Novel Spotlight: The Last Heiress

Novel Spotlight: The Last Heiress by Mary Ellis

The Last Heiress is a romantic standalone novel by Mary Ellis, the bestselling author of Plain Man, the Miller Family series, the Wayne County series, the New Beginnings series and the Civil War Heroines series. The Last Heiress intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

The Last Heiress
The Last Heiress

The following is an interview with Mary Ellis, the author of The Last Heiress, with a bonus giveaway at the end of the interview.

Be in to win a copy of
The Heiress
by Mary Ellis

ONE copy to be won
Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE.
Contest runs 9 – 20 February NZDT



What can you tell us about the setting of this novel?

My story begins in Manchester, on the western coast of England, in February 1864. My central character sets sail for the town of Wilmington on the North Carolina coast. She arrives when the southern states were embroiled in the American Civil War, the most turbulent period of America’s history.


Who are the main characters, and what is at stake for them in this story?

My main characters are a pair of identical twins who have been estranged for years. Amanda Dunn is an heiress to several textile mills. She is vehemently opposed to slavery, yet must come to America to restore the cotton supply. Her sister, Abigail Henthorne, is married to an enterprising cotton broker, trying to enrich himself with blockade running. Amanda’s new beau, a shopkeeper opposed to the war, is at odds with Abigail’s husband at every turn in the road. Class distinctions, political loyalties, and family feuds guarantee trouble for Amanda and Nathaniel’s new romance.


Which of the characters surprised you the most in this story, and how so?

My hero, the shopkeeper from humble roots, maintains a philosophical position throughout the story which conflicts with his behavior at the story’s climax. As the author, I truly didn’t see that one coming.


How did the writing of this story impact you as a person or as an author?

It allowed me to travel to both England and the southern coastline of the US. We learn so much when we research the areas we write about in our stories.


GEWhy is this story important to you?

I believe that if we don’t learn from history, then people are prone to repeat the same mistakes. Although romance is central in my book, I set the story during a difficult period in the United States and Great Britain. When people suffer economically, they can be tempted to go against their ethical convictions to relieve the burden.


What would you like your readers to take away from this story?

I would like readers to take away two ideas: First, that there are no easy answers to complex political issues. It wasn’t the case in 1865 and it isn’t the case in 2015. And secondly, I would like them to remember the bonds of family and the ties which bind us together in love are forever.




The Last Heiress
The Last Heiress

The Last Heiress

(A Novel)
by Mary Ellis

  • Harvest House Publishers
  • Historical
  • February 2015
  • ISBN: 9780736950527

[Kindle Amazon The Book Depository]

Bestselling author Mary Ellis (A Widow’s Hope) presents The Last Heiress, a new romantic standalone that intertwines the lives of a British manufacturing heiress and an American merchant caught in the turbulent time of the War Between the States.

When Amanda Dunn sets sail from England for Wilmington, North Carolina, she hopes to somehow restore shipments of raw materials for her family’s textile mills, which have been severely disrupted by the American Civil War. Though there is not much one individual can do, the wealthy young woman feels she must try, as her mother and hundreds of employees at Dunn Textiles are dependent on Southern cotton.

When Amanda meets Nathaniel Cooper, her desire to conduct business and quickly return to England changes. Though captivated by one another, neither is fully aware of the other’s true nature.

Nathanial, who on the outside appears to be a poor but hardworking merchant, is actually a secret Yankee sympathizer who will stop at almost nothing to bring about freedom for those who live under subjugation, even when that involves questionable judgment. And Amanda’s wealth is made possible by underpaid workers living in slums around the mills, not much different than American slavery.

Can these two earnest souls find the best in one another rather than focus on what could tear them apart? And though they both believe they are on God’s path, how will their decisions affect those around them?




Mary Ellis has written twelve bestselling novels set in the Amish community and recently completed several historical romances set during the Civil War. 

Before “retiring” to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate. Her debut book was nominated for a 2010 Carol Award. Living in Harmony, won the 2012 Lime Award for Excellence in Amish Fiction while Love Comes to Paradise won the 2013 Lime Award.





Be in to win a copy of
The Last Heiress
by Mary Ellis

The Last Heiress
The Last Heiress


ONE copy to be won

Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE.

Contest runs 9 – 20 February NZDT

Please comment about the novel or leave a message for Mary Ellis in the comments below.

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Winning entries drawn will have their entry options validated before being accepted – if incomplete another entry will be drawn.


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