What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mary Connealy and Free Books!

PhotobucketA gold crazy woman and an over-protective rancher set out to find a city of gold in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Because of the Blogger glitch that deleted reader comments and made it impossible for readers to view and comment for a couple of days last week, I'm going to wait until Monday to draw the winner of Jillian Kent's novel, Secrets of the Heart. If you haven't yet commented for that drawing, be sure to check out Jillian's interview, below!

Now let's revisit novelist Mary Connealy, author of Deep Trouble (Barbour Publishing, May 2011).

PhotobucketMary Connealy writes fun and lively "romantic comedy with cowboys" for the inspirational market. She is the author of the successful Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie's Daughters series. Her novel Doctor in Petticoats is a finalist for a Rita Awards, her novel Calico Canyon was nominated for a Christy Award and her novel Cowboy Christmas won the Carol Award.

She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her husband, Ivan, and has four grown daughters, two fine sons-in-law and two spectacular grandchildren.

Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.

-- I am third in a family of eight and my husband is sixth in a family of seven. Between us we have over 100 immediate family members. I’m not talking aunts and uncles and cousins, only brothers, sisters, their spouses and children. And growing.

-- I have two grandchildren and they are the two most beautiful grandchildren on the planet. What are the chances, huh?

-- I am a GED Instructor on an Indian Reservation, that’s my day job and I’ve been doing it for nearly seven years. I can multiply fractions like nobody’s business.

-- I have conversations constantly inside my own head and always have. Sometimes those conversations are so lively and real I catch my lips moving.

-- I was the color commentary person for women’s basketball on the college radio station many long years ago.

Sounds like the talent for multiplication runs in your family, Mary.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Deep Trouble.

PhotobucketDeep Trouble is a sequel to my Carol Award winning novel Cowboy Christmas.

Gabe would have willingly fallen in love with the heroine of Cowboy Christmas—after he stopped wanting to see her arrested and hung. Now Gabe has taken to wandering because of his uncomfortable attraction for a married woman.

Shannon Dysart is on a quest to repair her professor father’s tattered reputation. She’s determined to find the city of gold her father died searching for.

Gabe finds Shannon stranded by evil companions, who have left her to die and gone after the gold themselves. With the dream of gold coloring every decision Shannon makes, and Gabe determined not to fail yet another helpless female in his life, they set out on together only to find themselves running for their lives.

Speaking of color, I have to say the color on these two covers is really gorgeous. Great job by Barbour. 

What is it about your lead characters that will make your readers care about them?

The meeting between Shannon and Gabe is one of my favorite scenes ever. Shannon needs to be rescued. Gabe is definitely going to do it. But how? She’s stuck in the highest cave in a cliff dwelling with no way up or down. I’m hoping that by the time Gabe figures out how get Shannon down you will be completely in love with both of them.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

I think they’ll find the setting intriguing. It begins in a Mesa Verde-like cliff dwelling and ends in the belly of the Grand Canyon. The myth of lost treasure, bad guys on their trail and the growing feeling…against all common sense…between the roving rancher and the wealthy professor’s daughter is a mismatch that can only be overcome by true love.

If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?

PhotobucketGabe is a young Sam Elliot (let’s face it, the best cowboy since John Wayne).

No argument there! 

PhotobucketShannon is Sigrid Thornton, the heroine in The Man from Snowy River.

Give us a sample from the story that shows us something about your main characters.

"How long was I unconscious?"

Gabe didn't have a watch but it had taken him a while to crawl down, fiddle with that ladder, give up, get his rope and climb back. The sun had lowered past the rock wall they were standing on. The caves were facing east and the whole canyon was filling with shadows. "Not long."

"Obviously not, if this is the only plan you had time to come up with."

"Shannon, c'mon." Gabe froze. That tone of voice. He hadn't heard it for a long time. It was his 'little brother' voice. Many of his big brothers would call it whining. He paused for a second to apologize silently to his brother Abe, whose home Gabe was heading too right now. He was gonna be late. Not that he minded. Whenever he was near any of his six big brothers he immediately began feeling about ten years old. He caught himself acting like a kid, too.

Deepening the tone, he said, "I haven't been able to think of another way to get you down. It's this or nothing."

"What's wrong with your voice?"

Gabe glared at her. "Don't change the subject. Come up with a better plan or do it my way.”

What is the last book you read that you would recommend?

I just finished Ruth Logan Herne’s Reunited Hearts. It’s the first book in a series called Men of Alleghany County. It’s a wonderful book full of intriguing developments that kept me reading far into the night. And it’s the first book in a new series set in that beautiful wild country. She populated a sweet little town with great characters. I can’t wait for the next book.

