Monday, October 22, 2018

Never Give Up by Mary Manners

Never Give Up

By Mary Manners
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”
~Hebrews 12:1~
What do the three M’s…Marathons, Manuscripts and Motherhood have in common? Well, as a former marathon runner, I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that the countless hours of running and training during my marathon days prepared me for the other two.
Marathon running is an endeavor that requires dedication, commitment, follow-through and sacrifice. Runners have to train when they don’t feel like it…when their legs ache and they haven’t slept well. When the weather is hot, humid, cold, rainy, or the ground is blanketed in snow. Runners train before the sun rises, after dark, and as a strong north wind tries to blow them right off the path. Distance runners maintain focus and stay true to the goal. There’s no turning back, only looking forward and always striving for the next great challenge.

The same can be said of writing. It’s a path that requires dedication, commitment, follow-through and sacrifice. After all, what reader would enjoy a book that lacks a satisfying ending…devoid of plot, direction, or character arc? What publisher would pay for such a book? So writers plot even when they don’t feel like it…when their friends are going to the movies or out to dinner, when they’d rather read than revise, when warm rays of sunshine beckon from an office window and their heart longs to run and play. Writers pound the keyboard early in the morning when the rest of the world has yet to rise and late at night when the rest of the world has gone to bed. They write when the refrigerator lures with just one more soda or a piece of chocolate pie. When writer’s block strikes they take a sledgehammer to it instead of pushing away from the desk, no matter how painful the sacrifice.
Being a mother is an endeavor that requires dedication, commitment, follow-through and sacrifice. Saying no to a child has never made any mother popular. Moms overlook their own needs to care for a child. They mother early in the morning, late at night, and every moment in between. They remain strong as a century-old oak when the storms of terrible two’s and the teenage years rage, while teaching their teen to drive or when their toddler throws a tantrum in the grocery store check-out line.

My life’s journey has been a blend of the three M’s. My daughter has begun embarked on a career as a school librarian, carrying the torch that I once held. She will graduate from college with a master's degree in May. The child I once shuttled to basketball practice and choir rehearsal now chauffeurs me. I have learned, depending on the day (sometimes even the hour), that I know nothing…and everything. Recently, a college friend of mine sent a photo that was snapped our sophomore year (1982). Looking at the photo, I thought I saw my daughter staring back at me. Was I ever that young, thin and…unwrinkled? My daughter took one glance at the picture and gasped, “Mama, is that really you?” as if I could have never—possibly—been that vivacious young woman in the snapshot. After a good laugh, I thought about the fleeting passage of time and how happy and truly blessed I am to have experienced the three M’s…Marathons, Manuscripts and, most especially, Motherhood.


When Chloe Rylin flees New York City and her dream of becoming a Broadway performer, she returns to her hometown harboring a life-altering secret and the shame of a shattered past. Best friend Kelsie asks her to help build a house through the local Shelter the Homeless program, where Chloe meets Zack Coleman and his mischievous St. Bernard, Sammy.
Zack is dealing with a devastating loss of his own, yet his gentleness and patience melt Chloe's resolve never to trust, much less fall in love, again. But what will Zack think when he discovers the shame of Chloe's past? Will he reject her, or can their fledgling love heal hurting hearts and blossom into a happily-ever-after, together?


Mary Manners is a country girl at heart who has spent a lifetime sharing her joy of writing. She lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee with her husband Tim and their rescue dog Axel, mischievous cats Colby and Rascal, 6 rambunctious chickens, and 13 fish.
Mary writes stories full of faith and hope. Her books have earned multiple accolades including two Inspirational Reader’s Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, the Aspen Gold, the Heart of Excellence, and the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award.
Mary loves long sunrise runs, Smoky Mountain sunsets, and flavored coffee. She enjoys connecting with reader friends through her website: