Spotlight on Alaska Books: North to the Star, by Richard Lannon

As Tildie washed the dishes, she heard and felt a loud
rumbling that a moment later caused the house to shake, the dishes in the
sideboard to rattle, and the water in the sink to sway from side to side. She
held onto the counter, realizing an earthquake was happening. Looking out the
window, she saw the trees swaying as if there was a great wind blowing and the
evenly-spaced power poles along the street doing a drunken dance.
suddenly as it began, all motion stopped. As
she glanced out the window to see if any damage had occurred, she unexpectedly
felt Jake’s reassuring hand on her shoulder and wondered when he’d gotten home.
Feeling his hand move to lightly brush her cheek, she turned to face him—and
saw nothing!
North to the Star by Richard Lannon)
They were ordinary
people doing ordinary things but having an extraordinary impact. This is the saga
of a family going from Ireland to Alaska during the years 1849 to 1945 as they settle
into new life, new land, and new problems. In the center of it all is Matilda
Annabelle O’Flaherty McLaughlin, though everyone called her Tildie. The Matilda
had come from her father, a robust Irishman who had discovered at any early age
the adventures hidden within the covers of books and had passed that legacy on
to his daughter. The McLaughlin came from Jake, who had a constantly impish
smile on his face and a good-natured way in which he dealt with life’s problems
and the six children they eventually had.
From the day she first
met him, Tildie knew he could be the only man for her, and she set about making
it become a reality, little realizing that his ship’s course was set in the
same direction. Their deep love would take the family to Alaska during its gold
mining days and into two world wars. The pathways of their two lives were
predetermined to intersect, and that happened one bright day in May, 1884.
From a reader review: “The descriptions of
the various settings are vivid. The character development keeps the reader
wanting more. The author also provides ‘words of wisdom’ that the reader picks
up as he ‘reads’ between the lines. The history of Alaska is weaved into the
plot as well as the description of the gorgeous lands.” – Annette
Richard lives in Alaska, where he’s now retired and a
member of 49 Writers. During his 47-year career he taught, worked for a
printing company, and managed a furniture store. He’s done a variety of writing
that includes professional articles and a stage script, but this is his first
novel. He also enjoys hiking, photography, singing, his friends, great movies,
and catching the occasional salmon.
But his greatest love is traveling the world. He’s
been to or lived in all but eight of the United States. He lived a year in
Japan and nearly eight years in Germany. He’s traveled the length and breadth
of Europe from Stonehenge to the Acropolis and from Copenhagen to Athens. He’s
seen Mt. Fuji, the Rocky Mountains, and the Alps. He’s sailed both of the great
oceans. Someday he hopes to cross the equator and visit South America or New

A self-published copy of his work (in both print and e-book
format) can be purchased here
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