Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Author Interview with Mary Connealy ~ The Unexpected Champion Blog & Review Tour + Giveaway!!


Welcome to the Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Unexpected Champion by Mary Connealy with JustRead Publicity Tours!


9781493417209 Title: The Unexpected Champion  
Series: High Sierra Sweethearts, Book 3  
Author: Mary Connealy  
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers  
Release Date: March 5, 2019  
Genre: Historical Romance / Western  

They’re as Different as Could Be.  
But They’ll Need to Trust Each Other to Survive the Wilderness . . . and the Dangers Chasing Them.

City dweller John McCall never expected to be out in the High Sierras of 1868 on a wild-goose chase to find the Chiltons’ supposedly lost grandson. But now that he’s out here, things have gotten even more complicated, mostly due to wildcat Penny Scott. She’s not like any woman he’s ever met–comfortable in the woods, with a horse, and with a gun.

When Penny and John are taken against their will by a shadowy figure looking for evidence they don’t have, both realize they’ve stumbled into something dangerous. With their friends and family desperately searching for them, Penny and John must make a daring escape.

When they emerge back into the real world, they discover their kidnapper just won’t stop. This city man and country woman must bring a powerful, ruthless man to justice, all while fighting a very inconvenient attraction to each other.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book |


Tell us a little about yourself and your writing journey. 

I wrote for ten years before I got my first book published and, at the end of that decade, when I finally sold my first book, I had TWENTY finished books on my computer. Now that may be hard work and passion…or it may be obsessive compulsive disorder. But my husband let me write without getting a net so here I am today. Of those twenty books I have gotten all but…maybe two of them published. And I now, with the release of The Unexpected Champion, have 61 books in print!!!

Wow! That is an amazing number of books. I always enjoy your stories. Where is your favorite place to write? 

I’m very low maintenance as a writer. Let’s call it FOCUSED! I do most of my writing in my recliner in the living room. But I can write anywhere. In quiet, in noise. At home, in a restaurant or library. Me, my laptop and time. My favorite is the recliner. 

To be able to write anywhere...That is a real talent in and of itself! What’s the one food item you can’t live without? 

There’s nothing I can’t live without…and I’ve proved that by eating wildly and with no negative attitudes about anything. If one food were denied me, I’d just happily munch on something else. I am an equal opportunity eater. 

I am the same way except when it comes to chocolate. I have to have my chocolate!Is there one theme you lean towards including in your stories more than another? If so, why do you think that is? 

I think I always come back to family. A deep need to have my family near me. If I have a book where the young couple go off away from their families to live, as so often happened in the wild west, it bothers me and I have to FORCE myself to let them go. (cue the Frozen theme song—Let it Go!) 

I love that theme of family! My children are spread out now, and one is in the Midwest serving in the USAF. Who would you pick to play the lead roles if The Unexpected Champion was made into a movie? 

Well, currently I am in love with Scott Eastwood. I’d pick him for John McCall and Penny…She’s so tough. I’m floundering here. How about a young Sandra Bullock? That’s more an admission I don’t go to many movies and know many young actresses than anything else. 

I admit I had to look up Scott Eastwood. I don't think I've watched anything he's been in but I do love Sandra Bullock's movies. Good choices!! Can you give us a sneak peek into what book you are working on right now? When does it release? 

I’m doing final galley edits on book #1 of a new series, coming in October. The Brides of Hope Mountain series. Book #1 is Aiming for Love. 

Josephine Nordegrin has grown up wild, on a mountaintop living only with her two sisters. They were trained by their reclusive grandparents to stay away from people. 

Dave Warden invades Jo’s mountain home with a herd of cattle. The dire warnings from her long-dead grandparents fade as a fascinating world opens up for Jo. A handsome man, his wise and kind parents. Different, delicious food, and strange new ideas. Jo wants to know about all of it, but to reach out to the strangers she has to defy her frightened big sister and risk turning her back on a lifetime of fear. 

The newcomers even have strange notions about the Bible. They claim there is only one while Jo believes there are two and knows both of them by heart. Dave and his family have no reverence for parables like…The Boy Who Cried Wolf. 

Jo has to save their souls without sliding into their unbelieving ways. And she might be able to hold firm if Ma Warden wasn’t such a good cook and Dave Warden wasn’t so kind-hearted and handsome. 

I like the sound of this one! I'll look forward to reading it. Do you have a book you’re looking forward to reading this summer? 

I just got, in the mail, White City by Grace Hitchcock. I have only read the first chapter but it’s about a serial killer at the Chicago World’s Fair. Have you heard of the book Devil in the White City? This is set at the same place. I can’t wait to get back into it. 

I read that book! It's a chilling tale.  I think I would like to read White City by Grace Hitchcock too. 

Thank you for being with us today, Mary! It was a joy learning more about you and your writing. 


MaryConnealy by Ginger Murray Photography 
 Photo courtesy of 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 MARY: website, facebook, twitter, instagram

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

the unexpected champion giveaway


 (1) winner will win
  • a complete set of all three High Sierra Sweethearts books (print, US only)
  • $20 Barnes & Noble gift card
Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight April 8, 2019 and last through 11:59 pm April 15, 2019. US only. Winners will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!


  1. Replies
    1. I've enjoyed all of Mary's books I've read. I hope you have an opportunity to read this one. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I always love the humor in Mary's books!

    1. Mary is hilarious! I know that I'll laugh out loud when I read one of her books. :-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Patty! Have a great week.

  3. Great interview! I loved getting to know more about Mary and her next book sounds intriguing! Can't wait!

    1. Thanks, Chanel! Glad you stopped by to participate in the tour. Have a great day!

  4. Wonderful interview. I can't wait to read this book. I love Mary's books. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity and good luck everyone.

  5. Anne, Thank you for sharing Mary Connelay's book. I'm excited to read this series!

  6. This books sounds great. Thanks for being a part of this blog tour.

  7. I like books set in the West.
    Thanks for the contest.


I am so delighted that you've taken time to come by and comment. Blessings for a joy-filled day!

1 Corinthians 1:3 ~ Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.