Mary's Website

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast: Serenity to Accept by Elizabeth Maddrey

cover photo
Serenity to Accept By Elizabeth Maddrey

About the Book

Karin Reid has never had much use for God. There's been too much pain in her life for her to accept that God is anything other than, at best, disinterested or, at worst, sadistic. Until she meets Jason Garcia. After his own mistakes of the past, Jason is committed to dating only Christians. He decides to bend his rule for Karin, as long as she comes to church with him. As their friendship grows, both will have to decide if they'll accept the path God has for them, even if it means losing each other.

Elizabeth Maddrey Elizabeth Maddrey began writing stories as soon as she could form the letters properly and has never looked back. Though her practical nature and love of math and organization steered her into computer science for college and graduate school, she has always had one or more stories in progress to occupy her free time. When she isn’t writing, Elizabeth is a voracious consumer of books and has mastered the art of reading while undertaking just about any other activity. She loves to write about Christians who struggle through their lives, dealing with sin and receiving God’s grace. Elizabeth lives in the suburbs of Washington D.C. with her husband and their two incredibly active little boys. She invites you to interact with her at her website or on Facebook:

Follow Elizabeth Maddrey Website | Facebook | Twitter

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon Gift Card, sponsored by Author Elizabeth Maddrey!
This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Announcing . . . Stage Wars!!

In many ways, writing a book is like having a baby. The idea is conceived in a splash of creative imagery. It's nourished in a bazillion what-ifs. Feelings of love for the story haunt the author, waking her up in the middle of the night with possible solutions, plot twists, and ideas for names. The words are critiqued and edited over and over, perused from every angle, much like a mother doting over and loving her child through nine months of care. Then, when the author thinks it's finally time, the delivery imminent, labor begins. Cover creating, formatting, marketing strategies, and a world of new learning experiences bring about pain and struggle. The fight is on to birth this baby. Seeing it for the first time, holding it gently in her hands, keeps the writer going. Excitedly, she presses on, knowing very soon, family and friends will get to witness this miracle she's birthed in her heart.

With that said, here' my new baby! STAGE WARS is finished! Considering I've written nineteen stage productions and directed twenty-four, I decided to write about something I knew . . . the love of Youth Theater. But I also wanted to add a zing of adventure, so I tossed in a whirling make-you-sick-til-you-puke time travel contraption. I absolutely delighted in this journey. The labor was intensive, but worth every hour of tears and struggle.

Stage Wars is written for 5th-8th graders who love adventure, theater, and Christian fiction stories. And some adults have told me they enjoyed the story too!

Check out the first review for Stage Wars:

Author and playwright, Mary E. Hanks, has written a fun, entertaining story filled with pulse-pounding suspense and harrowing experiences that will captivate any child's imagination. As a mother of two boys who delight in sword fighting, medieval times and role playing, I know kids will enjoy reading Stage Wars as the main characters embark on a time travel adventure unlike anything they've ever experienced. In the course of rehearsing for a school play, Shem, TJ and Claire find themselves aboard the Time Spinner, Professor Plunkmeyer’s brain child. Deposited in England in 1068 during the reign of King William the Conqueror when sword-wielding warriors and dungeons were the norm, can foes become friends and work together to find their way home again?

Stage right. Stage left. Offstage. Onstage. Houselights and intermission. For any youngster who enjoys theater and play acting, and feels a call to Broadway, this book is a great choice. Theatrical and captivating, Stage Wars is sure to make a bookworm out of even the most reluctant reader. If your child has an adventurous spirit and loves history and play-acting, then this is the book to read. Run to the bookstore and pick up a copy – and don’t be late! And don’t let Mrs. Dragoon catch you without your costume on!
Paula McGrew
Author of My Heart Beats for You coming in 2014

Thank you, Paula, for those beautiful words!

You can check out Stage Wars on Amazon HERE.

To visit the characters' website, click HERE.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CrossReads Book Blast with Becca Fisher's Amish Christmas Boxed Set

cover pic
Amish Christmas Boxed Set By Becca Fisher

About the Book

Four different Amish Christmas stories, plus one bonus novella by Best Selling Amish author, Becca Fisher:
The Christmas Surprise
Joshua Zook and Sadie Miller have been dancing around their feelings for months. But just as Joshua works up the nerve to admit how much he cares for Sadie, he realizes that he may be too late to win Sadie's heart.
The Christmas Miracle
William Bieler just wants a simple Amish Christmas. But with a newborn child at home, nothing is simple. When William's wife falls ill however, it will take a miracle to save Christmas at the Bieler house.
The Christmas Performance
Emma Bieler is chosen to do a solo at the school holiday pageant. But a case of crippling stage fright strikes her just before she's about to go onstage. What happens next will change Emma's life forever.
The Christmas Gift
When Amish widow Hannah King remarries, her daughters do not take well to their new step father. But as the holidays approach, it's make or break time to bring peace back into Hannah's house. Bonus novella: Clara Bieler's Amish Christmas
becca fisher
Becca Fisher I'm Becca Fisher and I write sweet Amish romances featuring simple people with complex love lives. I'm devout in my faith, relish time with my family, and seek to bring joy to as many lives as possible. I would love to have you as a reader. God bless. If you would like to be the first to know about my new books, join my mailing list here Everyone that signs up for my mailing list will receive a Free copy of my "Complete Amish Romance Boxed Set."
Follow Becca Fisher

Enter to Win one of two prizes: A $50 Amazon Gift Card or a Nook 7" tablet!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Becca Fisher! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Beautiful Review

I was so blessed by this review of Winter's Past by Paula McGrew...

