A frequent question writers are asked when they’re first published: Is this the first book you ever wrote? Often on television talk shows we hear about so-and-so’s first book hitting one of the coveted bestseller lists. Although there are exceptions to the rule (J.K. Rowling comes to mind….) in most cases, the book in question is the first published work. The writer might have penned any number of novels before creating a story that resonated with an editor or agent, and then finally with readers. For me personally, I was first published in romantic suspense set in the South. Then I happily changed genres to Amish romances since I’d been fascinated with their simple lives for years. After twelve novels set in the Amish world I was ready for another change, but didn’t wish to venture too far from romance. Everyone falls in love, right? Including people in bygone eras whose lives were simpler than how we live now.
So I decided to dig out two historical romances I’d written first, a dozen years ago. “Should you do that?” asked my practical husband. “Can you go back to something you wrote before you learned all the ‘rules’ and developed your voice?” He was giving me the same look like the time I announced, “I think we should retire in Costa Rica where the cost of living is less.” I assured him that I could do this. After all, I loved those stories when I created them, even though my agent said no one was interested in Civil War fiction at the time. The Quaker and the Rebel, first in the Civil War Heroines series, was my first baby. I dusted her off and breathed in new life with better plotting, sentence structure, and inner conflicts, and reduced redundancies and unnecessary verbiage. Bottom line? The rewrite took twice as long then if I burned the manuscript and started from scratch, and required more high-test coffee than I drank in four years of college.
I know what you’re thinking: Hubby was right. But I ended up preserving every sweet nuance and historical detail that originally intrigued me, in an easily-read structure and format. The best of both worlds! Would I do it again if I discovered two more novels waiting to be revived in my sock drawer? Only if I’m sitting on the beach in Costa Rica, sipping a cool drink, with plenty of time on my hands.
I hope you’ll look for The Quaker and the Rebel arriving in stores in late December. Also recently released is An Amish Miracle—three novellas from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I had the honor of writing, “Always in My Heart” for the collection that features Beth Wiseman and Ruth Reid. Right now I’m hard at work on Book two of the series, The Lady and the Officer, coming this summer. I hope you’ll watch for A Plain Man, a sequel to my best-selling Sarah’s Christmas Miracle, coming in April 2014 from Harvest House Publishers.
If you haven’t already done so, please sign up for my newsletter which I send out twice a year. To celebrate the newest book, I’m giving away 10 free copies of The Quaker and the Rebel on February 15th to newsletter subscribers. Sign up in the right-hand sidebar. I wish all my cherished readers a lovely holiday season and happy New Year! Sip a cup of hot cocoa settle into your favorite easy chair…hopefully with a book!
The Quaker and the Rebel
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?
- Retail Price: 13.99
- Release Date: January 1, 2014
- Page Count: 352
- Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
- ISBN: 978-0-7369-5050-3
Read a Chapter One of The Quaker and the Rebel
More Books by Mary Ellis
Civil War Heroines Series
The New Beginnings Series
The Wayne County Series
The Miller Family Series
| An Amish Miracle
A Plain Man
|The Lady & the Officer