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Traveling to the location where my book takes place is an important part of research. And it’s also the most enjoyable. After all who doesn’t love to be on vacation while learning wonderful tidbits of history? To write my latest historical romance, The Last Heiress, I visited Wilmington on four different occasions. Sometimes for a few days, sometimes for a week, but each time I took plenty of photographs. However time does not stand still, not even in nationally registered, historically protected sections of a city. The Wilmington of today still contains the flavor of the mid-nineteenth century, including many buildings intact. But my visit to the Cape Fear Historical Society at 814 Market Street showed me the neighborhood has changed during the last 150 years.cape fear 2

Janet Davidson, Museum Historian, was kind enough to furnish me with images taken during the 1850’s and 1860’s. I hope you’ll enjoy this walk down memory lane in a town whose beauty has withstood the ravages of time. This museum is a must-see during your visit to New Hanover County. I don’t think you’ll have much trouble telling my photographs from those sent to me by Janet. Enjoy, readers….Mary

 cape fear 1 cape fear 3 cape fear 4 cape fear 5

 

The Last HeiressI’m often asked where I get the settings for my stories. From real life is my usual answer. Today I’ll take you to visit the Latimer House on 126 S. 3rd St. in Wilmington, NC, home of GEmy fictional Jackson and Abigail Henthorne of The Last Heiress. Having a real life mansion as a model makes setting the stage easier and far more accurate. The gardens, both side and back, the entrance to the subterranean level, the slave quarters, the interior rooms, and the porches all feature into my story. Of course, I embellished or changed a few details, because that’s what fiction writers do. But if you visit to the real life Latimer House, now home to the Wilmington Historical Society, I think you’ll agree I got the grand opulence of the mansion right-on-the-money!GE

GEThe Latimer House, built in 1852 by local merchant Zebulon Latimer, is open to the public as an historic house exemplary of upper-class life in Wilmington during the Victorian period. With 14 furnished rooms the Latimer House lets you step back in time to a more elegant era. The house, built in the popular Italianate style, was designed with a central hallway on each floor with identical layouts on either side. The first floor contains the formal sitting and dining areas on the north side, used for entertaining and special occasions, and the less formal sitting rooms to the south.

GEIf you are looking for a charming place for your meeting, luncheon, or party, then GEsearch no further than the Latimer House! The Victorian inspired garden is perfect for your special photography session, while the tearoom can accommodate guests in a historic atmosphere. Available seven days a week, but reservations are required. Call 910-762-0492 for more information or e-mail us at info@latimerhouse.org.

Unfortunately, the house is not handicapped accessible. Next week, readers, we’ll be visiting downtown Wilmington, NC, where my handsome hero, Nathaniel Cooper had his delightful store. Stay tuned, and stay warm….. Mary

Happy President’s Day, readers,

Hopefully plenty of you will have the day off, either for the holiday or due to the frigid temps in the North and East. Without further ado, I have plenty of winners to announce:

Deadly Echoes final coverLori Barnard, you’re the lucky winner of Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl. I have contacted you separately for your mailing addresses. I just know you’ll love this book. Congratulations.

And here are the 10 winners of The Last Heiress from my newsletter contest. If you’re a newsletter subscriber, whether recently or from the past, you were entered. I have contacted all 10 email addresses but if they don’t respond within a few days, I will pick alternate names.

1) Jinny Baldridge              The Last Heiress

2) Vykki Bedell

3) Carol Bromley

4) Rebecca

5) LeAnn Abernathy

6) C.E. Hart

7) Kate & Edgar

8) L. Grier

9) “cat nippin”

10) Angela Chestnut

Congratulations. I truly hope you enjoy my book.  Please “like” my facebook page for more chances to win free books. Stay warm, readers.  ~ Mary  http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

Happy Tuesday, Readers….today Home Thoughts welcomes Nancy Mehl who has a new romantic suspense out that sounds wonderful! Tell us a little about Deadly Echoes:Deadly Echoes final cover

After a youth filled with tragedy and upheaval, Sarah Miller’s life is finally settled with all echoes of the past silent at last. She happily calls Sanctuary her home and spends her days teaching at the local school. Sarah’s joy at her recent reunion with her sister, Hannah, and meeting the niece she didn’t know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed. As she learns more about Hannah’s death, the circumstances are eerily similar to their parents’ murder. Sarah enlists Paul’s help in digging deeper into the murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul’s concern encourages Sarah’s growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one person will do anything to hide–even if that means coming after the last remaining members of the Miller family.

 Nancy - Promotional Picture - smallHere’s a little about the author: Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored twenty books and just finished a new series for Bethany House Publishing. The first book in her Finding Sanctuary series, “Gathering Shadows” was released in May of 2014. The second book, “Deadly Echoes” became available in February. The third book, “Rising Darkness will release late in 2015. All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.” Readers can learn more about Nancy through her Web site: www.nancymehl.com. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nancy-Mehl-Fan-Page/124075957622557

What are you working on now: I’ve finished writing the third book in my Finding Sanctuary series and am awaiting editing notes from my publisher. Rising Darkness will be released in late 2015. I particularly love this book because it brings back a special character from a previous series. Sophie Wittenbauer, a teenager in my Road to Kingdom series, was a troubled girl searching for her identity. After the series ended, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d left Sophie’s story untold. I approached my wonderful editors at Bethany House, and they allowed me to move her from Kingdom, Kansas, to Sanctuary, Missouri. I hope my readers will enjoy finding out what happened to Sophie. I’ve also been writing cozy mysteries for Guideposts and am beginning my third book for them. Along with some other incredible authors, I’m working on a delightful Amish cozy mystery series that I am certain readers will love.

