Nosy in Nebraska. . .or. . .Naptime

Drawing today on Petticoats & Pistols for a signed copy of


Nosy in Nebraska
releasing June 1st.
And I baby sat last Sunday for my granddaughter Elle. So, trying to pick which of those was most important to write about…….well, that’s a killer. Because while it is true that I worked thousands of hours, chained to a computer, the sun rose and set without notice while I was immersed in plot, character, murder, fear of mice and caffeine, and all that is very important, still, Elle’s really cute.
So the book Nosy in Nebraska contains three books. The books first released in a book club my publisher has for cozy mysteries. They were really nice to let me in on it because contemporary cozy mysteries aren’t really my thing. I write historical westerns in case you didn’t know.
BUT I really think of myself as a writer of romantic comedy. THAT is my genre. The fact that the romantic comedy lands in Texas in 1880, is just incidental. So, Nosy in Nebraska is romantic comedy for sure. Still, be warned if you read it, no one at any time in this book, pushes the front of their Stetson back with one thumb and says, “I reckon this is shootin’ trouble, little missy.”
So it’s important that you know what you’re getting if you want to win a copy of this book.
But…is it MORE important than the fact that Elle seems to be getting a little SLEEPY? I don’t THINK so!

I wrote Nosy in Nebraska with pretty much two things in mind.

ONE…that Algona, Iowa is the Home of the World’s Largest Cheeto. (I am NOT making that up) .

TWO…that I have a nice list of quirks that I’ve never used in a book before…personal quirks. Why make quirks UP if I have my own. So Of Mice. . .and Murder has, as the heroine, a woman who is terrified of mice. And she just happens to be living in Melnik, Nebraska, The Home of the World Largest Field Mouse. (see I couldn’t copy Algona exactly, right?) So that’s Of Mice. . .and Murder…the first book of three short cozy mystery, romantic comedies in Nosy in Nebraska.
And I worked really hard on that book. I’d never written a cozy mystery before, so I had a steep learning curve and I HATE learning, such a nuisance and my head is somewhat atrophed from age so it’s painful for me.

But did all that hard work equate to the hard work of rocking poor sleepy little Elle? I mean a grandma has to have her priorities, you know?
 Then the next book, Pride and Pestilence, I needed a new murder. This isn’t all that convenient because there really aren’t many murders in small town Nebraska. So we’re sort of pushing the envelope of reality here. Of course the story is set in a town full of quirky characters who adore a really large field mouse, so I suppose reality has already been sacrificed, so sure, let’s kill off someone else.

I found out something about myself writing these books. (horrible to find out new things, I’m in a comfortable spot with my current self-image, sure I’m lying to myself but who doesn’t do that? Denial is a beautiful thing). What I found out is, I really hate killing off good people. It just makes me feel bad. So, I created CREEPY people to kill off. Seemed like the right thing to do. I could just snap them like twigs.
In Pride and Pestilence I went with the shy, insomniac bookworm historical society museum curator as my heroine. Another one of my quirks, the book worm, the social dork, also I’m an insomniac. My heroine was just so happy sitting in her museum full of artifacts and books–late at night. Re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo and contemplating revenge.
So, in my writing I’m dealing with murder, vengeance, comedy, True Love, and a giant mouse, but when Elle goes limp in my arms and I get to hug her close and brush my cheek against her soft, sweet smelling face, and hold her dimpled little hand, well a whole novel full of laughter and drama could just pass me by without notice.
I cropped the picture above so tightly because it created a sense of intimacy, warmth, love, peace and beauty….also, I could cut off my extra chin without expense or pain. If only real life was so easy!
And the final book in the anthology, or 3-in-1 collection, which you will have a chance to win if you leave a comment is–The Miceman Cometh.
This has a heroine who is an anthropologist…also a klutz. Trust me the part of my personality that is reflected in Dr. Madeline Stuart is NOT the highly educated scientist. I chose an anthropologist because I think it’s a funny field of study because nobody really knows what it is (or maybe I just don’t) and they mix it up with archeology and I saw some opportunity for comedy there. I have a niece, Heidi, who is an anthropologist and I could ask her some questions, learn about this misunderstood field and shed the light of truth.
I COULD have done that.
Instead, I just made stuff up. But it’s NICE to know I could. By the way, Heidi is as gracful as a butterfly wafting on a summer breeze. Maddy tumbling down stairs and tripping over her pant leg…alllllll me.
So yes, it’s true and important that I’m bringing light into the darkness of anthropology, but look how completely asleep Elle is, she is so CUTE. That is so much more fun and important than anthropology and science and even a murder mystery.

