Today we officially kick off the Book Review Sisters’ 1st Birthday Party! Hopefully you’ve noticed our special birthday decorations, and are ready to spend the next month with us celebrating.

And now, what better way to start the party than by having Mary Connealy drop in for a chat!

I’m really excited to have Mary Connealy here with us today.  She’s my go-to author for cowboy fun-filled romance!

Today we’re giving away 1 book in Mary’s Kincaid Brides series.  The winner gets to choose which book in the series they would like to receive.  See the end of this interview for how to enter.

Thanks so much Mary for joining us on our blog today. Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Any hobbies you have?

I’m a rancher’s wife. I’ve got four adult daughters, two married. My twenty-third book released in February, including some shorter series-type books. And my hobbies are reading and writing and crossword and sudoku puzzles. (I know, like it would kill me to take a walk once in a while!)

Jess: I cannot do sudoku puzzles to save my life Mary! ๐Ÿ™‚

You write historical romantic comedies, what has drawn you to this genre?

I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published. In those years I wrote everything. All romance, but within that genre, I wrote historical, contemporary, cop dramas, spy thrillers, gothicโ€ฆjust whatever interested me. I have twenty finished books on my computer when I was given my first contract. The thing that finally hit were the cowboys. And I love doing them and publishers seem to keep wanting them so I’m thrilled.

Jess: Yeah, I can’t help but love those cowboys! 

How much time do you usually spend on the research element for your books? Do you visit locations and conduct interviews?

I do almost all my research online. I make a concerted effort once in a while to go SEE something. A history museum. I wrote a book with the hero an artist in 1880 or so. I went to some art museums that had western artists like Fredrick Remington and Charlie Russell, just because I became so enamored with them through my research. But mostly I just stay behind my computer and research and write all alone. So very, very alone!

I first started reading your books when I picked up the Sophie’s Daughter’s series. Then I went to Lassoed in Texas Series followed by Montana Marriages! So you see I read them all out of order but thoroughly enjoyed them. Do you think we’ll see any more from Sophie and her girls in the future?

I would love to do more. I have a story in mind for Sophie’s youngest daughter. And I’d like to marry off some more of the Reeve’s boys from Calico Canyon. Oh, I’ve got all kinds of ideas. They’re not in the works yet, though.

Jess: If you ever bring them all back, I want to hear about Alex Buchanan and Tom Linscott ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve also been keeping up with the Kincaid brothers. What inspired you to create these guys? Can you tell us about the next book in the series?

The main inspiration for the Kincaid brothers was a long ago visit to Carlsbad Cavern that just captured my imagination like no where I’ve ever been. I walked though that cavern, with its floodlights and all the safety fences and I was just transported. I could imagine the first man who ever went in there. It’s so beautiful you’d be lured deeper and deeper. It’s so DANGEROUS you’d be risking your life with every step. And he would have just had a lantern. He couldn’t have begun to see the end of it, or fully light the stunningly beautiful rock formations. I’ve always wanted to try and capture those opposing reactions, the lure and the terror. That was my goal for the Kincaid Brides Series.

What’s nextโ€”Book #3 in the Kincaid Brides Series is coming in August. It’s titled, Over the Edge, about the crazy Kincaid Brother. Seth Kincaid survived a fire in a cave, but he’s never been the same. He was always a reckless youth, but now he’s gone over the edge. He ran off to the Civil War and came back crazier than ever. 
After the war, nearly dead from his injuries, it appears Seth got married. Oh, he’s got a lot of excuses, but his wife isn’t happy to find out Seth doesn’t remember her. Callie has searched, prayed, and worried. Now she’s come to the Kincaid family’s ranch in Colorado to find her lost husband.

Callie isn’t a long-suffering woman. Once she knows her husband is alive, she wants to kill him. She’s not even close to forgiving him for abandoning her.

Then more trouble shows up in the form of a secret Seth’s pa kept for years. The Kincaid brothers might lose their ranch if they can’t sort things out. It’s enough to drive a man insane–but somehow it’s all making Seth see things more clearly. And now that he knows what he wants, no one better stand in his way.

