About the Book
Book: Forged in Love
Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release date: February 28, 2023
When sparks begin to fly, can a friendship cast in iron be shaped into something more?
Mariah Stover is left for dead and with no memory when the Deadeye Gang robs the stagecoach she’s riding in, killing both her father and brother. As she takes over her father’s blacksmith shop and tries to move forward, she soon finds herself in jeopardy and wondering–does someone know she witnessed the robbery and is still alive?
Handsome and polished Clint Roberts escaped to western Wyoming, leaving his painful memories behind. Hoping for a fresh start, he opens a diner where he creates fine dishes, but is met with harsh resistance from the townsfolk, who prefer to stick to their old ways.
Clint and Mariah are drawn together by the trials they face in town, and Clint is determined to protect Mariah at all costs when danger descends upon her home. As threats pursue them from every side, will they survive to build a life forged in love?
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About the Author
Mary Connealy (www.maryconnealy.com) writes “romantic comedies with cowboys” and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed style. She has sold more than one and a half million books. She is the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts, The 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.
More from Mary
I started plotting this novel when I found out that Wyoming was the first state (then a territory) in the Union to grant women the right to vote. Then I discovered it wasn’t just the right to vote; all sorts of other rights were given to women as well, like the right to run for elected office or be appointed to office. In fact, the first woman justice of the peace in the U.S. was from Wyoming. This inspired me to have one of my heroines be the second justice of the peace in the country.
As I continued my research, reading about all that went on in Wyoming was fascinating. They became a territory in 1868—with women voting—and yet they weren’t allowed statehood for another thirty years. With other states being granted statehood in only a few years, why was this? Because the U.S. government refused to let Wyoming in unless they took the vote away from women.
Because Wyoming adamantly refused to strip the vote from women, year after year they were denied statehood. When they finally did get it, the state’s women maintained their right to vote because Wyoming would not budge on the issue. The whole history of this was great reading.
So I wrote a three-book series called Wyoming Sunrise in which all my heroines play against the normal, conventional female roles of the day.
Now, what job could I possibly think of that wasn’t traditionally for women? How about Mariah who happens to be a blacksmith? And while I’m writing against stereotypes, I created a man named Clint who runs a diner. That wasn’t too unusual, for lots of diners were run by men back in the day. Yet not many of them were talented chefs trained in high-class restaurants in New York City. Clint is an excellent chef. Of course, an excellent chef in a small Wyoming town is kind of wasted on folks who prefer fried chicken and beef stew.
Clint makes chicken and beef, but he calls his dishes weird names and makes them unusually delicious. Meanwhile, Mariah is working over a hot forge for long hours every day. When her father and brother are killed in a stagecoach holdup, she becomes the only blacksmith in town.
There’s some resistance to her doing such a masculine job, but even among those who disapprove, well, they’ve got a broken wagon wheel or a hole in their kettle and it’s either let Mariah fix it or go without. Mariah is allowed to be a blacksmith out of pure necessity.
My second book, The Laws of Attraction, has a female justice of the peace, while the third, Marshaling Her Heart, features a tough lady rancher. I write westerns, and honestly, writing about tough, feisty lady ranchers like Becky the Rancher comes naturally to me. Writing about a blacksmith and a judge, however, presents more of a challenge.
Mariah, who survived the stagecoach holdup, learns that the robbers believe she might know something that will reveal their identity, and she needs to be silenced. Clint tries to protect her and finds himself stepping between her and a murderous gang of outlaws.
Through it all, love finds them, and they begin to forge a life together.
Interview with Mary
Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.
Hi, Gina. I’ve been at this writing gig a long time. And I’m boring. It’s hard to imagine a single boring detail of my life that the world doesn’t already know. I’m third of eight children. I grew up in a three-bedroom farmhouse in Nebraska. We were dirt poor, and you know what? I didn’t know it. I mean, I knew we weren’t well-to-do, but I was playing outside all the time with my brothers and sisters, and Mom gardened while Dad milked the cows. We always had enough food. Just like our neighbors did. It was the baby boom in rural Nebraska. Everyone lived like we did. Back in those days, with little outside exposure, I learned to live an imaginary life and I think that helps in my writing today.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Steady, daydreamy (I’m calling that a word!), and kind.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I’m reading The Alienist by Caleb Carr. It’s a weird but interesting historical, serial-killer mystery with Theodore Roosevelt as a secondary character.
