Sunday, September 13, 2009

A WIDOW'S HOPE - Mary Ellis - Free Book

I'm introducing a new author to me on the blog today. Welcome, Mary. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I try not to put myself into my books but it’s impossible. I love heroines who are kind-hearted but headstrong; faithful, but also willful, who often bite off more than they can chew. In A Widow’s Hope, there is a scene in which my main character starts six or seven projects at once, hoping that multi-tasking will accomplish much. Disaster ensues. I’m afraid that scene is straight from my everyday life.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

While teaching school, I went on a climbing/rappelling outing with the school geology club, never imagining my fear of heights would get in the way of a good time.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I have always been a storyteller since childhood, but didn’t start writing until about ten years ago.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Oh my, my tastes are quite varied. I like historical fiction such as Cold Mountain or Killer Angels; I enjoy romantic suspense to curl up with; and I love inspirational stories of women who rise above challenges/adversities to achieve their dreams. And of course, I love Amish fiction because the stories soothe and center me in this hectic world.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written a Civil War historical romance, my favorite historical time period, and a pair of mystery/romances set in New Orleans, my favorite city in the US.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Ah, that is the challenge, isn’t it? I often escape into Amish Country, either into a book by one of my fellow authors, or jump into my car and drive an hour. Once in beautiful, rolling Holmes County, I find my serenity. It’s so much easier to feel close to God while in His rural creation.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I take them from the Bible, but I must admit, it’s much easier for male names. Far fewer women are mentioned in the Bible, and those names often sound archaic and foreign to our modern-age ears.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I was a dutiful daughter to both of my parents. One suffered a very long, debilitating illness, while the other lived to a ripe old age but needed much help maintaining his independence and autonomy.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

I guess I’d pick a dog, since right now my dog is curled up in the sunbeam, with a full bowl of her favorite food and plenty of treats. Later she’ll take a nice walk, then curl back up and nap. She’s just had a bath and looks gorgeous, too, without even trying!

What is your favorite food?

We don’t have that kind of space, do we? If I had to narrow it down, it would be popcorn, ice cream, chocolate, and broccoli. (one must eat something healthy now and then, no?)

I like the way you think. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Blocking out enough time without interruptions to get something done. And I haven’t actually overcome it, only learned to better handle it.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Try not to compare yourself to others. Have faith in yourself, keep working hard, don’t take rejections to heart because every writer faces them, and leave the outcome up to God.

Tell us about the featured book?

A Widow’s Hope is the story of a woman making a fresh start in her sister’s home and community. When she moves from Lancaster, PA, to Holmes County, OH, she brings along her flock of sheep. Those gentle creatures cause a ton of problems for Hannah who has a few secrets to hide from her newfound love, Seth. Seth Miller has a child still plagued by her mother’s death, and in desperate need of a new mother. But the district deacon feels that mother should be anybody…but Hannah.

Please give us the first page of the book.
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Baa. Baa. Baaaaa. Hannah Brown nearly dropped the clean dress she was hanging on the line into the dewy grass. But she couldn’t help herself. Every time she heard a sheep bleat, her heart jumped like a new human mom when her infant cried. Hannah pinned the garment to the clothesline and hurried to the pasture fence. Seeing nothing amiss, she breathed a sigh of relief.
It was only a couple lambs energetically vying for their mother’s attention. One never could completely relax with a flock of sheep. A lamb might escape the pasture and get lost, drown in the swiftly flowing creek, become entangled in the blackberry briars, or wander into the road. Then there was the possibility of a hungry predator selecting one of her beloved creatures for his evening meal.

Hannah lifted her long Plain dress and stepped up on the bottom rail so she might survey the orderly farm her late husband had so cherished. Two years had passed since his death, yet hot tears still stung the backs of her eyes when she remembered what a kind soul Adam had been. There was much to be said for a girl marrying a childhood pal and later her best friend as they grew to adulthood.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Please come to my blog-site at

Thank you for taking time to visit with us, Mary.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book:
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


host said...

