Friday, November 16, 2018

THE LAST MEMORY (The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection) - Kathleen Rouser

Dear Readers, here's another book in the collection. Only two more to go.

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. Kathleen has loved making up stories since she was a little girl and wanted to be a writer before she could even read. She longs to create characters who resonate with readers and realize the need for a transforming Savior 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.

Welcome back, Kathleen. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
It was a long journey to get to where I am. I started out wanting to write children’s stories. As a young believer I enjoyed reading Gilbert Morris’s series on the Winslow family. They were some of my first exposures to Christian fiction. Then there were Janette Oke’s books. I loved the romance and that it was clean and inspiring. I could go on and on about different authors who have inspired me, including Jane Austen.

My desire is to write clean, uplifting fiction carrying a message of God’s grace and new beginnings in Christ. Since I enjoy reading stories in historical settings, I decided I’d like to write in them as well.

Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
It’s kind of a tie between the day I married my husband, Jack, and the birth of each of my children, but especially my first, since it was such a wonder when I first became a mother. Marriage and motherhood are each so special in their own way.

How has being published changed your life?
It’s definitely become more of a balancing act. Some days I juggle well and other days I’m afraid I drop the ball! Marketing and the ever-present platform are often in the back of my mind—two things I didn’t used to have to worry about as much as I do now.

However, on the up side, it has given me a sense of accomplishment and been an exciting time for me as it is something I had dreamed of since I was a child. I’ve also been awed by God’s hand through it all.

What are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Katelyn’s Choice, by Susan G. Mathis, which hasn’t yet been released and The Miracle Morning for Writers by Steve Scott and Hal Elrod.

What is your current work in progress?
I’m working on the third novel in my Stone Creek series. The main characters are
completely new. Rose Sinclair is a heartbroken nurse, a veteran of the Spanish-American War, who is working at Hope’s Place for unwed mothers in Stone Creek. The hero is Wade McCormick, a Deputy U.S. Marshall on the run, framed for murder and looking for help. The working title is Scandals and Mercies

What would be your dream vacation?
I would love to travel around Italy. There is so much to see! And eventually end up in Sicily where my grandparents came from. Then I’d like to return to England and see the historic sites of London and Oxford, as well as farther north and some of the coastline. As long as I’m over that way, I’d like to see Ireland too.

How do you choose your settings for each book?
So far, I’ve only had stories published that have taken place in Michigan. I seem to be stuck! LOL As a lifelong resident of this beautiful state, it was easy to start with a fictional town loosely based on the area where I live.

When Pegg Thomas asked if I would be interested in writing a novella for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection it was easy for me to want to write about the Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. I’d visited there many times and always thought it would be fun to include it in a story.

However, I’ve also used settings of ancient Egypt as I wrote about Moses’ two mothers. And I also started a YA series set in Victorian England, a time and a place that’s always interested me, but these stories aren’t yet published.

If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Jan Karon. When I was going through a very difficult time in my life, I started reading her Mitford series each evening for about an hour before bed. I was attending a church that didn’t encourage the reading or writing of fiction. Reading her stories about Father Tim, where real life issues were addressed but with an eye toward faith and hope in God, was not only healing, but encouraged me to once again pursue fiction writing. I wrote her a thank you letter for the inspiration her writing gave me, but it would be lovely to meet her, thank her personally, and get to have an evening of conversation with her.

What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Baking, making jewelry, knitting, and walking or bike riding. I especially enjoy spending time with my husband.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I’d say scheduling enough time for writing. When I do that successfully, though, it’s because I’ve told myself I will write at a certain time (an appointment with myself) and then I make a goal for word count. It’s fun sometimes to set out to write 1,000 words in an hour. Other times I don’t want that kind of pressure and I will write 500. I guess the operative words here are appointment and goal.

What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Though it probably sounds trite, keep writing. Learn the craft of writing and grow a thick skin. Being part of a critique group helps.

Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the blurb for my novella in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection:
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.

Take a lone survivor of a shipwreck on the Straits of Mackinac, the widowed lighthouse keeper who rescues her, and his feisty six-year-old daughter and you have a recipe for hope, humor, and romance prodded by an innocent little cupid.

Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
Straits of Mackinac April 1899
She struggled to maintain her grip on the splintered wood plank, the only thing keeping her from drowning beneath the roiling waters of Lake Huron. A blur of gray and green swallowed her for a moment. She bobbed, carried along by the water’s current. She couldn’t get her bearings as she swirled away from the sinking ship. Lightning sparked enough for her to see the last of the Mallory sink beneath the stormy waves.

