Monday, March 28, 2016

Pay it Forward by Mary Manners



Pay It Forward

By Mary Manners
 
“Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
~ Colossians 3:12 ~
 
I am not only an author, but also a teacher and intermediate school principal who is on the verge of retirement to a full-time writing career. These final weeks I walk the school halls, greeted by the smiling faces of the children I have grown to love, and reminisce about my own days as a young and impressionable student.
I have been writing since I was old enough to know that words tell a story…about four years old. I have such vivid memories of standing in my basement in Chicago, leaning against the washing machine, and scribbling across a notepad because I had a story to tell. Of course, the scribble was just gibberish, but the story was clear in my mind.

My primary school librarian read wonderful stories from picture books. One of my favorites was Sam, Bangs and Moonshine. I loved the wonderful tale of the inquisitive girl and her cat, and the father whose love was overshadowed by grief over the loss of his wife…so many powerful emotions interwoven with haunting illustrations. As you might guess, library hour was my favorite time of the week.

In sixth grade, I had a wonderful teacher who nurtured my writing. She came to school early in the morning and poured over my stories as she sat alongside me, and I completed my first full-length novel that year. I will never forget this wonderful woman. We corresponded through my college years before losing touch. I will forever fondly remember her, though, and treasure the boundless encouragement she gave me.

In high school, I had an English teacher who loved books as much as I did. He understood my passion for words, and encouraged me to read books with more depth and to appreciate their beautiful imagery. He also began a writers’ group, and published some poems I wrote in a school anthology. It was thrilling to see my thoughts come to life in print!

Without these dedicated teachers, I may not have pursued my love of writing…and might very well not be where I am today. I remember them as each morning I enthusiastically greet my intermediate-school students, and try to ‘pay forward’ the encouragement I received.

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Mary Manners is an award-winning romance writer who lives in the beautiful foothills of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and the cherished cats they've rescued from local animal shelters...Neyland and Gus. She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and Smoky Mountain sunsets.
 
Mary believes everyone has a story to tell, and she loves to share hers. She writes inspirational romances of all lengths, from short stories to novels—something for everyone.
 
Learn more about Mary Manners at her website: www.MaryMannersRomance.com.

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When Lexi Taylor resorts to hosting an online auction to raise money for her fledgling youth center, the last thing she expects is to be matched for a date with Cooper Jackson. Lured by the promise of a lucrative NFL career, the hometown hero and former University of Tennessee quarterback broke off their engagement without so much as a backward glance.

Now, six years later, he’s come home to nurse an injured knee and his wounded pride—and he wants Lexi back. But a heartbreaking secret stands between them, and Lexi plans to keep it that way. 

Can Cooper's gentleness and renewed faith coax the secret to the surface? And if he does, will forgiveness draw them close…or will their love be shattered forever?




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