Monday, February 06, 2012

IN TOO DEEP - Mary Connealy - Free Book

Mary Connealy 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.

Lassoed in Texas Trilogy containing three full length books: Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist.

The Montana Marriages Trilogy: Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose and The Husband Tree are Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas and Deep Trouble: Cowboy Christmas is the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie's Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats. Doctor in Petticoats was a finalist for a Rita Award.

Mary is also the author of Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a collection of cozy romantic mysteries and, writing under the pseudonym Mary Nealy, she's the author of Ten Plagues.

Blurb for In Too Deep

In 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter.

And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they'd planned.

Ethan doesn't expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he's terrified of the pain he's felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He's determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch.

Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another--and they've done a poor job of it. Now she's planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!

What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?

Mary, I'm delighted to read all of this. As you remember, I knew you quite awhile before you were published, even mentored you a bit. Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Well, Lena, I am the more average person who ever lived. Aside from this lovely writing thing I’ve got going, I’m just so normal that there isn’t much to tell.

I’m third of eight kids. I grew up in a tiny farmhouse. I married my high school sweetheart and we have four grown daughters. I was a stay at home mom for 27 years. STOP! Just stop, Mary! It’s too boring!

How did you become interested in writing?           
The thing that made me start was a combination of events that happened right at the same time. I had a good friend who started interviewing every living WWII soldier in our country. She and a friend interviewed dozens of veterans and wrote a book that was really fun to read and caught such a fascinating bit of history. That inspired me to start writing but I didn’t want to interview people. I wanted to write a romance novel.

At about this same time my daughter, probably 10 or 12 at the time, wrote a book for a school assignment. It wasn’t long and it probably wasn’t good writing craft, but it was a great story. Really imaginative and fun. I said, “Let me take your story and make it longer and turn it into a real book. She said, “Write your own book and keep your paws off mine!” So I did.               

What compelled you to write a book on this subject?
Thirty-four years ago I took a tour of Carlsbad Cavern and was mentally transported back in time to the first guy who ever saw the place. I can still remember that moment of being transported so vividly I wrote a series of romance novels about it.

My one and only trip to Carlsbad Cavern was about 34 years ago. I didn’t write my first book until about sixteen years after that vacation. But when I did start, I had a LOT of ideas, this was one of them. What would it have been like to be the first person to go into that cavern?

When we walked through Carlsbad there was a nice sturdy fence, roping off all the dangerous pits. There were lights everywhere and we could see the beauty and we were completely protected from all the danger. But what if you’d gone in there with no idea what it was?

What if you’d seen bats fly up out of a hole in the ground and went to look for where they’d come from and found a deep, black hole? What if you were curious, as was Jim White, the first man on record as being in Carlsbad Cavern, and you got a long rope and lowered yourself down? There are bottomless pits…okay, they probably have a bottom eventually, but I suspect the bottom is way, way, way too far down to be anything but deadly.

It’s pitch black. There are beautiful things—stunningly beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Water dripping, building those rock formations. You’d be drawn by the glimpses of beauty. Your only light is a lantern or a handmade torch or a candle. You'd be fascinated and, if you weren’t really careful, you’d be dead in no time.

When I walked through Carlsbad Cavern, long before I’d ever thought of writing a book, I was writing a book. And it stayed with me until finally it was time. I fictionalized the cavern because the true history of Carlsbad is so well known I couldn’t be faithful to it.

What is the main theme or point that you want readers to understand from reading your book? Are there any other themes present in the book?
The main theme of In Too Deep is conquering fear.

My hero Ethan is afraid of that cavern and he’s a man so he’s handling an emotion he sees a weak as badly as possible. The heroine Audra has spent her whole life afraid and now she looks back at her life and sees that she’s let her fear lead her into a terrible situation and she’s determined to not be afraid any longer. To take charge. And then she’s pretty much forced into a marriage with Ethan, not exactly the “take charge” plan she had going. So she decides maybe she’ll try and take charge of Ethan and she’s so cute trying to boss him around, he lets her do it as much as possible.
Are there some specific lessons you hope readers will learn and apply to their lives after reading your book?
Not really, I just want my readers to have as much fun as humanly possible reading a book. If they learn a lesson, well, good for them. I probably put it in there by accident.

What makes your book different than any other books similar to yours that are in circulation today?
You know, Lena, in all modesty, I honestly do think my books are different from any other books in circulation today. I’m not even sure that’s a good thing. I write inspirational, suspenseful, historical western romantic comedies. I invented my own genre. Don’t try this at home.
How does the book intertwine with God’s call on your life and how you are currently serving Him?
I hope my books serve God. I’m so amazed that I’m getting them published that it seems like all the blessings are flowing to me I hope God makes my books say more than I am capable of making them say.

