Mary Connealy Writes CONTEMPORARY!

He’s still a cowboy, okay?

My heroes have always been cowboys. (hey, that’s catchy!)

But the book is contemporary and he doesn’t spend any time on his ranch. But it’s there. And he has boots and a Stetson.


Christmas at Star Inn—my CHRISTMAS release.

My hero is a cowboy, and he’s also a lifelong friend of a very nice innkeeper. So he’s become a handyman at the Star Inn, at first to make ends meet when his ranch father was dying and money was tight. 

Then later, when he’d turned a corner of his ranch into a Christmas Tree Farm, and was making big bucks, he kept helping because the innkeeper was aging and his wife had passed away, and his only daughter had abandoned her father for the big city.

And then the innkeeper died and the daughter comes home…at Christmastime.

And our hero has to teach her why the beautiful old Victorian Inn, called The Star Inn, is important.

I’m feeling a little weepy from the sentiment of it all.

Today we’re talking Christmas. It’s early, but I’m looking outside my window at SNOW. And unlike every charming character in every Christmas novella ever, who are charmed by the wonder and magic of snow, I’m telling you it’s COLD!!!!


Mary needs to get into the holiday spirit and FAST. And how better than to talk about romance at Christmas. With an old high school boyfriend who was betrayed. And a beautiful woman who’s heart was broken when her father told her there wasn’t enough money to make a place for her in the inn she’d grown up in.

Christmas at Star Inn, is a three novella collection. Included with my book are novellas from fellow Fillies, Margaret Brownley and Ruth Logan Herne.

Leave a comment that will get ME in the mood for Christmas, to get your name in the drawing for an ebook copy of Christmas at Star Inn. One lucky commenter will win an ebook copy of

A little bit about Christmas at Star Inn

In classic “Hallmark” style, these great authors give readers a real holiday treat with three novellas set at the beautiful Star Inn, an iconic B&B tucked at the base of Mount Hood in Oregon. 

“Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Margaret Brownley


Can a tree-hugging activist and lumbermill owner find love?

Two bad things happened to Sally Cartwright that week. Three if she counted the pink slip received at the Home and Family magazine’s annual Christmas party. But nothing was worse than plowing into a snowbank and being stuck in a town she swore never to see again. A town she once called home. Now she must spend the long cold night in the car or follow the bright shining star through the woods to the old Star Inn. She chooses the inn and that’s where her troubles really begin…

Lumbermill owner, Rick Rennick is in no mood for Christmas cheer. Having recently buried his father, he’s still trying to sort out the financial mess left behind. Unless Rick comes up with a miracle, the mill run by the family for generations is about to shut down for good. That would put a lot of men out of work and impact the future of the town.

If things aren’t bad enough he’s now stuck at the old Star Inn waiting for the road back to his cabin to reopen. His luck takes another turn for the worse when he suddenly comes face to face with the past he’d sooner forget. For unless he’s seeing things the only woman he’s ever loved is standing in front of the inn’s blazing fire trying to get warm. How is it possible that one chance meeting could stir up so many old memories?

Both Rick and Sally regret what happened between them, but his family lumberyard clashes with her tree-hugging ways and neither are willing to try again. It will take the storm of the century, one stage-struck young boy, a certain meddling “angel”—and even a cranky cat—to convince them that in matters of the heart, the second time around is sometimes best.

“Silent Night, Star-lit Night” by Ruth Logan Herne



Jed Taylor knows how to cowboy up on horseback and in their busy farm & feed store, but when he heard Mia O’Loughlin was planning a trip north the week before Christmas, pregnant and alone, he can’t let her make the long trek alone. More Grinch than grace, he flies to the coast, determined to help.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this…

E.R. nurse and Red Cross emergency responder Mia O’Loughlin was strong, but losing her deployed husband the week before she realized they were expecting their first child knocked her off-kilter. With Christmas and her due date approaching, all she can see is getting back home to Kittitas County for the birth of her child… their child… and seeing her failing Grandpa Joe one last time. Determined to do it on her own, she reluctantly allows Jed to accompany her, mostly because the gruff cowboy showed up and won’t take no for an answer.

