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Saturday, July 29, 2023
About the Book
Book: The Laws of Attraction
Author: Mary Connealy
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: June 20, 2023
Can they risk giving in to the attraction between them while their lives are on the line?
If widowed seamstress Nell Armstrong has to make one more pair of boring chaps for the cowboys in her tiny Wyoming town, she might just quit the business altogether! So meeting Brand Nolte, a widower struggling to raise three girls on his own, seems like her dream come true. Brand has no idea how to dress the girls properly, and Nell finally has a chance to create beautiful outfits while also teaching the girls to sew.
But Nell is much more than a seamstress, and the investigative skills and knowledge she picked up alongside her late lawman husband soon become critical when a wounded stagecoach-robbery survivor is brought to town. As danger closes in from all sides, Nell and Brand must discover who has a target trained on them before it’s too late.
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 1.5 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
The Laws of Attraction, the idea of it, was what kicked off the whole Wyoming Sunrise series.
A woman justice of the peace.
Wyoming, oddly enough, was the first state in the union to give women the right to vote. And it wasn’t just voting, it was suffrage. That meant so much more than just voting. There were property rights involved, the right to serve on juries, and the right to run for office or be appointed to political offices.
Wyoming was the first state to have a woman justice of the peace. I read about Esther Hobart Morris and thought, hey, my heroine could be the second justice of the peace.
My heroine is a seamstress. Of the three heroines in the Wyoming Sunrise series, Nell, the heroine of book #2, is the one who is not in a traditionally masculine role. In book #1 Mariah is a blacksmith. In book #3 Becky is a lady rancher.
Nell just wants to sew pretty dresses and make beautiful bonnets. She likes to tat her own lace. She likes flowery fabric and lots of ruffles.
And then she moved to Wyoming. Nine thousand total residence and five men for every one woman. And the few women who are there all sew their own dresses.
To add to that, Nell, a widow, didn’t have a happy first marriage. She has no interest in marrying again. Staying single in a state like Wyoming isn’t easy, but she’s managed it. Her first husband was a lawman, and when a band of stagecoach robbers are plaguing the area, Nell finds she’s got skills to investigate these crimes that far exceed the local sheriff.
The sheriff is impressed, and when the town’s justice of the peace resigns, the sheriff appoints Nell.
I just had so much fun with this book. Nell is frustrated because she isn’t getting to make dresses. She does discover a talent for working with leather and making chaps. She hates it, but the orders just keep pouring in and she’s making a tidy living. Not having a lot of fun but definitely prospering.
And then a local homesteader with three half-grown daughters, all of whom desperately need a new dress, runs across Nell, and she wheels and deals him into letting her make them in exchange for his daughters working for her, making chaps.
Nell’s talent for investigating crimes soon puts her in danger. And Brandon Nolte, her best customer, finds himself, Nell, and his girls all surrounded by danger.
The Laws of Attraction—fun, fast-paced, and love is the most fundamental law of all.
Welcome to the Wild West where stage coach robbers are mean and are determined to not leave any witnesses. Yes folks during this time period it was down right dangerous to ride a stage coach. The outlaw gangs were hiding in wait to attack the innocent people who traveled by stage coach. I can’t imagine how scary it would be to see an armed person approaching and you were trapped with no way to escape. The author paints a great picture of how it was in Wyoming territory.
We are introduced to Nell who is the local dress shop owner. She is one smart woman who paid close attention to her now deceased husband when he was a lawman. He taught her skills that has become valuable in her survival now. I did find it a little funny that her skills were being used to make chaps instead of pretty clothes for women. It has made her money doing this but she so wants to use her skills for pretty things instead of boring chaps for cowboys who probably don’t see the intricate skills she has.
Brand is a hardworking man who is now raising his three daughters alone after the death of his wife. He feels inadequate to see to their needs at times which you can tell make him feel like he is failing his girls. The introduction to Nell shines a light on how much he needs to learn about raising girls. Her selfless act to make dresses for them in exchange for their work at her shop gives him hope. Oh my I could feel how excited those sweet girls felt when they found out they were getting a new dress.
I was impressed by the skills Nell uses to help figure out who is behind the stage coach robberies. She becomes very important as she is able to identify certain things that others may have overlooked. One man who has survived the attack is hidden away in town with townspeople watching him around the clock. Is it possible that one of them is a part of the gang? The tension is high as the town tries to figure out who in their town is behind the killings. I liked how many came together to stand guard and protect each other. Community was very important in these troubled times and now they must stand together to rid their town of these dangerous men.
