Monday, June 27, 2016

New Beginnings by Mary Manners

New Beginnings

By Mary Manners
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Ecclesiastes 3:1…
As we approach Independence Day, I also embark upon a new adventure in life...retirement from a lifelong career in education and administration coupled with a move 500 miles south, to the sunny shores of Jacksonville, FL. Transitioning from a day job to full-time writing is much like being released into the sunlight with fledgling wings. The idea is surreal; beautiful and wonderful, yet at the same time a bit unnerving. Going from the familiarity of a massively time-crunched writing schedule to wide-open free time calls for more than a bit of organization.
Retirement is a new chapter filled with blank pages; a canvas just yearning for a vibrant splash of color. So many ideas swirl in a tempest, jockeying for the lead position in the creative storm. As a new routine takes shape, the tempest settles to match the rhythm of the ocean beyond my writing grotto. The storm takes on a life of its own in a flurry of words and sentences; pages begin to fill with a lifetime's worth of tales. Pure joy for my soul.
Yes, I have mourned the end a career that has blessed me immeasurably, one that has stood front and center for the majority of my life--teaching children. I will miss the smiling faces, the hugs and sheer wonder in the bright eyes of so many youngsters who have learned to love learning. But it is time to move on to the very passion that has lurked within the depths of my heart, waiting patiently so many years for its time to bloom. Writing is my heart and soul...breath itself.
So here I stand, in this new chapter, spreading my wings to the warm ocean breeze. Adventure springs wide and beckons. Stay tuned...

Jami Mitchell has come home to Heart’s Haven to open a bookshop with the inheritance Grandma left to her. Nana’s Novel Notions is the business of her dreams until she realizes who the tenant next door is: ruthless Riley Hunter. Growing up in the small town together, she’s watched him dance through women while she’s hidden her feelings with a Teflon exterior. How will she cope, when she can’t bear being in the same town with him--let alone neighbors?
Riley Hunter has sacrificed everything to shed the poverty of his childhood. While others held Sweet-sixteen parties, he cleaned up after them. But his hard work has paid off, and he’s opened an architecture firm in the growing town. He’s had a thing for Jami since high school, but she was the privileged girl who never gave him the time of day. Now she’s come home with a wad of cash and has set up a book store in the business complex he plans to buy out. Can the two put the past behind them, or will his dream shatter hers?
Mary Manners is an award-winning romance author who lives along the beautiful shores of Jax Beach with her husband Tim. She loves swimming, running, flavored coffee and ocean-blue 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.

Connect with Mary at her website:



  1. Congratulations on your retirement, Mary! What a beautifully written, effective post in transporting me to your writing paradise! I wish you all God's best in this new adventure, and look forward with great anticipation to all the amazing stories God will inspire in your heart and mind to pen. I will forever be grateful that God crossed our paths through the love and power of story!! You are a treasured sister friend, and an extraordinarily gifted author...I couldn't be more thrilled for this new beginning in your life!! Write on, and be blessed!!

  2. Great share and interview, Mary! Welcome to the sunshine state! We've been here for a little over six years now. I do miss my Michigan roots, but must say, most of all I miss good doctors! We're further south and a little too far away from JAX to take advantage of the Mayo Clinic, but keep in mind when you need a good doctor, you'll have one. I too think change is hard, but welcome the blessings that come each day. With the gift of writing comes remembering...and we can capture those memories wherever we are. Your new book looks great, and I'd enjoy reading it. Maybe we'll meet sometime in this sunny state where everyone comes to retire!! :) Enjoy!

  3. Mary - retirement and fulltime writing sounds glorious. I'm Looking forward to being in your shoes.

    Congratulations and as prolific as you were when working I can wait to see how you do retired!

  4. Congrats, Mary! Embrace this new season of life!

  5. Congratulations again, Mary! Here's to new adventures on this side of that milestone. Happy (full-time) writing!

  6. I'm am so thrilled for you. I echo the sentiments already expressed that if you've been this prolific while working full-time, retirement will be nothing but an enormous writing blessing for you and your readers. Enjoy it, savor every story your spirit is aching to tell. I rejoice right along with you as you celebrate a brand-new season that I know will be nothing but successful! Your gift is incredible.


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