Christmas Gift Idea that Inspired Two Trips Down Memory Lane!

Renee Ann Smith —  December 8, 2010 — 27 Comments

My best friend used to enjoy books about gun-toting pioneer women who could hunt and homestead and otherwise keep up in a man’s world. Since reading Mary Connealy’s book brought my lively and much missed friend to mind, I just had to share it with you!

If you have a friend or loved one with a pioneer bent–and a great sense of humor–you might want to gift her with one of Mary’s books. You could start with this delightful romantic adventure, Wrangler in Petticoats:

It’s 1882 in Montana Territory. Logan McKenzie, a talented artist, is out sketching nature when a Buckskin Angel drops off a nearby bluff and into his arms. The angel turns out to be cowgirl Sally McClellan, who got in the way of a robbery while on the way to visit her sister Mandy.

Since Sally’s been shot and left for dead, Logan brings her to his cabin to recuperate. He is immediately drawn to her courage and stunning beauty. For her part, Sally considers Logan a useless, no-account man but discovers that something in his brown eyes gives her strength.

She’s an expert shot. He forbids hunting near his cabin because he’d rather paint an elk than eat one. To Logan, a fast draw is a quick sketch to be executed before embarking on a painting. To Sally, it’s the speed with which she can get her rifle into action. On the surface, they couldn’t be more different. Yet both struggle with how their fathers view them and their life choices.

Logan’s struggle: “Was [he] less courageous than his father? Was choosing to draw his pictures a way to run from the ugly side of life? Logan had always believed he was showing courage to follow this leading from God, but maybe he was, in fact, a coward. All of this doubt assaulted him as he approached his horse in this wild setting.”

Sally’s struggle: “Suddenly [she] wanted to see her pa so bad it was the worst pain of all. She’d tried so hard all her life to be special to him. And she knew he loved her dearly, especially if she rode at his side and worked the ranch hard. Why had she ever left home? To her horror, she burst into tears.”

Could it possibly be that deep down, Sally and Logan are a lot alike? All doubts and questions are answered as we follow them on their adventure. And there’s plenty of danger, action, romance, inspiration, laughter–as well as a charming cast of characters–along the way.

I enjoyed this story! It made me laugh out loud and kept me turning pages to see what would happen next. When I began to write this review, expressions like feel-good and rollicking good time kept popping into my head. Then I realized why. This book inspired a second trip down memory lane. It reminded me of happy times in childhood when my dad and I would spend Saturday afternoons watching classic Westerns on TV. I miss my dad, so thanks for that, Mary! (And do you think my teacher found it odd that a 10-year-old girl’s favorite movie was The Green Berets?)

Is anybody else old enough to remember Doris Day and Peter Graves in The Ballad of Josie, James Garner and Joan Hackett in Support Your Local Sheriff, or John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in Big Jake or McLintock? Add an inspirational thread, and any of those comic romantic pairings would be right at home in the world of Mary Connealy!

James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in Big Jake

Christmas Gift Guide: A Mary Connealy book is perfect for teen lovers of romance on up to Grandma. In fact, you can give the Gift of Nostalgia by pairing a few Mary Connealy books with a classic old movie!

Doris Day in The Ballad of Josie

Here are some Connealy romances perfect for gift giving:

The Lassoed in Texas Trilogy, which includes Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon, and Gingham Mountain, is available at and

Also, Cowboy Christmas is available (at bargain prices) at both and

The Sophie’s Daughters gift pack, which includes Doctor in Petticoats and Wrangler in Petticoats, is available from

Available movies: You can find Support Your Local Sheriff, Big Jake, and McLintock at

author Mary Connealy

Use the following links to learn more about author Mary Connealy and her books. This link leads to Mary’s main website; and this one, to Seekerville, a blog for readers and writers of inspirational romance. Stop in and visit. You’ll be glad you did!

Renee Ann Smith

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I teach literature in a Christian high school by day and write inspirational fiction by night. I love to share heart-touching quotes and stories here on my blog. So glad you stopped by!

27 responses to Christmas Gift Idea that Inspired Two Trips Down Memory Lane!

  1. I love how funny MC’s characters always are. Great review.

    I’m loving your gift giver guide.

  2. Enjoyed the post.

    I am having a giveaway at my blog – a gift card sponsored by CSN Stores. please do come and enter.

  3. Loved your review. These sound like books I would love!

  4. What a fun idea for a review post! 🙂 Love it!

    I love Westerns (as you could tell by my post today!), and my favorite is Bonanza! I’ve seen McLintock, which I recall was funny, although it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. 😉

    Loved Wrangler in Petticoats! That one, along with The Husband Tree are probably my favorites of hers from what I’ve read so far, but I also really liked Cowboy Christmas. She’s a great writer!


  5. My only experience with the wild west type stuff is from Laura Ingalls Wilder. I do enjoy that time period. Maybe I should look into reading a grown up book about it.

    • Love those Little House books! But there are also lots of grown-up westerns out there! I think sometimes when folks look for books to read they want to be transported to another time, and they see pioneer days as simpler and more innocent . . .

  6. I grew up on John Wayne movies. I will have to pick up one of her books sometime!

    • I love the Duke! I still re-watch his movies. And I think you’d enjoy Mary’s books because they’re like your blog–serving up the truth in a way that makes us laugh! “A merry heart doeth good . . .”

  7. I remember watching support your local sherif. I love that movie. James Garner is amazing guy. (cute too!), I also like Maverick. (mel gibson w/James Garner)
    anyways, this are great Ideas thank you for sharing. I am stopping by from SITS!
    have a great SITSmas!

  8. I think I liked Support Your Local Gunfighter better than Support Your Local Sheriff. That is a vague memory, nearly lost in the mists of time.

    John Wayne spanking Maureen O’Hara. Politically incorrect as all get out, but sooooo funny.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Mary! As I said in the post, your book made me smile and inspired some good memories. So thanks for that, too! . . . And, BTW, I wrote down your recipe for Connealy Crunch and am going to try that with my high school seniors next week. I’ll let you know how it goes! Blessings!

  9. Thanks so much for joining FMF and grabbing our button! I’m following you on gfc and subscribing to your email. Hope you’ll link up again next week!

  10. This was so fun…all us Renee Ann’s have the best ideas for posts. 😛

    I totally agree with you pairing this series with a fun western would be a great gift for any gal. I just finished reading Sharpshooter in Petticoats the other day on my Nook and it’s awesome too. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing Renee

    XOXO~ Renee

  11. I do know someone who enjoys a good western book, so I’m off to Amazon’s site to check this out. It may wind up a Christmas present. Thanks!

  12. Hi Renee Ann – I subcribed to your blog too – Thanks for visiting mine!!
    Love your blog, it’s a little different than the normal ones I read. Nice breath of fresh air!!
    Hey – you might like my mom’s book blog “In so many words” – she has some cool stuff on there:

  13. Hello I’m one of your fellow blogs participating in the Feb Handmade with love Giveaway!
    Following your blog! Please follow back!
    If you could follow me on Facebook, that would be awesome too!!
    Thanks for your time!

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