Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Welcome Mary Sullivan

 Mary Sullivan grew up amid the cultural pop and fizz of an urban cosmopolitan center. Despite this, she writes about a small fictional town called Ordinary in Montana, and peoples her stories with cowboys and ranchers. Harlequin published the first in her Ordinary, Montana, series, NO ORDINARY COWBOY, in June of 2009. Four more novels followed quickly, A COWBOY'S PLAN, THIS COWBOY'S SON, BEYOND ORDINARY and THESE TIES THAT BIND. 

Currently, NO ORDINARY SHERIFF, the sixth and last of the Ordinary series, is on bookstore shelves.   www.marysullivanbooks.com

Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 978-0-373-71780-4

Shannon Wilson is on the fast track to the top. A DEA agent from the big city, she's simply passing through Ordinary, Montana, to settle a score. And no small-town sheriff will derail her plans simply because he flashes a badge and a great smile…no matter how sexy he looks in that cowboy hat.

After all, Sheriff Cash Kavenagh is ready to settle into that white-picket-fence ideal. And Shannon isn't about to swap her fast-paced lifestyle for such an ordinary existence. Only problem is—wrapped in those big masculine arms of his, Shannon can't seem to shake the feeling that life with Cash may just be the most extraordinary thing that's ever happened to her.



Maureen, thank you for having me today! I’m so happy to be here.

Glad to have you. :) What’s your favorite holiday?

Christmas. I come from a large family and we have a lot of fun when we get together. We do a lot of laughing. With some family members it might be the only time I’ll see them for the year. I go home on Christmas night tired but happy.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

OUT OF AFRICA. I loved the Robert Redford character.  Meryl Streep’s acting was stunning and the scenery spectacular and there were so many heartbreakingly beautiful moments.

What’s the first book you remember reading?

I had a book about ballet with illustrations of children doing the five basic ballet positions. I remember standing in my bedroom doing those positions over and over again until it stopped feeling awkward. My parents sent me for lessons, but I quit after just a few. I can’t remember why. I sure loved that book, though.

What really scares you?

Oh my goodness, what doesn’t? Seriously, though, spiders and insects. They make my skin crawl. Snakes used to do the same, but this past autumn I attended the local agricultural fair and, in the children’s section a young woman was holding a small, harmless, garden snake and, for the first time ever, I made myself touch it. His skin was soft and his head incredibly tiny and he was really quite sweet. I’m still not sure I could bring myself to touch anything larger, but getting over fear is all about baby steps…lots and lots of baby steps.

Who was your favorite teacher in grade school? Why?

My favorite was my grade three or four teacher, but I’m COMPLETELY blanking on her name. I’d like to say that in some deep, profound way she started me on my lifelong journey toward publication, but no. She had a desk drawer full of these great tiny toys that she used to give out at the end of her frequent spelling bees. I used to win regularly and get to choose something to take home. I realize now that they were cheap trinkets, but I saw them as treasures. These days, I would never win spelling—or grammar—awards. I’ve forgotten so much over the years. God bless editors. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. They perform a valuable service.

What was your favorite book when you were twelve?

I don’t know which one exactly, but I do know that I jumped straight from children’s books to adult books. So it would have been something by Victoria Holt or Phyllis Whitney or Daphne DuMaurier. I devoured their books. I loved my local library and came home laden with as many as I was allowed to withdraw and, many weekends, would stay up reading on Friday and Saturday nights until 3, 4 or 5 in the morning.

I think a lot of  jumped straight from kids books to adult books. Teens today (and adults) are so lucky to have real young adult books. **shameless plug from Maureen** 
What sound or noise do you love?

I live across the street from an elementary school with a small playground. The building next to mine has a daycare in it and the children walk past my windows on their way to the playground. Their voices as they talk to each other couldn’t possibly be cuter. They chirp. Their cheer me up while I write and wrestle with plots and recalcitrant characters who won’t do what they’re told.

