Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Brainstorming Day in Seekerville

I'm providing the brain and my brain always comes with a storm. So really what else do we need, huh? Let's get started!!!

I've had this idea for a while of writing backstories for my characters and publishing them. I've had some favorite authors do it and published them as inexpensive ebooks. I've bought them and liked reading them. 
I've always thought it would be fun to write a short story about the explosion when Belle Tanner's father told her that he was no longer leaving her his ranch because his new wife had given birth to a son. So Belle and her husband had to go find their own ranch.
Or maybe write the scene when Sophie McClellen watched the men come riding into her ranch and accuse her first husband of horse thieving, then drag him away and hang him.

All these scenes in my head that are part of my books that I tell in maybe a few swiftly written outlines, I could tell as a short story and sell.
I guess I think it would be fun to show the fires that forged my characters into what they became.

Well, I did it. Finally...for the Trouble in Texas series.

Except now I really don't know what to do with it. I've written a 20,000 word novella about how my heroes met in Andersonville.

I'm tempted to just toss it out there. Put it up on my blog for free even.

I'm showing it to Bethany House. I've given them perfect permission to just run for their lives, disavow all knowledge, you know.  Plausible deniability….whatever they want to call it.

Click to Buy on Amazon
The heroes just meet and endure Andersonville Prison in this novella mostly. It ain't fun and games. Their personalities are revealed and I show the fires that forged their friendship into a bond that is closer than brother and get through some scrapes together. 
Is that fun? I just don't know.

The one thing that to me was a lot of fun was…how many here realize the connection between the Kincaid Brides series and the Trouble in Texas series?
I've been surprised to find out a lot of readers missed it. Including some pretty devoted readers like….my daughters. It's certainly not dwelled on, but it's there. So that connection, revealing it, developing it, that was a lot of fun. ..because of course Seth Kincaid, the wildman of the Kincaid brothers, was in Andersonville Prison and he crosses paths with the Regulators. 
Luke's little sister Callie comes from Texas to get her very sick big brother and ends up staying to help with all the ailing soldiers and winds up married to the vulnerable, sweet, handsome and (as it turns out) half-mad Seth Kincaid who promptly gets her pregnant and deserts her and forgets he ever had a wife.
This sets up Over the Edge and Callie coming to Colorado searching for Seth's brothers when she's driven off her Texas ranch by Flint Greer.
Considering this is a novella largely about Andersonville Prison I thought I did a pretty good job of sneaking a little romance into it...and yes it's a bad end what with her being abandoned, pregnant and killing mad. But we all know it works out in the end...the end being Over the Edge. RIGHT??? 

So anyway, does this interest you? What should I do? I'll let Bethany House, my publisher, tell me what they think first, of course. But I'm wide open to ideas.
Ruthy and Tina and Sandra have so boldly indy pubbed their books recently. They've made it look really fun, and now here comes Julie doing the same with Romance-ology 101

And my agent will help me if I ask. And I've considered publishing it, a chapter at a time, on my blog or maybe on Short Reads or I could email it to those signed up for my newsletter to build that list.

Or maybe I should just leave it on a park bench and run.
I'm also doing a COVER REVEAL today and I used my rustic Photoshop skills to create this cool graphic.

Sigh, excuse me for that outburst.

I've got a nifty picture of the three covers from the Trouble in Texas series. I've recently been given permission to use the cover for Book #3 Stuck Together. Vince and Tina's story.

So TaDa!! There's the cover of Stuck Together.
I love it. It makes me smile every time I look at it.
Stuck Together--Vince is a very cool customer who has earned the nickname Invincible Vince Yates for good reasons. But he's finally found a situation he can't handle. He's sworn to never marry for very good reasons so his powerful attraction for his friend Parson Jonas's little sister is the exact opposite of honorable. One weak moment with Tina, and his good friend Jonas is probably going to shoot him and that's going to be hard to preach around come Sunday morning.
Tina's trying to shut down Duffy's Tavern, cook at Glynna's Diner (so Glynna won't), save the mad Lena Bullard from a terrible fate and when she wasn't looking she somehow got deputized and is now the unpaid town sheriff of Broken Wheel, Texas. Really, there just aren't enough hours in the day. And she most certainly doesn't have time to be kissing that no-good, low-down, handsome scoundral Vince Yates, the man who pinned that star on her chest when she complained about how he treated Lana. Sure Lana tried to kill his friend Dare...three times. But she was crazy then. She seems fine now. Tina would really like to just let Lana go, watching her is cutting into Tina's picketing time.
Okay, cover reveal over, back to the brainstorming. Throw advice at me in the comment section. Do you want to see this backstory novella? I suppose you're all too nice to say no, so it's hard to judge. What I'd really hate is to sell it for 99 cents on Amazon and have 20 one star reviews all complaining about how it wasn't worth the money!
Anyway, what I want are ideas. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I'm tough.
And now, in conclusion, I'm going to post the very first part of the first scene. Skim it, ignore it, read it, whatever. Nobody's gonna give you a quiz. But at the very end, I do talk about the prize I'm giving away, so check that out!

Closer Than Brothers

Chapter One

Vince—The Leader

Burning hot. No way out. Surrounded by real bad people.

            A description of hell if Vince had ever heard of one.

            And it described Andersonville Prison pretty well.

            Vince Yates heard a soft footstep and he braced himself. He’d known this was coming from the minute he pulled those filthy Raiders off that kid.

            The kid had been greeted just like every newcomer to Andersonville, with violence. Vince knew better, but he couldn’t let that kid get beaten by a fellow Yankee.

            One of those thieves had picked himself up and backed away from Vince’s fury with a parting threat. “A man who don’t mind his own business, don’t survive.”

            “Lots of ways to die in this pit,” Vince had told the low down coyote. “Might as well die with some honor instead of live with a yellow streak down my back like you.” Vince knew he signed his own death warrant but he couldn’t leave the kid to his fate.

            There’d been three Raiders and, with the kid's help, two against three, they drove them off. But those Raiders had friends, dozens, maybe hundreds.

            They were coming back in a pack like wolves.

            Vince was weak already. Starved down to skin and bones after six months in here.

            The footsteps came closer. Bracing himself to pay the price for daring to have honor, Vince prayed the most heartfelt prayer of his life, and it wasn’t for help. He figured none was coming. And the prayer wasn’t to win this fight. With the exception of a few Bible stories—David and some stones—Samson and the jawbone of an ass—most of the time, when one man stood alone, that man lost.

            Nope, he just prayed that he’d meet his Savior. He wasn't even all that sorry to go. It was time to be getting out of this place and that was about the only doorway Vince could see. He put all his hope in the next life and resigned himself to this one being over.

            “Yates?” A Texas twang, laced with gravel. Vince knew that voice. The Kid.

            Not a lot of Texans penned up in here. Texans fought for the Rebs.

            “I’m here.” Speaking barely above a whisper, Vince stepped out of the shadows.

            “I don’t reckon I’ll let you protect me and not return the favor. You can use someone at your back tonight.” A kid at least five years younger than Vince. He’d done well against those three men but he was losing when Vince stepped in.

            “I stepped into your trouble, and I was a fool to do it. Be smarter than me, Kid. Get out of here.”

