Wednesday, August 24, 2011

End of Summer Bash: Welcome Mary Connealy!

Mary Connealy is a super sweet, super fun person, and it's my pleasure to host her today! If you enjoy Western romance with LOL humor, then you'll want to read on to learn more about Mary and her latest release, Out of Control:

Amber: Thank you so much for joining us today! Could you share with us one of your favorite memories from this past summer?

Mary: Wow, Amber, tough summer. Flooding. Sickness in the family. My dearly loved Mother in law died. Trying to think of the best of it. I’ve gotten a lot of quality time with my grandchildren, who are spectacular, btw. That’s always fun. Honestly we live very close to the Missouri River, not right ON it, so we’re not personally affected, but close enough that many friends are. That’s all any one talks about.

I suppose the coolest thing is going to NYC for the Romance Writer’s of America Conference. It was terrifying and exciting…kinda like the cave in Out of Control. I went because I was nominated for a Rita Award. I lost, but I had a wonderful time.

Amber: I'm sorry you had such a hard summer, Mary. I hope this next season brings more happy times your way!

If you could choose one of the characters from your latest novel to join you for an “end-of-summer” party, who would you want to celebrate with in person and where would you go?

Mary: I’d LOVE to go explore that cavern in Out of Control with Julia. I based the cavern on Carlsbad Cavern and that is still the most fascinating experience (well, close…) in my life. It captured my imagination the way very few things ever have and even long before. And Julia is so in love with that cavern that I'd love to see it with such an enthusiastic guide!

Amber: Sounds like a great time to me!

Please tell us more about your latest release. If you could share a scene from the book to whet our appetites, that would be fabulous!

Mary: "Julia Gilliland has always been interested in the natural world around her. She particularly enjoys her outings to the cavern near her father’s homestead, where she explores for fossils and formations and plans to write a book about her discoveries. The cave seems plenty safe—until the day a mysterious intruder steals the rope she uses to climb her way out.

Rafe Kincaid has spent years keeping his family’s cattle ranch going, all without help from his two younger brothers, who fled the ranch—and Rafe’s controlling ways—as soon as they were able. He’s haunted by one terrible day at the cave on a far-flung corner of the Kincaid property, a day that changed his life forever. Ready to put the past behind him, he plans to visit the cave one final time. He sure doesn’t expect to find a young woman trapped in one of the tunnels—or to be forced to kiss her!

Rafe is more intrigued by Julia than any woman he’s ever known. But how can he overlook her fascination with the cave he despises? And when his developing relationship with Julia threatens his chance at reconciliation with his brothers, will he have to choose between the family bonds that could restore his trust, or the love that could heal his heart?"

Here’s a scene from the book:

~ Excerpt from Out of Control ~

It occurred to him that the right thing to do was slap her. That'd clear her thinking. Give her a bit of fight, too. He just couldn’t do it. “You’ve got to get ahold of yourself." Pulling her close, he added, "My name is Rafe. Can you say that?”

“Let me out.”

“No!” He gripped her shoulders. “You say my name or we’re not going. You need to calm down. We’re going to be fine, but not if you shake so hard you fall off this ladder. I’m Rafe.” He shook her hard. “Say it. Prove to me you’ve got the guts to hang on and climb out of this pit.”

"R—Rafe." A long slow breath lifted her shoulders. “Rafe. I’m sorry…Rafe. I’m so scared. It's so dark. I couldn't get out. My—my Rafe. I couldn’t find my Rafe—uh—rope. Rope. I need to get out and I—I—”

“Stop.” Slapping her just wouldn’t do.

So he kissed her.

She froze in his arms. He braced himself to be on the receiving end of a slap. He almost hoped her head cleared enough to be insulted.

Suddenly, her terror flipped over into something—else. She flung her arms around his neck and nearly lifted herself off her feet in an effort to hold him closer.

Rafe wrapped his arms around her waist and deepened the kiss.

The darkness receded, the whole world was bright and warm. Being far from the outside world just seemed like a blessed chance to be alone with a beautiful woman.

That though cleared his head. "Uh…you're not fifty or sixty years old are you?"

"What?" She sounded dazed. Which was sort of like calm.

"I'm just thinking I haven't really…um…seen you yet. I mean you seem…young. You feel really young." And beautiful. She felt very young and beautiful. "But if we get out of here and you're…uh…old…and—” ugly, "—sixty years old or something…well…it's going to be awkward."

Her arms were gone from his neck. He should have kept his mouth shut and continued with the kissing. But the notion of getting her up to the moonlight and finding out she was a sixty year old woman, maybe with a moustache and a face like the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat…not someone he'd choose to kiss…in the light…well, that was in his head now, and he couldn’t get it out. Yep, awkward, sure enough. And yet, she’d felt very young and beautiful.


