Are Amish novels romances? Win the 3-book Miller Family series.

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

Anybody up for a blog hop about works in progress?

Just for fun, a bunch of authors are answering questions about our latest WIPs (works-in-progress), and here are my quick quips. Be sure to click the links at the bottom to keep hopping on to see what’s next!

What is the working title of your book? A Little Bit of CharmLittle Bit of Charm, A

Where did the idea come from for the book? I read a non-fiction account about the Old Order Amish moving from Lancaster, PA due to the exorbitant price of farmland. I was intrigued by the smaller, more remote communities they were moving into and what major differences they would find. So I traveled to Maine, Missouri and Kentucky to research new districts. This final book in the New Beginnings series is set in the Blue Grass State.

What genre does your book fall under? Inspirational Amish Romance

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I would choose Leonardo DiCaprio to play my tender-hearted horse trainer Jake Brady and the lovely Reese Witherspoon for my blond heroine caught between two worlds.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Rachel King wants nothing more than to work with horses, but when her handsome boss sweeps her off her feet, she begins to doubt everything in life, including her faith.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? My book will be represented by the Seymour Agency and published by Harvest House.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? It takes me four and a half months to write the first draft, but I edit as I go along. So the manuscript only needs a thorough going-over when it’s finished. The final edit takes about two weeks.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I would compare it to any books by Suzanne Woods Fisher, Kelly Irvin or Amy Clipston.

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I have been fascinated by the Amish since I was a child. When I decided to write solely Christian fiction, writing about their culture was a natural choice. For this particular book, the counties of Barren, Hart and Casey, Kentucky inspired plenty of plot twists.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? One of the sub-plots involves the potential spreading of the “wild” polio virus, almost eradicated in this country, throughout a religious sect that doesn’t embrace vaccines. With the recent flu epidemic, including the deaths at least twenty children, this is a timely topic.

If you haven’t read book one of the series, Living in Harmony, is on sale for Kindles for 2.24. Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Harmony-Beginnings-Series-ebook/dp/B008G5FLHS/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1361391903&sr=1-1&keywords=living+in+harmony

And don’t forget to hop over to Lillian Duncan’s blog next:

here’s her link:  http://www.lillian-duncan.com/

Writers block, part two

Good Monday morning, readers. And what a lovely morning it is in Ohio. The sun is shining, the temps are above freezing, and the snow is melting. All three make me one happy woman. Last week’s and this week’s postings are mainly aimed at fellow writers. But if you’re a reader, I’ve got some good news for you, too. Living in Harmony, Lime Award winner for 2012 for Excellence in Amish fiction is on sale for E-readers, including Amazon, CBD, Barnes and Noble.com, iTunes, and Kobo. The price is 2.99 or less. Links are at the bottom. This price should last until Feb. 18th as far as I know. Thanks, Harvest House, for reducing the price of book one, to celebrate the release of book two! This week Cindy Elliott has posted her review of book two, Love Comes to Paradise. You could win a free copy if you drop by Cindy’s blog and leave a comment.  One lucky commenter will win a free copy of Love Comes to Paradise next week. Here’s the link: http://www.cindyelliottfiction.com/love-comes-to-paradise-by-mary-ellis-book-giveaway

Last Monday I started talking about “writer’s block” or more specifically, some things to try if your creative energy seems to have dried up. The second problem we sometimes experience is the haven’t-I-said-all-this-before-syndrome. We’ve got our story; we’ve got our multi-dimensional characters. But we’re trotting out the same old metaphors and tired verbs. It’s time to get away to someone else’s creative work that’s not in the genre you write. Read a book by a writer whose work you admire to see how they craft a story. No time to read a full novel? Go to a movie, again one with a screenplay by someone you love. Sit back, sip your soda, munch your popcorn and enjoy. I’ve been known to utter things like: What a delightful black moment, much to my husband’s dismay. The key is getting away from yourself. Then when you return to your work-in-progress, the well will be primed with fresh creative waters. Happy writing.

