First Line Fridays (7/21/17) Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

Happy Friday! July is speeding by and before we know it August will be here. I hope that you are finding time to enjoy your summer.

This week I’m featuring a book I read a few months ago ‘Love’s Unfading Light’ by Naomi Rawlings. You can read my review here. The digital book is currently free for download on Amazon! I have really enjoyed reading the Eagle Harbor series. Now is a great time to get started reading this delightful story!

LUL

Eagle Harbor, Michigan
June 1880

“I said no.” Tressa Danell scowled at Finley McGabe, who’s rancid breath wheezed across the bakery counter that stood between them.

 

Now it’s your turn!

Grab the book nearest to you and leave a comment with the first line & then head over to see what First Lines these friends are sharing today:

 Fiction Aficionado // Reading is my SuperPower // Bibliophile Reviews //
Bookworm Mamma // Robin’s Nest // All the Book Blog Names are Taken //
Faithfully Bookish // Radiant Light // Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen //
With A Joyful Noise // Kathleen Denly // Romances of the Cross // Jane Reads //
Singing Librarian // Moments Dipped In Ink // A Baker’s Perspective //
Lauraine’s Notes //Moments Dipped In Ink // Molly’s Cafinated Reads

If you would like to host First Line Fridays on your blog, contact
Carrie at Reading is my SuperPower.

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Love’s Sure Dawn (Eagle Harbor #3) by: Naomi Rawlings

The bestselling Eagle Harbor Series continues with Book 3, Love’s Sure Dawn.

Synopsis:

No matter how hard she tries to help, Rebekah Cummings always ends up causing more problems than she solves. This time, though, things will be different. She’ll find a way to pay her family’s debts, even if doing so requires leaving Eagle Harbor. Maybe then they’ll start treating her as a capable woman who makes her own choices.

Gilbert Sinclair is going to marry an heiress. With his latest business venture sunk at the bottom of Lake Superior, he needs money to replace the steamship he lost, so he heads to Chicago where his father’s business connections should land him a suitable wife. Like most things in his meticulously planned life, everything goes as expected—until he discovers Rebekah Cummings working as the new cook on his ship.

Rebekah well remembers the pain she endured the last time she tried trusting Gilbert, and Gilbert can’t afford to pursue the love of a working class woman. But they can’t stop the forgotten feelings swirling between them—or ignore the sacrifices they’d both have to make for a future together.

My Review:

I really enjoyed reading Rebekah’s story. Growing up with brother’s she is somewhat the tomboy. She has a big heart for others and feels a strong need to pull her own weight and do her part. Her inability to be patient and wait for God’s leading took her down a path that brought her heartache, but also growth.

Like most who have read the previous two books, I struggled at first to like Gilbert. However, as I got to know the real person he is, not the persona he allows most other to see, I changed my opinion of him. He is possibly the most misunderstood character from the first two books. Gilbert had long ago learned to withhold himself from others, and he had to do some personal soul searching to uncover for himself who he was in Christ. I enjoyed getting to know who Gilbert really is in this book. I found him to be kind, compassionate, and willing to give of himself.

I appreciate reading Naomi’s books and I look forward to reading more from the Eagle Harbor series!

(I received a complimentary digital copy of this book for review from author/publisher. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

Favorite Quote:

“The man was cold enough to freeze love and snap it like an icicle in winter”

About the Author:

Naomi-Rawlings Naomi Rawlings is the author of seven historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.  You can connect with Naomi at these locations:

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

 

If you haven’t yet visited Eagle Harbor thru Naomi’s books, you can pick them up at amazon or your local book vendor.

 Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

  Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

 Love’s Sure Dawn (Eagle Harbor #3)

   Love’s Eternal Breath (Eagle Harbor #4)

    Love’s Winter Hope (Eagle Harbor #5)

   Eagle Harbor – 5 book series 

Character Spotlight & Giveaway with Naomi Rawlings “Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

Join me in giving a warm welcome to Naomi Rawlings.

