The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides – Book Review, Preview

Posted February 21, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Giveaways /

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The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides - Book Review, Preview

The Point Loma Lighthouse outside of the San Diego Bay is the first one I have ever visited. Since then, I have visited lighthouses all along the West Coast and even one at the southern-most tip of Africa.

The purpose of lighthouses is to warn ships of danger, especially at night and during storms when rocks can be hidden from view. If the light is not tended, or if the glass becomes cloudy, ships cannot see the warning and are therefore in danger of crashing on the reefs or rocks.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world. It is so important that the light He has placed in us not be hidden and that we not allow the glass to become cloudy through the sin we allow into our lives and our hearts. When we keep our lives clean (though the help of the Holy Spirit), we are able to shine brightly and become a beacon to warn the world around us from danger.

But the path of the righteous is like the bright morning light,

growing brighter and brighter until full day.

The way of the wicked is like gloomy darkness;

they do not know what causes them to stumble.

Proverbs 4:18-19

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides – Book Review, Preview

The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts

by Lena Nelson Dooley, Rebecca Jepson, Carrie Fancett Pagels, Candice Sue Patterson, Kathleen Rouser, Pegg Thomas, Marilyn Turk

Published by Barbour Books
Publication Date November 1, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Mystery, Action/Adventure, Clean Romance
Setting: Michigan Progressive Era – US – 1890s – 1920s
Main Character Ages: 18-24
Written for: Adults
Pages: 448


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 our 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.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

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Weathering the storms of life

We live in an age when the lighthouses that are still working are not manned for the most part. As a result of this, despite the various tours I have taken to lighthouses, (or perhaps because of them), I have thought of lighthouses more as museums to the past than the beacons of safety that they are.

These stories of the men and women who have willingly isolated themselves, working nights and sleeping during the day, enduring the blares of foghorns to warn away ships when the light can’t be seen, and making countless other sacrifices for the safety of others, have changed the way I think of lighthouses, and especially their keepers.

The stories, while all romances, varied greatly. I thought it clever that while they all take place in Michigan, the time period of each one is progressively later than the previous.

I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, which is not surprising with a collection such as this. My favorites were Anna’s Tower and Beneath a Michigan Moon. The rating I gave is based on these stories.

Anna’s Tower was filled with surprises, for the characters and for me. Anna’s secret was a complete surprise and I love the way it influenced the story. Maksim was such a delightful character. The Russian immigrant who had escaped the pogroms despite the fact that he was not a Jew himself. His determination to learn English and to be as useful around the lighthouse as possible made him so endearing, as did the beautiful way the author fleshed out his personality.

Beneath a Michigan Moon was very touching. Ava’s determination to keep the death of her father a secret so she could stay on at the lighthouse placed her in an awkward situation, especially when Ben needed access to the tower. I loved his determined and protective nature and the way he was able to show such kindness and love towards Ava.

Carrie's Mackinac Island and vicinity Pinterest Board

(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest) [gs_pinterest user="carriefpagels" board="mackinac-island-and-vicinity"]

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.

Blog Stops

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Godly Book ReviewsFebruary 22

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Bibliophile Reviews, February 23

For the Love of Literature, February 23

Just the Write Escape, February 24

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Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, February 25

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Jennifer Sienes: Where Crisis and Christ Collide, February 26

EmpowerMoms, February 26

Back Porch Reads, February 27

Through the Fire Blogs, February 27

Blossoms and Blessings, February 28

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 28

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Christian Author, J.E. Grace, March 1

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Connie’s History ClassroomMarch 2

Blogging With Carol, March 2

Texas Book-aholic, March 3

Stephanie’s Life of Determination, March 3

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Janices book reviewsMarch 4

Carpe Diem, March 5

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 5

A Baker’s Perspective, March 6

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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 link below to enter.

About Kathleen Rouser

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.

About Lena Nelson Dooley

Multi-published, award-winning author Lena Nelson Dooley is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her local chapter in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the Christian Authors’ Network, and Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Her forty-plus books have sold more than 875,000 copies. Lena’s books have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, and Publisher Weekly bestseller lists, as well as some Amazon bestseller lists. She also writes a popular blog, A Christian Writer’s World, that features other authors’ books. The blog received the Readers’ Choice Blog of the Year Award from the Book Club Network.
Lena is a three-time finalist in the Carol Awards ACFW contest. Her 2010 release, Love Finds You in Golden, New Mexico, won the 2011 Will Rogers Medallion Award for excellence in publishing Western Fiction. Her next series, McKenna’s Daughters: Maggie’s Journey appeared on a reviewers’ Top Ten Books of 2011 list. It also won the 2012 Selah award for Historical Novel. The second, Mary’s Blessing, was a Selah Award finalist for Romance novel. Catherine’s Pursuit, released in 2013, was the winner of the NTRWA Carolyn Reader’s Choice contest, took second place in the CAN Golden Scroll Novel of the Year award, and won the Will Rogers Medallion bronze medallion. Her book, A Heart’s Gift, won RWA’s Faith, Hope, and Love Readers’ Choice Award in July 2017.

Lena is also the host of The Lena Nelson Dooley Show on the Along Came a Writer blogtalk radio network. She has experience in screenwriting, acting, directing, and voice-overs, and currently serves on the board of directors of Higher Ground Films. She has been featured in Christian Fiction Online MagazineACFW JournalBook Fun MagazineCharisma Magazine, and Christian Retailing.

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19 responses to “The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides – Book Review, Preview

  1. James Robert

    Great post and I appreciate getting to find out about another great book. Thanks for all you do and for the hard work you put into this. Greatly appreciated!

  2. Mary Tullila

    What a lovely informative post. Lighthouses are in my blood since my home state is Michigan!

  3. Lori Smanski

    this is such a wonderful post. thanks for sharing. i love light houses. when i see one on a cover i need to check out if the books is worth reading. there is something magical, romantic, mysterious and a bit dangerous about them. on my TBR list now quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  4. Debbie Clatterbuck

    I have read and enjoyed books by several of these authors. I can’t wait to read this compilation of books. Thanks for participating in this giveaway and good luck everyone.

  5. Patty

    I grew up in the lower peninsula of MI and would love to read this collection!