Friday, November 11, 2011

TEN PLAGUES - Mary Nealy - Free Book

I have really been looking forward to this interview. I'm an avid reader of your other genre and anxious to dive into this one as well. Welcome, Mary. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
We’re talking about a lady cop with the spiritual gift of discerning spirits who is chasing a serial killer while romancing a mission pastor. None of this is me, trust me.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Wow, quirky? How about writing books? That seems mighty quirky to me.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I wrote my first book when I was about twelve. I suppose then. And I was a broadcast communications major in college and I knew I loved the writing assignments. But I started writing as an adult, with the goal of publication when my fourth daughter went to Kindergarten. So let’s say then.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
If they’re sassing each other and falling in love while they’re running for their lives, then I’m happy. I want action and comedy and romance. I’ll take that in about any form. I do read outside romance some. Usually really famous detective fiction authors. Sue Grafton, Faye Kellerman (she’s MEAN, be warned) Clive Cussler, Mary Higgins Clark. But mostly it’s romance.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Oh, now, Lena, honey, you’re assuming I have kept it. That is an open question.

I was trying to give you an out here, Mary. How do you choose your characters’ names?
I don’t get too attached to names. It’s not uncommon for me to change the names multiple times during the writing of a book. I realize I want something more from a name that I first thought. The heroine of the book I just finished is named Calista Petra, her parents were from Italy and are now Texas frontier folks. So they Americanized their names to Stone from Petra and Calista is now Callie. I had to fool around forever to find the right names for that. And that was based mainly on how I visualized my heroine. Black hair, snapping black eyes. So who looks like that? I decided to go with Italians but not until after a lot of research.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Lena, if you knew my four daughters you would not ask that. They are such wonderful young women and they are my true life’s work. Beyond that, getting a Rita finalist and a Christy finalist nod is fantastic. I suppose though there is nothing sweeter than that first contract. But is sweet proud? Not sure. But was a fantastic moment.

That first contract is awesome all right, but you know, Mary, every contract after that has carried a punch for me, too. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I’d probably be a cat. Lay around in the sun all day. I’d like that very much. Can we have a cat that reads?

What is your favorite food?
Again, not an easy question. I’m quite an all purpose eater. Not picky at all. I guess I’ll say an apricot torte from the Lithuanian Bakery in Omaha, Nebraska. Absolutely fantastic, mood altering. The world recedes and I have no problems when I’m eating that torte.

Sounds like something I would love. James bought a bag of gourmet dried apricots yesterday. Yum!! What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think a huge roadblock for me was that I was writing in sort of an odd genre. I wrote Ten Plagues, which is sort of in the classical romantic suspense mode before I got my first book published. What finally hit was the romantic comedy with cowboys and there just wasn’t much out there like it. So I’d pitch it to an editor and they’d say, NO. And I’d go home and write some more.

Tell us about the featured book.
This is a book written under a pseudonym, as Mary Nealy. I love this book but I want to WARN people it’s different. BE AFRAID!!

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.

Please give us the first page of the book.

Ten Plagues
Chapter One
With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed into blood.

A cold chill of evil sleeted through Keren Collins veins.

Wind howled like a tormented soul between the Chicago tenements. Goosebumps rose on her arms. Her hair blew across her eyes and blinded her. Being sightless made the evil more powerful as if it cast her into the presence of a blackened soul.

            She felt impending door so powerful her hands shook as she twisted her mass of unruly curls into a messy bun and anchored it with an ugly but functional leather contraption.

She had parked her rust bucket Impala a block away from the decrepit brownstone she was watching. The front stoop and the young punks gathered there were visible. She looked around, listening. Did the evil have a source? Could this feeling be coming from inside that run-down building?

No way was Keren going in alone. Chicago cops were about as popular in this part of the South Side as the Cubbies. She sat in her car, and waited and itched.

 O’Shea, why’d you pick today of all days to be late?

To keep from fretting over this strange premonition, Keren pulled her notes out to reread what she had on Juanita Lopez, missing for a week. She’d read about two sentences when she snapped the little book shut and jammed it back in her blazer’s inside breast pocket. She couldn’t sit still when things felt this wrong. Pushed to action and against all common sense, Keren reached for her door handle.

            Pounding footsteps drew her eyes to the left and behind her car. A man raced down the sidewalk on the far side of the street. The beat of his sprinting feet made Keren's heart speed up. He raced past her, straight toward that cluster of thugs Keren figured for Juanita’s old gang. They saw the man running and straightened like wolves scenting blood.

The runner went up the brick steps right between some of the meanest scum in the city. He collapsed against the wall, gasping for air. Keren narrowed her eyes as he lifted a small piece of…something…and pressed it to the side of the door, sliding it sideways and jamming it into a some crack he must have found because the thing stuck. A sign maybe, brown wood, a foot or so long and half as high. If it had a picture or words on it she couldn’t make them out. Just as the man pressed it against the wall one of the gang members slapped a hard hand on his shoulder, jerked the door open and shoved the runner inside.

That sense of evil grew but Keren didn’t have to be a genius to know that guy who’d just been shoved inside could be in big trouble.

