Category: Uncategorized

Happy Trails to…Me!

Well, folks, the time has come for me to saddle up and leave the corral.  Life is moving on and I’ve just gotta see what’s over that next hill.

I’m still writing westerns [see]–in fact my first two novels [formerly known as TOUCH OF TEXAS & TOUCHED BY LOVE] will be re-released as TEXAS GOLD & TEXAS ROSE soon, and I’ve got a few other stories begging to see the light of day! Yes, Wolf is one of those, now that I have the time to dust his hat and polish his boots, that is.

Being a Filly for the last eight years has been an amazing experience. I’ve met some fabulous writers whom I’m proud to call friends, and I’ve learned lots while researching my monthly blogs. And I’m pleased to be turning over my chair in the bunkhouse to Trish Milburn–you’re going to love getting to know her!

I tip my Stetson to all you Readers, you are the best! Thanks for your support of my books, both here at Petticoats & Pistols and out there in the wide open spaces of bookstores, libraries and the internet. I hope to see you when I drop in for a visit. [Hint—I’ll be back here May 26!]

–While I’m writing this my husband is reading me an article about all the western authors who were born and/or lived in his tiny hometown and my fingers are starting to itch to write blogs. lol–

You can still find me at, on Facebook [TGarrett.Author], on Twitter [TGarrett_Author] and blogging at the second Monday of every month.

Farewell, all!
Git up, horse. Second star to the right and straight on till morning.

Updated: January 22, 2017 — 2:41 pm

We Have Two Winners for Karen Kay’s Free E-Book Give-Away


Yes, we have two winners for the books THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and SENECA SURRENDER.  And the winners are:


Pamela Hamblin and Cindy Woolard

Pamela has won the e-book SENECA SURRENDER and Cindy has won the e-book THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF.

Pamela and Cindy, please contact me personally at and we’ll work out the details of getting these books to you.  Congratulations!

And many thanks to all of you who came to the blog on Tuesday and who left a message.  I really enjoyed reading all of your comments.

Updated: January 26, 2017 — 8:22 pm

Cimarron Legacy Book #2 – Long Time Gone

  Cimarron Legacy – Book #2 Long Time Gone coming in February

How do you find the perfect love for a rough and rugged rancher, Justin Boden, who’d rather wrestle a long horn bull that put up with a woman’s nonsense? What woman would be enough to lure him from his contented bachelorhood?

Do you find the neighbor girl? As tough a cowhand as he is a rancher? The sole heir to a huge ranch that neighbors on Justin’s property? Nope, where’s the fun in that?

You have a delicate city woman faint in his arms, fear his horse, burn his food and nearly bungle the medical treatment for his ailing brother?

Angelique DuPree, recently widowed from a spendthrift upper crust man from Omaha…and determined to never put herself in a man’s clutches again, especially a bossy man like her deceased husband…or take charge Justin Boden.

The first part of the book is Cole Boden, Justin’s big brother, fighting for his life. The doctor comes and he brings along the only pair of helping hands he could find.

Long Time Gone


Angelique turned back to Cole just as his eyes blinked open.

“Cole’s awake.”

“Where’s Sadie?” Cole’s voice, weak and so soft it was hard to hear, but his thoughts were clear.

“Heath’s got her.” Justin had a feeling that was the absolute truth. And of course he wanted Heath to get her, but he didn’t want him to keep her.

“Go, for heaven’s sake, get out of here and go help.”

A clatter at the back of the house drew Justin’s attention and diverted Cole’s. He wished it’d be Heath with Sadie.

Wished it, prayed it, feared it was not. This day was just too deeply stacked with trouble.

Doc Garner burst into the room and right behind him…

Justin almost groaned out loud. He’d hoped for the sweet, wise, skillfully trained Sister Margaret. Instead his stack of trouble just got higher.

Chapter Two

Angie DuPree rushed into the room and stumbled right into the doctor’s back.

She nearly pitched him face down on top of a bleeding man.

