A Birth of Faith with Mary Connealy

by | Dec 14, 2009 | Fiction Book Reviews | 15 comments

Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a particular fan of Mary Connealy. The first time I opened up her novel, Petticoat Ranch, I knew I’d found a kindred spirit. Finally, someone who wrote the kind of book I wanted to write someday! Humor, adventure, and romance.

 If you haven’t read one of Mary’s books, grab your hat, lasso up an armchair, and settle in for a ride filled with twists, turns, and laughs. Seriously…I laugh outloud. (wow, how’s that for a contradiction)

 Woven throughout the romantic humor and life-threatening adventure, is the heart of Mary’s gift. Her ability to blend Christian principles through the lives of her characters and the pages of her novel. At times, they’re so gently threaded into the tale that you don’t realize it until you glance back through the pages. It’s a wonderful reflection.

 To learn more about Mary’s novels (which are increasing at a rapid pace) visit her website at: www.maryconnealy.com

 AND, I am SO excited to scream from the rooftops that Mary’s newest novel, The Husband Tree will be out on Jan 1. I’m purchasing it as a birthday gift to myself and can’t imagine a more exciting present 🙂

Now, for The Christmas Question:

 Of all the novels you’ve written, do you have scene featuring someone’s ‘birth of faith’ (conversion, recommitment, etc) that you found particularly touching or fulfilling to write? why?

Most of my characters are people of faith from the beginning. They need to grow in their faith, but they don’t need to become Christians. The conversion scene I like the most is Wade in Montana Rose. I absolutely love him. Wade is in all three books in the Montana Marriages series. In book one, Montana Rose, he is a fright. Really messed up. But giving him a REASON to be messed up was a challenge I enjoyed. Having him change, turn to reach for God, was something I hope I did well. He was a broken man and his moment of stepping out in faith is a tiny baby step. In book #2 The Husband Tree, coming in January, he is now a Christian but he’s still got most of the problems he had in Montana Rose. He’s quit the life of vice and sin but his fears, his self-doubts still haunt him. He is clinging to God as his strength more than any character I’ve ever created. Book #3 Wildflower Bride, is Wade’s story. Wade finally coming to full strength as a mature Christian.

I hope so much that I accomplished this because Wade is a loathsome character in Montana Rose and it may be hard to get people to accept him as a hero. I’m a little worried about it, though I love him and I found the PERFECT woman for him.

One thing I believe about people is they don’t really change. I mean their basic personality is something they’re born with. Each person has their own strengths and those can be used for good or evil. I tried to show that with Wade. He was just a mild mannered, sweet-hearted guy. When he was away from God, that mildness led him into terrible trouble and his hurts were so deep and traumatic. When he was with God, that mildness becomes grace and forgiveness and kindness. Wade depends on God, often, to get him through every step he takes and honestly, is that the most powerful faith there is? 

Pepper here: As always, it is a great pleasure to have you as a guest, Mary. Beautiful answer, and a wonderful ‘teaser’ for your upcoming novel Wildflower Bride. My Connealy Classics continue to grow 🙂

 God’s word of faith for today:

Psalm 103:2-3

 2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
       and forget not all his benefits-

 3 who forgives all your sins
       and heals all your diseases, “

Our core heart-problem is sin. It cloaks and influences how we think, what we say, how we act…but the remedy for some an illness can be found. In Christ. No matter how deep our sickness, how dark our path, how hopeless our future, or how lost our souls, Christ is the answer. He was the answer from before his birth.

In Matthew 1:20-21:

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

His purpose was to rescue us, and he takes people like Wade from Mary’s novel, as well as people like Cassie, or Belle, or even…Pepper Basham, and changes our hearts so we can be fit for Heaven.


  1. Mary Connealy

    Good morning form ridiculously snowy Nebraska. Thanks for having me on, Pepper.

