close

Seekerville: The Journey Continues | category: Mary Alford

home

Seekerville: The Journey Continues

seekerville.blogspot.com

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

By Seekerville Guest Blogger Mary Alford

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

Being a writer can seem isolated at times. It’s just us and our computer, (and sometimes writer’s block) typing away for hours on end. Amidst the looming deadlines, it’s easy to lose track of time and the things happening around us. It’s just us and a whole lot of blood, sweat, and tears, (and of course our favorite snacks such as Bai Coconut water and peanut butter M&Ms—just saying!). 

Despite the sometimes-hectic pace we keep, there are many blessings to be found along the way. The biggest for me are the wonderful readers and authors that I’m happy to call my friends, and the hidden gems I discovered while doing research that I know came straight from God.

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

For those of you who aren’t familiar with me, I write Amish Romantic Suspense. I started writing in the genre a few years back after reading Beverly Lewis’ THE SHUNNING. I fell in love with the Amish genre. It’s so much fun to read and to write. 

When I started AMISH COUNTRY KIDNAPPING, my first Amish book for Love Inspired Suspense, I wanted the Amish community to be remote and set in the mountains. I feel the setting is very important in suspense in that it helps to create an atmosphere of danger and intrigue. 

Did you know there are actually several Amish communities in Montana?

When I found the West Kootenai Amish community, I fell in love with its remoteness. The community can only be reached by crossing the Koocanusa Bridge, which is over Lake Koocanusa. 

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

I’ve written 6 books so far that are set in this community. Several revolve around 5 brothers. The last book about the Shetler brothers of West Kootenai will be released in March of 2023.

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

My latest release came out June of this year through Revell and is entitled, AMONG THE INNOCENT. The story takes place in the Amish community of St. Ignatius, Montana. 

There were so many hidden gems to be found in St. Ignatius and it was a joy to research.

The community is the only Amish community in the US to sit on tribal lands. Both the community and the town of St. Ignatius are part of the Flathead Indian Reservation. And there are 3 different law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction over the area. The tribal police, the St. Ignatius police force, as well as the sheriff’s department out of Polson. All 3 police agencies are featured in AMONG THE INNOCENT.   

Another interesting fact about the Amish community is that it backs up against the rugged Mission Mountains. The mountains cast their shadows over the Amish community below them and act as silent witnesses to the danger unfolding in the book.

But my favorite gem of all was discovering the historical St. Ignatius Mission which features 58 hand-painted murals painted by Brother Joseph Carignano, a self-taught artist who worked as the mission cook and handyman many years ago. The beauty of the mission is something to behold. 

When I set out to find the perfect mountain location for AMONG THE INNOCENT, I had no idea the wonderful gems I would uncover that would make their way into the book. I hope readers will see them and be as thrilled by St. Ignatius as I was.     

So, what’s next? Well, we’ll be traveling to the Ruby Valley of Montana, to a small (fictional) community there sometime in 2023. I’m excited about starting a new book as well as creating my first fictional community.

As a reader, are there certain aspects of the Amish way of life that you like to see in a book? Which ones would you prefer not to read about?

 

About Mary 

The Blessing You Find Along the Way

USA Today Bestselling Author, Mary Alford loves giving her readers the unexpected, whether it be in a rugged mountain setting or a simple Amish community having the reader finish a book and say, wow, I didn’t see that coming, is a joy.   

Mary’s titles have appeared on the USA Today Bestselling List, Publisher’s Weekly Bestselling List, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.  

Mary is published through Annie’s Publishing, Love Inspired Suspense, Forget Me Not Romances, as well as being an Indie Published Author. Mary’s first book through Revell Publishing entitled Among the Innocent features an Amish suspense theme with a twist. 

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day with-out coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two very spoiled cats and a sweet rescue dog named Cody.  

Mary is regularly active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook and Twitter or any social platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

 

About AMONG THE INNOCENT 

The Blessing You Find Along the Way


When Leah Miller's entire Amish family was murdered ten years ago, the person believed responsible took his own life. Since then, Leah left the Amish and joined the police force. Now, after another Amish woman is found murdered with the same MO, it becomes clear that the wrong man may have been blamed for her family's deaths.