It occurs to me as I write this that you all hang around Petticoats & Pistols because you like western romance…that’s the whole point right? So, as a salute to the true interests of our beloved readers at P & P, I did get this one picture of Elle and her Aunt Shelly, in cowboy hats. I think that’s enough to unite us all. Can’t we all just get along?

I will leave you with a bit of math so this entire blog is about education,

literature and cuteness.
Nosy in Nebraska + Grandma + Elle = Bliss.
Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a copy of
Nosy in Nebraska.

Or buy it here:

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

89 thoughts on “Nosy in Nebraska. . .or. . .Naptime”

  1. Hello Mary,

    Your granddaughter is just adorable. Love the post and the descriptions of the stories. They sound exciting and I can’t wait to read them. Count me in for the contest. Have a great day.

  2. I’ve already won a copy, so if you draw my name, pick again. I don’t want to deprive someone of their own copy.

    I just had to comment on the pictures though. They are utterly adorable. I love to watch sleeping babies. They are so sweet. Of course, you have the best part being a grandma. At least that’s what my mom says. I also like the one of her in the hat. She just looks so laid-back and cool. Great pics!

  3. Good morning ladies. I am trying to taper off with the snapshots of Elle. I’m afraid she’ll see me coming and bright lights will start exploding in her eyes…a pavlovian response…and she will fear me.

    For now, I’ve just turned off the flash, but I’m TRYING to taper off.

  4. JenT won a copy of Nosy in Nebraska by subscribing to my newsletter. You can all do that here in time to be in the newsletter drawing for my July release, Montana Rose…back to cowboys for me after this side trip into murder mysteries.

    You can subscribe to my newsletter through my website

  5. The baby is so sweet I love them that size when they are beginning to learn and they do so, so fast.
    Please enter me into the drawing.


  6. Great as always to catch a glimpse into that wild and wooly and oh so funny mind of yours, Mary! And who could fault you for showing off such a little beauty? Congratulations on the Nebraska series. Looking forward to moving up to Montana next.

    Hmm…a series in Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, and now Montana. Oh, and don’t I remember a book in Alaska? Sounds like a fun career path – writing across the 50 states. Five down, only 45 to go. If anyone can do it, you can.

  7. There is nothing more presious than a child asleep in the arms of her grandmother who loves and adores her, or maybe an aunt who will spoil her niece rotten ( I know because I do this on a regular bases). I love your new 3-1 that is coming out. It sounds like a real page turner. Mice and Mystery, what a concepts..Chuckling

  8. Aren’t grandbabies just the best of all that God created? 🙂 She is precious!

    Your books sound great – can’t wait to read them!

    Please enter me for the drawing!

  9. Mary, you are definitely a woman in love with that beautiful girl! Give Elle a kiss for me! And good luck with Nosy in Nebraska! I need a copy to go with my other “favorite writers from LHS ’74”! In other words, YOU!!!!

  10. Karen W, it’s not like I get to TRAVEL to all those places. If only. No, I sit at home behind my computer.

    Google is the closest I seem to get to a vacation.

  11. Kathleen O, go back and look at the picture of Elle with her hand showing. Look at the dimples in her knuckles. They are so cute I almost wrote a whole blog post about knuckle dimples.

  12. Hi, Edwina. This whole grandma thing is so fun. I told me daughter though that i would NEVER spoil her…she has a T-Shirt that says, “If Mom Says No, Ask Grandma.”

    I said, I’d never over rule her parents discipline and rules. Unless they weren’t IMPORTANT rules of course. 🙂

  13. IRIS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love it that you stopped by. Small town Nebraska girls UNITE!

    You should phone me if you’re ever in town. I’d love to visit. Talk to an actual person. Step away from the fictional life I live, alone, with my computer, having both sides of a conversation myself.

    The weird part??? (yeah, there was no weird part to that last paragraph) The weird part is, I even argue with myself. I can’t agree with ME!