            A dry laugh with no humor in it answered, “Won’t be the first time someone accused me of being a fool. I’ll buy in.” The boy was close enough in the starless night that Vince finally saw him.

            “No sense both of us getting whipped, Kid.”

            “No sense.” The kid came closer. “I’ve heard my pa say I got none, so I’ll stay. Name’s Luke Stone, from Texas.”
Leave a comment to get your name in a drawing for a $25 Amazon egift card.

(and who can blame him?)



Christina Rich said...

I say, if Bethany don't want it then indy. You have a huge following and your fans will love it.

I alrwady do. Andersonville has always intrigued me in a weird sort if way. Hard to believe Americans treating Americans in such a horrible fashion.

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

Mary, Mary, Mary...

JUMP IN. Close your eyes and JUMP!

I'd love to know this story. Majored in history so I'm interested to know how you treat Andersonville Prison, me being a Southern girl and all... ;)

Plus I'm genuinely interested how you develop these characters.

Thanks for writing wonderful stories!

Go Mary GO GO GO!!!

(May would give a thumbs up, if she had any.)

Entered into the drawing or not, we would still say same thing. :D

Abbi Hart said...

Anyway you have to! I want to read this so bad! I loved the excerpt and really want the rest of the story! I getting to know more of character's backstories and this would give backstories to quite a lot of people which is completely awesome!
Also I love this cover! It's definitely my favorite of the three!

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

And terrific cover, Photoshop or not!

Clari Dees said...

First, let me say the webcast was SO MUCH FUN! It got quiet enough at work this evening for me to pop in my earbuds and listen while I worked at my desk. :-) I am a little sad that I couldn't hear any of those bawling calves, though. ;-) I'll have to console myself with watching the video of them again.

And I did catch the connection between the Kincaid Brides and Trouble in Texas. Does that make me more than a devoted reader? Like a stalker kind of reader? Like the kind of reader who would be thrilled to see you publish the back story?! Yes! PLEAZZZZZE!

Clari Dees said...

Oh, oh, oh! I forgot!

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

What I felt I was reading in that story was a radio play. Not a fancy one. Just a few voices with some ambient sound effects. I think Louis L’Amour had a few of these that were more than just a single voice reading to the listener.

You could put these on mp3 and give them away (free downloads) to get people interested in your new audio books. These may well create new prospects who are more into audio books than reading books themselves.

I don’t think anyone else is doing this yet. It should be good for generating publicity on the blog tour. It’s something new to talk about.

You might be able to get some college actors or little community theater to do it for the fun and experience. If you said you were going to give the audio production away I think they would be happy to do it for just the credits. A drama department at a junior college might love the challenge.

Anyway, it’s just an idea.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, of course me being me, I love it when Seth comes in and Callie because then we get ROMANCE. Bwahahahahaha!!!!
And I just love Callie in her sweet naïve way thinking she can heal poor crazy adorable Seth with her love.
How many woman think that, huh?
But there were so many stories of Andersonville I found in my research and I wanted to tell them all, but like most research it al stays OUT of the book. Or if it does it in, it's in tiny drops, a few sentences just to show how it affected the current characters and I wanted to tell more!!!!
And show it through how my characters survived it.

Mary Connealy said...

KC I found as I was writing the novella I kept feeling the weight of doing it right. I changed it several times and dug deeper into research because there are a LOT of records and I knew at first I was playing fast and loose and there are plenty of people who know all the history. Know is very very well. It made writing the novella a daunting task. I usually use fictional settings and this reminded me of why I do that.

Mary Connealy said...

I really like Vince on this cover, the look on his face. And Tina, she just gives "Invincible Vince' such a run for his money.

I had such fun with these two.

Mary Connealy said...

CLARI thanks for coming to the webcast. I watched the recording of it after it was over.

I couldn't even remember saying half the stuff I said. It's like being in the eye of a hurricane. It's so odd to just sit in front of a computer, alone and TALK for an hour.

Such strange behavior.

But there were questions coming in, so it didn't seem like I was alone. And yet I was alone. So very, very alone!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Audio, huh, Vince? Well, I love that you're thinking of creative ideas.

How would I distribute it though? ebooks are so much faster and easier these days. To hire actors. That starts to be really a big project. I'd have to really get serious about doing all that.

So VINCE what do you think of my hero's name, huh? Any opinion????


Keli Gwyn said...

Mary, I think your fans would hog tie you, string you up, or drag you behind a wagon--maybe even all three--if you don't publish this, since they'd be losing out. Course, I reckon BH will jump at the chance to get your novella out there. They know how loyal Mary Connealy fans are. :-)

Keli Gwyn said...

I added the following to the comment trail at the end of Tuesday's post after many of you were offline, but the news is so awesome that I don't want the Seeker faithful to miss it, so here it is again. And believe me, it's worth repeating...

I'm doing a happy dance out in California that is so vigorous I might just throw my back out of whack. And why is that, you ask? Because my 2008 GH inspy category finalist and our Seekervillager pal Sue Mason posted the following on Facebook on Tuesday:

"I am so excited to announce that I have signed a contract with White Rose Publishing of Pelican Book Group for TWO contemporary Inspirational Romances!! I'm so happy to be a part of this team and look forward to exciting things to come! Woo-hoo!!"

Let the partying commence. :-)

Mary Connealy said...

Christina, I want to add here that there is a lot of gray in the treatment of prisoners at Andersonville. Yes there was terrible brutality, starvation, but a lot of stories say the prison GUARDS were almost as hungry as the prisoners. There just wasn't any food.
And as hated as the camp commander was, he was later hung as a war criminal, he wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln offering to unconditionally return all the prisoners in Andersonville, just to get rid of them because he knew he could not feed and care for them, but it was never done. And they had prisoner exchanges at first but they were ended because they returned prisoners went back to fighting.
What an ugly awful terrible war. But then that describes all war. Why can't we figure out a way to live on this earth without war, I just don't get it.

Mary Connealy said...

Keli, there aren't a lot of laughs in it. They may hog tie me AFTER I release it.

Mary Connealy said...

Sue Mason has signed a contract with White Rose Publishing of Pelican Book Group for TWO contemporary Inspirational Romances!!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS SUSAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Valri said...

Mary, I say go for it! Epubbing is a great thing and I've read several books by different authors who have tried it! They do both so why not you! If you have some books you want to try that way, then why not? At least you could at your agent or ask some other authors that have done it and "test the waters", right? At least that's what I think!

Christina Rich said...

Mary, did you read the story about the prisoner who escaped from Andersonville only to end up on a raft on the Mississippi ( I believe, been a while) to have it catch fire? If I remember correctly, he was the only survivor. I think there was an explosion on the raft, maybe gunpowder. It's been so long since I've read it.

Christina Rich said...

Congratulations, Susan!!!!

Tina Pinson said...

I say don't do anything, Mary. Please don't print it. Who wants to read such drivel? Seriously. Another book from you and I might scream.


Tina Pinson said...

Oh okay, if you must print it. Go ahead.

Oh and congrats, Susan.

Abbi Hart said...

CLARI-I'm with you on being the stalker kind of reader since I caught the connection too! I love when authors connect their books even in the slightest ways so I'm always on the lookout for it! And after the connections between Mary's first three series I was looking extra close at these books!

