Mary Gant Bell: Let’s Chat

linda brooks davis

Welcome, everyone

Mary Gant BellMary Gant Bell honors us with a chat this go-round. Mary began her writing career about fifteen years ago to give voice to the ideas rattling in her brain. She started with genealogy books and later Christian fiction romance novels.

Mary married a man who craves adventure. Together they parent one daughter and a gaggle of attention-seeking cats.

When Mary is not writing, she quilts or cleans seashells from her latest trip to the beach. She never learned to cook, so don’t show up at dinner time. She’d much rather chase her characters from chapter to chapter than preheat the oven.

Mary is offering a giveaway: an ebook of Tell Me It Was Just a Dream to someone who joins the chat below. 

Mary Gant Bell: Let’s Chat

Mary Gant Bell
t seems strange to say this, but I never dreamed of being an author when I was a kid. As I got older, I thought it would be fun to be published, but still didn’t envision it as an on-going interest. After my first genealogy book was released, I put my pen down and figured that was the end of my writing career. One genealogy book led to seven more, and before I knew it, I was writing fiction, too.

My novels come from what I believe is missing in today’s marketplace. So many fiction books focus on a politically correct issue, in my opinion. I have nothing against authors using their platform to express their viewpoint, however. But as a reader, I want to be entertained in a thought-provoking and inspirational way. I crave a story that makes me think, challenges my brain, and uplifts my soul. That is what generates my characters and their stories.

Writing Dreams

Mary Gant Bell

Other books, however, come from dreams. Blame it on menopause or the full moon. All I know is – I have weird dreams. I wake up remembering every detail and emotion. One particular dream followed that pattern. Vivid colors. Clearly defined people. Pain. Suffering. Unity. And survival.

The only difference between this dream and the other visions I have had was that this one continued for four nights. Night two picked up where night one ended. Night three picked up where night two stopped. You get the idea. Each morning found me scribbling notes on the journal I keep in my nightstand.

Mary Gant Bell

It was a disturbing dream. For days, I caught myself pondering its meaning. Was it just a dream or more like a prophecy? Did it predict the future or replay some past, long-forgotten event? Had God revealed His truth to me? I spent significant time trying to decipher what God wanted me to learn from these four – but really one – dreams.

Then it occurred to me that maybe God intended for me to be His messenger. Perhaps I was to tell the story in addition to learning from the story. It could be that’s just what my author’s brain assumed. But once I started putting the words on the page, the point of the dreams flowed like an avalanche down the side of a mountain. (Although at times it felt like blood pouring from a head wound, too.) It came together very quickly and effortlessly. Even though it had been months since the actual dream, I knew this was a story God wanted others to hear.

Mary Gant Bell: The Writer

Tell Me It Was Just A Dream is the story revealed to me in those dreams. The book is in four parts, as the dreams came to me. The book, like the dreams, ends with an important take-away for all ages to apply. The message is as timeless as it is important – and urgent – for our world. Order your copy today and begin changing the world. You won’t regret it.

Mary Gant Bell

After this book, I wrote the Under the Garden Tree series. It was originally intended to be three books, but quickly turned into six. I am currently working on book three of my second series, The When Series. Those characters haven’t told me yet how many books will be in that collection! After that, I plan to write another devotional (the topic will surprise you, so watch my website for details as they develop.)

If you’ve ever considered being an author or believe you have a story to tell, I strongly encourage you to go for it. It’s challenging, rewarding, and tons of fun!

Tell Me It Was Just a Dream

Mary Gant Bell

It’s been said that everything can change in an instant. Valerie Walker can testify to this. One day her idyllic life was consumed with the mundane tasks involved with being a mother of three active children and the wife of the mayor. From one breath to the next, all of that changed.

Now Valerie struggles to salvage the shattered pieces of her life.  But where doe she begin? Her mother’s heart wants to comfort her husband and children. Unfortunately, their very survival must take precedence over luxury. If Valerie and her husband cannot keep everyone alive, there’s no point in soothing their souls.

Will they survive this tragedy, this shocking surprise? If they do, will they be able to rebuild the peaceful lifestyle they all enjoyed before the catastrophe uprooted them from their tranquility?

Or will this disaster tear them apart?

Other Books by Mary Gant Bell

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Mary Gant Bell Links:

Buy link:

Social Media Links:


Instagram:  mary_gant_bell_author

Lulu Author Page:

~ ~ ~

Lord, please bless each word Mary writes for You.
~For Jesus’ sake

4 thoughts on “Mary Gant Bell: Let’s Chat

  1. Anthea Kotlan

    Dear Mary,
    Fascinating to gain some insight on your writing process and to hear about your vivid dreams. Hope you and yours are staying well.


    1. So good to see you in our circle, Anthea. Say Hi to the gang 🙂

  2. Wow. You’re book, Tell me it’s just a dream. sounds adventurous and interesting.
    God bless you Mary, as you continue to write for His glory!

