The Memory Keeper





The Memory Keeper is the story of Tomás Romero, a native of the Acjachemen band, whom the Spanish renamed Juaneño. Born in 1820 in San Juan Capistrano, Tomás attends the mission school where, in addition to the catechism, he learns to read, write, and cipher—uncommon for the Indians in San Juan at the time. Because Tomás assists the padres, he becomes aware of the world outside the small religious community. 

During his lifetime, he experiences the rule of Spain, Mexico, and finally, the United States. He survives drought, floods, plagues, the secularization of the mission property, and its return to the church. He also marries, raises two children, makes many friends, and provides assistance to the priests. He becomes co-owner of a mercantile. Although his story is rich with local history, it is, in the end, an engaging family saga with characters who come alive on the pages. 



by Brian Ford:

The Memory Keeper is an engrossing saga that follows the life of Tomás Romero, a Juaneño Indian and his family in California during the eighteen hundreds. This well-researched novel describes a multi-cultural environment that included Spanish clergy, Mexican colonizers, American, Irish and German settlers and the Juaneño and Luiseño and other Native American groups who were among the original inhabitants of Southern California. The Memory Keeper would be an invaluable addition to any middle or high school history curriculum. As a former middle school teacher and principal I see The Memory Keeper as a welcome accompaniment to other such novels that maintain needed records of California’s past and feature Native Americans as their central characters such as Ramona and The Island of the Blue Dolphins.
by Scarlett:
I really, REALLY loved reading this story. Being from California I am no stranger to the area. I remember the orange groves that seemed to go on and on forever and the thrill of riding the train from LA to San Diego many years ago. I love to read about places I have been and I enjoyed learning the early history of San Juan Capistrano and the Mission where I have visited and attended Mass. Mostly I loved how the family of characters made this period of history come to life in words that touched my heart and compelled me to read on and on wishing the story would not end.
by Sharon Geyer:
The story follows the life of Tomas Romero, born in San Juan Capistrano in1820. His mother follows the traditions of the native Americans while his father is a convert at the mission. This is a warm family history of both this particular family and the history of California. I learned here, for the first time, that President Lincoln signed a decree in 1865 that restored the mission to the Franciscan Fathers. The local people, like Tomas’s family, lived through the colorful and violent days of Mexican, Spanish and American domination. Altogether, it was a most pleasant read as well as being educational.


About the Author:

Lorna Lund and Larry Collins  have been married for nearly fifty years. They both worked in Osaka on the Universal Studios Japan theme park. Larry was a Project Engineer, responsible for the Jurassic Park, JAWS, and WaterWorld attractions. Lorna was the Document Control Supervisor in the Osaka field office. Their memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and named as one of Rebeccas Reads Best Nonfiction books of 2005.

Their cozy mysteries are Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, finalist for the 2012 EPIc eBook Award. They plan several more in this series.

Lorna has also co-written a series of romance anthologies, set in the mythical town of Aspen Grove, Colorado. Snowflake Secrets, a finalist for the Dream Realm and Eric Hoffner awards, Seasons of Love, Directions of Love, winner of the 2011 EPIC eBook Award for best romance anthology, An Aspen Grove Christmas , and The Art of Love.

Lorna’s fantasy/mystery/romance called Ghost Writer was published in June 2012 by Oak Tree Press. Larry’s collection of short stories entitled Lakeview Park was published in December 2011.

The Memory Keeper, their historical novel is now available on Amazon as are all their books. Click here to download!

Larry K. & Lorna Collins
Read about our books: 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, Murder… They Wrote, Murder in Paradise, Lakeview Park, The McGregor Chronicles, Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, The Art of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, award-winning Directions of Love, Ghost Writer, and The Memory Keeper at

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