Thursday, July 19, 2012

Two book giveaway!!

How does your faith play into your writing?
This is a question I have had to answer many times.  I did not start out with the plan to write a Christian novel.    I had read other Christian fiction where everyone was either perfect, went to church all the time and had no real problems, or I felt like I was being preached to by someone who had a grudge against humanity. (Not that all Christian fiction is like that, of course, but that was my feeling at the time.) I didn’t want my novel to be like that.  I wanted to write a story with romance, suspense, and intrigue, one I would not be embarrassed to let my daughter read. However, as I began to write Second Chance, I simply could not have my characters go through the anger, fear, loss and uncertainty they were facing without turning to the Lord.  Second Chance is listed as romantic suspense.  When I wrote Third Time Around I was more comfortable in my skin as a Christian author.  It is listed as Christian fiction.  I want my readers to enjoy a great story, but to also come away with an understanding of Christ’s unfailing love and the peace that only he can bring.

What is your favorite Bible verse and why?
I honestly can’t say I have a favorite.  There are so many I have clung to at different times in my life.  The scripture I write whenever I sign a copy of Second Chance is Ephesians 3:16-21.  Since it is a long passage, I will quote 17b-18, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  When I sign a copy of Third Time Around, I use Isaiah 26:12, “Lord you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”  These verses speak to the themes in each book.  In Second Chance, we see that no matter what, Christ loves us and wants a relationship with us.  In Third Time Around, we realize that true peace comes from Christ.

What is the most important thing you hope that readers take away from your books?
“And these three remain, faith, hope, and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”

Are you writing anything right now?
I am currently working on two books.  One is a prequel to Second Chance.  It is titled First Impression, and focuses on the eldest sibling, Jaden Summers.  The story begins with the parents’ plane crash.  The other work is a sequel to an historical romance I have written but not yet published.  I am actually doing a blog event where I answer specific questions about these two WIP on my blog each week.
You can check it out at
Tell us you favorite part in Second Chance?
Hmm.  Again, there are many.  But there is one scene at the hotel in Portugal where Avalin and Ian discuss the case.  (Ian shares a room with Avalin’s brother Quinn. Avalin has an adjoining room.) They are just realizing their attraction to each other, but are trying to play it cool.  Ian is so distracted he walks out of the hotel room without his shoes on.  I chuckle every time because it’s so uncharacteristic of in-control, professional, Special Agent in charge, Ian Martin. And in Third Time Around?  It would be such a spoiler to really explain it!  This won’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t read the book, but I will say the misunderstanding when they are in Peru, Emma’s reaction to it, and how Quinn eases her fear.  That is definitely a favorite.  Also when they are at the café, and Quinn leans over to ask Emma if she’s told anyone about what happened.  And then there’s…okay, sorry.  I’ll stop now.

As you researched your books did you learn anything that touched your heart?
Not really.  The researching I did was along the lines of the FBI and what type of cases they work, the instances in which they might work with a case overseas, the jurisdiction of INTERPOL, and great cities in Europe.  Not exactly the type of thing that touches the heart, but I have added to my list of places I want to visit one day.

I am a dog lover, Tell us about your pets if any....
Currently we have two pets.  Sam is a golden lab and technically belongs to my son.  We have a cat named Gwynevere.  She is a corat and belongs to me.

What is your favorite comfort food and why?
In the summer, its ice cream.  In the winter, its potato soup.  No particular reason other than great taste and comfort

Do you have a blog or website where readers can contact you?
Yes!  My website is  You will find my blog here as well.  I also belong to a group of ladies who post on various subjects each day of the week.  This site is called Sisters in Cahoots.  The website for it is  My contribution is on Thursdays with tips on writing well.

Author Biography
Although my parents were southerners, I was born in San Rafael, California; a fact my southern husband loves to reiterate (his getting to marry a "California girl").

I grew up overseas, primarily in India and Thailand. Although I only spent five years in Thailand, it is the home of my heart! I don't know if it is the extreme emotion that seem inherent with teenage angst in my memories or simply the beauty of the land and people that cause this to be so.

After graduating from the International School Bangkok in 1989, I returned to the US, and Alabama, to attend college. I met and married a true-blooded southern boy (something I vowed never to do as a world-traveled teen) and continue to live in his (an my parents') hometown of Albertville. We have two lovely children who make me smile daily.

I have been an elementary school teacher for 15 years; a passion that is renewed every summer!

The publication of "Second Chance" was a dream come true; the writing of this first novel was the only New Year's Resolution I have ever kept. I hope you will give it a try and enjoy the story of Avalin and Ian.


  1. I enjoyed reading your interview. You are another new author to me and I am always loving reading new books by new authors. Thanks for the opportunity!


    1. Thanks Jo. I am tickled that you enjoyed the interview. Good luck on winning a copy!

      Karina Harris

  2. Im amazed at your interviews and reviews Mary,,awsome job..and now a chance to win 2 books,,thats really would really excite me..

  3. Thanks for the interview and a chance to win!!


  4. Wonderful interview, Mary! I got so involved with reading about the author that I forgot about the books! LOL! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Nancee, you are a WINNER of one of the books! e-mail me your mailing address. themaryreader!

  5. These books sound different than my usual read, but willing to give it a try. Maxie ( )

    1. Hi Maxie. I'm glad you are willing to give my books a try. Good luck with the giveaway! What type of books do you normally enjoy reading?

  6. This is my first time on your site. You are a brand new author to me!

    1. Thanks for your interest! Glad you found this site. Mary does fantastic interviews.

      Blessed be in Christ,
      Karina Harris

    2. faithfulfriend, you are the WINNER of a copy of Karina's book! e-mail me your mailing address at

  7. Please enter me in the contest

  8. Mary, both of these books sound terrific! I love Christian books and especially those with mysteries! I'd love to win one.

  9. thanks for the interview and a chance to win your books