What has been your favorite part of the publishing journey?
I love everything about being a writer. I love that first blank computer screen page where I can try to explode a story onto the screen. I love the solitary brainstorming I do and the sense that I can somehow figure out the right twists and turns. Some of it even surprises me. I love revisions. My publisher is good at this, and they make the story much better. I love it all. I wrote for a long time before I got my first book published so maybe I can just tap into that thrill of getting a contract, the wonder and pride and joy of it. Pride and joy—that sounds like a new baby, which is apt.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
The backdrop of the story is that Wyoming was the first state in the Union to grant women the right to vote. And it wasn’t just voting; it was suffrage, which included being elected and appointed to offices, serving on juries, working on property-rights laws. It’s a great story and I loved researching it. I wrote my female characters against type by giving them traditionally male jobs: blacksmith, justice of the peace, and rancher.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
The foundation of the book is Nell, the heroine of book two, The Laws of Attraction. She’s in book one, Forged in Love, as the friend of the heroine. But this pretty seamstress reveals her knowledge of the law and her toughness to the surprise of everyone as she works to protect her friend Mariah, who’s marked for murder by a gang who leaves no witnesses alive. I love Mariah’s skill as a blacksmith, but also how she comes to realize she’s grown up trying to prove to her pa, the town blacksmith, that she’s tough enough to work at his side, though now maybe she’s gone too far in proving it, especially with her father dead. Maybe she can choose a pretty dress once in a while and not just choose dark colors that won’t show dirt. Maybe she can do a bit more of the delicate work a blacksmith is capable of.
What was one of the highlights during the writing of this book?
A highlight was a day talking to a man who does historical reenactments of blacksmithing at a living-history museum. I leaned so much, which definitely made its way onto the pages of my book.
What’s the key theme and/or message in the novel?
Strong women learning to accept help from friends, from a strong man who’s trying to help, from God.
Where can readers learn more about you and your books?
You can find me online at: http://maryconnealy.com or http://www.Facebook.com/maryconnealy.
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Any current or upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
Forged in Love is book one in the trilogy Wyoming Sunrise series. Book two, The Laws of Attraction, comes out in July, which is about a woman justice of the peace, a seamstress who wants to make pretty dresses, but when called upon, shows a surprising resilience and is willing to take on anyone who gets in the way of solving a crime. Book three, Marshaling Her Heart, releasing in October, is about a tough lady rancher who’s left her father’s ranch to set out on her own. Her foreman turns out to be a former U.S. Marshal with skills they’re going to need because a bunch of stagecoach robbers are threatening the area, Becky’s ranch, and her very life.
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Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 18
Texas Book-aholic, March 19
Through the Fire Blogs, March 19
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, March 19
Stories By Gina, March 20 (Author Interview)
deb’s Book Review, March 20
Books You Can Feel Good About, March 20
Connie’s History Classroom, March 21
For Him and My Family, March 21
Labor Not in Vain, March 21
Cover Lover Book Review, March 22
Lighthouse Academy, March 22 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Remembrancy, March 23
Locks, Hooks and Books, March 23
Betti Mace, March 24
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, March 24
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Tell Tale Book Reviews, March 25
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Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, March 26
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Book Looks by Lisa, March 27
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Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, March 29
Wishful Endings, March 30
HookMeInABook, March 30
lakesidelivingsite, March 31
EmpowerMoms, March 31
Mary Hake, March 31
To celebrate her tour, Mary is giving away the grand prize package of a $15 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of the book Forged in Love!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
6 thoughts on “Forged in Love Blog Tour with Celebrate Lit (Interview with Mary Connealy)”
Love all her books.
I love reading books that take place in Wyoming since I was raised on our small family farm. Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for this opportunity.
what a wonderful post. I love this cover. Here is a lady I could get to know. I loved reading about the history Mary found about Wyoming. And the interview was fun also. Cant wait to read this book and then series
Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.
Thank you for sharing. Blessings
Love how the author has built the series on backdrop of the true history of women’s voting rights and suffrage in Wyoming.