"Get your hands off of me."

He loosened his grip but didn’t let go all the way because she had a ways to fall if he did, about twenty feet straight down. Then he’d have to climb back down there and start this all over again.
She slapped him.

Which stung, and not just his cheek. After all he'd considered doing the same thing to her—for medicinal reasons. Life and death really. But he'd refrained. She should have given him the same benefit of the doubt.

"I think I'm ready to climb now." She sounded much calmer. Deadly calm.

Rafe remembered a long time ago, it seemed like an hour—how long had he been kissing her anyway—when getting out of here was his main concern. Now he wasn't in such a big hurry. But he didn't want to get slapped again either.

"Great. You’ve calmed down. Let's go." As if getting himself slapped had been his plan all along.

~ End of Excerpt ~

Book Trailer:

Amber: Love it!! (And isn't that book trailer wonderful? I love the music and everything about it!)

So, what do you look forward to most about the coming autumn season?

Mary: No contest, the ACFW Conference in St. Louis in September. It’s the most fun I have all year.

Amber: Oh, I've heard such great things about it! Perhaps someday I'll get to meet ya'll there... =) Thanks for chatting with us today, Mary!

Readers, after reading that hilarious excerpt, would you like a chance to win a signed copy of Out of Control? Thanks to Mary's generosity, if you leave a comment with your e-mail address, you'll be entered in the drawing! All winners this week will be announced on Saturday, August 27th.

*This drawing is open to U.S. residents only.*

Don't forget to come back tomorrow to visit with author Leanna Ellis and learn more about her Amish/vampire book!


Melanie said...

A signed copy? Wow! Please enter me in this giveaway!

frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

Melanie @ Christian Bookshelf Reviews

Judy said...

I would love to win a copy of Out of Control. This book sounds like a great read! I really like the cover of this book. Who could resist a handsome man?

I enjoyed Mary's interview. She has had a pretty rough summer. It isn't easy losing a loved one. I pray the rest of this year will be a good one.

God Bless,

Lisa said...

Hey Mary,
I would love to win a signed copy of your latest book! Sounds like another funny one!

bluejay(at)hwyman dot com

Amber said...

I would love to win a copy of this book , I really enjoyed the last 3 of her books that I read love the God filled Humor that were in each one of them , was a blessing to be able to read them and get lost in the wild wild west with lots of laughs even a few tears !! I am sure that this one will be another great one and cant wait to read it !!! Praying for a Great rest of the Year for Mary and her family ! And Enjoyed reading her interview , thanks for doing it and I hope that you have a blessing filled day as well !!

Amber said...

forgot to add my email to that its godlovinmomandwife(at)yahoo(.come)

Kav said...

For those of you who haven't read Out of Control -- you're in for a real treat. I just can't get enough of Mary's humour laced with drama.Or is it drama laced with humour? Which ever way you look at it, you're in for a good read!

Amanda said...

"A face like the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat" - PRICELESS! You just made my day with that one! Laughed myself to tears!

Thank you ladies and I would love to read the rest this sure to be great book!!

Blessings to you both!

Renee Ann said...

What a great scene! No wonder Mary's books sell like hotcakes :) Once I offered a giveaway of a Mary Connealy book, and the response almost shut down my website. Now I stick to Amazon gift cards. It's safer :)

Please include me in the giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity and the great interview!

reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

wfnren said...

I would love to win this book, I've been trying and trying. I love Mary's stories.


Keli Gwyn said...

Mary, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your mother-in-law. Mine is gone, too. A beloved person's passing leaves a gaping hole in our hearts.

I'm thrilled about your RITA final. In my book everyone who finals is a winner. You certainly are!!!

Julie Lessman said...

MARE!!! LOVE that scene ... uh, with one exception. You HAD to go with a 60-year-old for your slam -- "finding out she was a sixty year old woman, maybe with a moustache and a face like the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat"???? You couldn't use an 80-year-old or even a 69-year-old gonna turn 70????? Heck, I'd slap the sucker as well ... and maybe you too!! :)


karenk said...

a great posting, amber...thanks for the chance to read mary's latest novel :)

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Michelle said...

LOLOLOL!!! I don't know what's funnier -- the excerpt or Julie's response!!! Oh my goodness!!! You ladies are a HOOT!! :o)

But seriously, I love the excerpt and can't wait to read this one! Thank you for entering me!

Mary, I'm sorry you've had a rough summer, but like Amber said I hope the coming season brings happy times your way.

Sweet Blessings,
scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

Amber S. said...

Thank you, everyone, for stopping by today and leaving comments! :) Good luck to those of you who are entering the drawing!

And wasn't this excerpt great?? Too funny!!!

Michelle, I know what you mean - it's hard to tell which one is funnier! ;) LOVE Julie's response, LOL!


