Monday, March 31, 2014

Reader Survey and choice of 5 books ends April 14th

This week I'm doing a survey. I want your honest opinion of your favorite genre, time period, and story preference. Please choose one answer for each category. If you really have two favorites and you can't choose feel free to leave both. Your choices will not affect your chances to win. Leave your answers in the comments. Don't forget to leave your email address and let me know if you are a feedburner follower. 

PIRATE- Releases March 1st


Favorite Genre

Historical Romance                   
Historical Romantic Suspense    
Romantic Suspense                     

Favorite Time Period

Age of Romance       
Civil War                  
Revolutionary War   
WW II                      
Age of Discovery    
18th century in general
19th century in general                                  
1850's - 1920's   

Story Preference

Sweet Romances   
Historic England  
Southern Romances             

Early 1900's         
Biblical Fiction    
Age of Sail           
Spiritual Warfare 

I am giving away a choice of any of these books for 1 person who answers the survey. If I have 20 different people who answer the survey I'll giveaway 2 books, 30-3 books, 40-4 books, and 50-5 books. (first name chosen will get first pick. 2nd second pick, etc.) So PLEASE SHARE THIS SURVEY on Facebook and Twitter and Google +. I'll even give you extra entries if you let me know you shared. And don't forget if you follow through Feed burner and let me know I'll give you an extra entry for that too!
A Little Bit of Charm by Mary Ellis

Before the Season Ends by Linore Rose Burkard

A home for my Heart by Anne Mateer

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

Echoes of Titanic by Mindy and John Clark

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Quaker and the Rebel by Mary Ellis Ends March 31st

Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.What a fun question! I am sitting in my office wearing an Ohio State University hoodie, yoga pants, and slippers. My hair is a mess and no makeup! Thank goodness I never Skype!

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research? That people and animals cannot be predicted. I have been chased by horses, goats, chickens, and sheep while researching the Amish.

What is something that very few people know about you? I was a volunteer snake handler at the Cleveland Zoo for two summers.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)An illustrated book of Bible stories given to me as a child by my grandmother.

If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future,  when and where would that be and why?
I would have loved to live in Colonial Williamsburg during the early days of our nation. Life seemed so infinitely romantic back then.

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be?
The Long and Winding Road by Mary Ellis

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I yearned for sisters since I had none.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?I didn’t tell my husband of 40 years the train story (below) until we were married 20 years. Up until that point he always thought of me as a “good” girl.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?When I was in junior high my friend and I hopped a freight train and rode it for several miles. We had to jump off and roll down an embankment just before the train crossed a bridge. It was a very dangerous thing to do! We were spotted (and arrested!) by Conrail detectives. Our parents had to appear with us in juvenile court. I believe Mom grounded me until I left for college.

What Happens When an Underground Railroad Conductor
Falls in Love with a Man Loyal to the Confederacy?
Emily Harrison’s life has turned upside down. At the beginning of the Civil War, she bravely attempts to continue her parents’ work in the Underground Railroad until their Ohio farm is sold in foreclosure. Now alone and without a home, she accepts a position as a governess with a doctor’s family in slave-holding Virginia. Though it’s dangerous, she decides to continue her rescue efforts from there.

Alexander Hunt, the doctor’s handsome nephew, does not deny a growing attraction to his uncle’s newest employee. But he cannot take time to pursue Emily, for Alexander isn’t what he seems—rich, spoiled, and indolent. He has a secret identity. He is the elusive Gray Wraith, a fearless man who fights the war from the shadows, stealing Union supplies and diverting them to the Southern cause.

The path before Alexander and Emily is complicated. The war brings betrayal, entrapment, and danger. Amid their growing feelings for each other, can they trust God with the challenges they face to provide them with a bright future?

Mary Ellis is the bestselling author of many books, including A Widow's Hope and A Little Bit of Charm. She is an active member of the local historical society and Civil War Roundtable, where she served as secretary for several years. She has enjoyed a lifelong passion for American history.

