Thursday, February 21, 2019

Review + Tour GIVEAWAY: The Last Memory by Kathy Rouser (The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection)



About the Book

Title: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides  
Author: Kathy Rouser  
Genre: Christian Historical Romance  
Release date: November 1, 2018  
Publisher: Barbour  

Lighthouses have long been the symbol of salvation, warning sailors away from dangerous rocks and shallow waters.

Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of the nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. 

These beacons of light required constant tending, even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice kept goods and immigrants moving. 

Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser 1899—Mackinac Point Lighthouse Natalie Brooks loses her past to amnesia, and Cal Waterson, the lighthouse keeper who rescues her, didn’t bargain on risking his heart—when her past might change everything.

Click here to purchase your copy.


My Thoughts


As Jesus was the Light of the World for lost sinners, the Old
Mackinac Point Lighthouse lit the way for lost ships.

I’ve always been drawn to lighthouses, and if a book’s cover features a lighthouse, I almost always give it a closer look. Lighthouses are majestic, the ocean view from the top breathtaking. But it’s the spiritual imagery that moves me most. From the light that guides through the darkness of night, to the sacrificial efforts of those who man it, the lighthouse is a compelling picture of salvation – and the stories in this collection reflect that spiritual theme. Although I’ve only read one story so far from Barbour Publishing’s The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides, they all promise to be entertaining.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser takes place in spring of 1899 at the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, guiding ships through the Straits of Mackinac. The story of Cal Waterson and Natalie Brooks is one of rescue, a caring family environment, and a relationship founded upon friendship. Natalie, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, suffers from amnesia and stays with Cal’s family until word as to her identity can be received from the shipping line. There’s a sweet chemistry between them, as well as with Cal’s daughter and aunt. I especially enjoyed going back to a time when things moved slower, and the gaining of information took time and patience. I also enjoyed visiting the world of the Watersons, typical of many families who lived in remote areas, worked tirelessly, and sacrificed long nights to guide and rescue when needed.

Although shorter than a full-length novel, The Last Memory has well-developed characters, a fulfilling storyline, and a relevant faith theme. I enjoyed this story very much and look forward to more of Kathleen Rouser’s writing.

Recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


About the Author




Kathleen Rouser is the multi-published author of the 2017 Bookvana Award winner, Rumors and Promises, her first novel about the people of fictional Stone Creek, Michigan, and its sequel, Secrets and Wishes. She is a longtime member in good standing of American Christian Fiction Writers. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers who realize their need for the touch God’s grace and hope in their everyday lives. 

A former homeschool instructor, mild-mannered dental assistant, and current Community Bible Study kids’ teacher, she lives in Michigan with her hero and husband of thirty-some years, and the sassy tail-less cat who found a home in their empty nest. 

Connect with Kathleen on her website at kathleenrouser.com, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/kathleenerouser/, and on Twitter @KathleenRouser.


Guest Post from Kathy

When author Pegg Thomas approached me about writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides book proposal I couldn’t refuse the chance. After all, I am a lifelong resident of Michigan, which is the Great Lakes State! Plus, I had a favorite lighthouse in mind, though I briefly considered others. 

For over 20 years we have ventured “up north” for a week-long summer vacation on Lake Michigan, most of them spent in the same cottage. Since the cottage is almost 20 miles west of Mackinaw City, I’ve made the annual pilgrimage to the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse since they reopened with exhibits in 2004. Part of the first floor has since been restored to the middle-class furnishings of 1910 when George Marshall and his family resided there. Two generations of Marshalls manned the lighthouse and George Marshall’s brother, Charles, was at one time the assistant lighthouse keeper. 

There is also an area of the lighthouse where they display maps, photographs and other information, chronicling the history of the lighthouse built on the Straits of Mackinac in 1892. Fresnel lenses, like those used in the tower, and interactive displays are also included. Did you know for several years, the fourth-order Fresnel lens flashed a red light? I’d always pictured a yellow light! A tour guide, dressed in period clothing, such as a U.S. Lighthouse Service uniform, will take you up the tall, winding metal staircase to enjoy the view. 

