What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mary Ellis and Free Books!

 photo LadyandtheOfficerThe_zps000ce355.jpgMadeline Howard had never intended to become a spy, but when military intelligence lands in her lap, how could she not serve her country behind enemy lines?

Before we visit today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of Seeking Sophie, by Melody Balthaser, is:

cpk153@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll email you today to get your mailing address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways! Subscribers are entered a second time when they comment.

And now let's chat with novelist Mary Ellis, author of The Lady and the Officer (Harvest House Publishers, August 2014).

 photo MaryEllislowreshead_zpsb57eed7f.jpg Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community.

Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught middle school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. She has enjoyed a lifelong passion for American history and is an active member of the local historical society.

She is currently working on several romances set during the Civil War. The Lady and the Officer is her current release.

Please tell us three random things we might not know about you.

--I have recently discovered I’m gluten intolerant. When did that happen?

--I’m not afraid of snakes, bugs, or toads. But crowds of people send me to the restroom to hide.

--I believe I can eat some form of corn every meal of the day.

I would not have pegged you as shy or an introvert, Mary! Your charm shines right through in person, and you're very comfy to be around.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Lady and the Officer.

 photo LadyandtheOfficerThe_zps000ce355.jpgAs a nurse after the battle of Gettysburg, Madeline Howard saves the life of Elliot Haywood, a colonel in the Confederacy. But even though she must move to the South, her heart belongs to General James Downing, a Union Army corps commander.

Colonel Haywood has not forgotten the beautiful nurse, and when he unexpectedly meets her again in Richmond, he’s determined to win her.

While spending time with army officers and war department officials in her uncle’s palatial home, Madeline overhears plans for Confederate attacks against the Union soldiers. She knows passing along this information may save the life of her beloved James, but at what cost? Can she really betray the trust of her family and friends?

Two men are in love with Madeline. Will her faith in God show her the way to a bright future, or will her choices bring devastation on those she loves?

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

My heroine and hero are not too “big” that they can’t admit when they’ve made a mistake. They experience tremendous spiritual and emotional growth during the story, as should we all when life tests our mettle.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

 photo images_zps092cf73f.jpegLet’s see…I would love to see Scarlett Johansson play my heroine

 photo images-1_zps7cb2ac20.jpegand Chris Evans play hero because they have such chemistry together.

Do you ever attend writers’ conferences? At what point in a writer’s career do you think she or he should consider attending conferences, and why? Or why not?

I have attended the Blue Ridge Mountains Writers’ Conference, along with RWA and ACFW conferences many times. Fifteen years ago, I attended to learn my craft. Now although I continually try to improve my writing, I attend mainly to network and find out where the industry is headed. There is no bad time to attend. If an author can afford the cost, the money is well spent.

Excellent answer. 

What is the last novel you read that you would recommend?

I just finished Cajun Hearts, a collection of three novellas by Kathleen Y’Barbo. I love how her settings become a bigger-than-life character.

What are you working on now?

I am putting the finishing touches on The Last Heiress, a stand-alone romance also set during the Civil War. When heiress Amanda Dunn sails to North Carolina to reestablish the cotton trade for her father’s mills, she discovers a city embroiled in war, her estranged twin sister, and an irresistible shopkeeper.

Where else can readers find you online?


The book can be purchased in fine book stores and online via the following buttons:

950541: The Lady and the Officer, Civil War Heroines Series #2

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

Have you ever had to go against your family to maintain your ethical convictions?

Thanks so much, Trish, for inviting me back!

Always a pleasure, Mary! Thanks for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday , August 28. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interview with Davalynn Spencer, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for a signed copy of the book.

Also, I'd love it if you'd connect with me on Facebook. Just click on my name at the right of today's post.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


Jan Hall said...

Fortunately I have not had that type of dilemma to deal with. I love reading about strong women. fishingjan[at]aol[dot]com

Lisa Stifler said...

Hi Mary, I can't wait to read this book! Thank you for sharing and a chance to win. Sadly we have made decisions that our family has not agreed with. One being when we starting homeschooling our son when he was 10.I could not believe how we were criticized.It was one of the best decisions we have ever made. ~ Blessings ~ lisastifler(at)yahoo(dot)com

Susan Johnson said...

This sounds like a great book. Thank you for telling us about it.
susanmsj at msn dot com

squiresj said...

I have had to go against my parents when 16 because of my spiritual convictions.
Please enter me to win.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

RATS SMITH said...

Thankfully, I have never had that problem with family, however, I do enjoy reading books on the subject. Thanks for the great interview and the great review of the book which definitely sounds like something I would love to read. Thanks also for the opportunity to enter the giveaway. I am happy to share on FB, Twitter and Google.

Anonymous said...

Our family was not happy when we wanted to focus on Jesus as the true meaning of Christmas.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Can't think of an answer to your question. This book sounds like a great one. I have been trying to win it. No luck yet. maybe this time. I loved the interview and review. Please put me in for the give-Way.
Maxie > mac262(at)me(dot)com <

Mary Ellis said...

thanks everyone for taking the time to respond to my question! many of you have face the same tests as my heroine. good luck to you all in the drawing. And thanks, Trish, for inviting me to your lovely blog! ~ Mary Ellis

KayM said...

I can remember one incident, when I was about 18 years old. This is so embarrassing now. I wanted to participate in one of those chain letter "get rich quick" opportunities. I was supposed to send what would have amounted to almost a week's paycheck to the name on the top of the list and then I was going to receive some large amount of money from other participants. My parents tried everything to talk me out of it, but I wanted to do it anyway. Of course I lost my money and learned some very good lessons.

Thank you for offering a copy of The Lady and the Officer.

I'm a subscriber, but on a different email address.


Melanie Backus said...

Thankfully, I have not had this experience.

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Trish Perry said...

I know that some of my family members think I'm a little too into Jesus and Christianity sometimes, but we've all supported one another's choices. Our beliefs have never caused conflict (that I'm aware of, anyway). It would be so sad to have family members withhold their love as a result of embracing strong ethical convictions. As Rats Smith says above, it's a good conflict for a novel.

JackieW said...

I'm sure I have had in the past but at the moment I can't think of an example to write about.



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