Jess: Really looking forward to Over the Edge. Callie sounds hilarious!

What books did you read as a teenager?

I was an avid reader, I have been all my life. My family got Readers Digest Condensed Books in the mail and I read all of those as they came. I haunted the library and read everything they had.

I read all the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew. I absolutely LOVED Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books. Those were the first books I ever read that made me wonder, “How did he do that? How did he drag me into that story and put me on the back of that horse and make me smell the dust and hear the pounding hoof beats?”

Whose writing do you admire?

Besides Walter Farley, my most powerful influences are, I think, Mary Higgins Clark and Clive Cussler. Those are such strange and different authors but all three of them have an amazing ability to take you on a roller coaster ride. To just grab you and not let you go. I aspire to do that with my books.

When you get writers block, what do you do to try and get out of it?

I don’t get writer’s block. I never have and hope I never do. I wonder why that is? I’m not superstitious or I’d be afraid I would jinx myself by saying I never get it.

If you could be any fictional book character for a day, who would you be, and why?

Wow, hard question. I may have writer’s block because I can’t think what to say here. I love my heroine Belle Tanner from The Husband Tree. She just gets in people’s faces and says exactly what she things and doesn’t back down from anyone. That is sooooo not me. But my she was fun to write.

I loved Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. A truly, deeply honorable man. Most characters in books are in big trouble, if the book is any good one. Why would I want to be one of them? I mean who wants to be Jason Bourne, huh? Forget it. James Bond? Maybeโ€ฆโ€ฆ.between jobs.

What do you know about Australia, and is there anything in particular you would like to see if you came for a visit?

I read a book set in the Great Barrier Reef once and have always wanted to see it and go scuba diving around it. A kangaroo? A koala? Could I be any more clichรฉ?

My husband and I are big ‘See America First’ travelers, mainly because we’ve done very little traveling so we haven’t seen much of America yet. He’s a rancher and cattle are demanding. The only foreign country either of us has been to is Mexico. We walked over the border for a few hours. So, we’re not really bold explorer types but we’ve talked about it and Australia is at the top of our list if we ever get brave and rich-and have time!. It’s even above Canada, which would be far closer.

Jess: Mary, I hope you get to see more of your country and maybe one day Australia! You can go snorkeling in the great barrier reef too…might be more less taxing than actual scuba diving! ๐Ÿ™‚

Find Mary on the Web

Connect with Mary

Twitter: @maryconnealy

Mary’s Latest Series – The Kincaid Brides

Book Giveaway!

We’re giving away one of Mary Connealy’s Kincaid Brides books … winner gets to choose which one!  This includes the upcoming release, Over the Edge, due out August.  Just remember, if you select Over the Edge and win, your copy will not arrive until after it’s released.

To enter the competition, all you need to do is complete the form below.  You must be aged 18 years or older.  Entries must include a valid email address, or we won’t be able to contact you if you win ๐Ÿ™‚  Entries are void where prohibited.
All information provided remains confidential and will not be given to any third party.  Your email address will only be used by Book Review Sisters to contact you in the event that you win.
If you are contacted and advised you are the winner, you will have 1 week to provide us with the address for postage of your prize.

Entries close 12pm Tuesday 1st May, Australian Eastern Standard Time (10pm Monday 30th April in New York, if that helps anyone!)

Optional Extra Entries!

  1. “Like” our Book Review Sisters Facebook and get 1 bonus entry in the draw
  2. Follow us on Twitter and get 1 bonus entry in the draw
  3. Follow us with Google Friend Connect (see left sidebar) and get 1 bonus entry in the draw
  4. Tweet about this post and get 1 bonus entry in the draw

If you opt in for any of these bonus entries, please indicate so by ticking the appropriate boxes on the form.

Please also leave a comment on the post after filling out the entry form (don’t forget to submit the form first, or your entry won’t go in!).  Mary (and we!) would love your feedback and to know you’ve dropped by.