Hello, readers! Although usually I write mysteries and romantic suspense set in the South, recently I wrote a story set in an Amish community. My characters use their faith and trust in God to solve their problems. My hope as an author is that my fictional stories will encourage readers during their own times of tribulation. Shortly after I began my writing career, and experienced a modicum of success, I made a sign to hang over my desk of a favorite Scripture: “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 NLT
Happy Thursday, readers,
There is nothing more exciting in an author’s humble life than when a new book releases. Day after day, writers sit cloistered in our offices pounding away at keyboards. Lunch in another room of the house becomes the highlight of our days. But today I’m tickled to announce my newest Amish romance is here. A Plain Man is the story of a prodigal son who comes home. Although Caleb Beachy tried the Englisch world for several years, he is a Plain man at heart. When he returns to the Amish lifestyle, he discovers there’s more to embracing his faith and reconnecting with the community than driving a horse and buggy and giving up his Levis. He struggles with his domineering father, the oppressive rules of his district and with the paralyzing guilt from past mistakes. Josie Yoder was just a girl when he left, but she’s all grown up now and still has a soft spot for Caleb. But Caleb carries enough shame and self-loathing to derail even a well-established relationship. Josie might be the love of his life, but will past sins end up destroying their fledgling romance?
I hope you’ll enjoy the story of a wounded heart finding joy, health, and healing in God’s infinite grace. Sign up for my newsletter from my website: www.maryellis.net for a chance to win one of 10 signed copies of A Plain Man on April 15th. If you’re already signed up, you’re in the drawing! For an additional chance to win, please leave me comment here on my blog! A Plain Man is already available at CBD now and will release April 1st at Amazon and in stores. Here’s the links:
Have a great week, readers, and happy spring!! Mary
Good Monday morning, readers.
Lately, I’ve been asked this question several times…and it got me thinking. For regular romance readers, whether contemporary or historical, do you find Amish stories romantic when you read them? Romance readers often have certain expectations regarding the level of “heat,” so to speak. But almost universally, Amish stories are Christian inspirationals, thus the heat level would be zero. Yes, this culture usually produces plenty of babies, but how they come to be remains tastefully behind closed doors. Also, Amish fiction often has either a cozy mystery or a family drama feel to them.
So when someone asked me whether Living in Harmony would be classified as a romance I had to ponder for a moment. I told her “yes,” despite my young couple enduring plenty of problems before their walk down the aisle.
I want to hear your opinion. Many of you read many Amish fiction authors, beside other genres. Do you think Amish stories are romances? I will give away the 3-book Miller Family series (A Widow’s Hope, Never Far from Home and The Way to a Man’s Heart) to one lucky commenter. I’ll give away two sets if there are plenty of comments. So please give me your two-cents. And happy reading everyone! Mary
Good Monday morning, readers,
I hope your weekend was lovely. It hit sixty degrees yesterday in Ohio, which is absolutely fine with me. Today I’m welcoming Amy Lillard, a fellow author of Amish fiction. Amy’s latest release is Saving Gideon from B&H Books . Here is a blurb about the story.
Good morning, folks. Happy Wednesday. Don’t ask me what happened to my regular posting day of Monday. Mondays have a way of slipping through the cracks. But today I offer three separate chances of winning a signed copy of An Amish Family Reunion. You can simply post a comment here on my blog to be entered in the drawing for one of five free books. The drawing will be held on February 15th to honor my brand new website. Please drop by www.maryellis.net if you haven’t already checked it out. Sign up for my (future) newsletter for another chance to win.
And please drop by my friend and fellow author, Vannetta Chapman’s blog, for a third chance to win An Amish Family Reunion. Vannetta is halfway through reading my book and so far, so good.
here’s the link to drop by and post a comment. http://vannettachapman.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/an-amish-family-reunion/
All you have to do is leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. She will draw a lucky winner in about a week.
that’s it–have a great week. Ohio just dodged a bullet in the big snowstorm that just arrived in the East.
I often get asked where my story ideas come from and how I research my fictional novels. Considering I live a little over an hour from Ohio’s Amish Country, I relish a day or weekend trip down to attend livestock auctions, sample authentic cooking, tour farms and homes, and interview Old Amish friends and acquaintances. But the research for my latest release, A Marriage for Meghan,
was the easiest…and most enjoyable yet. Small one and two-room schoolhouses dot the beautiful countryside in Holmes and Wayne Counties. But I didn’t have to ask anyone what it was like to face a roomful of students as a first-year teacher, feeling wholly unprepared, since I had first-hand knowledge. An Amish teacher might have a gift for communication and patience with children, but her education stopped after the eighth grade. Opening day would be intimidating, considering she’s only a few years older than her students. Although I was twenty-two and had four years of college, I looked out over a sea of faces on my first day and went weak in the knees. Some pupils were sixteen and taller than me, and I’m not a small woman. But I survived my first day and persevered. I eventually became a very good teacher and mentor to beginning teachers throughout my ten-year career. The lesson I hope readers will take away from A Marriage for Meghan is that you must have faith in yourself, besides faith in God, in order to succeed. Set your sights on your dream, work hard, and never give up on yourself. Like my fictional Meghan Yost, you will be surprised by what you can accomplish.
Also, for one more chance to win a copy of A Marriage for Meghan, drop by Margaret Daley’s blog and leave a comment after my interview and book blurb. One winner will be drawn from those comments in one week. Here’s the link:http://www.margaretdaley.com/2011/11/this-week-vickie-mcdonough-mary-ellis-and-janelle-mowery/
Everyone have a lovely, get-ready-for-Thanksgiving week! Blessings…Mary