Thursday, November 05, 2009

COWBOY CHRISTMAS - Mary Connealy - Free Book

I'm glad to welcome Mary Connealy back to the blog. She writes romantic comedies with cowboys for Barbour Publishing. Cowboy Christmas is in bookstores now. Montana Rose, Book #1 of the Montana Marriages series, released in July, book #2 The Husband Tree comes in January and book #3 Wildflower Bride comes in May 2010. Mary is also the author of the Lassoed in Texas series and a cozy mystery collection, Nosy in Nebraska. Mary is a Christy Award finalist.

I've read Cowboy Christmas, and I loved it. A review will be posted in my December newsletter:

What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?

I don’t really set out to do it, but I tend to tackle really serious themes. I’ve got no idea if that is some deep personal psychosis or they just lend themselves to drama. But in Montana Rose I tackled wife beating and child abuse. In Gingham Mountain the hardest theme there is ‘why does God allow suffering’. In Petticoat Ranch the underlying them is ‘how do Christians deal with very justifiable hate’.

In Cowboy Christmas, the theme my heroine wrestles with is when to stop being a ‘good girl’ and stand up for her faith against authority. Being willing to risk pain and even death rather than compromise her faith. She keeps failing but she keeps coming back to try again.

What other books of yours are coming out soon?

The Husband Tree is next. It releases in January. Book #2 of the Montana Marriages series. I think it’s the funniest book yet. My hero and heroine are so determined to never risk their hearts again that they fight love with everything they’ve got.

If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?

I’d love to meet Sarah Palin. I hate the ugly way she gets attacked. I think she’d a pretty normal ambitious, hardworking person, only unusually gifted with expressing herself. I just wonder how shocking she finds all the nastiness that’s been aimed at her.

I'm with you there. How long have you known that you wanted to be novelist?

I’ve always expressed myself in words. I wrote my first book when I was twelve but I don’t remember much about it. How long it was or nuthin’. It might have been two pages long. I wonder whatever happened to it? My children’s baby books are covered in writing. Most people put pictures and locks of hair and birth announcements in there. I just wrote all over those things. I’ve just always felt like I could do justice to whatever was going on with words. . .and plenty of 'em.

What can you tell authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?

Well, I’d tell them, it means you’re in there pitching, and I’m proud of you. I means you’re growing that rhino hide that you need to survive as a writer. You should be entering contests to get the critiques. It will help you strengthen your work. You should join ACFW and spend serious time reading through all the online class archives. Those are a gold mine and worth the entire price of the ACFW dues. These are all inexpensive things. If you can afford it, attend conference. It has an impact on editors. I think they immediate put you in a different category or writers who are serious about getting published. Not that they’ll immediate buy and not that people don’t sell who’ve never been to a conference, but it does help.

Tell us about the featured book?

Elijah Walker's lost his father at the hands of a deceitful woman. The one thing he can’t abide is lies.

Citified Annette Talbot is on the run from something, and Eli knows a liar when he sees one.

After a lifetime of being a good girl who does what she’s told, Annette’s obedient nature has led her straight into danger. She’s determined to live more bravely and she prays for God to give her crosses to bear. Too bad every time she gets one, she ends up dropping her crosses on poor Elijah’s head.

Elijah can’t ignore a damsel in distress, especially since God pretty much dropped Annette straight into his unwilling arms.

But helping her isn’t the same as trusting her, and that he will never do.

As Annette and Walker fight their attraction, danger draws near and Christmas approaches. They’ll get one special chance to follow their star to True Love.

Please give us the first page of the book.

“You’ll wear that dress, Songbird.” Claude Leveque grabbed Annette Talbot’s arm, lifted her to her toes, then he shoved her backward.

Annie tripped over a chair and cried out as it toppled. The chair scraped her legs and back. Her head hit the wall of the tiny, windowless shack and stars exploded in her eyes.

Stunned by the pain, she hit the floor and an animal instinct sent her scrambling away from Claude. But there was nowhere to go in the twelve by twelve foot cabin.

Her head cleared enough to tell her there was no escape, so she fought with will and faith.

“Never.” Propping herself up on her elbows, she faced him and shouted her defiance. “I will never go out in public in that dress.”

“You’ll sing what I tell you to sing.” Claude, in his polished suit and tidily trimmed hair, looked every inch civilized, or he had until tonight. Now he strode toward her, eyes shooting furious fire, his face twisted into soul deep rot and sin.

