Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy

by | Jan 6, 2011 | Christian authors, Fiction Book Reviews | 46 comments

Mandy Gray is in a heap of trouble. With a band of murderous outlaws out for her hide, three young children to keep safe, and a castle-turned-prison, there’s not much else she can do but keep her rifle close by and hope for the best.

Until Tom Linscott decides to take what’s rightfully his. Or what he deems rightfully his.

For five years, he’s admired Mandy Gray from a distance – a greater distance than he’d have liked, and now that her sorry husband’s gone and gotten himself killed, Tom’s on the move. For Mandy. And he’s not takin’ NO for an answer – even if she’s the best sharpshooter on this side of the Mississippi. Problem is – can he win over her affections before she can get a chance kill him?

Well the Cooter clan aren’t going to make life easy for Mandy or anyone who loves her, which includes a wild array of characters from Mary Connealy’s other novels. And Mandy has a long way to go before she can trust in love…or herself. Will she open her heart for a second chance at love, or will she open up gunfire on the man whose willing to risk his life for her? Can she do both? 🙂

There’s only one way to find out.


If you’re in the mood for a sweet little romance that will provide only a slight pulse change and perhaps a sigh or two – DON’T READ THIS BOOK!!!

But if you want to laugh at perfectly placed male-female repartee, cringe at life-threatening close calls, up the pulse rate with adventure, and enjoy some sigh-worthy romance… then get to your nearest bookstore as quick as a trigger and BUY Sharpshooter in Petticoats by Mary Connealy.

It’s a full cast of characters and an amazing passel of kids, all heaped together in a story that will leave you with a smile on your face and a longing in your heart for just ONE MORE PAGE!!

Mary, I’m determined to get on some sort of reading list so someone will just deliver your books to my door on a regular basis. I think I’m keeping Lifeway in business, buying all your books.

Thanks for the wonderful adventure.

And let me just say that this book is one of the BEST beginnings I think you’ve written since Petticoat Ranch. It was so vibrant, funny, and unpredictable – I was enthralled and amazed, in between laughing out loud 🙂

Coming in 2011 – Deep Trouble and Out of Control

I’m sure there are more, but I’m not privy to those yet. Maybe Mary will stop by and share what’s up next on the wild frontiers of the Connealy imagination 🙂


  1. Renee C.

    Ok so I was visiting a booksite, Amazon I think, and saw a CF book called Ten Plagues by a person named Mary Nealy have you ever heard of this author could it be Mary incognito? LOL just wondering.

    XOXO~ Renee

    • pepperbasham

      It’s Mary’s pen name for her suspense stories.
      So you guess RIGHT!!!
      Mary Connealy and Mary Nealy are one and the same. 🙂
      You can check it out at

  2. Keli Gwyn

    Pepper, what a well written and fun review. I’m one of Mary’s Connealy’s many fans and look forward to reading this book.

    • pepperbasham

      Take the most manly-men of Mary’s books and you have Tom Linscott.
      He’s so much fun to read, and he’s got this very soft spot for kids and Mandy. I LOVE the way Mary can write those guys.

  3. Edwina Cowgill

    Pepper, A great review!! This book sounds like a lot of fun and great reading. It’s going on my “to read” list!

    • pepperbasham

      It’s a definite for your reading list.

  4. Mary Connealy

    Amazon has Ten Plagues up? I haven’t seen that yet.

    It’s really DIFFERENT, ladies.
    I picked the pen name mostly to WARN YOU.

    I had so much fun writing it and I think it’s the most fiercely Christian book I’ve ever written but if you think you’re going to find romantic comedy with cowboys, well, let’s just say YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    But the romantic comedy with cowboys will continue. I’ve got Deep Trouble (love and death in the belly of the Grand Canyon). Deep Trouble is a sequel to Cowboy Christmas. It releases in May.

    And Out of Control coming in May. The beginning of a series called The Kincaid Brides. Three ranching brothers trying to tame a wild land.

    Out of Control–the control freak oldest brother
    In Too Deep–the shallow charmer middle brother
    Over the Edge–the reckless-to-the-point-of-lunatic younger brother

    Thanks so much for the review, Pepper. I’m so glad you liked the book. YAY.
    Now I’ve got to go look on Amazon. I’m sort of nervous about this new step into suspense. (sort of doesn’t begin to describe it!)

    • Pepper

      Woohoo!!! More Connealy classics for my booshelf.
      Ten Plagues looks scary.
      But I’m going to read it anway.
      I’m an Indiana Jones suspense sort of girl, but I love your heart and your writing, Mary – so I’ll definitely support you on the wild and crazy switch 😉

      And it’s always a pleasure to write reviews for you…or any of the Seekers, as a matter of fact.
      But since I kind of want to write the same type of books as you, it just is an added bonus to read and write reviews on yours 🙂

  5. Myra Johnson

    I’m waiting on pins and needles to read SHARPSHOOTER! Thanks for the great review, Pepper!

