Mary L. Ball, Author of Escape to Big Fork Lake, Talks Writing and #Giveaway

My guest today is Mary L. Ball. Mary lives in North Carolina and writes novels and Christian articles. Her passion is weaving together inspirational romantic suspense and mysteries. Her books encourage you to see the magic of love, hope and a divine guidance. When she’s not writing she enjoys family and singing Gospel music with her husband. Some of her Christian articles are found on

Anne – Welcome to Piedmont Island, Mary. It’s a glorious day to just sit and chat as we gaze at Lake Superior! Let’s get down to business, shall we? Tell us about your book.

Mary – It’s called Escape to Big Fork Lake. Here’s the blurb:

Will an inheritance bring new happiness or a trap for murder? Bad luck seems to follow Sam Blacker. She loses her job and faces daily struggles keeping her drunken neighbor away from her. When an unexpected inheritance gives her a chance for a new beginning, Sam, a city girl at heart, is hesitant. However, after a brutal attack she has no choice. Making a decision that will forever change her life, she flees to the small fishing town of Big Fork Lake, Alabama and soon finds herself in the arms of Noah Frye. A tumultuous relationship with Noah sparks buried desires of the heart, even if he is a Christian, surely, she can get around that little problem.

As Sam and Noah’s passion grows trouble lurks in the shadows, waiting and watching. Inescapable, Sam’s bad luck returns when she stumbles upon a murder and becomes the only suspect. Will she have to run again, this time to stay out of prison? Worse, will she lose the best man she’s ever found? And what about the newfound hunger in heart to know God—can she truly trust in Him?

Anne - What do you enjoy most about writing? What part do you loathe?

Mary - I enjoy creating the characters and places. It’s fun to weave together personalities with their shortcomings, which make them unique. I tend to stay away from using traits of people I know, only on occasion will I add a similarity to someone. It’s more fun being fictional. I dislike the fact that I develop such a strong attachment to a story. Once it forms in my mind, the tale has to be told. I can’t begin a new adventure, not until the personalities I have started finish on their journey. It’s aggravating, like I owe it to them to complete their adventure. That’s just the way I am.           

Anne – I really like that line about you owing your characters. What a great way to describe it! Any words of advice for struggling, unpublished writers?

Mary - If you’re a  writer, please don’t give up! Don’t let negative responses discourage you. Take the criticism and use it to your advantage. Rewrite and keep on submitting until someone takes a notice. That’s the only way a writer will become an author.

Anne – So true. Persistence does pay off. Would you share an excerpt of Escape to Big Fork Lake with us?

Mary – My pleasure!

Sam’s eyes popped open. She heaved a rapid breath.

A rough, sweaty hand rubbed her head. Hungry fingers clumsily caressed her hair and brushed against her cheek.

The air filled with an odd stench and assaulted her nose. Sam’s stomach churned. She swallowed back the nausea that stirred from the pungent reek of liquor.

With a quick breath, she squelched the panic that bolted through her like lightening and concentrated on the eerie shadow that lurked above her head.

The light from a moonbeam shined across the room and created a spotlight on the staggering silhouette. Immediately, she recognized Rob.

She jerked her body up in an instant. 

Quickly, her head hit the couch hard as her body slammed down tight with the cushions. Rob lashed out and grabbed the front of her blouse. The gold-colored shiny circles popped off as the cotton material ripped.

Sam clawed his face, managing to pull away and scramble to her feet.

She forged the strength from somewhere deep within and gave him a quick shove. His body fell backward. Her heart leapt as she raced toward the simmering glow coming from the nightlight in the hallway. Rob dashed after her like a dog snapping at her heels.

As Sam approached her front door, her peripheral vision glimpsed the statue made of metal perched on the shelf over her coat rack. She knew the little figurine wouldn’t offer much defense because it was small and hollow, but what other choice did she have?

Quickly, she snatched up the horse. She whacked Rob, hitting him hard, then another time, until he staggered and fell.

Sam ran as fast as she could and left Rob lying on the hallway floor. A moan escaped his lips as a trickle of blood oozed from his head.

She scurried down the steps as remorse hit her. Of all the stupid things she could’ve done! Why had she forgotten to lock her door?

Sam dashed down the sidewalk. She was aware, vaguely, of the passing city blocks.

The sting of the air in her eyes, on her cheeks, slowly revealed the brutal chill. The February night embraced her entire body. Her skin tingled as the wintry air swirled inside her torn garment.

Anne - Where can readers find you online?

Mary – On my websiteblogand on Twitter.

Anne - You’re offering a giveaway e-copy of your book Escape to Big Fork Lake to one lucky reader. What question would you like them to address in a comment to be eligible for the draw?

Mary – My question is: Where does your heart lie, city or country? Why?

Anne – Thank you, Mary. It’s been such fun chatting with you. The winner of Escape to Big Fork Lake will be announced here on June 25. Good luck!

Reader comments are always welcome and appreciated. Become a follower to ensure you receive every author interview, announcement and/or blog post on the Piedmont Island Trilogy. Until next time, happy reading! J

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