Montana Rose Giveaway

Leave a comment today ABOUT COWGIRLS to get your name in the drawing for a signed copy of my just released romantic comedy with cowboys, MONTANA ROSE.
Montana Rose finds Cassie Griffin facing her husband’s death and living alone with her unborn child in Montana Territory. She finds herself fair game for every ill-bred, foul-mouthed suitor in town. That is, until Red Dawson steps in to make an offer.
I moved from Texas to the Rocky Mountains for this series—a big jump. New plants, new weather, new challenges. For a while, I had this book set near Fort Laramie in Wyoming, but the research proved too confusing. I found that Fort Laramie (the fort, not the town) was moved twice and neither location was near the town that bears its name. This conflicting information was daunting to the point that I just moved myself completely out of the state and picked a fictional town.
I kept the romantic comedy with cowboys, though.
Two things about writing comedy:
1) I can’t stop myself. I just always go for the sassy answer. The woman is always mouthing off, and the man is always saying exactly the wrong thing. Humor is my default writing style.
2) Humor is really hard work. General humor that runs through the book doesn’t just come off my fingertips. I’ll write in my sass, but on the second pass, I’ll punch it up and then there’s a third pass and a fourth. I do lots of tweaking to get the pace right. There’s a rhythm to comedy that I find really complex. To keep the story moving can be really hard, especially if I have a scene that’s really wacky with lots of characters and lots of dialogue.
Sometimes when I know what I want from a scene, I almost shy away from humor because I know how much work it’s going to be to get it just right. Then, I build up my courage and just write it. The first draft is never good enough—not even close. I have to write it badly, then fix it.
The scene in Montana Rose when Cassie lets Red’s chickens go, nearly burns down the barn and almost gets killed by a furious mama pig—I rewrote that ten or fifteen times trying to get it to flow just exactly how I wanted it. I needed to portray Red’s controlled anger and terror for the safety of his wife, himself, his animals and his ranch. I also wanted to portray Cassie’s abject regret for all the trouble she’s caused and her fear of how her husband will react. So I had to get all that emotion right, along with the action of all Cassie was messing up.
And though the scene is riddled with angst, anger, terror, regret, and fear, in the middle of all that, I want comedy. I love scenes like that but I dread them too, because I want so badly to get it right.
Despite very serious underlying issues, my first hope is always that the reader will have fun. That’s always my goal, to write a book that entertains and draws readers in and makes them glad they picked up one of my books.
A brief look at Book #2 in this series is The Husband Tree, coming in January.
Belle Tanner buries her third worthless husband and makes a vow over his shallow grave. She’s learned her lesson. No more men.
Silas Harden just lost his second ranch because of a woman. The first deserted him when times got tough. Now he’s had to quit the whole state of New Mexico to avoid a trumped-up shotgun wedding and the noose of matrimony. He’s learned his lesson. No more women.
Belle needs hired hands to move a cattle herd late in the season and there’s no one around but seemingly aimless Silas. She hires him reluctantly.Silas signed on, glad for the work, though worried about a woman doing such a thing as hiring drovers, only to find out he’s the lone man going with five woman, including a baby still in diapers. After the cattle drive is over, he might as well shoot himself to speed up the process of being embarrassed to death.
A fast approaching winter.
The toughest lady rancher you’ve ever seen.
A cynical cowboy who has to convince five women he’s right for their ma. . .and then convince himself.
And one thousand head of the crankiest cattle who have ever been punched across the backbone of the Rockies.
And Book #3 in the Montana Marriage Series is Wildflower Bride, coming in May 2010.
This heroine, Abby, has never met a man she didn’t pull a knife on.
This cover is not finalized so I’m showing it to you but there may be some changes. It’ll be close to this, though.
Leave a comment about cowgirls, what’s your favorite kind.
Cassie is sweet and vulnerable. Belle is just plain tough. Abby is mean, of course to cover all her hurts.
We talk about cowboys here a LOT so lets talk cowgirls. Leave a comment telling me who your favorite cowgirl in books, TV, movies, whatever. And I’ll toss your name in the Stetson to claim a signed copy of Montana Rose.

Before the next books in the series I’ve got a Christmas romance coming, Cowboy Christmas.     

Click on a cover to buy on Amazon


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

50 thoughts on “Montana Rose Giveaway”

  1. Sound like a good book to read it. I like the westerns things happening … I couldn’t wait to read the new. So Far I have read most of your books and really enjoyed it.

  2. I like cowgirls who are physically strong, they can do the work and oversee the ranch, be the manager. But, I also like them to have a feminine side… emotionally, they like the support of a male friend, someone to lean on and stand by them when times are tough.