But when a blizzard grinds their progress to a stop in Northern Oregon, the light from an old inn beckons them into the sweet town of Heywood where old truths open the way to new beginnings for both of them.

And in “Room at the Inn for Christmas” by Mary Connealy


Welcome to Heywood, Oregon where a lonely woman comes home to find healing, hope and love under the bright light of the town’s old Star Inn this Christmas season.

Amanda Star is a high-powered executive in the multi-national Halston hotel chain…then she inherits the Star Inn, her childhood home, from her father. With no time to be away from her job, she impatiently rushes home to list the beautiful old bed and breakfast for sale. Now that she’s here she’s swamped with sweet memories and keen regret.

As Amanda struggles against the lure of home, she also is reunited with an old classmate: Anthony Carter, a handyman with a guarded heart. Can he help Amanda realize the Star Inn is worth saving…and can he do it in time for Christmas?

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

11 thoughts on “Mary Connealy Writes CONTEMPORARY!”

  1. How do I get in the mood for Christmas? I focus on Jesus! After all, that’s why we should be celebrating Christmas. Jesus is definitely the reason for the season. However, I think we should think of Jesus daily. :). Our family does take one holiday at a time. So be thankful we are living in a land where we can celebrate and worship Jesus. Looking forward to reading the book. 🙂

  2. I usually start reading Christmas books to get me in the mood for Christmas. I have just read 1 Christmas book so far this year but it does help and also listen to Christmas music also helps me. Like when I am cleaning house I will have Christmas music playing in the background. Having the cold and the snow also helps but to me its a little to early for that here but we have it right now.

  3. I”ve already started watching the holiday movies to put me in the mood! Thankfully, I married a great guy who likes the Hallmark movies just as much as I do.

  4. Mary, I loved your story and especially liked your hero, boots and all.

    We don’t have snow where I live. In fact, I wrote my Christmas story during a hundred-degree heat wave. What gets me in the Christmas spirit? Children.

  5. Oh but this sounds like a fabulous book. I love books by multiple authors, and these three are excellent.
    It may be cold outside, but this is the season for family and friends to get together and warm each other up. I would like to recommend a book that our bible study has been reading: Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey Cultural Studies in the Gospels It begins with Jesus birth. This is a fascinating book. A lot of what we know about Jesus at Christmas time is americanized. This book takes us back to what it was really like.

  6. Enjoying Christmas music, wrapping gifts, watching some Holiday movies and reading some wonderful holiday romances! 🙂

  7. Anthologies are a favorite, especially this time of the year. I love being able to pick up a book and read a quick, enjoyable, complete story in a day. This anthology centered on an old inn at Christmas has all the earmarks of one that will find a place on my Christmas keeper shelf.
    These stories are perfect for curling up near the wood stove or fireplace, wrapped in a fuzzy blanket, with cookies, and something warm to drink. Right now my reading is being done in snatches when I take a break, but I can wish for the ideal way to read. I appreciate authors putting together these stories and “gifting” them to us this time of the year.
    I hope you get into the spirit of the season. The cold and snow we just had should help.

  8. Mary, I’ve already started reading Christmas stories and watching a few Hallmark Christmas movies. While I’m not quite ready for Christmas music (not until December), the books & movies helped me start to get in the holiday mood 🙂

    I love novella collections like this! Thank you for the chance to win a copy of “Christmas at Star Inn” 🙂

  9. Christmas stories and preparing for Sunday school lessons about Christmas help me get into a Christmas frame of mind! These stories sound terrific–thanks for the intro!

  10. Imagine fun festive colors, the smell of fresh baked goodies , a beautiful snow covered scenery and Christmas music playing in the background along with families being together celebrating Jesus – hopefully that would put you in the mood for Christmas.

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