Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Coffee Chat With...MARY CONNEALY!

I am so thrilled to have my friend Mary Connealy here at Coffee Cups and Camisoles, and that she's kicking off our very first Coffee Chat! The plan is to have an author Coffee Chat every other Friday to introduce our readers not only to some great fiction, but to the authors behind them.

By way of introduction, I've known Mary for a long time. She was one of my first author friends. I met her at the first book signing I'd ever attended, and we talked for a long time. :) 

So, without further ado, here are Mary's answers to the Coffee Chat questions:

Here at CC&C, we’re all about the coffee and tea. What is your beverage of choice?

 I love Tetley’s Earl Gray tea in the drawstring bag. HOWEVER that’s hard to find AND we got a Keurig last year and I now have a little box of K-cups of Twining Earl Gray. It’s so EASY to find them. It’s like technology couples with my laziness to deprive me of my favorite drink. (Also, the Twining is very good)

All coffees and teas are better with a snack or two. What’s your go-to snack?

Well, honestly, do you think I got into my generally oval shape by being picky? I like pretty much everything and I try to keep it out of the house.

Jaime is all about the selfies, so we’d love to see a selfie of you. J

Mary Connealy and Erica Vetsch at the 2014 ACFW Gala

Anne and Erica are history museum addicts. Can you tell us a little about a history museum that is close to where you live or grew up?

I love history museums, too. This is a tough one because three come immediately to mind. I’m going with Fort Atkinson, an old,old,old restored fort about an hour and a half from me home. It existed in Nebraska in 1820-30 or there abouts. In 1820 Nebraska, as well as Iowa to the east were still Indian Territory. This fort is really fascinating, an era of history I don’t know much about. The ‘cowboy’ era is more post Civil War to about 1880s though cowboys can work fine much later than that, but 1820 was twenty years before the first wagon train rolled west on the Oregon Trail. I love wandering around that place.

Can you tell us a little bit about the research you did while writing 

I do 90% of my research online. I have a love/hate relationship with research because I love reading about history, but it’s such a time sink because I’ll start reading about one thing and start clicking links and before you know it, I’m on some rabbit trail and I haven’t added a word to my book for four hours. For Tried and True, I did love researching about women who fought in the war disguised as woman, so many fascinating stories, they really sparked my imagination.

What does your writing space look like? Do you have an office, a corner of the couch, or do you go to the library or coffee shop? 

I type about 75% of the time in a corner of my house we call The Computer Room. It’s a porch we enclosed trying to carve another bedroom out of our tiny house while our four daughters were growing up. So half of it is a bedroom and the other half has a desk and my desktop computer and 2000 books in it.

What are you reading right now? 

I am right in the depths of the Joe Pickett Series by C.J. Box about a park ranger in the heart of the Rocky Mountains who just wants to talk to hunters and count elk…and he keeps finding bodies. And then, because Joe is practically the only honorable man left on the planet, when he sees the authorities, who are all bungling bureaucrats brushing the crime aside as a grizzly attack, Joe has to step in, at the risk of his own life, and solve the case. I love it. 

Thank you so much, Mary, for being the first willing victim for our Friday Coffee Chats. :) 

About Mary:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award winner, and a Rita, Christy and Inspirational Reader's Choice finalist. She is the bestselling author of the Wild at Heart series which recently began with book #1 Tried & True. This month she released a novella, The Advent Bride, available for $0.99 in all ebook formats. Part of a series of 12 novellas called The 12 Brides of Christmas.
She is also the author of the Trouble in Texas series, Kincaid Bride series, Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, Montana Marriages Trilogy, Sophie's Daughters Trilogy and many other books. The
Mary is married to a Nebraska rancher and has four grown daughters, three spectacular grandchildren.

Tried and True
Saddle up for a wildly fun ride with the Wilde sisters!

Kylie Wilde is the youngest sister--and the most civilized. Her older sisters might be happy dressing in trousers and posing as men, but Kylie has grown her hair long and wears skirts every chance she gets. It's a risk--they are homesteading using the special exemptions they earned serving in the Civil War as "boys"--but Kylie plans to make the most of the years before she can sell her property and return to the luxuries of life back East.

Local land agent Aaron Masterson is fascinated with Kylie from the moment her long hair falls from her cap. But now that he knows her secret, can he in good conscience defraud the U.S. government? And when someone tries to force Kylie off her land, does he have any hope of convincing her that marrying him and settling on the frontier is the better option for her future?

The Advent Bride

Melanie Douglas is alone on the Nebraska plains, teaching school to get by. She finds a unique box with hidden drawers to use over the advent season to engage a young boy in his schooling. When Henry O’Keeffe sees a positive change in his son, he has to see for himself what this new teacher is doing.

