Why I Wrote a Revolutionary War Series

I’m intrigued by the motivations, means, and results of people who emigrated to the American colonies. Many came to escape circumstances in their homeland, others sought adventure or the potential of a better life.

The ingenuity, courage, and inspiration of our founders in declaring independence and establishing our constitutional republic fascinate me.

A series allows for a more in-depth character examination and circumstances over an extended period.

While historical events are set at a specific point in time, there are often details about them that readers have little knowledge of and find interesting.

Fictional characters in historical novels often experience many of the same issues mankind has struggled with throughout time. While characters’ attitudes and how they navigate life decisions are often a view into the era and culture in which they live, people of any generation can relate to them.

A Heart Set Free

Desperate to escape further deception, disillusionment, and disgrace Heather Douglas flees Scotland in 1770 as an indentured servant. Her life detours when a widowed Virginia planter purchases the indenture and marries her. Through her journey of self-examination and maturing faith, Heather is finally free to experience the life she desires.

It is in the Virginia countryside that she begins her greatest journey, one of self-discovery and faith. She discovers that her emotional and spiritual scars bind her far more than her indenture. Will the liberty she seeks finally provide her with the freedom she longs for?


A Heart For Freedom

By the spring of 1775, antagonism between the colonists and the British has escalated to confrontation. Strife between factions loyal to the crown and those demanding independence is pitting friends, neighbors, and families against each other. Like many others, Heather and Matthew Stewart’s world has turned upside down, and for children, growing up always has its challenges, but war can accelerate and define it.

When Matthew disappears, unexplainable and odd events create doubts and suspicion, and loyalties are questioned. His absence tests the Stewart family in ways they could have never imagined. The characters face heartaches and grief, joys and hope, dangers and intrigue, love and faith.


Setting Two Hearts Free

Donald Duncan joined the Patriot cause for noble reasons. The war has changed him, and now the battle is internal.

Mary Stewart spends the war years with her family at Stewarts’ Green, helping them operate their ordinary, waiting for Donald’s safe return, … until that day the evil side of war touches her.

Two hearts were altered by a war that dragged on for six years. Two hearts left hurting and struggling to find the love and trust they once knew. Is there a path for them to rekindle what was lost and finally find peace? https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Hearts…/dp/B085DRXFZY/ref

Mary’s Moment by Susan Mathis

Reading a Susan Mathis book is like vacationing in the Thousand Islands, an expanse of 1800 islands between New York and Canada. Her stories give us a fascinating glimpse into the gilded age and the history of the area.  Mary’s Moment, Susan’s latest treat, takes place during the summer of 1912.

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?

Readers of Christian historical romance will enjoy this exciting tale set in 1912 Thousand Island Park, NY.


Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has ten in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Peyton’s Promise, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, Rachel’s Reunion, and Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and four Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist. Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction for more.

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Ireland but it’s more of a holy day honoring their patron saint.

St. Patrick was born around 385 A.D. in Roman Britain to aristocratic parents. At sixteen he was captured by Irish pirates who took him to Ireland and sold him into slavery. While there Patrick tended sheep, drew close to the Lord, and came to believe his captivity may have been part of God’s plan. He dreamt he was to free the Irish people from their druid beliefs and share the gospel of Christ with them. After six years, Patrick escaped and made his way back to Britain. God gave him another revelation; that he would one day return to Ireland as a missionary. After a brief time in England, he traveled to France where he entered the priesthood and remained for fifteen years. However, he never lost sight of his dream of returning to Ireland to spread “The Good News”. Around 431 A.D., Patrick was consecrated Bishop of the Irish and returned to the island of his captivity.

Patrick eventually convinced the Druids to abandon beliefs that kept them enslaved and convinced them to find freedom in Christ. He built up t

St. Patrick’s Grave

he church in Ireland, establishing monasteries, and organizing the land into dioceses. Patrick died March 17, 461 in Saul, County Down, Ireland where he is said to be buried.

Why is St Patrick’s Day such a big deal in our the United States with all the revelry and hundreds of parades?

