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COTT: Annette O’Hare Shares Inspiration Behind Northern Light

Posted by Julie on August 9, 2016 in encouragement, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons |

 

Authors get stories from so many different places and experiences. It’s
always interesting to discover where the inspiration comes from. Today,
we’ll hear from debut author, Annette O’Hare. Her historical romance,
Northern Light has already garnered some terrific reviews!

 

From the first sentence to the book’s
stunning conclusion, Annette O’Hare’s brilliant first novel Northern
Light captured my heart. O’Hare’s storytelling is flawless and her grasp
of Texas history is spot on. This tenth generation Texan heartily
approves! Do yourself a favor and savor this meeting of North and South
on the Bolivar peninsula. I promise it will be the best book you’ll read
in a very long time!
—Kathleen Y’Barbo, best-selling author
of over 40 titles

 

My Inspiration For Writing Northern Light

By: Annette O’Hare

Annette
O’Hare

There’s a wonderful phrase known to authors that says, write what you
know. This simple idiom by Twain, or was it Faulkner, no…I think it
might have been Thurber, no it was definitely Twain who said it. Whoever
it was knew what they were talking about and that’s why I wrote Northern
Light. The setting for my debut novel is the lighthouse on the Bolivar
Peninsula on the Texas coast; a place near and dear to my heart. A place
I know very well.

When I was a child growing up in Houston, Texas in the 1970’s, my family
visited Bolivar every summer for fishing, swimming, and shell hunting.
My father would drive our family of five to Galveston, and then onto a
short ferry ride connecting Galveston Island with the Bolivar Peninsula.

The ferry ride was a favorite part of the vacation. We made playful bets
concerning which ferry we would ride. Would it be the Cone Johnson, the
E.H. Thornton Jr., the R.S. Sterling, or the Gibb Gilchrist? We knew
each boat by name. My two older brothers and I would save back French
fries and pinches of bread from our fast food meals. After the boat was
loaded and the captain gave the safety speech, we would bolt for the
back of the boat to feed the seagulls and dolphins.

I always knew the exact place the ferry would dock at the peninsula
because Daddy told me to look for the landmark. It was hard to find at
first, but the closer the ferry came to Bolivar, the bigger it became.
By the time the boat landed, the Bolivar Point Lighthouse was as big as
a skyscraper in this little girl’s eyes.

http://annetteohare.com/images/misc/bolivarpoint-688.jpgOnce off the boat we drove past the iron lighthouse.
Her light extinguished, she no longer lit the way for ships coming in or
going out of Galveston Bay. Daddy always pointed out the two, abandoned
keeper’s houses beside the lighthouse. He showed how one of the house’s
nameplates read Boyt and the other, Maxwell. I didn’t understand the
significance then, but later I realized the connection. Daddy’s aunt, my
great aunt, was married to a Boyt, and she and her sister, my
grandmother, were born with the surname Maxwell.

You’re probably wondering if my daddy’s family were the lighthouse
keepers. No, the truth is that Mr. Boyt, my great-uncle, bought the
lighthouse and property at an auction and it has been owned by that
family ever since.

 

The original Bolivar Point Lighthouse dates back prior to the Civil War.
In fact, it was during that war that the Confederates completely
dismantled the lighthouse. Some accounts say it was so the Union
wouldn’t use the light to

their advantage. Others say the Confederate army used the iron for
weapons and artillery. Nevertheless, the lighthouse was rebuilt shortly
after the war. The great conical tower has seen over 150 years of United
States history and it still stands tall on the Bolivar Peninsula to this
day.

——————————————————

Visit Annette at AnnetteOHare.com

 

About Northern Light

 

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?

Purchase Northern Light in e-book or paperback

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Book Review: Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

Posted by Julie on August 5, 2016 in Book Review, God's Word, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |
Northern Light by Annette O'Hare

Northern Light by Annette O’Hare

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?

I wish I could write historical romance, because I love to read it. When I learned that there was a review opportunity for a civil war romance, I jumped at it because that’s my favorite time period.

Northern Light did not disappoint.

Margaret is a single young woman living in Bolivar Peninsula grieving the loss of her fiancé who died in the war. It’s not her only loss. Her family had to leave New Orleans and her sister is falling ill, a consequence of the war. The last thing she wants to do is get involved in any aspect of the war, especially when it comes to anything yankee.

She then comes across a Yankee solider who is near death. Her family takes him in and nurses him back to health, something Margaret struggles with despite her Christian upbringing. Thanks to her parent’s example and their prayers, she overcomes her grief and bitterness, only to be threatened to go through it all over again.

This is a solid story that put me smack dab in the south during the war. It felt authentic and I could feel Margaret’s pain and conflict. The characters were all well-developed and well-researched, including Margaret’s attempt to make a meal for Thomas that is ripe of his Irish history. The secondary story of Margaret’s story is one I never thought about when it came to the war. It’s moving and heartbreaking and enhances an already great story.

If you love historicals, are a fan of the Civil War, and read romance, Northern Light is a must read.

To purchase Northern Light, click here

I received Northern Light in exchange for an honest review.

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A Real House that Inspired a Novella by Rose Allen McCauley

Posted by Julie on July 2, 2016 in ACFW, Guest blogger, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Writing |

A Real House that Inspired a Novella by Rose Allen McCauley

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A Real House that Inspired a Novella.

