Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Mary Connealy & The Reluctant Warrior

Posted October 26, 2018 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Christian, giveaway, historical, Mary Connealy, romance / 81 Comments

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.

Find Mary online at:
Complete Book List
Petticoats & Pistols
Mary’s Website
Like Mary’s author page on Amazon to get notified of new releases
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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.

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Hi dear Mary! Welcome back to the blog!

Mary: Hallmark Channel-no contest

Carrie: agreed!

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.

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What about you? Have you ever been completely snowed in?

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81 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Mary Connealy & The Reluctant Warrior

  1. Perrianne Askew

    I live in Texas, so snow is a rarity. That said though a bit of ice or snoow will shut this city down. We do not have the equipment to maintain an icy roadway. So no, not snowed in completely, but not able to drive or get out when that happens.

    • Perrianne, I live in Nebraska. Being snowed in is so usual. I’ve developed a real gift for just skipping it in bad weather. (‘It’ being anything I have scheduled)

  2. Kay Garrett

    Never been snowed in, but have been iced in. We once went 9 days with no utilities from the ice. When you live in the country that means two things. One – it means you have NO utilities at all. Wells run on electricity as well. Everyone wanted lights back on, but I wanted to be able to push that little silver handle on the back of the seat in the little room without carting in water from miles away. Two – when you live in the country you are last to get your power back. They fix where it benefits the most and being a single house out on a road means you aren’t a priority at all.

    Loved learning about both book and author in your interview. Can’t wait for the opportunity to read Mary Connealy’s book “The Reluctant Warrior”.

  3. Janet Estridge

    I know the weather has been crazier than usual but if I were snowed in, it would be a disaster.
    I live in Florida where it has only snowed twice in my lifetime.
    Once when I was a little girl and in 1977 where it was so cold, even for here, that it stayed on the ground for the rest of the day.

  4. Elizabeth Litton

    Sort of! Our farm lane is 3/10 of a mile long, so my dad always waits until the snowfall is completely finished before clearing the lane with the tractor.

    • jcp, we have a propane heater in the basement that needs no electricity. It will always keep the house from having frozen pipes and damage of that sort. And if we know bad weather is coming, we catch five gallon buckets of water (we always have ONE in the basement 24/7/365 and we can use that to flush the toilet. We also have a gallon or two of drinking water. I try and have everything, phones, laptop, charged up, we are eyeball deep in flashlights, and we have a generator, gas powered, that isn’t huge but is big enough to run the fan on the furnace…and the TV will run. I don’t think I can get wifi but then I just get more writing done.
      We are ready, too. 🙂

  5. Debbie Clatterbuck

    I grew up in New York, so, yes I have been completely snowed in. My brothers and I had to tunnel our way out to play in the snow. Sure was fun, but very cold. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and the interview. Good luck everyone.

  6. Stephanie H.

    Yes,I have been completely snowed in before several times throughout my life. It was always fun when I was younger, but now that I’m older there’s more stress about being isolated during/after a snowstorm.

  7. Anne

    When I was living in Montreal which is very snowy and cold all winter I was snowed in many times. It required a great deal of strength and endurance. I lived there for over 30 years.

  8. MS Barb

    I was born & raised in Minnesota–YES, I’ve been snowed in! After moving to OH, once, I was “iced” in–roads were impassable for several hours!

    • Barb, my sister lived in Rochester when she was doing her medical residency. She said it was amazing what didn’t stop Minnesotans. Oh, it could get bad enough, but mostly, that whole area was ready for bad weather and knew how to get the roads open and just keep going.

  9. Karen

    I’ve not been completely snowed in before, but have prepared to be just in case before bad snowstorms have hit. I really enjoy Mary Connealy’s books!

    • Hi MJSH!!! So true. Being snowed in when you’re a kid just means no school! Fun! When you’re a grown up thee is a fight ahead to clear things out and get moving again.

  10. Thanks so very much for the opportunity to enter a giveaway! Appreciate it! Would love to win a print copy! Enjoying Fall weather in Montana now, but not really looking forward to snow. . . Have a great day in the Lord!

  11. Connie Scruggs

    I’ve been stuck at home because the snow was too high to drive. I’ve never been trapped inside my house because of snow, though.