    • pepperbasham

      Snowy? Awww…it’s 50 degrees and climbing here in Tennessee. Personally, I’m hoping for a bit of snow.
      Mary – as you well know, it’s ALWAYS a pleasure to have you visit – and you are welcome anytime. From the looks of your writing future, I’ll have PLENTY of opportunities to brag about your books 🙂


    • pepperbasham

      Btw…my wip has a COWBOY as the hero. Never thought I’d write him. I’m a Darcy sort of girl, but this cowboy isn’t lookin’ too shabby 😉 Modern-day cowboy too

  2. Melanie Dickerson

    Hey, Mary and Pepper!
    Mary, my mom and I are huge fans of yours (Not huge as in obese, just huge as in we really love your books!) and she told me yesterday, after finishing Montana Rose, that she thinks it’s her favorite book of yours! And she loved them all, so that’s a big compliment.
    I loved Montana Rose too. It would be hard for me to pick a favorite, but I think it might be Gingham Mountain, since I loved Grant so much. 🙂

    • pepperbasham

      Hidee – you and your mom have great taste.
      Btw, I’m still turning cartwheels about your news. Yipee!! Praise God and all that great stuff.


  3. Audra

    Mary, if anyone can redeem Wade in the eyes of the reader, it’s you. Like Pepper said, you weave the faith into your stories so gracefully, we don’t even realize the message until it becomes a part of you. Great words, Mary!

  4. Julie

    Mary and Pepper — wonderful interview. I just LOVE learning more about Mary.

    And, Mary!!! I am CHOMPING at the bit for Husband Tree, and now you hook me in BIG TIME with Wildflower Bride too!! Love you books, my friend, and although I am a wee bit jealous you can write like the wind and turn out book after wonderful book in record time, I am also THRILLED that I don’t ever have to wait too long for the next Mary Connealy book. It’s a catch-22, I guess. 🙂

    I am halfway through Cowboy Christmas right now and hope and pray I will get some writing done myself instead of taking too many (and too long) bathroom breaks (my key time for reading!!):).


  5. Mary Connealy




    Freezing. Bitter. Vicious. Dangerous.

    And may I just say, right now, for the record, on the internet for all the world to see and to live here for all eternity, that on the hottest, 100% humidity, mosquito laden day of August I ALWAYS remember that I HATE winter.

    And I’ve lived in Nebraska for fifty-umph years and I show no sign of changing my mind or adjusting to the cold.

  6. Mary Connealy

    Audra, I promise you, by the time I’m done with him, you are going to adore Wade. I ended up liking him so much. The key to him is his soft heart, which is why he got so mixed up in his life, because he is so vulnerable. And in Wildflower Bride, he chooses for the love of his life, a woman who never met a man she didn’t pull a knife on.

    The perfect couple.

  7. Mary Connealy

    Melanie, I think one of the things I love the very most is hearing someone say they and their mothers and their daughters all read my books. I just love to think my work could span generations and appeal to all ages.

  8. Mary Connealy

    Julie? The bathroom? Seriously?


  9. Renee

    I am like you Pepper! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Mary’s books and I CANNOT wait for The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride! I can’t wait to read Wade’s story. I think there’s something wrong with me, I usually like the bad guy or the guy that nobody else seems to like so I won’t have a problem with Wade’s story, so you won’t have to worry about me Mary!:-P

    Thanks for the great interview ladies!

    xoxo~ Renee

  10. Teresa Perkins

    Wow! I’ve got some reading to do. I really value your opinion Pepper. And I can’t wait to read YOUR book when it comes out.

  11. Sandra

    Oh Mary I’m so glad Wade does have a story coming. He was so bad in Montana Rose, but towards the end we were beginning to understand him and you really wanted to root for him. Good writing Miss Mary. Can hardly wait to read his story.

    Thanks Pepper for the great insights.

  12. Mary Connealy

    We spend The Husband Tree learning to root for him and Wildflower Bride falling in love with him….trust me.

    (I hope)


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