Good morning, Mary. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
I love to write about dealing with grief, overcoming past mistakes and most of all, rising above limitations—personal or societal—to achieve your dreams. Nothing can stop us if we have God on our side and refuse to give up.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
An Amish Family Reunion will be released in late January, 2012 from Harvest House Publishers. A talented storyteller and a gifted artist team up to create a children’s book…and discover love along the way, despite more obstacles than any young couple can handle.
If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I suppose it would be Kathryn Stockett. I was so moved by The Help. I would love to pick her brain on how she researched and wrote this book.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I would love to sit down with Clara Barton and chat with her. Her pioneer work in nursing during the turbulent Civil War has always fascinated me. She’s been one of my heroines since childhood. I once did a book report on her when I was in the second grade. I still have the book used to make that report. And no, I’m not a hoarder or collector or any kind.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I can only tell them not to give up. I submitted my work for several years and tried writing different genres before I finally landed my agent. And then my agent submitted my work for over a year before landing my first contract. One tidbit would be this…I tried to write in genres I didn’t particularly love reading and that didn’t work out so well. Write only what you love to read. And don’t be too quick to throw in the towel.
Tell us about the featured book.
In A Marriage for Meghan, Meghan is eager to prove to her father, the bishop, that she’s mature enough to teach school. But just as she gains confidence, a troubled student challenges her authority and an enthusiastic suitor challenges her patience. How can Meghan outgrow the nickname “little goose” if she can’t stand on her own two feet? When a series of apparent hate crimes sweep through the district, the sheriff calls in the FBI, and Special Agent Thomas Mast arrives carrying a secret he’s hidden for years. Will he come to terms with the past and regain his relationship with God before his career hardened his heart? With more on her plate than one girl can handle, Meghan sets out to help with the investigation. Thomas works closely with the bishop, who hopes the criminals will be arrested before Meghan finds herself in love with the most inappropriate of suitors—an Englischer.
Please give us the first page of the book of:
the day after Christmas
Meghan Yost gazed out a frosty window on a world rapidly changing from earth brown to pure white.
“If this snow keeps up, nobody will be going anywhere tomorrow,” said her mamm. With her glasses perched at the tip of her nose, Ruth remained intent on finishing her basket of mending before bedtime.
“James heard on the battery radio that the snow should let up by midnight. If I can walk to the Wrights to baby-sit their two little ones, then surely I can reach the schoolhouse. It’s barely a half mile farther.” Meghan rubbed a dry patch in the condensation with her sleeve.
Gideon Yost released a weary sigh, indicative of a hundred-year-old man, rather than a middle-aged husband, father and bishop of their Old Order district. “Stop smearing up that glass and tell me what is so wrong with working for the Wright family.” He closed his well-worn Bible in his lap to concentrate on the matter at hand. “They’re nice enough folks, for Englischers."
“Nothing at all, daed.” Meghan stared out into the growing darkness.
“They pay you well; they give you most Saturdays off and they would never ask you to nanny on the Lord’s Day. Plus they let you snack on all the junk food and soda pop you want.”
Her mother clucked her tongue with disapproval. “I can’t believe you haven’t fattened up like a brood sow, considering the things I see in Jennifer Wright’s shopping cart at the IGA.”
“I eat enough pickled cauliflower and smoked turkey breast at home to offset the sweets eaten over there.” Meghan perched a hand on her still bony hipbone. “I’ve got a ways to go before someone thinks of taking me to the market.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?Readers can find me at www.maryeellis.wordpress.com and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236
Thank you, Mary, for a glimpse into your life and your new book.
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A Marriage for Meghan (The Wayne County Series)
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