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Twenty-three comments already. It's not 5AM yet! Such is the power of Mary C.

I hate to say I am a fan of Andersonville history. A better way is I'm a devote of SURVIVAL stories of all kinds.

And YES, I caught the connection so add me to the stalker club. Sigh. You are lucky I haven't camped out on your ranch.

I've often heard it said that you get more people to show up to a play where you charge something for the ticket over it being free. I think you would get a broader audience on Amazon.

The indie folks could tell us better if putting your novella up for 99 cents on Amazon and doing a free novella run would be the way to go.

And if you are worried about one star reviews because this is a bit dark, just do a bit of a disclaimer.

Face it, your stalker fan club will overrun the one star reviewers if there are any.

Love the cover.

Love Sue Mason's news.

Don't love that I'm off to write a synopsis!

Peace, Julie

Cindy W. said...

Oh Mary. Please go for it. You can't dangle a carrot (the first part of the first scene) in front of our noses and yank it away. Okay, maybe you can but I'm sure everyone else would be just as disappointed as I would be. GO FOR IT...please!?!

Have a blessed day everyone!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52 AT yahoo DOT com

Annie Rains said...

I vote to sell it an e-book! There is a up and rising author from my local RWA group who publishes with NAL and does novellas on the side and she's told us that when a novella of hers comes out, that the sales of her traditionally pubbed books jump, too. That makes her publishers very happy :) It's a win-win!

Happy Wednesday, Seekerville!

kaybee said...

Congratulations Susan Mason!

Sally said...

Now I need the rest of it. That little bit was not enough. I love these guys and would love to read this! If you decide to not do it, please send it to me! Stuck Together? I couldn't get past it. When does it come out? I can't wait to read this too. I love Vince and can't wait to read his story!
tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

kaybee said...

Well, if it's on your heart you have to do something with it. If Bethany doesn't bite, you could indie publish it. How about offering it as a perk with one of your traditionally published books? Would maybe boost sales of the traditional book. Don't know how you'd work that, but I always go for something that's "value-added." Like the free fabric softener sheets with my detergent. Even if I have fabric softener sheets at home. You get the drift. It also depends on how well the book stands alone -- it's a prequel, but it's got to have some heft on its own to attract readers. Which you will surely do.
If it's Andersonville, it can't really be a romantic comedy, can it?
Fun time last night. I had a little trouble getting on, but that was just me. You were so funny, love the dry self-deprecating sense of humor. I can see why you used a publicist. With MY technical skills, I would never attempt something like that alone.
On vac this week so Seekers may hear more from me, or at least more from me in my right mind.
Kathy Bailey

Jackie said...


First off, I love the new cover. Very nice!

Second, I think there is an audience for your story.

Thanks for being brave enough to share your thoughts. I'm not published and I've been agonizing over a couple of things to try. Back and forth. You've encouraged me that I'm not alone in trying to decide what direction to go. (Of course you've got all that success behind you. :) )

Have a great day.

Rose said...

Hi Mary!

I'm with Christina. Pitch it to Bethany, if they're not interested, indy publish it.

Sorry, I missed the webcast last night. I'll follow your link and watch it this weekend.

I LOVE your new cover. I think it's my favorite of the three!

Kav said...

Okay -- I'm a stalker reader too. :-) And like everyone else I'd love to read the Andersonville backstory.

I think Kaybee's idea is kind of cool -- adding it on as a bonus to Stuck Together would be exciting. Don't know if your publisher would think so though!

And I do love your choice in character names, Mary. I always get a chuckle out of them.

DebH said...

Add me to the stalker list. Well aware of the connection between the two series.

I say PUBLISH THE NOVELLA! Add the disclaimer that it is a supplemental piece for your two series and that should keep the naysayer 1 star goobers to a minimum (because you won't get rid of them all, some people just ain't happy unless their miserable about something).

and Mary, Mary, Mary... me and Photoshop are good friends. How many times must I beg to relieve you of your graphics misery? Please send me your wish and, trust me, I can get it back to you pretty fast and DING! no head banging against wall/desk for you. Repeated concussions are not healthy.

I love all your book covers. They are uber cool.

CaraG said...

Survival with honor… Strong bonds forged, not from kinship, but from horrific shared experiences…

Getting sidetracked as usual, I Googled Andersonville Prison and pulled up pictures I wish I hadn't seen this early in the morning. My hat’s off to you for bringing forth love and hope out of such inhumane conditions.

I vote YES for publishing. When characters interest me, I always want to know how their backgrounds shaped them. After reading this excerpt, I’d pay for the privilege of reading more.

CaraG said...

Congratulations, Susan.

Love, love, love these success stories.

DebH said...

p.s. will work for books

Debra E. Marvin said...

As Julie said, fascinated with Andersonville but can't rightly say 'a fan of it'!

I need to go to its counterpart in NY Elmira prison... but that's for 10 books down the road, eh?

I LOVE The idea of an audio book. And College or 'amateur' actors might be thrilled to get it done and use it as an audition tool. With iPads and Kindles able to read stories, the audiobook world must be booming.

Who wouldn't love exploring deeper into your characters and the connections between series, and if it's not a comedy, that's fine too. Don't limit yourself by what you think you are expected to do.
Go for it!

Jeanne T said...

I'm fascinated, Mary. Both by the idea and the story. You hooked me in, and my heart is quivering at what must surely be coming for Vince. :) Well done.

As for self-pubbing it, I think it would be interesting to read the back story on characters. I think it's cool to know where characters come from. So, as one who has no experience with any of it, I say go for it. :)

And yes, please put me in the drawing. :)

Piper Huguley said...

Congrats, Susan!

Yes Mary, I'm with the rest. You should publish these things. I think the whole thing with indy publishing is better for writers when they have their "brand" out there already and you certainly do. I say go for it.

I saw Andersonville on the Kelly Clarkson episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" and it struck me (as if I didn't know already) that I live in the same state. I need to go down there and drag DS with me to see it.

And that cover is great. I'm with Rose, it's my fav. Love it!


Cindy Regnier said...

Wow Mary - I don't care how you publish this stuff but get it out there. I NEED to read it. You are so amazing.

Yeah - what Piper said!

Mary Connealy said...

VALRI I do think I'm committed to making it available SOMEHOW. The question is how.
I just can't quite decide.
So you're all so nice to want to read it and I'll figure out a way. The trick is WHAT way?

Mary Connealy said...

CHRISTINA, no I have never heard of that story. In fact I've heard no one ever escaped. If you can think of details I'd love to know more. A title or the man's name.
I can probably find it by googling it.

Mary Connealy said...

TINA PINSON thank you for that nice voice of reason! :)

DebH said...

I think the ebook route would reach most of your stalke--er, fans. Most useful mode of distribution I think.

Mary Connealy said...

Abbi & Clari and Julie I think we need to face it that if authors are going to put every slightest detail of their lives up on FACEBOOK, their bawling calves, their kids, the flowers the plant, the PUPPIES the have, then really, is it STALKING if people know that kind of stuff about you?

Of course not. In fact if people DON'T know that kind of stuff about you it means you're posting it and no one's reading it so you are just boring the whole world with your boring lives.

