Sunday, February 28, 2010

BLACK HILLS BLESSING - Mary Connealy - Free Book

Here's another fun one from Mary Connealy. Welcome, Mary. How did you come up with the idea for this story?

Black Hills Blessing has three books in one. The first one, Buffalo Gal was inspired by a buffalo ranch in western Nebraska owned by Ted Turner and some of the controversy surrounding it. I saw this article in the newspaper years ago and thought, great setting for a romance novel. Plus I've always loved buffalo. I'm not sure why. They just fascinate me.

Clueless Cowboy I just love. I wrote for years before I got a book published and this one, the second book I wrote, went a long way down the path toward getting published. It was a finalist in a contest. I got a request from Silhouette Romance for a full manuscript and I waited for a looooooong time to be rejected. This is sort of my story. I'm a farm/ranch girl through and through. I grew up in the country on a small working farm, lots of different animals, the way farms used to be. Milk cows, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats. It was a very traditional farm life, and it's a life I know right to the bone. Now I'm married to a rancher and though we just have beef cattle, I still really understand the rhythms of country life. How much the weather matters. How we work from sun up to sun down, the planting and harvesting seasons. Calving time. Battling winter weather to keep the animals healthy. So I feel like I could bring a lot of authenticity to the heroine of Clueless Cowboy.

The Bossy Bridegroom, well, I've know a few people in emotionally abusive relationships. And in … pretty much every case … I'm trying to think of an exception … those marriages ended and the woman ended up marrying another abuser and the man ended up finding a new woman to push around. So I've wondered what would it really take to make a marriage like that healthy. Because both sides of those marriages have a role in the abuse. So it's not enough for Michael to come back to Jeanie and say, "I'm a Christian now. I promise I'll be nice." Those old habits are hard to break. He wanted her to hold him accountable when he'd step over the line. She was usually so busy blaming herself for any problem that she could hardly consider he might be at fault.

So, of the three, I think The Bossy Bridegroom is the biggest fantasy. Sure a wealthy city slicker might move into a derelict house and fall in love with a single lady rancher like in Clueless Cowboy (hey, that happens everyday).

Sure a guy who owns a buffalo ranch could change his mind about this hobby and sell it cheap and a rancher who hates buffalo might cheer up and decide he likes having them next door…noooooo problem.

But a tyrant like Michael and a doormat like Jeanie growing up and getting emotionally healthy….wow, find an example of that for me anywhere. The Bossy Bridegroom is a pretty serious subject and, although there's humor in it, like when Jeanie starts acting out her hurt feelings with an inflatable baseball bat, the book has a much more serious tone than most of my books. So be warned.

If you were planning a party with Christian authors of contemporary fiction, what six people would you invite and why?

Lena, I'm not sure what you want here. A party, huh? In the fantasy can I have whatever party I want, and you're paying right? So me and six friends can go on a cruise? Or spend a week or Cancun, all on your dime, right? Great. More fantasy.

Ummm…I've been interviewed by you before so I'm trying to think of even MORE people I'd like to hang with. I'm trying my hand at a little more contemporary writing. I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I'd like to spend some time talking to Colleen Coble and Brandilynn Collins about how they do their thrillers. I'd love to meet Dee Henderson and Terri Blackstock. And how about Debby Giusti? She's doing great work with suspense, plus I love her and I think I could get her to talk to me while the others talked among themselves. Lena, tell them they need to be nice to me since it's my party. And I get one more. Let's invite Angela Hunt. She's such an amazing talent though. I fear I will forever feel bad about myself, but I still think she should come.

I'd like to throw several parties if it's okay.

Now let’s do that for a party for Christian authors of historical fiction, what six people would you invite and why?

Okay, here we go. I didn't read through the questions first. Okay this is just me aiming really high so here we go. Janette Oke, Francine Rivers, Bev Lewis. Lori Copeland. Stephanie Grace Whitson. You know this is kind of my field. I can think of lots of authors for this one. Which means you're pretty cruel to make me choose, but then I think you already know that. Let's invite Janet Dean. We can be star struck together.

