Happy Tuesday, friends!
Today I have the awesome Susan G. Mathis on the blog. She’ll be chatting about her book, Mary’s Moment, the tenth in her Thousand Islands Gilded Age stories. Have you read it? Grab a cup of tea (or coffee) and chat with her!
Thanks for stopping by, Susan G Mathis. Why do you write about the Thousand Islands Gilded Age?
I grew up just twenty minutes from the Thousand Islands—the setting for all my stories—in upstate New York. Actually, half of the 1,864 islands are in NY and the other half in Ontario, Canada. So, I spent every summer and more exploring the beautiful region. I’ve stayed on several of the islands and camped and rented cottages there. So, after I wrote my debut novel about the largest island, Wolfe Island, I was hooked. There are so many fascinating stories to tell.
Now, I take an annual Thousand Islands Book Tour to the islands where I meet with fans, friends, and family. I’ve stayed in Singer Castle, Casa Blanca, and other places that are the settings of my book. I’ve talked with the owners of the islands, local historians, and researched in the Thousand Islands archives.
All my novels are based on a specific place in the Thousand Islands and are the true stories of the owners of that island. So, my plot is generally true. Then I overlay the storyline of the fictional servants to create the story. This makes my stories a bit more challenging, but I love a good challenge.
I’m sure the readers want to know what inspired you to write Mary’s Moment?
My mother, Mary, inspired this story. When she was a young woman, she spent two summers serving her aunts in the Thousand Islands Park. Every summer she’d take me there for an ice cream at the Guzzle and tell me stories of her time in the Park. So, it was always my desire to write about it. When I began researching and discovered the tragedy of the three 1912 fires that nearly destroyed the Park, I had my story, especially because my mom nearly lost her father in a barn fire when she was just fourteen.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Researching 1912 firefighting, telegraphy, and being a telephone switchboard operator was a challenging, fascinating, and in-depth study, but oh so much fun. I’m thankful I was able to connect with a fireman and a telegraphy/telephone historian who read my story for accuracy. I also had a historian with the Thousand Island Park Landmark Society read Mary’s Moment to make sure my details were correct. Though it’s extra work, it always helps to check with the experts.
What was your hardest scene to write? It’s always hard to inflict pain on the characters you’ve grown to love, so having Mary get hurt in the fire and then manipulated by a villain wasn’t easy.
What message do you hope readers take away from Mary’s Moment?
All eleven of my Thousand Islands’ stories have hope as the central theme. Hope for a better future. Hope for love. Hope for healing. Mary’s Moment also focuses on healing broken hearts, forgiving those who hurt you, and embracing God’s redemption.
What’s your favorite go-to writing snack?
That’s easy. A cup of tea in a pretty china teacup when I’m writing. I usually get all comfy and cosy, have a scented candle, and slip into my writing world. When I’m editing, I sit at my desk with a cold drink and chop away. No sweet-scented candle there.
What’s next for you in the world of books?
A Summer at Thousand Island House is coming out in July with Wild Heart Books. It’s part of their Gilded Age series.
A Summer at Thousand Island House
Thousand Island House, Alexandria Bay, NY
Addison Bell serves children of the Thousand Island House guests on Staple’s Island. Part nanny, part entertainer, she’s full of creative energy and endearing love for children. While thriving in her work, Addi’s vivacity attracts the attention of the recreation pavilion’s manager, Liam Donovan, as well as the handsome Navy Officer Lt. Worthington, a lighthouse inspector, hotel patron, and single father of mischievous little Jimmy.
When Jimmy goes missing while in Addi’s care and former President Chester Arthur finds the child a stowaway on his fishing boat, her job and reputation are endangered. How can she calm the churning waters of Liam, Lt. Worthington, and the President, clear her name, and avoid becoming the scorn of the Thousand Islands community?
Thank you so much for having me today, Toni!
About the Book
Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better.—Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author
ABOUT MARY’S MOMENT:
Thousand Island Park’s switchboard operator Mary Flynn is christened the community heroine for her quick action that saves dozens of homes from a terrible fire. Less than a month later, when another disastrous fire rages through the Park, Mary loses her memory as she risks her life in a neighbor’s burning cottage. Will she remember the truth of who she is or be deceived by a treacherous scoundrel?
Widowed fireman George Flannigan is enamored by the brave raven-haired lass and takes every opportunity to connect with Mary. But he has hidden griefs of his own that cause him great heartache. When George can’t stop the destructive Columbian Hotel fire from eradicating more than a hundred businesses and homes, he is distraught. Yet George’s greater concern is Mary. Will she remember their budding relationship or be forever lost to him?
Readers of Christian historical romance will enjoy this exciting tale set in 1912 Thousand Island Park, NY.
Amazon | B&N | Walmart | Goodreads
About the Author
Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has ten in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Peyton’s Promise, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Rachel’s Reunion, and Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction for more.