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Summer 1902

Peyton Quinn is tasked with preparing the grand Calumet Castle ballroom for a spectacular two-hundred-guest summer gala. As she works in a male-dominated position of upholsterer and fights for women’s equality, she’s persecuted for her unorthodox ways. But when her pyrotechnics-engineer father is seriously hurt, she takes over the plans for the fireworks display despite being socially ostracized.

Patrick Taylor, Calumet’s carpenter and Peyton’s childhood chum, hopes to win her heart, but her unconventional undertakings cause a rift. Peyton has to ignore the prejudices and persevere or she could lose her job, forfeit Patrick’s love and respect, and forever become the talk of local gossips.

Welcome, Susan G. Mathis

  • Tell us three things we’d find if we looked under your heroine’s bed? How about the hero’s?

Under Peyton’s bed you’d find a basket of upholstery tools including chalk, upholstery needles, a rubber mallet, scissors and needle guard. You’d also find several pamphlets on women’s suffrage wrapped in scrap material.

Under Patrick’s bed you’d find copies of the Watertown Daily Times and the On the St. Lawrence.

  • What is the theme of this book? If it’s part of a series, how does this book fit into the series?

All eight of my Thousand Islands’ stories have hope as the central theme. Hope for a better future. Hope for love. Hope for healing. Peyton’s Promise also focuses on healing broken hearts, forgiving an abusive father and forgiving those who persecute you. Check them all out at

  • Why do you write this genre? What inspired this story? Do you write any other genres?

In the 1980s I had the privilege of staying on Calumet Island when it was a bed and breakfast. My time there was so inspiring that I knew I had to write a story about it one day. Then, last summer, the caretaker graciously brought me over to the island for an afternoon of touring it, hearing stories, and recapturing the essence of the island.

I’m hooked on the wonderful world of historical fiction, and especially the Thousand Islands Gilded Age history. It’s gives me so much “scope for the imagination” as Anne Shirley would say. I am also blessed to have accomplished such diverse published works, but it’s tough to promote books to three different audiences—the nonfiction premarital audience, the picture book audience, and now the historical fiction reader audience. So what have I learned? I love historical fiction and am going to stick with that! Smiles.

  • Any tips to share with fellow authors/aspiring authors? What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard.

Never, ever stop learning and growing in your craft. There are tons of books, YouTube videos, writers groups, etc., to learn from. Connect with other authors and keep up with the industry. It changes all the time.

Available on Amazon Barnes & Noble and Lighthouse Publishing

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