Naomi-Rawlings-Author-1024x857Naomi Rawlings is the author of seven historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.  You can connect with Naomi at these locations:

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

I am thrilled to have Naomi vising with us today and sharing about two special characters from Love’s Every Whisper, book 2 in the Eagle Harbor series! Just to give you a little background in case you’ve not read this delightful story (see my review here)

LEWVictoria Donnelly wants to do something right at least once in her lifetime. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, she’s finally found a way to redeem herself in the eyes of her family. But her plan requires her to return to her home town of Eagle Harbor, where forgotten feelings for a man she can never have lie buried.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen’s sons don’t marry shipping barons’ daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks… until he learns she’s about to make an irreversible decision, one she’ll spend the rest of her life regretting.

He knows how to save drowning sailors—but how is he to save the woman he loves from the biggest mistake of her life… without destroying both their hearts in the process?

Trisha: Hi Naomi, I’m thrilled that you are visiting today to share with us insight on the two main characters from your book “Love’s Every Whisper”, and a little bit about the inspiration behind the story.  Victoria & Elijah’s story is such a fun story to read, I’m looking forward to getting to know them even better.

Naomi:  Thanks for having me today, I’m happy to share with you more about Victoria and Elijah, and about Love’s Every Whisper.

Victoria Donnelly: With a stutter that drives potential suitors away after two minutes of conversation and five years of failed courtships, Victoria can’t find a positive thing to say about herself. She’s too tall compared to her petite mother and sister, her hair is too dark, she has a jaw that’s a square as a bucket, and her nose sticks out like a ship’s rudder. There is nothing dainty or feminine about her.

Olivia WildeFor my inspiration for Victoria, I chose Olivia Wilde. 

No matter how hard she tries to be a lady and make her parents proud, she fails every single time. And if Elijah tells her that she shouldn’t allow herself to be pushed around? To be prodded into a marriage that resembles a business partnership rather than a husband and wife relationship? Well, she’s not sure her own desires matter that much. It seems the best thing to do with her future is use it to please her parents. But what if her parents ask too much of her? What if all the henpecking she endures teaches her to set her stutter aside and finally stand up for herself?

Elijah Cummings: With eyes the color of a stormy sea, maybe it’s fitting that Elijah has started a volunteer life-saving team to rescue people on wrecked ships. He learned to sail and fish at his father’s side, and now that he’s taken over the family fishing business, he uses his large size, strength, and frontier upbringing to fight storms when he goes out on rescues.

chris-hemsworth-7-768For my inspiration for Elijah, I chose  Chris Hemsworth

Elijah wants to establish an official life-saving station for Eagle Harbor rather than a volunteer service like he runs now, and he’s not going to let anyone stop him. Surely his determination is a strength, right? He’s risking his life so that others can live. But could his determination become a weakness for him, especially if it makes him too proud to listen to others?

My inspiration for the character of Elijah was Joshua James. James is known as the Father of the United States Life-Saving Service. James witnessed the deaths of his mother and baby sister when he was ten and helped with his first ship-wreck rescue at the age of fifteen. He went on to save over 200 lives. I took several elements of James’s life and work in Massachusetts and used them for Elijah and his work on Lake Superior.

EagleHarbor_LSS_C A rescue boat from Eagle Harbor, MI circa, 1913

Inspiration for the Story 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My inspiration for Love’s Every Whisper comes from living in a town on Lake Superior and witnessing how sudden and violent the storms here can be. I felt compelled to tell a story about the struggles of settlers on Lake Superior and how they dealt with the extreme weather as well as isolated conditions. When I visited a maritime museum and Marquette, Michigan and read about several life-saving rescues, I knew I had to tell a story of my own.

 

Interesting Historical Fact

Fresnel Lensv2 2010

During my research for the Eagle Harbor Series, I’ve visited several lighthouses on Lake Superior, including the one in the real-life town of Eagle Harbor Michigan. I always love looking at the Fresnel lenses on display. It’s amazing that something so small can send such a powerful beam of light over the water. Most of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes are either fourth or fifth order lenses, which seem really powerful. Some ocean ports used first order Fresnel lenses. I’ve never had the opportunity to see that type of lens, but I can only imagine how strong that beam of light would have been.

