Thursday, January 16, 2014

Mom Knows Best by Mary Ellis

Mary Ellis
I remember when I began writing around fifteen years ago, the only person I would allow to see my precious work was my mother. Who understands inner hopes and dreams better than your mom? And who would accept me for the flawed creature I am, yet still love me unconditionally? Since I’ve always had a lifelong passion for both travel and history, I decided I would set my books in the South. I loved taking off for long weekends or on summer vacations to study people who spoke with drawls, never worried about snowstorms and loved sweet tea. I was also fascinated with eras when men were men and ladies wore big hats and corsets. While writing my first book, I did laundry every Friday at my mother’s house. (Who could afford a Laundromat’s high prices?) While my clothes tumbled in her dryer, I would read my latest chapter aloud True to the code of motherhood Mom would laugh…or cry at every appropriate spot. When she died unexpectedly, I buried that manuscript in my sock drawer. It was too painful to submit, even though I went on to publish a dozen other novels in two different genres.

But Mom wasn’t happy. It was as though she was sending messages through my dreams that would stay with me all day. Finally I dug out and dusted off my old masterpiece. After a major overhaul (funny how much you learn after a dozen books…) I sent it in. What a surprise that my agent liked it as much as Mom.

One thing I learn while traveling the globe for research—deep down inside people are all the same. Everyone stands in awe before a gorgeous sunset; everyone loves to see a baby smile, everyone enjoys putting their feet up when day is done. And people never stop trying to please their parents, no matter how old they are. It’s the same with history. People might have dressed differently back then and ate odd sounding food, but when you get down to it, we haven’t changed much. Stories that delve into the human heart are timeless. The issues deviling our ancestors like what to be when you grow up or who to marry are the same ones facing us. So a romance will still ring true today, even after spending a considerable amount of time in my sock drawer.

Purchase Link
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 has written ten 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. An Amish Miracle, a collection of novellas, released in December from Harper Collins. She is currently working on a three-book series of historical romances set during the Civil War. The Quaker and the Rebel released January 1st. Book two, The Lady and the Officer will release this summer, both from Harvest House.
She can be found on the web at: or!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236


  1. I can totally understand why that manuscript languished in your sock drawer, Mary. How painful that must have been. I wish my mom lived closer so I could give her a hug after reading this. Thanks for sharing today. :)

  2. That story just broke my heart. I'm so glad you brought it "out of the sock drawer" and showed to your agent. And I'm glad you shared your story with us, too!


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