ISBN 978-0-7369-5050-3
Category: Fiction—Romance

More About Mary:

Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her last series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award. She is currently working on a three-book series of historical romances set during the Civil War for Harvest House Publishers. The Quaker and the Rebel released in January. She can be found on the web at:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cass Wessel

Please welcome Cass Wessel to my blog this week. 
Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table in my track pants and fuzzy sweater with my Golden Retriever, Elliot, snoring nearby.

What is the funniest, strangest, or most interesting thing you have learned when doing research?
That would be something that concerns women’s health. Before the mid-twentieth century, a disease known as “childbed fever” occurred immediately after childbirth. Lack of proper sanitation and antibiotics caused a death rate of 75% from the most virulent form of puerperal fever. 

What is something that very few people know about you?
Every year my father bought a red heart filled with chocolate candies for my Valentine’s birthday.

What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
Other than my NIV Bible, I guess that would be my laptop I use to write.

If you could live in any time period other than the one we live in, past or future, when and where would that be and why?
That’s easy. I’d live in Galilee when Jesus was alive and be among His women followers. 

If you were writing a book about your life what would the title be? “Unbelievable”
Because that’s what my life has been, unbelievable.

What one novel did you read that made you want to be a part of the story?
I’ve been an avid reader from childhood. The first book that springs to mind was “The Black Stallion” by Walter Farley, but as an adult I identified with Father Tim in “At Home in Mitford” by Jan Karon.

What is the biggest secret you ever kept (of course it can’t be a secret anymore)?
In Seminary, I loved discovering the words and thoughts of early church writers. Many were in poetic format and probably chanted. Poetry is memorable and the chanted voice projects better.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? Study ancient Κοινή (Koine) Greek poetic sermons and hymnody. I bet you’re thinking how useful was that? So far, not very.


Cass Wessel spends her time reading and crafting stories to win the heart. Her current work in progress, “To Cherish Levi” is an Amish novel set in the mid-twentieth century. She is also in the process of editing an historical novel, “To Cherish a Prodigal,” set during Prohibition. She has many published devotionals, a few contributions in denominational magazines, anthologies and other books. She attended the ACFW Conference this last September and attends the annual Writing Success Conferences. In the latter, she has won medals for her writing and poetry three years in a row. Cass lives with her dog in Tionesta, PA where she attends church. She’s a mother, grandmother, and retired minister. Her website “Words About the Word” and blogs, “The Word Heart Written” and “Poetic Musings” are found at

Monday, March 10, 2014

Speaking Jitters! Marriage by Arrangement by Anne Greene Ends 3/17


 Please welcome Anne Greene to my blog this week. Anne is giving away a copy of her book Marriage by Arrangement. Leave a comment and your email addy to be entered and don't forget to let me know if you are a feedburner follower so you get an extra entry!

                                                            SPEAKING JITTERS

Anne Greene here.                           
A few weeks ago I committed to speaking to a book club in Texas. But I faced a problem.

I live just north of Dallas and traffic is horrendous. I have very little sense of direction, but I do have my trusty GPS. So arriving at my destination thirty miles away through heavy traffic was not the problem.

Normally at a book club the members all buy my book and then we discuss the book. This club operated differently. They wanted a review of my book—by myself, the author. Well, that sounded like loads of fun. I could give myself a five star review. So that was not the problem.

I love to speak to book clubs, but this club boasted almost one hundred members. I’d never spoken for one hour to such a large group.

The problem is that I’m a total introvert. I love speaking to book clubs because they are usually small, intimate groups of between five and twelve people. I can do that.

So, a pall of dread descended over me. The horror of speaking to a large group grew and magnified inside my mind. I imagined I would look out over the group and freeze. I would forget everything I had to say. My soft voice would not carry to the audience. Since this was a secular group, there might be a heckler—a person who didn’t like inspirational writers.

And so my dread grew.

Since I’ve become a writer, the Lord has taken me far out of my comfort zone so many times I should be accustomed to the nerves and tension. But I’m not.

Just a few days before my scheduled talk, I was in a mental and emotional frenzy.
As I was thinking on my problem, God brought to my mind another time He’d forced me out of my comfort zone. During that experience He’d given me a precious verse. Deuteronomy 31:8 – The Lord Himself goes before you, and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

And God had gone before me, and He had smoothed the way. The moment the Lord brought that verse back to my mind, every shed of fear left me. I looked back at what He had done and I enjoyed complete peace. The peace lasted until the speech, during the speech, and after the speech.

