Ahhh winter, so beautiful–from inside the house.

Happy Monday morning, readers,the beach in winter

Yesterday I drove to my local park–a place I frequent nine months out of the year to write my stories, hike around the lake, swim, people watch, feed the ducks and geese, or buy an ice cream cone. Yes, there’s plenty to do there in warm weather. Yesterday I never got out of my car. Take a look at our gorgeous beach. The dam at one end of the lake creates a beautiful waterful with swimming area below. Okay, it’s more like a smimming “hole” than a beach on the French Rivera, but it’s still nice. Not so much for this freeze-baby.

The only thing to do is go home and curl up with a good book…or go back to work on mine. For those of you who enjoy winter sports–I wish you plenty of fresh powder, hard frozen ice, and sharp toboggan blades. As for me, call me when temps rise above 40 degrees.

Before I forget, Elizabeth Dent–you’re our winner of Callie by Sharon Srock. Please contact me at maryeellis@yahoo.com so we can send that out to you.  And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter at http://www.maryellis.net

I will be giving away 10 copies of Love Comes to Paradise to newsletter subscribers on March 15th.

Happy reading, readers, and have a great week.

Welcome Sharon Srock to Home Thoughts – Win a free copy!

Good afteroon, readers. Please join me in welcoming author Sharon Srock to Home Thoughts. Sharon writes inspirational fiction, and I asked her to tell us about her latest release, Callie:  perf5.500x8.500.indd

Three dire circumstances. Three desperate prayers. One miracle to save them all. Callie Stillman is drawn to the evasive girl who’s befriended her granddaughter, but the last time Callie tried to help a child, her efforts backfired. Memories of the tiny coffin still haunt her. Samantha and Iris Evans should be worried about homework, not whether they can pool enough cash to survive another week of caring for an infant while evading the authorities. Steve Evans wants a second chance at fatherhood, but his children are missing.  And no one seems to want to help the former addict who deserted his family. For Steve to regain the relationship he abandoned, for his girls to receive the care they deserve, Callie must surrender her fear and rely on God to work the miracle they all need.

Tell us about yourself:  Sharon Srock lives with her husband, Larry, and two dogs in Rural Oklahoma. She is a mother, grandmother, and Sunday School teacher. Sharon has one and three-quarters jobs and writes in her spare time. Her favorite hobby is traveling with her grandchildren. She is a member of the ACFW and currently serves as treasurer for her local chapter. Sharon’s debut novel, The Women of Valley View: Callie released in October 2012. The second in the series, The Women of Valley View: Terri releases in April 2013. Sharon Srock

What are you working on now?  Book two of the Women of Valley View series, Terri will release on 12 April
2013. Book three, Pam is currently under review at the publisher. I am currently writing book four, Samantha.

Meet the Women of Valley View: FREE PDF http://bitly.com/SmQmUs
Find Sharon on line here: http://www.womenofvalleyview.blogspot.com/


Readers, would you like a chance to win a signed copy of Callie? Just post your answer to this question at the bottom of this interview. Here’s the question:  If you thought your interference had caused the death of a child, would you risk helping again, even if God told you to?

I hope you’ll all stay indoors if possible. It’s very cold here in the East and snowing in Ohio. A good time to curl up with a good book. Thanks for dropping by Home Thoughts.  Mary

Monday mornings and a fresh slate

Good morning, readers. Here in Ohio as well as in most places within my blog reach it’s Monday!

I used to hate Mondays when I was a schoolteacher (and various other jobs) but not so anymore. I love them. Why? Because I have a fresh new opportunity to get things done. 5 days, tons of hours, thousands of minutes to cross off items on my to-do list! Writers never have one book that they’re working on. There is the one they’re actually writing, plus the one they’re researching, plus one being edited and of course, the one recently released that you’re supossed to publicize. Is it hard to keep all of them straight in your head? You bet it is. It’s like juggling six balls in the air, and unless you’re a trained circus clown that’s a challenge. But on Mondays everything seems possible. So I’ll settle into my favorite chair and start chapter two of A Plain Man. (the book  I’m writing) A Little Bit of Charm has been turned into my publisher and I’m waiting on suggested changes. I researched my summer project this past weekend. And the one that’s arriving in stores?? I’m in the process of sending out free copies to contest winners. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, do so from my website: www.maryellis.net  I’m giving away 10 free copies of Love Comes to Paradise on March 15th.  And in the meantime, drop by this writer’s blog for a short interview. If you leave a comment there, Casey will draw a lucky winner in about a week. here’s the link:   http://enjoyingthewritingcraft.blogspot.com/

In the meantime, enjoy YOUR Monday. Look how many days you have to get your dreams accomplished.   Mary

Why authors love librarians

Good Monday morning, readers,

The sun is shining in Ohio. The temps are almost above freezing. All is good, as far as I’m concerned.

I’m often asked why I speak at libraries. After all, people who frequent libraries borrow books, instead of buying them. And writers need to pay their bills same as everyone else, right? Well, not exactly. First of all, I happen to love libraries and hang out there whenever time permits. Secondly, libraries must buy whatever copies they loan out. And finally, if a reader borrows one of my books and falls in love with it, they might actually choose to own my next one.

Author talks at local libraries were something I tried after my first release of Amish fiction. For the first time, I felt connected to readers. I listened to feedback, answered questions about other books in the series, and shared what I’d learned along the road to publication. I’ve made fans-for-life with readers who discovered me at the library. Plus librarians are some of the nicest people on earth. They love to read and love authors who take time to visit their community rooms to meet their patrons.

Since I write about the Amish, I often speak on steps to simplify lives, or ways my life has been changed from interviewing these God-fearing, passionate Christians. Readers also want to hear how I get story ideas and how I research my topics. Most often I’m asked to speak about my personal path of publication. Fledgling and would-be writers often haunt libraries and will appreciate any advice you can give. Over the years, I’ve discovered libraries aren’t just great places to read, research, and hide from the world. The librarians who work inside can often be a writer’s best friend.

Oh, before I forget…drop my this blog and leave a comment following my interview. Sharon will give away a free copy of Love Comes to Paradise to one lucky commenter. Please leave your comment there, not here. here’s the link:


have a lovely winter week, and stay warm!   Mary

Happy New Year and here’s our winner of Amy’s book

Happy New Year, readers, and I hope 2013 is off to a good start for you and yours.

Here’s our winner of Saving Gideon by Amy Lilliard….Johnda Scott! Johnda…you’re the next winner on Home Thoughts of a great piece of Amish fiction. I will be contacting you privately.

I am pleased to announced book three of the New Beginnings series is done and being sent to my editor at Harvest House today! I am tickled pink to get it done on time. A Little Bit of Charm will be released this summer.

Book two of the series, Love Comes to Paradise, has received it’s first editorial review from Romatic Times Magazine. They gave it 4-stars! Here’s the capsule version: The second New Beginnings novel is a sweet, adorable love story with credible characters who want a fresh start and to leave painful memories behind them. They encounter unexpected obstacles and rely on their faith to help them break through those obstacles. Ellis gives the Amish culture the respect it deserves, and her research on the Amish way of life shines in each of her stories. Thanks so much, RT magazine.

And finally, book one of the series, Living in Harmony, is still on sale in e-book version at all e-distributors like christianbook.com, amazon.com, b&n.com and i-Tunes. It’s under 3 bucks but today is the last day if you haven’t read this one yet.  On Monday, I start something fresh which will take me back to my beloved Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio. In the meantime, enjoy these fresh first days of a new year.    Mary