Thousand Island Park’s Mary’s Moment is out!
It’s the Summer 1912, and Thousand Island Park’s switchboard operator Mary Flynn is christened the community heroine for her quick action that saves dozens of homes from a terrible fire. Less than a month later, when another disastrous fire rages through the Park, Mary loses her memory as she risks her life in a neighbor’s burning cottage. Will she remember the truth of who she is or be deceived by a treacherous scoundrel?
Widowed fireman George Flannigan is enamored by the brave raven-haired lass and takes every opportunity to connect with Mary. But he has hidden griefs of his own that cause him great heartache. When George can’t stop the destructive Columbian Hotel fire from eradicating more than a hundred businesses and homes, he is distraught. Yet George’s greater concern is Mary. Will she remember their budding relationship or be forever lost to him?
What inspired you to write Mary’s Moment?
My mother, Mary, inspired this story. When she was a young woman, she spent two summers serving her aunts in the Thousand Islands Park. Every summer she’d take me there for an ice cream at the Guzzle and tell me stories of her time in the Park. So, it was always my desire to write about it. When I began researching and discovered the tragedy of the three 1912 fires that nearly destroyed the Park, I had my story, especially because my mom nearly lost her father in a barn fire when she was just fourteen.
What kind of research did you do for Mary’s Moment?
My mother, Mary, inspired this story. When she was a young woman, she spent two summers serving her aunts in the Thousand Islands Park. Every summer she’d take me there for an ice cream at the Guzzle and tell me stories of her time in the Park. So it was always my desire to write about it. I began researching online, in books, and with interviews. By greatest resource, was the very thorough book, Thousand Island Park: One Hundred Years, and Then Some: a Centennial Year History by Jr. Helen P. Jacox and Eugene B. Kleinhans. In it, the authors detail first-hand accounts of the Park and fires. With these details, I wove a story that is visceral, interesting, and I think, memorable.
What message do you hope readers take away from Mary’s Moment?
All eleven of my Thousand Islands’ stories have hope as the central theme. Hope for a better future. Hope for love. Hope for healing. Mary’s Moment also focuses on healing broken hearts, forgiving those who hurt you, and embracing God’s redemption.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart?
I love Mary and George, lovingly based, just a bit, on my parents. My mom spent two summers at Thousand Island Park serving her two aunts, so she shared lots of stories of her time there. My characters become so real to me; they become friends. Smiles.
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
Researching 1912 firefighting, telegraphy, and being a telephone switchboard operator was a challenging, fascinating, and in-depth study, but oh so much fun. I’m thankful I was able to connect with a fireman and a telegraphy/telephone historian who read my story for accuracy. I also had a historian with the Thousand Island Park Landmark Society read Mary’s Moment to make sure my details were correct. Though it’s extra work, it always helps to check with the experts.
Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better.—Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author
Readers of Christian historical romance will enjoy this exciting tale set in 1912 Thousand Island Park, NY.
Now available on Amazon and Ingram Spark.
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