  14. Hi, Michelle. I hestitated to use pictures of Elle, knowing you’d all be insanely jealous of the fact that my granddaughter turned out to be the CUTEST BABY WHO EVER LIVED. But that’s just a burden you will have to bear. I could not resist.

  15. Hi, Kelly. I hope you like the mystery. I found it the most complex writing I’ve ever done. Red herrings. Suspicious hints, dangling threads that had to be tied up.

    I loved doing it but it was complicated.

  16. Mary,
    I agree grandchildren are wonderful. I wish I could babysit mine, but they live too far away. We don’t have any tiny ones like you do, ours are all growing up. There is nothing sweeter than a baby’s breath on your face. I love it.

    A few weeks ago,my daughter handed me a copy of Gingham Mountain. “Have you read this?” She asked. I replied, “No, but it’s on my to-read list. It is next in line.” “I loved it,” she said. “Do you have the others?” I did have the others and she had read part of them. My husband read Gingham Mountain during our down time in Scotland and he has read the others since we came home. He loves your books.

  17. What a beautiful grandbaby! So sweet! I would love to win a copy of your new mystery. I have so enjoyed your books in the past.

  18. Hi, Maureen. You show excellent taste. 😀

    Kathy, I have had a great response to my books from men…if they can be convinced to read them. Getting them to open page one is the trick.

    Hi, Mary. Your name is in the hat. You know, I need to get my husband’s Stetson out and have a ceremonial drawing using his real cowboy hat. How fun would that be? 🙂

  19. Hi Mary,
    Nothing gets me more interested in a blog than baby pictures!! How adorable Elle is. I can see your bliss in all the pics! Congrats on the new grandchild (might I add, I’m really jealous, but there’s hope for me, one of my kids got married!) and congrats on the release of your new book!
    Wishing you lots of love and sales!!

  20. LOL, guys do read………….believe it or not. It helps iffin thar are pics too. Just foolin around. Reading is a good past time in winter. Kinda tough though with spring planting. Congrats with the new youngin!

  21. Hey, Dave. I didn’t say guys don’t read.

    I meant guys don’t read romance novels. Or at least they SAY they don’t. Most of the detective fiction and even (gasp) Louis L’Amour books are, at their heart, romance novels. So guys like romance, too, they just don’t like to admit it.
    And yes, that is a massive and unfair generalization. My favorite kind of generalization.

    So if I say, “Gingham Mountain is a romance novel,” well, right off it’s a tough sell. But if they’ll just crack that book open, they’re in for an action packed ride full of shooting and fist fighting and stampedes…and oh, yeah, a girl and guy fall in love, too.

  22. I haven’t been to this site before but I think I will be back. Thank you for the first smile I’ve had all day, actually several. I think that your book sounds great, I love all three ideas. Best of luck with it.

  23. Hi, Carly. Sweet talk about my grandbaby is always a wise approach when trying to win something from me. Nice.

    Elizabeth! Hi. Thanks for coming over.

    Mare, you actually picked a goofy day. I am the whacko of the lovely Petticoats & Pistols ladies. Please come back. You will find the very best of western romance here, and all the interesting things we find as we research and write our books. Except when it’s my turn.

    Then you find mayhem. I’m in counselling. All the Fillies are chipping in.

  24. Mary, what an adorable little girl. I’m still dealing with my own kids, so no grandbaby joys yet. Should I feel old, though, if my 4 yr old son just said “Thank you, Ma’am.” to me?

    I love your sense of humor. And your books. I’d love to win Nosy in Nebraska and will definitely sign up for your newsletter. I’m working on attracting more fans, too – all my friends love humor and romance, so they should love you 😀

  25. Hi Mary, I followed your link from Twitter (@amyfishgirl) and I can’t wait to read Nosy in Nebraska! I just finished Lassoed in Texas series, and loved them all!
    My son is almost 5 months. Isn’t this a rewarding time? I truly love getting snuggled when I get home from work. Elle is very beautiful and I’m glad you get to spend lots of time with her at this age.
    I agree you should get out the Stetson for an official drawing!
    Have a great day!

  26. Oh, Mary, isn’t being a gramma the absolute best? My little boy is totally the latest love of my life. And Nosy in Nebraska is calling out to me…you just make me laugh.

