Friday, February 19, 2016

NORTHERN LIGHT - Annette O'Hare - One Free Ebook

Dear Readers, it’s always a pleasure to introduce a debut novelist to you. And this one is especially exciting to me. I’ve enjoyed interacting with Annette the several times I’ve spoken to the ACFW chapter that is in The Woodlands, near Houston, Texas. She’s a delightful person to be around, and I’m eager to read her book which just released. Because it’s so new, I haven’t received my copy. But Annette has been diligent for a long time in honing her writing skills.

Welcome, Annette. I love your head shot. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
The main thing I reveal about myself through my characters is that I’m flawed and the only recourse for this flawed existence is my faith in Jesus Christ.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
My grandfather was a WWII veteran. He told outrageous stories about how he received his injuries. Until I was an adult, I believed his stories! Following in his footsteps, I make up my own stories about how celebrities died to see if anyone will believe me. For instance, did you know the first actor who played Dumbledore on Harry Potter died from a severe allergic reaction to beard glue?

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
Like so many other authors, I began writing at a young age. I wrote sweet poems for my mom. Then there was my Edgar Allan Poe phase, but we won’t talk about that. I later began writing skits for my church, which prompted me to write my first novel. I wrote a one hundred twenty thousand word book without knowing a thing about the craft of writing. I pray it never sees the light of day! I’ve learned a lot since then.

I think we all have that one manuscript hidden in a drawer somewhere, but it at least let us know that we really can write a complete novel. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I have an eclectic taste in books. I love historical fiction based on real events. I like most romance, but PG only please. I like suspense and mysteries, but my favorite books are the young adult and middle grade fiction I’ve read. You know, the ones you never forget and that leave a lasting impression on your heart.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
People say I’m pretty laid back. I don’t sweat the small stuff. Also, my husband blessed me with the privilege of staying home to raise our three children. I’ve managed to do that for twenty-five years now. Ha ha!

I loved that season in my life when I was a stay-at-home mom, who was able to be involved in my children’s extracurricular activities. How do you choose your characters’ names?
Character names are important to me. I try to name the character based on their personality or heritage. I spend a lot of time (probably too much time) researching what names were popular during the time period my novel is set. The hero in my first published novel is named Thomas Murphy, an Irish immigrant who came to America during the Potato Famine. I found his name on a genealogy website containing actual ship’s passenger lists!

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
This doesn’t really have anything to do with my writing, but one thing I’m quite proud of is my 30 year marriage. In the day of the drive-through divorce, I think staying with the same man or woman for that many years is something to be proud of. To coin a phrase, I believe marriage is not a destination, but a journey. If you want something to succeed, you have to work at it every single day.

Coming from a woman with a more than 51-year marriage, so far, that is so true. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I think I would be a bear. Bears look big and soft and fluffy, but they’re actually calculating and aggressive animals. They do what they need to do to get what they want, and they will go to great lengths to protect their home and family.

What is your favorite food?
Oh, that’s easy, it’s Tex-Mex. Or is it Italian? Wait, I forgot Chinese. But you can’t say enough about a big bowl of chicken and dumplings. Oh, and seafood! Uh, let’s just say I really like food.

You’re making me hungry. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I would have to say it was confidence in my writing and myself. Thinking everything I wrote wasn’t good enough. I’ve been able to overcome it through God’s love and through the support of my great Christian author friends at my writing group, ACFW, Writers on The Storm. It helps getting a book contract too!

Tell us about the featured book.
Northern Light is a historical romance, which takes during the American Civil War. The setting is the lighthouse on the Bolivar Peninsula in south Texas. The story is a fictional account based on actual events. The action begins when the young heroine stumbles across a severely wounded Union sailor. Here’s the book blurb:

Civil War has robbed Margaret Logan of all she holds dear, including her beloved New Orleans home and her fiancé. When her family moves to the desolate Bolivar Peninsula to manage a lighthouse that is no longer there, all her hopes for a normal future are dashed. Her world is rocked once again when a wounded Yankee soldier washes ashore needing her help. Despite her contempt for the North, Margaret falls in love with Thomas Murphy. As their love blooms, Margaret’s sister is overcome with neurosis, and her mind slowly slips away. Bitterness, psychosis, and depression yield a decision fueled by contempt. Will one fatal choice cause Margaret to lose the man she loves and condemn Thomas to death?

Please give us the first page of the book.
September 5, 1864 Bolivar PeninsulaTexas
“That smarts!”

Margaret Logan shucked the calfskin glove from her hand and stuck if under her arm. Pain coursed through her middle finger as blood pooled at the tip. A single crimson drop fell onto the prickly cotton boll that clung tightly to the bush.

Mama would have come up with a charming anecdote had she seen the deep red blood against the lily white cotton. More than likely it would have been some illustration concerning the blood of Jesus Christ and how it could wash a person white as snow.

