Sunday, February 05, 2012

AN AMISH FAMILY REUNION - Mary Ellis - Free Book

Welcome back, Mary. Tell us about your salvation experience.
I have always gone to church and been a Christian, but about four years ago, I realized what it meant to be a Believer (through my pastor at the time, Bob Pettruccio) I took a full immersion baptism and dedicated my life to Christ. What a difference it has made! Now everything I say and do and write is accountable to the Lord.

You’re planning a writing retreat where you can only have four other authors. Who would they be and why?
Oh, absolutely you, Lena, because you’ve always been an inspiration to me since joining ACFW! Secondly it would be Mary Connealy because she’s the funniest woman, let alone writer, that I have ever met! Third, it would be Suzanne Woods Fisher because she was incredibly sweet and kind to me when I started writing Amish fiction. And fourth, it would be Angela Hunt. Angela does not know me, but I took one of her classes at the Blue Ridge Writers’ Conference. Her sensitivity and emotional involvement with her writing were unbelievable. I still have much to learn from Angela.

I’d be honored to be a part of that retreat. Do you have a speaking ministry? If so, tell us about that.
I would describe it as an informal speaking ministry. I do author talks at libraries and at women’s clubs and Christian women’s retreats. Usually the libraries want to know about my books and my personal road to publication, but I always find a way to share my spiritual walk with the Lord with the readers in attendance.

I love speaking at libraries. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you and how did you handle it?
I once attended a book-signing in a small town in Ohio and no one came. Not one person. It was on a weekday, but still I was so embarrassed. But then I thought—what’s the problem? I got a chance to meet a wonderful Christian bookstore owner and spend time browsing the shelves. What a lovely way to spend a morning. God never make mistakes. Lest I get too “full of myself” He places these gentle reminders in our paths. Our writing/books should always be about Him and not about ourselves.

I had a book-signing like that with my first book release. People are always telling me that they’d like to write a book someday. I’m sure they do to you, too. What would you tell someone who came up to you and said that?
Sit down with tablet and pen or your laptop and write! I’m not trying to be funny. But some many new or wannabe writers talk about writing without ever sitting down and gritting out a story. Writing a book is hard work, and many never think about that side of it. Get your story down; then go back through and revise. You can’t fix something that isn’t there.

Tell us about the featured book.
Julia Miller misses her children. They are grown with families of their own now, but her mother’s heart yearns for a houseful of laughter and joy once again. She plans to gather her chicks for a summer celebration to remember. At the farm next door, Julia’s niece, Phoebe, meets Eli Riehl, a young man who charms her—and everyone else—with his exceptional storytelling ability on a rumschpringe trip to Niagara Falls. When Phoebe sketches scenes to illustrate his tale, Eli encourages her incredible talent, and together they embark on an unlikely business venture for two Amish people—writing and illustrating a children’s book. Eli’s appeal extends beyond his knack for words to reach inside Phoebe’s shy heart. But when tragedy strikes, Eli gives up his writing to assume responsibility on the farm. Though willing to abandon his dream of becoming an author, he won’t give up his beloved Phoebe. Can their love for a good story develop into something that lasts forever, or will memories of the past stand in their way?

Please give us the first page of the book:

An Amish Family Reunion by Mary Ellis 


Winesburg, Ohio

You would think that a person might be able to enjoy some peace and quiet on a Sunday afternoon. After all, it was the Sabbath—a day of rest. Yet Phoebe Miller found herself hiding behind a tree to escape from her family. There were just so many of them. Living next door to Aunt Julia and Uncle Simon guaranteed plenty of drop-in visits, impromptu potluck suppers, and more unsolicited advice than any red-blooded, seventeen-year-old girl needed. It’s not that she didn’t love her family—because she certainly did—she simply needed more time alone time than most people.

Holding her breath, Phoebe stood stock-still until Uncle Simon headed into the barn in search of her father and Aunt Julia entered the house looking for Hannah. Her mamm. Hannah wasn’t her mother by blood, but had earned the title during the past twelve years of bandaging scrapes, helping with math homework, and remaining near while Phoebe suffered the flu on long winter nights. She couldn’t remember her birth mother anymore. She had been only five when an impatient driver in a fast-moving truck decided to pass on a blind curve. It didn’t hurt much anymore. She had Hannah, and her daed, and her little brother to love. They were all she needed…except for a little personal solitude.

Phoebe sucked in her gut as ten-year-old Ben ran across the yard, chasing his dog that was chasing a rubber ball. When the two ducked under a fence into the cornfield, she ran pell-mell in the opposite direction, clutching her box of pencils and sketchpad tightly. She dared not look back for fear some cousin would be waving frantically from the porch. This time, she didn’t stop to watch baby lambs nursing from their ewes or to pick a fistful of wild trilliums for her windowsill. On through the sheep pasture she ran until she reached her favorite drawing spot—an ancient stonewall constructed by long ago pioneers of Holmes County. Phoebe doubted these early settlers had been Amish. Not too many Amish men would take the time to painstakingly stack flat rocks just so to form a long fence line. Not when dozens of tall trees fell over in the woods each winter that could easily be split into fence rails. And not when stampeding cows spooked by thunder, or marauding sheep needing no reason whatsoever to bolt, could knock the entire wall down within minutes. That was probably why this twenty-yard section was all that remained. But it was all Phoebe needed.

