A Home for My Heart cover mock

MBA&M: Please tell our readers a few tidbits about yourself?

AuthorImage-36AM: I am a wife of 26 years, a mother of 3 college kiddos, and a lifelong reader and writer–and Texan! I love classic literature and history. I love to travel with my husband. (Right now, that’s mostly on business trips, but that’s ok!) I wrote five novels in ten years before landing my first publishing contract. A Home for My Heart is my third published novel. But the thing I hope defines my life is a deep love for and abiding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I am constantly humbled and amazed by all that He has done in my heart. 

MBA&M: What was your inspiration behind writing “A Home For My Heart”?

AM: I really wanted to tell a story set in my husband’s home state of Pennsylvania. As I started researching online, I came upon a small tidbit about a home for “orphan and friendless” children that was in his hometown! I dug a bit deeper and discovered the home was born out of a revival on the college campus in town. The whole history just captured my heart and I knew I could write it as a gift of love to the town where my husband was born and raised. 

A Home for My Heart cover mockMBA&M: What inspired you or what was the appeal to write a story during the turn of the century?

AM: So far, all of my published novels have been set in the pre-WWI years. A Home for My Heart, set in 1910, is the earliest of the time periods I’ve attempted. I ended up writing in this era because my first published book, Wings of a Dream, was based on my great-grandparents story, which happened during the influenza epidemic of 1918. I fell in love with the time period because of the mix of old and new. It was a time of change and yet a time where things were still the same. 

MBA&M: Is “A Home For My Heart” a part of a series,if so,do you feel the readers should the previous titles first, or is this a stand alone title?

AM: All of my books are stand alone titles thus far. We’ll see if I ever get up the nerve to tackle a series! 

MBA&M: What was the most challenging part of writing “A Home For My Heart”?

AM: All of it was challenging! Seriously, the research was elusive. God did a couple of amazing things to bring a few documents to light that hadn’t been seen in years, but for the most part, I had little to go on as far as the day-to-day operations of the home. And then the characters and plotting gave me fits! i did a couple of major rewrites at the request of my editor. Many days I wondered if it would ever come together. It finally did after many, many, many days of hard work. And the feedback so far has indicated the work was worth it! 

MBA&M: What was your very favorite scene to write and your worst or most heartbreaking scene to write?

AM: One of the children in the home gets into some serious trouble. The most heartbreaking scene for me to write was when Sadie realizes she couldn’t do anything else to help him. It’s that moment you know as a parent when there are things in your child’s life you can’t fix, you can only relinquish them to the hands of God. But that is always a heart wrenching moment! 

MBA&M: What made you want to write a story about a home for Orphans?

AM: After I’d made the decision to write about the home because I loved the history of it, I realized that my heart also gravitated in that direction due to all the wonderful families I know who have been touched in some way by adoption. And what better way to remind us that we are all adopted sons and daughters of God? That is such an amazing thing to think about! 

MBA&M: What is your next project?

AM: My next project is a novel not yet titled (due out in fall of 2014) set in Oklahoma in 1917. It is about a woman pursuing her master’s degree who instead has to come home and care for her recently widowed sister and teach high school. She is also given charge of the girls basketball team. Reluctantly, she learns the game, with the help of the handsome boys basketball coach, of course! While A Home for My Heart is a love letter to my family in Pennsylvania, this next book is a love letter to the many, many teachers and coaches in my family. I have loved writing that story! 

MBA&M: Who inspires you the most to write?

AM: That’s hard to say. There have been many that have inspired me along the way. The author that inspired me to want to be an author was Eugenia Price. I read her epic novels during middle school and fell in love with history and historical fiction. My sister inspires me to write because she never liked history or reading but has learned to like both through historical fiction. Now she reads as much or more than I do! And my family inspires me to write, for in my stories I find myself saying things I want to say to each of them but sometimes find it hard to articulate anywhere but on the page. 

MBA&M: Please tell our readers where they may connect with you and where to  purchase “A Home for My Heart”?

AM: I blog regularly at www.annemateer.com. I also interact on twitter (www.twitter.com/annemateer) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorannemateer). I have several boards on pinterest as well (www.pinterest.com/annemateer). I’d love to see you around any of those places! My books can be purchased in physical form or ebook at all the major book retailers, both physical and internet. (You might have to request it at a smaller brick-and-mortar store, but they should be able to get it without a problem.) 


Anne, do you have anything you  would like to add?

AM: I’d just like to say how much I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to tell you a little about me and my book. I’d love to hear from y’all, too. Being a reader myself, my favorite way to connect with new friends is over books!

Thank you, Anne, for taking a few moments of your time to visit with us today. What a fascinating story!


