me from the start, since Simmons shares story set during the Civil War with a different and fresh perspective. And as I read, I enjoyed seeing it play out with mystery and romance.

    Written by Book by Book on December 16, 2016


    I rarely comment about covers, but this book pretty much dictates I do so. When I received an email asking if I wanted to review this book the cover hadn’t been released yet. The premiss looked interesting because Historical Fiction without too much romance is pretty much my favorite. So, after reading the blurb several times and deciding that there weren’t any red flags, I excitedly signed up.

    Then the book arrived with the above cover. And, well, I kinda lost interest in the book. (Sorry!) I’m sure there are some people who would find that cover promising, but to me it made the book look boring. It was with reluctance that I finally settled down to read the story. Then, crazily enough, the book was really interesting and drew me in right away. So, this is one

    Written by Noveltea on December 16, 2016


    If you enjoy knowing every word a character says (and the thoughts they hold in between) then this book might be for you. Pursuing Gold has very detailed dialogue. One thing I really enjoyed about Pursuing Gold was the mentions of home remedies. Finally, this story really speaks to caregivers. Despite the emotional ups and downs of the characters, the real heartache lies within the relationship of the dutiful daughter and her dying father. It was encouraging to read how the community came together to support Mary Beth.

    Written by Savings in Seconds on December 16, 2016


    I will start my review by talking about the cover. I was not attracted to this cover whatsoever, but I reluctantly looked past this cover because this synopsis sounded interesting. I have a lot of interest in Civil War history and I have ancestors who served on both sides of the Civil War. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book at all. I found the characters unlikable and flat. There was a plot hole I found frustrating and it was all around not a very good book. I was so looking forward to this story and it ended up being a dud for me personally.

    Written by Woman at the Well on December 16, 2016


    Pursuing Gold is a blend of mystery, suspense, romance, and history. I really enjoyed being transported to this time period – I haven’t read a lot of books set in this era, so this was an enjoyable new type of book for me.

    Written by Ramblings of a California Couponer on December 16, 2016


    This book is filled with mystery as Mary Beth and Peter work together to find the culprit who is writing counterfeit notes in hopes of closing the bank. I did notice several, more than usual typo’s but they did not take away from the story. So it is still worth reading.

    Written by New Horizon Reviews on December 16, 2016


    I am a big Civil War buff so I was delighted to read this riveting novel about the Civil War and I am so glad I did! You could tell the book was well researched and a lot of time and effort were put into getting the details just right. The characters were enjoyable and interesting and I loved how sweet the romance was, just enough to satisfy the romantic soul while having a lot going on where there was so much more to the book.

    Written by The Perfect Beginning on December 16, 2016


    Now that I am older, I appreciate all things from the Civil war-era & thankfully so does my 13 yr old. When I signed up to review this book, I also had her in mind to read it after me.

    Civil War-era novels have become a favorite of mine.

    Written by Our Perfectly Imperfect Life! on December 16, 2016


    Don’t judge a book by it’s cover for this book. The story inside of this book is very good if you like historical fiction especially the Civil War era.

    Written by A Room Without Books Is Empty on December 15, 2016


    Pursuing Gold isn’t exactly like the the typical Civil War stories that I normally read. There’s a lot of drama, political jargon, and a few uninteresting characters that slows down the pace of this story. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the main characters, Peter and Mary Beth, but I just couldn’t connect emotionally with any of them.

    Written by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer on December 15, 2016


    Pursuing Gold is laid out a little differently; each chapter is broken in to segments, and are fairly short. It makes it a quick read, which is especially great for busy people, who have only snatches of time to read.

    I enjoyed the book, since it is set in Chattanooga (which I know and love well), and during the Civil War. I always enjoy history/historical fiction.

    Written by Life at Rossmont on December 15, 2016


    I somewhat like historical fiction so I thought I’d give this one a try. I’m not really sure how I feel about it. I found it easy to read but it is done at a slow pace but that isn’t always a bad thing. This takes place during the civil war. I’m thinking I prefer certain time periods to others. I enjoyed it but I think this isn’t my favorite time period if that makes any sense.

    Written by Fic Gal on December 15, 2016


    The title is perfect for this historical novel as it involves bankers, and Christians. Taking place in Tennessee in 1862 it gives a completely new and refreshing look at events of the Civil War, that i have not seen addressed in novels before. Although the characters are not fighting in the war, their life is definitely affected by it. There was enough action and intrigue to keep me turning those pages one after another. Interesting facts were that some banks were producing paper money to take the place of gold coin.