    Thanks for the great start to my day. (Sorry, I’m a late sleeper and it IS the West Coast… 🙂

  27. Hi, Tammy? You really signed up for my newsletter? Wow, you’re the one. (very old joke-but I’m a grandma now, Very Old is just part of who I am!) Sign up here:

    And, if you DO sign up for the newsletter, here is my promise to you. Not only will I NOT sell your information….I probably won’t ever even send you a newsletter. So it’s not like I’ll be flooding your inbox.

    An arranged marriage, Tanya? You know I’m good with this. Let me email my daughter and I’ll get back to you.

  28. I wrote a response to AMY from Twitter and it vanished. Now I’ll rewrite it then it will re-appear and I’ll end up looking stupid.

    Of course that’s how most of my endeavors end so why not this blog, huh???

    Here’s pretty much what I said to Amy before.

    Twitter worked? I can’t believe anyone really reads me on that thing.
    I just went and checked. I have 148 followers and EVERYONE OF THEM loves me for myself.

    I’m sure.

  29. Mary!
    Thanks for the just after noon smiles! It must be difficult to think about writing when such a cutie is around. Maybe if she keeps wearing her cowboy hat she’ll end up being a heroine someday.

  30. She is a doll. I am so jealous! I have a wonderful 11 year old grandson that I wouldn’t trade for anything but a granddaughter is another story. He is getting to the age where grandpa is more fun (although he does come to work with me at the library and is a big help). His mom has informed me that she is out of production mode. Her older sister is too busy with work, grad school, remodeling a house to seriously want to try. If it happens, they’ll be thrilled, but they aren’t trying. I’m not about to put pressure on them – he is an only child and his parents have put enough on for 3 families. Since our son is single, there better not be any coming from that direction. So many people I know don’t like the baby stage – it is my favorite. I am so glad you are getting to enjoy her. They grow up so fast.
    Your book sounds wonderful. Quirky characters and humor are a great combination. Sounds like a perfect summer read! Relax and enjoy that little darling.

  31. Hi, Colleen, you know that little hat Elle is wearing is one I’ve got around the house. I use it as a candy dish at book signings. And by the way, Cheryl St. John and I will be doing a book signing in Independence, Missouri June 6th, eleven till two.

    So come by, fish around for goodies in the almost-never-been-worn hat…and check out our books.

    Dog Eared Books
    3625 S. Noland Rd. ~ Independence, MO 64055

    More details here:

  32. Hi, Patricia, he helps at the library? Wow, what a great kid. I suspect every age is fun. I’m hoping to find out…one age at a time.

    Elle’s a cutie, Phyllis. No brag, just fact. 🙂

  33. Just finished Gingham Mountain and am ready for your next release.

    Elle is beautiful. She ranks right up there with my four grandchildren who are 16, 15, 12, & 10.

    Hi, Iris D, from an almost neighbor and another LHS graduate.

  34. Sweet, sweet, sweet. How do you get any writing done at all? What a little lovebug.

    Don’t enter me in the drawing, because my copy of Nosy in Nebraska is coming ANY DAY NOW. I ordered it what seems like YEARS ago. (I’m feeling like a bit of a drama queen today, can you tell?)

    Anyway, I’m glad Barbour let you experiment with this genre. Anything by Mary C. is excellent fiction, Stetsons or not.

  35. Excuse me, Sue??? Ranks right UP THERE?????


    There’s been a scientific study done and she was named officially cutest baby ever. I’ll get the link to you so you can read it.

    I’m sure yours are lovely too, however. 🙂

    Hi, Erica. Thanks for coming over. The only reason I get any writing done is because I am denied access to her by her parents who insist on living in their own home!


  36. Mary,
    I get my Twitterfeed on my Blackberry, so I can check it anywhere!
    Makes is easy to follow people and not get behind.

  37. I just signed up for your newsletter. I like receiving reminders from authors when they have new books coming out. Your granddaughter is absolutely beautiful.

  38. Hi Mary,

    Loved the cowboy hat pictures.


    PS I’m intrigued by your Cowboy Christmas cover that keeps revolving over on the Seekerville blog…released for this Christmas?