Here’s the place to put where readers can find you online.
Find Mary online at

Mary will be giving away TWO books today, her print book Tried and True and her Christmas ebook novella The Advent Bride. 

Leave a comment asking Mary a Coffee Chat style question along with an easy way for us to get a hold of you if you win. Mary will drop in throughout the day to answer questions. A winner will be announced here on the blog next week.


  1. Wonderful interview with Mary! Mary, what is your favorite worship song/group? I look forward to reading "Tried and True".


  2. Two of my favorite authors chatting.. .how cool is that! Before I post my question I have to make a confession. I googled 'questions to ask people'. sigh... sad I know. But here's the question: Would you be willing to eat a bowl of crickets for $40K?

    adamsfammys (at) yahoo (dot) com

  3. What made you write mostly about the old west? I like the fact that your stories are not just in one state.

  4. Love the interview! I've loved reading the few books of Mary's I've been able to get my hands on (usually through thrift stores, although I did win one through Seekerville last year!).

    Okay, Mary, here's my question for you: Would you prefer to live in the Old West or now? (Me, I used to believe I was born a hundred years too late...would have preferred being born in the 1850s or thereabouts.)


  5. Of all the books you've written, which one is your favorite. That would include, the characters, research, and writing. Or is that like trying to pick a favorite child. I know I love my two but in different ways. tumcsec(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. Love Mary and her books!!!!! A question....harder to come up with...
    Where do you get your ideas for your wonderful characters? Are they based on someone you know? They certainly come to life for me when reading your books!
    lorenzc(at)huntel (dot) net

  7. I looked everywhere for the "Like" button, but couldn't find one. Loved this interview with Mary and my first visit to Coffee cups and Camisoles. It sure won't be my last! My question for Mary - How in the world did you come up with Sophie's disgusting disguise in Petticoat Ranch? The description of it still makes me say, "Ewwwwwww!" Please throw my name in for the book give away yackyjan(at)cox(dot)net Off to explore more of Coffee Cups & Camisoles!

  8. Loved the interview Mary and Erica - thanks!! Enjoy your humor and your writing, Mary!!

    Mary, how involved are you in the work/animal birthing, etc. on your ranch and how did you meet your husband??

    Would love to read "Tried and True" and "The Advent Bride" - thanks for the opportunity to win copies!!


  9. Love the interview ladies! Here is a question for Mary...

    How many bathrooms did you have in the house while raising 4 daughters? More than one I hope!


  10. Which of your books cracks you up the most? (I know my answer, but I'd like to know yours!) -

  11. I do the same thing! I will Google something and before u know it I see something else interesting over & over again! Before u know it I've spent an hour & I was just looking up one thing! But I do love your books! I think I have them all except your latest! I would love to win!!
    grandmama_brenda (at)yahoo(dot)com

  12. Oh and by the way; I don't like coffee or tea! Wish I did!

  13. Really enjoyed the interview! Mary's books are some of my favorites! :)
    My question: I know some authors choose names that they think suit their characters while others choose names that have a significant meaning to them or for the character. How do you decide on names for your characters?

    Thanks for the giveaway! :)

    crazybooklover7 [at] yahoo [dot] com

  14. Hi, sorry I've been slow stopping in today. I've been hooking up a new PRINTER. I'm at the 18 hour mark and I think I finally have it mostly working. (okay, I admit I took six hours off to sleep.) and technology, just call it a war and be done with it.

  15. Caryl, I am a huge KLOVE fan, I have it running in my car all the time. Favorite though...that's tough. Favorite song of all time....probably ... If I Stand by Rich Mullens. Favorite singer....Mark Schultz. I just got tickets to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert in Omaha. I NEVER do stuff like this but I dedicated The Advent Bride to him. His song 'Love Take Me Over' came on the radio when I was in the middle of one of the crazed rants that go on in my head and it was such a perfect reminder to focus on LOVE, to let LOVE take me over, to focus on GOD. It really just lifted my spirits and I play it a lot since then. I've got about fifteen more if you want them all. :) (Okay fifty more!)

  16. Jamie. Probably not. Would I be able to vomit afterward? But...even if so...I just bet I couldn't do it. Maybe if the baby needed milk, you know....

  17. But the baby is 25 and she's got a decent job

  18. khansen, I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published and when that fateful day came and I earned my first contract I had TWENTY finished books on my computer. They were NOT all westerns, though quite a few were. I decided at some point that if no one would publish me, I'd just write to entertain myself so I wrote everything. Contemporary romantic suspense, a gothic romance, police procedurals, sweet contemporary romances. Almost all romances but back then I didn't really think of myself as 'romantic comedy with cowboys'. I thought of myself as romantic comedy. Whatever else I wrote it all had romance and it all had comedy. That's what I loved to read so that's what I wrote. I do think though with my background in rural Nebraska the voice I found for husband is a cattleman...probably just had a real true sound to it.