Many times, people (and other authors) think you have it made with so many books published. What is your most difficult problem with writing at this time in your career?

Not one single problem in the world. I've got it made. (okay, I just had to type those words. Just to see if my fingers would tremble on the keyboard). Writing proposals. I'm getting better at it, but mostly in my past, I've had the book all finished before I had to write a synopsis. I'm not so great of a plotter. And knowing readers have expectations. Romantic comedy with cowboys. What if I have an idea that's NOT a cowboy? Huh? What then? Barbour has given me a chance to try a few different things and God bless them for it. This book, Black Hills Blessing is an example.

Tell us about the featured book?

Ride the range with Buffy Lange, a woman bent on seeing majestic buffalo reclaim their territory, no matter how hostile local cattleman Wyatt Shaw becomes. Meet rancher Emily Johannson who would leave her derelict neighbor Jake Hanson alone if she didn't feel duty bound to keep saving his hide. Take a stand with Jeanie Davidson, a single-again woman who's finally gotten her life together, only to have her ex-husband Michael walk right back in, determined to make amends. Can love redeem these hearts and lives?

Please give us the first page of the book.

Buffy Lange had been at her new job for fifteen minutes. It was going to take a miracle to last out the hour.

“Don’t let him through that gate!” She raced toward the fence.

The buffalo hit the metal panel with a clang of horns on steel. A dozen wranglers started shouting and rushing to support the slipping gate. The young bull stubbornly refused to pass through the alleyway of metal into his new home in the Nebraska Sandhills ranch. He swung his massive head again.

Buffy, who’d stationed herself inside the pen, grabbed the top of the fence, vaulted it, snatched the slipping, tubular steel, and shoved it into the gap.

Two thousand pounds of cranky bison rammed the panel. Buffy fell backward into the mud with the gate on top of her.

The buffalo ran across, its legs tangling in the open spaces of the slatted panel. The clatter of hooves on metal rang in Buffy’s ears. One sharp hoof scraped between Buffy’s arm and her stomach. It ripped her shirt and scraped off some of her hide.

The ground under her was sloppy mud. Instead of being crushed when the buffalo’s full weight landed on the gate, she sank. With the wind knocked out of her, she looked eye to eye with the frantic animal who snorted hot breath in her face and hooked his horns at her.

Adrenaline roared like an electric current as the bull swung his horns. The gate protected her from being gored. The beast plunged forward and was gone. She heard screaming.

As much as she loved the bad-tempered animals, Buffy would have screamed, too, if she could breathe. She prayed for a miracle. Needing direct intervention from God to keep her hired men alive and herself employed, looked bad on a resume.

The panel wrenched off and hands ran down her arms and legs. She opened her eyes and Wolf Running Shield, her foreman, crouched over her. His black braids, shot through with gray, slid over both his shoulders and dangled over her head. “Are you okay?” His bottomless black eyes flashed with worry. “Did he land a hoof on you?”

Her abused lungs started working. “I’m fine.”

“Mommy!” The blood curdling scream came from Sally, her three-year-old niece, supposedly confined to the house until the buffalo was safely penned. Everyone around Buffy vanished, running to the rescue. Buffy jerked her arms out of the mud and scrambled to her feet.

A man, rigged out like a cowboy straight from the old west, raced his horse between the buffalo and Sally. It was nip and tuck who would get there first.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website

Thanks for having me on, Lena. It's always fun.

And I always love having you, Mary.

Readers, here's a link where you can order the book. By ordering a book using this link, you'll be helping support this blog.
Black Hills Blessing (Romancing America)

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book.

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 6 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Feedblitz, Facebook, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment. Here’s a link.


Anonymous said...

thanks for the opportunity to read this fabulous book


Nancye said...

Wow! Now I want to find out what happens to Buffy and if they catch the buffalo before it hurts anyone else..........guess ya' gotta' pick me!! LOL!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Debbie Jackson said...

count me in

Merry said...

I'd love a chance to win Black Hills Blessing. Mary's books are some of my favorites and I don't want to miss this one!

collettakay said...