  39. Saw a link on facebook which I followed to find this. Adorable baby and intriguing book!

  40. Hi, Amy. I think Blackberry and Twitter are not officially ‘english language’ word choices.

    Judy A. You signed up for the newsletter huh? That’s so sweet. I’m a little weepy.
    Weepy because now I’m going to have to write one.

    I send one out about every time I release a book, so you won’t be inundated.

  41. I LOVE that new cover for Cowboy Christmas. That book releases in September, just in time for you all to buy one for EVERYONE ON YOUR CHRISTMAS LIST.

    Just a thought.

    The cover that is up on Amazon has been changed and I love the new one.

    It is correct on Seekerville and on my blog. It’s mostly finalized but I don’t really have final permsission to use it. Well, I do, just be warned it could change in minor ways. But that cool cowboy with the lasso, and that great overhead gate post, is mostly the final cover.
    You’ll have to wait while other book covers flip past, but it’s there, on the right side:

  42. There is nothing sweeter than a sweet baby!

    Would love to win the book.

    A J

  43. As the grandmother of ten, ranging in age from
    eighteen years to one year, I can hereby attest
    that there is little in the world better than
    snuggling with a sweet, sleepy baby! Or snuggling
    with your 18 y/o who will be leaving for college
    in a few months. Or snuggling with any of the
    eight between the oldest & youngest. OK, I have
    to say it (or even sing it!): I enjoy being a grandmother!

    Pat Cochran

  44. This reminds me of Funniest Home Videos where Tom Bergeron pits cute babies with other videos. Who won? Elle, of course? And the book! It’s a tie! Put me in the pot, I want that book.

    Oh, and speaking of grandbabies? I will have a fourth added in January. Wahoo!

  45. Mary,
    LOVE the Elle pics. She is just TOO precious for words. Besides I have written 10 pages today so I am out of words. hehe
    Looking forward to your book. If I don’t win I will, of course, run right out and buy it.
    Email me sometime so we can chat.

  46. Mildred said, “She’s just as cute as everyone said.” You mean, MIldred that there’s been talk? Buzz

    about the cutest baby ever having been born?

    I am not surprised. Word was bound to get out. 😀

  47. Hi, Kathleen, new grandbaby on the way, huh? All right!

    Valerie! That’s the spirit girl. That’s what we like to hear. Book buying.
    Ten pages, today, huh? You put me to shame.

    Hi, Estella, your name is in the pot…I mean hat.

  48. Hi Mary,
    I keep thinking we’ll meet one of these days. I live east of Walton.
    Aren’t grandbabies something? I have eleven. They come in a variety of ages, the youngest is 4. I’ve been nanny granny to him and his older sister.
    I look forward to the cozies.

  49. Awwww, Elle is adorable! My oldest son got married in Dec. and so I am hoping in another 3-5 years, I will get one of those grandbabies to love!
    I don’t read alot of mysteries, but if it’s funny, then it is my kind of book! 🙂

  50. Boy, Mary, Elle is an undeniable cutie pie! Thanks for sharing the photos and for the contest 🙂 I definitely haven’t read your mysteries yet! (And yay for JenT!)

  51. Oh, Mary what a precious baby girl.

    I have been baby sitting my great niece, she is 1 1/2 years old. There is nothing as sweet as holding a sleeping baby.

    Boy you have had a great response today. Things for sharing your granddaughter with us.

  52. We can write for year, struggle, persevere, bleed onto the page, hurt and anquish, ache and weep.

    then you slap a picture of a cute baby up and all of a sudden you’re a ROCK STAR!!!

    Think of all the years I spent trying to get a book published. If I’d have carried Elle around the writer’s conference with me, I’d have been published in the early 90s.

  53. You know…I have wanted to be a writer/author since I was a little girl. I think you may have hit on the very thing I have needed. I always received positive attention when I was carrying one of my baby boys around. I may have missed my window of opportunity, though. I better get some writing done while I wait (hopefully for some years) on grandchildren! Your sweet baby grandgirl is precious, and your book sounds wonderful, too. I’ll be reading!

    Thanks for sharing and roping me in!

  54. LOL not at Elle but at the Nosy in Nebraska books. Giant mice, curators, anthropologist? You did a great job weaving time with Elle and telling us about your stories into the blog today. Thanks for the pictures.

  55. Always looking for new books to read and yours sound like fun! Can’t wait to check them out. Are they on Kindle?

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