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, November 3, 2011

Mary Connealy, New Releases, and Free Books!

PhotobucketA demon possessed serial killer acts out the Ten Plagues of Egypt on the city of Chicago.

Before we chat with today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the signed copy of DiAnn Mills's novel, Attracted to Fire, is:

JFWisherd@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right (above my list of books) in order to participate in future book give-aways!

Now let's revisit novelist Mary Connealy, author of Ten Plagues (Barbour Publishing, October 2011).

PhotobucketMary Connealy takes a walk on the suspenseful side with Ten Plagues, a romantic thriller, writing as Mary Nealy. Mary usually writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita and Christy finalist. She is the author of The Kincaid Brides Series: Out of Control, In Too Deep, Over the Edge.

Among her novels are Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy and The Sophie's Daughters series.

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

--My mom’s mother had a master’s degree from Columbia University in New York back in the day when they barely let women go to college.

--I’ve got two brothers who are pastors in fairly diverse churches, but they get along great.

--I’m married to my high school sweetheart who is my very own romantic cowboy hero.

--I attended a one room country school and so did my husband and my children.

--I live in the house my husband’s grandfather build on land that’s been in my husband’s family for close to 150 years.

What terrific family history, Mary. I'm so impressed by your grandmother!

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of Ten Plagues.

PhotobucketA demon possessed serial killer acts out the Ten Plagues of Egypt on the city of Chicago.

An inner city mission pastor draws the attention of a madman and becomes the focus of his rage.

A lady cop with the spiritual gift of discerning spirits gets the case and is confronted with an evil unlike any she's ever known.

The pastor and the cop race to stop a murderer, knowing that the plague of the first born and the plague of darkness are being saved just for them.

What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?

My lead character is a lady cop with the spiritual gift of discerning spirits. I was reading the list of spiritual gifts and when I hit the one about discerning spirits I realized I knew very little about that gift. I wondered what would that be like? What if you walked up to someone and could tell they were possessed by a demon? The idea for a story about a woman with that gift was born.

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

PhotobucketKeren would be played by a young Stephanie Zimbalist.

PhotobucketPaul by Henry Cavill (who is my new choice for every hero, the next Superman).

I completely get that. What a great look he has! I've heard a lot of good buzz about him.

Here’s a hint for your well-to-do fans and loved ones: If you could have any one writing-related gift for Christmas this year, what would it be? The sky is the limit!

I’d like a writing retreat with all my best writing buddies in a beautiful cabin in the Rocky Mountains for a week. Food will magically appear so all we do is write and talk.

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

I am right in the middle of Ruth Logan Herne’s Christmas release: Yuletide Hearts (Love Inspired). I’m a sucker for a really great, sentimental Christmas romance and I’m loving this one.

What are you working on now?

I’m doing revisions for the third book in the Kincaid Brides series and I absolutely loved this book. I had so much fun writing it. Book #1 is Out of Control about the control freak brother. It released in August. Book #2 In Too Deep, about the brother who’s the shallow charmer, comes in February 2012 and Book #3 Over the Edge, about the crazy brother, releases in August 2012.

Where else can readers find you online?

Find Mary online at:
Mary Nealy's Website
My Website
My Blog
Petticoats & Pistols

The book is available at fine book stores and for online purchase through these buttons:

606845: Ten Plagues

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

I’m a little nervous about doing this pseudonym/new genre thing, but I loved writing this book and I think a change like this makes it more fun to go back and write the cowboy romance, which I love and intend to keep doing forever.

I’m so afraid that readers will feel betrayed and I’m trying to warn them that they’re picking up something different. I think (I hope) the cover is a huge warning.

How do you feel about an author changing genres? Do you feel cheated? I’ve had authors do this to me but the major betrayal came when a romance novelist dragged me to the end of the book and then no happily ever after!!!!!!

I was very, very, very annoyed. Has that ever happened to you?

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, November 10. 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 interview with Susan Page Davis, below. Leave an appropriate comment at the bottom of the post to enter the drawing for signed copy of her book.

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.

Finally, be sure to check out the terrific inspirational fiction releasing this month!

A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander -- Historical Romance from Bethany House; To create something that will last is Claire Laurent's most fervent desire as an artist. It's also her greatest weakness. All that Sutton Monroe holds dear lies in ruin. He's determined to reclaim his heritage and to make the men who murdered his father pay. But what he discovers on his quest for vengeance reveals a truth that may cost him more than he ever imagined.

Bound by Grace by Amber Stockton -- Historical Romance from Barbour. When Charlotte Pringle’s father disrupts her idyllic relationship with Richard Baxton by announcing he’s been working on a marriage arrangement to secure her future, Richard despairs over the loss of the woman he’s come to love, until his niece persuades him to fight.

Fatal Reality by Jonathan Wakefield -- A Thriller/Suspense from OakTara -- In this race only the winner will be allowed to live.

Gateway Weddings; Romancing America by Myra Johnson -- A Romance from Barbour. Three Missouri women enter the gateway to life, love, and longing.

Hope and a Future by Betty Arrigotti -- Romance from OakTara; Will Marjorie Gloriam overcome her fear and trust God to be a Friend with plans to give her Hope and a Future?

I Can Do Better All By Myself by E. N. Joy, --Biblical Fiction from Urban Fiction (Kensington). The singles ministry at New Day Temple of Faith is beginning to unravel, and the pastor is considering dissolving the ministry. Some members believe the only way to hold it together is by getting their pastor to join. And why shouldn't their leader show support by joining, considering the pastor's own single status?

Katie’s Way by Marta Perry -- Romance from Praise (Penguin). A quilt shop brings Amish and Englisch together, and trouble follows...