    I liked Audra on the Big ValLey a bit too much on the needy side. I liked Barbara Stanwick as Mrs Barkley, strong, independent. I liked Lara in Elizabeth Lowell’s Sweet Wind, Wild Wind. Also independent, but emotionally needy. Many of Lowell’s characters ar estrong but can use a bit of help. Linda Lael Miller’s Wolf series had strong woman too!

    Your book Montana Rose sounds wonderful!

  3. So I’m wondering where you do your research. I can just see you heading to some poor farmer’s chicken coop, ‘accidently’ leaving the door open and giving the hens a scare. Then standing there with a ‘whoops’ as the farmer comes to see what all the fuss is up with his girls. 🙂

    I love romantic comedy, Mary, and give you a huge pat on the back for being able to write it successfully.

  4. Tough & tender – that’s how I like my girls. And my guys, too, actually! Would love to win this and then I can give a copy away on my blog!

    And now I’m really chomping at the bit for The Husband Tree!

  5. Great stuff, Mary. I don’t know how you keep cranking them out, but you do, and they are always a wonderful romp! Montana Rose sounds like a madcap adventure, but I must admit that I’m on the edge of my seat about The Husband Tree. What a wonderful premise! Three worthless husbands burried under a tree and another man teetering on the brink of death due to embarrasment over driving cattle with a bunch of girls. I love it!

    Favorite cowgirls, huh? Well, since I watch as many Disney movies with my kids as anything else, I’m going to vote for Jessie in Toy Story 2. That girl could wrangle a horse, yee-haw like a pro, and inspire her man to get back in the saddle when life bucked him off. She had a few fears of her own to battle but galloped into challenges with guts and determination. My kind of gal.

  6. I think Audra on Big Valley was underused. Wasn’t she gone for about 3/4 of the shows. Not even sitting at the dinner table?
    I loved it when it was an Audra show.

    How about Maureen O’Hara on the John Wayne movies. There’s your Irish spitfire of a cowgirl.

  7. Oooo, I loved Audra too on Big Valley. In fact, my parents named my younger sister after her.

    I think my favorite cow girl has to be Doris Day in Calamity Jane. Lots of fire and gumption, that one! She was such a hoot!

  8. I like cowgirls who can do the cooking thing but also get out there and ride the horses when needed. I’m more of an outside type, so I would enjoy the challenge of being a cowgirl doing cowboy work, yet also loving to cook. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

  9. All three of your cowgirls sound entertaining. I think it would be hard to pick just one. They all have great qualities I feel every cowgirl should have. Sorry can’t pick just one. Have a great day.

  10. I like the cowgirls who are strong and not afraid of anything! My favorite movie with cowgirls probably has to be Bad Girls with Drew Barrymore and Andie MacDowell…those are some feisty girls! I’d love to read about the cowgirls in your books…cause I certainly love to laugh! You don’t have to worry about me having fun…cause I always do when I read your work!

  11. I’m not sure if she qualifies as a cowgirl or not, but I always wanted to be “Lou” (Louise) from the TV series Young Riders. She dressed up like a boy so she could ride for the Pony Express. She ended up falling in love with another rider toward the end of the series and getting married. She was so cool. She could run beside her horse and jump on. Oh, and she wore spectacles… As a near-sighted girl myself, I love it when a heroine wears spectacles… Not all of us have good vision you know. =)

  12. Gotta tell ya, Mare, I am REALLY excited about this new series of yours, girl — cannot wait to dig in!! Don’t enter me in the contest as I already have a copy of Montana Rose which is burning a hole in my TBR pile, I can tell ya that …


  13. I am looking forward to reading your books – I love to read and can’t wait to get them in my hands.
    So fun to find your site

  14. Does anyone remember the series Guns of Paradise with Lee Horseley? My husband and I LOVED That show. It might have run two years, not near long enough.

    And the heroine on that was the same girl who starred in The Man From Snowy River.
    (had to look it up) Sigrid Thornton. So beautiful. Not really a cowgirl but she got tough when she had to. 🙂

  15. I love the tough cow girls, because I think they should be tough to live on and run the ranch! Life couldn’t be easy back in the day so I would think they would have to be tough! I can’t think of the name of one right now because my mind is drawing a blank, but I know there are a lot out there that still run ranches.

  16. I have always been interested in cowgirls although I grew up in a big city and never got to spend time in the country. I think that being a cowgirl would be very interesting but for them to also have a feminine side. This book sounds like it is a great book.