My many visits, whether they’ve included the long climb to the tower or not, have intrigued me. I’d often thought that someday I would like to write a fictional story about this lighthouse. Built with Cream City brick, in a Norman architectural style, the building reminds me of a castle. Perhaps that’s why I chose to have the lighthouse keeper hero, Cal Waterson, rescue Natalie Brooks, a lone shipwreck survivor. She is the proverbial damsel in distress. Yet, despite her amnesia she finds a new strength in her faith to face an unknown future and in a sense rescues Cal and his daughter. 

Returning to the lighthouse last year, I did climb to the tower to examine the view my characters might have had. Of course, I had to imagine what it would have been like without the Mackinac Bridge, which has joined our upper and lower peninsulas since 1957. It’s a spectacular view, where you can also see Mackinac Island, home of the famous Grand Hotel, which was already there in 1899, when my story takes place. 

Not only do lighthouses spark so many ideas of history and romance, they are so symbolic— as guiding lights—and beacons of hope to lead through treacherous waters, much like our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the true Light who leads us to the Father. Indeed, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse played a strategic part in guiding ships through the dangers of the straits. I look forward to visiting this beautiful historic landmark again and hope my readers will be drawn into an intriguing visit to the lighthouse through my story, The Last Memory.


Giveaway




To celebrate her tour, Kathy is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection, a sterling silver charm of the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and a souvenir pictorial book of some of the Great Lakes lighthouse!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the image above or the link below to enter.



Blog Stops

Among the Reads, February 21
The Power of Words, February 21
Simple Harvest Reads, February 22 (Guest Post from Mindy Houng)
Bibliophile Reviews, February 23
Just the Write Escape, February 24
Carla Loves To Read, February 24
Book by Book, February 25
EmpowerMoms, February 26
Back Porch Reads, February 27
Mary Hake, February 28
KarenSueHadley, March 4
Carpe Diem, March 5
Bigreadersite, March 6

16 comments:

  1. I love lighthouses, too, and these stories sound great.

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    1. Historical lighthouses is a great theme for these stories, Michele. Hope you get to read this book soon.

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  2. Thanks for posting about our book!

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    1. I'm so glad I have six more stories to read, Pegg. Time didn't allow me to read them all before posting this review, but I'll finish them soon.

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  3. Thank you, Carole, for your lovely review of The Last Memory. I am so glad you enjoyed my story! I am sure you will enjoy the other stories too. I appreciate your work on this post as well. Have a blessed weekend!

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    1. Thank you for sharing such an enjoyable story, Kathleen. I didn't have time to read the others before my review deadline, but will certainly enjoy them very soon. You're an excellent writer, Kathleen. Let me know if I can ever be of help.

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  4. I enjoyed reading each novella, but loved The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser.

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  5. The Great Lakes are a valuable resource in the United States and Canada, and the lighthouses serve(d) a noble purpose. I love reading stories that are both entertaining and historical in nature. I'm looking forward to reading these stories.

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  6. This sounds great! I'm adding it to my to-read list!

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  7. I love Barbour Novella Collections. Thank you for sharing.

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  8. Thank you for your review and for the guest post from Kathy. Light houses to me are romantic, mysterious and dangerous. I do the same thing. When I see a book cover with a light house, I need to check it out.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

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  9. This book sounds amazing! I love Great Lakes lighthouses and driving along the coast of Lake Michigan and seeing the different lighthouses. Can't wait to read more about the Great Lakes Lighthouses.

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  10. It has been great hearing about your book and although I am not the reader myself, my 2 sisters and 2 daughters are. They love hearing about the genre's they like and me helping them get to find books they will enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. The cover is beautiful and her story sounds great! :D

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  12. I love historical romances in set real places. This sounds fascinating

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