I LOVE Mary Connealy!


K said...

Wow! All three books look so good! I would definitely like a chance win Black Hills Blessing! Mary's books are amazing! :)

Casey said...

I read Montana Rose and enjoyed it, please enter me for this one. :)

Virginia said...

I have been looking for some of Mary's books lately! They sound so good! This one looks like a great read and I would love to read it. Please enter me for this one!


A J Hawke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cindy W. said...

You left me wanting more...I love buffalos. They are so majestic!

Please include me in your book giveaway.

God bless you!

Cindy W.


rubynreba said...

Please enter me for this. Thanks.

Abi said...

I'd love to be entered. Thanks

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, good luck in the drawing. I love buffalo, too. I'm not sure why. There is a herd of them near my house and I have almost died in eighteen wrecks because when I drive past them, I'm staring at them instead of watching the road.

I'm still alive though. :)

Laney said...


Laney said...

oops! My email is nataliewhite2u[at]gmail[dot]com

Rose McCauley said...

Oooh! Oooh! A three-in-one by Mary. Sign me up. please. rose

Pepper Basham said...

Okay, the one (or 3-in-1) Connealy classic I DO NOT have. So I must put my name in for it.
And Mary...
You? Serious?
I think about anytime you put those trembling fingers to the keyboard, you're bound to come up with something great...or funny...even hysterical :-)

Mary Connealy said...

You have been warned, Pepper

Michelle said...

Thank you for entering me!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Simply Stacie said...

Please count me in.

Julia said...

I really enjoy seeing the personality of the authors shine through in the interview. Its obvious Mary is a funny lady and this makes me more anxious to read her books.


Jennifer said...

Thank you for the giveaway. I am currently reading Mary's book, Montana Rose, and I am LOVING it!

Tina Dee Books said...

Mary lived the farm/ranch life I always dreamed about when I was a little girl. I'd wake myself up at 6 a.m. every morning without the aid of an alarm clock. LOL,, I know you have to get up much earlier than that and waking up only starts the day, not just laying there like I did after I woke.

So, enter me to win the book, or adopt me, I can work a full day (at least 3 out of 7, ha!) on a ranch. Book, choose, LOL!

I love, love, love Mary's stories/writing. I'd love for someone else to win the chance and I'll by my copy through Lena's blog link. But I couldn't resist visiting.

Tina Dee Books said...

Jennifer (your comment is above my 1st comment),

I really enjoyed Montana Rose also. And if you enjoy that book, you MUST get your ever-lovin'-readin' hands and eyes on...



One problem with the book though: there's an ending. So sad to turn that last page and have to wait for the next book (so I'm reading it a 3rd time and it's just as GOOOOOD as the 1st time).

THE HUSBAND TREE - I highly recommend it. It was my favorite read of 2009 and still is so far. If you go to Mary's website and read the back cover she has there, you'll get a taste of the book, it's good! Read the one on her site though.

Anna W. said...

I've yet to read a book by Mary Connealy that I didn't like, so please enter me in the giveaway!

Anna W.

Robyn said...

Met Mary on a trip to a book signing and fell in love with her that day. Started reading her books after that and fell in love with the books. Please enter me for the newest one. :-)

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Esther said...

Black Hills Blessing sounds awesome. I would love the chance to win this book. Thanks!


A J Hawke said...

Will post again and correct my spelling. I just got MONTANA ROSE through interlibrary loan at the library. They tend to purchase any book I have gotten through interlibrary loan and then recommeded. I look forward to reading it. Would
to love to win this that is three stories in one book.

A J Hawke

Mary Connealy said...

You are all so nice.
I'm sitting here feeling a little weepy.
Yesterday was one of THOSE days. A day that makes you wonder WHAT WAS I THINKING to write a book?

I'm so glad you've enjoyed them. And if you DON'T win and DON'T want to buy the book, definitely get it at the library. I love libraries. And if they don't have it, please throw a huge tantrum.

Pretend like it's your own idea, too. :)

ladijo said...

Would love to read this book.


Bethany said...