What are you working on now?

PhotobucketI am doing my final edits for the second book in my new series, Kincaid Brides. Book #1 comes out in August. Out of Control. Book #2 is coming in January, In Too Deep.

Where else can readers find you online?

Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website

Deep Trouble can be purchased online via the following buttons:

601499: Deep Trouble, Wild West Weddings Series #2

Finally, what question would you like to ask my readers?

I’d like to know if any of them have ever been to the Grand Canyon. I found it absolutely fascinating to research. Have they ever read a book set down there? Does a setting that is so well known intrigue them or is it a distraction from the love story?

Thank you, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Mary has offered to give a signed copy of her book to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, May 26. To enter, leave a comment below in answer to Mary's question, above. "Please enter me" won't get you entered. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Jillian Kent and Dan Walsh, below, and leave a comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for signed copies of their books.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.


squiresj said...

Cannot believe I am the first to comment.
Yes, I have been to the Grand Canyon. We lived in Arizona for 4 years and my oldest was born there.
I would love a book set there.
I also went there years earlier with my Sunday School Teacher.
I love your books. Grandchildren are the greatest gift next to our children.
God Bless
jrs362 at hotmail dot com

Jackie S. said...

Wow, Mary, you are a busy lady!!! I admire you! And I love your books; have one on the way now that I can't wait to read. Please enter me for this one. THANKS.
No, never been to Grand Canyon!

Donald James Parker said...

To rephrase an old song.
Well I've been to Spain but never to the Arizona Grand Canyon. I can't believe that find both Trish Perry and Mary Connealy together - the two Christian authors I consider the funniest. Good stuff!!!
scaramouche9999 at yahoo dot com

Mary Connealy said...

Hi squiresj, did you go down into it? I stood on the rim. Researching it made me so wishful that I could go down.
but by all accounts its a tough old hike, even the burro rides are stenuous.
I think I'm too late to even think about it. And anyway, this is AMERICA! Why hadn't they build a proper four lane highway down there? What's the hold-up?

Mary Connealy said...

thanks for ordering a book, Jackie. Good luck in the drawing.

Mary Connealy said...

Donald!!!!! HI! Didn't I used to talk to you on Shoutlife? I haven't gone there in a while. Thanks for stopping in at Trish's blog.

windycindy said...

Yes, I have been to the Grand Canyon and even stayed in a cabin where we
could see the Canyon from our room...
I can't remember ever reading a book that was set at the Grand Canyon!
A well-known place doesn't effect my reading a book either way.
Many thanks,

Trish Perry said...

I saw the Grand Canyon as a wee one, and I didn't appreciate it the way I would now. My son visited there last year and walked on the skywalk. Just looking at pictures of that make my stomach flip--I don't know if I'd be comfortable walking there. But what a view it must allow!

splashesofjoy said...

Never seen the grand canyon but I know it would be an awesome trip!
Thanks for the great interview!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi WindyCindy, I'll be interested to see if you think I did the canyon justice.
I've heard of that skywalk, Trish. I think it costs money to walk out on it....I've heard. And why not? I'm all for making money on things like that. But I wonder if I could go out on it? I wonder if I'd chicken out?

Mary Connealy said...

Hi splashesofjoy what a great user name. :) Good luck in the drawing.

apple blossom said...

For some reason I want to say yes, I visited the Grand Canyon, but I truly don't remember it. So I was either really little or just read so much about it I feel I've been there. Love to go there now that I'm older. No, I don't think I've ever read a book set in the Grand Canyon. Sounds intriguing. love to win this book thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Pam K. said...

I have been to the Grand Canyon but just stood at the rim and looked down. We didn't go down into the canyon. I don't remember ever reading a book set there. I'm looking forward to reading Deep Trouble.

Jillian said...

I have never been to the Grand Canyon, it's on my bucket list. I have been to other areas in Arizona, so I can imagine it's beauty. I love reading books where the setting it familiar, it makes me feel closer to what the characters are experiencing. I would love a chance to read Deep Trouble. I love the title, it reminds me of my childhood when my mom would say, "You're in deep trouble." :)

Michelle said...

I've never been to the Grand Canyon, would love to visit it someday though. I don't believe the setting would take away from the story for me.

mchapman (at) windstream (dot net

Mary Connealy said...