 

 

Thank you Naomi for visiting today and sharing with us about the characters Victoria & Elijah. As well as the inspiration and history behind the location of Love’s Every Whisper. It’s been fun vising Eagle Harbor, MI through your eyes!

If you haven’t yet visited Eagle Harbor thru Naomi’s books, you can pick them up at amazon or your local book vendor.

 Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

  Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

 Love’s Sure Dawn (Eagle Harbor #3)

   Love’s Eternal Breath (Eagle Harbor #4)

    Love’s Winter Hope (Eagle Harbor #5)

   Eagle Harbor – 5 book series 

 

Giveaway

Naomi is graciously offering to giveaway one (1) copy of:
Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)
winner’s choice print (USA only) or digital

To Enter:

1.)  Leave a comment below, answering the following question(s):
“Have you ever visited any of the great lakes?  If so, did you have a favorite?  If you have not, do you have one you would like to visit?”

2.)  CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter form and follow the directions within.

NOTE: You may earn one entry per day during the giveaway period by Tweeting about the giveaway using the rafflecopter link above.

The giveaway will be open for one week. The winner of the book will be contacted via email, as well as announced on this page at the conclusion of the giveaway. Please see the Disclosures and Policies page for additional rules. 

 

 *****  The Giveaway is Closed *****

The winner of one copy of “Love’s Every Whisper” is:
Heidi R.

 

Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2) Naomi Rawlings

Synopsis:

Victoria Donnelly wants to do something right at least once in her lifetime. With five years of failed courtships behind her and the calendar inching closer to another birthday, she’s finally found a way to redeem herself in the eyes of her family. But her plan requires her to return to her home town of Eagle Harbor, where forgotten feelings for a man she can never have lie buried.

Elijah Cummings has loved Victoria for fifteen years. But fishermen’s sons don’t marry shipping barons’ daughters. He knows it. She knows it. The entire town knows it. Resolved to keep his distance from Victoria, Elijah focuses on establishing a much needed life-saving station, risking his own life by rescuing sailors stuck aboard shipwrecks… until he learns she’s about to make an irreversible decision, one she’ll spend the rest of her life regretting.

He knows how to save drowning sailors—but how is he to save the woman he loves from the biggest mistake of her life… without destroying both their hearts in the process?

 

My Review:

I couldn’t put this book down. From the first chapter to the last, I was enveloped in the story of Victoria and Elijah. This is the second book in the Eagle Harbor series and could easily be read without reading the first book Love’s Unfading Light, as each book focuses on a different member of the Eagle Harbor community.

I liked Elijah in the first book and was thrilled to get to read his story.  Even though he experienced a great loss when his father’s boat was capsized during a storm on the lake, Elijah refuses to withdraw from life and instead fights to save others from drowning when storms come up. This decision of his to risk his life to save others comes at a cost with his relationship with his younger brother.

I found myself cheering for Victoria from the first, she is such a kind-hearted character. I could really feel her struggle with her self-image and more than once found myself talking to the characters as if they could hear me.

I simply loved Elijah and Victoria’s story! It has everything you are looking for in a fantastic story; dynamic, realistic characters, that grow during the story, and an active and engaging story with a well-developed plot. I look forward to reading the other books in this series and spending more time exploring Eagle Harbor.

Sometimes after I finish a story I do a little research myself, just to learn more. I found the real-life Eagle Harbor lighthouse. It was interesting to see the photos and learn more about Eagle Harbor. In looking at some photo’s from Eagle Harbor, Michigan I stumbled upon the below photo of a rescue boat, that could be similar to what Elijah build and used for his rescues.

EagleHarbor_LSS_C

(I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

 

Favorite Quote:

“She might stammer over a few of her words, but Moses had stammered too.”

