Anybody who prefers reading books on their electronic devices can find two of my historical romances on sale. The Quaker and the Rebelwill be $.99 for the entire month of September for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple, and Google Play formats. And book two of the Civil War Heroines series, The Lady and the Officer, will be $1.99 from September 1-30 as well. Now’s the time to give historical romance a try if you haven’t already done so.
You prefer Amish fiction to American history? Remember, Love Comes to Paradise is still $1.99 at Amazon. Here’s the link:
Thanks to all of you who left me a comment after last week’s post. I had been curious about a Christian’s viewpoint on horseracing, and in particular, gambling on races. I asked the questions: Can a devout Christian be a devotee? (of racing) What about plunking down two dollars on your favorite to win the race? Iloved reading your responses. My next book, A Little Bit of Charm, deals with a young man who breeds and raises a colt to be a winner. His devoutly religious dad takes exception to Jake’s obsession with racing, particularly the expense of training a horse to contender status. His new Amish girlfriend, a lover of horses herself, also disagrees with plenty in Jake’s new lifestyle.
I have always loved horseracing, and once laid a two-dollar bet on Winning Colors to win the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. (She did, by the way, but I only bet on her because she was a filly!) Most of you felt: A little gambling in moderation will not hurt, but anything excessive, or anything at all if you can’t afford it, should be avoided. I watched the Preakness this past Saturday. No money was involved. I loved watching those sleek Thoroughbreds do what they’re bred to do. But alas, they’ll be no Triple Crown winner. Oxbow won it, denying Orb his second jewel.
And finally, Maria Kulscar, your name was drawn as the winner of Love Comes to Paradise, book 2 in the New Beginnings series. Please contact be at email@example.com so I can send that out to you. Mary
This Saturday is the annual running of the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore, Maryland. Orb, the winner of the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago in Louisville, will be vying for the second jewel of the prestigious Triple Crown. The third and final stakes race will be the Belmont Stakes in New York, three weeks later. I will be watching on TV, routing Orb on to victory. None of my hard earned money will be at stake, however. I love watching horses race, pure and simple. I attended the Preakness once, years ago, and the Kentucky Derby four times. I enjoyed myself thoroughly at each event. These days, fighting traffic and mega-crowds is no longer quite so appealing. Alas, I’ve become a couch-potato Thoroughbred racing fan. Over the years, I’ve encountered other Christians who take exception to horseracing in general, and betting on races in particular. In book three of my New Beginnings series, I explore a young man’s dream of raising a Thoroughbred colt to contender status as a three-year-old. His devout Christian father grabbles with the son’s obsession with racing, both the cost of training and the lure of potential riches. His young Amish girlfriend grabbles with Jake’s obsession with money, period. I had so much fun writing this story, and learned something about myself along the way.
I’m curious about my readers’ opinions on horseracing. Can a devout Christian be a devotee? What about plunking down two dollars on your favorite to win the race?
To celebrate A Little Bit of Charmbeing sent to the printers this week, I’m giving away a copy of Love Comes to Paradiseto someone who leaves a comment. Please give me your two-cents worth. And have a lovely week! Contest open to US and Canadian residents. Mary
The sun is shining in Ohio and it’s not snowing! So all is well. Without further ado, Elaine Panfill, come on down!! You’re the winner of Miriam’s Quiltby Jennifer Beckstand from last week’s contest. Elaine, you’re in for a great read! And it you haven’t done so, drop by Jennifer’s website for more chances to win Amish fiction. And don’t forget about my contest…I’m giving away 10 copies of Love Comes to Paradiseto my newsletter subscribers on March 15th. That will be here before we know it.
This week I’m hard at work on A Plain Man, which picks up the story where Sarah’s Christmas Miracleleaves off. On Sunday I’m attending a maple sugar hands-on demonstration to make sure my story research is correct. The Internet only provides so much, then a writer needs to jump in her car to see the real thing. Besides, a pancake breakfast, swimming in maple syrup, is part of the demonstration. And you sure can’t get that from a computer!
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 Paradisenext 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
Good snowy Monday, readers. I hope you all survived Super Bowl Sunday! I, myself, enjoyed the Budweiser Clydesdale commercial and the Dorritos’ goat! Before I forget, Shannon Vannatter interviewed me on her lovely blog this week. If you drop by her blog, read the interview, and leave a comment (on HER blog, not here…) you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Love Comes to Paradise. This book has just made the CBD bestseller list and has recently been released for e-readers. here’s the link to Shannon’s blog: http://shannonvannatter.com/mary-ellis-romantic-excerpt-part-1-of-2/ Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t already done so, since I’ll be giving away 10 copies of Love Comes to Paradiseon March 15th.
Every writer whether our contemporaries or long gone has wrestled for hours when they can’t string seven words together into a concise sentence. We doubt ourselves, our mentors, the process we thought we’d perfected, even the quality of beans that went into our cup of java. It happens to the best of us. And it will happen to all of us eventually. There is no one-size-fits-all solution since writers are as different as that shade of navy you’re trying to match. I can only give you my humble opinion to tuck into your first aid kit on possible cures.
When the words won’t come I see two possible reasons, both of which involve turning off and moving away from your computer. How many times have we fallen asleep in our easy chairs, but tossed-and-turned in bed for hours? If you get out of bed and put the TV back on, you’ll doze off by the next commercial. Same is true about trying to force creativity in front of your laptop. Once you are seated in a lawn chair or a booth at the coffee shop, consider the first reason your well is dry: You need more story. This happens more often for seat-of-the-pants writers than plotters, but even plotters can reach a lull when the action or romantic drama needs help from a subplot to thicken the stew. Ask yourself: What can come along to blindside your characters? What’s the worst thing they fear? Make it happen. Often writers concoct a thrilling opening and know exactly how to bring their story to a tasty conclusion. They might even have some plot twists in mind, but in long novels, not even the most devout “plotter” can pre-conceive enough scenes to keep the pace moving. Go where it’s quiet, where you can roll your eyes back into your head. Suddenly story ideas will flow faster than you can jot down on your Starbucks napkin.
I’ll give you reason number two next week…until then, stay warm!!!
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 Callieby Sharon Srock. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Paradiseto newsletter subscribers on March 15th.