Probably because almost 35 million Americans identify as having Irish heritage while the population of the entire island of Ireland is not even 8 million.

When did the Irish make their way to America?

There have been two major diasporas to American shores. The First Wave of Irish Immigration came between 1714 to 1750.  Many Presbyterians who had emigrated to the northern part of Ireland from Scotland became known as Ulster-Scots or Scots-Irish. They moved on to America to escape religious discrimination, rising rents and seeking land to own. Many of these educated, skilled workers, and farmers settled in New England while others traveled to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

The Year Without Summer, a novella in The Highlanders: A Smitten Historical Romance Collection https://www.amazon.com/Highlanders-Smitten-Historical-Romance-Collection/dp/1645260631/ref  tells the story of a Highlander leaving Scotland during the clearances who traveled to Ireland and was forced off that land to emigrate to the United States in 1816.

The other significant diaspora occurred in the 1840s when the Irish potato

Famine Memorial-Dublin

famine devastated Ireland. Up to two million starving Irish sailed to North America during the Famine departing from mainly Belfast, Dublin, and Londonderry. They sailed to the US and Canada, many in what came to be known as coffin ships. They settled mainly in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, but some headed

Irish Coffin Ship Replica

westward. U.S. immigration records indicate that by 1850, the Irish made up 43 percent of the foreign-born population.

I’ve written a story (yet to be published) that takes place in 1847 during the famine. It’s about a woman and her daughter forced to leave Ulster Ireland seeking restored lives in America.

Our St. Patrick’s Day traditions include shamrocks, a traditional Irish meal, and possibly watching Riverdance or a movie about St. Patrick. How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?


Rachel’s Reunion ~Another 1000 Islands story by Susan Mathis

Susan, please tell us a little about your writing background, please.

I’ve been teaching writing, editing, and writing most of my life. I jumped into the fiction world, I served as the Founding Editor of Thriving Family magazine and the former Editor/Editorial Director of twelve Focus on the Family publications. My first two published books were nonfiction. Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage with an Indonesian and Spanish version, and The ReMarriage Adventure: Preparing for a Life of Love and Happiness, has helped thousands of couples prepare for marriage. I’m also the author of two picture books, Lexie’s Adventure in Kenya and Princess Madison’s Rainbow Adventure. Moreover, I’m published in various book compilations including five Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Ready to Wed, Supporting Families Through Meaningful Ministry, The Christian Leadership Experience, and Spiritual Mentoring of Teens. I’ve also several hundred magazine and newsletter articles.

But when I started writing fiction… I was hooked! My imagination has become my playground and the characters my friends. I love the challenge, the freedom, the fun of creating with the Creator. But…I only tell that to those who love fiction—or they might lock me up as a crazy person. Smiles.

Why do you write about the Gilded Age?

The American Gilded Age (from about 1870-1910) was a time of rapid technical advances, industrialization, and thousands of new inventions. Mark Twain coined the term in his 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today which satirized the era of social problems that were masked by a layer of thin, gold gilding. It’s a fascinating time in history, especially in the Thousand Islands.

All of my books are set during the Thousand Islands Gilded Age when the wealthy came and scooped up the islands and built lavish summer homes, mansions, and castles. It was an era of economic growth. Since wages were higher than in Europe, massive immigration drew about twenty million to the U.S. shores.

Unfortunately, it was also a time of unequal distribution of wealth where the rich got richer and the poor working class suffered. Many young women worked as servants until they married, and that’s what my stories are about—those nameless, faithful women who cooked and cleaned and served tables for the rich and famous. These “downstairs” women had fascinating stories to tell, and I plan to tell many of them.

During the Gilded Age, America led the world in innovation. A half-million patents were issued for new inventions including hundreds by Thomas Edison, Westinghouse, and others. Thanks to inventions such as the delivery of electric power, the world became lighter, safer, more convenient and comfortable, and all around better.

So, this is why I write Thousand Islands Gilded Age stories. To share the rich heritage this era gave us and better understand what it was like.

What kind of research did you do for Rachel’s Reunion?