A Home for My Heart cover mockA HOME FOR MY HEART


  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (September 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764210645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764210648
September 15, 2013
Heartwarming Historical Fiction Set at the Turn of the Century

Sadie Sillsby works as the assistant to the matron at the Raystown Home for Orphan and Friendless Children and dreams of the day she’ll marry her beau, Blaine. But when the matron surprises everyone by announcing her own engagement, Sadie is suddenly next in line for the job. For a young woman who was once an orphan herself, a shot at such an esteemed position is a wish come true.

But the matron of the Home cannot be married. Is Sadie willing to give up her dreams of a life with Blaine and a family of her own? Is she prepared to forgo daily involvement with the children as she instead manages the financial, legal, and logistical aspects of the orphanage? And when it’s revealed that the Home is spending a lot more money than it’s taking in, can Sadie turn things around before the place is forced to close forever?

Buy links: 
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(Sponsored by the author)
We are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a print copy of “A Home for My Heart”. No restrictions. Giveaway will run from September 30 until  October 7,2013.
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Connie MannAbout the Author:

Connie Mann loves stories that combine suspense, adventure and second chances. She offers encouragement to busy women on her blog:  www.BusyWomenBigDreams.com and is an active member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers. She’s also a USCG-licensed boat captain, so when she’s not writing, she’s usually on Central Florida’s waterways with local school children or her fabulous family.

Her latest book is the Christian fiction, Angel Falls.

Please visit her online at: www.conniemann.com.




Angel FallsAbout the Book:


Her best friend’s been murdered and Brazilian orphanage director Regina da Silva will do whatever it takes to protect her friend’s baby. Even if it means dealing with an intimidating man she’s not sure she can trust.


Former Army Ranger Brooks Anderson refuses to protect anyone ever again. The last time he did, the woman and child both died. He’s just here to transport an orphan for adoption, as promised, and then he’s outta there.

But when bullets fly, Brooks and Regina risk everything and dive headlong into danger to protect one defenseless child.


As the killer closes in and long-buried secrets come to light, they’ll have to trust each other to stay alive.

Will that be enough to save their little angel–and themselves—from plunging to their deaths over the Falls?





Angel FallsBook Excerpt:

Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil, Present Day

          Regina da Silva tied the laces on her cracked leather boots and yanked the hand-knitted wool stockings Olga made her last Christmas up past her knees. Outside, an icy wind fought to get in through the wooden shutters guarding House of Angels’ orphanage. She straightened the layers of skirts swirling around her ankles, knowing she’d give away all but one before the night ended.

She didn’t want to go out tonight, and that made her feel small and selfish. And guilty. So she hefted the wicker basket filled with meat pastries and opened the door—before she changed her mind. On nights like tonight, she didn’t know which she hated most—the cold, or the memories.

“You are still going out tonight, Regina?” Irene demanded quietly from behind her, voice heavy with accusation. And disappointment.

“Just this one night, Regina, stay home. We’ll talk. Laugh, maybe even shed a few tears. Minha amiga, even Jesus took time off for his friends.”

Regina swallowed hard and glanced over her shoulder at the sagging sofa, where Irene sat with her feet curled under her, cuddling her three-month-old son. The pleading tone almost demolished the fence guarding Regina’s mouth.

A gust of wind snatched the door from her grasp and slammed it against the wall, the crash a call to arms. “If I don’t go, who will?” Regina asked. She didn’t add, “since you aren’t anymore,” but it echoed in the room nonetheless. Regina tried to keep the hurt out of her voice. She still couldn’t believe Irene and little Eduardo were moving to the United States in the morning and leaving her behind. She was thrilled for Irene. She was furious, too, and mad at herself for feeling that way. But she couldn’t find words for any of it. So she simply pointed to the basket and said, “Olga has the meat pastries ready and Jorge packed extra blankets.” Regina pulled on a pair of handmade mittens, carefully pulling together the hole in one thumb.

Irene sent her a piercing sad-eyed look. “You can’t save them all, you know.”

At the familiar argument, Regina met her gaze, eyes hot, and repeated what she always said in response. “Maybe not. But I can save some.”

Irene sighed. “I’ll pick you up in the morning, then. Be safe, my friend.”

Regina kissed her friend on both cheeks, did the same for Eduardo, and then headed out before she caved in to Irene’s pleading. The wind hacked through the slums, and Regina hunched farther into her threadbare coat, determined to ignore everything but the task at hand. Especially the memories.

She shifted her grasp on the heavy basket and kept her eyes fixed on the barrel of burning trash ahead. Automatically avoiding open sewers and billowing newspapers, she followed the dancing flames like a ship to a lighthouse. Odd that both lights warned of danger, yet promised safety.

