with Mary Connealy

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Thank you so much for being with us, Mary! I've really enjoyed having you. :)
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.

Two things went into goading me into writing a book. My lifelong friend Janell told me she was writing one. And my daughter Wendy wrote one as an assignment at school. Janell went around our rural county and interviewed all the World War II veterans and ended up with this really great first person collection of essays. I read every word of that. It was fascinating.
It’s self-published but it’s still for sale in our county museum. My daughter wrote a very short story about the Bermuda Triangle. She was about twelve. It probably wasn’t technically a well done book, but the story she came up with was fantastic. Very, very cool.
I thought, ‘If they can do it. I can do it.’
I told Janell I was going to write one and she said, “What are you going to write?”
I said, “I love romance novels. I think I’ll write one of those.”
Janell gave me a high five and said, “A romance novel will sell!”
She was right, and Wendy still won’t give me her story idea.

Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
That’s really hard to say because I finished Montana Rose a long time ago and yet I’m revisiting it so much right now that I’m currently in Love with Red and Cassie. I think Red is my most heroic hero ever. I love that man. He’s got a little bit of a hot temper but honestly he’s almost perfect, such a sweetheart. And Cassie was a lot of fun to write, a real challenge for me because my heroines usually hide their vulnerability under toughness, but Cassie just because she was overly obedient to get along with her tyrannical first husband so I had to dig deep to let all that was wonderful about Cassie shine through.

What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I write comedy and I include a lot of action scenes. I love doing them but I think it’s really hard to get them right. I can feel myself shying away from them as I come up to a scene that’s a shoot-out or a run away stagecoach or whatever is called for. The same with a comedy scene. I really want to do them right and I’ve learned I almost HAVE to do them wrong first. I have to just get the words, the basic structure of the scene down first, then start revising and building. It’s a lot of work.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I adored Red but he was very centered and spiritually grounded from the beginning. Montana Rose was completely Cassie’s story. She needed all the growth and maturity. Writing her was a challenge but I ended up loving her. I also had my hands full with some secondary characters. Belle is going to star in her own book, The Husband Tree, coming in January. I pretty much spent Montana Rose getting Belle into big trouble for her own book.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Gosh, is there anything quirkier than writing a book?

LoL, I guess for a normal person there isn't--which means I'm not normal! =)
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?

You mean like bathing? Oh, oops, probably not. Ignore that. How about diet and exercise?

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read widely in all genres but my favorite is romantic comedy suspense. I’m not married to a time in history, westerns, regencies, contemporaries, I love them all if there’s a suspense element and laughter. If they’re sassing each other and falling in love while they’re running for their lives, then I’m happy.

Mary, you are the queen of sass! I'm still taking notes on how you do that.
Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?

No, words keep flowing, snacks keep flowing. I don’t need to be eating to create and I don’t need to be creating to eat.

What is the most important thing to you?
My faith has to come first. When that is in order (to the extent any of us can ever have our walk with God ‘in order’) the rest of my life works better. And a lot of the reason it works better isn’t because God gives me miraculous solutions to all of life’s problems, but because I am steadier, better able to roll with the punches and still find peace and joy in living.

Yes, that's how it is. So well said.
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?

I’ve been trying to be very deliberate in not repeating myself, trying to search for spiritual themes to explore. Self-respect, respecting others, pride, submission, rebellion, anger and hate and revenge, compassion and freedom. I find myself inclined to repeat myself with super strong women trying to find a way to make room for a man in their lives and because of that reflex I’m testing my work and myself to not be to repetitive.

What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
Well, I wonder if the Lord is worried I might be too proud of myself because all of life these days seems aimed straight at me doing some bone-headed thing as publicly as possible. All part of God’s plan to keep me humble.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
My book Cowboy Christmas is coming in September, just a few weeks away! Yay! Barbour let me write a Christmas book! I love Christmas romances. This book is a stand alone and I loved weaving in the Holy season and the Christmas messages. It’s the usual romantic comedy with cowboys, except with evergreens and holly berries added to the chaos.

Elijah Walker's lost his father at the hands of a deceitful woman. The one thing he can’t abide is lies.

Citified Annette Talbot is on the run from something and Eli knows a liar when he sees one.

After a lifetime of being a good girl who does what she’s told, Annette’s obedient nature has led her straight into danger. She’s determined to live more bravely and she’s planning to start just as soon as she can be brave from behind her tough Wyoming rancher father.

Her father fails her but Elijah can’t ignore a damsel in distress. He’s powerfully drawn to the little liar. In self-defense he turns his back on her.
That leaves Annette her first perfect chance to stand up and face trouble.
She almost dies running away.

Walker can’t help protecting her, especially since God pretty much dropped Annette straight into his unwilling arms.

But helping her isn’t the same as trusting her, and that he will never do.
As Annette and Walker fight their attraction and danger draws near, Christmas approaches. The bickering twosome will get one special chance to heal old heartbreaks and follow their own star.

You can purchase Cowboy Christmas from Amazon and CBD.

Thank you so much for being with us this week, Mary, and for being such a fantastic kick off for our Book Bonanza!

Mary is giving away a copy of Montana Rose. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment and check back on Sunday, August 16th to see if you've won. If you want to guarantee that you're notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar. You can enter twice--once for each post you leave a comment on. :-)


  1. I can't wait to read Montana Rose! Looking forward to getting Cowboy Christmas! I love Christmas stories! I really enjoyed the interview! jumpforjoy @ gmail dot com

  2. Anonymous9:34 AM

    Great interview. Please enter me for Montana Rose giveaway. Thanks.
    newdesertroses at gmail dot com

  3. Wonderful interview! Cowboy Christmas sounds so good and I love Christmas stories. Please enter me in the drawing for Montana Rose. I don't have it yet and would love to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


  4. I've always enjoyed Western romances, and it's wonderful to see them in the Christian market. Mary's books always lift my spirits. Thank you for the interesting interview and chance to win a copy of Montana Rose.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  5. Would love to win this book! Thanks for doing Giveaways Patty!

  6. Great interview, Patty. I know of a couple of ladies on my Christmas list that would enjoy these.

  7. Oh Montana Rose sounds wonderful...please enter me, thanks and that was a great interview...

  8. Loved the interview. I had forgotten that Mary likes to use comedy. Should be a great read. Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose at gmail dot com

  9. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Montana Rose sounds wonderful. I can hardly wait to read this one. Please enter me. abster(dot)rose(at)yahoo(dot)com


  10. Montana Rose sounds like a great book. Please enter me.

  11. Sounds like a good read! And when I'm done I can donate it to the church library. Because of course I'm going to win. (HAH!)


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