As Leah and the new police chief, Dalton Cooper, work long hours struggling to fit the pieces together in order to catch the killer, they can't help but grow closer. When secrets from both of their pasts begin to surface, an unexpected connection between them is revealed. But this is only the beginning. Could it be that the former police chief framed an innocent man to keep the biggest secret of all buried? And what will it mean for Leah--and Dalton--when the full truth comes to light?

USA Today bestselling author Mary Alford keeps you guessing as two determined souls plumb the dark depths of the past in order to forge a brighter future--together.

Leave a comment and be entered for a chance to win a copy of Mary’s latest release, AMONG THE INNOCENT.

 


The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish



The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish



Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Mary Alford, Ruth Hartzler, and Samantha Price to Seekerville. These wonderful ladies spearheaded the Summer of Suspense Anthology that features stories from sixteen award-winning and bestselling Christian authors. 

Ruth Logan Herne and I are part of the author lineup, and we're thrilled that you, dear Villagers, will get a behind-the-scenes peak at how an anthology is conceived and brought to publication. Summer of Suspense is available for pre-order NOW and will be released on AUG 6th! 








Please give a warm welcome to Mary Alford...

For myself, Ruth Hartzler, and Samantha Price, I want to say a big thank you to Debby Giusti for inviting us here today. We’re so pleased to have both Debby and Ruth Logan Herne as part of the Summer of Suspense author team!

The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish


Everything starts with an idea!

Like most things, creating a multi-author anthology begins with an idea. In this case, three separate ideas.

Little did I know, when I first started mulling over the notion of this anthology, I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

When I reached out to Samantha Price, I learned that both she and Ruth Hartzler had the same idea in mind. We put our heads together and Summer of Suspense was born. 

First, a little about us. Ruth Hartzler and Samantha Price both write Amish mystery and suspense stories. I write for Love Inspired Suspense and have written several Amish suspense stories as well. So, when we first begin tossing suggestions around among ourselves, we originally thought of making the collection an Amish mystery and suspense anthology. Then, Samantha had a conversation with the wonderful Nancy Mehl, who suggested we make the collection bigger. Open it up to Christian suspense and mystery authors. It was like a light bulb moment for Ruth, Samantha, and myself.   


The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish
                                                                                                                              

Taking the Idea to the next level!

Even before we decided on the exact genre for the book, we knew we wanted to take the book wide in the beginning, (wide means making the book available to different retailers), then streamlining it to be sold strictly on Amazon after the first week. Each story would all be short—between 10,000-15,000 words. Smaller word count would mean easier summer reading, and it would allow us to add multiple authors to the anthology.

The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish


Putting together the perfect team!

With a plan in place, it was time to put together our dream team!

We wanted a nice mixture of Amish/Christian Mystery/and Suspense authors to give our readers the best possible combination. Armed with a list of authors we each wanted for the team, we reached out to them. And that’s the amazing thing about authors. They are always willing to help out.

For Summer of Suspense, we have an incredible group of 16 of today’s most popular Amish, Christian Mystery and Suspense authors. The lineup includes; Christy Barritt, Patricia Bradley, Vannetta Chapman, Mary Ellis, Debby Giusti, Ruth Hartzler, Shaen Layle, Rachel J Good,  Ruth Logan Herne, Loree Lough, Elizabeth Ludwig, Nancy Mehl, Serena Miller, Samantha Price, Alana Terry, and myself, Mary Alford. I’m honored to be part of this group.

The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish


What’s in a title? Everything!

With the team in place, we needed a catchy title that would best reflect all genres to be included in the book. Keep in mind, we really didn’t know at this point what each individual author’s story would be about. Tough challenge, right?

This is what we knew for certain. The stories would take place in summer, and would involve suspense.

We came up with several ideas for the title, polled the group, and Summer of Suspense won! I love the title, don’t you?
  

The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish


A cover can make or break a book!

Like the title, we had two things to work with in creating the cover. Summer and suspense. We wanted something that would remind the reader of summer and still generate an atmosphere of suspense. Ruth, Samantha, and myself found several photos that depicted what we envisioned the cover to look like and sent them to our talented cover artist, Danny Mehl. Danny produced the cover for Summer of Suspense in 2D and 3D. Danny captured the feel for the book completely.