    Written by Reviewing Novels Online on December 14, 2016


    I wanted to really like this book. It’s really hard to say how I really felt. I wasn’t able to finish. For me the book was slow starting. I just couldn’t get into it.

    Written by http://www.myjourneyback-thejourneyback.blogspot.com on December 14, 2016


    The novel is an interesting perspective of the Civil War. It doesn’t just give the views of the North and the South but also the people who are caught in between and are trying to live their lives. I was entranced by the novel but after a few chapters in, the novel became boring.

    Written by Two Points of Interest on December 13, 2016


    Although I love books based in war times like the Civil War, I sadly couldn’t get into this book. It was slow from the very beginning and I just couldn’t get interested in the story line or Mary Beth or Peter’s relationship.

    However, it was very interesting learning about banking during this time period in our country’s history and how the Civil War affected banking and scared people into cheating others, lying and forging.

    Written by The Review Stew on December 12, 2016


    I ate this book up! Could not put it down, from the start this book grabbed me until the end. I enjoyed the characters in this book. They are well written and real. The characters in this book struggled with everyday issues.

    Written by For The Love of Books on December 12, 2016


    Simmons chose a very unique angle when creating this story. If you’re a fan of historical fiction, you should definitely give Pursuing Gold a try.

    Written by A Nest in the Rocks on December 11, 2016


    I really enjoyed this book and it was a very pleasant read. I liked the intrigue, romance and history. I learned some things as well as being entertained. If you enjoy historical fiction romance, you’ll truly enjoy this book!

    Written by More Of Him on December 10, 2016


    I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of the book but there seemed to be quite a few grammatical errors that stopped my reading flow and was a little discouraging. However, the story was filled with twists and turns that kept my interest until the very last page.

    Written by All Things Are Possible on December 10, 2016


    Historical fiction has always been my “go to” genre and especially those books published by Christian publishing houses. The theme of Pursing Gold would, at first glance, center around the desire to use gold coin rather than paper money during the Civil War. While that is the initial theme, it evolves into that true pursuit of gold where the individual pursues the gold of a true relationship with Christ.

    Written by Chat With Vera on December 10, 2016


    This book has two new bank partners struggling with their new duties. They had no idea what kind of mess they were walking into.

    There’s the Civil War nearing their door step. Then a murder. Now forged paper currency printed on their bank – a bank which has always dealt in gold and shunned paper currency.

    Thank you, Ms Simmons, for this novel. I love historical novels and almost always learn something new in its particular time frame.

    Written by sunny island breezes on December 9, 2016


    There are some parts of the story that was a little confusing as there seemed to be something missing, I am not sure if this was an editing problem or not. It was a minor issue for me and only detracted me from the story a little bit. Other than that, I enjoyed this historical novel from the Southern viewpoint that was not for slavery.

    Written by Pause for Tales on December 9, 2016


    The historical facts were good and kept the story interesting. I appreciate the authors diligence in putting historical facts in the storyline which I could vividly see with the smooth stroke of words.

    Written by Texas Book-aholic on December 8, 2016


    My favorite part of this enjoyable book is the appendix with the thought/discussion questions. Almost every question references a Scripture verse to read and seeks to apply that Scripture to the reader’s life in a practical way. I love that!

    Written by WORD Up! on December 8, 2016


    This was a simple read with romance and mystery along with the serious setting of the Civil War era. I liked Peter’s character and how he stood firm in his bank dealings. Also, how he cares for Mary Beth and promises her father he will take care of her. Mary Beth is a great daughter and together with Peter, they grow in character as the story goes along. I also liked the component of faith and how they learn to trust and put their faith in God.

    Written by Smiling Book Reviews on December 8, 2016


    What I liked:
    The plot.
    Characters, especially the two main characters.
    Action and suspense

    In my opinion, the author used too many time and place stamps throughout the book, so much that it was a bit distracting. “A few minutes later” does not need to be noted. Other than that, I thought the book was well written, and it was an enjoyable read with a few surprises.

    Written by Thoughts of a Sojourner on December 7, 2016


    The story not only was full of historical facts but contained a nice mystery and suspense along with a tender romance. I liked how the author compared the pursuit of gold to pursuing God. The spiritual growth of both Peter and Mary Beth was an integral component of the story and was handled quite well.

    Written by Daysong Reflections on December 7, 2016


    A very fast pace book, that was read in no time, but lingers and makes you want more, as we become absorbed in the Civil War in Chattanooga TN. You will find yourself ducking as the shells begin to drop. All the while we are looking for clues, even in a hospital, full of injured soldiers. With all the danger we wonder if all we care about will survive, and if the gold from the bank and the golden scripture from God will lead them.

