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Archive for May, 2014

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, readers,  I hope you’ll join me in thanking all the men and women in the US. military for their service to their country!

clipstonpublicityRecently, I was invited to participate in a blog tour by my good friend, Amy Clipston. Amy writes awesome romantic fiction set in the Amish community for Zondervan and Harper Collins and has won numerous awards. Amy’s latest book is A Mother’s Secret. She asked me to share my answers to four questions that authors from all over have been answering in this Writing Process Blog Tour.  Here are my answers:

What am I working on at the moment? Right now, I’m putting the last touches on book two of the Civil War Heroines Series, called The Lady and the Officer for Harvest House Publishers. While serving as a nurse in Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of a colonel in the Confederate Home Guard. Even though Maddy’s heart belongs to Union General James Downing, Colonel Haywood never forgets the beautiful nurse. When their paths cross in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, he’s determined to win her heart. Maddy has been busy eavesdropping on army officers and war department officials in her aunt’s palatial home. When she hears plans for Confederate attacks in northern Virginia, she passes the information along to Union officers, betraying the trust of her family and friends. Two men are in love with her. Will Maddy’s choices bring devastation on those she loves?Lady and the Officer, The

How does my work differ from others of its genre? Most fictional stories set during periods of political unrest assume a particular posture. Although my lead heroine will share my anti-slavery convictions, I attempt to portray the complexity of social issues. Usually there are no truly “good guys” by the time a war is over, no matter how well-intended people’s original motivations.

Why do I write what I do? I love to create stories about cultures I admire (I’ve written a dozen books set in Amish communities throughout the United States.) and romances set during turbulent periods of America’s past. I’ve always loved history and the way it has shaped laws governing us today. And love does have a way of surviving even during wartime, no matter how dire the circumstances.

How does my writing process work? I travel to the area where I plan to set a story to get details only available in person. In the case of historical novels, I research several times because there is always so much to learn. But in the end, I still end up making a few mistakes because so much information is ambiguous or incorrect. I’ve even seen two different accounts as to who won a particular battle at Civil War interpretive centers.

The Lady and the Officer is available for pre-book at Christianbook.com.

http://www.christianbook.com/lady-the-officer-civil-war-heroines/mary-ellis/9780736950541/pd/950541

I hope you’ll drop by next week’s blog tour participants: Kathleen Fuller and Carole Brown.

Kathleen Fuller writes lovely Amish romances and historical romance for Harper Collins. http://www.kathleenfuller.com/

Carole Brown writes for Lighthouse of the Carolinas. Her book, The Redemption of Caralynne Hayman was nominated for a Selah Award. http://sunnebnkwrtr.blogspot.com/

Drop by an see what these great authors have to say! Have a great Memorial Day weekend, readers. ~ Mary

 

 

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Do you know the best aspect of being a fiction writer? The ability to give your characters traits you have (or wish you had!) and let them enjoy your favorite things in life. In my latest Amish book, A Plain Man, my character Josie has a Secret Recipe 4-bean Salad that everyone in town simply adores! I created my  own special salad recipe and allowed it to become famous! The uniqueness of this recipe stems from its flexibility. In other words, feel free to change it to accommodate whatever you have or is plentiful in the garden. Unlike Josie, I never make this recipe the same twice. Hope you enjoy! Have a great week, readers.

Jessie’s Secret Recipe Four Bean SaladA Plain Man

Combine in large bowl:

1 can green beans

(note: all beans can be either home-canned or store-bought)

1 can yellow beans (wax beans)

1 can kidney beans (light red or dark)

1 can garbanzo beans

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped peppers-sweet (green, red or yellow or combination)

½ cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped black olives (optional)

Add only enough dressing (recipe below) to lightly coat salad, then chill in refrigerator several hours or overnight. Before serving, if desired, drain off any runny dressing and add fresh. (1 or 2 tablespoons, or to taste)

Dressing:

2 cups oil (I prefer olive)

1 1/3 cups cider vinegar

2 cups sugar

2 1/2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

2 tsp. prepared mustard

1 tsp. celery seed

1 tsp. Hungarian paprika

1 tsp. parsley (fresh or dried)

Heat oil and vinegar together, stirring in sugar and seasonings. Heat only until sugar is completely dissolved and seasonings are blended. Do not boil. Let cool and stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator to use as needed. Shake well before using. This can be used on coleslaw and lettuce or spinach salad too.

Author’s note: I never make this recipe the same way twice, so play around with the quantities (celery etc.) or types of peppers, etc. to suit your taste.  Mary

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Happy Friday, Readers!

Today I’d like a acquaint you with Brenda Novak’s 10th annual on-line auction to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes. Brenda Novak is a New York Time’s best-selling author whose son has been afflicted with this disease. All proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit the Diabetes Research Institute which has been doing phenomenal work. So far, Brenda has raised over $2 million and hopes to add another $500,000 to that total in 2014.

I have donated six of my romances which I ship out, signed, to the highest bidder. To bid on my books, just click on this link:

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Bidding.taf?_function=detail&Auction_uid1=3292415

If you already have those books, check out other fund-raising donations here:

http://brendanovak.auctionanything.com/Home.taf?_start=61

Also, please be aware that MOST items close on May 31st, but that doesn’t mean ALL items do. Remember to check the closing time of whatever you’re interested in winning. The One Day Auction Category is a special category where items go up for auction and close the same day. To participate, you must keep an eye on the schedule. Don’t miss out on the fun of these quick and exciting auctions.

If you’d like to help Brenda with her auction, please spread the word through your social media outlets. So many people’s lives are affected by this terrible disease–it’s one of our deadliest. So let’s join Brenda and see it become a thing of the past–for her son and millions of others.

Thanks, readers, and have a lovely SPRING weekend!! ~Mary

 

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