Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Carol Award Winner for today's featured book Cowboy Christmas and a Christy Award and IRCC Finalist. She is the author of the Lassoed in Texas series, the Montana Marriages series and a new series—Sophie's Daughters, has begun with Doctor in Petticoats and Wrangler in Petticoats. Book #3 in this series, Sharpshooter in Petticoats is the grand finale that brings in characters from all three series in an explosive conclusion.

Sophie McClellen from Petticoat Ranch has her daughters all grown up now. You didn’t think they'd be quiet little things did you?

Find Mary online at:
Petticoats & Pistols
My Blog
My Website

Welcome, Mary! We’re focusing on Christmas all this month. What do you most associate with Christmas where you live?

Family. Mine, my husbands, our own children. All of the gifts and food is incidental to being with family. We have so much fun. I think it's wonderful that the birth of Christ is the center of the most joyful time of the year.

Do you have any special family traditions you do at Christmas time?

For years my husband's family gathered on Christmas Eve. His dad is gone now and his mom isn't up to holding a big party. So my husband and I have taken over the tradition with our own children. Those Christmas Eve gatherings are precious.

Do you have a favorite Christmas Carol and if so do you know why?

I wrote the Sunday School Christmas Program and directed it for years at my church and I always loved O Come All Ye Faithful. I had a hard time coming up with a better beginning to each Christmas program. Such a great call to worship with a Christmas theme.

If you could spend Christmas any way you could how would you celebrate?

With family. I figured out before my oldest daughter grew up that any time I could get my four girls together—with all their activities making claims on their time—would be precious and I've never forgotten it.

Do you have any special memories of Christmas?

My own family was huge and poor. That sound kind of sad but it wasn't. We didn't really know we were poor, it's only looking back that I realize how completely we had no luxuries. So Christmas should have been a downer. But we just made a party out of it. We'd get a couple really small gifts and we'd just revel in them. Play like crazy, appreciating small things because we had nothing big to compare it too. Christmas morning always started ridiculously early. My poor parents probably barely got to bed when the kids would get up and find out Santa Claus had been there. We'd get up and just dive on the tree. It was a riot. Probably almost literally.

What does a typical Christmas Eve and or Christmas Day look like for you?

Well, we have to do a lot of shifting around. I love to get my own children together for Christmas Eve and try to just have them with me, without the huge family gathering my family always has. But I've got two married daughters now so they need to take turns with their husband's families. We keep it flexible, have fun with whoever can come and while that makes it so we don't have rigid traditions, we manage to find joy in whoever is close by.

Do you have any Christmas movies or Christmas books you like to see or read each year?

I love While You Were Sleeping. I think it's not only the best Christmas movie ever made but it's my favorite movie period. Last year for the first time I watched Nativity. It was wonderful. I'd like to have that be a family tradition. With all the girls (I have four daughters) grown and out of the house now, and out of college, we don't get long vacation breaks with them. So I can probably watch whatever I want. But no doubt I'll be doing it alone.

Tell us a little about your book:

A beautiful songstress on the run.

A distrustful cowboy who can't abandon a woman in need.

An evil man obsessed with controlling that stunning voice.

The brutal cold of the Rockies in winter.

A suspicious family risking everything to protect a singer with secrets.

One perfect chance for a star to lead two lonely people to true love. Cowboy Christmas.

Where did you get the idea for Cowboy Christmas?

Barbour Publishing asked me if I would like to try and Christmas romance. I jumped at the chance. I have always had this special love for really well done Christmas stories. They all have what I think of as a LINUS MOMENT. That moment in It's Christmas Charlie Brown, when Charlie Brown cries out, "Isn't there anyone who can tell me what Christmas is all about?"

And Linus reads the Christmas story from Luke.

All great Christmas stories have that. The Herdmans, in the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, bring a ham to the Baby Jesus and Imogene Herdman kneels beside the manger and cries. The Grinch's Heart grows three sizes. Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping tells the whole family of the man she's just decided NOT to marry, that she was going to marry him because she'd been so lonely for so long and she fell in love with his family. These are just sweet, precious moments. So I set out to write a book and capture that precious holy moment and to write it so well a reader's heart might grow three sizes.

As always though, with my books, mayhem soon ruled the day. It has a wonderful, holy, happy ending. But maybe the chaos and gunfire and fistfighting earlier on detract from that a little. But I can't seem to control that.

Do you have a Christmas message for my readers?

In the midst of the madness, mayhem, fun, food, gifts and gatherings of Christmas, I hope you'll take time, like Linus did, to think of the real meaning of Christmas. Let your heart grow three sizes even if it's already big. God bless you all and have a wonderful, blessed, merry Christmas.
Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Thursday for an excerpt from Cowboy Christmas by Mary Connealy.


  1. You wrote a play? A Christmas musical? Did you ever try and get it published?

    I love Christmas movies and watch all that I can (except for Charlie Brown...don't hit me, but I just can't do Charlie Brown). I haven't seen Christmas Story, so I'm getting that today.

    I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Not a musical, though we sang music at certain points.

    Yes, I have had four Sunday School Christmas Plays published. Three of them in the book Christmas Treasures, still alive on Amazon to my surprise. I'm one of many authors.
    Those plays contain my usual misplaced Connealy wit and will probably break up your church if you use them...just fyi


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