The talk was a success, and I actually enjoyed myself in front of that audience.

So, once again, God taught me that I don’t need to slip outside my comfort zone alone. He goes before me, and He is always with me. Even in something as insignificant as speaking to a group. Isn’t God wonderful? Claiming His promises leads to peace and joy.

More about Anne:
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won three prestigious book awards. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement released November, 2013.  A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to awesome new worlds and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Tim LaHaye led her to the Lord when she was twenty-one and Chuck Swindoll is her Pastor. Anne loves to talk with her readers. View Anne’s books, travel pictures and art work at Buy Anne’s books at Or at Visit for information on writing an award-winning novel. Talk with Anne on twitter at @TheAnneGreene. Visit Anne’s Facebook page at
                                            A MARRIAGE COVENANT

                        Why does a handsome, powerful noble of the highest rank in England stoop to marry a mere Lady of Lowland Scotland?

                                            A GREAT SECRET
                        Are the whispered stories about him true? With his shadowy past and strange behavior what awful secret does he hide? Each change of clothes transforms him into a different man.
                                           AN IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE
                        Can Lady Cailin keep her vow to make her marriage happy and successful, unlike that of her parents, or to save her unborn child, must she arrange for the Duke’s accidental death?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Death by the Book by Julianna Dearing Ends 3/9

The Elegant, Lethal Hatpin

    The hatpin.
    There is something fascinating about hatpins. Of course, they are no longer a wardrobe essential, but from the middle ages through the early part of the twentieth century, hatpins were both a necessity and a fashion statement.
    They were originally used to hold veils and wimples in place. They were handmade, a slow and laborious process that was unable to keep up with demand, so England eventually began importing them from France. In America in 1832, a machine was invented to manufacture hatpins, making them much more plentiful and affordable. When, in the 1880s, hats became more popular than bonnets and famous women like Lillian Russell and Lilly Langtree wore enormous hats without strings, the hatpin market boomed. In England, sales of hatpins were eventually restricted to only two days in January each year, and all year long women would save their "pin money" to buy them.
    As most items of fashion do, the hatpin became more elaborate over time. By 1910, hatpins had grown from eight inches to ten or twelve inches in length and laws were passed requiring that the pin ends be covered to prevent accidental injuries. Though a poor woman probably had to settle for a simple black or white bead on the end of her hatpin, the wealthy sported pins made of precious metals with blown glass, rhinestones or even gemstones in abundance, pins designed by some of the great artists of their day such as Tiffany and Gebelein. Some elaborate hatpins even contained a small mirror and a powderpuff for the lady's convenience.
    By World War I, the availability of precious metals was shrinking and hats got smaller and the day of the hatpin was ending. By World War II, with the entry of so many women into the workforce, their day was over. Now few women wear hats with any regularity, but hatpins are still items of beauty and elegant design sought after by many collectors. There are even hatpin societies who discuss the history, design and preservation of these antiques.
    So, as a mystery writer, why am I  telling you about hatpins?

    Death by the Book is the second of my Drew Farthering mystery series. The series is set in Hampshire, England in the 1930s and is in the tradition of Agatha Christie and other writers from the
Golden Age of Crime Fiction. The first book, Rules of Murder, introduces Drew himself, a young Englishman with good looks, a good education and a good fortune who really doesn't know what to do with his life, and his stepfather's American niece, Madeline Parker, who joins him in solving the mystery and wins his heart in the bargain.
    In Death by the Book, Drew and Madeline have to track down a killer who leaves cryptic clues attached to the victims' bodies by . . . antique hatpins. So, yes, hatpins have always fascinated me, but probably not for the right reasons. They are definitely beautiful and elegant. But being some sort of gewgaw attached to eight to twelve inches of sharply pointed metal, they are also lethal weapons. A curious blend of art and menace that's perfect for a mystery novel.

About Julianna:

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, 2014). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and four contemporary mysteries for the Annie's Attic series. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (

Picture from Wikicommons