  17. Yeah cowgirls! I was always a farm girl who wanted to be a cowgirl. I must have had a romantic streak about the job. Now, I just want to work with the development of Kin Domains which is a bit of a mix between the jobs of cowgirls and farm girls. Don’t know what I’d call myself now. Kin girl? Congrats on the new books.
    Julie Carda

  18. You couldn’t really call her a cowgirl, but I loved Miss Kitty Russell on Gunsmoke. I remember one show where she and Matt Dillon had been captured by the bad guys and poor Matt had been roughed up. When Kitty got to see him and he asked her how he looked, she said “You look like you just fought the War Between the States all by yourself, and lost.” Kitty had the spirit of a cowgirl all right.

  19. Mary, After having met you a couple of times at book signings( Norfolk and Grand Island ) I find it hard to believe that you find writing comedy a struggle. Girlfriend, you are fun to be around, a riot is what I heard a mutual friend call you!

    I absolutely love your books and have five friends who are now reading your books. Since mine are all autographed they have to go find their own after I loan them the first one. I have two copies.

    Have not bought Montana Rose yet. So would love to win one here. Looking forward to reading this new series.

    As for cowgirls, I absolutely love the series of movies with Johm Wayne and Maureen O’Hara especially “Mcklintock

  20. Mary, you’ve really piqued my interest in Montana Rose. Sounds great! I love your humor and love the emotion you bring to every story. You hit the nail on the head when you said writing humor is hard. That’s why I can only insert humor in small doses in my books. I can’t think of anything more I enjoy reading though. And you’re the queen of humor.

    I think my favorite cowgirl was Bailee Moore in Jodi Thomas’s THE TEXAN’S WAGER. To be kicked off a wagon train in the middle of nowhere and then finding herself in a “wife lottery” took so much courage and strength to survive. Bailee handled every new challenge with lots of grace.

    Good luck on your Montana series!!

  21. The best example of what I mean about comedy being hard, well, if you’ve read Calico Canyon this’ll make sense, if not, just play along, okay?

    The scene where they get married, Grace and Daniel.
    A total forced marriage. Caught in a compromising situation. Nothing will do but an immediate wedding.

    When I wrote that scene the first time.
    Two sentences.
    I wanted it that way. I wanted BOOM you’re married.

    But someone said, “Stop being a brat and develope that scene, most important scene in the book.”

    So I did. It was a crazy scene. Five little boys all against the marriage, but mostly not really sure what was going on. The groom, looking for a way to gnaw his foot off and escape from the trap. The bride, in a daze, and dealing with the bratty kids and expecting a ride home from the nice preacher who had found her with the man, over night together. The preacher, who had to dominate the whole scene, railroad them all to do the RIGHT THING.
    His wife there, shocked, disturbed, scandalized, “Get on with the ceremony at ONCE, Irving, at ONCE.”
    All these people were talking, moving, arguing, misunderstanding. Grace saying the words, “I do.” at just the wrong moment. Daniel arguing for sanity while he’s half crazy cuz he gets what’s going on. And then BOOM again, the parson leaves, Grace wants to know why they aren’t giving her a ride.
    Daniel yells at her that they’re MARRIED.

    It ended up being such a fun scene, but I must have rewritten it fifteen times to get all that motion and emotion in there just right and keep it moving fast. Staging the physical movements. Hoping that while all the characters were misunderstanding each other, the reader could understand what in the world was happening here.

    It grew from two sentences to a whole chapter on it’s own. Lots of fun, lots of work.

  22. I have to admit I like the variety of cowgirls written out there… the vulnerable, shy ones, the tom-boyish, to the girl who can handle anything that comes her way… 😀

  23. In Montana Rose, a good example of this is the scene where Cassie is trying to help at the ranch the first morning after they’re married.

    She’s a DISASTER. She is helping because Red asked her to help. But he had NO IDEA WHAT HE WAS GETTING INTO!

    Now he’s trying to STOP her from helping. She’s let the chickens out. She’s nearly set the barn on fire. She’s nearly killed by the mama sow. She spooks the horse and Red falls over a cliff, but catches himself…eventually

    Red is trying to be kind to his new wife and he sees that at this rate, by the end of the week, his animals will all run off. His ranch will have burned to the ground and he is almost sure to be dead.

    And he’s trying so HARD not to yell at Cassie because every time he gets one speck upset she flinches and looks at him with big scared eyes.

    Poor Red.

  24. Mary, you are so funny and talented and prolific!
    Good luck always with all your wonderful books.

    I always liked Victoria Barkley in The Big Valley, hard-nosed and regal at the same time. Got a bit preachy sometimes though.

    Present-day, I love Reba McEntire.