Where can readers buy Deadly Echoes? http://www.amazon.com/Deadly-Echoes-Finding-Sanctuary-Nancy/dp/0764211587/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1422309503&sr=8-1&keywords=nancy+mehl+deadly+echoes&pebp=1422309503984&peasin=764211587

This sure sounds like my kind of book. Please leave Nancy a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Deadly Echoes. Drawing in one week. Stay warm, readers. ~ Mary

 

We have a winner!

Thanks to all my lovely readers who left a comment for my guest last week, Kimberly Rose Johnson.Kimberly

Kimberly bookLeila Mae, you are our lucky winner of A Match for Meghan. That will be sent out to you.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so. I will be drawing 10 names of newsletter subscribers on February 15th for a signed copy of The Last Heiress, my historical romance set in North Carolina. You can sign up for my newsletter in the right-hand sidebar at my website. http://www.maryellis.net The Last Heiress

Next week, I will be featuring another guest author with another drawing. Stay tuned…and stay warm. It’s only ten degrees in Ohio and we all know that’s not enough!

~ Mary

Today we welcome Kimberly Rose Johnson to Home Thoughts. Kimberly has a new book out called:  A Kimberly bookMatch for Meghan. Here’s the blurb from the back cover: Meghan Black has finally met her match. The veterinary assistant never backs down from a dare…and what greater challenge than finding die-hard bachelor Ben Young his ideal mate? But what’s an incurable cupid to do when the handsome vet turns the tables and asks her out?

Ben is perfectly content with his single life. And he figures there’s only one way to get the petite dynamo to quit her matchmaking—date her himself! But his plan backfires when he realizes that Meghan could be The One. Can he convince a woman who believes in happy endings for everyone but herself that he’s her Mr. Right?

KimberlyHere’s a little information about this author: Kimberly Rose Johnson holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, teenage son, and their yellow lab. She writes sweet Christian romance for Love Inspired Heartsong Presents and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys taking long walks with her husband and dog, reading, dark chocolate and time with friends. You may contact Kimberly via her website at http://kimberlyrjohnson.com/

Her next book, A Valentine for Kayla, will release March 1, 2015 and is available for pre-order now.

Kayla Russell doesn’t like Valentine’s DayWhat should be Kayla’s favorite holiday is just another reminder that she hasn’t met someone special. The beautiful florist—and hopeless romantic—has nearly given up on love, when the man of her dreams walks into her shop…to buy flowers for another woman!

Former music superstar Derek Wood poses as a local deliveryman while he cares for his ailing mother. Derek is drawn to Kayla’s genuine spirit and natural beauty, but he can’t hide his identity forever. The man Kayla’s falling for doesn’t really exist, but the feelings they share are real. Will Derek finally give Kayla a reason to love Valentine’s Day?

Here is the link for her books on Amazon. http://amzn.to/1oQ7iWV and her social media links:

https://www.facebook.com/KimberlyRoseJohnson

https://twitter.com/kimberlyrosejoh

Please leave a comment for Kimberly for a chance to win a print copy of A Match for Meghan. US residents only.

Drawing will be in one week. Thanks for dropping by to Home Thoughts. Stay warm, readers! ~ Mary

Happy Tuesday, readers. I do hope you’re keeping warm wherever you are. It’s all of 11 degrees here in Ohio, but at least it has stopped snowing.

The Last HeiressI’m thrilled to announce my new book is about to release, The Last Heiress, which I researched both in England and Wilmington, North Carolina. My 2008-05-22 07.41.18British pal, Carolyne Way, inspired my story during my last visit to the U.K. Carolyne told me about her great grandfather who owned a coal mine near Manchester. This mine supplied the lucrative garment industry along the western coastline. She also relayed the true story about a mine collapse which killed both miners and textile workers alike which figures into my story. My book is about twins who become estranged when one sister, Abigail, elopes with an Southern cotton broker from North Carolina. My heiress twin, Amanda, sets off for America to restore shipments to her textile mills curtailed by our Civil War.

When Amanda meets Nathaniel Cooper, a Wilmington shopkeeper, her desire to conduct business and return home changes. Amanda’s family deems the hardworking merchant harbor 2unsuitable for an accomplished heiress. And when Nate loyalties regarding the war begin to shift, Amanda has her own battle on her hands. As the Union noose around Southern ports tightens, Nate contemplates joining the Glorious Cause—not in support of slavery but to watch his brother’s back. Class distinctions, political loyalties, and family obligations guarantee a turbulent romance for Amanda and Nate.

The Last Heiress is available for pre-book from CBD and will ship the same day books arrive in their warehouse. It will be available in electronic formats on February 1st. Here’s the link for a hot-off-the-presses print copy at 25% off retail:

http://www.christianbook.com/the-last-heiress-mary-ellis/9780736950527/pd/950527?product_redirect=1&Ntt=950527&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

I hope you’ll look for The Last Heiress at your favorite library or bookstore. Happy reading! ~ Mary

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