Strong arms caught her so fast she wondered if someone had been waiting for her to get into trouble. The doctor spared her one annoyed glance, then rushed around the bed and bent over the patient.

The doctor reached for  the bandaged wound as she realized it was Justin lying there. Horror swept through her and then, the hands that set her on her feet drew her attention. She glanced sideways.


Her eyes flicked back and forth. It was definitely Justin who had her wrapped in his arms. She’d felt them before.

So it was Cole who was hurt.

Covered up like this, though—unconscious, or nearly so—with all of his personality and his way of dress hidden, she was shocked at how much Cole resembled Justin. Both of them tall with dark brown hair. Their eyes matched

Mary Connealy ~ Romantic Comedy with Cowboys

too, a blue as dark as the starlit sky. But Cole had shorter hair and in the normal course of things was tidier and better dressed. Right now he was a mess.

“Aunt Margaret hurt her ankle and Miss Maria came out with us but she said another man is hurt?”

Justin nodded. “That’s Ramone. I’m glad you could come and…help.”

Angie suspected he tried to disguise the doubt in his voice but since she had her own serious doubts, she heard what he didn’t say.

She looked back at Cole and a wave of dizziness almost staggered her, some of it was the sight of so much blood, but she also had a strange blast of what felt like relief that it wasn’t Justin lying there. And then she was disgusted at such a thought. Cole being hurt was just as terrible. She was here to help and who the patient was didn’t come into it.

Some of the dizziness of course might be because she had no idea what to do…so she was scared to death. But Aunt Margaret had tripped over a misplaced school book this morning and was limping badly enough she needed medical care herself. She’d sent Angie out here and one of the other two ladies from the orphanage, Miss Maria, came along and had been sent to another house to tend another man. The doctor said he needed youth and speed, a lack of knowledge wouldn’t matter.

Well, if Angie could stay upright he’d get all of those. Youth, speed and ignorance.

Lucky man.

Updated: January 18, 2017 — 10:08 pm


This past year, I was honored to be asked to participate in two more of the “Wolf Creek” collections that are the brainchild of Dr. Troy Smith, a wonderful author, outstanding history professor at Tennessee Tech,  and a very good friend. Troy’s vision, when he created the fictional post-Civil War Kansas town of Wolf Creek, was that it would be populated by a very diverse community. That, in itself, would cause its own brand of problems as the people of Kansas were sorely divided during the Civil War—and that conflict left its mark long after the War ended.

With over two dozen western authors making up the fabled “Ford Fargo”, author of the Wolf Creek anthologies and shared universe books, I have found myself in some very fine company to work alongside in these creations. The beauty of this project is that each author has the freedom to incorporate their character(s) into a loose framework that Troy lays out, and every shared story gets off to a great start, has no “sagging middle”, and comes to a very climactic ending—yet, it does so with the efforts of (usually) 6 authors per book.Imagine the thrill of being a part of such a collective effort—and seeing how flawlessly the eventual project comes out!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

In 2016, I participated in two anthologies. These are somewhat different from the “shared universe” books in which there is one story, divided into chapters. The anthologies are separate short stories, but they do propel the same story along to the completion, in many ways, a lot like the chapter books do.

I had a story in a book that was published in May, Wolf Creek: Book 14—WAR STORIES. This was a fun one, because there is a creepy barber, John Hix, who lives in Wolf Creek. He claims to have had nothing at all to do with the Civil War, yet he’s always wanting others to talk about what THEY did during the War…and he has his own reasons. And let’s just say, there have been some “unexplained disappearances”… This was a bittersweet book, as the incomparable western author, Frank Roderus, was a contributor—and this was one of his last publications before he passed away.

In my story, UNCLE JOHN, my character, Derrick McCain, discovers quite by accident that he has a daughter, six-year-old Viviana, that he didn’t know he had—and her mother is dying. But just as Vivi’s mother passes, Derrick is in for another surprise—one that troubles him to his soul: it becomes apparent that somehow, John Hix, the barber, is well-acquainted with little Vivi and her mother—and this is one man that Derrick doesn’t want anywhere near his family!

