What book should you read next? What words should you write next? Whether you're a reader, a writer, or both, you need look no further for ideas and pointers to help you make up your mind. You might even get your next book for free--and signed by the author!

Sometimes I even give away my own novels. My Inspirational romances and devotionals are pictured below and are detailed on my Books page. You can always count on a trace of humor in my novels and nonfiction. Whether you're a teen or a woman mature in years, I think these stories will ring true.

Read on, and discover some of today's most appealing Christian novelists, their latest books, and their words of wisdom and imagination. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mary Connealy, New Releases, and Free Books!

The toughest lady rancher you've ever seen hires a cynical cowboy who has to convince five women he's right for their family . . . when he can't quite convince himself.

Before we revisit with today's featured author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for A Prisoner of Versailles, by Golden Keyes Parsons, is:

mce1011@ . . .

Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!

And now let's revisit novelist Mary Connealy, author of The Husband Tree (Barbour Publishing, January 2010).

PhotobucketMary Connealy is the author of the "Lassoed in Texas" series: Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. She has a Christmas romance, Cowboy Christmas and has just released book #2 in her "Montana Marriages" series, The Husband Tree. Book #1 Montana Rose was released last summer and Book #3 Wildflower Bride is coming in May. She will be releasing historical romantic comedies for Barbour for the next two years.

Mary is married to her high school sweetheart. She is the mother of four beautiful daughters and has one beautiful granddaughter.

Please tell us a bit more about the plot of The Husband Tree.

PhotobucketBelle Tanner buries her third worthless husband and makes a vow over his shallow grave. She's learned her lesson. No more men.

Silas Harden just lost his second ranch because of a woman. The first deserted him when times got tough. Now he's had to quit the whole state of New Mexico to avoid a trumped-up shotgun wedding and the noose of matrimony. He's learned his lesson. No more women.

Belle needs hired hands to move a cattle herd late in the season and there's no one around but seemingly aimless Silas. She hires him reluctantly.

Silas signs on, glad for the work, though worried about a woman doing such a thing as hiring drovers, only to find out he's the lone man going with five woman, including a baby still in diapers. After the cattle drive is over, he might as well shoot himself to speed up the process of being embarrassed to death.

Which character in your novel most interested you while you wrote?

I adored Belle. She was so tough and yet, in her heart, she still couldn't help but hope for True Love. No matter how hard she tried to kill the impulse.

Why will readers enjoy your novel?

PhotobucketTo anyone who's read Montana Rose, they'll be delighted when I start Book #2 of the "Montana Marriages" series with Belle Tanner burying her worthless husband. No one is going to be sorry to see Anthony has turned up his toes. But then to find a man who is right for Belle, hard to imagine. Romantic comedy with cowboys.

This month we're looking at character motivations. Let's say you're working on a new novel in which a minor character, an elderly woman, simply dislikes your protagonist. Your protag eventually learns why. What's the problem?

I usually give a lot of credit to elderly characters. So, if she dislikes the hero, she'll have a good reason. I'm going to make her the grandmother of the heroine and she sees the hero as charming her granddaughter into love, when he doesn't return those feelings. But there's at least a degree in selfishness to her resentment of the hero. If her granddaughter finds a man to love, she'll leave. And grandma will be alone.

What is the last book you read that moved you?

I just read the book Mischief, by Amanda Quick, and it may be the funniest thing I've ever read. The characters in this book are just so hilarious. It's secular so be aware, and a Regency romance which isn't usually my thing, but this couple, well, I love romantic suspense and I love comedy. If they're sassing each other and falling in love while they're running for their lives, then I'm happy. And this book has it all.

What are you working on now?

I'll be writing for Barbour Publishing for a while yet, more romantic westerns. The next book up is Wildflower Bride, Book #3 in the "Montana Marriages" series.

A white woman raised by the Flathead tribe, has never met a man she didn't want to pull a knife on, including the man who's determined to marry her.

Where else can readers find you or your writing online?

Find out more about my books at www.maryconnealy.com and check out my blogs: mconnealy.blogspot.com; petticoatsandpistols.com; and seekerville.blogspot.com

To purchase The Husband Tree: Amazon

Thanks, Mary, for visiting with us and telling us about The Husband Tree. Readers, Mary has offered to give a copy of her novel to the winner of our drawing on Monday, January 11. To enter, leave a comment for Mary, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.