    Mary, you have to be one of the most prolific authors on the face of the planet! And most definitely one of the finest! Love ya, girlfriend!

    • Pepper

      You are going to love it.
      No surprise. 🙂
      It’s so funny!!

  6. Renee C.

    I kinda figured that it was going to be a bit more serious than your other books. I’m pretty sure I will love it though since I’ve become a bit of a suspense fan since last year. 🙂 I can’t wait for ALL of those books you mentioned, they sound terrific. Ten Plagues has been up for pre-order since around the 29th I think. AT least that’s when I added it to a few of my book wishlists. 🙂 Hopefully someone has preordered it already!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  7. Casey

    Ooooh, I’ve been looking forward to this one!

    Great review! 🙂

    • Pepper

      Thanks, Case.
      A fun review for a fun book.

  8. Vince

    Hi Pepper:

    I like your site! I particularly like the line:

    “Stories of hope and healing, peppered with grace and a dash of humor.”

    Great review! I’d like to read it now but I have to wait for it to come out on Kindle.

    Are you sure about “Petticoat Ranch” having a more exciting opening that “Wrangler in Petticoats”? I don’t see how you beat that bushwhacking scene in “Wrangler”. A flash flood is good but a lot of dead bodies is better! : )

    But I have to ask you this: “How long before Tom finds his place under the husband tree?” As a man, I’ve noticed that it’s not safe to marry one of Mary’s heroines. : )


    • pepperbasham

      You are so great!!
      Thanks for stopping by.
      And what a GREAT line – “I’ve noticed that it’s not safe to marry one of Mary’s heroines.”
      Very true. Poor guys 😉 Do you keep reading them just to figure out what their lifespans are going to be? 😉

      And you are RIGHT about Wrangler! That opening is awesome.
      But seriously, Vince…
      You are going to LOVE the opening of Sharpshooter.
      Well, you’ll love the whole thing. Lots of gunfights and adventure.
      lots, I mean LOTS, of kissin’ 🙂

  9. Regina

    I can’t wait to catch up on Mary’s books! Great review! I don’t know, though, the opening of “The Husband Tree” was what drew me in from the beginning. If the opening for this one is HALF as good, it’s a keeper!

    Mary writing suspense? Hooray! I love reading it – too much of a scaredy-cat to write it! LOL But we have to wait until OCTOBER?

    Thanks, Pepper!!

    • Pepper

      My singing friend….
      You are going to LOVE this book!
      ESPECIALLY if you liked the Husband Tree

  10. Andrea

    Mary Connealy…Mary Nealy…She’s on my reading list no matter what her name is. But, suspense is a change for me…so we’ll see how I like it.

  11. Mary Connealy

    There’s humor in Ten Plagues, too. And of course romance.

    But it IS a serial killer story, after all. And I did a lot of research, With a demon possessed serial killer, I didn’t want to treat the subject in a disrespectful or shallow way. I’m sure I took liberties but I tried hard to make it have a Biblical foundation.

  12. Mary Connealy

    And honestly, there is a lot of suspense in everything I write. You all know that.

    • Pepper

      (snicker) we have poor Mary worried, gals.

      I’m sure it’s going to be GREAT, Mare.

  13. KC Frantzen

    I keep wondrin’ what Mary does in her spare time… ;D

    • Pepper

      Doesn’t she catch mice in her spare time?

  14. Tina Radcliffe

    Good grief why didn’t someone tell me Mary was here…how long is she visiting??

  15. Angi Griffis

    Love the review of “Sharpshooter”. Mary is one of my favorite authors. I love all the action and drama and comedy and romance. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. And a new series to follow. YAY! Go Mary! 🙂

    • Pepper

      Doesn’t the Kincaid series look good, Angi.
      Oh boy, oh boy – totally excited about a new cowboy series.

  16. Mary Connealy

    Pepper suprised me, Teena. I’d have told you, I swear.

    • Pepper

      I LOVE surprising people!! 🙂

  17. Pepper

    Good news should be shared very quickly – don’t you think?

  18. Mary Connealy

    Pepper, I think you should shorten your tag line.

    Peppered with humor and grace.

    How about that.
    Stories peppered with grace and humor

    A dash of Pepper in everything I do.

    We’ll work on this.

    I’m trying to get you all to talk about something ELSE besides mice and suspense….which are sort of the same thing honestly.

    • Pepper

      Oooo, Mary,
      I like it!
      Not too short?
      Stories of hope and healing, peppered with grace and humor.
      And it doesn’t stick to a genre 🙂

      You know, like little furry critters.

