It’s allllllllllllllllllll about excuses-The Husband Tree Giveaway

The Husband Tree
The Husband Tree

Here’s the thing….I’ve been sick. In fact, I had the flu badly enough that I considered whether it was even safe to post today for fear you all might catch it through the computer. That’s how contagious it was. And I considered whining to my filly friends to make one of them do this today. But I’m on the mend and ducking my day would just be wimpy. Which describes me pretty well, but … here I am anyway.

I decided to make this simple. I posted the first page of The Husband Tree and today we’ll have a drawing for a signed copy. To get your name in the drawing, leave a comment. That’s it. I’m going back to bed.

The Husband Tree

Chapter One

Belle Tanner pitched dirt right on Anthony’s handsome, worthless face.

It was spitefulness that made her enjoy doing that. But she was sorely afraid Anthony Santoni’s square jaw and curly dark hair had tricked her into agreeing to marry him.

Which made her as big an idiot as Anthony.

Now he was dead and she was left to dig the grave. Why oh why didn’t she just skip marrying him and save herself all this shoveling?

She probably should have wrapped him in a blanket, but blankets were hard to come by in Montana. . .unlike husbands.

She labored on with her filling, not bothering to look down again at the man who had shared her cabin and her bed for the last two years. She only hoped when she finished she didn’t forget where she’d buried Anthony’s no-account hide. She regretted not marking William’s and Gerald’s graves now for fear she’d dig in the same spot and uncover their bones. As she recalled, she’d planted William on the side nearest the house, thinking it had a nice view down the hill over their property. She wasn’t so sure about Gerald, but she’d picked right most likely because she’d dug the hole and hadn’t hit bones. Unless critters had dug Gerald up and dragged him away.

Belle had to admit she didn’t dig one inch deeper than was absolutely necessary. Maybe a little less than was necessary. This was rocky ground. It was quite a chore. Her husbands had made too many chores for her over the years. Digging their graves was the least of it.

She’d risked her own life to drag her first husband, William, out of the cattle pen, the one any fool would know was too dangerous to go into—which Belle always did, not being a fool. Rudolph, their longhorn bull, was a mite cantankerous and given to using his eight foot spread of horns to prove himself in charge of any situation.

Then Gerald had gotten himself thrown from his horse. His boot had slipped through the stirrup, and judging by his condition, Belle figured he’d been dragged for the better part of the three-hour ride home from the Golden Butte Saloon in Divide by a horse whose instincts told him to head for the barn.

Anthony’s only good quality was he’d managed to get himself killed quick. They’d been married less than two years. For a while there Belle feared he’d last through pure luck. But stupid outweighed luck. Stupid’ll kill a man in the West. It wasn’t a forgiving place. And Anthony was purely stupid so he didn’t last all that long.

Between William and Gerald—that is between being married to ’em—Belle had changed the brand to the T Bar. Known as the Tanner Ranch from then on, it never changed, regardless of whatever Belle’s last name happened to be at the time. She’d also had a real smart lawyer in Helena draw up papers for Anthony to sign so the ranch would always belong to Belle, and if something happened to her instead of a worthless husband, Belle’s wishes would be carried out.

She tamped the dirt down good and solid. About the fifth tamp she admitted she was using more energy than was strictly necessary. She’d whacked it down especially tight over Anthony’s pretty boy face. Three sides of the the Husband Tree used up. She wasn’t up to puttin’ up with a live one or buryin’ another dead one. The tree roots wouldn’t appreciate it.

And neither would the children.

Mary ConnealyShe said a quick prayer for Anthony, reflecting silently as she spoke that knowing Anthony as she did, it was doubtful there were enough prayers in the world to save his warped soul. Never had it been necessary for God to perform a greater miracle, and Belle asked for just that, though she didn’t hold out much hope.