There’s another daycare on the far side of the schoolyard and I often hear the children screaming. Oddly, it doesn’t really bother me, but I could never figure out why they were screaming so much…until the day I walked by just as the caregiver said, “We’re going back indoors in one minute. If you have any screaming inside of you, get rid of it now before we go inside.” The children stood in a circle and screamed at each other. The teacher said, “Okay, now it’s time to go in,” and they stopped screaming and followed her docilely. That teacher was so smart. Now when I hear them screaming, I smile.

A quick anecdote…another day a police officer pulled up in his car across the street and the children all ran to the fence to tell him there was something wrong with his car because his police lights weren’t on. He said, “They aren’t???” as if he was completely surprised, then got back into his car, turned on the flashing lights and the siren and that ‘whoop whoop’ noise they can make, then drove away like that while the children cheered. It was incredibly sweet to watch this big burly cop turn into jelly for these kids.

What’s the best thing about being an author?

Honestly, I genuinely enjoy meeting readers, especially if they like my writing, or have been touched by it in some way. In my very first published novel, NO ORDINARY SHERIFF, the heroine had lost a breast to cancer. Her husband walked out on her and she can’t trust that another man could love her scarred body. The hero helps her to heal with his tender lovemaking. I received an email from a woman who had read the book and was so touched because she had gone through the same dreadful events and a man had helped her to heal by loving her in exactly the way my hero had loved my heroine. I got chills when I read her email—and a little teary-eyed.

Here’s my question to you: what is the most moving scene you’ve read in a novel, perhaps one that has stayed with you for years? Why did it affect you so strongly, and why do you still remember it?

Mary is giving away a copy of NO ORDINARY SHERIFF to someone who comments today!
Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

Come back tomorrow for Sandra Sookoo!

STACYD is the winner of the book! Congrats, Stacy!


  1. Hi everyone! LOL, I'm just responding to Maureen's plug regarding young adult books. Maureen's are SO great! I recommend them highly ;-)


    Love your books. Many many scenes to choose from. But I'm going to toot my own horn (forgive me >>grin<<).

    In the book I just finished (DANGEROUS MEMORIES), I subconsiously wrote a descriptive theme into the book. It was bizarre and totally unlike me. When the theme turned out to be clues...I got cold chills. WISH I could be more specific, but it's a spoiler.


  3. There is a scene in the futuristic book Relentless by Lauren Dane that has stuck with me for years. The hero is in love with a commoner but he must marry someone from his own class. The scene where they both know it will be their last night together before he must choose a bride just breaks my heart. That whole book is wonderful but that scene is so emotional.

    geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

  4. Angi, I love the sound of your themes turning into clues. No wonder you got chills when you realized what your subconsciousness was doing! When will Dangerous Memories come out? I'll watch for it!

    1. February 2013 from Harlequin Intrigue.

      Thanks for asking, Mary.

  5. Stacie, that scene sounds wonderful. It would certainly be heartbreaking knowing that the hero would never be with the heroine again--like that last scene from Casablanca. Soooo moving. Sounds like Relentless is a great book.

  6. Hmm.... for me, it was the Jane Eyre scene at the end when she first saw the hero again after a long absence....

  7. Aaah, yes, good choice, May ;-)

  8. The opening scene in The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold haunts me. Sebold does an amazing job of capturing the childlike innocence of an adolescent girl on the verge of discovering the wonder of first love and contrasts it with the horror of rape and murder. I think it stuck with me because I love romance novels and happy endings, and the character Susie should have been experiencing that pure innocent love but instead the words "I love you" relate to pure everlasting horror. Even more disturbing, Sebold makes you feel like you were there in the middle of the scene and couldn't help.

  9. Yes, Kim, I remember that opening scene. It was amazing. So well-crafted and so disturbing.

  10. In Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole, there's a scene where Regin asks for Declan to live. It's memorable because she's had to live without him for over a thousand years.


  11. bn, I think sometimes paranormal novels work so well because the stakes are so high. In other words, you won't lose him for this lifetime, but for all of eternity. That kind of suffering seems unfathomable. If the author can turn it around so the hero and heroine can be together in the end, the satisfaction is that much stronger.

    1. I haven't ever thought of that, Mary. Very interesting...I think you're right.