I grew up just twenty minutes from the Thousand Islands, so I spent every summer and more exploring the beautiful region. I’ve stayed on several of the islands and camped and rented cottages there. So, after I wrote my debut novel about the largest island, Wolfe Island, I was hooked. There are so many fascinating stories to tell.

Now, I take an annual Thousand Islands Book Tour to the islands where I meet with fans, friends, and family. I’ve stayed in Singer Castle, Casa Blanca, and other places that are the settings of my book. I’ve talked with the owners of the islands, local historians, and researched in the Thousand Islands archives.

All my novels are based on a specific place in the Thousand Islands and the true stories of the owners of that island. So, my plot is generally true. Then I overlay the storyline of the fictional servants to create the story. This makes my stories a bit more challenging, but I love a good challenge.

About Rachel’s Reunion:

Summer 1904

Rachel Kelly serves the most elite patrons at the famed New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island. She has wondered about her old beau, Mitch, for nearly two years, ever since he toyed with her affections while on Calumet Island, then left for the high seas and taken her heart with him. Now he’s back, opening the wound she thought was healed.

Mitch O’Keefe returns to claim his bride but finds it more difficult than he thought. Returning to work at the very place he hated, he becomes captain of a New Frontenac Hotel touring yacht, just to be near Rachel. But his attempts to win her back are thwarted, especially when a wealthy patron seeks her attention. Who will Rachel choose?

About Susan:

Susan G Mathis is an international award-winning, multi-published author of stories set in the beautiful Thousand Islands, her childhood stomping ground in upstate NY. Susan has been published more than twenty-five times in full-length novels, novellas, and non-fiction books. She has nine in her fiction line including, The Fabric of Hope: An Irish Family Legacy, Christmas Charity, Katelyn’s Choice, Devyn’s Dilemma, Sara’s Surprise, Reagan’s Reward, Colleen’s Confession, and Peyton’s Promise. Rachel’s Reunion releases October 20, 2022. She just finished writing book ten, Mary’s Moment. Her book awards include two Illumination Book Awards, three American Fiction Awards, two Indie Excellence Book Awards, and two Literary Titan Book Awards. Reagan’s Reward is a Selah Awards finalist.

Susan is also a published author of two premarital books, two children’s picture books, stories in a dozen compilations, and hundreds of published articles. Susan makes her home in Colorado Springs and enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands.

Visit www.SusanGMathis.com/fiction for more.

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Say Grace: A Scriptural Field Guide To Weight Loss Compiled By Clarice G. James

I was privileged to endorse this book—one a person doesn’t just read once. While it is a field guide to weight loss it is so much more. The book covers a wide range of topics that mankind has been dealing with throughout time. Many of us have read books that address the Bible’s promises on a variety of subjects, this Scriptural Field Guide includes Scripture verses addressing almost 230 different alphabetical topics using 6 different versions and translations of the Bible.  At the end of each topic, the author provides some delicious tidbits and morsels of her own that never detract from what the Bible says.

It also has several Appendices addressing What God Says About You, Weight Loss Questions, and Evangelism.

I wanted to know something about the genesis of this treasure trove.

  1. You have published five entertaining fiction titles. What motivated you to tackle this non-fiction A Scriptural Field Guide To Weight Loss?

In 1999, I self-published a series of seven topical Scripture booklets, which included You and Your Maker, Salvation, Hope & Healing, Emotions, Family, Workplace, and Grief. I loved studying God’s Word and got so excited every time I dug out an applicable nugget of truth. My goal was to compile a booklet on weight loss—and had been “collecting” verses for years—but I got distracted writing fiction. Or perhaps I wasn’t ready.

Twenty years later, as I considered working on the weight loss compilation, John 21 came up in my daily reading—again. Holy Spirit impressed upon me to “cast my net on the right side”—which to me meant turning from fiction (for a season) to nonfiction.

“Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”  

  1. The research you’ve done is extensive, obviously keeping you delving into the Scriptures for a lot of time. It’s been my experience that this kind of endeavor invites spiritual attack. Did you find this to be the case?