“I sing as a mission.” Annie tried to press her back through the unyielding log wall. “I sing hymns. That’s the only thing—”

A huge fist closed over the front of her blouse and Claude lifted her like a rag doll to eye level, but he didn’t strike.

He would. He’d proved that several times over since he’d come here with his disgusting demands.

She braced herself. She’d die first. Claude might not believe that, but he’d know before long.

“So, you’re willing to die for your beliefs, heh?” Claude’s fist tightened on her blouse, cutting off Annie’s air.

“Yes!” She could barely speak, but he heard. He knew.

“Are you willing to watch someone else die, Songbird? Maybe your precious friend Elva?” He shook her and her head snapped back. “I can always find another piano player.”

“No!” Annie had to save Elva. Somehow. Of course Elva would be threatened. Annie hadn’t had time to think that far.

Elva would never stand for this. Elva would die for her belief’s, too.

A wicked laugh escaped from Claude’s twisted mouth. “She’s easily replaced.”

“But I’ll never,” he shook her viciously, “find another singer like you.”

How had it come to this? God help me. Protect Elva and me.

“My answer is no! Elva wouldn’t play the piano for me if I wore that.” Her eyes went to the slattern’s dress hanging, vivid red, near the door. “She would refuse to play the piano for those vulgar songs."

“We’ll see, Songbird.” Claude laughed again. Annie saw the evil in him, the hunger to hurt. He wasn’t just hurting Annie to get his way, he was enjoying it.

Her vision dimmed and blurred as she clawed at his strangling fist.

“I’ll go have a talk with your frail old friend and then we’ll see.” He shoved Annie backward, slamming her against the wall. She hit so hard her knees buckled. What little air she still had was knocked away. Claude charged out, shutting the door behind him.

Annie heard the sound of a padlock snicking shut as she slumped sideways.

That should grab a lot of interest. How can readers find you on the Internet?

I just got a facelift (on my website, shut up!) and I love it. Go have a look.

Thank you, Mary, for spending this time with us.

Readers, here's a link where you can order a copy of the book on Amazon. If you're planning to buy it from Amazon, using this link will help support this blog.

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.


Katherine said...

This book looks REALLY good! I love Mary Connealy's books, so I know that i would enjoy this one, especially with the Cowboy and Christmas theme, which happens to be two of my favorite things!


Sherry Kuhn said...

Mary's books are always great! I would love to be entered in the drawing.

Sherry K

Virginia C said...

Hello, Mary! I really enjoyed "Montana Rose". I'm sure "Cowboy Christmas" would be a wonderful holiday read!

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Carman said...

I really love Mary's books. :D Please enter me in the drawing.

Judyg said...

I really enjoy reading (and owning) Mary Connealy's books, so please enter me in this contest!

Mark said...

I'd like to enter

apple blossom said...

Cowboys, Christmas, romance. How can you go wrong. I'm still trying to win her book.

Count me in. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to reading "Cowboy Christmas" as it will be my first book by Mary Connealy.

Unknown said...

I love Mary's books. Thanks for the chance.

Jaime Wright said...

Great scene for the first page!! It's hooks ya! :)

Mary Connealy said...

Good morning!

I barely made it here in time to say good morning. Moving slow today.

Good luck to you all in the drawing. I really appreciate all the kind words about my books.

Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview. Please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


What fun! I just popped over to check on my interview from yesterday, and found you here! Lena's an excellent interviewer, isn't she?

I'm actually reading Cowboy Christmas right now. I'm intrigued by Elijah, his mama, and the lovely, Anna. PLUS, the lawyer who may or may not be what he seems!

No need to enter me in your contest... just know I'm really enjoying getting to know you as an author! and seeing you over at Petticoats & Pistols every now and again!


Casey said...

Looks good! I've read the first chapter on M.L. Tyndall's site- very intriguing!

Amber Holcomb said...

I would really love a chancet to win this book! I've seen it being offered on other blogs, and it sounds great! Thank you so much for a chance to win!

Candee Fick said...

Wow. This sounds like a fabulous book to add my already overloaded bookshelves (after I read it, of course!) Enter me for a chance!


Anonymous said...

Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Please enter me in your giveaway...thanks.

karen k

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this book! It sounds wonderful. I just recently finished Montana Rose and I loved it!
I look forward to reading this one as well.

