Monday, August 03, 2015


Dear Blog Readers, Midnight on the Mississippi is a departure from the type of books, Mary Ellis has written before. I absolutely loved it. It’s my favorite book by Mary. The setting and feeling of the South, the characters who leapt off the pages, and the wonderful suspense plot that kept me guessing. I know you won’t want to miss this novel.

Welcome back, Mary. Since you’re being published regularly, what new avenues will your future books take?
I love writing mysteries and romantic suspense set in the South. Since we’ll be living in a warmer climate once my husband retires, at least part of the year, I’m enjoying researching places to live and towns to set my stories in.

What conferences will you be attending this year? Will you be a speaker at any of them?
Unfortunately, I won’t be attending any conferences and I will truly miss ACFW’s. This year my husband and I are taking a month-long research trip/vacation, which will consume every penny of our travel budget. Next year I hope to attend ACFW in Nashville and RWA in New Orleans.

ACFW is very near my house, but I don’t think I’ll be able to go because of my knee replacement surgery. I’ll try to go out at least one day if I can. If you were in charge of planning the panel discussion at a writing conference, what topic would the panel cover, and who would you ask to be on the panel, and why?      
I would plan a panel of authors who have changed genres or successfully write in several genres at the same time. Since Midnight on the Mississippi represents a change in genres for me, I would be fascinated by their answers.

How important is it to you to be active in writing organizations?
Frankly, I wouldn’t be where I am today without writing conferences. I have taken and learned from dozens of wonderful workshops, participated in panel discussions, and networked with other writers, agents, editors, and industry professionals. I attend every one that I can possibly afford. Their value is immeasurable.

Where in the community or your church do you volunteer?
I have volunteered at my church with our homeless outreach, Sunday school and VBS, at our local SPCA chapter, the local historical society, and with the women’s auxiliary in our town, which is a community service organization.

Who are the five people who have made the most impact on your life, and how?
My Lord Jesus Christ, my parents who adopted me when I was six weeks old, my husband of many years, and Pastor Bob Pettuccio, who baptized me for a second time. He taught me to live my faith every day.

If you could write the inscription on your tombstone, what would it be?
Here lies Mary Ellis who wished she’d discovered writing a little earlier in life!

Tell us about the featured book, Midnight on the Mississippi:
What lies beneath the black water of the bayou? Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life. Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley? As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day.

Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Yacht Queen Antoinette
Somewhere on Lake Pontchartrain
“What? I still can’t hear you, James!” Hunter Galen shouted into the mouthpiece. “Call me back in a few minutes. I’m going on deck. Maybe the signal will be stronger.” Ending the call, he headed for the doorway of the grand dining salon. Around him, the birthday party was in full swing. He glanced across a room filled with smiling faces, assured that the party had been a great idea. His mother, still stunning at sixty years old, was dancing with the senior partner of the law firm that had represented Galen business interests for years. Was something going on between them—more than just a slow waltz between old friends? Maybe, but he wouldn’t worry about it tonight. His mother and everyone else were enjoying themselves. In addition to delicious catering and plentiful libations, two bands—zydeco and swing—provided entertainment, with even a DJ between sets to keep the younger generation happy.

From the corner of his eye, Hunter spotted his girlfriend, soon-to-be fiancée, clinking champagne glasses with his sister, Chloe, and his sister-in-law, Cora. Together the three looked like a blonde, brunette, and flaming redhead hair color advertisement. While he watched, Ashley Menard glanced his way, her face lighting up with a Miss Louisiana smile. That’s what she once had been—or, at least, first runner-up. Tall and reed slim, Ashley’s cool composure stemmed from the belief that everything she touched would turn to gold. And it usually did. She lifted two fingers in a wave before refocusing on her future sisters-in-law.

“Don’t even think of getting down on one knee until you ask Daddy,” Ashley had warned him. Daddy. Twenty-six years old and owner of a chain of hair salons, yet she still referred to her father with a juvenile moniker. Well, this still was the old South, after all.

When the vibration of his phone jarred his attention from the party, he saw on the screen that it was James again. Sighing, he headed up the stairs for better reception. On the promenade deck above, Hunter sucked in a lungful of humid air and leaned over the polished teak railing. “Hello, James,” he spoke into the mouthpiece.