So thank you for knowing about the connection between my books.

And I've thought how fun it would be if the series I'm writing now, the ladies would run across a cabin in the wood and a very young (because of the years it's set in) Heath Kincaid was living there with his mother.

Wouldn't that be cool?
It's not set in the right place. What it is set right for would be for them to meet up with folks who knew Clay McClellen when he was a boy!!!
But I'm always thinking of things like that. I love it.

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks, you really live in Bear Country?????

Mary Connealy said...

Well, one of the reasons I thought of doing this is because it seems like the September release of Fired Up is a long time from the June release of Stuck Together, so to release this book somewhere in the middle sort of fills a gap, and I'd like that.
Plus Ruthy and Tina and Sandra and Julie are all talking Indy pubbed and they seem to really be having fun and learning so much. It's really interesting and exciting.
I'd like to get in on it.

Courtney Faith said...

I want to read it! And I'm so excited for Vince's story. I loved the chemistry between those two.

Mary Connealy said...

KAYBEE KATHY BAILEY If you are on vacation and really around I have been wanting to ask about your picture forever.

It appears to be a huge??? Rice Krispie bar made with Trix Cereal, in the shape of a dunce cap, with large, flat marshmallow....ghosts? on the stuck on at intervals, then posted sideways.

Which, clearly, I have found very interesting.
Is it maybe some kind of salute to ... the Space Shuttle?

Please talk to us (me) about your picture.

Christina Rich said...

Okay, so I went and did some digging.It wasn't a raft and they weren't escapees (told you it'd been years since I've seen this) but newly released from Andersonville the link to the article is here. It's very interesting. I started to have my hero in my Western be on this boat home, but decided I wanted my hero to escape. I know I've read articles of escapees. Now that I have OneNote I'll have to organize my research better.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, it's not really a romance, until Callie comes in and meets Seth. And then, in a completely Christian way of course, it goes in a rather passionate direction. Because Callie finds out she can 'awaken her prince with a kiss'. And this completely goes to her head. And she decides her love will heal him, in the delusion of a young woman and though they don't go to far, they are definitely caught in a compromising position in the midst of a crowded, though sleeping house full of ailing soldiers.
He promptly proposes. She says yes and they marry on the spot and are kicked out of the hospital when Seth has just for the first time spent a full day free of his fever.


Mary Connealy said...

Jackie, it's a big old scary world out here. We're all trying to figure it out. Join the crowd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Rose. I'm still trying to get up to that museum you told me about in Sioux City.

I can't believe how hard it is to get things done like that.

I guess the webcast went okay. So strange to just sit by yourself and TALK for an hour. It didn't feel really like I was by myself, but then that's sort of strange too, you know.

Like uh........yes.......Mary... you ARE by yourself. Please try and remember that. No, there is no one here but you. Reality is so so important. Please try and touch it with some regularity.

Mary Connealy said...

I need to stop with the names. I've over done it.

I promised Myra and Erica's been fussing at me. LOL

But after that, I'm settling down.

Someone asked me last night (a question I didn't get to) how I come up with names for all my characters.

I remember sitting with my neice with her new baby. Her husband was there and another couple who were expecting their first and the four of them were talking and talking and talking names. Wow, they were just debating and going over it and over it. Like the fate of the world was in the balance!

Finally I just said, "I name more people before noon on Monday than you four will in a lifetime. Relax, it's not that hard."

Mary Connealy said...

CaraG, thank you. It's with Bethany House right now. We'll let them have first refusal.

Then I'll see where to go with it.

Mary Connealy said...

DebH, I tried to play your trailer last night on the webcast. No idea why those videos I recorded with agonizing effort wouldn't play. They played for me!!!

Mary Connealy said...

PS as I lay awake last night, I did have an idea of what might have worked for those videos. Something else I could have tried.

Only five hours later. :(
I don't think that frowny face is big enough!!!!!

Janet Dean said...

Mary, after today the word brainstorm will make me think of you and your stormy brain.

Love the excerpt! Keep us posted on which way you decide to go with the Andersonville prison novella.

Enjoyed the Webcast last night, once I got in. You did a fabulous job just being you!


Janet Dean said...

Wahoo Susan Mason!!!!! I saw Keli's announcement that you'd sold on Facebook. Mega congratulations!! Tell us more!!


Mary Connealy said...

NY Elmira Prison? Debra? I've got a prison camp in the series I'm working on right now, just a very brief reference to Camp Douglas which I found which was referred to as Andersonville of the North. I didn't read about Elmira. But I will now.

Mary Connealy said...

It's all so awful.
Man's inhumanity to man.

Mary Connealy said...

Jeanne T, another idea I have is short stories about the FUTURE of characters. I see Belle Tanner and Silas Harden having five sons. And those boys grow up to tame a huge part of the Montana.

I'd love to visit those boys as they start looking for wifes.

And Daniel and Grace Reeves had so many children, all running wild in Texas. I'd love to go see a Thanksgiving in Calico Canyon when all the boys are home.

Mary Connealy said...

I've got such a story for Heath Kincaid. But that could actually be it's own book, so I'm not thinking some short story for him. Not sure if I'll get to write it. But wouldn't it be fun if he met and married Laurie McClellen? Wouldn't those two make a match?

:) Oh the fun we could have! I think the ages line up about right, too!

Mary Connealy said...

Ah, Cindy sweet girl. I'll figure out a way to get it out there. I wrote to long to not somehow publish it.

But the HOW is what's tripping me up.

But you know that when it happens, I will announce it loud and long here on SEEKERVILLE!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

COURTNEY, Vince's story is a lot of fun. I deliberately tried to make Vince the man who could handle anything. Even getting shot in the head, as he did in Swept Away.

And then I gave him way more than he could handle. yes, in the form of Tina Cahill, but that's just the beginning!

It was a fun challenge.

Mary Connealy said...

CHRISTINA, I'm sure you just wanted to stop in, read Seekerville and get on with your day, and now you're researching. LOL, sorry. I'll definitely read your link! Thank you!

Mary Connealy said...



May God forgive me because I doubt Janet ever will.

I did get her NAME right. Janet Dean. See? I also remembered my OWN name 8 out of 10 times.

Webcasts. Who invented those????

Sherri Shackelford said...

Mary, I have to agree with Keli--now that you've teased us, you HAVE to put it out there :)

Mary Connealy said...

SUSAN MASON WHERE ARE YOU???? get in here and tell us about it! Tell us what your book is about.
Tell us ........WAIT .......... maybe this should be in the weekend edition.

ignore this whole thing.


Mary Connealy said...

Hey, there Sherri. I intend to do something with it.

Maybe people could just come to my house. I could print it out and you could come over and read it while sitting on my couch.

I could make you a sandwich.

Mary Connealy said...

PS THE COWS ARE STILL MOO-ING I'm so used to it I don't even notice much anymore. It's like the wind blowing.

It should stop by the end of the day or maybe tomorrow morning at the latest at which point they will all forget they ever had a baby or a mama. The little ingrates.

Jan Hall said...

Go for it. I would love to read the backstory. It would make the characters feel even more real.

Missy Tippens said...

First! Congratulations, Sue!!!!

And Mary, I love the new cover! What a fun way to tie the stories together.