A half-dozen Hispanic boys erupted from the brownstone and took up positions in front of the building as if they’d been assigned guard duty.

Keren slumped low in her seat, sitting on her backside while someone was being killed. But she couldn't take on a gang alone. Minutes ticked by.

“O’Shea, where are you? C'mon.”

She couldn’t stand it anymore. She reached for the door handle and her phone at the same time.

Then an explosion blasted brick loose from the building’s foundation. The kids standing guard were mowed down by shrapnel.

Keren’s car rocked on its axle. Its car alarm went off and the airbag deployed and punched her in the face.

A blast of heat hit next and gritty dust enveloped the car. She leapt from her car and charged toward the crawling, bleeding boys.

Yep. Gotta read that next. How can readers find you on the Internet? 
Petticoats and Pistols
My Blog My Website

Thank you, Mary, for dropping by in your persona. 

Readers, here are links to the book. By using them when you order, you help support this blog.
Ten Plagues Print
Ten Plagues Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

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 4 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 if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link.


Dora Hiers said...

WOW! What a powerful excerpt, Mary! I enjoy your romantic comedy cowboy books. This book sounds so different, so intense, I can see why you chose to write using a pseudonym. I'd be thrilled to win a copy of TEN PLAGUES. Please enter me in the drawing, Lena.

Dora Hiers at msn dot com
From NC

Mickey said...

Mary this something so different for you but I can't wait to read this one, you have me very interested now I need to get my hands on it. I hope this book does as well as your others. Brenda

Patty said...

My goodness, what a beginning! I would love to win a copy of this book.

Patty in SC

Andrew Wencl said...

Sounds like an interesting book.


Jillian Kent said...

Oh Mary. I enjoy romantic comedy but now you're really talking my kind of story. Can't wait to read it. This should be fun.

Cincinnati, OH

Marianne said...

Loved the interview, Lena and Mary. Thanks for the giveaway. i would love to win.


frpm the Peace River Country, Alberta

Lorna Faith said...

Wow! Love the different take on your new book, Mary:) Love the spiritual dimension...can't wait to read it!
Please throw my name in the hat for a chance to win:)

Lorna from Alberta

lornafaith at gmail dot com

Melissa Jagears said...

loved the interview!


PatriciaW said...

Wow, so very different from your rom coms. Sounds interesting.

Please enter me.

pwriter1 at yahoo dot com

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Dora. I hope you like it. I had so much fun writing it but you're not gonna find a stetson in this book ANYWHERE.

Mary Connealy said...

So many of you are commenting on how different it is. And that's a point I'm trying so hard to make. Yes it is different and I don't want anyone picking it up thinking it's a western. But I love the book and I'm hoping that if you pick it up FULLY AWARE of what I'm doing, you'll not be SHOCKED. I wouldn't want to shock anyone.

Mary Connealy said...

Good luck in the drawing everyone!!!

Pam K. said...

This is definitely different than romantic comedy with cowboys! I really like those books that Mary writes, but am curious to read more of "Ten Plagues." I admire authors who are versatile and not afraid to write something totally different than their usual genre.
I'd love to win a copy of "Ten Plagues."

Kristie said...

Wow! I try not to think of the evil in the world too often because then I get nervous. I just need to learn to lean on the Lord. Besides it helps to know (of) the enemy, right? Your book sounds chilling, in a good way. Take care! I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com

Robyn said...

Mary--STOP IT with the Lithuanian bakery. I LOVE their tortes and desserts. Now my local HyVee also sells their products. YUM!

Can't wait to read this 'different' story from you.

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Patsy said...

I love anything written by Mary. Can't wait to read "Ten Plagues".

from South MS


margie said...

I'm hooked!!! I have already added this to my wishlist. It would be wonderful to win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity.

margie at mijares dot net
I live in South Carolina

Bakersdozen said...

I loved the interview and the book sounds really interesting. By the way, I also loved dried apricots and now I want some! I live in S. CA

Janet Kerr said...

Hello Mary,
It is nice to see you on this website. This book shows your versatility.
I would love to read your book!

Jan K.


Aizess said...

Oh my! This books sounds so suspenseful! I would greatly enjoy receiving a copy of it. Please enter me in this giveaway.

I live in New York

Mama Cat said...

Yes! I would love to read this! It sounds incredible - thank you for the chance to win! I live in Arizona

Lady DragonKeeper said...

My mom and I both love Mary Connealy's ro-com westerns but my mom is also crazy about romantic suspense --I know she'd love this and I think it'd be neat to see Mrs. Connealy write with contemporary characters. Thanks for the chance to win!


(P.S. I'm from Hawaii)

peachykath said...

This sounds really interesting. Very dark, yet with the underlying romance theme. Please enter me in the drawing for this book. Thank you.

Katherine from Northern California


Abigail said...

Enter me!
Abigail Richmond
Blanch, N.C.

rubynreba said...

I'd love to read this. Thanks!
Beth from Iowa

Sharon Richmond said...

Enter me I would love to win a copy of this book! Thanks and God bless!
Sharon Richmond
Blanch, NC.