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Sunday, March 3, 2019

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About the Book51ZdzdL75lL._SY346_

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.

About the AuthorKathleen Rouser headshot.larger file

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, on Facebook at, 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. 


I was excited to read this book because I love lighthouses. I actually collect them and they have always fascinated me. They bring light to darkness and give hope for those lost. The book contains several stories and I loved how we get a taste of each author's style of writing. The stories are short and for some of them I wish they were longer because I felt the story ended too soon. Overall I was pleased with the book and thought the stories flowed easily from one to the next. There are a few stories that had similar plots which I was disappointed in.

Anna's Tower by Pegg Thomas

The first story is set in 1883 where a shipwreck has just happened. I liked the excitement the author built up as rescuers came to help. There is one man from the ship who may find himself in trouble if it is discovered who he is and how he came to be on the ship. Anna is a wonderful character and has dreams of running the lighthouse by herself one day. I would love to visit a lighthouse and see the beauty and power it displays. I really liked Makism and his gentle way he had around others. He was eager to work and the attraction between him and Anna was a breath of fresh air. The author does a great job of wanting readers to follow these two and see what happens between them. I loved the theme in the story about overcoming fear and trusting others.

Beneath a Michigan Moon by Candice Sue Patterson

This story finds us in 1885 at New Presque Isle Lighthouse, Lake Heron. I immediately liked the light hearted banter between Ava and Benjamin. He is insisting to see Ava's father,  but there is a slight problem with that. How long can Ava hide her secret before others find out? Ava is a feisty young woman determined to do things on her own. The lighthouse is so important and she resents that snoopy Benjamin  keeps coming around. There were  times I found their encounters to be comical while Ava tries to discourage Benjamin from coming back to bother her so much. What does he want and why is he so interested in the lighthouse? The story is good and has wonderful details of the lighthouse. What will happen between Ava and Benjamin? It's a great story and I loved the characters. I wanted to spend more time with them and enjoy their connection that grew slowly. The unexpected twist in the story was well written and brings a barrier between Ava and Benjamin. This is a story is about forgiveness and new beginnings. 

Safe Haven by Rebecca Jepson

We now get to visit Old Mission, Michigan in 1892.  Rose is a very interesting character and I was intrigued about her past. It was hard for her to believe that someone left her at the lighthouse when she was an infant. Why would someone abandon such a special gift as a child? I have noticed a  theme as I read each story so far. In this time period of the late 1800s it was not proper for a young woman to be alone with a man if they are not married. It was a refreshing thing to have women treated with respect and how their reputations were of the upmost concern. I am a bit disappointed that this story and the last one are kinda similar in story line. Both women are on their own after losing their father or grandfather. It does make the main character stronger but I was hoping for a little more variety. I did like the mystery surrounding Rose and loved the details of a past that has haunted Rose for years.

Love's Beacon by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Our travels take us to Mackinac Island starting in  1897. Val has traveled a distance to get medicine for her ill parents. When she gets ready to return home, she is told that she cannot travel there tonight. You could feel how distraught she was worrying about her parents. She is taken to the parish to spend the night. I  could sense that Val would be receiving bad news soon. There is a mystery in this story about who Val's parents are. Again the story is very similar to the previous one. It is frustrating to read a story where you feel like it is almost the same plot as one you just read.  Val gets work taking care of a child while the father works. I have to say I was intrigued to see how how the author would unravel Val's past. Will Val finally find out who her real parents are? There is a bit of romance in the story but I didn't find that it added anything to enhance the story. I have read other books that this author has read and always found them to be very good. This short story seemed rushed and not as detailed as she usually writes.

The Last Memory by Kathleen Rouser

This story opens up in 1899 where we find a young woman struggling to stay afloat before the waters take her away. The young woman is rescued but doesn't know who she is. I would not like to have amnesia. It would be frightening to not know who you are or where you came from. To be surrounded by strangers made the woman a bit on edge. The news that she is the only survivor of the Mallory shocks her. I adored the little girl in the story. She wants a mama so bad, she believes the sea has brought her one. Her father did tell her once that she would only have a mama if the Great Lakes coughed her up . I think her father has some explaining to do after the mysterious woman shows up from the sea. Cal is a good man and is willing to help Mallory as she calls herself. He wants to know who she really is as well ans its obvious that his daughter is starting to get attached to her. This story seemed to have a bit more mention of God and I found it be a welcome addition.  The story did keep my interest and I did enjoy the ending.

The Disappearing Ship by Lena Nelson Dooley

Our journey finds us next in Upper Michigan in 1902. Norma is a female doctor who has found out that not many if anyone really welcomes a woman doctor. She feels like a failure and decides to go home to her aunt and uncle. This story was fun to read as a mysterious ship has disappeared . Did someone sabotage it or was the ship stolen because of what cargo it was carrying. Norma and Drake hit it off right away and she decides to help him find out what happened to the ship. The story is good and I loved how Drake trusted Norma by taking her with him as he looks for the whereabouts of his cargo. It's s a nice and tidy ending.

The Wrong Survivor by Marilyn Turk

We end our trip in 1911 at Au Sable Lighthouse.  Jesse and Nathan go off to sea but only one brother returns. i could feel how guilty Jesse felt being the brother who survived. It reminds me of survivors guilt. You feel horrible that everyone you were with didn't make it and you wonder why you were spared. I liked how the author showed the bitterness Lydia had toward Jesse. it is a good story about forgiveness and I enjoyed reading how the characters found a way to overcome their guilt and try to become friends again.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit and Barbour Publishing. The review is my own opinion.

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
KarenSueHadleyMarch 4
Carpe Diem, March 5
BigreadersiteMarch 6


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.


  1. Thank you for your reviews. I really liked how your wrote a review for each story. Thank you. I love light houses also. I recently finished a book that is wonderfully written around a light house.
    Love Unexpected by Jody Hedlund
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  2. I love reading about the Great Lakes and Lighthouses. This sounds like a great collection of stories and I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  3. Thank you so much, Deana, for such detailed reviews of each of our stories. I appreciate the time you took to read each one and want to also thank you for being part of my Celebrate Lit tour for The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection.

    Lori and Dianne, I hope you will get to read and will enjoy our anthology as well!

  4. This book sounds fantastic and it is on top of my TBR list. I love historical romance and since I have lived near Lake Michigan for most of my life. This book sounds perfect for me.

  5. My family and I all appreciate you bringing to our attention the book description of another great book to read. Thanks so much!

  6. Great review. I love lighthouses and collect them too. I love the cover and it sounds like a great read.

    Tighefan42 atgmaildotcom

  7. Thank you for your review on "The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides" and for being part of the book tour.

    Enjoyed the guest post by Kathy. Can't wait for the opportunity to read this book which is on my TBR list.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net