She wanted to cry out, but her mouth filled with the foamy water. She choked and sputtered instead. This wasn’t supposed to be happening. Not now. She was too young to die.

Her shoe grazed something. Was it sand? She grunted as the waves thrust her against the stony shoreline. With one more nudge from the water she lost her grip on the board. Unable to stand, she slipped. Sharp pain surged through the side of her head. The world melted from gray to black.


Cal Waterson held his lantern high from his place in the rowboat. The rain pelted him, flowing off his oilskins in rivulets. His faithful volunteer rescue crew of a half-dozen men from Mackinaw City shivered in the cold. His heart lurched at the sights around him. Nothing left of the ship but some floating boards, a man’s hat, an empty barrel. No survivors.

What good was it being a lighthouse keeper if he couldn’t do more for those guided by the glowing Fresnel lens? Henry MacPherson pointed as they rowed along the shore toward the beacon.

“What’s that? I think there’s someone on shore.”

Something out of the ordinary indeed reflected in the light. A long shot, but a lone survivor may have washed up onto the beach.

Cal glanced back toward the wreckage one more time. He cupped his hands around his mouth and leaned low to be heard over the thunder and wind. “We’re done here. Head for whatever that is on the shore.” Having registered his command above the din of the thunder and wind, his faithful crew rowed harder to shore.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
Twitter: @KathleenRouser
Pinterest: https:/ /

Thank you, Kathleen, for sharing this new book with my readers. I loved your novella when I read through the whole collection.

Readers, here are links to the book.
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection -
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts -
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside North America. (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:


Emma said...

THE LAST MEMORY (The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection) by Kathleen Rouser sounds wonderful.Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you for stopping by, Emma. I'm so glad you like the sound of my novella and hope
you will enjoy reading it at some point.

Shelia64 said...

sounds like a great story! Shelia from Mississippi

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you, Shelia. And there are some other great stories in this collection as well!

Elly said...

This whole collection sounds AMAZING!
Elly -Indiana-

Robin in NC said...

Oh my goodness! I can't even imagine how Natalie must have felt or Cal when he found her! This sounds like an exciting page turner! Thanks for sharing.
Robin in NC

Kay Garrett said...

The more I read about "The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection" the more in awe I am at this wonderful collection of stories by so may wonderful authors.

"The Last Memory" by Kathleen Rouser has a storyline that peaks my interest from the beginning. It's one I would love the opportunity to read.

Can't help but love an author that puts baking and spending time with her husband on the top of her things she enjoys. Kind of makes us the same. :)

Thanks for the wonderful chance to win a copy of this book!
Kay Garrett from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Wendy Newcomb said...

This has been on my wish list since the first time I saw it, thank you for the chance to win a copy. I love the collections books and this one has several new authors for me to 'check out' and a couple of my favorite authors!

Wendy in South Sioux City, NE

wfnren at aol dot com

Lori Smanski said...

This little blurb was very interesting. This sounds like a story that i would not be able to put down until finished. I would love to read this book. For some reason, I do like stories that are set around light houses. I enjoy spending time with my husband also. It is great to have them as best friends. quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds like a great story!
Connie from Kentucky

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thanks for stopping by, Elly. It's really a fun collection with quite a variety!

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you, Robin. I hope you will find The Last Memory intriguing!

Kathleen Rouser said...

I appreciate your thoughtful comment, Kay. My husband is my best friend and he likes it when I bake, so it
makes for a good combination. ;)

I think you will find all the stories in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection are compelling reads!

Kathleen Rouser said...

Hi Wendy Newcomb! Nice to see you here. I remember "meeting" you on Novel PASTimes a while back.
I hope you are doing well these days. Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Good luck on winning
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection.

Kathleen Rouser said...

Lori Smanski, so nice to see you here. I was thinking that a story about a character with amnesia
might be gripping as I know it would be for me a reader. I hope you will find it a compelling read
as it isn't until towards the end Natalie must come to grips with who she is. During most of the
story, she calls herself Mallory. Just a little teaser for you. ;)

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you, Connie Porter Saunders. Have a blessed week!

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sharon. Good luck on the drawing!

Kathleen Rouser said...

Thank you so much for having me as your guest, Lena. I consider it a privilege and for your feedback. I'm so glad
you loved my novella. I'm still reading through our collection and look forward to reading yours. I'm sure I will
love yours as well!

Shelia64 said...

sounds wonderful! Shelia from Mississippi

Pam Graber said...

I've visited the lighthouse at the Straits of Mackinac. I'm assuming this story is set before the Mighty Mac was built? The bridge is a wonder, but the lighthouses still fascinate me.

Pam in OH