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Sheila Deeth said...

It sounds a lovely book for Christmas.

Ausjenny said...

dont enter I have read and loved this book. I cant wait for the husband tree!
This is a great read also.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I loved this book and can't wait for Mary's next book!!!! The funnier, the better....just my humble opinion! :)

mariska said...

Heard so many good things about this book! Count me in please.

Unknown said...

This book sounds so great.I look forward to reading it.please enter me into the book giveaway thanks and God bless

Patty Wysong said...

I love Mary and her books! =] Can't wait to read this one!

Unknown said...

Please enter me in your giveaway. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book! Please enter me:)

Linda said...

I've heard so much about Mary's books. Please enter me. Thank you.
desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Liz said...

Sounds like a fun book. I'm going to look for it at the library, so no need to enter me into the drawing! The Christmas theme put me in mind of a wickedly funny Christmas book, Cancel Christmas by Rocco Leonard Martino (great name, don't you think?) Hard to describe, but it's about a powerful titan who thinks way too much money goes into Christmas! Lots of satire, humor -- even romance, depicted without explicit sex scenes, for once, thank heaven. (And the author's own real feelings about christmas are in the preface, when he mentions the people who have made each holiday such a joy). It's fun.

kristen said...

Please enter me!!

Anonymous said...

I've been looking forward to reading this one! Please enter me!

Anna W.

Ashley E said...

Oh, wow, what a beginning! I can't wait to read this one!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be entered! Thanks!

Donna K.

Julie Arduini said...

I bought Montana Rose as a gift and I kind of want to go to the person and say when you're done...can I read it? :)

I think Mary Connealy on my must read list and I'm definitely wanting to lasso me a copy of Cowyboy Christmas!

*New website/moved blog*
book giveaways throughout November

Sarah R said...

This book looks like something I want to read. Please enter me in the drawing.

Carole said...

I love Mary's books and this one got my attention when it first came out. Thank you for the interview and chance to win a copy.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

cheryl c said...

It is just about time for me to start my yearly tradition of reading lots of Christmas stories. I would love to add this one to my pile!

castings at mindspring dot com

Mary Connealy said...

Hi there. Wow, so many nice things to read. Thank you all very much.

I happen to really love Cowboy Christmas. Poor Annette trying to be brave. Poor Elijah, constantly saving her life. :)

I had a lot of fun with Cowboy Christmas. I'm not sure it's the usual warm and fuzzy Christmas novel though, a bit too much mayhem for that. But I think you'll like it. said...

I would love to read your book. Please enter me in the drawing!

dancealert at aol dot com

Pam Hillman said...

Hello Lena and Mary!! Enjoyed the interview.

I'm reading Elijah and Annie's story now, so no need to enter me in the drawing...but for those who don't have the book, get it.

Everything Mary Connealy writes is hilarious in a wacky, weird way, that only Mary has mastered.

Sylvia M. said...

I would like to be entered into this contest. I've started Montana Rose and so far it's interesting!


Marla said...

Yes, that first page definitely grabbed my interest. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This book sounds great!! I can hardly wait to read it. Please enter me in the drawing, ~Abby

abster dot rose at yahoo dot com

Fedora said...

Definitely looking forward to this latest read from Mary! Thanks for the contest!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Jo said...

This book sounds very interesting and would love to read it. I have read a few of Mary's books and really enjoyed them.


Anonymous said...

This book looks awesome!! I would love to win it. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks so much, Esther


adge said...

I've read most of Mary Connealy's books and this one looks good too. Please include me in the giveaway.

Jamaie W said...

Hi...I am new to the site, but am an avid reader & this book sounds like my cup o'tea. Thanks for your consideration.

hulahawaiimomma @ yahoo . com

Anonymous said...

Mary Connealy is one of my favorite authors. Montana Rose was the first one of Mary's books I read, and that got me hooked. I can't wait to read The Husband Tree.I loved Cowboy Christmas, but my absolute favorite was Calico Canyon. That book had me laughing out loud. Over Christmas I read the South Dakota Weddings series and loved them too.

Anonymous said...

Mary Connealy is one of my favorite authors. Montana Rose was the first one of Mary's books I read, and that got me hooked. I can't wait to read The Husband Tree.I loved Cowboy Christmas, but my absolute favorite was Calico Canyon. That book had me laughing out loud. Over Christmas I read the South Dakota Weddings series and loved them too.