  19. Melanie, go to the library. I'm a big library girl myself so it won't hurt my feelings any if you get my books there. If they don't have my books ask for them through interlibrary loan. Or ask the library to buy them. Maybe throw a fit, you know, collapse on the floor and scream, hold your breath until you turn blue. Make sure and call the TV news first. And spell my name right. ..... And pretend like it was your own idea.

  20. As for living in the wild west....nope. I LOVE Air Conditioning. I think if I'd ridden west on a wagon train, I'd have probably fallen off during the first creek crossing and drowned. I'm not tough. I mean MAYBE I'd have found my inner pioneer. MAYBE I'd have come through and adapted to that wild, dangerous life. BUT IF I HAD...........It would have been a surprise to included.

  21. Gail H. this will sound cliché, but my usual answer is THIS ONE. The one I'm working on now. It's true and I think it's because I'm so immersed in it, the characters are living and breathing in my head. I'm so deeply involved. So I'm sticking to the ONE I'm working on now!

  22. lilsis, Wow, I'm sitting here thinking. The characters ... well, I HOPE they all live and breathe as individuals. A lot of times I have a very mild notion of what they are going to be like. In the Wild at Heart series I knew for the heroines, feminine little sister, nature loving middle sister, tough western woman big sister. The heroes, Upright, honorable hero for Tried and True. Mountain Man for the next book Now and Forever, cattle baron who wants his land back from all these homesteaders for the oldest sister who wants her land a LOT more than she wants a man. Beyond that it just kind of evolved as I wrote.

  23. Hi Jan!!! You know, that's what comes from revisions. I just kept making her disguise worse and worse and worse. The Hector scarf remains one of my favorite touches in a book. :)

  24. bonton...I am more of a fan of the cows than a caretaker. I ride along with my cowboy husband when he checks cattle each night during calving season to take pictures for Facebook. Oops, speaking of 'involved' I just got a call and need to go pick My Cowboy up in the field. I'll be back to answer part two of this question.

  25. I'm baaaaack! How did I meet my husband? We were high school sweethearts. We started dating the end of our junior year and were good friends before we started going out. Junior prom was our third date. We dated through the rest of high school and college and got married two months after I graduated. And I came home to be a wife, then a stay at home mom.

  26. HAH! ONE BATHROOM PATTY! ONE! And you know what? We mostly did okay. The girls learned to do hair and makeup in their bedrooms, they had to share those, too.

  27. Which cracks me up the most, Lanna?
    Well, I will say that book #2 of the Wild at Heart series, called Now & Forever, has what I think my be the funniest WEDDING I've written. Before this I'd say my funniest wedding was in Calico Canyon, but I may have topped it with Now and Forever.
    Which cracks me up the most?
    I'm sitting here, seriously I've given it MINUTES of thought.
    I really thought my cozy mysteries were whacky and fun.
    Loved Belle Tanner in the Husband Tree.
    It's hard to ever love a book more than Petticoat Ranch.
    My favorite MOMENT in a book may be in Out of Control when Rafe recognizes Seth in that cavern...his long lost brother....still crazy after all these years.

  28. Hi Brenda. I was researching something....trying to remember what....and at some point I realize I'm looking at pictures of albino baby animals. Which are amazingly cute btw. But I have no idea what rabbit trail I followed to get there. It's all those LIVE LINKS with the most fascinating titles possible.

    1. Exactly! There is so much to read and look at that I don't see how people get bored! I never get bored!

  29. aerykah, cool spelling. Um.....names...for men I like long vowels, particularly long A's. Not sure why but that sounds strong to me. Secondarily, one syllable names. Rafe, Clay, Silas (got the long vowel, missed on the one syllable) Wade, Logan, Tom, Seth, Luke, Vince, Dare, Rylan, Gage...(he's in Fire and Ice, book #3 of the Wild at Heart series, so not out yet.)
    I listened to my niece once talking about the struggle to name her baby, talking talking talking--how important it was--the names meaning, sound, origins. Finally I said, "I name more people by noon on Monday than most people do in a lifetime."
    The heroines? I guess I'm more rooted in old-fashioned. Sophie meant wisdom, Belle sounds fairly sweet...that didn't fit at all. I use every version of Elizabeth I can think of, Beth, Betsy, Lizzie, Ellie....sometimes for secondary characters because that was just an incredibly popular name back then. I do try and not mire my poor heroines in old biddy sounding names.....Gertrude, Prudence...and may I just formally apologize to anyone with that name who is here today. Gertie wouldn't be bad, Trudy....I have a cousin named Gertrude, my age and we always call her Trudy and I like that.

    1. Thanks, Mary. :)
      I just love names and I've always found it very interesting to learn how authors choose them. Thanks for sharing! :)


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