Lyndee H said...

Mary, I tried so hard to listen last night. I was tuned in, but had two young grandkids pulling and poking at me so you only got about an eighth of my attention. I typed in a question, prompted by my four year old grandson, but hit send at the very moment you announced that the time was up! He wanted to know how the cows are doing and do you have to wipe their noses when they cry so much. The video is becoming a family favorite.

Congrats, Sue!

Marianne Barkman said...

Mary, I love your novels. I usually shy away fron Indy authors, but the Seekervillagers know how to write a story, regardless of how they publish it! I say, go for it!

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Lyndee. I will always remember you dressed in your gorgeous Southern Belle Gone with the Wind dress.
It was wonderful.

Click on the link at the bottom of my post if you want to. Lots of awkward silences. Some muttering. The phone rings.

It was, in all ways, a live webcast run by an amateur, but then that's what I am and that's what it was, so no one should be too shocked. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Ive thought I should add to the novella how Seth got to that cave.

I left that sort of wide open in the Kincaid Brides series. He didn't remember coming home. He didn't know how to get home once he got down in that cave, but that was because he was taking too much laudanum.

I know how he got home of course, but I never developed that. I just sort of have him vanish, do a quick 'aftermath' where Callie finds out she's pregnant...and that's the end.

Carol Moncado said...

*I* knew about the connection between the series! But I think I'd heard Mary mention it - or she told me when I begged her about that other Kincaid brother...

I say self-pub if Bethany doesn't want it. Be clear in the blurb that it is a bit of a departure from your usual and go from there.

I'd buy it.

Janet Dean said...

Mary, bless your heart for trying to remember the title of my book and my name in the middle of a live web cast. The bride wore the spurs, but there is a doctor in the story so look how close you came. :-)


Donna said...

Mary, I enjoyed the webcast last night! It was fun. Do you think you will ever do another one?

Since you asked for our opinions... I think you should put the novella on Amazon, but with a disclaimer, like DebH said.

Great cover, too!

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

You asked: “How would I distribute it though? ebooks are so much faster and easier these days.”

An audio book would be easier. You could let people download it from Seekerville or your website. I let my students download over 100 lectures from my real estate school website. They did need a password to get to the download page. Never had a problem.

Maybe you could just have it made into a normal audio book for download. At $200 to $400 an hour of running time, I think it would be a bargain.

It could be used as a premium for fans who bought any of the related books. Buy “Stuck Together” and you get the audio book free. This is called ‘value added marketing’. You could also give it away when making blog appearances. Fans would have to send you an email with their email address and you could then send them the audio file. This would build your email list with fans who want audio books. This could be valuable later.

I am biased, of course, but I like the name Vince for a hero because it is a very strong name. It comes from the Latin and it means winner or the victorious one. For this reason, Vince is often the ‘enforcer’ in Mafia stories.

I like the choice of Tina for the heroine. Vince and Tina both have a hot blooded Latin flavor to them.

Now for the important question: when is the first opportunity that an ebook of “Stuck Together” will be available? This book will be read at once.

Special request: would you post the cover of “Stuck Together” by itself? I’d like to make it bigger (so I can see it better) but all three covers are stuck together. Trying to make it bigger blurs the image too much. (It's only 1/3 of the picture.)

Donna said...

Susan M Congratulations!!

Jan Drexler said...

82 comments already!?!

I'll have to go back and read them later...I'd love to join in the conversation, but no time right now.

Anyway - LOVED the excerpt. I'd say do it. Put it out for your fans to read. We love your stories, so why wouldn't we love your backstories???

BTW - I got the connection between the two trilogies. It was there in plain sight for the "discerning" readers :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

You've done indie before with your novella's so this is sort of a NO BRAINER BRAINSTORM.

Jamie Adams said...

Love the new cover!

I say go Indie, the waters fine. And besides I hate to wait, I want to read it now :)

Heidi said...

Oh my goodness I'd love to read their backstory! I sure hope it gets published somehow. Can't wait for Stuck Together! This has been a really fun series :)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

I love this excerpt. And the webcast was too much fun! I loved seeing you peer at that clock and lament how much time was left. I seriously split my gut, laughing at your pain!!!!

(imagine a really bad chorus of "That's What Friends are For!!!! In good times, in bad times, I'll be by your side forever mooooooooore That's what friends are fooooor!"

I can't wait for Vince and Tina's book!!!!! First, because I love the real Vince and Tina...

Second, because this is just too much fun!

Third, I want to see the excerpt published one way or another. If Bethany takes a pass on it, then indie pubbing it would work. And I'd pay a buck for a Mary Connealy novella. Shoot, I'd pay a buck-twenty-nine for a Conneally novella.


Ruth Logan Herne said...

Hey, Connealy, I love Kaybee's Christmas Tree picture done with fruity krispies and marshmallow snowmen peeps and a marshmallow star....

Oy vay, how'd you get space shuttle out of that?

Luckily I came along and shared my wealth of Kaybee knowledge with the lot o' youse.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Deb Marvin, I had no idea that Elmira housed its own Andersonville...

Elmira Prison Civil War

Marvin we might have to meet up in Elmira for a field trip.

Terri said...

Mary, I don't think you'll have to spend much time deciding what to do, because I think Bethany House will want it. I love the idea an d Iove that new cover.

Congrats Sue Mason on your new contract!

Mary Connealy said...

CAROL I have this vision of me warning people.

It's that robot from the Space Family Robinson...was that the show's name? That robot that swung it's arms and cried 'Danger Will Robinson! Danger Will Robinson!'

I can somehow put that on the Buy Link for my book...only it'll be about the novella.

Okay, I need to do a bit more work.

Jan Christiansen said...

I don't care how you publish these tidbits, but you MUST publish them...because how else will I get to read them? :)

Mary Connealy said...

Janet, I went and read through the comments on Facebook .... so many, I wish i'd been able to keep up with that AND talk and the LitFuse ladies were doing their best to tell me what was going on.

But someone there said The Bride Wore Spurs. So at least the title got out that way.


You know with the videos not working, I realized when I watched it later, I really didn't talk much about my own books, not the basics, like TITLES. I left that all up to the intro I did and one of the videos was the trailer and one was me reading the back cover copy of Fired Up. Well, when none of that worked, which I realized at some point, I should have sort of introduced myself and told a little about the books for heaven's sakes.

I did finally hold the books up and I know I said the titles at some point, but not until quite a ways in.


Mary Connealy said...

Donna, I agree about the disclaimer, for one thing I should make it very clear it's not a full length books. Not a romance. Not much comedy in it, though there is some, because I'm just sarcastic and can't control that completely. Some very dark humor sneaks in, even in Andersonville.
So yes, maybe I should include one of those endless forms in tiny print, that no one reads and require all buyers to click ACCEPT or DECLINE before the book downloads. And then when they whine later I can direct them to that form and say, "I told you it was different~!!!!!!!!!!"

Mary Connealy said...

I'll go stick Stuck Together at the bottom of this blog post.
Good idea. It is small.

Myra Johnson said...

Mary, Mary. You could write the phone book and it would turn out delightfully, charmingly funny and people would rush to read it!

YES, YES!!! Publish this prequel by hook or by crook.

Myra Johnson said...

