Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

I’m excited today is the official release date of Mary Connealy’s newest addition to her Lassoed in Texas series. Calico Canyon was such a fun romp (Mary style), but of course with nail-biting angst thrown in for good measure.

This story follows book #1, Petticoat Ranch, and we get to see some of the characters we met in that book. Petticoat Ranch featured a single mom with a houseful of daughters. Calico Canyon features single dad, Daniel Reeves, with a houseful of boys-- a set of twins and a set of triplet. And even though Mary had a houseful of girls in real life, she’s really portrayed well the way a household with five boys could be: Loaded with fun, fights and chaos.

The main character, Grace Calhoun, has been running from an abusive adoptive father who’s out for revenge. And she’s finally landed a job teaching in Texas, which would be perfect, if not for the Reeves boys. Chaos reins when they’re in the schoolroom. In fact, they and their dad are responsible for getting poor Grace fired.

And of course her luck doesn’t turn. That very night, her “father” finds her and tries to take her away. She thinks quickly, though, and hides out in the closest supply wagon.

The Reeves’ wagon!

What follows if funny, touching, and in the end, satisfying. You’ll love this story. Especially with the subplots Mary winds throughout. This is another great story from the prolific Mary Connealy. I look forward to many more!
Below is an excerpt from Mary's bio on her website, www.maryconnealy.com. This just shows her fantastic humor. :)
My writing journey is similar to a lot of others. Boil it down to persistence, oh, go ahead and call it stubbornness. I just kept typing away. I think the reason I did it was because I’m more or less a dunce around people—prone to sit silently when I really ought to speak up(or far worse, speak up when I ought to sit silently).

So, I have all these things, I want to say, in my head; the perfect zinger to the rude cashier, which you think of an hour after you’ve left the store, the perfect bit of wisdom when someone needs help, which doesn’t occur to you until they solve their problems themselves, the perfect guilt trip for the kids, which you don’t say because you’re not an idiot. I keep all this wit to myself, much to the relief of all who know me, and then I write all my great ideas into books. It’s therapeutic if nothing else, and more affordable than a psychiatrist.

So then a very nice, oh so nice publishing company like Barbour Heartsong comes along and says, “Hey, we’ll pay you money for this 45,000 word therapy session.” That’s as sweet as it gets.


Missy Tippens said...

I have some interview questions with Mary that got lost in email! So I thought I'd share them in the comments section.

Q: How did you nail little boys so well when you had a houseful of
girls? Did you just interview your mother-in-law?

Mary: I guess my response to that is, do you really think I did okay? I sure hope so. I can claim to bring a lot of experience and truth to a book full of little girls, but boys? Well, I did my best. I never really interviewed my mother-in-law but I’ve been visiting with her for the 30-something years of my marriage so I’ve heard it all.

Missy Tippens said...

Missy: Do you plot ahead of time, or do the fun twists and turns just come
to you as your write? (I won't give any spoilers by asking specifics,
but I'm thinking along the lines of an avalanche. :))

Mary: I can do both plotting and winging it. To write for Heartsong Presents, a book club which has bought four books from me now, they want a chapter by chapter synopsis. So I had to learn to do that. I like HAVING the detailed synopsis but I don’t like DOING the synopsis, so left to my own devices, I take the easy way out and wing it.
I didn’t plan the avalanche. I did plan to have that gap snow shut because I needed them trapped in together (assuming one of them would CRACK and run for the hills if they had a choice). I also needed to trap my villain outside but I wanted him to stay around, planning for spring when he could get a hold of Grace.

Missy Tippens said...

Missy: What types of promotional events do you have lined up?

Mary: Yikes. Blogs, book signings, I’m going to ICRS and the ACFW conference. These aren’t strictly promotional but that’s in there, too. Speaking engagements…my least favorite.

Missy: How can readers buy your book and contact you?

Mary: My books are available in bookstores and through Amazon. Find out more at http://www.maryconnealy.com/ and sign up for my newsletter at http://mconnealy.blogspot.com/ as well as hang around with me (and Missy) at Seekerville. http://seekerville.blogspot.com/

Thanks so much, Mary!! I loved the book.

Mary Connealy said...

Missy! My answers came. Honestly, if I was a dog, they'd put me in one of those shock collars to keep me focused on what I'm supposed to be doing.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL! Well, you did write the answers, they just never got sent back to me. I guess that's like lost in the mail. :)


Mary Connealy said...

Okay, lost in the mail is good. I puts me in a slightly better light than, I wrote them all up then forgot to send them. Yeesh.

Missy Tippens said...

LOL. I was trying to help you save face. But you're to open and honest, I guess. :)

Did you dream up this series at the same time? Or did it start as one book idea and then grow?


Pam Hillman said...

Hey Missy and Mary! Loving the mini-interview. Mary, I thought you did a great job with the boys.

Mine were never that wild, but given half a chance and a little egging, they can be.

Their Boy Scout leader could probaly tell some tales to curl your hair!

Missy Tippens said...

LOL, Pam. My kids (daughter included) can get in a ruckus just like her boys in the book! Sometimes it gets so loud I can hardly stand it!


Keli Gwyn said...

Mary, I loved Petticoat Ranch and can't wait to read Calico Canyon. You pack a lot of fun into your stories, and I love your characters.

Missy Tippens said...

Hi, Keli. Thanks for dropping by!

Yes, Mary does great humor. :)

Ausjenny said...

fun blog and love the comments here!
I love the book and didn't want to put it down.
congrats on the official release.

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!


Mary Connealy said...

I didn't dream up the whole series at once. I wrote Petticoat Ranch and finished it.
Then I wondered how it'd work as a series and I decided on another story but it didn't exactly fit so, since it was utterly unpublished and i hadn't set anything in stone, I went back and created Miss Calhoun and wove her and her love/hate relationship with Daniel Reeves into Petticoat Ranch and went on from there with Calico Canyon, bringing a third character to life in Calico Canyon to live in Gingham Mountain, which comes in February. Everyone who reads Calico Canyon KNOWS I've got to tell Hannah's story. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Pam, great idea. Go interview a scout leader for story ideas.

Tina M. Russo said...

Mary your books have the most beautiful covers.

Now I want to know when you will be writing a heroine who gets cranky about playing board games. When was the first board game anyhow..I imagine chess or checkers but probably not Scrabble, eh?

Mary Connealy said...

I could write a very serious, thoughtful book about someone who is a master at board games... but modesty prevents me.

Scrabble Savant
Word Wizard Woman

I could bring a lot of authenticity to that.