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.

The second book I contributed to this past year was called Wolf Creek: Book 18—HUNTER’S MOON. My story was THREE GOOD MEN, and this time, the town of Wolf Creek will soon be under siege by a band of raiding Kiowas who will show no mercy. They’ll reach the McCain family farm first, and though Derrick wants nothing more than to stay behind with the three men who’ve come to warn him and make their stand in his farmhouse, he knows he has to see his family to safety above all else. With the help of Sheriff Sam Gardner, a crusty lawman, Derrick and his wife, Leah, begin the trip to Wolf Creek in the dead of night under a hunter’s moon. But it isn’t long before Derrick realizes they are going to have to abandon the wagon and take their chances in the darkness of the forest to have any kind of hope of making it safely to Wolf Creek.

Some of the Kiowas follow, and while Sam and Leah make their way through the night with Vivi and her baby twin brothers, Derrick battles the Kiowas to save his family. When daylight comes, will the McCains and Sam be alive to continue the journey to warn the citizens of Wolf Creek of the impending attack? And what will become of the THREE GOOD MEN who have stayed behind to hold off the Kiowas and give Derrick, his family, and the town of Wolf Creek a fighting chance under a HUNTER’S MOON?

Available in print and e-book formats at Amazon.


Here’s an excerpt from THREE GOOD MEN. Leah, the children, and Sam are making their way through the forest, and Leah is understandably worried about what’s going to happen. Here, she talks things over with Sam–and wonders where in the heck her husband is–or if he’s even still alive…

They walked in silence for a few more moments. Leah’s mind raced. Where is Derrick? He said he’d be right behind us. By her guess, it had been at least twenty minutes since they’d parted—maybe longer. Leah hurried to catch up with Sam, leaving Vivi out of earshot. “Sam, can you tell me—what was going on with you and John Hix? Were you–”

“Hix is a killer. I figured him out, followed him to your place. Charlie and Roman had ridden up just before I got there. You know the rest.” He shook his head and shifted Liam in his arm. “I hated having to go off and leave him there with Charley and Roman. But…there was no other choice.”

“Do you think—” Leah bit her lip. “I shouldn’t even mention my house at all, with the danger of the Kiowas killing three men. But…I love my home. I love what it means—a family…where my children lay their heads to sleep every night, in safety. Where my husband and I drink coffee in the mornings…and plan our dreams for the future. And where I finally have a place of my own, where I belong. To lose it—”

“Leah, they may not come—”

“Oh, they’ll come. Charley and Roman wouldn’t have stopped at our place if they’d thought there’d be any chance the Kiowas would’ve gone straight on to Wolf Creek. I have a feeling…I know my home will be destroyed.”

“If that happens,” Sam said carefully, “Wolf Creek will help you rebuild. I know that’s small consolation, but—”

She shook her head. “Forgive me. I shouldn’t even be thinking about my things when men’s lives are at stake.” She smiled at him as he glanced at her.

“It’s natural. Thinking about everything you stand to lose,” he replied.

“My family is all that matters. We will rebuild if we have to, of course. The most important thing is that we keep everyone…safe.” Her voice broke.

“You’re worried about Derrick,” Sam stated flatly. “He’s an excellent tracker, as you well know. Could be he decided to go after them; buy us some time. Don’t be thinking the worst, Leah.”

She nodded, and kept putting one foot in front of the other, trying to calm her thoughts. Don’t be thinking the worst. But how can I keep from it?

“Mama, Uncle John said he paid for some candy for me at the store,” Vivi reminded her.

Leah forced herself to smile back at the little girl. “I heard. That was nice of him.”

“He’s going away.”

“Yes.” If John Hix was killed by the Kiowas, or if he went away forever, it would be a relief. Leah had never liked Hix, and she knew Derrick felt the same. They tolerated Hix for Vivi’s sake. And to be fair, Hix doted on their daughter. It was strange to think that the odd little barber knew Vivi better than she or Derrick…or, at least, had known her longer.