Meant to say your covers on this series are spot-on! Love 'em!

Mary Connealy said...

UPDATED WITH LARGER PICTURE OF STUCK TOGETHER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE it's still not that large. I'm away from home and not on the compute I know how to make work...exactly.
so this is what I came up with.
Still it's bigger than the Frankenstein version! :)

Mary Connealy said...

If you click on the cover it gets pretty large. At least on this computer. I no longer believe I know anything.

Which, let's face it, I know what you're all thinking, "About time she figured that out."

Mary Connealy said...

TINA was it really INDY? Natasha handle it all for me. I wrote it, true, but none of the editing, cover, loading onto Amazon. All of that was just magically made to happen.

So, I'd either have her do it again or need to figure it out.

Mary Connealy said...

JAN I should probably give a medal for Discerning Readers.

Sadly, my children would NOT receive it.

Mary Connealy said...

Well, Jamie, the idea is to bridge this gap, between September and June, when book #3 comes out. So I should wait until halfway between shouldn't I?

I mean if I do it NOW that's not much of a bridge is it?


Mary Connealy said...

Poor Vince, I just had so much fun with him.

Vince OUR VINCE from here in Seekerville, I sincerely hope you never let your life get away from you like Vince Yates's did.

And Tina, well, I know Our fearless Leader Tina could handle all I throw at Tina Cahill. I have no doubt.

Mary Connealy said...

CHRISTMAS TREE, of course.

I had a friend who phoned me to tell me she was getting a divorce on the same day the Space shuttle Challenger exploded.

Her marriage and that explosion are forever intertwined in my head.

Which has nothing to do with kaybee's Christmas tree but it might explain why I see space shuttles a bit faster than some people.

It might also explain why I'm starving for a Rice Krispie Bar.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Terri, we'll see. They've got it now.

I wonder what they think?

Perhaps I should direct their attention to this very enthused response on todays' blog??? :)

Mary Connealy said...

Well, if it comes down to it, Jan and I can't figure anything else out, I'll just email it to anyone who asks. How about that. LOL

Jackie Smith said...

Congrats Susan Mason!!

Mary, you DO post the funniest and most entertaining them! Thanks.

And thanks for offering the GC.

Salyna xD said...

All the covers are beautiful! Love them<3

Christina Rich said...

Actually, Mary, I would much rather hang out here, research and write. :/ I don't prefer sewing and cutting ;)

Susan Anne Mason said...

Whew! Hi everyone and THANK YOU so much for all your good wishes!! Thank you to Keli, my little good-news-spreader!!

I don't have much news yet other than the titles will be changing and edits will start soon. Probably the first book will release within a year! They will be in e-book format as well as paperback (I believe-don't quote me yet!)

I'm just getting all the paperwork in order now - being Canadian has some challenges (other than snow!)

But it is all GOOD!

On top of all this, I spent Monday night (or very early Tuesday morning) in the ER with my mother, followed by all day Tues with doctors, xrays, and making her comfortable at home. She is suffering a relapse of a fractured spine. Now trying to get home care organized. So yeah, been a bit busy! LOL.

Thank you to everyone for all the love and support and encouragement! It means the world to me!


Susan Anne Mason said...

Oh, sorry, btw Mary! Love your new cover!! And I'm sure your novella will be devoured no matter which way you publish it!

Debby Giusti said...

Yay, Mary!!! A new novella!!! Publish it! Now!

Love your covers! How fun to have a Seekerville Cover Reveal! Such a special day.

I brought Seekerville Birthday Cake and ice cream, which should hold us over until Patti Jo's peach delight arrives later in the day.

Who wants cake and ice cream?

Debby Giusti said...

Andersonville isn't far from me, yet I've never gone there. Must put it on my list of things to do this fall.

Remember the TV movie about Andersonville that Ted Turner produced some years ago? It was filmed nearby. Lots of kids from the local high school had bit parts. They needed huge numbers of people for the battle scenes. Must re-watch the film. Maybe I'll see someone I know. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Sue, congrats on your sale!!! Fantastic. So happy for you!!!! YAY!!!

Sorry about Mama. Sending prayers and hugs.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Mary, I liked all your ideas except leaving it on a park bench and running away. All the others are good. Other than that, I got nothing.

But I do think that Vince on your cover is really, really cute.

Mary Connealy said...


Mary Connealy said...

Susan, sorry about your mom. Glad you're there to take care of her. God bless you both, sweetie.

Amy C said...

Hi Mary! It's great to see the new cover. The Webcast last night was a blast.

Mary Connealy said...

Debby, I'm dieting so cyber cake is the only kind I can have and I'd eat kaybee's space shuttle cake except then I'm afraid her ID picture would disappear. I'm not sure what the rules are on that.

Computers are tricky.

Mary Connealy said...

Jackie you must be referring to my photoshop meltdown.

See the thing is, I believe Photoshop has now become like... a household word. You know like KLEENEX even though you may be using PUFFS you still say KLEENEX, like that.

So when I say I PHOTOSHOP something I just mean I fool around with pictures. But then I see myself TYPE Photoshop and it's just too much.

I took a ONE NIGHT class in photoshop to make the banner on my blog which you can go see if you want, it's just a faded picture of Luke Stone's eyes cut from the cover of Swept Away and my usual picture, put together.

So I took careful notes, rushed home and immediately made one of the Fired Up cover.

Except it didn't work.


So if I ever want to do another one, I guess I'll have to take another class. They offer them routinely. It's not that long a drive. $15 for the class and one night of my life to get a new banner photo. If it wasn't a public admission of my stupidity I wouldn't even mind that much. :(

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks Salyna. I really love them too. But Vince more than Dare? I don't know. I really love that Dare cover. Luke's pretty cute, too.

Hard to pick a winner. It's just that Vince is new and fun. I always want something new and fun.

Uhoh, I think that might mean I'm shallow.....

Mary Connealy said...

Well, I live a long way out in the country, Melanie. No park benches around, so you're probably safe on that one. :)

Mary Connealy said...

Amy C, you came to the webcast, huh? Wow, what a deal. While I was in the middle of it, it was fine. The run up though, NERVOUS!!!
Oh man.

I was nervous.


Abbi Hart said...

Mary-Loving all of these mentions of ways to work old characters in to future books! So cool!
Also if you're looking for an easier way to put photos together you should try PhotoScape. It's a free downloaded program that I use to make all of my collages. There are tons of other uses for it but I only use the combine feature. It puts all of your pics in the sidebar and you just drag the ones you want into the middle and voila it makes a collage! You can even choose the number of pics you want in a row. Then you hit save and you're done!

Eva Maria Hamilton said...

Mary, what a great idea to write the backstory! I'm intrigued! If your publisher doesn't want it, you've got to get it out to your fans somehow. I'm thinking ebook and/or print on demand. And if you can shoot your name up a list by giving it away for free for a little while, then you might just create even more interest in your other titles :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'd like to point out that I love miracles. THAT CHICK TINA LOOKS NOTHING LIKE ME.


DebH said...

you don't have to take another class. i can do those little tweaks you want for blog stuff pretty quick-like for you so you don't have to be tortured by the computer program.

*will work for books*(heh)

DebH said...