I loved how the author gives Nell a prestigious job of Justice of the Peace. What an honor it was to be appointed as the second justice of the peace in America. She has a big responsibility presiding over court, signing subpoenas and other duties that involve the law.
There is plenty of action in the story as the town gets together to hunt down the men who have been causing havoc and taking innocent lives. The author gives us a few surprises along the way which I loved. Be sure and grab a copy of this book that will give you a look at the Wild West and how a town comes together to help each other out.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Kick back with your faithful companion and relax with a small-town mystery in book 5 of the Gone to the Dogs series.
Lone Star groomer, Isabel Fuentes, adopts a feisty rescued dachshund, and the two are inseparable. . .until Texans quarterback, Corey Wallis, announces a large reward for his missing female dachshund. Suddenly all of Houston are on the lookout for the MIA pooch that bares a strong resemblance to Isabel’s new pup. Isabel contacts Corey, but soon Ginger goes missing and Isabel is convinced Corey and his agent took her for a publicity stunt. Then there is a reporter who could be trying to manufacture a great story or a cameraman seeking the big reward. Can there be a happy ending for Ginger?
Janice Thompson, who lives in the Houston area, writes romantic comedies, cozy mysteries, nonfiction devotionals, and musical comedies for the stage. She is the mother of four daughters and nine feisty grandchildren. When she’s not writing books or taking care of foster dogs you’ll find her in the kitchen, baking up specialty cakes and cookies.
More from Janice
The Story Behind the Story
For years now, I’ve been in the dog rescue business. I’ve fostered close to 50 dogs—some from the local shelter, some from an amazing dog rescue organization called My Chi and Me, and some directly from the streets of Houston.
About a year ago, (around the same time I set out to write Every Dog Has His Day) I was given a tiny red dachshund to foster. If you know anything about me at all, you know that I’m head-over-heels in love with dachshunds, especially red ones. I had a female red dachshund named Sasha who lived with me for 15 years. She passed away in 2017, just after my mom died.
When this tiny red doxie came to stay at my house last year, I was tempted to keep her. But I’ve already got three dogs of my own. So, she went to my grandchildren, who live about 30 minutes away.
Here’s the fun part: I got to name her. I gave her the name Ginger because of her color. (Interesting irony: I’m allergic to ginger. Can’t touch the stuff!)
Now that she’s been in the family a year or so, she’s become my favorite grand-dog. Ginger stays with me a lot—when the family is vacationing, when she needs to socialize with my dogs, and when I’m lonely for her.
I love this little girl. She’s an absolute doll. Okay, she’s naughty as can be, but she’s a doll.
So, when I got ready to write Every Dog Has His Day, I decided to include Ginger as part of the story. Trust me when I say the real Ginger is a runner, just like the fictionalized one! If I opened the front door, she would run right out. And, just like the dog in the book, she probably wouldn’t come back.
Our Ginger doesn’t have a white patch on her paw. (Most doxies, other than dapples, are solid color.) But I needed to give my fictional Ginger a distinguishing mark so that the two characters (her rescuer and her owner) could end up squabbling over her.
As is the case in most of my stories, my characters end up romantically involved. Hey, dogs aren’t just great companions; they’re wonderful matchmakers, too! As of yet, the real Ginger hasn’t brought a love interest into my life. (Here’s hoping!)
I hope you enjoy Every Dog Has His Day. As you read about that tiny mischievous doxie, just know that she’s a very real little dog—one who climbed up on my kitchen island just yesterday and got into some carefully-wrapped treats I’d made for the grandkids.
Sometimes life really is stranger than fiction!
I love how the author incorporates her gift of humor into this story. The setting is perfect as I live in the area she refers to. The story is about a little dachshund who I adored. I have always thought they were a cute breed and during the story I was able to know more about this breed. Being a purebred you would think it was chipped wouldn’t you? It’s a mystery why this sweet little dog was found wondering the streets in Houston.
Oh my just wait till you find out who the owner is of this precious little dog. I was flabbergasted and also a bit excited. The author knows just how to hook her readers with excitement, laughs, faith and southern hospitality. I loved the nod to out football team , The Texans and our baseball team The Astros. It made me smile to think about our teams and how much of a fan I am of them.
That brings me to the owner of the dog who is being fostered by the adorable Isabel. She falls in love with the sweet dog and has misgivings of who the owner claims to be. What a circus it turns out to be around the clinic when a very famous athlete shows up to claim the dog.
