Dear Readers, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that Mary Connealy is one of my favorite historical authors. And I’m glad to introduce her to you readers who haven’t read any of her books. With each new book, I say it’s my favorite. Mary is a master at coming up with unique story lines and plots. This has a new twist on a wagon train story. I loved it. And I loved the characters. They are always fully developed and fully human. You won’t want to miss this wonderful story.
Welcome back, Mary. What kind of files takes up the most space on your computer?
I’m sure it’s pictures, but only because they are space hogs. Not that I have so many. I have far more Word documents, they are small.
Do you have plans to ever retire from writing? Why or why not?
I picture myself at age 105, dying while typing a book. Wham, face right on the keyboard.
It’s not like there’s any HEAVY LIFTING involved in typing.
Are you a stay at home kind of person, or do you like to be on the road a lot?
I’m such a homebody. I mainly travel for book events and to see my grandbabies.
Please share a Bible verse or passage that has had the most impact on your life.
Psalm 27:1 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?
I always feel like if I remember this verse and remember nothing, no matter how frightening can hurt my soul! I can handle anything. Which doesn’t mean I don’t scream and run when I see a mouse…so that’s embarrassing.
Do you have a favorite Bible character? Who is it and why?
I’m a big fan of Peter. He’s so normal. So human. I one verse, Jesus says, “On this rock I will build My church.” And in another he says, to Peter, “Get thee behind me Satan.”
And isn’t that just all of us? Sinning, failing, but still, with faith, able to build something for God.
What has been your favorite time in your life? And why?
I’ve had to think about this one awhile, because I loved those years when my children were all little and around my knees. But I have to say NOW,
Lena. I’m having a great time writing and being a
Do you have an ereader? If so, what kind do you use?
I have a Kindle but I really prefer to hold a book in my hands.
Do you read mostly print books or ebooks?
Answered above, and I’m not sure why. I love the digital book revolution but I use my Kindle less all the time.
I keep my Kindle in my purse and read a book in snippets when we’re away from home, mostly when James is driving or I’m waiting somewhere. Otherwise, I read print books, too. Do you like to read books in the genres you write, or do you read only other genres … and why?
I read in my genre very little because worry about becoming derivative. Worse yet, I can FEEL myself reading a book in my genre and playing “what if” with the characters. I want to retell stories with my own twist. And I don’t want to do that!
Please tell us about the books we’re featuring today.
I love The Accidental Guardian. I feel like I know Trace Riley and Deb Harkness. I understand the fires that forged them and the lure of finding love and the fear of turning aside from their planned out life to be together. They are a great couple.
Please give us a peek at the first page of The Accidental Guardian for my blog readers.
South East of
- October 1867 Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Deborah Harkness came awake with a snap, her hand already steady on the six-gun under her pillow.
Just as fast, she eased off the tension and the trigger. She knew that sound.
It was almost encouraging that, after months of being awakened many mornings in just this way, Deb could still get nervous. A woman needed to be alert on a wagon train heading through the wilderness.
“Shhh, honey. I’ll take you. Shhh.” The little girl did her best to wait quietly—three-year-olds weren’t famous for that—while Deb slipped on the heavy coat she used for a blanket. Not waking up Maddie Sue’s exhausted parents was always Deb’s first goal. After that—not waking up Deb’s sister Gwen and Maddie Sue’s toddler cousin Ronnie ranked very high.
Everyone needed their sleep.
Deb had learned early on this wagon train journey to sleep fully dresses, so it took seconds to put Maddie Sue’s little coat on her—it was sharply cold in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in October. Deb grabbed her carpet bag and shoved her pistol inside, she never, ever left the safety of the wagon train without this bag and the gun. Mr. Scott had stressed this small precaution until it was a reflex. She urged Maddie Sue toward the back of the covered wagon.
A whimper stopped her.
Ronnie. If she left the little boy, he’d be bawling his head off before Deb got back and it wouldn’t just be Mr. and Mrs. Scott who’d be awake, it’d be the whole wagon train. Ronnie could howl.
“I’ve got him, Deb.” Gwen was awake now, too. “I’ll walk out with you.”
In the pitch dark of the wagon, Deb could more hear than see her nineteen-year-old sister donning her own coat.
Deb was tempted to growl with frustration. At this rate she and Maddie Sue would be leading a parade into the privacy of the grass.
Instead she just whispered, “Thank you.”
She and Gwen had teamed up to keep the Scott children tended in return for a ride across the country.
They’d earned every penny of the trip.
Now they walked silently away from the small wagon train. There was not a stir from behind them so Deb thought they’d left the Scotts still sleeping.
She sincerely hoped so.
The Scotts worked so hard and were so kind to Deb and Gwen. Deb’s life hadn’t had a whole lot of kindness in it for a long time.
They didn’t go far into the grass. The grass could be disorienting and, in the moonless, starless hours before dawn, fear gnawed at her, that she could get turned around in her directions in the grass, taller than her own head, and not find her way back to the wagons.
“Hurry up, honey.” The chilly air kept everyone moving fast. Gwen had Ronnie quiet, and Deb heard the eighteen-month-old boy sucking at a bottle, so Gwen must’ve had one ready from the night before and thought to grab it as they left the wagon.
“Good thinking on the bottle,” Deb whispered. The boy was probably too old for the bottle but in the hectic world of the wagon train they hadn’t thought to spend time weaning him and right now Deb was very glad.
Gwen’s quiet chuckle was followed by a soft croon as she kept the boy eating. “I’m on to him by now.”
They finished their little trip and turned to go back to the wagon when a gunshot cut through the night. Deb grabbed Maddie Sue’s arm and dove for the ground. Gwen landed right beside her, then stuck the bottle in Ronnie’s mouth before he could start crying.
A scream ripped through the air.
The gunfire came again and again. More guns, many guns. The shouts, the cries of fear and pain and to her horror, cries she recognized as people dying.
Where can my readers find you on the Internet?
Find Mary online at:
Thank you, Mary, for sharing this new book with me and my blog readers. It is one of my favorites of your books.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Accidental Guardian - Christianbook.com
The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts) - Amazon.com
The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts Book 1) - Kindle
The Accidental Guardian - Audiobook
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