I can even create a step by step sheet for you in case you don't want to bother me. i've taught people before via word docs. i can do it again.

Piper Huguley said...

Congrats to you Susan on your accomplishment and I'm praying for your mom.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Mary!!!! Vince is totally the hottest of your three cover models . . . not that you've ever met any of them or bother to notice whether they're hot or not. (See? Someone tuned into your webcast last night.) You did a fabulous job. You were funny yet real and practical and down to earth. Any woman who says with pride that her first job was being a homemaker for nearly 30 years and she considers that one of her greatest accomplishments makes me smile. A lot.

As for your novella . . . I actually kind of like the free serial blog post idea, or something similar to that. That's if Bethany doesn't want it, though. If they think up something brilliant to do with it, the kudos to them. :-)

Naomi Rawlings said...

Congrat's Susan!!! So happy for you. :-)

Naomi Rawlings said...

Oh goodness, okay. I was just skimming the comments and read something about Vince and Tina, and so I'm thinking Vince Mooney and Tina Radcliff are writing a story together. Wow! Glad I caught that it was all fictional, not real. But then, I suppose this is a common problem among novelists. We sometimes have trouble separating real life from fiction . . . or at least I do!

Cecelia said...

Wow! I'm impressed!! Publish it! Publish it yourself if Bethany House won't do it! :-)

~Cecelia Dowdy~

Mary Connealy said...

Abbi, I guess I could try it, but you make it sound so easy that when I fail I'm going to be super depressed.

in fact i'm typing slower every second and i can no longer bring myself to capitalize or use punctuationorthespacebar

Mary Connealy said...

DebH, I don't think I write fast enough to bribe anyone to bail me out of the stuff I get into ... but I have totally saved your email. Never fear!!!!!!!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Well, Deb, how about I email you MY step by step, carefully writting in language I can understand word document explaining it all.......and you can tell me why it doesn't work for me.

Mary Connealy said...

Naomi, I got a questions from someone named Naomi, I wondered if it was you. Only first names....except of course for the question from Ruth Logan Herne!!!

But how many Naomis can there be, huh?

Thanks for coming.

I'd like a show of cyber hands. Who all stayed for the bitter end just because they were pretty sure they were at a train wreck and wanted to see just how back it was gonna get.

I totally would do something like that btw.

Mary Connealy said...

I'm not gonna judge you.

Mary Connealy said...

Cecelia, well, I am definitely going to figure out a way to make it available SOMEHOW.

I just don't know how yet.

But I wrote it. I'm not going to just file it away.

I had a little too much fun doing it not to share it.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Well, maybe one day when I'm as cool as Ruth Logan Herne, I'll get my full name listed for a question. The sad thing was, I wanted to ask something just so I could look supportive and all that, but I couldn't think of a good one. Wish I would have thought of the model question myself. Rats!

And I actually didn't stay till the very end. Was there a train wreck? Now I want to go watch. ;-) But a weird ad thing started playing about three minutes before you were supposed to be done and then it went to another ad and not back to you and I couldn't figure out how to get back to you because I'm totally computer illiterate. So I said goodbye a couple minutes early. But don't blame me. It's all the computer's fault. Totally. (I'm actually convinced every evil in the modern world is a computer's fault. Kind of scary, huh?)

Abbi Hart said...

Mary-It really is that easy! I promise!

Jenny Blake said...

Im late commenting had a bad night and now waiting to go see the dr and hope she has some answers for this headache (cant add the s as its one headache thats lasted weeks).

I for one would love reading the back story. Oh you had me at Andersonville. I saw the movie showing how horrible the place was so would love to read the story of how they met and bonded etc.

(Im still wanting Winnie to write that mail bride story where she goes through a portal to another time).

Tina Radcliffe said...

Naomi, you won last night in Mary's Webcast. BOOTS!!!

I want a picture when they arrive.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Yeah, I can see Vince Mooney and Tina Radcliffe writing a book together.

From prison...maybe.

The plotter and the pantser would kill each other.

Naomi Rawlings said...

I won something? Really? How do you know??? Oh, this is super cool. Wait. Can I wear the boots in snow? If I can't wear them in snow, I don't know what I'm supposed to do with them.

Naomi Rawlings said...

Well see, if Vince and Tina are plotter and pantser, then the plotter would probably plot a way to kill the pantser and then have to write the book from prison while the pantser was dead.

All fictional, of course. :-)

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

Here’s another idea: Put your novella in an Indie anthology. That way it’s not just one novella at 99 cents. This way you spread the risk of a few bad reviews.

Here’s a few ways to go:

1. Three Mary prequels: one for “The Bossy Bridegroom” – what was the prestory like on that one? One for the Alaska books. The one you already have.

2. Three novellas by three different authors: Janet Dean, Cara Lynn James, and Mary Connealy. The theme could be the year: “1888”. In the first novella a character mentions President Cleveland running for a second term. Second novella mentions Harrison getting the Republican nomination at the convention and the last novella mentions that Harrison won the election – but Cleveland got the most popular votes! That would link all three stories together with just one or two sentences added to each novella. I like to tie stories in this way.

3. Three Seeker novellas – a mix of anything, historic, paranormal and contemporary. These could all be gateways to author series.

I like the bigger “Stuck Together” art. I think that hero is one of the best of all your books.

Pam said...

I'd love to read more of your novella; the excerpt left me wanting to find out more. I really enjoyed the camaraderie of the guys in Swept Away. (I'm hoping my daughter will give me Fired Up for my birthday in a few days). The cover for Stuck Together is great (all the covers of your books are, especially those that feature the cowboys). Please don't leave your novella on a park bench! Publish it in some way, in a novella collection (maybe all the back stories in one book?), or even on your blog. I always enjoy your books.
Your Facebook party was fun last night; it was interesting to watch and hear your answers to the questions.

Chill N said...

OH MARY, THANK YOU!!! I'll spare the details but I signed up for the webcast, received the reminder, was all ready ... and didn't get to watch it. I was so hoping there'd be a way to see the webcast after the fact. And there is. How cool is that? Thank you. Again.

And yes the webcast will be there forever but just think -- on the screen you'll always be young!

About the teaser you posted -- I want to read more. Having read Seth's story (am I crazy for liking him best of the Kincaids?), Luke's story (Ruthy was just wonderful), and now into Dare's, the idea of stepping back in time, to see some of what shaped them into the men I've met ... you bet.

I haven't read comments yet, so don't know what others have suggested. Maybe someone has already asked this question: what concerns you about sharing the story? Not as much humor? I would expect a more serious story just based on the subject matter. At the same time, humor runs in these men's thoughts from time to time. Hmm. I'm not sure that makes sense but I hope you know what I mean.

I'll shush for now and go read comments ...

Nancy C

kaybee said...

