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Magnolia MoonlightToday Wednesday Writers welcomes back Mary Ellis, who is asking an intriguing question today: Do you ever read the acknowledgments for a book? I know I do . . . sometimes. So let’s hear what Mary has to say about the acknowledgements in her book Magnolia Moonlight and why she thinks they’re important.

Do You Ever Read the Acknowledgments for a Book?


When you pick up a book at your local bookstore or library, or download it to your electronic device, do you ever read the acknowledgment page? These are the people who helped the author create the story. They answered questions or provided background detail so that the fiction would be based in reality. Here are four of my acknowledgements for Magnolia Moonlight. They tell a story in themselves….

Special thanks to Captain T. McGehee of the Natchez Police Department. Never have I been treated so warmly while interviewing a very busy professional. My honorary officer’s badge hangs proudly over my writing desk. Thanks also to the Cleveland FBI agents who willingly share their knowledge with local mystery writers.

Honorary police badge

Honorary police badge


My story involves a former police detective who now works for a PI firm. She’s forced to interact often with her former boss, a man she was once in love with. Even though I didn’t have an appointment, Captain McGehee invited me into his office and answered my police procedural questions for over an hour. I was amazed how procedures differ greatly from state to state.



Thanks to the Grand Hotel of Natchez for the wonderful hospitality. What a lovely historic gem on the banks of the Mississippi River. 

When you stay in a historic hotel that treats guests like family, your research is bound to go smoothly.

Thanks to Johnny “Vegas” Sturwold, executive host at Belterra Casino and Resort, for assisting me with the game of Texas Hold’em and with poker room procedures. Although the Golden Magnolia Casino is a figment of my imagination, I’d also like to thank the Hollywood Casino of Bay St. Louis, MS, who graciously and patiently answered many of my questions.

As you might have guessed, my subplot involves gambling. When Isabelle spots her former husband going into a casino, she figures he must have succumbed to his gambling addiction. Isabelle and Nate make it their business to get Craig back on the straight-and-narrow, despite being on their honeymoon. Craig loves to play high-stakes poker—a game I formerly knew nothing about.

2015-09-22 14.50.42Thanks to the helpful guides inside the Bay St. Louis Historic Depot and the Alice Moseley Folk Art Museum. I’m also very grateful to Nicki Moon of the Bay Town Bed and Breakfast, who shared firsthand stories of riding out Hurricane Katrina, including hanging onto a tree for dear life. Thanks also to the naturalists at Gulf Shores National Seashore in Ocean Springs and on Ship Island, smack in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

When my PI’s aren’t following Crag around, they enjoy life in a charming beach town. Since my B&B hostess rode out Hurricane Katrina in a tree, I was able to pepper my fiction with real-life experiences. After you read Magnolia Moonlight, please let me know if my research enhanced my fictional story.

Magnolia Moonlight


Blurb: When a local Baptist preacher takes his own life, his congregation is quick to believe rumors, but his widow is certain his death was no suicide. When Price Investigations scratch beneath the surface, they discover Reverend Dean was a victim, not a thief. The two new partners uncover an elaborate pyramid to bilk millions from unsuspecting non-profits, thousands of miles from the small town of Natchez where no one is whom they appear to be.


About the Author:

Mary Ellis low res fullMary Ellis has written twenty novels. Her latest, Magnolia Moonlight, is part of a mystery series, Secrets of the South. Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. She enjoys gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. Sunset in Old Savannah will release in early 2017.


contact links: www.maryellis.net or www.facebook.com/Mary-Ellis/Author

buy links: CBDAmazon: Barnes & Noble

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