Tuesday, June 10, 2014

STUCK TOGETHER - Mary Connealy - One Free Book

Welcome back, Mary. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
The only job I ever really thought about as a child was, I wanted to build roads. I think we were studying Ancient Rome in school when I was 9 or 10 maybe, and I went to the city with my parents, and it was the first time I’d ever seen an interstate highway. A car went over our heads on an overpass, we went over other cars. I was fascinated by it, the on-ramps and slopes and those massive ribbons of concrete. I remembered in school they’d say that some of those ancient roads, the Apian Way, still existed and I looked at these modern interstate highways and thought, “These will last, just as long, maybe not perfectly intact but enough someone could find them.” That interstate seemed eternal to me and it appealed to me to be part of something eternal I suppose, something that would last for centuries. And now I write books and in a less cement-y way, I think books will last. So the part of that dream that appealed to me came true.

How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I write 1,000 words a day, five days a week. Sometimes I write more but I try to never write less. That’s 1,000 words in my current WIP, and if something comes up like galley edits or a finished book sent back with revision notes, those come first.

I’d say I write a full length book (that’s around 80,000 words) every four months. So I’ve been writing two a year and I’ve written a novella now and then to fill in the gaps.

How do you come up with themes for your stories?
When you say “theme,” Lena to me that is more than the story, that’s the underlying message I’m trying to get across and often I’m surprised by the theme. But I believe every story, to get to a happily ever after, has to have two characters growing and changing and learning something and that growth can always be rooted in faith. There is no message that isn’t handled best with Biblical principles and God at the center. So when I finally get to my theme, it’s easy usually to say, “This is how a person of faith would handle this.”

Do you have a schedule of when you write?
Not really, like a certain time of day. Today I spent the morning reading through galleys I received, so I’ll stick with that all day and probably not write a word. I suppose usually I write in the mid-to-late afternoon but if I get my writing done early or late, I still get it done.

How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I don’t balance other aspects of my life. Trust me, I’m unbalanced. I believe there is paperwork on file to that effect with the County Attorney.

What elements do you think make a great story line?
C’mon, Lena. Feisty lady ranchers and tough Texas cowboys. What other elements are there???

What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
I love writing. I love all aspects of it. The original work, starting the story with a bang, revisions. I love revisions because I know it’s always going to get so much better. I suppose what’s hardest for me is marketing and publicity because I’m so happy by myself, makin’ stuff up. But I’ve even gained something of a comfort level with public speaking, though I doubt I’ll ever love it.

How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
Stuck Together and the novella collection Four Weddings and a Kiss both release in June. They are my 30th and 31st book. I have turned in two more, and they are in different stages of the publication pipeline. I’ve finished two novellas that are turned in. I’ve in the middle of another novella, and I’m finished with yet another full length book that is due in October but needs some polishing. And I’ve got contracts for three more books I haven’t proposed yet. The publisher isn’t ready to talk about them until my October book is turned in. So how many is that? And that doesn’t count about 8 finished books on my computer that are old that have never sold.
You count them, Lena. Math isn’t my strength.

Do you have a favorite character?
This is tricky because I just fall in love with the book I’m writing. You have to get so deep in the characters and material. The standard answer is always, “This one. This is my favorite.” And it sounds cliché but it’s at least somewhat true because you’re so swamped by the story you’re telling. Vince Yates is one of my favorite characters ever so I’m going to say him.

Tell us about the story.
Tina Cahill, newly arrived from the East, is determined to get the saloon in Broken Wheel, Texas, closed for good. To that end, she pickets outside the place every afternoon. Unfortunately, so far no one has paid any attention.

Vince Yates earned the nickname Invincible Vince because of his reputation for letting absolutely nothing stop him. Not his tyrant of a father. Nor the injuries he suffered in the Civil War. Nor the fact that he is Broken Wheel's only attorney and sheriff yet has no law degree.

But Vince is about to face his biggest challenge yet: his past has just caught up with him. His father, mother, and the sister he didn't know he had shown up in Broken Wheel without warning. His father is still a schemer. His mother is suffering signs of dementia. And his surprise sister immediately falls for one of Vince's best friends. Vince has a lot of people to take care of, and Tina doesn't approve of how he's handling any of them. But with almost all the other men in town married off, Vince finds himself stuck with feisty Tina over and over again. Of course, Tina is the prettiest woman he's ever seen, so if he could just get her to give up her causes, he might go ahead and propose. But he's got one more surprise coming his way: Tina's picketing at the saloon has revealed a dark secret that could put everyone Vince loves in danger.

Please give us a peek at the first page of the book.
Broken Wheel, Texas
December 31st, 1868
Tina Cahill finished hammering a hefty board across the front of Duffy’s Tavern. Carefully printed on the board were the words “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here.”

It sent a message at the same time it nailed Duffy’s door shut.

Tina’s plan was to get his notice.

“That tears it!” Duffy roared from inside the saloon.

He’d noticed.

