Mary is such an inspiring person! I’m thrilled to host her today. Enjoy!
The Blurb: What Sinister Secrets Lurk in the Shadows of Yesterday?
Natchez, Mississippi—Private Investigator Nate Price and his new wife, Isabelle, need a vacation. Their coworkers generously team up to surprise them with a belated honeymoon…but the happy trip turns sour when Izzy spies her ex-husband, who appears to have taken up his gambling addiction once again.
While the boss is away, Price Investigations remains in the hands of Beth Kirby, a former police officer, and Michael Preston, a former forensic accountant. Hardly a dream team, as Beth resents working with a man who has no experience in his new job.
But Beth and Michael must move past their differences if they hope to uncover the truth behind a beloved Southern preacher’s demise. The preacher’s widow suspects foul play, despite the evidence indicating suicide.
With tension escalating between these investigators and local law enforcement—and new threats arising on all sides—how will Beth, Michael, and Nate hold on to faith and bring the truth to light?
Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of numerous novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Magnolia Moonlight is part of a new romantic suspense collection, Secrets of the South. Mary and her husband live in Ohio.
Buy links: Christianbook.com
Now on to the Interview:
Welcome. Tell us a little bit of how you were called, or began writing. Happenstance? A clear call? A chosen career?
I had always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t pursue writing until I turned 40. I was always too busy as a teacher and a caregiver to my parents and other family members. Once I finally started writing, there was no stopping me.
What is the message(s) in the book you’re promoting today? Do you like a definite spiritual theme or do you keep it less obvious as you write? Can you give us a very brief scene (paragraph) as an example?
I love the message of redemption and renewal. As Christians, we should constantly strive to be better people. Occasionally our loved ones fall short of our expectations (as we do of theirs) and we must strive to be patient and not give up with them. In Magnolia Moonlight, Isabelle must deal with her ex-husband slipping back into his gambling addiction. She and her new husband, Nate, endeavor to bring him back into the fold, although their path becomes rocky along the way.
Here’s an excerpt: She nodded. “Yes, and he told me lie after lie. He said Cassie encouraged him to come here, and that his gambling was under control. I know it isn’t. He’s fallen off the wagon or whatever they call a relapsed gambler. He’s lost weight, his hair hasn’t been cut in weeks, and the bags under his eyes could hold enough clothes for a month.”
Nate struggled to keep his voice level. “That’s how he looked to me too.”
“Craig said he’s fallen out of love with Cassie, but there’s no other woman. I think he’s flat broke and ashamed to go home.” Isabelle wrung her hands in her lap.
“He has a right to mess up his life, Izzy.”
“That’s what he said. He told me to butt out and go have a nice life. I feel sorry for him.”
“You can’t force a person into treatment. Craig must be willing to change.”
“What about those staged interventions, where family and friends insert themselves between the addict and their compulsion? Are we not our brother’s keeper?”
Love that excerpt. What is YOUR favorite part about the book or why do you love this book? Why should we read it?
My favorite part of Magnolia Moonlight is when Isabelle realizes she’s been self-centered during their honeymoon trip to the Gulf of Mexico. She sets out to plan the perfect, romantic day, and of course, everything goes wrong. (Hopefully) readers will find the scene amusing. Just about every mishap actually happened to me while on vacation, including the fire ants crawling up the leg of my shorts. But they didn’t happen all in the same vacation. Thank goodness!
Give us three items about yourself: hobbies, loves, fun or weird habits, food/snack kicks you like, what would you be if not a writer–that sort of thing.
- I absolutely love to garden, but I’m not very good at it. For a while friends and family were referring to my plants as annual perennials since they never lived past the first year. I’m finally catching on that sun-loving plants won’t live in the shade.
- As for food, I love fruit, ice cream and corn—popcorn, corn-on-the-cob, cornbread, and corn relish.
- If I wasn’t a writer, I would sit around and mope. Because this is the best job I ever had. (And I’ve had plenty of them!)
Some of my favorites too. Lastly, share an incident when you’ve been very happy/excited or very disappointed/depressed during and because of your writing career? How were you able to get past the bad and move on to the good?
I have been very excited lately because my husband has finally set a retirement date. He’s had a very successful career, and I’ve been secretly afraid he would never want to retire. Ken has also been the world’s best research assistant, because he does most of the driving, lets me pick where we stay, and he’s very patient when I keep asking questions. Once he retires, we’ll be able to travel more and research more. I love setting my mysteries throughout the South—an area of the country I find fascinating!
What fun! Thank you for stopping by, Mary. Loved having you.
Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning 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 will release in early 2017.