I am happy to report my 2nd collection for Barbour is now out! The Courageous Brides Collection contains nine novellas about courageous women and their heroines. Here’s what Amazon says about it: Ride into adventures alongside nine determined women of yesteryear whose acts of compassion and bravery attract male attention. Marcy helps displaced Indians. Emmy tends wounds at Fort Snelling. Ronnie stows away on a cattle drive. Daisy disguises herself as a Pony Express rider. Elinor becomes an abolitionist. Mae tames wild horses. Hannah gets help for accident victims. Lucy’s curiosity unnerves criminals. Kate nurses soldiers on the battlefield. Will real dangers douse the sparks of love?

My story is entitled “Hidden Dreams” and is about a young woman who becomes involved in the Abolitionist movement in Cynthiana, Kentucky. I named the heroine Elinor after my granddaughter who actually lives in the Pre-Civil War home the book is set in. When her grandparents remodeled the house, they discovered a hidden room in the cellar, so some have said it might have been part of the Underground Railroad. The house is real and still standing, but the rest of the story is fictional. Elinor had to surrender her safe lifestyle to join the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad. If you want to see pictures of the actual house, please check out my blog next Tuesday when I will be posting pictures I took there.

As you can tell from the blurb above about the collection, you should find several interesting stories to read—enough to read most of the month, so hope you will order a copy soon!

Bio and links:
Rose has been writing for over a decade and has four books published. She is thrilled for this to be her second novella collection with Barbour. A retired schoolteacher who has been happily married to her college sweetheart for over forty years, they enjoy their growing family of three children and their spouses and five lovely, lively grandkids! She loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her through her website www.rosemccauley.com or twitter @RoseAMcCauley and Facebook http://on.fb.me/1LrXNoS

Books are available in bookstores and on Amazon in print http://amzn.to/28YAvd4
And in kindle http://amzn.to/292I9ov

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Saturday Confession: Outflanked

Posted by Julie on November 1, 2014 in encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, Saturday Confession |

Don’t Forget!

I’m still looking for thankful submissions from YOU! Send me anything from a paragraph to 750 words on why you are thankful. Attach a bio and optional picture and send to me at juliearduini@juliearduini.com. I’ll publish them throughout November as part of the annual thankful series. Thanks!

From Wikipedia:

If a flanking maneuver succeeds, the opposing force would be surrounded from two or more directions, which significantly reduces the maneuverability of the outflanked force and its ability to defend itself. A psychological advantage may also be present, as the confusion and threat from multiple directions is often problematic for morale.

A few years ago I visited Gettysburg and signed up for the auto tour. I’ve been before but beyond loving American history, I also enjoy having different guides. They always bring something different to the experience. With this guide, he took us to Little Round Top and maneuvered us so he could help us visualize what happened during a key battle. He explained flanking and with just our little family and the guide standing in strategic places, showed us how the regiment was outflanked. They were tired, hungry, low on resources and missing communications.

Gettysburg1863July1st4pmMap

Although the accuracy and specifics of the battle elude me, I haven’t forgotten the visual of being outflanked. There was vulnerability and loss.

I’m not military, but I can relate.

I’ve been running full tilt all year. Event after event with no time to catch my breath. Add a move. The back-and-forth of international travel to disrupt schedules. Staying up until 2am to catch up on emails and writing.

Tired? Check.

Hungry? Well, for healthy foods, check. I’ve been reaching for the junk because I’m tired.

Missing Communications? Check.

Then people start lining up. Most aren’t “armed,” but their requests, even for my time, catch me off guard. The minority who are armed with criticism that go after me with both barrels?

I’m not just drained.

I’m defeated.

Thankfully the state of America doesn’t rest on my readiness, but my family needs me outfitted for success.

Again, Saturdays are the day I confess. I don’t always have the confession mastered. I know the answers are rest, eating better, regular time in the Bible and “behind the veil” spending time with Jesus—but I’m not quite back on track. I know that makes me vulnerable.

Can you relate to flanking?

Gettysburg image

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How Would You Handle It? Hypocritical Mom of Video Game Playing Teen Edition

Posted by Julie on June 3, 2011 in About Me, encouragement, Julie Arduini, Life Lessons, surrender |

I’m a day off the schedule because I wanted to promote Jeannie Campbell’s new site yesterday. However most Thursdays until I run out of questions I plan to ask a question and look for your responses here and across social media on how you would handle it.

Did you miss last week?  Here is the question.

 

 

 

Here is this week’s question.

In a couple of months our oldest will be an official teenager. He is gifted like his dad in computers and enjoys video games. He is a spiritually sensitive person, like me. What music and movies many of you can watch without issue really affects us. Yet, he’s a boy and he likes doing guy things.

Did I mention he likes video games?

I feel like a complete hypocrite because I allow him to play T rated games under my supervision that deal with war time situations. The example I allow is Civil War. He is a huge fan of the Civil War and although the goal is to eliminate your opponent I let it slide because a lot of history is shown throughout the game. I kind of justify the violent aspect of it because this is history, not random contemporary men but soldiers who indeed battled.

He now has X Box Live and has let me know when he logs on and sees his friends playing they are always playing Call of Duty or some kind of military’ish game set in contemporary times. Thing is, those games are rated M and I’m not okay with that. His friends say there is an option to turn off the blood and words. With the game I allow him to play the weapons are up close but the consequences are not. With Call of Duty and games like it I know it can be very visual and as a Christian family with easily affected kids, I’ve drawn the line.

How would you handle this? Would you call a mom a hypocrite who lets a child play Civil War but not Call of Duty? You can absolutely agree to disagree, there is no right/wrong answer, we all have our convictions. I just want to see…How would you handle it?

 

photobucket image

 

 



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