She stepped well out of the way expecting only one reaction from the galoot, and she got it.

With one hard shove, he swung the batwing doors open and knocked down her sign, which clattered across the wooden sidewalk. Tina was encouraged when it stayed in one piece—her construction skills were definitely improving and that was good because she meant to be at her mission for a long time and she’d need that sign again later.

Duffy Schuster glared at her.

Wagging her finger under his nose, she said, “Close this den of iniquity, Duffy Schuster.”

To make her point more fully, she looked behind her for her placard—she had this in addition to her sign so she could nail shut the tavern door with one and march back and forth carrying the other. Her placard said “Whiskey—The Poison Scourge” on one side and “LIQUOR—A Thief in Your Mouth that Steals Your Brain” on the other.

She spied the sign on its long, sturdy pole, leaning against the saloon and picked it up, intending to wave it in Duffy’s face.

“I am sick of you—” Duffy hot breath blasted her neck.

Startled to feel him so close, she whirled around. It was a complete accident that her placard slammed Duffy right in the head.

Duffy staggered backward through the swinging doors of the saloon, howling in pain. An unfortunately located spittoon tripped him and he fell, pin-wheeling his arms.

He backhanded his brother, Griss.

Griss, the worse for drink, bellowed a word that made Tina want to cover her ears. Her hands were busy with the sign though, so she had to listen to every bit of the foul diatribe.

Tina peeked over the top of the slapping doors. “I’m sorry, gentlemen.”

She wasn’t really. Well, she was. She hadn’t intentionally clubbed Duffy in the head. And it was just the worst sort of luck—for Duffy—that her placard was on a very stout stick. And it wasn’t her fault about the stick either. Why, just last week, Griss had snapped the handle of her sign right in half. So of course she’d chosen a thicker length of wood this time.

But if ever a man needed a few feet of lumber taken to his head it was Duffy Schuster…and his brother right along with him. So in that sense she wasn’t all that sorry.

Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Petticoats and Pistols
My Blog
My Website
My Newsletter
And Twitter: http://twitter.com/maryconnealy

Thank you, Mary, for sharing this new book with us. You know I always reading your stories.

Readers, this would be a good book for your summer reading. Here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Stuck Together - Christianbook.com
Stuck Together (Trouble in Texas) - Amazon
Stuck Together (Trouble in Texas Book #3) - 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 Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Diana Gardner said...

Portsmouth, VA

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Diana. Good luck in the drawing

Caryl McAdoo said...

I'm in far NE Texas, Clarksville - county seat in Red River County! Love it up here after 55 years in the DFW area :) Mary, I'd love to win your new book! Will you be at ACFW this year? Thanks Lena for the great interview :)

CentralEast2 said...

Thanks for the interview Carol from AL

Wendy Newcomb said...

Oh thank you for the chance to win "Stuck Together" because I really do NEED this book, lol. I have the first two and really enjoyed them, of course I've yet to find one of Mary's book that I don't like!

From NE transplanted to FL!


Unknown said...

Escondido, Ca

Amanda said...

I have enjoyed several of Mary's delightful books :)
Pandamanda02 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Peggy Trotter said...

Yowza! Gotta love a Cowboy story! You have so many projects going on! How DO you do it? Amazing! I loved getting to know you better!

mom2abcd said...

Great questions! It's so interesting to hear HOW it works for Mary. I'm so glad she is so prolific because I love her books!

Mary Connealy said...

Several, Amanda? Several? Stuck Together is my THIRTIES BOOK!!!! That's more than Several! LOL

Mary Connealy said...

I'm Nebraska btw

Crystal L Barnes said...

Hi Mary! Enjoyed that first page. Thanks for the laugh. :) Glad to hear I'm not the only with with no real schedule. Gives me hope :)

Thanks for the great interview, Lena.

Crystal (TX)

Heidi Reads... said...

Yay Nebraska! My husbands parents and several siblings live in Papillion, and we love to visit on 4th of July since fireworks are legal (unlike here in San Diego, CA!) I remember the first time I drove through their neighborhood on the 4th at dusk I felt like I was in a war zone!

I can't remember which book of yours I read first, but once I did, I went and eventually found all your other books and read them. Thanks for all the fun adventures!

Heidi, San Diego, CA

Rita Wray said...

Newman, California


Mary Connealy said...

Hi Crystal. It's fun to see so many familiar names over here. I should be working but I'm NOT!

Quilt Lady said...

Kentucky and its raining right now.

quiltlady110 AT gmail DOT com

Merry said...

I'm so glad Mary loves to write because I love to read her amazing books! She knows how to touch my heart and my funny bone. :)
Merry in MN

Tore923 said...

I would love to read this book. It sounds good. Pennsylvania.

Abbi Hart said...

I have read all 29 of your books Mary and I cannot wait to read Stuck Together and your novella in Four Weddings and Kiss!
Thanks for this chance to win Lena!
Abbi (PA)

Anonymous said...