She finished the service in one minute flat, not counting the digging and filling which had taken considerably longer. It had been early in the day when she’d found Anthony dead beside the house. Planting him had interrupted chores, but there was no help for it. She couldn’t leave him lying there. He was blocking the front door

Mary Connealy

The Husband Tree

Website | + posts

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

83 thoughts on “It’s allllllllllllllllllll about excuses-The Husband Tree Giveaway”

  1. Oh Mary, so sorry to here your sick! I hope you get to feeling better soon and please don’t send it through the computer!

    I have read your chapter on The Husband Tree and I am so hooked already. Must have this book. I will have to start looking for it, unless I win it here! Sounds like she has went through some husbands that’s for sure! That last paragraph had me cracking up how planting him had interrupted her chores. I love it. Thanks for sharing this book with us!

  2. Hi Mary, here’s some cyber-chicken soup for you. Feel better, okay? I totally love this excerpt and can’t wait for more. Thanks for the fun. Have a better day. oxoxoxoxoxox

  3. Hope you’re feeling better!!

    Belle sounds like one tough, down to earth woman! I’d love to find out who Belle finally falls in love with…forever!

  4. Hope you’l feel better soon !!
    And don’t worry about today’s blog. In my opinion there is nothing better than a good excerpt 😉

  5. Mary,So sorry youve been sick,Im still getting over having pneumonia myself,im sick of being sick!lol,oh welllllllll,just got to keep going,huh
    hope you feel better soon

  6. hi mary…hope that you are feeling better…your book the husband tree’ is on my wish list…thanks for the opportunity to read it.

  7. hi Mary
    thanks for the peek into your next book. i’m definitely putting that on the “next to read” list. i’m itching to see what happens with Belle and her propensity to marry stupid *heh*

    sending prayers for speedy return to health.

    Deb H

  8. Mary,
    Hope you are feeling better by the hour. I had the flu many years ago (30+) and I can remember how sick I was. No fun.
    Loved the excerpt. This book has been on my To Buy List since I first heard about it. Now I know I’ll be getting it. Have two of yours on my TBR pile at the moment. Need to get our library to add you to our shelves. Are your books available in Large Print? I have seniors I deliver library books to and most of them need LP. I know they would enjoy your books.
    Take good care of yourself!

  9. Hope you get feeling better soon. Sorry to hear you’re down. Not always a pleasant thing. Thanks for the book tease. Now I may have to buy it, that is if I don’t win it first. :0)))))) (big grin)

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  10. Get better, Mary. Sorry about the flu. What a bummer.
    Loved the chapter. My current WIP is has a heroine who shot and killed her abusive husband to save her children. But my book isn’t funny. Yours is plain delightful.

  11. Morning Ladies. I’m feeling much better. Almost normal. Functioning at least.
    I had so much fun with Belle it was just ridiculous. These two are so anti-marriage that as they fall in love they both spend serious time sort of standing back and WATCHING themselves be stupid.

    And they in no way try to convince the other to care, quite the opposite.

    Add in Belle’s four daughters and their willingness to keep their ma single at the point of a Winchester, and we have a lot of fun in the old west.

  12. Good morning Mary,

    Sory to hear you have been sick. Your book sounds so interesting. I just loved the chapter you just posted I must get this book

    Thanks Mary Hope you feel better real soon

    Walk in harmony,

  13. I’m definitely on the mend. But one more day with my feet up ordering my husband around is in order, don’t you think? To stave off a relapse.
    It’s the right thing to do. 🙂

  14. Shari!!!!!!!!!!!! Hi! It was so nice to meet you last Saturday. I’ve got your card and let’s blame the flu for me not emailing you. I will.
    I saw you on facebook, too.
    And, I got exposed to the flu…there can be no doubt…AFTER I saw you, so you’re in the clear. At least from me.

  15. Mary, I hope you feel better soon! Too bad you can’t be rid of your sickness as easily as Belle was rid of her good for nothin’ husband.

    xoxo~ Renee

  16. Hi, I came across your comment at Pioneer Woman’s Home Schooling page, and hopped over to check it out – I love the first page ! Your blog has now been ‘bookmarked’!