    Written by Maureen’s Musings on December 7, 2016


    Civil War period novels are my favorite and this one did not disappoint. Filled with drama and hardship of the day, this book shares about two friends partnering together to save their bank. However, this was not easy and the plot shares the ups and downs of their story as they learn to trust and depend on each other, and most importantly, Jesus.

    Written by Rejoice Evermore on December 6, 2016


    The story is an interesting one, combining mystery, danger, romance, and faith. A wide variety of fascinating characters interact as the story takes several twists and turns before all is revealed and resolved at the end.

    Written by Southern Gal Loves to Read on December 5, 2016


    Pursuing Gold is an unusual and interesting Civil War novel, one that looks at the war through the lens of the financial industry rather than the battlefield. Its approach is serious and informative as it weaves elements of mystery, family relationships, and romance throughout.

    Written by The Power of Words on December 5, 2016


    I enjoyed this book, it took a little bit for me to get into the story and the setting, but after a few chapters I did not want to stop reading as I just wanted to know what was going to happen with the forgery situation, but also between Peter and Mary Beth and their relationship.

    Written by Moments on December 4, 2016


    I really enjoyed this historical story. It was an enjoyable read. This is my first book by this author and I am looking forward to reading more.

    Written by Books,Dreams,Life on December 4, 2016


    I found this book very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it.

    Written by The Talbert Report on December 3, 2016


    This was a fantastic, romantic but mystery filled novel that the historical fan in me couldn’t put down. The plot was new and exciting and kept me wanting more. A definite must read!

    Written by Working Mommy Journal on December 3, 2016


    I have always loved reading and studying about the Civil War, so I was very excited to read this book. From the very first page, I was held captivated with the story, and I could not put the book down.

    Written by Have A Wonderful Day on December 2, 2016


    I thought the history in this story was fascinating! Loved it!

    Written by Inklings and Notions on December 2, 2016


    This book is written in a sort of diary form. Each short chapter is set on a different day, at a different time, and involves each different character from the book. Although I really liked the book and the historical content that it displayed, I was not sure of this format.

    Written by I’m Hooked on Books on December 2, 2016


    Though the story started a little slow for me I will say that after the first few chapters I felt that things started to come together and the pieces of backstory I needed to really enjoy the story came together. I felt that things picked up in pace and the suspense of the hunt for the mystery counterfeiters kept me reading.

    Written by My Table of Three on December 2, 2016


    I have mixed feelings about Pursuing Gold. On the one hand, I found the history element and unique setting to be very intriguing, as well as the plot angle of the counterfeiting Confederate bills. On the other hand, I had a difficult time connecting with the characters and felt the story itself could have used tightening up. It’s a sweet story in many ways; it just didn’t hold my interest.

    Written by Reading Is My SuperPower on December 2, 2016


    Pursuing Gold by Cynthia L. Simmons was a super interesting historical fiction book. This book takes place during the civil war which has always been a time period that I have had a hard time getting into the stories but this book was different for me and I am not sure why that is.

    Written by The World As I See It on December 2, 2016


    I wanted to like Pursuing Gold more than I actually did. As the story went on, I became more interested, but I found its characters somewhat stale. That being said, I enjoyed reading the story. Pursuing Gold takes a fresh look at the Civil War and provides thoughtful insight into the Confederacy, banking, and theology amidst the two.

    Written by Meagan Davenport on December 2, 2016


    When I started the novel, it seemed as if I was dropped into a scene or a thought process of the author that made understanding the story a little hard at first for me. Once I got through a couple of chapters and understood the premise of the novel, I was hooked! Each page and short chapters made the story’s pace rapidly pick up and more intense the further along I progressed.

    Written by Seeking with all yur heart on December 1, 2016


    I really enjoyed this historical romp. The characters have a great rapport and their backstory adds depth to the tale.

    I also absolutely loved the mystery of the counterfeiting, which definitely kept me turning the pages.

    Written by Neverending Stories on November 29, 2016


    Cynthia L. Simmons book is a great piece of historical fiction. There is so much to this story.

    Written by cherylbbookblog on November 29, 2016


    Pursuing Gold by author Cynthia L. Simmons is a great historical novel.

    Written by 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! on November 28, 2016


    Pursuing Gold was a great historical fiction read. Going back in time to the Civil War era was exciting and fun to read about.

    Written by A Simple Life, really?! on November 28, 2016