“Will he ever come back, Mama?”

“I don’t know, Vivi. But at least he was able to say goodbye.”

Vivi nodded, but she looked downcast.

Leah’s heart clutched. Vivi had suffered so much loss—leaving her home, losing her mother, and now, John Hix. Leah refused to consider the further impending loss that weighed so heavy on her soul right now. Where is Derrick? The thought nagged. Thank goodness Vivi was too young to understand what was happening, truly, at the moment.

They could be in the process of losing everything. Everything, including their very lives.


Both of my stories have been entered in the WESTERN FICTIONEERS PEACEMAKER COMPETITION. I’ve been a finalist in that contest three times before, so I’m sure hoping for a win this year in the short fiction category with one of these stories.

Y’all keep your fingers crossed for me!

My character, Derrick McCain, is an odd hero because he is “just a man”—not a lawman or an outlaw or anything glamorous. He is a farmer who did some things in the Civil War he isn’t proud of. He’s half Cherokee and half white, and though he didn’t set out to be a “family man”, throughout the Wolf Creek series, he’s found himself in that situation under very different circumstances.

I’m wondering what kind of heroes you all like to see? A lawman set on seeing right done? An outlaw who’s seen the error of his ways and turned his life around? A cowboy fighting for justice on the range? Or someone like Derrick, who just winds up through fate’s hand becoming a hero—though he never thinks of himself that way…

Leave me a comment! I always want to know what other people think, and I’m giving away a print copy of a past WOLF CREEK book that I’ve been a part of to TWO LUCKY COMMENTERS!

We Have A Winner for Karen Kay’s E-book SENECA SURRENDER


We have a winner for the free e-book of SENECA SURRENDER.  And that winner is:


Many congratulations to you, Quilt Lady.  Please contact me personally at to claim your prize.  And many thanks to all those today who left a comment — it was certainly an interesting assortment of opinions, I must say.


Updated: January 11, 2017 — 7:02 pm

Tick Tock~Tanya Hanson

One hundred years ago this very week, a pretty Kansas farm girl married the local preacherman.


He was in charge of a district with five congregations, but he still found time to fall in love.

Lucky for me. They’re my grandparents.

And that’s Grampa and his horse, Babe, paying a courting call.

The beautiful Ingraham clock, below, was one of their wedding presents in January 1917. It has sat on my mantel since I myself was a newlywed myself, more then 40 years, and is my prized possession. It keeps perfect time and still chimes each half hour.

Thanks to Elias Ingraham. Born in Marlborough, Connecticut in 1828, he started out building clock cases and between 1857 and 1873, received seventeen patents for his designs. His 4-columned clock became an Ingraham standard.

The Ingraham name was on several clock companies’ mastheads during Elias’s lifetime, so it’s easy to pinpoint an Ingraham clock’s date and origin. Although “clock making” makes us think of the mechanical wizardry and innards that keep time, cases and design are just as big a big deal. After Elias’ death in 1885, his son Edward took over. He invented and refined a process for painting clock cases a smooth black enamel finish. More than 200 black mantel clock designs were popular through the 1920’s

Like most clockmakers, in 1913 Ingraham began to produce pocket watches and soon after, 8-day clock mechanisms. Wristwatches were on the list by the 30’s. However, Ingraham Company ceased watchmaking during World War II to manufacture timers and fuses. Sadly, by 1950, Ingraham had given up making old-style pendulum clocks in favor of electric alarm clocks. Today, the Ingraham trademark can be found on electric clocks made by McGraw-Edison who bought the company in 1967.

Fortunately, my clock is alive and ticking an entire century later. Above you see the key used to wind it.

In fact, you can see it behind Santa when our remote security camera snapped the big fat red guy on Christmas Eve. At least that was the big fat white lie I told the kiddoes. It’s a creation with an awesome iPhone app. You shoulda seen my wide-eyed and awestruck grandsons and nieces, though, when they beheld the photo. Worth it!

How about you? Any treasures from your past?

