Sunday, January 1, 2012

Book Review: Nosy in Nebraska

Melnik Nebraska may only have a population of 1,138, but truthfully, everyone in Nebraska outside of the metropolitan areas of Omaha and Lincoln lives in Melnik. I'm pretty sure everyone in rural America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Canada to Mexico lives in Melnik.

"The best thing and worst thing about a small town was the same thing.

Everybody knew.

If you needed help, lost a job and needed money, had a death in the family, an illness, everybody knew and came to your aid. If you messed up, everybody knew and discussed every detail of the trouble."

Nosy in Nebraska is a trilogy written by Mary Connealy, and includes the individual titles "Of Mice... and Murder," "Pride and Pestilence," and "The Mice Man Cometh," with publication dates of 2008, 2009 and 2009, respectively.

Witty. It's a characteristic sometimes lacking in independent authors, especially independent authors who write Christian romance mysteries. Not to be prejudiced against that genre, but in my experience, titles can sometimes be sappy and trite to an alarmingly boring degree.

Not so with Mary Connealy, who has entertainingly and humorously captured life in a small town, and Nebraska is fortunate enough to have the setting for the fictional Melnik be in our great state.

Each title in the trilogy is a murder-mystery cozy, with romance and Christian overtones. Great reads for winter afternoons snuggled before a fire, or long, lazy summer days at your favorite beach or park.

If you find you like her writing, according to her website, there are a lot more titles to find:
Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is the author of the Lassoed in Texas series, Petticoat Ranch, the Christy Award nominated Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. The Montana Marriages series, Carol Award Finalist Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. A stand alone romantic comedy with cowboys, Cowboy Christmas which won the 2010 Carol Award for Long Historical Romance. A new series with ties to both of the old ones, Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats and Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

If I read the descriptions right, these are more in the historical romance genre, and never having read any of them, can't comment with any authority. But... if I had to take a guess based on the three that I have read, they will be well-written, light-hearted entertainment that'll make you feel good when you're finished.

I'm glad my sister-in-law introduced me to Mary - what an interesting character. In addition to her published writing under her own name, she has an alter-ego, Mary Nealy who has written a suspense thriller "Ten Plagues." She is also an avid blogger, so you can get to know her at numerous places on the web. One of the most interesting is "Seekerville," with a subtitle of "The Seekers, Escape from Unpubbed Island." Thirteen Christian writers who collided on the way to becoming published authors, a note on their "About Us" page announces that as of July 2011, all of the authors have left Unpubbed Island - with the sale of novel-length manuscripts.

Congratulations on all their success. If you're looking for a quick read if this winter ever decides to grace us with some snow, check out Mary Connealy.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

Happy New Year

The house is quiet early on the morning of the first day of 2012, for the first time in about ten days. The two boys who are home are enjoying sleeping in after celebrating the coming of the new year.

Our holiday celebrations began on December 23 with the arrival of our daughter from California, marking the beginning of a gathering that would see all of us together for the first time in nine years.

The time went so fast, but we tried to make the most of it.

There was the great road trip into the Sandhills where we saw lots of scenery and wildlife.Then there was a visit to the homesteading cabin occupied by the kids' Great Grandparents.
We explored a bit of Sutherland, including Grandma Irene's First Street Fitness Center. And of course, there was the food! Our big celebration came on the 28th when all of the kids finally arrived. The meal marked the largest gathering of our kids and the Nebraska Outback side of the family in recent memory.We enjoyed our traditional holiday trip to Seifer Farms Sporting Clays to blow up some things.And we did some touristy things like visiting the Golden Spike Tower. And the Fort Cody Trading Post where we got some amazing gifts for the White Elephant exchange. It of course, was all over too quickly, but we did have time for one last drive to enjoy the beautiful Nebraska sunset.
With that foundation to build upon, 2012 is shaping up to be a wonderful year. Thank you for stopping by. Best wishes for an amazing 2012 from the Nebraska Outback. Stop by sometime... remember, the coffee is always on.