Happy Valentine’s Day–don’t forget your sweethearts! Don’t forget Lent starts on Wednesday. And if you haven’t seen the movie, Lincoln, go tomorrow! It’s Honest Abe’s birthday!! Have a great week, readers and writers…Mary

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008G5FLHS/ref=as_li_tf_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B008G5FLHS&linkCode=as2&tag=harvesthousep-20

Barnes and Noble: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=lhOFjTQPVzI&subid=&offerid=261457.1&type=10&tmpid=8432&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.barnesandnoble.com%252Fw%252Fliving-in-harmony-mary-ellis%252F1107956927%253Fean%253D9780736942867%2526itm%253D1%2526usri%253D9780736942867

Apple iBookstore/iTunes: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=lhOFjTQPVzI&subid=&offerid=146261.1&type=10&tmpid=3909&RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fbook%2Fliving-in-harmony%2Fid547296303%3Fmt%3D11

·Kobo: http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=lhOFjTQPVzI&subid=&offerid=258185.1&type=10&tmpid=9310&RD_PARM1=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kobobooks.com%2Febook%2FLiving-in-Harmony%2Fbook-iDbQramJ60eqFrgxpFYbQQ%2Fpage1.html

ChristianBook.com: http://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/product?isbn=9780736942867&event=AFF&p=1169188

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

Living in Harmony on sale for E-readers

Happy day-after-Christmas, readers,

I’m not sure what the weather is like in your neck of the woods, but here in Ohio (central and northern) we’re getting a blizzard at the moment. What a good day to stay indoors and build a fire in the fireplace.

And if you’re looking for something to do while you’re shut in, (especially if you got a new E-reader for Christmas…) my latest book, Living in Harmony,  is on sale in Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and the Sony Reader.  From now until January 2nd, Book One of the New Beginnings series is under 3.00 at all participating distributors, including Amazon, CBD.com, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, etc. In fact, Amazon has it for 2.44. What a deal!

Living in Harmony won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction by the Christian Manifesto.
So if you’re fond of Amish fiction, now’s the time to pick up my latest for cheap.
Book two of the series, Love Comes to Paradise, will release end of January through the Internet, and by February 1st in stores.
In the meantime, be safe, stay warm and dry, and off the roads if they’re nasty.
Mary

Greetings from the land of sun and surf

Happy Wednesday, readers,

I hope those you of on the East Coast are safe, and not buried by too much snow. You’ve been hit with a double-dose of trouble and pray relief is on the way! Hubby demanded we sneak away for a short break while he’s in between construction projects. I hope you’ll enjoy these two photos of beach life. No, we can’t go swimming in the ocean. Too cold for that. But vacationing off-season brings the price within our range and makes for no crowds. Every cloud has a silver lining.  And here’s a recipe from my last book, Living in Harmony. This would be super for a cold winter night. Take care, readers, wherever you are in the good, ole US of A.

SWEET AND SOUR RED CABBAGE–Old German Recipe by Rosanna Coblentz

¼ cup butter

4 med apples, peeled and sliced

½ red onion, chopped

1 head red cabbage, finely shredded

1 cup red wine (opt.)

4 whole cloves

1/3 c brown sugar

2 bay leaves

¼ cup vinegar

¼ cup butter

Juice of ½ lemon

Sliced or cubed cooked pork roast (opt.) Melt butter in 4 quart Dutch oven. Add apples and onion sauté slightly.  Add cabbage, red wine, cloves, sugar and bay leaves.  Simmer covered for about 1 hour, then add the remaining ingredients.  Heat to melt the butter and serve immediately.  Makes 6 servings. Note: For a hearty main dish, add sliced or cubed cooked pork roast, as much as desired, during the last hour.

Please vote for Living in Harmony

Good morning, readers,

I just discoved that Living in Harmony is one of 5 Inspiration releases up for the December book pick at Clash of the Titles. If my book is selected, I will be the December contemporary romance book selection. If you’ve got a minute, please drop by the Clash of the Titles website and vote for Living in Harmony. Scroll down, it’s on the home page, I believe the 3rd or 4th book. I’m up against some great books. This is a wonderful website designed for readers of inspiration fiction.

here’s the link: http://www.clashofthetitles.com/

thanks and have a great week!  Mary