For more info, check out

(Ps. If anyone would like a complementary PDF copy of Christmas Lights in exchange for an honest review, please email me privately at tanhanson AT aol DOT com

I have a few copies to distribute and will draw names if there’s a big response.)




Updated: January 4, 2017 — 12:00 pm


I can blame Christmas all I want but I never chose a winner from my last post, close to two weeks ago.

I only realized it when I came here to create a NEW post.

I’m so sorry.

Because I am such a slacker

Today I am giving away FIVE copies of Room at the Inn for Christmas rather than the one I promised

(My promise was WORTHLESS up until now)

The winners are:

Melanie Pike

Pam Kellogg

Kathleen O


Stacy T Simmons

Remember this is ebook only!

I will email each of you to get your correct Amazon linked email address. If you do NOT hear from me, email me at and DEMAND YOUR BOOK!

I hope you all had a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.



Updated: December 28, 2016 — 1:00 pm

We Have Many Winners for Karen Kay’s Free Book Give-away


Well, little did you know that every person who came to the blog on Tuesday is welcome to a free book from me to you.  Merry Belated Christmas.

So that includes:

Janine; Patricia B.; Eliza; Melanie Backus; Debra G.; Kim Hansen; Elaine Breault; Catslady.

Please contact me personally to claim your gift.  I’ll need a physical address (these are print books) or if you prefer an e-book, I’ll need your kind of e-reader or the address to send the book to.  karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.

Also, Patricia B., I hear that you give books to the needy.  I would be happy to donate some books for this cause.  Just let me know and I’ll send along some books.

Thank you all for coming to the blog so soon after Christmas, and may the coming year be filled with beauty and love.


Updated: December 29, 2016 — 4:28 pm




Happy Holidays from the Connealys. This isn’t so much a picture of my precious little grandbabies posing as it is a snap shot of a wrestling match.

My children continue to amaze me. I was there when they were born. No sedatives. In a small hospital so there is no way they got switched at birth with the child of someone really cool. Nope, they’re mine. I get credit right? Well, My Cowboy, too.

The grandbabies are cuter than ever.

I guess our big news is that My Cowboy is going to semi-retire this year. He’s still going to keep the cow/calf herd but his nephew is buying in so My Cowboy will have a new partner and (the hope is) less of a demanding work schedule. He hopes to be able to take time off when he wants to without quite so much guilt!

Above is a picture of My Cowboy and me from Christmas with the four grandkids.

As for news from this year, we went to Washington D.C. last summer to see the renegade Connealy sister who lives far from her mama!!!

We had a wonderful time and we’d never been to the nation’s capital before so it was wonderful. Seeing my daughter and her husband was the best part of course.

(It really was, they’re way better than the Washington Monument!) We also took our annual Minnesota fishing trip and we went to Nashville for a writer’s conference. I’d never been to Nashville or D.C. so it was a broadening experience for me.

I listed three trips but honestly out of a whole year, trust me, we are mostly just here at home all the time, typing…and I really like it here.

I won’t list names of everyone. My daughters have a kind of eyeball rolling….”Mo-o-o-o-o-m” thing with me and my social media. The four adult girls are my daughter. Three sons-in-law. Four grandkids…all fantastic…and amazingly beautiful if they SIT STILL, SMILE, AND KEEP THEIR EYES OPEN. (the same could be said for the adults so I should give the kids a break)

Boden Birthright is FREE. An ebook novella prequel to the series. It is available in print–for folks who like to hhold a book in their hands! But the print book is large print which is shockingly expensive. Maybe go nag your library to stock it! No Way Up released last summer. Long Time Gone is coming in February–and is available for preorder and Too Far Down is coming in October.

I have four books releasing next year. And one of them is a novella collection, probably coming near Christmas 2017 which will have six or eight of my novellas collected in one book—which is why I’m only counting it as one of the four. Anyway, that’ll take me over fifty books in print, which is a fun milestone! That’s enough Mary news to satisfy most anyone (I’m sure).

God bless you this Holiday Season




Love, Mary


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