GoodReads asked Marie Gage:
How do you get inspired to write?
Marie Gage My inspiration for my writing lies in real people. For example: My novel “A Ring of Promises” was born of my fascination with the immigration and love story of my paternal grandparents. I had heard intriguing bits as a child,, such as “Your grandfather was a footman at Buckingham Palace”, “Your grandfather missed the Titanic” and “Your grandfather stole a canoe and paddled through the wilderness on a fur trading route”.
I was intrigued and started ancestral research coupled with examination of family-held artifacts. I became obsessed and spent 10 years unravelling what I believed to be a story that had to be told; It was not always easy to get settled in what Europeans were told was the Promised Land. It took perseverance and tenacity. I wanted my readers to gain a better understanding of what our ancestors had gone through to pave the way for the lives we now live.
The ancestral research led me into historical research of all the regions that the story touches: Highlands of Scotland, London England, New Brunswick, Northern Passage, Hudson Bay, Hayes River System, Winnipeg / Sterling Manitoba. It also led me on fact-finding missions about events occurring at that time including the sinking of the Titanic and the building of the Hudson Bay Railway Terminus.
The characters of Will and Janet are modelled on what I know of the personalities of the real people who walked the path of the characters in the book. I believe my personal attachment to these people helped to develop intriguing and well-developed characters.
The real Will Parker was a musician and poet who transitioned from footman to logger in an effort to find a home where he could settle with his one true love. I had possession of the poetry he wrote during the 4 year period covered in this Saga of Settlement. His words shaped the character, as well as his relationship with his true love. I was amazed how the poetry fit seamlessly into the story that had unfolded from my research. I’d love to hear what my readers think!
Yes, Janet really did become ill while waiting for Will to be able to send for her. While she did not work at the estate chosen for the setting of this novel in the Highlands of Scotland, she did work in service somewhere in Scotland and came from the region where the chosen estate exists. I was able to tour the estate with an historian of the region and felt an attachment to it. That makes it easy to write about.
GoodReads asked Marie Gage:
Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
Marie Gage A Ring of Promises came from genealogical research into my paternal family history. As I child I had heard things like “your grandfather missed the Titanic”, “your grandfather stole a canoe and had a great adventure”, and “your grandmother sailed to Canada after the sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War”. I wanted to know what really happened and started digging. I not only found an interesting family story but a piece of almost forgotten Canadian History was woven into it. The history was related to what is currently a ghost town on the shores of Hudson Bay, Port Nelson and the mistreatment of the men who were lured to the site to provide the much needed labour. I became driven to commit the story to paper but there was insufficient detail to write a memoir … so, I used some imagination to create a work of historical fiction that is firmly ensconced in the realities of the time.
Author Website: https://mariegage.ca/
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Janet has a promise ring, and Will is her one true love. Both of them work hard, have plans for a beautiful future, and look forward to the day they are reunited. But Will has a dream. He will do anything to be among the first to board the famed Titanic. When news of the tragic event reaches Janet, she has no reason to believe Will is among the victims–or does she?
A Ring of Promises, by Marie Gage, is a love story like no other. Based on actual historical events, Gage’s story is gripping and encompasses all the horror loved ones must have felt following the sinking of the Titantic. The author manages to portray every emotion while drawing readers into every harrowing second of the characters’ experiences. Janet and Will, both living their separate horrors, are relatable and fascinating. Gage does a wonderful job of capturing the various dialects in her writing along with the tone of both their love and fear.
I have always found the story of the Titanic riveting. Gage’s account of that fateful night told through the relationship between Janet and Will, is no less gripping. There is an intense amount of pain and heartbreak surrounding the tragedy, and Gage’s work captures every aspect of it. Janet and Will have my heart. Their hearts are pure, and their love makes this story truly enchanting.
A Ring of Promises is a romance novel that transcends genres and offers readers much more depth and emotion than your typical love story. Time and distance play an integral role in Gage’s work. The author keeps romance alive with Janet and Will. Not many books maintain the integrity of the characters’ love and dedication like this one. Being able to weave this throughout the story of a tragic historical event like the sinking of the Titanic is a true accomplishment.
I highly recommend A Ring of Promise to any fan of historical romances that are steeped in emotion and focused on true love conquering all. Gage’s work is genuine and serves as an example of what tenderness and courage can accomplish together. A Ring of Promises certainly surpasses my expectations of a historical fiction romance.
Pages: 449 | ASIN: B089DN4GFQ
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A Ring of Promises by Marie Gage is a romantic adventure set between 1912 and 1916. Will and Janet are to be married and Will sets off for Canada to find a place where they can be together. Before he leaves, he gives her a promise ring. Janet remains behind in Scotland, but while she waits to hear from Will with the news that she can set off to join him, she faces her own personal battle. She swears her sister, Mary-Ann, to secrecy. When Janet loses her battle, the author takes us on a journey to find out what will happen to Mary-Ann and Will.
A Ring of Promises is set principally in Canada and Scotland. I loved the Scottish setting, possibly as being Scottish, I was familiar with many of the locations. I didn’t dislike the Canadian setting, but having some familiarity with the Scottish setting meant I favored that over the Canadian setting. The use of Scottish dialect was also done very well–it gave a real sense of authenticity to the setting and to the Scottish characters, although those not familiar with the Scottish dialect might find those parts a little more difficult. The book centers principally around Will, Janet and Mary-Ann. Although she was only in the first few chapters, Janet’s presence was felt throughout the book without feeling contrived. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about Janet’s suggestion about Will and Mary-Ann, but I suspect that reflects present-day values where it’s ‘easy’ to find love thanks to the proliferation of dating apps and the ease of communication. As Mary-Ann developed her relationship, I wanted to feel for Will, but of all the characters, he was the one I felt least connected with. That wasn’t any fault of the author as she has created believable characters, but I just couldn’t connect with him.
The ending was just right and had the author chosen any other ending, I do not think it would have worked. The author’s note about the fact and fiction element of the book was interesting, and I think knowing the background to the book increased my enjoyment. This book is well researched and worth a read for those interested in historical romantic fiction. A Ring of Promises is a thrilling emotional journey that many readers will enjoy.
Pages: 449 | ASIN: B089DN4GFQ
Tags: a ring of promises, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, love story, marie gage, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, romance, story, writer, writing
Will and Janet know their hearts but distance and duty keep them apart. Will leaves everything behind, including Janet, determined to find a place they can finally be together. Meanwhile in Scotland she fights her own secret battle, determined not to let it ruin his dream. Will they ever see each other again?
Will is a lowly footman to an Earl in England, Janet a nanny to a Lord and Lady in Scotland. They fall deeply in love when they meet on a beach in France during their respective employers vacations to the continent. Correspondence is their only connection except on the rare occasions their employers travel plans align. They form what they believe to be a simple plan. Will is to relocate across the Atlantic and send for Janet when he is settled.
What turns out to be a not-so-simple journey takes Will from the forests of New Brunswick, through the Northern Passage to the icefields of Hudson Bay, with no means of escaping back to civilization. Will’s fortitude and moral fibre are tested along the way. He is a man determined to do whatever it takes to be reunited with the woman he loves.
Meanwhile in the Highlands of Scotland, Janet faces a personal battle with the love and support of her sister Mary Ann. Adamant that her troubles not ruin Will’s dream of a life in Canada Mary Ann is sworn to secrecy.
Inspired by a true story, this romantic adventure set in 1912 takes you on a journey through England, Scotland and Canada. This Historical Fiction Saga is described as “unputdownable” by Digital Arts and Entertainment Reporter,, Margaret Chrystall of Highland News and Media, Scotland.
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