PARIS, Pa. - Nearly 40 people turned out for an intimate talk and reading with local author Mary Jean Bonar
of Wellsburg at the Paris Presbyterian Church's Gathering Place coffeehouse located at 127 Steubenville Pike.
The coffeehouse is part of the church's outreach ministries and is available to any individual or group.
discussed writing her
first book, which she
believes to be divinely inspired.
In the midst of a prayer and meditation walk, she
felt the Holy Spirit come over her
and encourage her
to write "Overflowing With Hope," which has strong spiritual and Christian themes.
Mary Jean Bonar
of Wellsburg reads from her book 'Look to the Hills' during a talk and book signing at the Paris Presbyterian Church's Gathering Place coffeehouse May 1. -- Summer Wallace-Minger
spent several weeks recording the book at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.Va.
Few audio books remain, because Bonar
relationship with Tate Publishing
When asked how long it took the write the book, Bonar
said it had taken her
approximately a year and a half, and she
had struggled with writer's block at one point.
"I needed to be in the right frame of mind, the right place spiritually, to write this book," she
"I thought I was, but I wasn't."
daughter loaned her
the use of a secluded cabin, and, once she
had settled in, she
was able to write another 100 pages.
Once the book was finished, she
began an extensive promotional campaign, but health issues made it difficult, and, once she
had recovered, enough time had passed that there was little interest in "Overflowing" from bookstores.
was determined to see her
story widely available, and she
relationship with Tate and partnered with Trafford Publishing
divided "Overflowing" into two books, "Look to the Hills" and "Blessed Abundantly," after being advised trilogies sell well.
When looking for cover art for "Hills," she
and the publisher, which is located in Indiana, went back and forth.
"They sent me a photo of this gentle little rise, with the silhouette of a tree on it," she
"I said, 'that's not a hill,' so they sent me another photo - it looked like the Rocky Mountains!"
eventually took her
own photo of the rolling hills near Avella and it was used for the cover.
had hoped to take a photo at Brown's Orchard in Hickory for the cover of "Blessed," but was unable to because of the publication schedule.
is working to complete what she
now calls the West Hope Trilogy after the fictional setting in small-town Pennsylvania.
hoped those who read the books, which revolve around women in their 80s and 90s, would remember to treat the older people in their own lives with love, patience and respect.
"They have enriched my life so much," she
said of the older women in her
is available for talks and book signings for churches and organizations.
To schedule a talk, contact Bonar
at firstname.lastname@example.org or (304) 737-2144.