      Hey, I like suspense. (no surprise), but I even have an outline of a story for one – plus my crazy speculative.
      You write adventure so well, I’m SURE you’re going to write suspense in an amazing way

  19. Ruthy

    I was SOOOOO wickedly tempted to send Mary my bathroom mouse, remember? The one I found in the TOWELS I PICKED UP TO WASH???? But a moment of grace descended and I sent her a PICTURE instead. Because yes, I’m that good a friend.

    I will say this: Ten Plagues is the manuscript that brought me and Mary together years ago. I e-mailed her to explain why I scored it low in a contest (probably TOO LOW), because it was brilliant. I NEVER THOUGHT CHRISTIAN FICTION WOULD PUBLISH IT.

    But it’s amazing. In my head, Mary’s best writing is in her suspense, her contemps, her cutting way of taking you on a roller coaster ride through a story jammed with things to trip you up. I’m so proud of Barbour for taking this on.

    But the fact that she can think of these things… ponder them… dwell on them…. then write them…..

    No wonder she can’t sleep!

    • Pepper

      Mama RUTHY!!!!
      Oh soooo good to see you here.

      Thanks for the ‘hint’, Ruthy. I’ll read whatever Mary writes, because I know it’s going to be well written and good.

      And I’m with you – no wonder she can’t sleep with all the ideas shooting throug her head. (I totally understand, btw, Mare – just got two new ones yesterday! For example, what kind of woman could possibly interest Sherlock Holmes?)

    • Pepper

      Mama Ruthy!
      Oh yeah! So good to see you here.

      And thanks for the insight, Ruthy. Can’t wiat to read it all the more now.

      And Mary, I can totally relate to not sleeping because of ideas floating around. I just got too new ones yesterday and have had them percolating (though I HAVE to finish what I’ve started first…sigh). For example, what type of lady could possibly interest a guy like Sherlock Holmes?

      Oh Ruthy – and I can’t wait to read your Alleghany series. Your heroes are soooo good 🙂 Plus, I’m a bit partial to Ginger.

  20. janet dean

    Pepper, your review has me chomping at the bit to read Mary’s Sharpshooter in Petticoats!!! Does anyone besides me about all these faceless females. Are they afraid they’ll wind up on some Wanted Poster?

    I’m up to reading the scary side of Mary. During the day. With the lights on. With Christian music playing in the background. With the doors locked.

  21. Mary Connealy

    I can’t believe Ruthy finds herself hugging a wild mouse…and TAKES A PICTURE.

    This is an example of such poor judgment that I consulted with the authoritities to have ‘attendents’ step in.

    With a net.

    But I allowed her roam free. Hoping she wasn’t a danger to herself and others.

    “Oh, an icky disease bearing vermin in my arms. Where’s my camera.”


  22. Casey

    You guys are just too quick for me. 😉

  23. Sarah Forgrave

    Wow, how many books did Mary say she has coming out this year? No wonder she let Ruth roam free. Who has time to chase mouse-keteers with all that writing? (Disclaimer: Mouse-keteers are not to be confused with mouse-ketools…Can you tell I’ve watched too many Mickey Mouse episodes this week?)

    • Pepper

      Sarah –
      We’re on the same brain wave.
      I TOTALLY know what Mouseketools are.

  24. Mary Connealy

    I have:
    Sharpshooter in Petticoats January 1st
    Deep Trouble May 1st
    We won’t count Montana Marriages Trilogy, a 3 in 1 re-release of the Montana Marriages series including Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride
    Out of Control August 1st (Kincaid Brides Bk #1)
    Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy October 1st.

    • Pepper

      Oh Mary,
      What a WONDERFUL lineup.
      I don’t want life to hurry along, because I truly enjoy my kids – but I’m looking forward to the time when there is…time to write.
      Maybe, you know 20 years from now, publishers will still want to publish what I’m writing 🙂

      Okay – so next Connealyl class is in May. (or April if I can sneak and find an early copy 🙂

  25. Audra

    Wow, I missed this too.

    Great review, Pepper! I think Mary could write a classified ad and make it a best seller! Can’t wait for the Ten Plagues!

    • Pepper

      Adventurous Advertising with Mary Connealy
      Wanted: Cowboys with grit, attitudes, and not afraid to show off their artistic side 😉 (But really only Logan is allowed to do that)
      Being able to handle strong-minded women is a must.

      What would your advert sound like, Audra? 🙂

      • audra

        My advert? Hmm.

        Try it, you’ll like it? No, not descriptive.

        Beef. It’s what’s for barbeque? Don’t want to turn away any non-red meat eaters.

        I’ll have to think about it, Pepper.
        Great assignment : )

  26. Mary Connealy

    Advertising is big business. My classified ad though should make whatever I’m SELLING big business.

    Ignore this. It’s too early for me to make sense.

  27. patti

    Isn’t Mary AMAZING??? So many issues. So much fun! Just LOVE her “brand”!!!


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