Do you have a favorite Scripture verse?
I do, Lena but I’m not telling. I’m using it as a password on about half my social networks. I’m afraid my favorite will have to remain a deep, dark secret. HOWEVER, one of my favorites is closely attached to this book: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
Do you have any hobbies? I read and I do crossword puzzles. I know, my life is so thrilling you are swamped with jealousy. I apologize.

As we close, is there anything else you would like to add?
I love doing your blog, Lena. Thanks for letting me stop in once in a while.

I really love having you come by, Mary. And I love, love, love your books, especially this series. In my younger life, I was a spelunker. Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
If you’d like to find me online here are a few places to look.
Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website

I’ve also got a newsletter you can sign up for:

Thank you for the interesting (not boring) interview today, Mary.

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
In Too Deep (The Kincaid Brides) - paperback
In Too Deep (The Kincaid Brides) - 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.


Lourdes said...

Thank you Lena for a great interview. I love reading Mary's books.

Lourdes in Huntington New York

Unknown said...

i just finished Out of Control...and was hoping there was more as there were a few things left hanging! Thanks Lena for the fun interview and post and also for the opportunity to win In Too Deep.

Marianne from El Mirage, Arizona


rubynreba said...

I like that the book deals with conquering fear. Sounds very good!
Beth from Iowa

karenk said...

thanks for the chance to read mary's latest novel.

~karenk...from PA
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Patty said...

Love, love, love Mary Connealy's books! I have two of the Sophie's daughters books on my shelf, jsut need to get a copy of the 3rd one to read. Looking forward to thi snew series.

Patty in SC

Patty said...

Guess I should use the preview option before I send a post, sorry about the typo's.

Wendy Newcomb said...

I love Mary's books,I've read the firs one, Out of Control, and can hardly wait to read this one.

I live in FL.


Salena said...

Please enter me. I would love to win. :) Mary's books are always fun!


Katie said...

This sounds great!!! Please enter me. I'm from NC.

Katie G.

P.S. I am having a book giveaway on my blog that ends on Wednesday! Please come by and check it out!

Anonymous said...

I would love to win. Thank You for the chance.

Angela from KY

Anonymous said...

Now this book intrigues me -- I'm quite eager to hear what happens in the rest of the story.
Kaye Whitney, Miami, Florida

Mary Connealy said...

LENA!!!! You were a spelunker?
I am so intrigued. I love (and fear) caves.
I had a childhood experience with a cave my family went to on a picnic. It was called Robbers Cave and it's GONE NOW. They closed it up and filled it in. Decided it was too dangerous.
we had such a spooky good time at that place.
Ummm...that's my only spelunker story and it was in a park so not real adventures. That and Carlsbad. I'm kind of afraid I'll get stuck in a low area of a cave and DIE.
I tried to catch that fear and stir n the beauty.

Mary Connealy said...

ps I'd like to hear more about your spelunking. Seriously.

Mary Connealy said...

Good luck in the drawing, everyone.

Thanks for stopping by.

scottsgal said...

I enjoyed the interview - please enter me to win this
cheryl in il
msboatgal at

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

Actually, Mary, when I was in college my family lived near Longhorn Caverns in Texas. I worked down in the cavern's largest room, taking care of the snack bar. So I spent every working day down in the cool cave that summer.

Some of the guys, who were the guides for the tours had been spelunking and had found places that were more beautiful than the parts of the cave that were open. One night, they took all the other workers who wanted to go so we could see the formations. For much of the time, we had to crawl, and even scoot on our stomachs. That part was scary. I had not ever had claustrophobia before that. But the formations were fantastic. I'm glad I saw them.

The part of the explored cavern ended at an underground lake, and at that time, they hadn't ever found the bottom of that lake. We didn't go into it.

One other thing happened to me. One day some guide left one of the lights on when he exited the cavern. The bats won't fly through the light.

I was the first worker down the next morning. When I arrived at the end of that lighted space, a large horde of bats were flying all around. Talk about scary. They really won't run into you, but they were flying at me. Since they didn't fly out of the cave that night, they were upset all day.

Amber said...

Thank you Lena for a great interview with a great Author !! I have read several of her books and I itching to get my hands on this one to read it as well !! Thanks for the chance to win !! I hope that you have a blessed and wonderful day !!

From Deep In The South in the Magnolia State Mississippi !


Coolestmommy said...

Love Mary's books. Can't wait to get my hands on this one, too!

coolestmommy2000 at gmail dot com

Mary Ellis said...

Hi Mary! Lena, I can't believe you scheduled Mary's interview for the day after mine. Because Mary, I mentioned you in my interview. What serendipity! Now you'll have to scan down and see what I said about you. Your books are always marvelous. You have a gift--there's no other word for it. Keep up the great work.

Mary Connealy said...

MARY ELLIS! HI. Every time i see you, at ACFW, I end up NOT getting to talk to you and afterward I regret that. Next ACFW, we just need to sit together for a lunch or breakfast or have after noon coffe or SOMETHING.
I saw that you mentioned me in yoru blog post. God bless you.

