Thursday, 16 February 2012

Character Spotlight ~ Mary Ellis' Eli & Phoebe

Prolific author of Amish stories, Mary Ellis, is back with An Amish Family Reunion, available now from Harvest House.


During a rumschpringe visit to Niagara Falls, Phoebe Miller meets Eli Riehl, a young man who charms her—and everyone else—with his exceptional storytelling ability. When Phoebe sketches scenes to illustrate one of his tales, Eli encourages her incredible talent, and together they embark on a lofty and unlikely business venture for two young Amish people—writing and illustrating a children’s book.

Eli’s kindness and appeal extend beyond his knack for words to reach inside Phoebe’s heart. But he is an only son with five sisters, and when his father suffers a heart attack, Eli gives up his writing to assume responsibility on the farm. Though willing to abandon his dream of becoming an author, he won’t give up his beloved Phoebe.

Can their love for a good story develop into something that lasts forever, or will Phoebe’s deep-seated fear of desertion stand in their way?

Enjoy meeting Eli & Phoebe!

My heroine, Phoebe Miller, is seventeen, tiny, dark-haired with large brown eyes. Because of her long-standing adorableness she wraps everyone around her little finger. She's also a talented artist--a gift with no practical application in the Amish world she was born into.

Hailee Steinfeld from the movie, True Grit, would make a perfect Phoebe.

For strengths, she has a self-deprecating sense of humor, she's loyal and well-liked by her friends, and longs to reach grief-stricken children through books. Her only weakness stems from her mother's accidental death when she was a child, leaving Phoebe with a well-established wall around her heart.

Her quirk? Phoebe puts all emotion into her artwork, which tends to hamper her romance with our hero.

Our hero, Eli Rhiel, is charming and outgoing with an astounding gift for storytelling. He can trap anyone into the web he weaves with his tales. He's tall, blond, with expressive brown eyes and suntanned skin from hard work on his father's farm. But Eli longs to write books for a living--not an easy goal for the single son of an Amish farmer.

David Giuntoli from the television show, Grimm, looks exactly like my hero. 

Eli loves people, women in particular. He's generous of heart to sisters, friends, acquaintances, even strangers in need of a kind word. So he can't fathom why our heroine is holding him off with a pitchfork.

Phoebe's inspiration comes from a young Amish girl I met in Winesburg, Ohio. And Eli Rhiel's counterpart exists in real life too. I met a nineteen-year-old Old Order Amish artist who captured my heart within sixty seconds. Although my story is fictional, I can just picture this young man doing and saying everything in the book.

The wonderful Old Order people of Wayne and Holmes Counties in Ohio provide the background for my books. I'm so grateful they let me "peek" into their lives.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Reviews of Sarah's Christmas Miracle, A Widow's Hope and Never Far From Home
Character spotlight on Meghan &  Jacob

Character spotlight on Sarah, Adam & Caleb
Character spotlight on Isaiah & Catherine
Visit Mary's blog
Buy Mary's books at Amazon or Koorong


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