    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    Terri G

  17. Hi, TerriG. Your name is in the drawing. Make sure and STOP BACK TO CHECK IF YOU WON.


    Unless I’m feeling puny, then who knows when I might come dragging in with a winner.

    That last line might qualify as a disclaimer.

  18. Ooo, sorry to hear about you and the flu. It’s really no fun. I have been fighting with what was probably bronchitis for over a week. I had 2 bottles of DayQuil, a container of Vicks Vapo-Rub, lots of Tylenol and cough drops along with prescription cough syrup and antibotics. It’s the time of year and I’m not liking it. If I do catch your flu, I won’t blame it on you. lol Anyway on to this book, I have read the first book in this series, which for the life of me I can’t remember what it was called. It was a wonderful book and I am hoping I can win this one. Mary Connealy is great writer and I am definitely looking forward to reading more of her work.

  19. I’m sorry to say I’d never heard of you before today – but that’s all changed now; and with that enticing peek at what appears to be an interesting book, I’ll be at the bookstore sometime soon making up for lost time. What a great concept – a tree whose purpose has become headstone/marker/reminder.

  20. Oh, gosh! Hope you’re feeling better soon. Now you’ve got me hooked and I need to know the rest of the story!

  21. Oh my, I needed some humor today and I knew you would have some to share. Thanks much for the chance to win and for the laughter. I pray the flu flys fast away, from you and yours. Blessings!

  22. Tammy, so do you think the over the counter meds really help? Or do they just keep you kinda drunk until your body heals itself.

    Not saying the ‘drunk’ thing isn’t genius. Just curious.

  23. Hi, Amy. Good girl with the email address.
    I love The Pioneer Woman.
    Except I know enough about blogging to be absolutely amazed at her talent. She makes it all seem so easy but it’s a lot of work………

    unless I’m doing it wrong??????????

  24. Thanks for all your good wishes. I’m much improved today. It was yesterday and the day before, when I KNEW I should be writing this blog that was really killing me.
    Here’s The Pioneer Woman if you’d like to see who we’re talking about.
    She’s a rancher’s wife who came from the city.
    I think part of the reason I love her is because I love cowboys and write about cowboys and so does she…only for her…she’d married to one.

    Which I am, too. But I’m talking about my books here.

  25. I know how you feel. I’ve been sick and it’s no fun. I have been waiting to be able to get this book and read it. Take Care.

  26. Oh, and The Husband Tree is book #2 in a three book series.
    Book #1 that Tammy mentioned is Montana Rose.
    It’s called the Montana Marriages series.

    There is a link in my blog post that will take you to Amazon. The word The Husband Tree at the very end.

  27. Mary, I am sorry to hear that you have been so sick. The flu can really knock you flat.

    I loved the excerpt. You had me with the very first sentence! Does that mean I’m EASY? 😉

  28. No way are you easy. I worked HARD on that first sentence.

    You don’t think words like,

    Belle Tanner pitched dirt right on Anthony’s handsome, worthless face.

    Come naturally do you? That’d just make me MEAN!!!

  29. Chicken Noodle soup, lots of it. Sorry to hear you are under the weather, this is the time of year for it. Oh my, how I enjoyed the opening of your book.
    “but blankets were hard to come by in Montana. . .unlike husbands.” OMG, I love that line!!
    All the best for this release, I am hooked already!

  30. Bless your heart, Mary, and the rest of you, too!
    I’m sorry that you have been so ill! I hope you
    will soon be completely well!!

    Pat Cochran

  31. Don’t mean to sound morbid or anything, but absolutely, positively, delightful!

    Oh – the story – not you, Mary.

    Oh – I mean, you are delightful, but you must look and feel awful.

    Oh – not that I can see you so I wouldn’t really know how you look, but…


    Shuttin’ my mouth and lifting you up.