When we went to the Grand Canyon what I remember about getting there (which is not the same as BEING THERE) is that it's a long, long, long way from everything. we left civilization behind and drove FOR EV ER. Then there was one hotel there. (maybe there's more now) and the canyon and NOTHING ELSE.
So we drove FOR EV ER
Stood and stared and stared and stared.
Went in the gift shop a while.
Went back and out and stared and stared and stared.
Then got in our car and drove FOR EV ER back to a town.
Now I wish I'd stared longer.

Kameko said...

So many family members ~ how can you keep up with all of them? I think it is amazing that you teach GED classes ~ I admire teachers so much! Your book sounds wonderful, as your other books have been. I have never been to the Grand Canyon and the only book I can remember reading with that setting was "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" when I was a child. I think it is just as intriguing to have a setting in a well known place as some where that is "normal."

Blessings to you both ~

Brenda said...

Yes I've been to the grand canyon, my hubby took me in a helicopter out of Vegas over Hoover Dam and the grand canyon, down into the canyon where we got out and took a champagne lunch ride in a pontoon down the colorado river! Yes I've read books based on the canyon, it was about the Harvey Girls that used to work at the restaurant/hotel that was a stop at or near the Grand Canyon. Back in the day it was in the 1800's I think? dancealert at aol dot com

PS: posted this to my blog:

jeff7salter said...

Mary, I've been to the Grand Canyon twice. Once -- in the late 1950s -- as a rambunctous young boy who zipped around fearlessly and scared my parents to death.
And later, in the early 1970s ... when my own son was about three and he wanted to run all over the place. He scared me to death and I held on to him like glue.
It's beautiful beyond description, but even in those 15 yrs, the area had become a lot more touristy.
I'd love to win your book.

by Pegg Thomas said...

I have conversations in my head too, and if I'm alone, driving in my truck, I'm talking out loud through them. It's weird!

The only book I've read set in the Grand Canyon is "Brighty of the Grand Canyon" and I've enjoyed that since I was a kid. :) I've never been there, but maybe some day.

twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Ann Lee Miller said...

I live in Phoenix, four hours from the Grand Canyon. I've been there many times and would love to read a story set in the canyon.

Mary Connealy said...

Kameko, Brighty of the Grand Canyon! I remember that book. I haven't read it in ages.
I talked with some Grand Canyon specialists and when I told them where my characters were headed (there is a long abandoned village down there with no real history about who built it and what they were doing there)
when i told them about the village I was using their response was, "Wow you are really deep into the canyon."
I came up with the village, which is just barely visible, only the foundation stones remain and even they are mostly gone, because of The Man Who Walked Through Time, Colin Fletcher's book about his hike through the Grand Canyon. He'd heard many rumors about the canyon and done heavy research before he went down, but he found that remnants of that city.

Mary Connealy said...

Jeff my gut twists thinking about taking a young, active child to the canyon.
Your poor mother.

Mary Connealy said...

There's a helicopter that will take you down?????

I could survive THAT!!!!!!!!!!

karenk said...

hi mary...no, i have never been to the grand canyon...but i would love to visit it one day...i always enjoy your novels...thanks for the chance to read your latest :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

KC Frantzen said...

Mary - didn't know there was a DAY job. Wow. GED instructor! That is mah-velous! Knew you were a good person, in spite of the mayhem in your books. ;D

may at maythek9spy dot com

OH - and yes! Been to the Grand Canyon, once as a wee one, all I remember are the colors.

Another about 20 years ago. Just a big hole in the ground during the afternoon. We were told to return and watch sunrise.


Ended up about 30 people there, speaking in whispers in the dark. As the red ball began to appear, silence... glistening tears in the sun's light. Still remember it. AMAZING thing to do if you haven't.

Jo said...

I live in the beautiful state of Arizona and have been to the Grand Canyon. Only twice and would love to go back there again.

It's amazing how large a family both you and your hubby have. I have a very small family. I'm a only child with only 2 first cousins.

Would love to get entered in this drawing.


Anonymous said...

I never had the opportunity to
go to Grand Canyon, but would
so like to go. The setting,for
me, would be an added joy.

100 immediate family? How wonderful that must be. Lots of
cousins for the kids to play with.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I have visited the Grand Canyon, but I was 3. My only memory of the trip is walking along the rock wall that was the border for a flower garden! :)

I love reading books that take place in settings I'm familiar with. It seems to make the book come alive in a different way when I can actually see the setting in my mind.

I look forward to reading this book!


Merry said...

I visited the Grand Canyon on a family vacation, it was an awesome place. I love reading a story set in a place I am familiar with, it enhances my enjoyment of the adventure. I've only read one other book set there and it was long ago. I can't wait to read Deep Trouble!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com



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