A beautiful and tender account of God's grace, Winter's Past, written by Mary E. Hanks, is Winter Cowan and Ty Williams's reunion story of love, redemption, and second chances. Entering into this heartwarming, uplifting story and engaging with the characters took no effort whatsoever. Well-written, the story flows smoothly and kept me interested in wanting to know what happened next. Writing every scene in enough detail so they seemed authentic, Mary drew me into the book in a way that made me want to stay within the pages and follow the characters on their journey of restoration and learning to trust again.

Clearly, Mary cares about her characters because they are so three dimensional and realistic that I didn't feel forced to believe they could really exist. Character development was smooth and natural, and as I read, I watched their true traits emerge. Mary showed how God's children - even those actively involved in Christian ministry roles - are not without faults or sin. I enjoyed them because they were far from flawless.

A decade has passed, and Ty doesn't want to hurt Winter any more than he already has. He still loves her and wants to be reunited, even though he knows he doesn't deserve that. Still, he can't ignore the feeling that God wants them to be together. Selfishness and pride controlled him before he found God and allowed Him to work in his heart, and now Ty wants to be the man God wants him to be and the man Winter needs him to be. He wonders if she can ever forgive him.

As thoughts and fragmented pictures of her broken marriage assault her, Winter tries hard to keep from falling apart. When their church ministry plans abruptly change, she and her team members travel to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a home of many unhappy memories for her. She wonders what God's purpose could possibly be in sending her there. That's when she hears Him speak two words: "Forgive him." She knows what those words mean - forgive her former husband Ty, unconditionally and without second thoughts - and the effort forgiving him will require.

Instead of letting her old feelings control her, Winter knows God insists on forgiveness. Throughout her ministry efforts, doesn't she tell others how God's power can wipe the slate clean? Will she let Him do the same for her and Ty? Her desire to run from the pain of the past is strong, but God's urging her to do what's right is even stronger and cannot be dismissed.

Winter hears God's words and knows He's right, yet she wants to leave the hurt of her divorce behind and move on. Because she's been hurt by Ty, forgiving him sounds next to impossible. She's certain she's forgiven him already, but what if she hasn't? Determined not to give him another chance to inflict pain upon her heart, Winter dreads seeing Ty again. However, she soon discovers she is still in love with him, and what's even more amazing is that Ty still loves with her.

Tender moments offset the gripping and tense scenes, and each time I thought I'd figured out what was going to happen next, Mary threw in a plot twist I wasn't expecting and surprised me. Authentically written, the dialogue helps move the story along in the right direction; and despite a broken marriage and trust issues, the romantic connection between Winter and Ty is unmistakable.

I love stories that include God as one of the main characters, and my favorite part is how Mary did a wonderful job of making sure He was front and center - exactly where He should be. Winter and Ty's constant dialogue with God is refreshing, and their first instinct is to take their problems to Him, no matter what their situation is, or how difficult getting an answer to their prayers may seem.

This book is exceptional and I enjoyed watching this sweet love story unfold. The Christian themes are refreshing and touching, and Mary developed characters I cared about. A book I want to read again, this is a great reminder that God is always by our side, guiding us, gently prodding us to do His will so we can experience His perfect plan.

Paula McGrew
Author of My Heart Beats for You coming in 2014

For a limited time, Winter's Past is on sale for 99 cents!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How's Your Kindling?

It's the season for fires—in my woodstove, of course. But on some days, I can't get the fire to blaze for anything. It smokes, bursts to life for a few seconds, then wimps out to nothing.

I add newspaper and kindling. I strike the match again. Wait. I blow and blow until my throat is raspy from inhaling smoke. Repeat the steps. Sometimes, I work at this for a half hour before giving up.

Frustrated, I know one thing . . . my kindling is wet or green. Dry kindling would change everything.

We've all seen news reports where a single match ignited an entire field or forest. How could that be when I can't even get a small fire to start in my woodstove? How could one match create a blaze big enough to consume everything in its path?

It all comes down to dry conditions. Hungry conditions. Sticks and tiny strands of grass are crisp and dry, ready for the tiniest flame to consume them. Wet wood equals smoldering and smoke. Dry kindling, empty of water, seasoned, hungry, is ripe for bursting into flame.

Oh, may my soul be in such a condition!

Do I really want to be dry and empty? Yes! A thousand times yes! Empty of sin. Empty of self. Dried out from desires hindering my walk with the Lord. Seasoned with the Word of God. Seasoned with prayer. Dry in that I'm hungry and waiting and longing for a simple blaze to burst me into a flame of the very presence of God. A fire so strong it consumes sin and disease and the influences of satan. A fire of love so astounding it could change the world. My world.

I say, bring on the dry kindling and let's see what happens.