Sea Turtles and the Gulf Islands National Seashore

Hi suspense and mystery lovers…Mary Ellis here. While researching for my mystery, Sweet Taste of Revenge, set in Pensacola, Florida. I had the pleasure of visiting Gulf Islands National Seashore and learning all about sea turtles. Here’s some info: For upwards of 150 million years, sea turtles have inhabited the Earth’s oceans. Sea turtles are well-adapted for life in the marine environment. Their large and streamlined bodies, along with their large and powerful fore flippers, allow them to migrate great distances to search for food, to mate, and to nest. 

World-wide, only seven species of sea turtles have been identified by biologists. Of these seven, six have been recorded in U.S. waters. Of these six turtles, five can be found in the waters of Gulf Islands National Seashore, including the loggerhead, green, Kemp’s, leatherback, and hawksbill sea turtles. 

Gulf Islands National Seashore works to protect and conserve sea turtles by protecting their foraging and nesting habitats. Through partnerships with state and federal agencies and local governments, the national seashore collects data to document the sea turtle nests to help guide management decisions that can minimize human impacts to sea turtles. Through education the national seashore increases awareness about the importance of sea turtles, the threats impacting these species, and what actions can be taken to ensure their future. Photos Courtesy of NPS, Dept. of the US Int.

Here’s a bit about Sweet Taste of Revenge, next in the Marked for Retribution Mysteries: When a wealthy socialite, owner of the largest yacht manufacturer on the Gulf Coast, is found dead, PI Kate Weller is sent on assignment to investigate. Plenty of people would benefit from this socialite’s demise, including her daughter, Lainey. But Agnes Westin created plenty of enemies on her climb to the top, both socially and in business, many with a taste for revenge. When Kate arrives in the only town she could ever call home, Pensacola, she must face why she’s been on the run for years. As a child she witnessed the crime which sent her brother, Liam, to jail. Now someone wants to make sure her suppressed memories stay buried. Can she find Agnes Westin’s killer and clear her brother’s name before their hometown enemy silences them forever?

Sweet Taste of Revenge releases February 1st. Click on this link to pre-book: 

It’s Not About Me

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

My mother had her own version of that particular passage: Stop tooting your own horn. And her favorite: The less said about one’s self the better. The immortal maxims of my late mother still ring in my ears today, making me smile. The problem is Mom was a stay-at-home housewife, not a published author. How does a Christian balance being humble with the necessity of self-promotion, essential in the world of publishing? Not only writers, but musicians, dancers, actors, salespeople, public speakers, sports figures and of course, politicians must do quite a bit of horn-tooting to stay in the game. Even doctors and lawyers appear on TV enticing us to file that lawsuit or get that tummy-tuck expressly from them. Often this type of marketing isn’t just expected but required in the fine print of contracts.
I have struggled with the dilemma of promotion vs. setting oneself above others. I don’t like having to say: “look at me and what I’ve accomplished” even though I’m expected to blog, Facebook and participate in author interviews. So I must walk a narrow path between not puffing myself up, and spreading the word that a book about God’s infinite grace, mercy and love has just been released.  I focus on one undeniable truth: God gave me whatever humble abilities I possess. As long as He continues to put words into my head, I will continue to turn them into gentle stories meant to inspire. I hope I never forget: It’s not about me. It’s all by His hand and for His glory.
Have a lovely Thanksgiving, readers!!   Mary Ellis

I’m trying to hit a major milestone on Amazon.com and I need your help.

Will you please join me?

I’m trying to reach 50 reviews each for my last three books, ie. Sunset in Old Savannah, Magnolia Moonlight, and What Happened on Beale Street on Amazon.com. Fifty isn’t just a random number I’ve chosen, it’s the number of reviews required for Amazon to help people who’ve never heard of Secrets of the South Mysteries to find out about them! With fifty reviews, Amazon’s algorithms tell them to start promoting my books.

Here’s how you can help:
1. If you’ve read either Sunset in Old Savannah, Magnolia Moonlight or What Happened on Beale Street (or all three!) and haven’t yet posted a review, please take five minutes or less to do so. This isn’t your fifth-grade book report. No need for a five paragraph essay, unless you’d just like to. All that is required is to identify a number of stars from 0-5 and then a few sentences about what you enjoyed most.

2. When you see posts from me about my books, Like, Comment or Share them on Facebook. This will help spread the word to others!

 

I can’t thank you enough for helping me in this fashion. All I can say is is my next book in the series, set in Charleston, will be well worth the wait.

Thanks, readers! You are the best!  Mary 

This week on Suspense Sisters…..

We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!
THIS WEEK:

On our review page, senior reviewer Iola Goulton reviews BEYOND JUSTICE by Cara Putnam. Iola says: “Beyond Justice is the perfect legal thriller—great characters, lots of action, plenty of twists and turns, and enough legalese to set the scene without it starting to sound like reading a court transcript.”  You can find her complete review HERE.

