Today I’m honored to feature debut author Annette O’Hare with an interview and my review of her upcoming release, Northern Light. It is an inspirational historical romance set during the Civil War and releasing in paperback THIS WEEK on February 19.
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 thought this was a sweet story that showed the transformation of one family as a result of the Civil war. It causes many trials and has a far-reaching impact on every area of their life. Annette weaves a subtle and straightforward thread of faith throughout this book, with clear themes of trust in God’s provision and design.
I enjoyed observing Margaret as her character changed and matured through the story. Her opinion and perspective are dramatically transformed because of the unexpected presence of Thomas. This really shatters her assumptions because she had a willingness to grow and an openness to what God had in store for her.
Thank you to Annette and Pelican Book Group for the complimentary review ecopy.
And now, on to my interview questions with Annette!
What inspired you to write Northern Light?
My inspiration for writing Northern Light came from my love for Texas history and the Gulf Coast.The setting for the book is the Bolivar Point lighthouse. This is a real lighthouse I’ve known and loved since childhood. I drew on historical facts I learned while researching the lighthouse and combined them into a fictional love story.
What spiritual message or theme do you want to communicate to readers with Northern Light?
The scripture reference for this novel is Psalm 43:3a, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me.” I chose this scripture for two reasons. First, it speaks of a light that guides, like the lighthouse in the book! Second, the Psalmist asks God to send His truth to lead him. The truth I want to reveal is that we can’t always believe things are right just because they’ve been handed down from one generation to the next. When we don’t know what to believe, we should seek God’s wisdom and He will lead us to the truth.
What was most challenging about writing a story set in the American Civil War era?
Good question! The most difficult thing I faced in writing a Civil War era novel is having to stop in the middle of writing a scene to look something up. For example, many words we commonly use today weren’t in existence 150 years ago. And think about how many modern advances have come about since the 1860s. A lot of thought went into researching how they took care of everyday situations differently than how we do things today.
Just for fun:
Do you have any hobbies?
Me, my husband and all three kids love surf fishing. We take really long fishing poles to the beach, cast out our bait and sit in our beach chairs and wait to see whatever bites! It’s a lot of fun and a great family outing. Our oldest son is 24 and he takes his fiancé fishing with him now.
If you could live in any other time period in history, which would it be and why?
This is a difficult question. If I could choose to live in a different time period I would love to live in the 1950s. I feel like it was a much simpler time to raise a family. Our country was respected around the world for having strong leadership that truly seemed to care about the people. We were known as a Christian Nation and those values were important to us. On the other hand, in the past 24 years of raising my kids I’ve never had to worry about my sons being drafted into the military like those mothers did in the 50s.
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading The Hesitant Heiress by Dawn Crandall.
Thank you again, Annette, for answering my questions! Surf fishing sounds like fun!
For more about Annette, visit her website. While you’re there, sign up for her newsletter! I hear she has some fun giveaway contests planned for subscribers.
Annette is hosting a FACEBOOK LAUNCH PARTY with lots of giveaways on February 19, 6pm CT. Click here to join the group!