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Posts Tagged ‘Secrets of the South mysteries’

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!

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It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters! Check out our REVIEW PAGE page for great reviews of books by today’s best suspense and mystery authors!
On Tuesday, Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in Inspirational Suspense and Mystery!
On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Nancy Mehl. Nancy’ post is titled: “How to Balance Life and Writing

Without Losing Your Mind!” She’ll be giving away a copy of her Amish cozy mystery, BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE, nominated for a 2016 Carol Award

Friday, Suspense Sister Mary Ellis will interview author Rachel McMillan. Rachel is giving away a copy of her book, THE BACHELOR GIRL’S GUIDE TO MURDER! 

magnolia moonlight 150 pixDon’t forget, readers, this is the release week for Magnolia Moonlight, which has already made CBD’s fiction best-seller list, top 20. Thank you to everyone who pre-booked a copy. It is still 7.99 at http://www.christianbook.com . It will release for electronic readers on August 1st. Also on August 1st, books one and two of series will be on sale in all e-formats. Midnight on the Mississippi  will be .99  and What Happened on Beale Street will be 2.99.

Don’t you just love a sale?? Have a great week.  Mary 

 

 

 

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Happy Tuesday, readers. It’s another great week on the Suspense Sisters!

From Marji: This week we’re reviewing SUDDEN RECALL by Lisa Phillips.
  Reviewer Sybil Bates McCormack says, “I give this fast-paced read high marks all around.” Read the rest of the review HERE!
  On Tuesday, Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in InspirationalSuspense and Mystery! 
 On Wednesday we’ll hear from Suspense Sister Mary Ellis. She’ll be sharing “Five Characteristics of Memorable Heroines.” She’ll also give away a copy of her great new book, WHAT HAPPENED ON BEALE STREET! 
  Friday, we’re interviewing Suspense Sister Elizabeth Goddard! She’s giving away a copy of her book, TAILSPIN, book five in her Mountain Cove series! 
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!

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Happy Tuesday Readers,
What Happened on Beale StreetI just found out my latest book, What Happened on Beale Street, is releasing early at CBD. AND it’s at a super-sale price. (50% off)  You won’t find a print copy for less than this!! here’s the link:

A cryptic plea from a childhood friend sends Price Investigations to Memphis, land of the Delta blues. When they arrive they find Danny dead and a lifestyle not in keeping with the choirboy they remember. Nate and Nicki follow clues into smoky clubs, trail potential stalkers, and confront drug traffickers to find a killer, in a world where your friends are all you have left.

And it’ll be another great week on the Suspense Sisters!
This week Marji reviews A FOOL AND HIS MONET by Sandra Orchard! Marji says: “With moments of riveting action and a mystery that swept me right up, I highly recommend A Fool and His Monet! This is Christian fiction at its finest!”
Read the rest of Marji’s review on our REVIEW PAGE!
On Tuesday, Dana Mentink will share What’s Hot in InspirationalSuspense and Mystery! 
On Wednesday and Thursday we’ll hear from Suspense Mister Richard Mabry. He’ll be talking about writers and procrastination. Read his article and leave a comment. Someone will win a signed copy of MIRACLE DRUG!   And on Friday, we’ll present another awesome interview with another exciting mystery/suspense author! Stay tuned for details!
That’s what’s happening this week on the Suspense Sisters! Don’t miss a single day.
The Suspense Sisters! We love books!
Have a great week, readers! ~ Mary

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Happy Monday, Readers,

ARM CoverWithout further ado, here’s the winner of Sandy Ardoin’s latest book, A Reluctant Melody. Dali Castillo….come on down. You’re the lucky winner! I will contact you privately to obtain your copy.

While asking for blog idea among my author pals, one of them suggested that I interview my heroine in my latest book. Just like she was a real person instead of an figment of my imagination. So here goes…an interview with Nicolette (Nicki) Price of Midnight on the Mississippi.

Nicolette Price, tell me the most interesting thing about you. I used to be quite a tomboy. I could swim farther, run faster, and jump higher than any boy in the neighborhood. Now that I’m a grown woman living in a sophisticated city, being a “crack shot with a squirrel rifle” doesn’t give me much of an edge with the competition.

What do you do for fun? I haven’t had much fun since childhood. I’ve worked since I was 15 to help pay the bills, and then to put myself through college. Now that I’ve landed my first real job, I would like a Saturday of watching reruns of Colombo in my pajamas with nothing but popcorn and ice cream to eat.

Midnight on the MississippiWhat do you put off doing because you dread it? I have put off dealing with my father’s death because I was too young and ill-equipped to do much else. Now I’m neither, so it’s high time I find out if someone else had a hand in his death.

What are you afraid of most in life? Swamps! I was stranded on an island in the swamp as a prank—snakes, gators, and plenty of bugs. Luckily, my best friend got wind of the plan and paddled out to rescue me.