On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery.
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Dana again as she talks about “Springing into a New Season” with a crazy spring contest! For details read her post. You could be a winner!
Friday we’re interviewing Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard. She’s giving away a copy of her exciting new book, FALSE SECURITY.

 

Arriving at her secluded cabin to find her brother missing, Olivia Kendricks follows his trail into the woods—until two shooters take aim at her. She only escapes when ex-detective Zachary Long, her brother’s friend—and Olivia’s first love—comes to her rescue. Now as they run for their lives in the snowbound wilderness, they must search for her brother while figuring out why someone wants them dead. And though Zach’s police force training may be what will save them, it’s also what once drove them apart when he gave Olivia up to chase his dream. In a freezing landscape as deadly as it is beautiful, they’ll have to let go of the past…and face down powerful men willing to kill to keep secrets buried.

That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!

This Week on my fellow Suspense Sisters…..


We’re planning another great week on the Suspense Sisters. Check out our posts, our interviews, and our awesome giveaways!

THIS WEEK:

Suspense Sister Marji Laine has another terrific review on our book page. Iola Goulton reviews BURIED MEMORIES by Carol J. Post. Iola says, “The plot and writing were excellent, and I resented each time I had to leave Nicki and Tyler and Cedar Key because life or children or work or food. Buried Memories is part of Carol Post’s Cedar Key series, but can easily be read as a standalone novel. Overall, an excellent suspense read.” You can read the rest of her review HERE.

On Tuesday, Suspense Sister Dana Mentink will share What’s

Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery. 

On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard. She’ll be giving away a copy of her book,UNDERCOVER PROTECTOR. 

Friday, we’re interviewing author Ronie Kendig! You could win a copy of her new book, CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE!

Four years after a tragic mission decimated his team, Cole “Tox” Russell has been disavowed by the United States. And that’s fine–he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed, Tox is lured back into action.

Tox and his former Special Forces team regroup to work with

FBI deception expert, Kasey Cortes, and fiery archaeologist, Tzivia Khalon, to search the globe for answers–and a cure. As the mission leads from one continent to another, it becomes clear they’re not just fighting a plague but battling an ancient secret society whose true goals remain hidden.

With time running out and the threat for a global pandemic rising, Tox and his team realize their sole chance might be to reach back through centuries of silence to find the only answer that can save them all.
That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters. Don’t miss a single day. Sign up through email so you’ll get updates in the exciting world of inspirational suspense and mystery!
 

Enter the Suspense Sisters Contest to win fabulous prizes!

ANNOUNCING THE SUSPENSE SISTERS’ CHRISTMAS CONTEST!

Would you like to win a Kindle Fire, $75.00 in Amazon gift cards, an iTunes gift card, candy and…lots of books?

f6bf6-magnolia2bmoonlightIncluding mine….Here’s your chance!
 
It’s easy to enter, just use the Rafflecopter box below. We’ll pick one grand prize winner the morning of December 24th. (U.S. only, please)
 
Watch for other posts in December as some of the Suspense Sisters share stories, Christmas memories, or even special Christmas recipes.
 
This contest is our way of thanking you for being a part of the Suspense Sisters, and wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Time Management for Authors

In my blissful, pre-published days, I erroneously believed that once an author received the coveted “call” and turned in a complete manuscript, she could relax and put her feet up. Nothing could be further from the truth. Being published means honoring contracts in a timely fashion, along with a multitude of details. No longer was I squeezing time to “write a book” into my daily routine of tending home, family and day job. With each new release, the juggling act increases from three balls in the air, to four, five or even six.

Let’s take a look at how five projects could potentially demand your attention simultaneously:
First, there’s the book you’re currently writing and editing, according to your publisher’s expectations for word count, level of violence, etc.
Secondly, the book you recently submitted is by no means done. A plethora of add-ons must be finished before the book heads to the printer, such as developmental edits, line edits, back cover copy, book cover suggestions, and blurbs for catalogs and sales brochures.
Thirdly, if this was a series, chances are a book was recently released and requires promotion. Your title will either sink or swim during the first several months. An author must get the word out to readers through blog interviews, website and newsletter giveaways, and book signings, along with social media. Otherwise, with so many fine books releasing each year, how will potential readers find yours?
Fourthly, an author needs to research the next book she intends to write, and that often involves travel or at least long hours spent in the library. Not everything on the internet can be trusted for accuracy, so first-person travel, when possible, is especially helpful.
And finally, what happens when your current series draws to a close? If you don’t wish to be out of a job, you must devise an irresistible proposal that your publisher cannot turn down. Publishing houses consider projects well in advance, so authors need to think far down the line too. Considering all this stress, hard work and long hours, you might conclude that I’m complaining. Nothing would be farther from the truth. I love being an author and pray each night for God to make me a better juggler.  Happy reading!
Mary Ellis has written twelve best-selling novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is third of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. She enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog, and cat. Sunset in Old Savannah releases in early 2017. She can be found on the web at: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author
 
f6bf6-magnolia2bmoonlightPlease leave me a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of Magnolia Moonlight!
Happy Reading!