Check out my post of December 31, 2009, below, and leave an appropriate comment to be entered in a drawing for one of my books. I'll draw a name this Thursday, January 7.

Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants.

Finally, to start the New Year off right, I'd like to bring your attention to some of the fine inspirational fiction that's being released this month:

1. A Stray Drop of Blood, by Roseanna M. White from Whitefire Publishing. Born free, made a slave, married out of her bonds, Abigail never knows freedom until she feels the fire of a stray drop of blood from a Jewish carpenter.

2. A Deadly Wilderness, by Kelly Irvin from Five Star/Gale/Cengage. A family that will stop at nothing to protect its secrets and a drug cartel hit man are just two of the pieces to the puzzle Homicide Detective Ray Johnson must solve to find a murderer--and save his own life.

3. Becoming Lucy - The Winds Across the Prairie Series, by Martha Rogers from Realms Division of Strang Communications. An alleged murderer reclaims his life, but can he reclaim his beloved?

4. Burn, by Erin Healy and Ted Dekker from Thomas Nelson. A supernatural thriller about a woman who gets an unwanted chance to extinguish her fiery past.

5. First Impressions , by Michelle Sutton from Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc. Playing the role of a saloon girl taught her how to flirt, but it makes a lousy first impression on the man whose heart she longs to win.

6. Jenna's Cowboy- Callahans of Texas, 1, by Sharon Gillenwater from Baker/Revell. Will Jenna's love enable Nate to put the horrors of war behind him and become the man she deserves?

7. Never Far from Home- 2nd in the Miller Family Series, by Mary Ellis from Harvest House Publishers. Emma's rebellious Rumschpringe may lead to her banishment as friendship turns to love with the English sheepfarmer.

8. Plain Jane, by Hillary Manton Lodge from Harvest House Publishers. Girl reporter Jayne Tate finds more than she bargained for when she goes to Amish Country to research a story.

9. Sworn to Protect, by Diann Mills from Tyndale. Danika Morales has sworn to protect our nation's borders. But that oath has come with a price.

10. The Chic Shall Inherit the Earth - All About Us #6, by Shelley Adina from Hatchette FaithWords. At exclusive Spencer Academy, Lissa Mansfield gains popularity when she replaces her nemesis, Vanessa, on the senior Cotillion committee, but graduation and major decisions about the future loom.

11. The Choice - Lancaster County Secrets, Book 1, by Suzanne Woods Fisher from Revell. A tender story of love and forgiveness, "The Choice" uncovers the sweet simplicity of the Amish world--and shows it's never too late to find your way back to God.

12. The Husband Tree - Montana Marriages, by Mary Connealy from Barbour. A tough lady rancher drags a reluctant cowhand on a cattledrive, along with her four daughters.

Happy reading, and Happy New Year!


judyg54 said...

Enjoyed reading Mary Connealy interview. I have read her books and love them. Would love to enter the drawing of her most recent book! Thanks,

Merry said...

Mary Connealy is a favorite with my daughters and me; we love to laugh and a good romance. Please include me for The Husband Tree. Thanks!


Charity said...

Please enter me:) Thanks!!


adge said...

I always enjoy Mary Connealy's books. I read the first book in this series and thought it was great so I'm sure this one will be good too. Please include me in the giveaway. Thank you.

Mary Connealy said...

The Husband Tree is, to date, my favorite book. I think it's really funny. Belle is just such a stubborn woman and Silas is a prickly character. I about had to hog tie them both to get them to the altar.

Kimberly said...

I love the premise. Please enter me into the drawing.

April said...

Great interviw. I love your books. I have this one on my list.Please enter me. Blessings.

kynomi said...

The book sounds like it would be a good read. Hope I win.

Edna said...

I have tried everywhere to win a copy of The Husband Tree, no luck so far, so please enter me.

May God bless


Winter said...

I love Mary's books! And this new series is great. I'd love a chance to win this book, please enter me in the drawing.

iacuttergirl {at} gmail {dot} com


Casey said...

I haven't yet read any of Mary's work, but I plan to. I have been reading her on Seekerville- what a riot! Thanks for the chance to win. This book looks great. :)


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good one! Please enter me. Thanks!!!

Mary Connealy said...

Anyone who doesn't win and doesn't feel like they can afford the book, go to the library for it. I LOVE libraries.