  32. Mary, I loved your first line – it’s brilliant! Found this via Twitter and the Seekerville blog – I’ll definitely put yours in my bookmarks. I’ve got “Montana Rose” on my “to read” list, and now I will definitely add “The Husband Tree!” Glad you’re feeling better!

  33. OMG that was hilarious – not a funny subject but you do have a way with words lol. Glad to hear you’re feeling better – I had it last week and it just saps the life out of you for a while.

  34. Waiting for you book to get to The Abbey. They always send me a postcard when your books come in.

    Sorry you have been sick. I have had my shots, both seasonal & h1n1, so I should be safe from your virus. Stay warm & milk the ordering around of your husband.

  35. Hey Mary, so sorry to hear that you’ve been sick. Not fun at all. I had that flu virus known as the “A-1” flu a few years ago. Knocked me off of my feet for 2 wks. So I feel for you. Hopefully yours doesn’t last that long.

    Enjoyed the excerpt immencely. Please put my name in the drawing, and you get to feeling better.

  36. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Also, in Anthony’s case…worm to worms. Couldn’t haven’t happened to a nastier fella!

    I am sorry you feel so bad. Women are usually the caretakers. Do you have someone to pamper you? Stay warm and get plenty of rest. Hope you are feeling much better by the time you finish reading all these comments : )

  37. Made this short since you’re not well: Thanks for letting us know what’s going on. Thanks for the contest (again). GET WELL SOON!

  38. This sounds like a good read!

    Hope you’re on the mend. I like hot tea with lots of sugar when I don’t feel well and the proverbial chicken noodle soup.

  39. Thank you for entering me!!

    I loved the first book in the series, and am looking forward to reading The Husband Tree!

    Feel better soon, Mary!


  40. YOU are all so NICE. Between the well wishes and the nice things you’ve said about my books, I wish I could give a book to every one of you.

    And have lunch with you, too. If I could eat of course.


  41. I am so sorry that you are sick. 🙁
    Love the book!! I am almost done with it but I hate finishing it because then I miss those characters until the next book comes out!

  42. Hi, Denise. Hey, we drove down the Divide Center road the other day. The drift by Opal’s house is the BIGGEST DRIFT I’VE EVER SEEN ON A ROAD!!!

    It’s just mind blowing isn’t it? A road just CARVED out of snow, around an intersection.

    What madness.

  43. I hope you’re feeling better, Mary.

    Thanks for sharing an excerpt of your book with us. It sounds great!

  44. I hope you’re getting better by now 🙂
    Here’s my chocolate brownies..i mean Chicken soup *g*

    love the excerpts !

  45. Hi Mary. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been sick, we’ll lift you up in our prayers! My family just got over the flu ourselves, All six of us…not fun! 🙁
    My Mom & I love your books, she was the one who first got me hooked with Petticoat Ranch…!
    The husband tree sounds so good! I cannot wait to get my hands on the whole series. 🙂

  46. Hello Mary!

    I am sooo sorry to hear you are sick! And please don’t send it through the computer! I have just gotten over a sinus infection and I don’ want to be sick again! My prayers are going out to you and your husband tonight! I hope you get to feeling better soon!

    I would love to win this book! It sounds sooo good, and I wish I had replied sooner to be entered in the drawing as it is already past midnight! If it’s not too late, I’d love to win a copy!

    Blessings to you in Christ

  47. I do hope that you are feeling better by now.

    The first page of The Husband Tree made me curious about how many children might be involved, what Belle raises on the ranch, and who the next “stupid” will be in this book.

    Thank you for having a contest.

  48. Wow, sounds like quite a book! Would love to read the rest of it, to see how this turns out to be a christian book. Hope your doing better, and will be on the go again soon.

  49. Wow, sounds like quite a book! Would love to read the rest of it, to see how this turns out to be a christian book.

    Hope your doing better and will be on the go again soon.

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