Mary Connealy said...

Sorry about that, Julie. I'm real close to 60 myself, so I know what you mean. But c'mon, Rafe is 24 years old. Now give poor Rafe a break.

Mary Connealy said...

I think Julia and Rafe are about as much fun as it gets as a couple. Two bossier people have never lived.

But then I wrote Ethan's story, Rafe's younger brother, and that Ethan's a charmer. In fact he's used to sliding through life on his charm and taking his big brother's orders with a smile. But lately, that's starting to pinch and Ethan is trying to figure out how to demand some respect. Ethan, the shallow charmer has his story coming in February, In Too Deep.

And then there's Seth. The madman. He might've been the most fun of all. I particularly like the woman I picked for him. A woman who thinks he's dead. And when she finds out he isn't, she's so mad she wants to kill him. Seth's story is Over the Edge.

Mary Connealy said...

Thank you all for your kind sympathy for my mother in law. She was one of my best friends. I miss her everyday.

Mary Connealy said...

Renee Ann, that story sounds a little like an urban myth. And yet, I WANT to believe it.

Mary Connealy said...

wfren, sweetie, try a library.

Mary Connealy said...

Keli was sitting right near me at the Rita/Golden Heart gala. You should have SEEN the desserts. People where photographing them. I was contrained by all the watchful eyes, but now looking back, I'm KICKING myself for not shoveling the leftover desserts into my purse.

Katie McCurdy said...

Oh my word! What an excerpt!!! LOL! :-D Makes me want to read the whole scene. You've got my curious now, Mary!! :-D

I'd love a chance at winning, Amber. Thanks!!

~ Katie

Marissa :) said...

I would Love to win this book! I'm sorry Mary had such a hard summer. :( Better things are yet to come.

Laura Frantz said...

Mary, I'm sorry about all the challenges this summer. I know how that is. And we write on through all of it! Recently I was asked who I wanted to write most like and I said you and Lorna Seilstad:) I so wish I could tickle people's funny bones instead of making them cry! You have such a gift. It's great to see you here.

KC Frantzen said...


Didn't know about your Mother in law. I know from reading your books how dear she was to you... So sorry...

It's been quite a summer for you, but you somehow maintain that fabulous humor.

What a scene. Yes please! may at maythek9spy dot com

Thanks Amber for hosting Mary. Wonderful interview as always!

Julie Lessman said...

MARE ... "Give poor Rafe a break"??? Sure, sweetie -- which bone in his body?? :)

Twenty-four-year-old ignorance is NO excuse for insulting a 60-year-old, no matter HOW hot he is!


Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Laura. There are people who manage to be somewhat successful through making people cry. Karen Kingsbury comes to mind. Janette Oke. Maybe you can be like them. (Okay, now I want to be like them!!!!!)
I do occasionally make people cry. But my husband ... when I burn dinner...again...isn't probably the same thing.

Mary Connealy said...

Okay, Julie, you win. Give Rafe a thrashing.

I think he was actually more worried about the downhill side of a climbing mountain goat, than the age. But he felt SAFER commenting on the age.

Mary Connealy said...

I dedicated my second book, Calico Canyon, to my mother in law, who's name was Marybelle Connealy. She had seven sons. My husband is number six, so I'm glad she stuck with it.
She could tell unruly little boy stories that would set people howling with laughter. That women was the living embodiment of 'don't sweat the small stuff'.
She always said that when the chaos was actually going on she wasn't that calm. But, looking back through the years, she could now laugh.

Jackie S. said...

Thought sure I commented yesterday! If I did and overlooked it here, I apologize. I do want to be entered for Mary's book; love her writings!! I extend my sympathy in the loss of her MIL.

Bluerose said...

I hate that you've had a hard summer! You're in my prayers!

I think I'm getting to review Out of Control, but I'd love to put my name in the hat for a signed one.

Sometimes I'm made to realize the negatives of book reviewing. I'd love to go back and read ALL of your books!! I still will, though! It might just take a little longer than what I'd like. ;)

Merry said...

Mary is an author I must read, she always delivers an awesome, delightful story. Please include me in the drawing.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com

lgm52 said...

Oh, my this does sound entertaining! I'd love to read it!
Thanks for the opportunity.

Sara said...

I love the scene! Mary's books have been on my reading list for awhile now (and some even on my Kindle), I need to find the time to read them. :)

Cindy W. said...

I love Mary's books and would love to be entered to win Out of Control. Thank you for the chance.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.


BookWorm8900 said...

Thanks for the chance to win this book. It sounds WONDERFUL!!!


God Bless,
Liz R

Patricia said...

So pleased you are offering a copy of your book for giveaway! I have added it to my TBR list. Please consider me entered ;)
Sounds like it will be a fun read.

plb1050 at gmail dot com