I’m pretty sure I laughed through the entire book as we are reacquainted with Grandma Peach and her new husband the Reverend . They are a hoot and bring such joy to the story. There is a secret wedding to discover as well in this cozy mystery. I love how the author has brought a quaint little town to life with characters who scream of southern hospitality at its best. Now I’m not gonna tell you what happens to the dog or if there may be a blossoming romance but I can say this is a must read book.
Get ready for famous stars, laughter, dogs and a mystery sure to keep you guessing. Thank you to the author for sharing about ministering to the lost and homeless people in the Houston area. It is something every city deals with and the author highlights this in her book with compassion. The ending is oh my so so good. I think you have outdone yourself with this book Janice.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
Immerse yourself in the “what if” questions related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke when a native princess meets an English widower.
Born the daughter of a Powhatan chieftain and a woman of unknown origins, Matoaka enjoys a carefree life. When strange men from across the eastern waters appear near her home, she regards them at first as a mere curiosity. Soon, though, she finds herself torn between friendship with one of their leaders and the opinions and politics of her elders. Drawn to a young Englishman, John Rolfe, who has lost a wife and baby daughter, she shares his griefs. . .and perhaps something more. Could she have a future among the English of Jamestown, accepting their ways and even changing her name? Could her fate be a part of the lasting legacy of the Lost Colony of Roanoke?
Author Shannon McNear portrays history with vivid authenticity.
Transplanted to North Dakota after more than two decades in Charleston, South Carolina, Shannon McNear loves losing herself in local history. She’s a military wife, mom of eight, mother-in-law of three, grammie of two, and a member of ACFW and RWA. Her first novella, Defending Truth in A Pioneer Christmas Collection,was a 2014 RITA® finalist. When she’s not sewing researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the northern prairies. Connect with her at www.shannonmcnear.com, or on Facebook and Goodreads.
More from Shannon
Daughters of the Lost Colony—how are we at book 3 already? I’m both excited and nervous about this one, which features Pocahontas and the original Jamestown. Why did I choose her, and this place, when the overall series is about the Lost Colony?
Among their various other aims, the Jamestown colonists were charged with finding the Roanoke Colony. John Smith’s own reports reference this, and one can sense his discouragement and frustration over their inability to find answers on the fate of those who came to the New World before them. William Strachey, early secretary to the colony, stated that Powhatan (that is, the paramount chieftain often called by the same name as his people group) had slain the last known survivors of the Roanoke Colony. But nowhere is that claim substantiated.
There were no solid historical connections between the Lost Colony and Pocahontas—so I created a plausible fictional one in the form of Emme Merrimoth, a historically documented member of the Roanoke Colony who in book 1, Elinor, experienced the fictional adventure of being carried captive to the Powhatan nation. Where Strachey lists the names of the paramount chieftain’s favored wives, I put Emme in the place of the real-life Winganuske.
I knew the research would be challenging on this one. What I didn’t expect was to find Emme’s aspect of this story so compelling—or to fall in love with Wahunsenecawh, the great Powhatan himself. The name alone is intimidating, but you can find sound clips of how to pronounce it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q_10PYf_0U and here: https://www.nameslook.com/wahunsenacawh/ (ignore the weird stuff and click on the little red arrows for different voices). There are at least five or six documented ways to spell it, and the one I picked is probably the most obscure. I had a year to get used to saying it, but repeat after me, slowly: wah-HUN-senacoh. Or wah-HOON-senacah, depending upon which rule you use for the U in Algonquian pronunciation, and how you interpret that “wh” at the end.
Names overall were an issue with this story. A few reviewers have already mentioned this difficulty. The thing is, in Native culture, especially what we know of the Eastern Algonquian-speaking peoples, a name wasn’t simply a casual identifier—it defined a person’s entire identity. We don’t know what most of the names recorded from that time meant, but we can be sure they weren’t chosen lightly, and they were valued by those who held them. Indeed, a change of name often accompanied a change of purpose. It has even been suggested that if the English had been paying attention, they’d have realized when Opechancanough changed his name shortly before the great attack of 1622, it signaled a critical shift in his attitude toward them.
So when you read this story, you may find it helpful to keep a finger in the cast list—or to place a bookmark on that page if you’re reading the Kindle version. Thank you so much, again, for taking this journey with me!
