So nice to meet you, Rachel. Please tell us something about yourself.
I’m Rachel Kelly. I serve the most elite patrons at the famed New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island during the summer of 1904. I’ve wondered about my old beau, Mitch, for nearly two years, ever since he toyed with my affections while on Calumet Island, then left for the high seas and taken my heart with him. Now he’s back, opening the wound I thought was healed.
When Mitch O’Keefe returns to claim me as his bride, he 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 me. But his attempts to win me back are thwarted, especially when a wealthy patron seeks my attention. Who will I choose?
You now work at a famous hotel on an island? Tell us more.
The New Frontenac Hotel graces Round Island on the St. Lawrence River. It was one of the grandest hotel resorts in the area. New York City tycoon Charles G. Emery built it, and now I get to stay and work in the hotel’s Annex, where the most elite guests enjoy elegant suites. It’s simply magical.
How did you get such a prized position?
I worked in Mr. Emery’s Calumet Castle for two years, and I was thrilled when Mrs. Emery suggested I take this new position.
When you started working at the New Frontenac Hotel, you reconnected with your old flame, Mitch. How’d did that go?
I couldn’t believe my eyes when Mitch appeared on the dock. Two years earlier, he had hurt me terribly, so we had lots of ups and downs before I finally chose to forgive him and embrace his friendship—and finally his love.
You also got involved with a famous photographer. What was that like?
Goodness! Having my picture taken by a famous photographer was simply thrilling, and he even gave me a photograph for my mother. On the other hand, it wasn’t all it cracked up to be, for the man turned into a rogue.
Tell us a little about the Thousand Islands where you live.
I grew up in Clayton, NY, in the heart of the Thousand Islands. The 1,864 islands are shared almost equally between New York state and Ontario, Canada. It’s where Lake Ontario narrows and becomes the St. Lawrence River, and the islands are known as The Thousand Islands. Here the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River intersect to become the world’s largest inland navigation system. Huge freighters pass by tiny islands along the main channel and share the waterway with all kinds of boats including kayaks and canoes!
After George M. Pullman invited President Ulysses S. Grant to visit his small island during the 1872 reelection campaign, the Thousand Islands became a national event. The press touted the Thousand Islands as THE place to summer for the rich and famous and common man alike. In so doing—and thanks to excited journalists—he launched The Thousand Islands season of the rich and famous buying islands and lots along the mainland and building castles, mansions, and magnificent summer homes. The New Frontenac Hotel on Round Island, where I work, is one of them.
Thank you for taking time to visit with us, Rachel.
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.