And the entire Lassoed in Texas series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain are now available in large print. They're real costly on Amazon, but a lot of libraries will carry them. You have my permission to throw a hissy fit if they don't have them. Take pictures of yourself on the floor holding your breath, blue face, I'll post them on my blog. :)

You'd better include a notarized statement from the library, otherwise this is the kind of thing that could be staged at home.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Thanks so much for sharing about your new book Mary. I look forward to reading it. Please enter me in the drawing.

Thanks, Sheryl
barn1451 (at) bellsouth (dot) net

Abi said...

I'd love a chance to win this book. Thanks.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Denise said...

I loved Belle and her daughters in Montana Rose! I can't wait to read The Husband Tree!!!! I'm curious, though. Which actress, in your opinion, would portray Belle?
Please enter me in the drawing!



Virginia C said...

Hi, Mary! Happy New Year to all : )

No one writes historical romantic comdies with the flair and wit of Mary Connealy! I have read Cowboy Christmas and Montana Rose and laughed out loud while I was enjoying the sweet love stories! I think that laughter is an essential part of love and life itself.

Please enter my name in the drawing. I am a subscriber.

gcwhiskas [at} aol [dot] com

Trish Perry said...

Denise, we'll have to pressure Mary on this one. She's not a big fan of casting actors in her books' roles. But she has her readers' best interests in mind in that. She wants her readers to form their own image of the characters.

At least that's what she said when I threatened to call her a party pooper for refusing to cast the film version of one of her novels.

Mary Connealy said...

Denise, I totally saw Belle as Jane Seymour as Dr. Quinn...only with a bull whip and a six gun.

Mary Connealy said...

Thanks, Virginia. I appreciate the kind words.

Anonymous said...

a great post....thanks for the opportunity to read mary's latest masterpiece.


squiresj said...

Now here is an author I know and love. Please enter me to win her book.

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I know I typed in a comment early this morning (Monday), but don't see it anywhere...hmmm...let me try this again...

Montana Rose is my "new" Mary Connealy fave book. I absolutely adored the entire cast of characters! It has been a looong wait for Belle's story, but it's finally here. Woo-hoo! I'm the oldest of 4 girls, so I'm thinking that The Husband Tree is gonna be lots of fun.

Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!

~ Lori
sugarandgrits at hotmail dot com

Anna W. said...

I'm a huge fan of Mary Connealy's books! Please enter me!

writer_weaver at yahoo dot com

Momma Kat said...

I have loved reading your books, and always bug our church librarian anytime I see a new one coming out. You are one talented writer! Thanks so much for sharing.

Mary Connealy said...

Momma Kat, good for you. I'm always glad to hear about librarian harrassment. It means the world to me.


Carole said...

Sometimes I just need to laugh and Mary's books certainly do the job. Keep 'em coming, Mary!

I do some of my reading on Kindle and wanted to download Cowboy Christmas last December, but apparently Barbour hasn't released it in that format yet.

Thanks for the chance to win The Husband Tree. With a title like that, it's got to be great!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Caffey said...

Its a beautiful blog here! I've read a couple of Mary Connealy's books and gosh, what a beautiful comfort read they were for me, really lifted my spirits. I'm so excited about this new boo! Sounds perfect! I especially love the historical ones, just seem so beautiful to go into that setting to read.

Mary, I too enjoy Amanda Quick's historicals. I discovered hers when reading a recent one of hers and looking back to find more of hers to read. I love to find out that authors that I read enjoy reading some of the same that I do!

I'd love to be in the contest for this new book, thank you!

destrella said...

Thank you for the opportunity. It must be awesome to hold that book that God gave you in your hands!
estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Holly said...

This was a fun interview to read. I haven't read one of Mary's books yet, but her covers all look interesting.


April said...

What a wonderful interview. Please enter me. I have read all her books and would love to have this one. It's on my list to get. Blessings.

Carman said...

I love Mary's books! Please enter me. :D


Cherie J said...

Enjoyed the interview and would love to read this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.


The Unsell Family said...

Please enter me.
~Jen Unsell

G.R.I.T.S. said...

please enter me!
Thank you carman for having this on your blog!


Sylvia M. said...

I'd like to be entered into this giveaway! I'm reading the previous book and really enjoying it. I got here from Carman's blog.




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