Hi! I loved the interview and the book sounds very interesting - sheeps and all :)

Virginia C said...

Good Morning, Ladies! Mary, I was also dutiful to my family, remaining with them to the end. Your advice to new writers could apply to all of us at different points in our life. Your book sounds lovely!

Molly said...

Blessings to all! Another Amish based book for a wonderful drawing! Please count me in the drawing! I love amish stories and their fact I wish I was Amish! Thanks for the chance to win!


Molly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ladybug said...

My mom loves Amish fiction. I would love to win this for her!

Deborah said...

Please enter me! I love Amish fiction and I have been wanting this one so bad!!!

connie e said...

A lovely sounding book! Please enter me for a chance to win this book!

Mary Ellis said...

thanks Lena, for interviewing me on your fabulous site. And also for the positive feedback. You know... the more I get to know sheep the more I think we could all learn something from these gentle creatures. thanks, too, to everyone who took the time to post a comment. I appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful book. I am so glad to see an interview with this wonderful writer, she is truly inspiring, and a lovely person.

Unknown said...

Thanks for introducing me to another great author. I'd love a chance to read this book thanks!

apple blossom said...

I love reading Amish books. I'd love to win this book thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com said...

Hello - I would love to win the book, I love reading about the Amish!

dancealert at aol dot com

Judy said...

I love Lancaster county and would enjoy reading this book!

Mary Ellis said...

your check is in the mail, Steve and Rena. you are wonderful people, too.

Caroline said...

Your book sounds wonderful, Mary, and I can't wait to read it. Anything with sheep I love...!!! :) We have a small herd of eight and one ready to lamb. They are so adorable when little.

Loved getting to know more about you, too. Great--fun interview.


Linda said...

I am interested in this book as it is Amish and I've not read this author. The Amish have such an interesting way of life. Not exactly simple, but not so 'rushed.' Please enter me for the giveaway. Thank you.

Michelle V said...

This looks wonderful! Please enter me.


Anonymous said...

A wonderful interview...would love to read this book.

karen k

Cherie J said...

Wonderful interview! Would love to be entered in the drawing.


kristen said...

Sounds great!! Count me in.

Unknown said...

I already read this book so you do not need to enter me in the drawing but I just want to say it was a very good book.

Kelly said...

Please enter me in this book drawing. Sounds like a great book! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.

Mark said...

please enter me, thanks

Megan said...

A sad but interesting first page! It will be interesting to see what biblical parallels there are in the raising of the sheep! Thanks for the interview and giveaway, Lena!


kskscott said...

I have read all of Mary's books and I can not say enough about how wonderful her books are. Also, I have had the pleasure of meeting this wonderful lady. She is a blessed writer and person. Mary much love to you!!

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this book!!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Carole said...

I always enjoy Amish books and am glad to see Mary Ellis writing in this genre. Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Lady Araujo said...

Thanks for this giveaway. I would love to read this book.

God's Blessings


Merry said...

I enjoyed the peek at A Widow's Hope and would love a chance to win it. Thanks!

peachykath said...

I loved the interview and would like the chance to try out a new author. Please enter me in the drawing for this book.


Julie said...

Great interview! Very personable author. Would love to win!

Julie said...

Great interview. Would love to read the book! Thanks for the opportunity to win one!

dancealert at aol dot com

Marla said...

Thank you for the interview. sounds like another great book. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I am trying to read more from this genre. Thanks,


Erin said...

I quite enjoy reading these types of book!

ellybean (at) connected2christ (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Great interview! I would love to read A Widow's Hope. I love reading Amish stories. Please enter me in the drawing. ~Abby


ladybug said...

Please include me in the drawing! Am trying to keep up with all the new Amish releases...!

adge said...

This looks great. Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks.

Ausjenny said...

Looks like a great book please enter me