How can readers find you on the Internet?
I have a brand new website, designed by ACFW’s own Keiki Hendrix. I hope readers will drop by and check it out: and I also blog weekly at My Facebook author page is:!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

Thank you, Mary, for sharing with us today.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
An Amish Family Reunion - paperback
An Amish Family Reunion - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

Thanks, Lena and Mary for a great interview and the opportunity to win An Amish Family Reunion. i love how the characters are using their talents in a quiet, unassuming way. i would love to win!

marianne from El Mirage, Arizona


Jo said...

I really enjoyed the interview. I would love to win a copy of this book. It sounds great and I do enjoy reading Amish fiction.

Jo from Southern Arizona

Wendy Newcomb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wendy Newcomb said...

I would love to win this book, I have it on my wish list.

I live in FL.


Lourdes said...

Great interview. Would love to win.

Lourdes from Huntington, NY

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the chance to win this. This looks like a great book. I would love to read this. Thanks again.

I am from Oklahoma

Alicia said...

Ohh wow! I so would love to win to win this book.

Ali From NY

scottsgal said...

I've only been reading Amish fiction for about 6 months and really enjoy it. Thanks for the chance
msboatgal at

Judy said...

I have read ALL of Mary's books and would love to win a copy of, An Amish Family Reunion. I am a die hard fan!!

Thanks Lena and Mary for this great giveaway!

Judy from Indiana

Mary Preston said...

If you had a book signing within a reasonable distance I would attend. So count on at least one.

I'm looking forward to reading AN AMISH FAMILY REUNION.

Mary P


Judy Cooper said...

I had recently added "An Amish Family Reunion" to a list of books I hope to read soon. I have always enjoyed Mary Ellis' books. It was nice to learn about her personally.
Please enter my name. Thank you, Judy C. in Louisiana.

Patsy said...

I love reading anything Amish.It's probably my favorite type of books to read. Would really enjoy this book.

from South MS


rubynreba said...

An Amish Family Reunion is definitely a book I would enjoy. I love to read Amish books.
Beth from Iowa

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read mary's latest novel.

karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Mary Ellis said...

Thanks to everyone who dropped by Lena's blog and posted comments. And thanks, Lena, for inviting me. You readers are super folks for all the nice things you said about my books. And Mary P--I'd love to come to Australia. but right now, I'm staying close to home until hubby retires. My next booksigning are scheduled for April in Ohio's Amish Country. but there's always a chance. blessings....

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of "An Amish Family Reunion" by Mary Ellis. I have read her books and just loved them all.

Tina Watson

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting. I would love to read it. thanks for the chance to win Thanks
And God Bless
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch NC

Abigail Mitchell said...

Would love to read this book. Please enter me in the drawing.
Thanks and God Bless!
Blanch, N.C.

karen said...

Enjoy reading Amish books:)
karen from NYC

Coolestmommy said...

I loved learning more about you and how you've come to fully live for God. Looking forward to reading what sounds like an exceptional Amish tale.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Faith's Grandma said...

Would love to win this book, love the Amish books...thanks Faith's Grandma/OH

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book it sounds like a great story! Thanks and God bless.
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Please enter me in the drawing!
Thanks for the chance to win.
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

TAMMY said...

Great interview I read Amish fiction all the time. I love it and would love to win this book. I am going to be starting one of your books soon and can not wait.

Tammy Hudson

Emma said...

Good interview.An Amish Family Reunion sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.Thank you.PA.

Unknown said...

I would really love to win this book of Mary's! The interview was fantastic!
Thanks for the chance to win!

Anonymous said...

I have been waiting for this book. I love Mary's books:-)

Anonymous said...

I want to read this book so bad,it sounds wonderful.I love your books.They are always great.I enjoy reading amish books.Thanks...Jackie from N.C.

Angie Adair said...

This book is definitely on my to be read list! Angie in Illinois

molly f. said...

I would love to win this book!!! Thank you for the chance!! Molly from KY "I love reading your books"

Carol N Wong said...

I really love Amish Fiction. I have heard about this great before.
Thank you for the opportunity to win it.


From Texas

misskallie2000 said...

Hi Mary, I love Amish stories and looking forward to reading your latest. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

I live in Georgia

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Bakersdozen said...

I would love to read this. I also thought the interview was interesting. I live in S. CA.

Kristie said...

I love Amish fiction It's my favorite genre. The fact that the characters are writing a children's book is very interesting and refreshing. Not "cookie cutter", which I dislike. I liked all of Mary's previous novels so I'm sure I'll like this one too. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com