The evil one knows our weak spots. Mine was self-doubt and feeling inadequate and unqualified. He tried unsuccessfully to make me feel guilty for taking time away from wifely obligations, too, but his efforts backfired because my husband was my most enthusiastic supporter.

  1. I know you’ve had a very challenging year, can you share what you’ve been dealing with while compiling this book?

Yes, the challenge has been real. My husband, David, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2016. As his main caregiver, my priority was him. David and I often went over the Scripture verses together. Even on his worst days, he gave me his input and encouragement. The Lord knew when he would take David home and He knew I would need to be strong. Being steeped in God’s Word strengthened me. David died on August 18, 2021.

  1. I suspect there have also been some unexpected blessings as a result of writing this field guide. Please share those with us.

While studying the Word, my faith grew, and peace reigned even on the worst days. My former struggle to lose weight no longer became a struggle. As a result of focusing on God and His Word,  I released all my extra weight and have kept it off—even while experiencing grief.

  1. So what is next for you? Are you going to tackle another novel or non-fiction work?

I have begun my second book in the series: Say Grace: A Scriptural Field Guide to Grieving the Death of a Spouse. I may also resume writing my novel Out of Hunger, where my characters overcome their struggle with turning to food instead of or before God.

Let us know how to find out more about you and your books.

Your local Christian bookstore would happily order you a copy. Put in a request at your local library. You can also order them on Amazon. If you’re local to southern NH, you can purchase an autographed copy.

Say Grace: A Scripural Field Guide to Weight Loss (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2022)

The Least of These (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2021)

The Girl He Knew  (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2019)

Manhattan Grace (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2018)

Doubleheader (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2nd Ed. 2019)

Party of One (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. 2017)

If you’d like to get a feel for my contemporary women’s fiction, shoot me an email at claricegjames3@gmail.com, and I’ll send you the first chapter of one of my novels.

Clarice G. James, Author

Smart, Fun, Relatable Fiction & Non-fiction

Hudson, NH

Website: www.claricegjames.com

Email: claricegjames3@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarice.g.james

Experiencing Peace and Trust During Difficult Times

How do we avoid discouragement or depression when events in our world, nation, or lives place us under intense stress?

We are two and a half years into a global pandemic. A nation has been unjustifiably attacked, and other countries including our own are under threat of war. Many have lost faith in the integrity of our government, institutions, and public schools. The United States is experiencing the negative outcomes of self-inflicted policies. Anxiety intensifies when people struggle financially and items they need are inaccessible.

Many people are dealing with personal or family health issues and others are enduring grief. Violence in our cities seems out of control. Fentanyl from China trafficked through Mexico has poisoned tens of thousands of Americans. Drugs continue to damage and kill our population. Family relationships are fractured.

We live in a broken and hurting world. How do we manage when we feel helpless to change the circumstances?   

Jesus told us “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Mankind has had to deal with illness, loss, failure, injustice, persecution, violence, and deprivation since the beginning of time—as a result of sin. “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God …” Romans 3:23

We are all flawed. Doing good things, being nice, going to church, or being raised in a Christian family won’t save us. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves, only Jesus can. God will forgive us if we confess and repent for our sins with genuine sorrow and Jesus will save us—

God will forgive us if we confess and repent for our sins with genuine sorrow and Jesus will save us—“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

“… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Romans 10:9-10

We can trust that God is Sovereign, and nothing takes Him by surprise

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

When we become a believer, the Holy Spirit indwells us, He guides us, comforts us, convicts us, aids us in discernment and prayer, and enlightens and empowers God’s call in our lives.

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26”

“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. John 16:13”

We will always have temptations and trials but because we have the Holy Spirit we never face our difficulties alone. We can experience the peace of God.

The peace of God is more than harmony between  people and groups and the absence of conflict.

With the peace of God, we are “able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:18-19

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7In experiencing God’s peace our trust in Him grows.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs 3:5

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6-7

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”   Matthew 6:26-27

“casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10



How are you dealing with the stresses that life brings?