Lonestar Angel by Colleen Coble -- Romance from Thomas Nelson. Five years ago Eden and Clay Larson's baby was stolen and never found. Eden blamed herself, Clay lost himself in work. Their young and rocky marriage ended. Or so Eden thought.

Mind Over Madi by Lynda Lee Schab -- General Fiction from OakTara; All men cheat. At least, that's what Madi's mother has always told her.

Peril by Suzanne Hartmann -- Thriller/Suspense from OakTara; A top-secret agent must trust God to protect her many secrets when she accepts high-profile assignments but can she trust Him when He leads her to reveal her secrets and takes her to death's doorstep?

Promise Brides by S. Dionne Moore-- Historical Romance from Barbour; Love is the same, no matter when, no matter where-it never comes without sacrifice.

Protection for Hire by Camy Tang-- Thriller/Suspense from Zondervan; Tessa Lancaster’s skills first earned her a position as an enforcer in her uncle’s Japanese Mafia gang. Then they landed her in prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Now, three months after her release, her abilities have gained her a job as bodyguard for a wealthy socialite and her three-year-old son. But there’s a problem or two … or three ….

The Land of Darkness; The Gates of Heaven Series by C.S. Lakin-- Speculative Fiction from Living Ink (AMG); Jadiel is twelve and things couldn’t get much worse—or could they?

The Long Trail Home by Vickie McDonough-- Historical Romance from Moody Publishers; When Riley Morgan returns home after fighting in the War Between the States, he is excited to see his parents and fiancée again. But when he arrives he learns his life will never be the same again.

The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson-- Historical from Zondervan; An unthinkable danger. An unexpected choice. Annabel, once the daughter of a wealthy merchant, is trapped in indentured servitude a recluse. She must decide whether to follow the plans she has cherished or the calling God has placed on her heart.

The Rancher’s Courtship by Laurie Kingery-- Romance from Love Inspired; Though Caroline Wallace can’t have a family, she can still have a purpose. Becoming Simpson Creek’s new schoolmarm helps heal the heartache of losing Pete, her fiancé, to influenza. Then Pete’s brother arrives, trailing a herd of cattle and twin six-year-old girls.

Thyme for Love by Pamela S. Meyers--Romance & Mystery from OakTara; April Love has always dreamed of being a chef. But she didn’t expect a former fiancé or murder to be part of the recipe for her new job.

Turnabout’s Fair Play by Kaye Dacus-- Romance from Barbour; When Maureen O’Connor begins scheming to match her grandson Jamie with Flannery McNeill, the last thing she has in mind is a romance of her own.

Happy reading!


Carrie Turansky said...

Hi Mary and Trish, Wow, I didn't know that book was written by you. What a fun surprise.

Yes, I have been surprised by an author who usually wrote romance and then switched to women's fiction. But you have made the switch clear with the cover and name change. I think readers who like suspense will enjoy this story. It sounds great!
Carrie (at) turansky (dot) com

Pam K. said...

I think it is fine when an author switches genres (to me it shows their versatility and can make them a stronger author). However, I do like knowing the book isn't their usual fare, so I appreciate all the warnings Mary has given about "Ten Plagues." I think changing her name slightly for this book was a wise move. I'm curious to read this book just to see how differently Mary can write, though I absolutely love her romantic comedies with cowboys. I'm looking forward to the next books in the Kincaid brides series.


kalea_kane said...

I am always intrigued when an author switches genres. In fact, I don't even want to win, because I was so intrigued I haunted my Family Christian Store until they finally got Mary's book in. If it is an author I like, I will give it a shot. If it turns out to be a disappointment, I will probably just stick with the genre that the normally write in. I don't feel betrayed by a romance not ending happily ever after, but that is probably because I cut my teeth on Gone With The Wind.

lgm52 said...

Enjoyed the insightful interview! The book sounds like one I wouldn't want to put down til I'd read the last word!

lorlyn63 said...

I have no problem with an author changing genre's, but am always glad to know they will continue to write what they always have. I imagine authors are like me and would like a little variety in what they write, just as I like a little variety in what I read. I have also read books where the ending did not end happily, I don't really care for those as much - unless there is a sequel that can bring the story full circle eventually. Thank you for the interview and more information on this book "10 Plagues." It does sound good and something I would enjoy reading.
Thank you for the opportunity to enter this giveaway!


Mary Connealy said...

Hi, I'm glad you're not to worried about the new genre.

Trish Perry said...

Lori, you're right about many authors wanting a little variety on occasion. It's good to hear you all make such encouraging comments about your willingness and interest in seeing what else an author has to offer. I'm interested to see how this works out for you, Mary!

Sherri Wilson Johnson said...

I think it is perfectly fine for a writer to write in more than one genre. As a writer myself, I like to dabble in fiction and non-fiction and although my current book is a romance, I love to write things that make my readers tremble for a bit with emotions other than love. My publisher told me that I drag my readers through a roller coaster of emotions. I like that. I think you should write whatever God places on your heart. Your fans will love it!

Ronie Kendig said...

I am delighted to see Mary's book featured here. I've been itching to check this book out since she first told me about it at the 2010 ICRS!! YAY!! Go, Mary!!

Merry said...

I'm excited to see Mary writing in another genre. I love her books and I look forward to a suspense filled adventure with this talented lady. Great interview!
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I don't think an author should be chained to a genre any more than an artist should be chained to a single art style.
As long as they are still writing quality work, it's fine by me. I dislike when an author "switches" to a different genre just because it was popular or something and his/her work isn't up to par ... If you can write the genre, great! If you can't ... please don't. =)

I don't normally read suspense (my mom loves it with a touch of romance though), but ... it's Mary Connealy! Er, I mean, Mary Nealy. :-P Thanks for the chance to win! The storyline sounds really intriguing ...




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