Hello Mary. Love to read posts by you or reviews of yours. you always make me laugh. I would love to own all of your books. they all sound so good. I would love to win this time. I am down here in Texas in Pasadena, near Houston, TX.
Maxie < mac262(at)me(dot)com >

Donna said...

Mary, this is my favorite beginning of all of your books! There is so much humor in such a small snippet. I can't wait to read it! I enjoyed the interview too.

I'm writing from Mississippi.

Pam K. said...

I'm very much "stuck on" Mary's books so would love to win a copy of Stuck Together to complete this series. I'm getting quite a few books on my Mary Connealy shelf. I love those romantic comedies with cowboys and their feisty women! Thanks for the interview with Mary and the chance to win.


Jennifer said...

My family and I reside in Kentucky. Your books are so funny and entertaining Mary! Ten Plagues is still my favorite.
jennydtipton at gmail dot com

Amy C said...

Hi Mary! It's always fun to see your blog interviews. You are too funny just like your books.
Amy C

Susan Johnson said...

I loved the first two. I am really looking forward to reading this one.
I am in Odessa, Texas

Anonymous said...

I have always loved your books. I live in davenport, Iowa

Mary Preston said...

This sounds like a fantastic story.

Mary P


Nancy M. said...

After reading that except I am all the more excited to read the book! Hopefully the book will make it to me in Kentucky! :-) And I am anxiously waiting for my copy of Four Weddings and a Kiss. As soon as it releases it should be on the way! Nancycooks4u(at) gmail(dot)com

Patty said...

I love how Mary's books always make me laugh! I've not read any of this series, but would love to.

Patty in SC

Melanie Backus said...

I love Mary's wit and humor. A great author writes great books....that's Mary!!

Unknown said...

I'm really looking forward to reading this book of Mary's . Her humor is always a bonus, and her cowboys to die for! Thanks for having her on your blog, Lena. And yes, Mary is busy.


Anonymous said...

My sister loves these books and I know will want to read this new one badly.
J.C. -Indiana-

Holly said...

I love Mary Connealy's books and really enjoyed reading this interview as well! Very insightful!
I would love to win a copy of Mary Connealy's new book (Stuck Together). I have made a habit of not starting a series until I have all the books...been waiting eagerly for this one so I can begin!
Mary Connealy, you have won the place of favorite author for me with your witty words, your feisty women, and your to-die-for cowboys! Thank you for using your talent so wonderfully! God Bless You!!
Holly I.--living in beautiful KY

Anne Payne said...

I have enjoyed every single one of your books that I've read, Mary! This one sounds like another winner. Thank you for answering Lena's questions and letting your fans get to know you a little better. And I always your humor about ranch life you share on your FB and blog :)

Anne, rural NC

Mary Connealy said...

You're all so nice. Thank you for all the kind words. And I love it that you're from ALL OVER!
Good luck in the drawing.

EJ said...

Congrats on 31 books + more on the way. Love reading Mary's books! Elaine from Iowa

EJ said...

Congrats on 31 books + more on the way. Love reading Mary's books! Elaine from Iowa

Jean said...

I LOVE Mary's books!

Jean K
West Palm Beach, FL

Danielle Hull said...

I'm from NE Indiana

Unknown said...

Hi Mary, Congratulations on your new book. I enjoyed the interview and excerpt.
I have read all your other books and look forward to reading Stuck Together soon.
Thank you and Blessings from Ohio reader

Lourdes said...

This book sounds great just like all the others, I've read that Mary wrote.

Lourdes in Long Island, NY

sm said...

I'd love to win and read STUCK TOGETHER. I have FIRED UP from this series. Thanks for the interview and I enjoy your blog posts. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

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

I love Mary's work and would love to win a copy of Stuck Together. Thank you for the chance.

I live in Indiana.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Sharon Richmond Bryant

PriviesAndPrims said...

I hope I'm not too late cause I LOVE Mary's books! All of them!

from Lancaster County

Britney Adams said...

I love Mary's interview and would love to be a winner! Thank you for the opportunity!

Britney Adams, TX

Unknown said...

I from Colombo, Sri Lanka. I love reading your books. have read swept away and and fired up. Hope to win a copy of stuck together. Do love it when I get to meet the same characters in new books. Also like the clean writing with no smut. Hope I win

rubynreba said...

Mary is one of my favorite authors. Please enter me.
Beth from IA

Unknown said...

I can't wait to read this one Mary is one of my favorite authors!!
Tonja VA

Angela said...

One of my top ten favorite books ever is Mary Connealy's The Husband Tree!!! I've read many others since and would love to win a free copy of her newest novel!!
Angela A. ~ Kentucky ~

Priscilla Starks said...

Looking forward to reading Stuck Together!
North Dakota

Anonymous said...

sounds like a great book!
Thanks for the giveaway!
Sydney Harries GA

SHARLENE said...

Ooh, whee! I NEED this book. I'm hooked after the first page. Have read others of Mary's books, and they are always wonderful. Hoping I win. :)

Shar MacLaren
Spring Lake, MI