Calico Canyon by Mary Connealy

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Calico Canyon

Barbour Publishing, Inc (July 1, 2008)

by

Mary Connealy

Christy here: Want a book with a lotta heart? Want a book that’s action packed with several plots? Want a book driven by characters that you can’t help but love? If you want that and more, I suggest picking up this book by Mary Connealy. Book 2 in the Lassoed in Texas Series, Calico Canyon.

Mary graciously sent me Petticoat Junction, Book 1 in the series, several months ago. I’ve started it and like it, but I had to put it down to read this one in preparation for this tour. Don’t worry if you haven’t read Book 1. You can pick right up with Calico first and love it as a stand alone book.

The opening scene with Grace fighting off the Reeves boys in her own classroom was hilarious. This book takes place in the 1800s following the Civil War, but as I read about the boys antics, I pictured the movie “Overboard” with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Remember that movie? Remember the principle of the school being chased out of the front door with toilet paper wrapped from head to toe? Remember good old dad, Kurt Russel saying: “Aww, they’re just trying to have a little fun.” That was hilarious and this book was even better.

This is a classic book where we watch the character’s lives change. We live it with them. We see them change for the better. I only wished there were more romantic scenes between Grace and Daniel, but the author was true to life. With five wild boys around, there won’t be much time for candlelight dinners.

While I was dying for more scenes with Daniel and Grace, laughing over the boys and them tumbling all over the ranch, I was pained by Hannah’s situation, Grace’s sister, of living homeless in cold, hard Chicago. Old Master Parrish’s character as the villain was quite disturbing. I wanted to whack the crap out of him with a large hammer. Forget the ruler he carried around. Let him whack my daughter’s hand…. Okay, getting a little too involved here… sorry…

What I’m thinking, back to Hannah, is will she have the next book? Or maybe one after that? I’d say she earned her time. Besides, she’s own her way to Mosqueros Texas. I bet we’ll be seeing her before too long….

Read Mary’s latest book. Like me, you’re going to love it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

MARY CONNEALY is an award-winning author and playwright, married to Ivan a farmer, and the mother of four beautiful daughters, Joslyn, Wendy, Shelly and Katy. They live in Decatur, Nebraska. Mary is a GED Instructor by day and an author by night. And there is always a cape involved in her transformation.

Mary has also written Petticoat Ranch, Golden Days, and her latest, Alaska Brides that will debut in August.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Let yourself be swept away by this fast-paced romance, featuring Grace Calhoun, an instructor of reading, writing, and arithmetic, who, in an attempt to escape the clutches of a relentless pursuer, runs smack dab into even more trouble with the 6R’s – widower Daniel Reeves, along with his five rowdy sons. When a marriage is forced upon this hapless pair – two people who couldn’t dislike each other more – an avalanche isn’t the only potential danger lurking amid the shadows of Calico Canyon. Will they make it out alive? Or end up killing each other in the process?

Running from her Abusive foster-father, a man intent on revenge, the prim and perfectly proper Grace Calhoun takes on the job of schoolmarm in Mosqueros, Texas.

As if being a wanted woman isn’t bad enough, Grace has her hands full with the five rowdy and rambunctious Reeves boys─tough Texan tormentors who seem intent on making her life miserable. When, in an attempt to escape from the clutches of her pursuer, Grace is forced to marry widower Daniel Reeves, father of the miniature monsters, she thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Or could they?

Daniel Reeves, happy in his all-male world, is doing the best he can, raising his five boys─rascals, each and every one. Since his wife’s death in childbirth, Daniel has been determined never to risk marriage again.

When God throws Grace and Daniel together─two people who couldn’t detest each other more─the trouble is only beginning.

Will this hapless pair find the courage to face life together in the isolated Calico Canyon? Or are their differences too broad a chasm to bridge?

If you would like to read the first chapter go HERE

Teach by Example

I’m learning this concept the hard way.

My two year old’s stubborn spirit became evident early on. We marveled at how quickly she learned. She loved to watch Barney. Because we liked to keep her happy, we bought every DVD we could find of Barney. Downey got where she could tell us which Barney episode she wanted to watch AND insert that into the DVD player!

But like most toddlers, and children, they aren’t receptive when it comes to doing what they’re told. Singing the “Clean Up, Clean Up” song that was featured on a Barney episode soon wasn’t enough to motivate my little one to clean up her mess. She’d rather leave the mess of toys or paper/crayons and go on to the next adventure.

Though spanking may work sometimes, I feel it should be an absolute last resort.

I realized this when Downey started hitting back.

Then I began to see the temper tantrums she was throwing. Standing there screaming, hands balled in tight fists, she’d let me know she was angry – real fast!

That’s when I knew. My little angel had learned by example.

MY example.

Friends and family can be so sweet. “Christy,” they say, “you’re a good mother.”

If only they knew how many times a day I fail! Downey gets her short temper from me! (And her father, he’s not innocent in this at all!) If I had a nickel for every time during the day I stop what I’m doing – and send a sling-shot prayer up to God. “Please help me, Lord! Help me find patience! I know she’s only two, but I know she realizes she’s driving me crazy – And she’s enjoying every minute of it!” – I’d be a woman with a whole lotta nickels!

So parents, just know every word you say, your little one is listening. If you say a curse word, you’d better believe your little angel is going to repeat it the very next day. If you lose your temper, your little one is going to act out his/her frustrations in the same manner.

