A Promise Remembered: Love Story Unfolds

A+Promise+Remembered%3A+Love+Story+Unfolds

Jackie Jahfetson

NMU alum gets ready for the release of her first novel

Returning home may feel like a passage to bliss and forgiveness. But no matter how far or how long people stay away, time doesn’t sew up the wounds, nor does it erase the scars. In a place called Chi-Noodin Falls, William Kauffman returns back to his Michigan hometown and runs into many of the things he left behind, including his high school sweetheart, Annie Curtis. Years without a single explanation as to where he went and why he left, a story about love reunites old flames and offers two people a second chance at happiness.

This is “A Promise Remembered,” a romance novel by NMU alumnus Elizabeth Mowers.

The novel, which will be released on March 1, comes as the first book to be published by Mowers. The novel takes place in Chi-Noodin Falls and is a “wholesome love story,” Mowers said, noting, it’s about how two people, who’ve made mistakes, are granted another shot and fall in love in the process. Chi-Noodin refers to the Ojibwe meaning of “big winds,” and this story includes Native American culture and many things that relate to the city of Marquette while also tying in issues like city council and corruption, Mowers said.

“I always wanted to write a romance [novel] because they are uplifting. When I had to select a location as my romantic backdrop, I turned to the place where I first met and fell in love with my husband,” Mowers said.

Though Mowers had initially set out to describe the setting in her book exactly like Marquette, she ran into some challenges and knew she had to make some adjustments. For Mowers needed roads that didn’t exist in “real life” and needed to create places “integral” to the storyline, she said. But there are connections that correlate to the naturalistic setting of Marquette, she added.

“Anyone who has watched a steam liner pull away from the ore dock or dipped their fingers into the frigid waters of Lake Superior will know Marquette inspired much of this book,” Mowers said.

Writing for the heartwarming line of Harlequin Books, Mowers said she enjoys reading and writing about romance, family and community and this line of work is right up her alley. When setting out to write “A Promise Remembered,” Mowers wanted to incorporate a storyline of a kind of community that could help her hero and heroine overcome adversity and so, she tied in characteristics of her own friends who in her words, are like family.

“I wanted to write about a love that is sacrificial to its core: maternal love. I wanted to imagine what lengths a mother would go to in order to protect her child. I wanted my hero to feel a tension between what he wants and what others need from him. Sacrificing for another person, whether relative, friend or beloved, was a theme I wanted to explore,” Mowers explained, adding, “Once I had my basic concepts and plot in place, the ideas began to flow.”

After Mowers began writing “A Promise Remembered” in Jan. 2016, nine months down the road she finished it. Operating on a deadline was one of the “great things” the Master of Art’s in the English program at NMU that helped her writing style, she said. Pending graduation in 2007, deadlines were no longer a necessity but Mowers forced herself to sit down and continue putting words on a page every day. However, between raising two young children and being a stay-at-home mom, finding the time to write is sparse. Her first book attempt took four years, the second took three. And then she began setting deadlines for herself again, making them end on her birthday.

“What better way to celebrate a new age than by basking in the joy of a new accomplishment, right?” Mowers noted.

Finally receiving word from Harlequin that they wanted to publish it, Mowers said she’s more than excited to hold her own book in her hands and hopes for more to come. Though she’s faced rejection, Mowers recalled that she once heard a writer talk about his process and said the first book will always be horrible and you shouldn’t show it to anybody. You can give yourself a pat on the back for finishing it, but set it aside and write the next one. For that one will be your first book. Though that advice may not apply to every writer, it applied to her, she said.

When Mowers first moved here from Ohio to begin the master’s program, she said she was so nervous to write alongside other writers and doubted she was even cut out for it when no one had read her stories before, and she “cringed” at the thought. But her first workshop reassured her faith in her journey as an author.

“The first time my professors invited me to be a part of their private writing and critique group, I decided that maybe, just maybe, I had what it took to be an author. If they were willing to invest their time on my writing outside of the classroom, I knew I needed to keep working as if I was worthy of being there. I credit my experiences in the NMU Master’s Program as helping me become an author,” she added.

To preorder Mower’s novel, visit amazon.com. Mower’s upcoming work includes a series centered around a fictional lakeside town in Wisconsin and for more information on the release date, sign up for her newsletter at her website elizabethmowers.com or follow her on her Facebook page.