Today’s blog guest is the fabulous (and hilarious) Mary Connealy, one of my very fave people and authors. If you love Westerns and you love to laugh, cry, and swoon all at once in your reads, then you must discover Mary’s books!
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys always with a strong suspense thread. She is a two time Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of over 50 books and novellas.
Her most recent book series are: Garrison’s Law, High Sierra Sweethearts, Cimarron Legacy, Wild at Heart, Trouble in Texas, and Kincaid Bride for Bethany House Publishing. She’s also written four other series for Barbour Publishing and many novellas.
Mary has nearly a million books in print.
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts #2
Genre: Inspirational Western Romance
Publisher: Bethany House
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Union army officer Cameron Scott is used to being obeyed, but nothing about this journey to Lake Tahoe has gone as expected. He’s come to fetch his daughter and nephew, and seek revenge on the people who killed his brother. Instead he finds himself trapped by a blizzard with two children who are terrified of him and stubborn but beautiful Gwen Harkness, who he worries may be trying to keep the children.
When danger descends on the cabin where they’re huddled, Cam is hurt trying to protect everyone and now finds Gwen caring for him too. He soon realizes why the kids love her so much and wonders if it might be best for him to move on without them. When she sees his broken heart, Gwen decides to help him win back their affection–and in the process he might just win her heart as well.
Hi dear Mary! Welcome back to the blog!
Mary: Hallmark Channel-no contest
Mary: Music, when I listen to audio books I tend to daydream and lose the plot
Carrie: ME TOO! lol. I can only listen to audio books of books I’ve already read 😛
Mary: Over, my toilet paper holder makes it hard to do it any other way.
Carrie: Well… okay… fair enough. I’ll allow that 😉
Mary: Diet Coke—it’s an addiction at this point
Carrie: For me too. I’m glad I’m in such good company 🙂
Mary: Neither. Book, card or board game assumes I play well with others.
Carrie: haha! hmmm… lol
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Mary: I’m not even proud of it, but I head STRAIGHT to the Christian fiction section to see if they carry my books.
Carrie: LOL i would too, honestly.
Q: If I sneaked a peek in your purse right now (which I would never do, I promise!), what would it tell me about you?
Mary: It would tell you I’m a minimalist who thinks she can solve 99.9% of her problems with a credit card. (this is true)
Carrie: hahaha can’t we? Especially if they are problems involving the need for more books 😉
Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote The Reluctant Warrior?
Mary: Once, while listening to Great is Thy Faithfulness, I had this AWAKENING that anchored my whole book. It struck me that we spend a lot of time talking about being faithful to God, but we aren’t so aware of how faithful God is to us. And realizing His faithfulness, the greatness of it, can uplift us and carry us through everything.
Carrie: Yes. Amen. ♥
Q: In The Reluctant Warrior, the main characters are stranded in a cabin during a blizzard. Is it easier or more difficult to orchestrate the plot when the setting is pretty much limited to a confined area?
Mary: The Reluctant Warrior was almost claustrophobic at times. I didn’t really realize how limited my scene was until I started writing. I almost panicked when I realized that there was going to be a long stretch of the book with little opportunity to rope and ride, shoot and scream. But I NEEDED to trap my hero in a small space with his children, and the heroine. Otherwise they were NEVER going to learn to get along. I ended up finding ways to get outside, keep the action going, and make the indoor scenes fun.
Carrie: haha – spoken like a true momma – ‘sit there together until you can learn to get along’ – love it.
Q: Your husband is your real life cowboy. How does he inspire your book heroes?
Mary: He talks like a cowboy. He has attitudes I use. He never says a paragraph when he can say a sentence. He never says a sentence when he can say one word. He never says a word when he can grunt. And he fixes things. If I have a worry, I have to consider whether to tell him, because he’s right there with the solution…not always the one I want, and he’s always willing to fix things for me when I need to fix things myself.
Carrie: LOL (I know my answers are all starting with laughter, but i can’t help it.) That last phrase is so profound – “he’s always willing to fix things for me when I need to fix things myself”
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Reluctant Warrior?
Mary: I have this sort of foundational belief, in life and in my characters, that people don’t really CHANGE. They have certain gifts and talents and personality types and those don’t change. But what they can do is use those talents and personality types for good or evil. They can use them in loving ways or to cause trouble. Always I am trying to turn my characters to a larger, finer, God centered way of living without changing who they are, because that’s just not truth to me.
Carrie: One of my favorite quotes that I mull over from time to time is from Andy Stanley who says “…following Jesus makes you better at life.” I love that – and it goes so well with what you said, that God centered way of living that changes how we use the gifts, talents, and personalities that God gave us.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Mary: I have a novella collection coming in November called (brilliantly titled) Three Christmas Novellas. It’s available for pre-order right now.
And I’ve got book #4 in the Garrison’s Law series coming in December, then book #5 in January.
The Unexpected Champion, book #3 in the High Sierra Sweethearts Series comes out in March.
Carrie: You are busy! I can’t wait to read them all!
Mary Connealy is giving a signed copy of The Reluctant Warrior to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? Have you ever been completely snowed in?