Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, August 03, 2015

Mary Ellis - Midnight on the Mississippi

Good Monday Morning Readers!

Today, Mary Ellis visits Lagniappe. 

Welcome, Mary! 

Tell us a little about Midnight on the Mississippi.  
As a newly-minted PI and a New Orleans stockbroker encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou.

What Lies Beneath the Black Water of the Bayou?

Hunter Galen, a New Orleans securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, of embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life. 

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder as she establishes herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen-Nowak Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs her the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman who seems to be hiding something, but is the PI’s growing attraction to Hunter—the police’s only suspect—her true reason for disliking Ashley? 

As Hunter and Nicki encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and death threats both subtle and overt, danger swirls around them like the mysterious dark water of the bayou. Only their reliance on faith and fearless determination give them hope they will live to see another day.

ISBN 978-0-7369-6169-1
Category: Fiction--Suspense/Fiction--Romance

 Buy links:

What is the best NON-writing advice you’ve received?
Live each day as though it could be my last one on earth. We don’t know when the Lord will return, so I speak to Him each day. On a practical level, I stopped saving the “good china” or the “special linens.” I wear my favorite clothes every day without worrying about spaghetti sauce stains, and stopped counting every calorie and fat gram that goes into my mouth.

What led you to choose the genre in which you write? I have written in three different genres (Amish fiction, historical romance and romantic suspense). Now I’m back to writing the genre where I started fifteen years ago—mysteries. I must write wherever my personal interests lead me. We will move to the South in a year or two, where we have vacationed for years. So I can continue crafting stories where it rarely snows and I don’t have to sleep in socks!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Hobbies, etc?
 I love to swim and snorkel, but I don’t get to that often enough. Most days I relax by walking my dog in the woods or weeding my garden. I love being outdoors, even in the rain. Other than that, I read and watch mysteries on TV as long as they’re not too violent or graphic.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven't been before and is it a place you'd set a story? 
I suppose that would be Paris. I’ve never been there, but I’d love to set a story there. It seems so romantic. But since neither me, nor my husband can speak French this will probably never happen.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful? They can post reviews on or or Those reviews truly help authors. Publishers look at the number of reviews when deciding which authors to offer new contracts to.


Where do you write? 
I love to write on my screened-in porch during at least half the year. I attached a photo.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m putting the finishing touches on Book 2 of Secrets of the South mysteries, What Happened on Beale Street. When a talented musician is found dead in Memphis, two PI’s are determined to find their friend’s killer among a list of suspects longer than the Mississippi River. Releases in Feb. 2016.


Steel Magnolias or Fried Green Tomatoes?
Fried Green Tomatoes, although I’ve seen both movies many times!

Sweet Tea or Unsweetened Tea?
Unsweetened, and then I add my own Splenda.

Crawfish Etouffee or Seafood Gumbo?
Crawfish Etouffee! I adore the stuff. Unfortunately crawfish are hard to get in seafood markets in Ohio!

Fingernail Polish: Jazzy or Subtle?
Subtle, because it hides the chips better. Typing is hard on fingernail polish.

Birthday Card: Email or Snail Mail?

Snail mail. I’m one of those old-fashioned girls who keep the post office in business!

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, The Last Heiress, released in 2015.  Midnight on the Mississippi set in New Orleans is the first of a new mystery series, Secrets of the SouthBefore "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat.

Connect with Mary:

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe.

Mary's question for readers:

Have you ever felt discriminated against due to your upbringing or family “roots”?

I pray you find 
"a little something extra" 
in each of your days.



Mary Ellis said...

thanks so much for inviting me to your blog, Marian. You asked interesting questions.

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Mary, it's a pleasure to have you on Lagniappe!

Marian Pellegrin Merritt said...

Mary, it's a pleasure to have you on Lagniappe!