  12. Winnie Thomas

    I don’t know about “completely” snowed in. I think we could have probably gotten out if we’d wanted to, but there have been a few times the snow was pretty deep and the cars were all getting stuck. People around here drive in the snow all the time, so it takes quite a bit to keep us in. 😀 Of course, there are always times I WANT to be snowed in, so I can sit by the fire and read a book. 😀

  13. I am pretty much prepared. I have a lot of food, and water to last me. I would have a problem if the electricity went out because my sump pump would stop working and my basement will flood, but other than that I would be fine. Nice interview. It is great getting to know more about the authors I want to read.

  14. Cathy

    Not necessarily snowed in but have been iced in. Even the yard was like an ice skating rink, during one unprecedented episode. I always keep emergency food supplies and extra water handy, hoping to not have to use them! Love Mary’s books, with wonderful stories and some heartfelt laughs.

  15. Joan Kurth

    I grew up on a farm in Southwestern Minnesota and we had a half mile driveway. We were snowed in many times. I remember when I was small that we hitched up the horses to a wagon box with the wheels taken off and runners put on to go get the mail and visit the neighbors. That is just one of the many stories I could tell about being snowed in!

  16. Sandra

    We don’t really get a lot of snow in West Tennessee but we have been iced in a few times. I remember very well the first time after moving here that we were without power for 14 days. Fortunately, we had gas heat but cold showers and no blow dryer made for some very chilly mornings.

  17. Mallori

    I’m not sure if we’ve ever been completely snowed in before. Living in the path of lake effect snow in Northern NY, there have definitely been some days where only emergency vehicles are supposed to be on the roads, and snow days were not outside of the realm of possibility. But, we are also used to getting a lot of snow and do what we need to do to keep on with normal life. I was too young to remember, but there was a major ice storm in 1998 that shut everything down for quite a while.

  18. YES! I’ve never been snowed in my physical home, but have been snowed in to the point that we couldn’t drive cars or leave the house.

  19. Paula Shreckhise

    We had one ice storm when I was a teen in Northern Illinois, several in North Dakota when hubby was in Bible School and several when we lived 75 miles North of Green Bay, not quite to the UP of Michigan. I’m glad I’m in Missouri now!

  20. Kathy

    I’ve never been snowed in, but rainy weather will keep me in for a few days but then that’s the extent of weather forcing me to be indoors. Weather here in CA is fairly mild compared to the east coast snows. It would give me an excuse to bunker down and write on my novel. I love the description of the novel about “The Reluctant Warrior”by Mary Connealy (hope I spelled it right). Sounds like a book I couldn’t put down! Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  21. Anne L. Rightler

    Having lived in snow belt country most of my life, yes, I’ve been completely snowed in a few times but not usually for very long. Communities used to snow usually get things moving fairly quickly. Loved Mary’s answers. (Well maybe not the Coke one, being a Diet Pepsi fan myself!!) thx for sharing.

  22. Chanel Monroe

    Yes! There was a big snowstorm a couple of years ago. It came up to my knees/thighs! I think my street was shut down for almost a week! I was in high school at the time, so it was awesome to have no school and just play in the snow!

  23. Joan Arning

    I’ve never been completely snowed in. I do remember when I was in high school (maybe 1960) when we had accumulated snow of 36 inches. I believe we were out of school for 3 weeks but we lived in town so could still get out.

  24. Connie Lee

    I’ve been snowed in when it really was not safe or advisable to try and get on the roads, although you could still get out in the yard, the snow was never that deep.

  25. Brenda Murphree

    I live in Northeast MS and we hardly ever have a good snow but 2 or 3 yrs ago we had a wonderful snow (for us). The funny thing was, as cold as it was in January and February we didn’t have but a dusting. Then in March we had about 6 or 7 inches. Everything shut down. Our electricity went out so therefore our heat. But…thank the Lord a year or so before that we had put in a gas infrared heater so we stayed warm. I wouldn’t dare get on the roads we were not used to that much snow. Lol! We loved it!

  26. Vivian Furbay

    In 1987 we two deep snowfalls here in Colorado Springs. With one the whole city was shut down. Thank God we had a fireplace and had no need to go outside.

  27. Melissa Andres

    I have been snowed in. We live in rural Wisconsin and it’s not that uncommon to get a couple feet of snow once or twice a year. And they don’t usually get out to plow for a day or two. So I go nowhere! ?

  28. Amy M.

    Yep! Snowed in a Colorado mountain cabin in Estes Park celebrating my sister’s 50th birthday in APRIL!!!! It was a lot of fun until the electricity went out then we had to get a little creative as there were 15 of us.

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