An Interview With Susan G. Mathis About Mary’s Moment

by | Mar 20, 2023 | Book Review | 22 comments

I want to introduce Susan G Mathis, an international award-winning author, and her tenth Thousand Island Gilded Age novel, Mary’s Moment. Have fun learning about Susan and her new book which is set in the beautiful Thousand Islands in Upstate NY.

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?

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.

Tell us about Thousand Islands Park on Wellesley Island.

The Rev. John Ferdinand Dayan founded The Thousand Island Park Camp Meeting Association in 1875 as a Methodist summer camp with regular meetings, sermons, and public services. They leased spots for tents or cottages and provided most of the conveniences of city living but without its vices. TI Park was called, “The Chautauqua of the North.” By 1894, 500 to 600 cottages plus hotels created a full summer community that included a library, yacht club, golf course, roque courts, annual tennis tournaments, daily concerts, an art school, its own printer, a needlecraft shop, fishing guides and boats, a book shop, a photographer…and Sunday services. In 1912, three major fires nearly destroyed the Park, but the community quickly rebuilt. Today, it’s still a lovely summer community full of gingerbread Victorians and friendly people.

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.


Mathis’s attention to detail and rich history is classic Mathis, and no one does it better. —Margaret Brownley, N.Y. Times bestselling author

Summer 1912

Thousand Island Park’s switchboard operator ​Mary Flynn’s quick action saves dozens of homes from a terrible fire. Less than a month later, 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.

I welcome your comments here.


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 more than twenty-five publications including 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. She enjoys traveling around the world but returns each summer to enjoy the Thousand Islands. Visit for more.

Social media links: Social media links: Website |Author Central |  Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog | Goodreads l InstagramBook Bub

Meet Susan G. Mathis and her new book, Mary's Moment, which is set in the beautiful Thousand Islands in Upstate NY. @SusanGMathis #newBook Share on X

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  1. Lux

    Hmm…I love reading stories that give me hope. I’ll have to check this out. Thanks for sharing this interview. I feel like I want to visit where Mary lived. 🙂

    • Susan G Mathis

      Hope you love it, Lux. All ten of my stories are messages of hope. Smiles, Susan

  2. Linda Stoll

    oh this looks to be a really compelling read, Debbie and Susan. thank you for this conversation!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Linda.

  3. Nancy E. Head

    Sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing, Debbie. God bless!

    • Debbie Wilson

      It does sound good. I enjoy books where I’m introduced to new places. Thanks, Nancy.

  4. Barbara Latta

    This sounds like a fascinating book. I love to learn about history and when I can unearth tidbits through fiction that’s even better. Thanks for sharing this interview.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Barbara. Thanks for reading.

  5. Jimmie Kepler

    I’m a total history buff, and this sounds like a fascinating read. I always love learning about history through fiction, and this book seems to have some juicy tidbits to uncover. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to add it to my reading list! #Christianhistoricalromance #learningthroughreading #bookworm

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks, Jimmie. Fiction is a fun way to learn history.

  6. Ann Musico

    That sounds amazing!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Peaked my interest. Thanks, Ann.

  7. Donna Reidland

    This sounds like a lovely read. Having a historical context is always a plus for me.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Donna. Thanks so much for dropping by!

  8. Annie Yorty

    I love historical fiction. Thanks for sharing about this book, Debbie!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thanks for reading, Annie.

  9. Yvonne Morgan

    With summer approaching, I plan to add this to my reading list. Thanks for sharing about the book and Susan.

  10. Debbie Wilson

    Yvonne, I too enjoy reading this type of book in the summer. I’m glad you enjoyed learning about it.

  11. Jeanne Takenaka

    How fun to see two people I enjoy intersect right here! Debbie, thank. you for interviewing Susan about her book. This story sounds wonderful! My grandfather built a cottage in the Thousand Islands that I visited a few times in my growing up years. Such a beautiful place! Now, I want to go back and see how it is today!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Wow, Jeanne. Now I want to visit too!

  12. Katherine Pasour

    I enjoyed learning about Thousand Island Park–such an interesting history–and about Susan G. Mathis. I need to check out her books. Thank you for sharing, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      I enjoyed learning about it too, Katherine. Thanks so much for reading.

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