MARY, RUTHY ET AL (a chance to use my high school Latin); It is the Fruity Pebbles Christmas Tree. It ended up as my profile picture in an earlier blog and I've never removed it. I need to do it soon to ramp up my professional profile.
ANYWAY, I make a different statement dessert with cereal every year for Christmas With My In-Laws. The first year I did the Christmas tree. The snowmen are supposed to be carolers. I had pieces of a Hershey bar as the carol books, but they fell off or got eaten. The second year I did a North Pole theme, with Eskimos (can we still say that? I do not have a clue) in Cheerios. To get the proper skin tone, I used coconut marshmallows. They were ice fishing and I used Gummy Fish. The third year I did the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Cocoa Krispies. I used chocolate bars for the doors and made stained-glass windows from melted Life Savers. I put two electric candles inside, so it looked like it was glowing from within. This year I just did a traditional gingerbread house. I was hoping to do the White House for Christmas 2013, but may not be able to because of the shutdown. Can you see why I want to be on Yankee Belle Café?
OH this is a great week -- on vacation, getting writing done, and Mary and Ruthy blogging on subsequent days. Oh, the joy.

kaybee said...

The only way this week would be better would be if I got representation, a contract, a grandchild or a better metabolism.

Chill N said...

Okay, I can't remember who said it in the comments -- and I am not scrolling through ALL those comments to provide proper attribution -- but she said what I think: "...self-pub if Bethany doesn't want it. Be clear in the blurb that it is a bit of a departure from your usual and go from there." Truly, you have the name. Publish it and they will buy.

Oh ... chalk me in the stalker column. I got the series connection.

Nancy C

Chill N said...

SUE what wonderful news! Which stories??

Nancy C

Natalie Monk said...

Mary, I love the idea of using it as an incentive to subscribe to your newsletter. ESPECIALLY since you managed to sneak some romance in there. And if somebody don't like that it ends sad for Callie, they'll just have to read Over the Edge again! :) Very smart and win-win.

Already has me hooked! VERY interested in watching your webcast! Cool!

Heading to church. Will watch it tonight.

Cindy W. said...

In answer to your question Mary, "Do you really live in bear country?" No. But I wouldn't mind living close enough to go visit. My email address is based on my passion for bears and my love for country music. I use to collect bears, stuffed or statues or pictures, not the real thing. One of my favorite pieces in my collection is a grizzly bear picture done in crewel. Country singer Lee Greenwood's mom made the picture for me and his step-dad made the gorgeous frame it's in. I cried like a baby when she gave it to me. I treasure it even more now as she has now gone on to be with the Lord. I miss her.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Julie Lessman said...


And SOOOOO much money!!!! ;)

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover!! Vince is sure easy on the eyes ... both Yates AND Mooney!!

The webcast was SO much fun and I loved the cows and calves and Ivan's cameo appearance!!


Julie Lessman said...




Pam Hillman said...

Vince, Jonas, Luke, and Dare in Andersonville - All I can say is WOW!

Mary, you sure do know how to pack a a lot of story into one small package!

Pam Hillman said...

Congratulations SUE!!! :)

Audra Harders said...

Mary, you're a born story-teller. I read just enough of Vince's story to be tapping my foot wanting the book so I can finish it.

Your mind is an awesome place...

Great brainstorming, well more like ramble, but hey, it strung thoughts together on a whim better than I can when I think about it.

Good job, kiddo!

Audra Harders said...

SUE! Congratulations! Now I have to swim through all the comments to find the details.

So Happy for you!!! Oooo, dancing in Colorado!!

Susan Anne Mason said...

Thanks again, everyone!!

Walt Mussell said...

Mary, I'm late to the party today. However, if Bethany doesn't want it, then there is no reason you shouldn't just self-publish it.

Mary Connealy said...

Cindy W, when you said Lee Greenwood's mother gave you that I gasped aloud. WOW, you know famous people!!!!

Mary Connealy said...

WALT, welcome to the party. You're not to late to vote!!! :)

Mary Connealy said...

Nancy C, Christian fiction fans are the NICEST STALKERS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!! And honestly when it comes to you folks who hang around Seekerville, if you think about it when we see each other at conferences, I'm pretty much stalking you all right back.

Mary Connealy said...


This is a very sad and tragic story. And yet I can see the writer in you alive and well, making it great. LOL

CatMom said...

Well, guess I'm the late-comer (been gone most of the day---medical--ugh) but still wanted to comment, Mary--because you MUST get that published! NO one would pass up a Mary Connealy story!

CONGRATS to Sue Mason!!! I'd Snoopy dance if I wasn't so tired and sleepy right now! YAY SUE!!!!

Hugs, Patti Jo zzzzzzzzz

Mary Connealy said...


Terri said...

Yep! Great idea.

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Mary, I missed your Facebook party and webcast. waaaaaahhh. Hopefully I can find it on video.

I love the way you stuck together Stuck Together et al. :D

And isn't Andersonville Prison the one mentioned on the tv show Who Do You Think You Are? Where Kelly Clarkson went and stood there and they talked about her ggggrandfather? who escaped while being transferred to another prison and then was shot by his own side because they didn't recognize his tattered and dirty uniform?

Sounds like a great book!

Mary Preston said...

Definitely hoping read these books sometime soon.

I love all of the covers.

Esther Rose said...

Oh, that story looks interesting!

And the covers make me curious. :)

Tracey Hagwood said...

wow, this sounds like the beginning of a really intriging story, looking forward to reading it!

love the covers!

Tracey Hagwood said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie McNutt said...

Mary, A reader here but had to tell you I love love, love the idea of letting us learn more of your characters in Closer Than Brothers! I love the characters in your books And the story lines. To put out a printed copy would be great in addition to e because not everyone has access to e books. To include on blog or newsletter great idea to but please make this available to your readers!
Keep the books coming they are always first on my to read list.

Carole Jarvis said...

Mary, I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed the webcast. I know your were nervous, but I love your sense of humor and you really did a great job. Getting to know you like that really makes your books come alive. And you answered some of my questions, which was great!

I'd love to see your novella published as an ebook regardless of how you go about it. I get to review the first two Trouble in Texas books soon, and I'd be glad to review & help publicize your novella as well if you ever need that.

thegreenmockingbird said...

So, I was going to comment way BEFORE I read about the giveaway!

You have to publish the backstory somehow. I'll gladly be your first paying customer! I just recently read Swept Away and Fired Up, and I loved both of them. I think the next cover is just perfect - that's exactly how I pictured Vince.

Keep writing!

Wanda B said...

Hi Miss Mary! I have several things I want to say so I'm going to just jump right in!

First of all, I LOVE your books (notice the plural form of the word?)! I have read several and have never regretted any of them and always wait anxiously for the next one.

Having said that, I can't wait for Stuck Together! I loved Fired Up and I loved Vince. I laughed out loud when he talked about water spurting from Tina's eyes. LOL The cover is awesome, by the way!

Okay, on the the next thing. The Novella about how they met... send it to ME!! I am wiping drool as I type. :)

I loved the Live Webcast. It was my first ever and I am so glad I was able to make it. I didn't win anything but I had a blast! I hope you do that with the next book.

I just wanted to say I love your sense of humor and the way you blend it into your books. A book that can make me laugh and turn right around and cry is golden for me and you always manage to do both. Loved, loved, loved the Montana Marriages Trilogy. Belle was a hoot!

I also want to say thank you for all the times you have taken me away from my troubles and into a whole other world.

Oh, by the way, you did a great job on the graphic even without Photoshop. :)

Wanda Barefoot

Micky said...

Please enter me in the drawing. I have some of your mysteries.

Bookishqueen said...

I think that you should publish it. It would be fun.