    1. Thanks, Penny. It was definitely an adventure to write it. Have you read any of my other books? I hope you are well and surviving this lockdown without incident.


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Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

Welcome, Readers!

This week we’re visiting with Karen Malena, author of inspirational, dystopian, and fantasy fiction. Not exactly sure what dystopian or fantasy entails? Keep reading, my friends … and be inspired.

P.S. Karen’s offering “a few” of her ebooks to the winner(s) of a drawing among those who comment below. Let’s keep the conversation going!

**Congratulations to drawing winner, Phyllis Scott!

Karen Malena Before Authoring

feel that my true writing journey actually began when I was a very young girl. My mother had a form of mental illness and was hospitalized many times. It was frightening for me, but it began my love of reading and making up stories to escape all of the seriousness surrounding me. (Click to Tweet!) 

Family Life

My close-knit family’s strong faith got us through this difficult time, and God restored my mother to us by a miracle. I like to believe that going through this experience as a young child, helped ready me for the journey of Alzheimer’s and dementia that we faced with Mom for the last several years.

Once again, I was able to channel the seriousness, write about it, and inspire others with my blog and writings. (Click to Tweet!) 

How Authorship Began for Karen Malena

Janet SimcicSo many times throughout my life, I would begin a fictional story, but put it aside. It took me until about eight years ago, when I met a man in our small group Bible study at church who had some published pieces, to finally join a writers group and pick up my desire to write once again.

Karen Malena’s Debut 

First, I wrote a book which is out of print now, Shadow of My Father’s Secret. I went with a very small publishing company. There was never a more exciting moment than actually seeing my name on the Amazon site for the first time.

More Novels for Karen

Then I released two books about golden year romance which came from that time: Love Woven in Time and Love Finds a Way.

Another of my books, Reflections From my Mother’s Kitchen, is a fictionalized memoir-type journey of some of the situations our Italian family had gone through. Conversations with a faith-filled mother guide Kate, my main character. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Dystopian Tale

I also went out of my comfort zone with a story inspired by the impersonal way I see our young people communicating today—only by texting and electronic devices—so my dystopian story, Sound of Silence, was born. It is a futuristic tale in an era where speaking is not permitted any longer, creepy and cautionary. (Click to Tweet!) 

A Bit of Fantasy

And lastly, due to the popularity of my son Matt3756 YouTube channel, I wrote Piggy, a fun, fantasy story about his cat. It’s a great book about friendship, food and fun.

Life at Present for Karen Malena

Ligonier, Pennsylvania

My husband and I enjoy traveling to the quaint town of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, located in the Laurel Highlands. It was at one of our stays at a bed and breakfast that I began formulating a story while thinking of my parent’s love in their senior years, Mom’s growing dementia, and my love of that beautiful town.

Sharing Through Articles

I belong to a group, AlzAuthors, and am most comfortable blogging about my caregiving journey with Mom’s dementia and aging parents. I also have an article coming out in Guidepost magazine’s sister publication, “Mysterious Ways,” this spring entitled “The Earrings” about my mother’s near death experience. It is my hope to be a blessing to those who face the heartbreak of dementia, losing their parents, or anyone who may identify with one of the characters in my books.

Reaching Out to Others

Now I love to encourage others to begin their own writing journey, or speak at events at senior centers and libraries. (Click to Tweet!) 

How to Contact Karen




Where to Find Karen Malena’s Books


Love Woven in Time by Karen Malena
Harry and Rose meet in their golden years in quaint Ligonier, Pennsylvania. A warm friendship is forged and their lives become intertwined in ways even they won’t believe.

But will Rose’s secret from her teenage years tear their new found friendship apart? Will the sins of Harry’s past revisit him and shatter all hope for happiness?

Love Finds a Way
Harry and Rose McMillen from Love Woven in Time return in this story. Their love in their senior years is an inspiration to all who know them. But as Rose senses that her beloved is losing precious memories more rapidly, she begins to wonder how long they really have together before the ravages of time and age erase precious moments forever.


Reflections from My Mother’s Kitchen
In the quaint, old steel town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania, Kate has known adversity. While she and her mom share the stories that molded their lives, Kate begins a journey of self-awareness and hope.

But when tragedy knocks on a seemingly innocent morning, will the warmth of a mother’s love be enough to carry her through?

Sound of Silence
A dark, all-encompassing law blankets the country. Driven by one terrible secret, a powerful politician brutally suppresses speech for the sake of order and holds the country in the palm of his hand.

In Sound of Silence an ominous new society is introduced leaving us with the question: What if?

What do a cat and mouse have in common? One little kitten is about to find out.

This is a true story, one of an unlikely friendship, great bravery, heroes and villains.”