What makes this story so good for me is the authentic historical details that sweep you back in time. The author has delivered a book with realistic characters who have struggles, finding where they belong and deepening their faith. Readers will witness the way of life during of this time period and how different beliefs can tear people apart.
With the time period in the 1600s certain situations were handled differently. One scene is where the removal of the president of the colonies is under attack. He is very close to being removed from office and I was mesmerized by the scene. Mounting evidence to removal him is imminent and one of the best scenes in the book. What happens to him will unfold as readers are glued to the pages.
Another that struck me was how desperate people were for survival. Not only were the colonies in dire straits but also the Naturals. It opens the doors for attacks, secrets and a question of loyalty. The author gives us a look at a young woman who is on the cusp of becoming a vital part of history. I loved following her as she endured a kidnapping and someone very special who comes to her aide.
The faith element in the book is very clear and I found it helpful to steer people to understand His sacrifice for all of us. There are many times in the story where I wasn’t sure how John Smith would fare. It also clearly shows how important Rebecca was to help others. It must have been hard to determine who to trust during this time as they each tried to provide for their people. I did learn a few things about this time period and made me dig further into what transpired during this time of survival and power.
One thing was clear to me and as the story progressed. I saw how people will at times do whatever it takes to survive and thrive. One young woman will step out of her comfort zone to help others and continue to rely on faith. A beautiful account of how a person can make a difference when they follow God.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.
"Questions, Quarrels, & Quandary: A Camper & Criminals Cozy Mystery Series Book 32" invites you back to the heart of Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest. The Cowgirl Campers, an all-women's vintage camping club, roll into the Happy Trails Campground with their quaint campers, ready to indulge in the annual 127 yard sale and antique treasure hunting. But amidst the cozy camaraderie, a chilling event shatters the tranquility.
Local woman Etta Hardgrove, a consignor at the Tough Nickel thrift shop, catches the eye of a Cowgirl Camper with her distinctive jewelry. But when Etta is found dead, the Campers swiftly become suspects, mired in a town teeming with those who harbored ill-will against Etta. The mystery deepens, and no one can be trusted.
Meanwhile, campground owner Mae and her partner Hank have their hands full. Hank is preoccupied with a missing teenager's case while Mae is entangled in wedding plans and premarital counseling that she's not particularly invested in, much to the dismay of her friend Mary Elizabeth.
As whispers of suspicion turn towards the nomadic Cowgirl Campers, Mae, Dottie, and the intrepid Laundry Club Ladies embark on a mission to unravel the truth behind Etta's untimely death. They dig deep into Etta's past and scrutinize the traveling campers, all to ensure the safety of their beloved Normal, Kentucky.
From yard sales to murder trails, "Questions, Quarrels, & Quandary" delivers a captivating blend of cozy camaraderie, nuptial nuances, and mystery that will keep you guessing till the last page.
This has to be my favorite series that the author has written. She has created a quaint little town where local shops entice tourists from all over. I could sit at Cookie Crumble for hours and sample all the delicious sweets that could tempt anyone to over indulge. The coffee is always available at the town’s favorite spot. But what really brings the tourists is Mae’s campground. From the smallest detail of making sure that each campsite has wood to a s’mores adventure, there is much to do at Happy Trails Campground.
I loved the new visitors that have come to stay for an adventure and would love to be part of their group. Who doesn’t love retro trailers and themed ones like Barbie or Coca Cola? The Camper Cowgirls are here to go to the biggest garage around, visit the town of Normal and take in the beauty surrounding the camp. The author takes us along as the women go to a yard sale where treasures are found. Now there is a story behind one item that was purchased but readers will have to find that out for themselves.
Needless to say a murder takes place and I was very sad of who it was. It is a shock to Mae and her group which gears them up to investigate. While this is going on Hank has his hands full trying to solve the mystery of a missing girl. Did I mention that there is also marriage preparations going on as well? The book is well stocked with mystery, a special wedding coming up soon and Dottie who has become my favorite character.
I appreciate the author touching on the subject of hoarding. Some people have a real problem with this and can cause families to fight and isolate the one with the problem? Did Etta’s hoarding have anything to do with her murder? The ending is a shocker for me as the murderer is revealed. The author had me completely fooled because I was so sure of who it was.
As the book ends the author teases us with a getaway with the girls for Mae’s bachelorette party. Oh my I can’t wait to see what happens when they are all together with a plan that will probably send Mae into fits as she endures an adventure with her friends.
I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.