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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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0

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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