Please welcome, author Mary Connealy back to the blog! Mary has a wonderful new release called Calico Canyon out this month.
Welcome. Please tell us a little about your book.
Calico Canyon – Lassoed in Texas Book #2 is a suspenseful, inspirational, historical western, romantic comedy.
I took prissy, Miss Calhoun, the school marm from Petticoat Ranch, and shoved her, completely against her will, into an all-male world.
The thing with trying to do this is to focus on their complete fish-out-of-water story, make it as extreme as possible and still have the hero be heroic, the heroine be delightful and loveable. Not that easy when she doesn’t understand anything about his wild, ill-mannered boys, less about him and nothing about marriage.
The foundational trouble between Daniel and Grace isn’t the fact that they loathe each other—although that’s huge.
It’s the fact that Daniel completely blames himself for his first wife’s death in childbirth, plus how brutally hard it was for him to survive with newborn triplets. She had a hard time with the twins birth and Daniel swore there’d be no more babies. But he was weak and his wife wanted to be ‘close’ to him. And then he lost her. He is so deeply traumatized by it that he won’t risk having another woman carry his child. But once he calms down and quits thinking like a coyote who might well gnaw his foot off to escape from this marriage trap, he discovers a powerful attraction for his new wife.
So there’s a war inside Daniel and, torn between desire and terror, he handles it like any good romance hero…as badly as possible.
Parrish is the villain in Calico Canyon, Grace’s adoptive father. She’s hostile to men because of her upbringing with an abusive father. Parrish lived well off the salaries of the young girls he forced to work in a carpet mill.
So Grace has a very dim view of men and she expects only bad things from her new life surrounded by six of them. It takes a lot to convince her she hasn’t fallen into a rat hole and ended up married to the King of Rats.
If you’d like to read the first chapter of Calico Canyon you can find it here.
What inspired the story?
In Petticoat Ranch—Lassoed in Texas Book #1 I talked about a man who’d never been around women, dropped into an all-girl world, so I decided to do the flip side of that story in Calico Canyon
Calico Canyon is a sequel to Petticoat Ranch, but are they stand-alone books?
I’ve been told they stand alone well but readers who have read both said they loved seeing the McClellen girls from Petticoat Ranch again. So, you’ll probably enjoy Calico Canyon even more if you’ve read Petticoat Ranch
What is your favorite scene of the book?
I suppose the wedding scene is my favorite. The wedding scene is complete chaos with nine characters, all talking over the top of each other. No one is keeping track of EVERYTHING the others are saying. So when one of Grace’s soon-to-be sons asks her if she wants to leave as bad as he wants her to leave and the parson says, “Do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband.”….well, when Grace says, “I do.” The parson thinks she’s talking to him. He’s halfway back to town before Daniel breaks the news to her that she just married him.
I can think of ten more scenes I love, another favorite is at the end when Grace and her adoptive father have it out in a way that makes her five sons proud…and teaches them to fear her at the same time.
How has real life (if at all) influenced your writing?
Petticoat Ranch is my husband, a man from a family of seven sons, no daughters. We now have four daughters. Watching him interact with the girls is pretty funny. A lot of humor of that book was inspired by him.
Calico Canyon is my husband’s family. His mom is the best story teller in the world, especially little boy stories.
Book three, Gingham Mountain, coming in February ’09 is my family. I’ve from a family of eight children, boys and girls both and that’s why we’ve got in Gingham Mountain. So stand by for my humor, action and chaos.
Is there anything you’d like to write, but haven’t?
I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. When I got my first contract I had twenty finished novels on my computer. And they’re in all genres. I love to write. It’s what I do for entertainment. I figured that as long as no one was going to publish me anyway, I might as well write whatever interested me. I’m doing long, historical romantic comedies now for Barbour, I’m contracted for eleven of them. So for now, I’m writing in that style and I love it. Barbour has two other fiction lines, Heartsong Presents and Heartsong Presents Mysteries and I’m writing books for those lines too, so Barbour is being great about letting me try other things.
What is next for you?
Alaska Brides comes in August, it contains my novel Golden Days.
A three book series, short contemporary, for Heartsong Presents releases to their book club in October, November, and December. Then Gingham Mountain is coming in February. The cozy mysteries release as an anthology in June ’09 called Nosy in Nebraska. Those books are a lot of fun. To find out more about these books check out my website. I’ve got a short description of each of them. http://www.maryconnealy.com/books.htm
Is there anything you’d like to ask my blog readers?
Have you noticed that all the sudden the western romance is making a comeback? Just in the last few years they’re really hot again. Do you read historical romance? Are they westerns or regencies or do you read contemporary. I’d like to hear what genre you love.
For me it’s about action and comedy in any genre. If they’re sassing each other and falling in love while running for their lives, then I’m happy.
I read widely and those elements can come in any genre.
I just finished Cyndy Rutledge’s One Night Stand. I loved it, Cyndy.
I’ve got a sister-in-law who reads historicals only, she makes exceptions but that’s what she loves. She wants escape from a stressful job and she finds it in a different time. So my question to your readers is, ‘What are you looking for in a book?”
Readers, check back tomorrow when Mary guest blogs.
Until then go ahead and answer her questions…