And, I love giving things away! Mary O. won my last interview's book giveaway with Ann H. Gabhart on Sept. 9th. Also, our $25 B&N Gift Card has found a home with a lucky reader, Roxanne C., and I personally am deep in the midst of planning SO MANY BOOK SWAG giveaways on my own website, I can’t begin to name them! And you are definitely invited to be a part of that. See details below the interview.
But, I digress. Yet I don’t. Because our guest this week, author Mary Alford, is giving away not just a book, but a Christmas book! How fitting is that? Covert Amish Christmas is this week's giveaway. Check it out:
Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! So, without further ado, lets turn our sleighs toward Mary Alford’s interview.
PT: Season greetings, Mary! So happy to have you this week. I have my fireplace DVD on. Come settle by the fake fire and tell us the basics, your background and your genre.
MA: I write Christian and Amish Suspense for Love Inspired Suspense. I was a bookworm for as long as I can remember. I devoured every book that interested me at our public library. Growing up on Nancy Drew, Little House on the Prairie and Hardy Boys to name a few. From there, I graduated to Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney’s tales of suspense and romance. When I was a “tween”, I decided to write my own story because I was so sure I knew exactly how to do it. Wrong! It was filled with cliches and sappy romance, but it lit a fire in me that did not die through my teenage years and into adulthood. I tried my hand at different genres, but what I loved reading the most were Christian and Amish suspense. And so, I found my home there.
In 2012, I entered a contest through Love Inspired Suspense entitled, Speed Writing. I was chosen to pitch, then Emily Rodmell requested a partial, then a full, and in December of 2012, I received my first contract with Love Inspired Suspense. Forgotten Past was published in 2014. Since then, I’ve published 10 books through Love Inspired Suspense. The last 3 have been Amish Suspense. In addition, I am an Indie author of several Christian suspense novels. And in 2022, my first Amish Suspense will be published through Revell.
PT: Wow! Amazing. What a way to begin. I’m sure being chosen was like a gift. Such a fitting story in this gift-giving season. So, do you have a main reason/theme/mantra of writing? Include both Amish/Contemporary if you can.
MA: I think my love for both Christian Suspense and Amish drives me to write in these two genres. I learned early on to write what I loved to read, and it has served me well.
MA: I put a little of myself into every character I write. I cannot say it is one particular trait, but more like how they react to situations they are thrown into. Victoria Kauffman, in Covert Amish Christmas, in particular. And I find my characters usually share my love for coffee and cooking.
PT: Where did you get the idea for your Covert Amish Christmas?
MA: I love stories involving spies. There is just something about the danger they face that makes for a great book. Covert Amish Christmas is about a former CIA agent who is being hunted by the people she once worked for because of something they believe she knows about a failed mission in Afghanistan. What better contrast for the dangerous world of espionage, than the peaceful Amish community of West Kootenai, Montana, right? And a hero that doesn’t come from a military or intelligence background. Aaron Shetler is a simple Amish furnituremaker who refuses to let bad guys take Victoria’s life. And because of his willingness to help, a love story is born.
PT: Ah, sounds like the perfect novel to curl up with under a fuzzy, snowflake blanket. What’s the next project you are working on?
MA: Covert Amish Christmas introduces the reader to Aaron Shetler, the oldest of 5 Amish brothers who will be featured in additional upcoming Love Inspired books. The next book, Shielding the Amish Witness, comes out in April of 2021 and features Eli Shetler’s story. And in 2022, my first book from Revell will be released. It is an Amish Suspense, and I am extremely excited to get it into the hands of my readers.
PT: Exciting! Any special plans you yourself have for this year’s Christmas/or a gift your planning?
MA: As I’m writing this, I’m preparing to decorate the house for the holiday. Usually, I am struggling with a deadline around the Christmas holiday, so it sometimes feels like I miss out on some of the beauty of the season. But not this year. I plan to enjoy every moment of the season. That, to me, is a gift.
PT: Yes. That is one thing this year has taught me. Time to enjoy every moment of life. Now, my favorite. It's like yanking down your stocking and finding all the little surprise trinkets inside! Tell 5 things quick about you that have nothing to do with writing.
MA: I am a grandmother of three, a pianist, a HUGE coffee drinker, a want-to-be crafter, and a sometimes-successful gardener.
PT: Let me ask you a very important question. Do you have a Bible verse that is your current favorite, one that speaks to you right now?
MA: My favorite verse of the Bible is John 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
What an amazing promise that Jesus Himself is preparing a place for us in heaven. I love that.
PT: I love that verse too, Mary. It speaks peace to my heart in this turbulent time. Thank you so much for stopping by the Mine and sharing your news and exciting giveaway!
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Want to know more about author Mary Alford? You've come to the right place:
2-time USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford, loves giving her readers the un-expected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a peaceful Amish community.
Her titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have been finalists in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.
Mary lives in Texas with her husband, two very spoiled cats, and a sweet rescue dog name Cody. Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Face-book and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.
Covert Amish Christmas:
Mary’s Website: https://maryalford.net