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Barbara M. Britton: Spotlight on Cancer and Christmas at Whispering Creek

I’m thrilled to have my friend, Barbara Britton, back on my blog this week to shine a spotlight on her Contemporary Romance novel, Christmas at Whispering Creek. This story is special because it was inspired by Barbara’s personal cancer story, which she shares at the end of the book.

Be sure to comment below by May 2 for a chance to win a signed paperback and some book swag! (Open to US winner only)

“Don’t you feel embarrassed sharing that you have breast cancer?”

I stared at the member of my church and pondered how to answer this question. I was in shock. Weren’t Christians supposed to share their struggles with other believers? I blurted out a response, “No. I want as many people praying for me as possible.”

My relationship with Jesus and the huge prayer support that I received during my cancer battle, strengthened me during a difficult time in my life. An uncertain time that had me facing the reality that I may not be on this earth much longer. That my friends is a scary thought. I trusted Jesus and His Word that however long I would be on earth was His perfect time.

During my cancer treatments, I recited some of my favorite verses—Philippians 4:4-7 and Philippians 4:13.

“I can do everything through him (Christ) who gives me strength.” (NIV)

I also remembered the lyrics to old hymns such as “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.”

Before this post gets to be a Debbie Downer, I am still typing away in 2023, seven years after my breast cancer diagnosis. Praise God! I cherish that each new day is a blessing. I had taken my health for granted and now I realize how precious good health can be.

When I first contemplated writing a book about a breast cancer survivor, I hesitated. Would the subject be too heavy for romance readers? Then, I received calls from two friends who had received a breast cancer diagnosis. This disease affects a wide range of women, and I wanted women (And men) to know how I got through the challenge.

That’s how “Christmas at Whispering Creek” was born. I decided to follow a young breast cancer survivor as she falls in love while keeping a cancer secret she eventually has to share. I added humor to a tough topic and kept in step with the romance genre and gave my heroine a happily-ever-after or a happy-for-now. But I also added my real-life scenario at the end of the book.

If you know someone going through a health crisis, there is a lot you can do to support them. I appreciated the prayer support, the cards of encouragement, and the meals that were delivered to my door. Friends offered to drive me to appointments, and I received more flowers than at any other time in my life.

I knew Christ was with me, comforting me with His Spirit, but it was encouraging to see the church in action.

How have you been encouraged during a difficult time? Feel free to share the Scripture that spoke to your heart.

Thanks so much for sharing your story, Barbara. You are an inspiration to many, and I pray God will continue to use you and your stories to offer people hope in Jesus!

For a chance to win book swag and a signed paperback of Christmas at Whispering Creek by @BarbaraMBritton, comment on her interview by 5/2. (US only) #amreading #giveaway


Join the conversation. Do you appreciate novels inspired by the author’s personal experience? What Scripture can you share that helped you through a hard time? Have others encouraged you when you faced a crisis?

Be sure to keep scrolling and comment below by May 2 for a chance to win book swag and a signed paperback of Christmas at Whispering Creek! (US winner only)

If you’re interested in my review of Christmas at Whispering Creek, you can find it here.

Check out this book trailer for Christmas at Whispering Creek.

Christmas at Whispering Creek book cover

Christmas at Whispering Creek by Barbara M. Britton

Click the book cover for purchase link

All Samantha Williams wants to do is to use her teaching degree to instruct a classroom of second graders. But, after a breast cancer diagnosis at the age of twenty-three, and failed reconstruction surgery, Sam finds herself without a job and temporarily living with her parents. This isn’t the life Sam expected. When a family friend dies and leaves Sam a house and land in Whispering Creek, Tennessee, Sam must decide if leaving Wisconsin for Southern living is in her lesson plans.

Nashville native, Cole Donoven, left his family’s electrical business to write country music. When Cole’s song-writing partner and girlfriend dumps him for a country music star, Cole abandons Nashville to hole up in Whispering Creek and compose one more song. The last thing Cole expects to find in the sleepy small town is a deceased friend, estate squabbles, and a Northern beauty. Will the chaos in Whispering Creek help create a bestselling song for Cole and possibly help him find a life-long collaborator?

Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast, Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She writes Christian Fiction from Bible Times to present day USA. Her Tribes of Israel series brings little-known Bible characters to light. Her novel “Christmas at Whispering Creek,” is a compelling, yet fun story, shining a light on breast cancer. Barbara has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. 

Connect with Barbara: Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / BookBub

Barbara Britton Head Shot

Please share Barbara’s post on social media to help spread the word about her book!

Check out these previous author interviews: Regina Merrick, Heather Greer, and Rachel Blanchard.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Cherie J

    Wonderful interview! I have always heard that writers should right what they know. I don’t have a problem with including your experience in a story. Philippians 4:13 is also a favorite of mine. I had to lean on my sisters in Christ and family when I tore up my knee and couldn’t walk for a time. I remember how meals and encouraging notes really helped me get through that time.

    • Deena Adams

      Hi, Cherie. Christian friends are like family to us. I can’t imagine doing life without them. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation!

  • Carol James

    Barb, thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. I absolutely loved Christmas at Whispering Creek. Your story spoke not only to breast cancer survivors, but to any of us who have gone through a cancer diagnosis. Thanks for your willingness to share.

    • Barbara M. Britton

      Thank you for all the support you have given me, Carol. You are such a blessing. I hope the story, and my personal story, will strengthen those going through a tough time. It also helps to know what you can do to help those going through trials. Cancer is a scary word and friends don’t know how to respond sometimes. Thanks for being here.

    • Deena Adams

      Thanks for joining in the conversation, Carol. Sharing our struggles and victories is so important and blesses others so much. I’m grateful for Barbara and others like her who are willing to share a part of their journey to inspire others.

  • Laura DeNooyer

    I’m glad Barbara shared her story and also shared the experience through fiction! Glad she’s also writing now seven years later. (No need to put me in the giveaway; I already have the book.)

  • Jeanette Davis

    First off I want to say that I am so happy that you are still typing. Sorry that you received the kind of response you did from fellow Christians; but, so happy that you had others who helped you in so many ways. Your book sounds like something I would really love to read…thank you for writing it.

    • Barbara M. Britton

      Hi Jeanette! I’m happy you joined us. After going through cancer, I look at each new day as a blessing no matter how difficult, or easy, it may be. It is interesting that the gentleman who said that to me received a cancer diagnosis later on and he asked the church to pray. Maybe I made it easier for him to share his burden. I hope readers enjoy my contemporary story.

  • Penny McGinnis

    Thank you for sharing your story. My aunt had breast cancer, and I remember her journey. I’m glad you wrote Samantha’s story. It sounds like a good one!

    • Barbara M. Britton

      Thank you for joining us, Penny. I’m sorry your aunt had to go through breast cancer. I hope sharing about my journey will encourage others. We hear about cancer constantly nowadays. I’m thankful for the strength Jesus gave me.

    • Traci Winget

      Praising God that you are still here and we can be educated & entertained by you & your life!
      We need each other through good times & challenges, and I’m confident your words will spur us to walk along side our brothers & sisters who are walking a similar path. Thank you for being brave!

    • Deena Adams

      You’re so welcome, Barbara. Thanks for sharing your story! I hope readers are encouraged as well. It seems like every week I hear about someone else diagnosed with cancer. A friend of mine received a breast cancer diagnosis last week, and two ladies in our church recently went through treatments for it. We all defintiley need hope in these trying times. God bless you.