What do you want out of life? I suppose I want what every woman wants—love and acceptance. I’ve never felt like I measured up to expectations, so it would be nice to find one other person who thinks I’m special.

Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read? I love to read biographies about famous fearless women—Madame Curie, Clara Barton, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt. If they can rise above humble upbringings or difficult circumstances and excel, why can’t I? I gain courage to do what I need to do when I read their stories.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I suppose it would be my hair. I like to wear it long, but it’s thick and curly and looks like a lion’s mane when the weather is humid. My complexion turns a tad green when I see women with silky, straight hair that stays where it’s supposed to all day long.

Do you have a pet? If so, what is it and why that pet? No, I had a pet turtle but it died. Once I had a crow that used to follow me around the neighborhood, but it grew bored and flew away. My mother wouldn’t let me have a dog because our yard was too small. I hope to one day have an entire menagerie of pets.

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why? I would go back to my childhood when my father was still alive. I’d tell him that “nobody is perfect” and that I loved him. He died never knowing how much he meant to me.

What Happened on Beale StreetPlease watch for Book 2 of the Secrets of the South Mysteries, What Happened on Beale Street, coming in late March. Have a great week, readers!  ~ Mary

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2015-09-07 17.06.32

The Peabody Hotel

Write what you know…is a quote usually attributed to Mark Twain. Twain might have been a great American novelist, but his advice better suits authors of the 19th century. What are authors supposed to do in the 21st century when expected to produce two or three novels a year? As books become shorter and faster-paced, some writers are releasing books faster than that. If as a full-time professional writer you only write about subjects you’re familiar or experienced with, won’t you run out of story fodder? On a personal level, how many stories about a schoolteacher, living on the edge of Amish country, who loves gardening, animals and American history will readers tolerate? Perhaps more practical advice for this day and age would be: Write about what fascinates you, or perhaps the person you hope to one day become.

I have reached the stage when retirement isn’t a distant pipedream. As much as I love Ohio, winters have grown intolerable. My husband and I are determined to live three or four months of the year in the warmer and sunnier South. Recently we’ve combined our quest for inexpensive spots to “snowbird” with my new mystery series. The setting for my first story was easy…New Orleans, a city we visited while family lived in the area and many times since. After several stays in Cajun country I was playing the washboard with spoons and cooking gumbo from a roux. My second mystery, What Happened on Beale Street, allowed me to indulge my love of the blues while researching Memphis and the Mississippi delta where rice and cotton fields stretch to the horizon. For my current work in progress, I prowled the streets of Natchez, a charming town overlooking the mighty Mississippi where the police captain turned out to be the nicest person I ever interviewed. As we check out new places to live, I’m discovering wonderful spots for fictional dead bodies to wash ashore or characters to go missing.

What Happened on Beale StreetIf you’re looking for new story ideas, why not consider places you’ve always wanted to visit? Start with research at your local library and on the internet. Then create the characters of your dreams. Maybe you can give them the talents you always longed to have. Your enthusiasm will turn your story into a page-turner readers can’t put down. And just think…when you visit the area to tweak the details, your trip becomes a tax deductible expense. Sounds like a win-win situation, no?

What Happened on Beale Street , book 2 of Secrets of the South Mysteries, releases in late March in print and April 1st in electronic versions in bookstores and online everywhere.  Book one, Midnight on the Mississippi from Harvest House Publishers is available now.

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Happy Monday, readers!

The Peabody Hotel

The Peabody Hotel

Those who follow me on Facebook know I’ve been on a month long research trip and overdue family vacation. For those of you not on Facebook, I recently visited the settings I used in What Happened on Beale Street, namely Memphis and the Mississippi delta. Since blues music comes front and center in my March release, I especially enjoyed the Ground Zero Blues Club, owned by actor Morgan Freeman, in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

2015-09-22 14.50.42Then I researched in Natchez, Mississippi and Bay St. Louis, along the Gulf Coast. 2015-09-21 14.21.39Both settings are used in my current book in progress, Magnolia Moonlight, book 3 of Secrets of the South Mysteries from Harvest House Publishers. I fell in love with the Gulf of Mexico, especially Ship Island and Bay St. Louis, a small town hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, but almost fully restored. Next we visited the French Quarter of New Orleans, setting for Midnight on the Mississippi, just for fun. Finally we finished up with a week in the beautiful Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, including Balsam and Hendersonville.

Amish Christmas MemoriesWhile I was gone my publisher released a novella collection with Murray Pura and Jerry Eicher called Amish Christmas Memories. It’s available only in electronic versions at CBD, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon.

As much as I love researching and travel, it’s good to be back. They don’t call it home, sweet home for nothing. I hope you’re enjoying autumn wherever you live. And keep on reading! ~ Mary

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