Author Interview Blog Title Image - Mary Connealy

I have been a Mary Connealy fan for years! Her books are full of love, humor, and action that keeps you turning the pages. I’m always grinning when I finish one of her books. Today I have the incredible honor of hosting Mary for an interview, but first, a little about her latest release, The Accidental Guardian.


The Accidental Guardian

Title: The Accidental Guardian
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 1
Author: Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Genre: Historical Romance / Western
+To Read: Goodreads

She’s the Only Witness to a Wagon Train Attack. Keeping Her Safe, Though, Means His World Is about to be Turned Upside Down.

When Trace Riley finds the smoldering ruins of a small wagon train, he recognizes an attack by the same group who left him as sole survivor years ago. Living off the wilderness since then, he’s finally carved out a home and started a herd–while serving as a self-appointed guardian of the trail. He’d hoped the days of driving off dangerous men were over, but the latest attack shows otherwise.

Deborah Harkness saved her younger sister and two toddlers during the attack, and now finds herself at the mercy of her rescuer. Trace becomes an accidental guardian when he offers the only shelter for miles around and agrees to take them in until they can safely continue their journey. His simple bachelor existence never anticipated kids and women in the picture and their arrival is unsettling–yet enticing.

Trace and Deborah find themselves drawing ever closer as they work together to bring justice to the trail and help the group survive the winter–but every day closer to spring means a day closer to leaving the mountains forever.

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The next book in the series, THE RELUCTANT WARRIOR will be released later this year in October, 2018!

Reluctant Warrior Spine.indd

A Little About Mary

MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography

Mary Connealy writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has more than half a million books in print. She is the author of the popular series Wild at Heart, Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie’s Daughters, and many other books. Mary lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero.

CONNECT WITH MARYwebsite,  facebook,  twitter,  instagram

You can also find Mary at these sites: Seekerville and Petticoats & Pistols


Mary, I cannot tell you how excited I am to welcome you for this interview today on my blog. Thank you for taking the time to visit!

What is the most amount of time you’ve spent working on one book?

This is a hard one. I just can’t think of a book I’ve spent a truly extra long time on. I write a book in about 3 or 4 months, then some time polishing. Before I was published I’d go back over and over a book, to bring new ideas and newly learned skills to an older work, but no book that just dragged on my longer than 5 months total.

Thank you for sharing. It’s interesting to learn how differently each author works.

How many people read your work before it goes out to advanced readers? (i.e. critique partners or Beta Readers)

No one, and since you asked this question, now I’m wondering if that might be a mistake, huh? Hmmmm…nope, no one reads it before I send it into my publisher.

LOL Well, I don’t think we can call it a mistake considering how many people LOVE your books (myself included)!

What was the harshest criticism you’ve received and how did you deal with it?

You know I’ve gotten plenty of brutal one star reviews and by now I just don’t take them too seriously—although it is possible to learn from bad reviews if there are a lot that make the same comment. Probably the thing that bothered me the most was I entered Petticoat Ranch in the Golden Heart contest for RWA and they have a strange scoring system. One through ten. That’s it. No comments or pointers. And one judge gave it a one, the lowest score. ONE? Seriously? It’s THAT BAD??? C’mon. It seemed so harsh that I just didn’t take it seriously. Surely black ink on white paper oughta earn you a TWO??? I sold the book in pretty much the shape it was in about six months later. Of course, I am completely OVER IT!!!

Ha ha. Yes, you are clearly over it. 😉 I think I would have found the lack of reason for the low rating frustrating as well.

What is the best compliment you’ve received and how did it make you feel?

Wow, these are kinda hard questions!!! First compliment that pops into my head, My Cowboy, which is what I call my husband on Facebook, was reading and he looks up from his book and says…something like (I forget the details…) “They didn’t have towns in Wyoming back this far.” (Or something like that, he corrected some factual detail). I looked at him for a minute and said, “That’s not my book, you’re reading a Louis L’Amour book.” It was a great moment for him to be thinking me and Louis were the same!!!!

Sorry, not sorry. 🙂 Thanks for being a good sport. I love that your hubby knows his history, too.

If you could go back and re-make one decision in your writing career, what would it be?

First let me say, my writing career is a wonder to me. A WONDER!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe I ever got one book published and I’m over FIFTY. I might start earlier. I might be brave and go to conferences earlier. But I was writing before there were so many conferences….or at least before I knew about them. We didn’t have Google back then. I didn’t have the internet at home. I was raising four daughters and wasn’t free to travel around. So, it was HARD to find this stuff out. Still, I wish I’d’ve figured out a way to get published faster.

I can’t imagine how you did it all without the internet! 

If you weren’t writing this genre, which genre would you write?

I like reading thrillers, detective fiction. I also love Regency romance. I might try one of those.

Now I’m picturing a whole different version of Pride and Prejudice – something with spurs, cowboy hats, and maybe a Pinkerton detective thrown in somehow. 😀

What is your favorite piece of scripture?

The one that popped into my head is Psalm 27: 1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

That is a great verse.

Will you share with us one of your most romantic memories?

Yeesh. Well, hmmmm…I’ve been married for 42 years. Wow, that’s a huge number. And My Cowboy is a fine and decent man but romance…let me think on this one awhile. (insert here that music from final Jeopardy while I think) I do know that I was a stay at home for 27 years. I went to work teaching GED at that point and did it for 11 years and that money came right after I’d sold my first book. And once I got that job My Cowboy started cooking and cleaning. Before then our marriage had always had very traditional man/woman roles. He said if I was helping earn money, he should help around the house. Coming home after a long day of work, pulling into the garage and opening the card door to smell a meal cooking, wow, that’s about the most wonderful and romantic thing in the world.

As a woman married to a man who loves to cook, I know exactly what you mean. 

What do you look for in your fun-time reading?

I always say, if they are sassing each other and running for their lives while falling in love, then I’m happy. That’s what I read so that’s what I write.

Sounds good to me!

Which charity is closest to your heart?

I spend most of my charity dollars very close to home. I’m a little skeptical about how charities work and which ones you can trust. But I know if there’s a fundraiser for a neighbor or local person who’s been hurt or is sick, then my money is going to end up right where I sent it. So my own church, local fundraisers. I give to Wounded Warriors. I’ve got a niece and nephew in the Army so that’s close to my heart. And My Cowboy likes St. Jude’s Hospital so we send money to them.

Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Mary! It has been fun getting to know you and seeing your sense of humor shine through in your answers. 


Find out how best-selling author Mary Conneally dealt with her harshest criticism and how many people read her manuscripts before they are sent to her publisher in this fun #AuthorInterview! (Click to Tweet!)


AccidentalGuardian BlogWelcome to the blog tour and giveaway for The Accidental Guardian by Mary Connealy, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!



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