Monday, December 30, 2013

The Quaker and the Rebel by Mary Ellis

Emily Harrison, having been raised in a devout Quaker home, accepts a governess position across the Ohio River on Bennington Island, in slave-holding Virginia. Her job allows her to continue her parents’ lifelong work as conductors on the Underground Railroad. Little does she know that falling in love with an aristocratic Southerner will threaten everything she believes in. When her employer moves his family deeper into the Confederacy, Emily can effectively set free many more from bondage and send them north. But she isn’t the only person living a life of subterfuge. Her new beau is the infamous Gray Wraith, a Rebel ranger who wreaks havoc on Union telegraph and railroad lines to supply the Glorious Cause with necessary provisions. Unknown to most, Alexander Hunt shares Emily’s Quaker upbringing and refuses to take another life, not even in war. Emily has pledged never to allow herself to be vulnerable, but who can resist the charms of the Gray Wraith? Sometimes love is more powerful than any army…Northern or Southern.


Bennington Island, in the Ohio River, Summer 1861
“Miss Harrison?” the soft voice queried. “Please come in and take a seat.”
Emily, startled from her open-mouth perusal of the painted ceiling, stared in the direction of the voice. She thought she’d been shown to an empty room to wait, but a wren-sized woman sat near the windows in a wicker chair with wheels. She hurried to the woman’s side, bobbed her head and then bent her knee in a small curtsey. “Mrs. Bennington,” she said. Never in her life had Emily done such a thing. She’d only seen a curtsey in theater presentations, but the astounding elegance of the house seemed to warrant one.
“Oh, my, what lovely manners you have,” the woman said, patting a chair beside her.
“Thank you, ma’am,” she said, perching on the edge. Emily judged her to be around thirty-five, younger than her mother had been, with an unlined forehead, green eyes and dusky blond hair. Delicate, that’s what Mama would have called her.
“Your letters of reference from Mrs. Ames and Miss Turner glowed with praise of your accomplishments. We’re glad you’ve come to our backwater island to polish the rough edges off our girls. They both attended grammar school in Parkersburg for six months of the year and we’ve had tutors here, but now they require refinement. They still run wild through the garden like savages. Annie, especially, needs to learn deportment.” She inhaled a deep breath and sighed. “I am aware of your loss, Miss Harrison. And in time I hope you will come to regard us as your family.”
Annoyed by the statement, Emily drew back from the lavender-scented aristocrat. “I’m afraid the situation will be temporary, Mrs. Bennington, since I’m engaged to be married. When my fiancĂ© returns from Washington, I shall return to Marietta.”

Her voice sounded haughty, but she couldn’t help herself. From the moment the flatboat rounded the turn and she viewed Bennington Plantation, she’d been on unfamiliar ground. A carriage had been waiting at the dock to drive her to the mansion. Then an elderly black gentleman in finer clothes than any owned by her father opened the door, bowed, and ushered her into a foyer larger than her entire house. Pink and cream marble lay beneath her feet while the crystal chandelier overhead cast harlequin patterns on the polished steps to the second floor. The butler had to wrestle her portmanteau away as she stood gaping at her surroundings. The butler spoke perfectly-inflected Queen’s English without a trace of the slang she’d expected from a slave. He was a slave, wasn’t he? She’d followed him to this salon, and here she was—behaving rudely to her new employer without other options for her future.

About the Author

Mary Ellis grew up near the Amish and fell in love with them. She has now written ten bestselling novels set in their communities. When not writing, she enjoys gardening, bicycling, and swimming. Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Living in Harmony, book one of her current series won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction. Her debut Christian book, A Widow's Hope, was a finalist for the 2010 ACFW Carol Awards. She is currently working on a three-book historical romance series set during the Civil War. The Quaker and the Rebel releases January 1st, 2014. 

Purchase The Quaker and the Rebel at:

Mary Ellis is giving away a copy of The Quaker and the Rebel. To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


Jackie McNutt said...

Thank you for featuring Mary and the excerpt from her book. I have read all her Amish novels and loved them! I cant wait to read The Quaker and the Rebel. The story line looks very interesting. Thank you

Deb R. said...

This isn't the genre I usually read but this book seems to have a bit of different slant than most historical fiction, so I do believe this is one I'd like to read. cjajsjmommy [at] gmail [dot] com

susanlulu said...

Sounds like a great book. I've read some of her other books and really enjoy them!

Susan Johnson said...

OOOH. This sounds like such a good book. I would love to read it.
susanmsj at msn dot com

Diana Flowers said...

Please enter me! I love Mary Ellis! And this one sounds wonderful!


Patricia said...

I love Christian Historical Ficton! I am looking forward to reading this book. Please enter me for a chance to win.

PriviesAndPrims said...

I've always been interested in the Underground Railroad and would love to read this!

Doreen Brannan

Anonymous said...

Hi! This has 2 things I am really interested in reading. I haven't had a Quakers book to read and have always been interested in the Underground railway to help the slaves Sounds good and Mary's books are good. Please put my name in.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

sm said...

The Quaker girl looks young enough to be the daughter of the Rebel man. It sure looks to be a good topic. I don't know much about Quakers so would love to learn more. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Patricia Bradley said...

Loved the excerpt! Mary is a great writer!pat at ptbradley dot com

karenk said...

would love to read this novel...thanks for the chance

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read Emily and Grays story. I love reading historical romance so this would be a great winter read. I have only read one of Marys books and I loved it.
marypopmom (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mary Ellis said...

Thanks so much for inviting me to the Barn Door Book Loft, and thanks to you readers for all their kind comments. Good luck to everyone in the drawing, and I wish you all a very happy New Year! Best regards.

Brittany said...

This is going to be such a great story! Such a great premise! Thanks for the chance to win.
Brittany McEuen

Cindi A said...

I'm looking forward to reading some more of Mary's books. Everything that I've read so far, I've loved.


Boos Mum said...

I am interested in this book. Please enter me. Thanks.

sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

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