Regina tightened her scarf and snorted. Here on the streets, safety was an illusion, a wish unfulfilled. How many nights had she and Irene spent just like these street children, huddled around a barrel, protecting their right to be there by clutching a switchblade in a shaking fist? They would probably be dead if not for Noah Anderson, who had done exactly what Regina would do tonight. What she and Irene had done together for years.

But everything had changed. Irene planned to take Eduardo to Florida and leave Regina to run the orphanage alone. Her throat tightened, so she stepped up her pace, shoving self-pity roughly away. She had a job to do tonight. The children were cold and hungry and she could help—at least a little. Keep them safe, God, please.

Regina knew the exact moment the children caught the scent of meat pastry, for suddenly a swarm of children surrounded her, shouting, “Senhorita Anjo, um pastel, um pastel.”

Regina smiled warmly, though she still couldn’t get used to being called Miss Angel, even after four years as co-director of House of Angels.

The crowd surged, pressing close, but Regina’s willowy height worked to her advantage. “Hello, children. Fernando, Stephan, back up and let the little ones closer.” Regina gently pulled the smaller children toward her, trying not to think about just how young they really were. Could Christiane be more than five? Already her beautiful brown eyes held dull acceptance, the understanding that life would never get any better than this—that hopes and dreams were for other, richer children.

Suddenly, the skin on the back of Regina’s neck prickled, and she stopped dead on the cracked sidewalk. Someone was watching her. Again. She hugged one of the children as she scanned the street, but saw nothing out of place, no one who didn’t belong. Yet there was someone there, someone with evil in mind. Every street child knew what that meant. If you were smart, you ran and hid.

Even fifteen years later, Regina’s flight instincts screamed just that. But she wouldn’t. Couldn’t. The children needed her. She fingered her switchblade and looked back, relieved to see old Jorge in the beat-up orphanage van, lumbering slowly up the cobbled street behind her. The groundskeeper had packed an extra box of blankets, in case the thermometer dropped sharply tonight. And he carried his own knife—just in case. Jorge clambered down from the van and opened the back doors.

          “Go get a blanket, children. Fernando, where is the one I gave you yesterday?”

The instant the words left her mouth, Regina wanted to call them back. The twelve-year-old hung his head in shame and shrugged, telling her without words that someone had taken it from him and he hadn’t been able to stop them. “Go get another. It is all right,” she said gently, trying to spare his pride.

“Thank you, Senhorita Angel,” he said, but instead of heading toward the line forming behind the van, he disappeared into the shadows.

Regina tried to call him back, but snapped her attention to the basket when one of the newer boys tried to make off with two pastries. “One,” she said firmly, holding his thin wrist until he let go.

Within moments, the meat pastries were gone, the blankets dispersed, and she’d sent at least ten children to the van for a ride to the orphanage. If she could have fit more pallets into the dining hall, Regina would have scooped up more children. And still, the crowd grew bigger than it had been before.

“Senhorita Angel,” a voice shouted.

Whirling around, Regina saw Fernando running toward her. Panting, he skidded to a stop. “You must come, now. Please.”

Regina didn’t hesitate. Before she reached the van, Jorge had started the engine and handed her medical bag through the window. He motioned her forward and prepared to follow.

“Let’s go,” she said, and smiled when Fernando grabbed her bag before galloping off. She couldn’t be sure if this was his attempt at gallantry, or a way to make sure she kept up with his punishing pace. As she ran down narrow alleys and grim little streets, Regina prepared to put the nurse’s training she’d received in the US to instant use. She prayed it would be enough. Too often, though, what little she could offer came years too late.




Angel Falls Tour Page:





ANGEL FALLS by Connie Mann is an exciting inspirational suspense set in present day Southern Brazil. What a story! Filled with heart pounding action,faith,suspense,danger,romance,a rescue mission,forgiveness,redemption, struggles,love and the need for survival. Follow, Regina  da  Silva and Brooks Anderson as they attempt to save their friends orphan baby. A deadly race for survival! For a fast paced,action packed story you don’t want to miss “Angel Falls”. Ms. Mann will pull you into the story and hold you there. Her characters are intriguing,flawed,realistic and her plot is to die for filled with suspense and mystery. Well done,Ms. Mann, keep them coming. For readers who enjoy Irene Hannon, Diane Burke, Debbie Macomber or Lynette Eason, you will enjoy “Angel Falls”. A soul gripping,heart thumping story from beginning to the very last page. An author to watch for in the future. What an exciting debut for this author. What an adventure and one you do not want to miss. I would highly recommend “Angel Falls” to any reader who enjoys not only Christian titles,but anyone who enjoys suspense,thrillers,mystery,and romance. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.



REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction Reviews/My Book Addiction and More


Please spread the word on this exciting debut author,and “Angel Falls”!