Welcome Back, Mary Sullivan
Mary Sullivan, a born-and-bred city girl of Irish descent, grew up amid the cultural fizz of Greektown in Toronto, eating Greek pastries on the Danforth, noshing on grapes from her Italian neighbor’s vines, and drinking Turkish coffee with her Macedonian friend whose mother read the grounds and postulated about her future. Funny that she never predicted that one day Mary would become a published author.
A hopelessly inept athlete, Mary never stops trying. A couple of years ago she took an Outward Bound course—dogsledding in February in breathtaking Algonquin Park in northern Ontario. She came home bruised and euphoric.
She has been a finalist in many contests, including RWA’s Golden Heart, and has won Booksellers’ Best, RomCon and RT awards. Who knew daydreaming could be so rewarding?
ABOUT THE BOOK
Mary Sulivan's latest Harlequin Superromance, IN FROM THE COLD, is a February release about a man who owns a dogsledding business. Note the gorgeous new style for the 2013 Superromance covers. So warm!
‘A city girl to her core, Callie MacKintosh doesn’t do rugged. She does do her job, however. That’s why she’s here in this Rocky Mountain town getting more of rugged than she ever wanted. All she has to do is persuade Gabe Jordan to sign over his share of the family land so her boss can develop it.
Too bad the situation is not that simple. Gabe is her boss’s estranged brother. And Gabe is the most fascinating man she’s ever met. Her focus is severely compromised by his strong, sexy ways. More than that, having spent time on this land, she’s no longer convinced a ski resort belongs here. But she thinks she might. Because for the first time, with Gabe, she feels as though she’s come home.’
GET TO KNOW MARY SULLIVAN
Okay, now that we have the promo out of the way, let’s chat! Thank you so much to Maureen and Get Lost in a Story for hosting me today. I always enjoy visiting this fabulous blog.
MAUREEN: Where do you like to read and how often?
MARY: I most like to read at home, in the evenings when it’s quiet. In September, I gave up my TV cable subscription. I’d been watching far too much of it and was seeing it more and more as a waste of time. In the months leading up to Christmas, I knit a lot of gifts while listening to my favorite music, took long walks to try to lose weight, and then read before bed every night. My biggest problem? Stopping at a reasonable hour, but honestly, don’t you love those books you can’t put down until you finish them, even if it means reading until 4 in the morning?
On a side note, the walking worked, but how is it possible to lose an inch and a half from my waist since August, but not a single pound??? Sigh.
MAUREEN: Where in the world would you most like to visit?
MARY: Alaska, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories. Strangely, for a girl raised in the city, I’ve always been intrigued by the wilderness, by any rough and rugged terrain, and by stories of survival in hostile physical environments. One of the best books I read recently that I loved was a kid’s novel, Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Just fabulous.
Perhaps it all started with my dad who was a construction worker and took jobs all over Canada. In 1953, he traveled north of the Arctic Circle when there were no passenger planes flying to the Arctic. He flew in his winter longjohns and big parka and packed his own sandwiches and thermos of coffee. At that time, it was so unusual to fly that far north that he received a plaque that stated that he’d flown north of the Arctic Circle. It hung on one of our walls until long after his death.
The photographs he sent home of the scenery and of the Inuit building igloos fascinated me.
MAUREEN: Cats or dogs?
MARY: I love them both, but I adore dogs, which led me to my adventure with dogsledding. While the physical activity, the adventure and the breathtaking beauty of northern Ontario in the winter were all wonderful, the best part of the Outward Bound course was the dogs. They were phenomenal, just full of heart and the desire to run their hearts out for us. In return, they were treated like gold. After five or six hours of sledding, when we returned to camp we took care of the dogs before we did anything else, certainly before we did anything for ourselves. My hero, Gabe, own a dogsledding business, and I used my experience to fill the book with details, but what I wanted to convey most was how much our guides loved, respected and cared for the dogs.
Here’s my favorite photo of one of them. They were happiest when they were running and pulling the sleds and, if we stopped for any reason, they became impatient and barked, yipped and jumped until we got moving again.
This is Keebler jumping up in the air trying to make the sled move while Azul looks like a very patient older sibling:
So much joy in the dogs!
MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?
MARY: Both, as a city girl with a fascination of the wilderness, but also complete, utter envy of my sister’s shoe closet!
MAUREEN: What book would you want with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
MARY: LaVyrle Spencer’s Morning Glory. I was in my early forties when my mother suggested that I read it. I did, but very reluctantly, because I refused to read romance. My mother raved about MG, so I capitulated. The story and the writing blew my mind. I devoured Spencer’s other books and decided I wanted to write romance. I still marvel that one simple act by my mum started me on this wonderful journey.
MAUREEN: What’s next for you as an author?
MARY: Just before Christmas, I sold three more stories to Harlequin. My editor had a slot she needed to fill for October, so I agreed to finish the first story by February 15th. An 80,000 word novel in two months is quite a rush for a slow thinker like me ;-)
Here’s an excerpt from IN FROM THE COLD:
Nick no longer knows his older brother. Callista’s boss had warned her that Gabe would put up resistance to their plan, but not to worry, that Nick had ways to get around him. Seeing Gabe in person, Callie wasn’t so sure. He didn’t look like the pushover Nick had described. This man had substance, presence.
Handsome in a rugged mountain-man way, the antithesis of lean and refined Nick, Gabe wore a plaid shirt and blue jeans, the shirt wrinkled in the spots that weren’t stretched tautly over muscle, and the blue jeans old and pale with wear on his thighs. Not only did Gabe look as though he could eat a bear, but he could probably wrestle it into submission with his bare hands.
His unruly beard and moustache, his black eyes and high cheekbones in a stone-chiseled face spoke of hard-earned character. But what kind? Was he as devious as Nick, as willing to do whatever it took to get a job done?
Maybe not, but Callie had the sense that he would fight for this land tooth and nail, and that her job had just become a whole lot harder.
He watched her with shadowed eyes.
He has baggage. If Callie could peek inside his head at the contents of those suitcases, she would know better how to approach this man.
Still he said nothing, just stared with mute wariness, held by a deep, unnaturally quiet…waiting.
He had a right to be wary.
Callie was about to blow his world apart.
My question to each of you is, have you ever been dogsledding? If not, what is your favorite wintertime activity?
Mary will giveaway a copy of IN FROM THE COLD to one lucky commenter!