  
The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish


 Setting the stage for release!
With the authors in place, an intriguing title, and a cover that established the tone for the book, it was time to get news of the anthology out to the readers.

Getting Summer of Suspense up for preorder was key for us. We put the anthology up early on at Barnes and Noble and Apple.



But with Amazon, you cannot put a book up for preorder before 90 days prior to release. 

Summer of Suspense went live on Amazon, May 10th.



The Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish

There are lessons in every step of the way!

When the idea of creating an anthology first came about, I had no idea what an amazingly challenging experience this would be. Even though the book doesn’t release until August 6th, as I look back on each of these steps, I can say it has been a learning experience for me and my co-creators. And it has been a privilege to work with these talented authors.     

Thank you each for joining us today. We are so grateful for each of you and we want to give away copies of the preorder of Summer of Suspense to three lucky folks who leave a comment.

Here’s a little about the book:

Long Days. Hot Nights. Deadly Secrets.

Grab this red hot Christian Suspense Anthology bargain for just 99 cents for a short time only before the price increases to 9.99.

Start your summer off right with 16 gripping and never-before published tales of Christian suspense from today's most popular mystery and suspense authors.

Join Mary Alford, Christy Barritt, Patricia Bradley, Vannetta Chapman, Mary Ellis, Debby Giusti, Rachel J. Good, Ruth Hartzler, Shaen Layle, Ruth Logan Herne, Loree Lough, Elizabeth Ludwig, Nancy Mehl, Serena B. Miller, Samantha Price, Alana Terry on a dangerous journey filled with mystery, suspense, and faith that that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.


Debby here! Thanks, Mary, Ruth and Samantha, for being with us today and for sharing so much about the anthology! We're all eager to read the stories that are sure to please!

Happy reading to all! Be sure to pre-order your copy of Summer of Suspense! 

Ruthy here, too! I've loved doing mysteries with Guideposts and the opportunity to work with these lovely gals was too good to miss. And youse know I love a great sale! :) Getting our work into readers' hands is always the goal... and a .99 SALE helps us reach that goal! Thanks to Mary for inviting me onboard, and welcome to Seekerville, ladies!

_____________

About Ruth Hartzler: https://www.ruthhartzler.com
Ruth Hartzler spends her days writing, gardening, walking her dog, and thinking of ways to murder someone. That's because Ruth is a best-selling author of cozy mysteries. She is best known for her 2015 series, Safe House, featuring a WITSEC agent hiding in the Amish community, and for apologizing to strangers when her dog slobbers all over them at the park.

The recipient of several All-Star Awards (author and book) and an Amazon Top 50 Author, 
Ruth is thrilled to connect with her readers, all of whom love the same clean and wholesome stories as she does. 


About Samantha Price:  https://samanthapriceauthor.com
Samantha Price enjoys getting lost in the world of her characters and being surprised by what they do. Over the past years she’s written several Amish romance and mystery series totaling over one hundred and fifty books. 
Since she writes every day it doesn't leave much time, but she manages to squeeze in fun with her six grandchildren, her cat who thinks he's a dog, and her demanding Staffy who has a severe tennis ball addiction.
She is an Amazon Bestselling & Amazon TOP 50 author, and a 9 times Kindle All Star recipient.

About Mary Alford: https://maryalford.net
Mary Alford is a bestselling author who loves giving her readers the unexpected. Combining unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots that result in novels the reader doesn’t want to put down. 
Her titles have appeared on the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling list, and have finaled in the Daphne Du Maurier award of excellence in mystery, The Beverly, The Maggie, and The Selah Awards.  
Mary is a member of the American Christian Fiction

As a writer, Mary is an avid reader. She loves to cook, can’t face the day without coffee, and her three granddaughters are the apple of her eye. She and her husband live in the heart of Texas in the middle of 70 acres with two cats and one dog.  

Mary is very active online and would love to connect with readers on Facebook: www.facebook.com/maryalfordauthorTwitter: https://twitter.com/maryalford13  or any of the social media platforms listed at www.maryalford.net.

The Blessing You Find Along the WayThe Story Behind Creating The Summer of Suspense Anthology! What It Takes to Put Together A Multi-Author Anthology From Start to Finish

Report "Seekerville: The Journey Continues"

Are you sure you want to report this post for ?

Cancel
×