 

About the Author:

Naomi-RawlingsNaomi Rawlings is the author of historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

 Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

  Love’s Every Whisper (Eagle Harbor #2)

Bonus:

Love’s BeginningVisit Naomi’s web page to read an excerpt of Love’s Beginning. Read about the day Elijah first falls in love with Victoria in the Eagle Harbor short story, Love’s Beginning.

As a ten-year-old boy, Elijah sees Gilbert Sinclair bully the other school children day in and day out. As far as Elijah figures, it’s going to be a long school year if somebody doesn’t show the rich kid a thing or two, so it might as well be him. If only his sister wasn’t around to mess up his plans.

And why does he care so much what Victoria, the pretty girl with a house fancier than Gilbert’s, thinks of their fight?

Love’s Beginning is a 21 page short story. It can be read as a standalone or as an extension of Love’s Every Whisper, which is Elijah and Victoria’s full length novel. (see my goodreads review)

 Love’s Beginning (Eagle Harbor – Novella #1.5)
 

I’d love to hear from you:

Have you ever finished reading a story and it inspired you to learn more about either the setting or the characters?  If so, what story/book inspired you to learn more?

Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1) by Naomi Rawlings

Eagle Harbor–Where Love Finds Its Anchor

Synopsis:

Lake Superior, 1880
Tressa Danell is finished with men—from the wastrel who left her a widow, to the smelly trapper who keeps proposing, to the banker who wants to repossess her bakery. Every hour is spent working to pay off her late husband’s debt and keep a roof over her son’s head, though it’s doubtful she can do both for very long. But one thing’s certain—she’ll never be beholden to a man again.

Tired of living in a small town that blames him for actions his father committed ten years ago, Mac Oakton is scheduled to leave Eagle Harbor. So why does the pretty widow at the bakery keep tugging at his heart? He can’t get involved in her predicament when he’ll only be around for two more weeks.

But when Tressa’s burdens overwhelm her, they both face a decision. Can Mac set his own plans aside to help? And can Tressa accept his support if that means giving up her independence … and being obligated to a man again?

My Review:

Tressa’s story is one of strength and fortitude in the face of heartache and loss. Naomi writes with a deep well of feeling and passion and you feel that in the characters of this story. I enjoyed the playful tender moments as well as the deeper more thought provoking ones.

For me, the deeper theme of Tressa’s story was her struggle not only with her own self-worth as her neighbors saw her but her need to understand who she was to God. This story brings a powerful reminder to us all that we were each bought with a price. One that we can never repay. We are all worthy, regardless of how the world sees us.

The secondary characters are likewise engaging and I am looking forward to reading more of the Eagle Harbor series and especially reading Victoria’s story!

(I purchased this book from amazon. The thoughts and opinions are my own)

Favorite Quote:

“God’s love burns hot and bright for you. It’s not like the lighthouse lamp, subject to man’s control and man’s errors. It doesn’t go empty and need to be filled. It’s constant, forever, like the sun. It burns all on it’s own, and nothing can stop it. It doesn’t matter how dark and cold the night is, because it always rises again in the morning.”

About the Author:

Naomi-RawlingsNaomi Rawlings is the author of historical Christian novels, including the Amazon bestselling Eagle Harbor Series. While she’d love to claim she spends her days huddled in front of her computer vigorously typing, in reality, she spends her time homeschooling, cleaning, picking up, and pretending like her house isn’t in a constant state of chaos. She lives with her husband and three children in Michigan’s rugged Upper Peninsula, along the southern shore of Lake Superior where they get 200 inches of snow every year, and where people still grow their own vegetables and cut down their own firewood–just like in the historical novels she writes.

Web Page // Goodreads // Facebook // Twitter

 Love’s Unfading Light (Eagle Harbor #1)

I’d love to hear from you:

Do you have a favorite desert you like to make (and or eat)?
Tressa owns the town bakery; and has a nice selection of yummy foods to offer. From fresh baked breads and muffins to cookies and Mac’s favorite, Strawberry pie.