  25. All the books in this new series sound like so much fun, but I think I’ll end up liking the first one best. Cassie sounds like a great heroine. I always like seeing the injured ones get on their own feet, you know?
    As for cowgirls… Okay, this probably doesn’t count, but… Breanna! From the Stranger and Angel of Mercy series by Al Lacy. I LOVE those books!

  26. Hey, why wouldn’t THAT count, Ley?

    I really loved Mary Rose in Julie Garwood’s “Come the Spring” part of her Clayborne series.

    That woman can write anything.

  27. I too like cowgirls who speak their minds. It livens up a book for sure! Humor is essential in my “keeper” books — I pass on ALL my books to friends, but I have been known to request a few back because I just enjoyed the humor so much and KNEW I’d re-read the book(s). Thanks for putting all the effort into making your books a pleasure to read!

  28. Hi, Laney4. I love humor in books. Humor. Suspense. Romance. That’s what I’m looking for.

    If they’re sassing each other and falling in love while they’re running for their lives, then I’m happy.

  29. I love most of the cowgirls I’ve read & watched. Echo Sackett from Louis L’Amour’s RIDE THE RIVER comes to mind immediately. The girl comes from an extended family where all the men do what they have to in order to protect their family or the town, so she fits right into that family mold.

    We’ve had a dearth of good westerns on TV in the last decade. We should do something about that. (We could all band together & film our own…) Something with a strong cowgirl in it.

    I’m also very fond of my own cowgirl heroine, but as she’s still unpublished, y’all will have to wait to hear about her. 😉

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing!

  30. I LOVE Echo Sackett, Hope. Great one. She just hops off the boat and strikes out in the woods knowing she’s better off in the wilderness with her rifle than on a steam boat full of ‘help.’ That is one tough, confident woman.
    Then Chantry goes along to protect her and slows her down. But he’s cute, so she takes him. 🙂

    One of my favorite L’Amour books. Did you all know Beau L’Amour is going to visit Petticoats & Pistols soon? We’re all excited.

  31. I’ve realized that I like humor in my reading (and tv shows) – it has to have some. Life needs humor! Your books sound perfectly wonderful.

  32. Enjoyed reading the comments. I like to read the western romance book and have added yours to my TBR list

  33. Love all the ladies mentioned, especially Miss
    Kitty! But what about Dale? No, not Junior, or
    his daddy! I’m talking about Dale Evans, one of the
    original cowgirls! She helped pave the way for all
    the rest. Also loved her horse’s name: Buttermilk.

    Pat Cochran

  34. I like cowgirls who first of all can ride a horse, then do anything a cowboy can on the ranch but be a sweet person when necessary.

  35. Hi Mary,
    Just getting around to visiting today and I have to say I love the cover of The Husband Tree! And what a great title! Do you come up with the titles or do the editors tell you, or is it a combination of both?

    What’s great is that the covers sort of Brand you, as the author. They are all different but alike enough to think “oh that’s a Mary Connealy book.”

  36. Mary –
    Sounds like another good read. For me, I think cowgirls are a complete package of tenderness for things they deal with on the homefront, but an edginess and tough as steel to deal with running the ranches and dealing with the time away from their men.
    I would love the chance to check out your book for my bookclub.

  37. I have always had a soft spot for Annie Oakley. I would’ve been happy to live in the Wild, Wild West if I just could’ve been like Annie Oakley!

    Loved Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain – can’t wait to read this new series!


  38. I like cowgirls who are really sassy and witty! They are alot of fun to read about-especially when they are standing up to a stubborn cowboy!

  39. I’d love to read this. This sounds like a fantastic series. I love historical fiction (as long as it isn’t regency).

  40. First let me say I love your philosophy of writing. Good humor is wonderful and so hard to find. As you describe, it is not easy to write if you want to do it well. Humor helps soften tense situations and it adds spice to a conflict. After reading your post, I am definitely going to have to get these books to read. I had read blurbs about the book, but you made it very clear what they are like, and I know I’ll like them. There are several books on my keeper shelf that got there because of the humor, often used in tough situations.
    Favorite cowgirls are really a type rather than a character. Strong women who could handle anything because they had to. True Women (1997) and Angelica Houston’s character in Lonesome Dove come to mind. There is little humor there, but when it does come, it is needed.
    Good luck with the other books. I’ll be looking for them!

  41. Cowgirls. They have to be strong in heart, mind, and spirit.

    I’d love to read Montana Rose. Sounds like a nice escape from today’s world.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  42. I came across your name looking for other authors. I have read all Tracie Peterson’s books to date as well as Wanda Brunstetter’s books. I am so looking forward to reading your books as they sound very interesting.

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