The check is in the mail.

Mary Connealy said...

Lena, what a cool job.
I mainly babysat and walked beans.


Rachelle said...

Mary! Your life is not that boring--remember the time you flew to New York with me! And we--we--went through security and stuff? Oh, wait, that was actually quite boring. Carry on, then. Keep writing those awesome books!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of Mary's book! I'm from Texas. :-)


Rebecca said...

Oh this sounds like a great book. I would love to read it. The interview was great. Thanks for the chance to win.

I am from Oklahoma

Mary Cline said...

I would love to be included in the drawing.

Avery Cove said...

Great interview, Lena! And I love Mary's books!

Jo said...

This sounds good! Please enter me!

Jo from Southern Arizona

Faith said...

Fun interview! Thank you!

Please enter me

Faye from SD

Judy said...

I loved the interview with Mary. Reading her post about Carlsbad Caverns makes me want to take another trip to Mammoth Caves. I love caves!

I've enjoyed Mary's books and I can't wait to read "In Too Deep". I would love to win a copy!

Thanks Lena for this interview with Mary and for this giveaway.

Judy from Indiana

Janet Kerr said...

Hi Mary,
I am ready for your second one in the series.
It sounds like you have a very full life!

Please enter me in the draw - from British Columbia, CANADA


Mary Connealy said...

Rachelle, hi! We did fly to NYC together once. I was very afraid. Which is WORSE than boring.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Gwendolyn from Texas. My next series, after the Kincaid Brides, I'm going back to Texas for a series. I'm working on it right now. It's like I've MISSED Texas. Westerns just work perfectly there.

Mary Connealy said...

Janet the closest I come to having a 'full' life is when I've just eaten.

Unknown said...

I loved the interview and I have found a new author to start collecting books of! Would love to win a copy of In Too Deep!
Thanks for the opportunity!

Nancee said...

Very interesting interview. I'd love to win a copy of this book.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pam K. said...

I absolutely love Mary's books and would be thrilled to win a copy of "In Too Deep" to continue the story of the Kincaid brothers and their brides. One of the questions asked of Mary was what makes her books different than others. I can see some similarities with Margaret Brownley's books, at least her Rocky Creek series. These are also romantic comedies with some cowboys as characters. Great books.


Beth K. Vogt said...

Looks like a great read. I love knowing that the theme of the book is fear -- an important topic -- but it's approached with humor.

Mary Preston said...

Marriage of convenience stories are among my favourite. I know I will enjoy IN TOO DEEP.

Mary P

Cindy Regnier said...

Terrific interview. Thanks, Lena. Mary is one of my favorite authors. I can't wait to read In Too Deep

Mary Connealy said...

Pam K, Margaret Brownley and I are actually trying to do a novella collection together. Maybe a couple of other author's as well.
As soon as it's all signed and sealed I'll talk about it, but I really think it might happen.

Margaret is terrific. She's a co-blogger on my western romance blog

Joanna Richmond said...

sounds very interesting. I would Love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win Thanks
Joanna Richmond,
Blanch NC

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness. I love Mary Connealy's books. Please enter me!

Krista in Oregon

Unknown said...

I so love Mary's books. Thanks for some insight into her life and to In Too Deep.

Ginger in AL

Sharon said...

Would love to win a copy of Mary's book "In Too Deep".
Eagan MN

EJ said...

Love Mary's books (and no your life is not boring Mary!)


Abigail Mitchell said...

Would Love to read this book!
Thanks for the chance to win.
Blanch, N.C.

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

Looks and sounds interesting!
Please enter me in the drawing!
God Bless,
Sarah Richmond

Riki's Grandma said...

Would love this book. Riki's Grandma/OH.

Rebecca said...

I've been to the Carlsbad Caverns too - it's amazing! I know what you mean about wondering what it would be like to be the first person to see it. I'd love to go back. I'd love to read this book too. Thanks for the opportunity!
Rebecca from NC

Leo said...

I would love to win! Thanks :)
Leo from South Dakota.

Katie Marie said...

Mary Connealy's previous books I've read have always contained so much humorous moments and plenty of action. Please enter me for this giveaway. :-)

Katie from Florida

Angie Adair said...

Looks like another awesome book Mary! Love your books.. Angie in Illinois

Judy Cooper said...

I always enjoy Mary's books and her sense of humor, and I do love cowboys. Please enter my name, thank you. Judy C. Louisiana.

Sandy said...

Looking forward to the continuation of the Kincaid brothers!

Sandy in FL

Sharon Richmond said...

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

Bakersdozen said...

This book sounds great. Thanks for the interview and the chance to win. I live in S. CA.

Kristie said...

Mary's genre sounds great! Inspirational western comedies. I sure could use a laugh. A nice clean laugh, that is. I'm hoping that the maon characters fall in love and they probably will. I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I'm from Ohio. kristiedonelson(at)gmail(dot)com