~ ~ ~

Lord, You are our eternal Sustainer. We praise You alone for preserving life and faith and trust. Karen Malena has walked a path few have known. Only You could have brought her into her place of security, joy, and service through writing. We honor You as we honor Karen. Please bless each word she writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake ~























15 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Karen Malena

  1. Wonderful interview Karen!.. I enjoyed reading your inspirational life story!!

    1. Thank you so much, Tammy for the comment! Much appreciated.

    2. Hi, Tammy. So good to see you here. You’re another inspirational author with an inspirational life story! I’m grateful to know you.

  2. Katie Perez

    Amazing that writing was to therapeutic for Karen! I write on my free time, (what free time? I have 3 kids 6 and under) but I want to ask; as a writer, is there a specific tone you go for writing wise? As in, one that will appeal to all types of walks of life? Or do you just write from the heart, and the audience will create itself? Thankful Karen for sharing your story. ♡

    1. Hi, Katie. So good to see you in our group today. Karen and I are both authors. Her books and mine are in different genres. I write historical fiction. Like Karen, I weave my family’s trials and the overcoming of hardships through faith and grit into my stories. My ancestors’ tales deserve to be preserved and shared, so that’s what I try to do. I love how Karen reaches out to others from her own experience with a family member’s mental illness, Alzheimer’s, and other brands of dementia. Please join our chat again. A new author each Wednesday. God bless.

    2. Hello Katie. Excellent question! Thank you for reaching out. I know what you mean about spare time. When I was part-time caregiver for my parents, working a full time job, and of course having a full time husband, I wondered how I found time to write. But I took small pockets of peace wherever I could find them and even if it was only ten minutes here or there, I would write what I loved. In my fiction, I usually am inspired to write a little of the truth of situations, but of course we need dramatic elements as well. I’ve been told to “keep ’em guessing, so once again, in fiction, we need to think of something to move the story forward so your reader will want to turn that page. But when I write blogs and such, I look within my heart. I, too, believe that gritty soul-searching writing is what people need. They have something that touches them in a more personal way. Thank you again for your wonderful comment!

  3. Great interview! Karen’s got a wide range of books to choose from.

    1. Hi, David. Thanks for pulling up a chair and joining our circle 🙂 Yes, Karen has quite a range, and I’m now one of her fans. Please come again. A new author each Wednesday.

    2. David, thank you so much for stopping by and for all the sharing and comments that you always do for me. It is very much appreciated, my friend. Wishing you success in your journey as well.

  4. Phyllis Scott

    I’m not sure what I am replying about. But, I do want to encourage Linda in her writing especially about mental illness and dementia. I appreciate how some are able to articulate experiences with either of these. My father suffered many years with manic depression and the dementia in his latter years and my mother suffered right along with him. God has blessed her by giving her over 12 years, after his passing to heal and build a rich life. I think the worst thing for families is they get isolated because people have a hard time loving and supporting because they don’t take time to try and understand.

    1. What a wonderful contribution you’ve made to our conversation, Phyllis. Thank you. But it’s Karen Malena who has had the life experience with family mental illness and Alzheimer’s. She’s the one who speaks and writes and ministers to seniors and others affected by mental illness and dementia. My grandmother’s mother was in and out of their home due to mental illness for several years until she was finally committed for good and lived out the remainder of her life—48 years—in the asylum, so my grandmother at 11 years of age became the woman of the house and substitute mother to her three siblings. Others in my family know what it’s like to be in Karen’s position as a child. I so admire Karen’s devotion to others through her knowledge and experience with this most devastating disease. I hope you’ll visit this blog again. Sign up on my home page, and it’ll arrive in your Inbox every Wednesday with another author to get to know. God bless.

    2. Hello Phyllis. I want to thank you for your comment and sharing your own story as well. The stigma of mental illness is one of the most difficult things a family will go through. I am always grateful when I share my story and someone reaches out and says they, too, know what it is like. My mother’s battle with depression as a young woman was devastating to our family, but we had a miracle. She returned from one of her hospital visits completely healed. I can only classify that as a true miracle because she was not only suicidal, but at times didn’t know who she was. She went on to own several small businesses in life and was my best friend. It was when Alzheimer’s robbed us yet again of her in her last few years, that all those feelings returned from my childhood. I’m so glad your mother was able to enjoy her life after all the difficulties. Thank you again for reaching out.

  5. Dianna Kennedy

    I became a lover of Karen’s writings when she first started. We became quick friends. I associated with certain things she wrote about.

    She is a very talented woman with a deep faith. God has blessed her with the talent to tell her stories which touch the lives of so many people.

    God bless her and may she continue with her path. I am so proud to say I am a fan and a friend.

    1. Thank you for joining in, Dianna. I don’t know Karen personally, but I’m definitely a fan after this interview. Please visit the blog again. A new author every Wednesday. God bless.

    2. Dear Dianna, I have been blessed in my life to get to know you through my writing. You are a dear friend and your words of encouragement always spur me on to continue. Thank you for seeing in my writing what I want to convey: that faith is the answer and goodness is not gone in the world. I appreciate your comment here and your friendship.


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