Saving grace was the last thing on Margaret’s mind. There was a long dingy sack trailing behind her that she needed to fill. Her family depended on the income they would receive come time to cash in their money crop: Sea Island cotton. She wiped the blood on the inside hem of her light blue apron and thrust her hand back inside the glove. The sight of blood sickened her. Plenty had been shed since the war began, enough to fill a river from the Yankee North to the Confederate states of the South.

The war had taken everything that was good and decent and ripped it to shreds. She no longer knew the tranquility of her beautiful lighthouse home near New Orleans. Nor did she have the loving caress on her cheek of her beloved fiancé Jeffrey Fontain. Instead she wiped the sweat of hard labor from her brow with her own calloused hand.

“Margaret.” Mama paused from her picking and raised her head. “The tide should be out by now. Go fetch your pail. We’ll be needin’ fresh oysters for the evening meal.”

“Yes’m.” She straightened, sending a surge of pain through her back where she’d been hunched over all afternoon pulling cotton. It pleased her to get out of the field for a while, even if it meant doing another chore.

That excerpt brought distant memories back to my mind. When I was a young child, my grandfather owned a large farm in central Arkansas. He would let me “pick cotton” with the others, even though I couldn’t pick much and I tired easily and quit. How can readers find you on the Internet?          Website       FB Author Page       Twitter Page      Pinterest Page   Amazon Author Page

Thank you, Annette, for sharing this book with us. I love the cover. And I know my readers will be as eager to read the book as I am.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Northern Light - paperback
Northern Light - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the ebook. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

I'm intrigued! What could she have possibly done to bring about such dire consequences? Can't wait to read this and find out!
J.C. -Indiana-

Caryl Kane said...

I grew up near Port Bolivar, TX. I would love to read this book!

Caryl in TEXAS

Beth Erin said...

OOOO, Civil War and Texas! Sounds like my kind of book, definitely going on the tbr list! Thank you for sharing!

Beth in Illinois

Mary Preston said...

NORTHERN LIGHT looks and sounds marvellous.

Mary P


Nancy M said...

This book sounds intriguing. Lighthouses, Civil War, Texas! I'm in KY.

Pam said...

Pam in Incline Village, Nevada - sounds like a book I'd love to read!

Wendy Newcomb said...

I enjoy a lighthouse setting in a good historical novel.

Wendy In FL

wfnren at aol dot com

kim hansen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kim hansen said...

Sounds like a great read. kamundsen44ATyahooDOTcom. North Platte Nebraska.

Patty said...

I love a good historical, and add some romance, even better!

Patty in SC

ASC Book Reviews said...

THIS SOUNDS AMAZING! :D I'd LOVE to read and review it!

And I know exactly what you mean about your roadblock and I'm glad God has lead you to overcome it! :)

Amada (pronounced:, NM

Brenda Arrington said...

I really enjoy historical romances. I'd really love to win. I enjoyed the interview.
Brenda in VA

Connie Porter Saunders said...

The Civil War era is one of my favorite times to read about. Thanks for sharing!
Connie from KY

Annette O’Hare said...

Thank you all for reading my author interview. Good luck to you all! I hope you'll enjoy Northern Light!

Unknown said...

Love discovering new authors!!! I hope to win... but either way this book is going on my to read list!!! :)

Brenda Hurley said...

Mon Feb 22nd,
Hello -- Debbie and MaryLu. I would love to win either book ... both sound amazing and exciting !!! I love stories about -- pirates, historical inspirational romances, and yes ... even natural disasters too.
Though I live in Ontario, Canada, I do have a Niagara Falls, New York postal box, where the book could be mailed to ... as I would prefer the paperback copy.
Thanks so much !!! Interesting to read about both authors !
Take care, and, God Bless, In Him, Brenda Hurley

Trixi said...

Hi Annette! Oh I so enjoyed your author interview. You're a new writer to me and your books sounds like something I'd enjoy. Historical's are my favorite!

I can see where you go your love for storytelling through your Grandpa! Aren't they wonderful for instilling a love for life? My grandma loved to bird-watch and plant flowers in her backyard. While I've never been a green-thumb, I quite enjoy watching birds. I get excited when I see one I've not seen yet.:-) I always think of her and the fun I used to have spending time at her house. Great memories.

Thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Northern Light". I live on the Oregon coast and lighthouses are abundant here :-) Your first page drew me in and I want to read the rest of it!

Trixi in OR

Terrill R. said...

Wow, this sounds like a beautiful story. Reading about the sister's neurosis already has me nervous.

Terrill - WA

Annette O’Hare said...

You all are making me excited about the book and I wrote it! I wish every one of you could win a copy. If you love historical romance based on actual events then I think you will really love this book. I developed an even deeper love for historical research writing Northern Light and now I'm a history geek! Thank you all so much for visiting the blog.