“Hunter, we have to talk. This is important. I know you’re tied up right now, but I had drinks tonight with old man Morrison at the bank. He wants to talk to us about the credit advance I requested. He refuses to extend the corporate credit line until we both come to his office. That tight-fisted—”

His colorful description of their banker became garbled as James’s voice rose with agitation.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
I hope readers will find me here: http:// or at:

Thank you, Mary, for sharing this new book with us. I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Midnight on the Mississippi -
Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mysteries) - Amazon
Midnight on the Mississippi (Secrets of the South Mysteries) - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Amy C said...

Thank you for the fabulous interview with Mary. Her new release looks great!
Amy C

Patty said...

It is always interesting to see what happens when an author tries out a new genre! Thanks for the interview and giveaway ladies.

Patty in SC

Anonymous said...

I have loved the other books of Mary's I have read. I enjoy mysteries as well and am excited at the thought of trying her new mystery.

Deanne in Pennsylvania

Britney Adams said...

I am intrigued by Midnight on the Mississippi; it sounds like an exciting story! Thank you so much for the interview and giveaway opportunity.

Britney Adams, TX

Caryl Kane said...

Thank you for the wonderful interview with Mary! Midnight on the Mississippi sounds like an amazing story. Thank you for the giveaway.

Caryl in TEXAS

Library Lady said...

I love the title of this book. Personally, I have been on the Mississippi River at Midnight, not on a boat but in an RV.
Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.
Janet E.

Linda Kish said...

This sounds exciting. Count me in, please.


lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Would love to win. Angela and Oreo in KY

Melanie Backus said...

Thank you for this great interview and giveaway! I would love to read this one, for sure!

Melanie Backus, TX

Trixi said...

I have several of Mary's books and this one certainty is a different premise! Sounds good since I love mysteries too! Enjoyed the interview, thank you for the chance to win a copy of "Midnight on the Mississippi"!

Trixi said...

Trixi in OR

Mary Preston said...

A great first page thank you. I'm going to enjoy this.

Mary P


Vera Godley said...

Mary Ellis always writes a good book.

Vera in NC

apple blossom said...

thanks for the chance to win
live in ND
ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

GrandaddyA said...

Quite often I entered these giveaways to try to win a book for my wife. I think this is one I would really enjoy reading. I love suspense and mysteries.
Edward A in VA

Emma said...

wonderful interview with Mary.I am looking forward to reading Midnight on the Mississippi.Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

Pam K. said...

I've read a couple of Mary's Amish books so I know she's a good writer. Since I like to read mysteries and romantic suspense, Midnight on the Mississippi sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. Thanks for the chance to win and for this interview to learn more about Mary.


Mary Ellis said...

Thanks so much for all your lovely readers who took the time to post a comment. Good luck, everyone, in the drawing. And thanks, Lena, for inviting me to your lovely blog.!

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway, SC.

Pam Graber said...

I love suspense books and Christian-themed suspense makes this a win-win for me. Would love to win the book!

Pam in Ohio

Beth Gillihan said...

Sounds like an exciting read! I love a good suspense! Thanks for the chance to win!

Beth in Montana

Mama Cat said...

Oh, this sounds so good - I love a good mystery with Christian themes! Thanks for the chance to win this! Jeanie in Phoenix

Abigail Mitchell said...

Please enter me!
Blanch NC

Anonymous said...

love to win Mary's book! Shelia from Mississippi

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I love mysteries and Mary's book sounds like a winner! Thanks for this interview and giveaway.
Connie from KY

Danielle Hull said...

This looks like a good one!Thank you!

kam110476 said...

Hi Mary & Lena! Midnight on the Mississippi sounds like it'll be intense - just what I love in my Christian Suspense books!
Kristen in OK
kam110476 at gmail dot com

rubynreba said...

I'd love to read this suspense book!
Beth from IA

Terrill R. said...

I keep seeing this book everywhere. I guess that means I better read it. Congrats, Mary and wishes for a successful release and run.

Terrill from Washington state