This weekend, I explained to Downey we don’t always get our way. At Sunday school, Downey’s friend, Carley, stole her chair and then took Downey’s toy. I feel I’m in a difficult spot – because I don’t see everything that’s happening with these kids. I miss the Carley took my toy part, or the Downey took my doll part. I’m having a hard time because I’m not just Downey’s mom, who wants to defend her as much as possible, I’m also the teacher and will be fair to all the kids. I see my daughter isn’t always right, just like me.

I’m learning about discipline (the how tos and what nots)right along with her.

I am helping Grandma realize she must use a firm tone with Downey to show our stubborn two year old that hitting Grandma is not acceptable.

Downey is not a Holy Terror. Let me assure you of this. She is a sweet child, who knows what the Bible looks like and is. She sings “Jesus Loves Me” and Barney’s “I Love You, You Love Me” song. She is learning to share. She has a sweet, tender side, that’s demonstrated in the way she cares for her dolls, feeds them, loves them. She loves her family and talks about them often, even when its been weeks that she hasn’t seen Aunt Kari, Uncle Blake and Cousin Landon. She looks forward to going to Nana’s and seeing Cousin Savannah. She loves Grandma, Paw-Paw, and Chelsea.

It’s times like this that I know I’m not screwing my child up totally. I realize something I’m doing during the day is right, even though I look over the house and the laundry’s still piled up, half-folded, there are dishes in the sink, and I’m stressed because I’ve wasted my writing time and haven’t accomplished any of my goals for the day.

Yet, I’ll never be able to return to these days when Downey lets me hold her and we watch her favorite “The Big Comfy Couch” program. (She hates for me to read to her! Gasp!)

The days when all we worry about is if we’re going to go outside and play on the swing set or blow bubbles will soon be gone.

I’m trying to remember God put Downey in my life for a reason. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so I need to cherish every moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff and laugh when all I want to do is cry. I need to look into her eyes, touch her tiny fingers, and remember time goes way too fast.

Teach by example, and be the best example possible.

Teach by Example

I’m learning this concept the hard way.

My two year old’s stubborn spirit became evident early on. We marveled at how quickly she learned. She loved to watch Barney. Because we liked to keep her happy, we bought every DVD we could find of Barney. Downey got where she could tell us which Barney episode she wanted to watch AND insert that into the DVD player!

But like most toddlers, and children, they aren’t receptive when it comes to doing what they’re told. Singing the “Clean Up, Clean Up” song that was featured on a Barney episode soon wasn’t enough to motivate my little one to clean up her mess. She’d rather leave the mess of toys or paper/crayons and go on to the next adventure.

Though spanking may work sometimes, I feel it should be an absolute last resort.

I realized this when Downey started hitting back.

Then I began to see the temper tantrums she was throwing. Standing there screaming, hands balled in tight fists, she’d let me know she was angry – real fast!

That’s when I knew. My little angel had learned by example.

MY example.

Friends and family can be so sweet. “Christy,” they say, “you’re a good mother.”

If only they knew how many times a day I fail! Downey gets her short temper from me! (And her father, he’s not innocent in this at all!) If I had a nickel for every time during the day I stop what I’m doing – and send a sling-shot prayer up to God. “Please help me, Lord! Help me find patience! I know she’s only two, but I know she realizes she’s driving me crazy – And she’s enjoying every minute of it!” – I’d be a woman with a whole lotta nickels!

So parents, just know every word you say, your little one is listening. If you say a curse word, you’d better believe your little angel is going to repeat it the very next day. If you lose your temper, your little one is going to act out his/her frustrations in the same manner.

This weekend, I explained to Downey we don’t always get our way. At Sunday school, Downey’s friend, Carley, stole her chair and then took Downey’s toy. I feel I’m in a difficult spot – because I don’t see everything that’s happening with these kids. I miss the Carley took my toy part, or the Downey took my doll part. I’m having a hard time because I’m not just Downey’s mom, who wants to defend her as much as possible, I’m also the teacher and will be fair to all the kids. I see my daughter isn’t always right, just like me.

I’m learning about discipline (the how tos and what nots)right along with her.

I am helping Grandma realize she must use a firm tone with Downey to show our stubborn two year old that hitting Grandma is not acceptable.

Downey is not a Holy Terror. Let me assure you of this. She is a sweet child, who knows what the Bible looks like and is. She sings “Jesus Loves Me” and Barney’s “I Love You, You Love Me” song. She is learning to share. She has a sweet, tender side, that’s demonstrated in the way she cares for her dolls, feeds them, loves them. She loves her family and talks about them often, even when its been weeks that she hasn’t seen Aunt Kari, Uncle Blake and Cousin Landon. She looks forward to going to Nana’s and seeing Cousin Savannah. She loves Grandma, Paw-Paw, and Chelsea.

It’s times like this that I know I’m not screwing my child up totally. I realize something I’m doing during the day is right, even though I look over the house and the laundry’s still piled up, half-folded, there are dishes in the sink, and I’m stressed because I’ve wasted my writing time and haven’t accomplished any of my goals for the day.

Yet, I’ll never be able to return to these days when Downey lets me hold her and we watch her favorite “The Big Comfy Couch” program. (She hates for me to read to her! Gasp!)

The days when all we worry about is if we’re going to go outside and play on the swing set or blow bubbles will soon be gone.

I’m trying to remember God put Downey in my life for a reason. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so I need to cherish every moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff and laugh when all I want to do is cry. I need to look into her eyes, touch her tiny fingers, and remember time goes way too fast.

Teach by example, and be the best example possible.