Mary, you always such fun to read - books and interviews alike! :) I would love to win a copy of this book!
momofjimmy {at] yahoo {dot} com

Carla said...

Thanks for signing me up.

Wendy said...

I really enjoy Mary's books.
Thanks for the chance.

Bev said...

I love Mary's books. She is a brilliant writer. I enjoyed the interview also.

Please enter my name into the drawing.

Lena, thanks for hosting it.

b.werts (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Bev said...

I love Mary's books. I have never met her and yet when I asked about books for reading after my son died in Dec. She sent me some of her own books. I was enternally grateful. I never dreamed anyone would send me books when I was just asking for titles.

Thank you Lena for hosting the drawing. And I really enjoyed the interview. You ask some really good questions.

Please enter me into the drawing.

b.werts (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

Michelle V said...

I'm a huge mary Connealy fan. Please enter me!

Michelle V

Carole said...

I can't wait to read Mary's new book! Thank you for entering me.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Denise said...

I LOVE Mary Connealy's books!!
Please enter me in the drawing!


Cathy said...

I would love to have the opportunity to read this book. Please enter me.

Mary Connealy said...

Bev, hush. I'm cultivating my reputation as a curmudeon.

flchen1 said...

I'm definitely a fan of Mary's books! Thank you for the chance to win this one!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Brenda said...

Please include me in the contest!

dancealert at aol dot com

Connie said...

Mary, You still crack me up. I love your books and your blogs. I will be picking up this one asap.

Anonymous said...

I love her books....please enter me. Thanks!!!

JenT said...

Love Mary's writing. I've read all of her books except these. How did these slip by me?

Debra said...

I love Mary's books, she is such a gifted and talented writer.
I would love to win a copy of Black Hills Blessing. Please enter my name in the drawing. Thanks!


Joan said...

I really, really, really would love to win this book.

April said...

great interview. this book sounds great. please count me in. thanks

Mary Connealy said...

Jen T, these three books are from Heartsong Presents. A book club from Barbour Publishing of short, sweet romances.

They're pretty hard to find outside the book club. They turn up on Amazon or about six months after they've come out in the book club.

But Barbour repackages them into bigger books to be sold in bookstores-usually about a year after they've come out in the club.

So promoting them is hard when they're in the book club, plus I feel bad if someone buys a 'Mary Connealy collection' and it turns out to be books they've already read.

So I haven't talked about them too much until now, when they're more available.

denise said...

I'll be looking for this book.

Buukluvr81 said...

I love books like this and would love a chance to win! Thanks!

Blessings and hugs,

The Bookworm said...

I thought it was neat that Mary Connealy wanted to meet Dee Henderson, one of my favorite authors! :)

Linda said...

Love Mary's books! Please enter me.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Megan said...

Wow Lena, look at all of the comments that you are getting! crazy!

This 3 in 1 sounds like a lot of fun! Count me in! And thanks for the entertaining interview with Mary!


cheryl c said...

These 3 stories sound like a nice blend of humor, serious issues, interesting characters, emotional healing, and personal growth. Something to enjoy AND think about.

castings at mindspring dot com

gahome2mom said...

I like it a lot when Christian authors actually write about God in their novels. Thanks.


Edna said...

I would love to win this book by Mary, she is a great author and I like anything she writes.


Anonymous said...

If it's not too late I would love to be entered for this book. I live just north of the Black Hills! Just finished Montana Rose and Husband Tree...can't wait for the sequels to those!

ladijo said...

Please enter me. I would love to win "Black Hills Blessing".


otrustme said...

Ooh! Ooh! Pick me!

Cíntia Mara said...

Three books in one looks great!

Please, enter me in your draw.
God bless you.

Julie said...

I am looking forward to reading this book. I already read "Montana Rose" and look forwad to reading more of Mary's books

tweezle said...

Wow, what a teaser! Now I have to know what happens to Buffy. Please enter me for a chance to win this book.

tweezle at gmail dot com

Amber S. said...

I'd love a chance to win this book! The first page is exciting! I read "The Husband Tree" not that long ago, and I really enjoyed it! Thanks again!