Fire and Ice cover
 Fire & Ice releasing Oct. 1-Click te

A hard weight crushed her to the floor.

In the dark, she clawed for the rifle she’d laid beside her on the floor with what limited motion she had and found nothing. Her rifle was gone. She was mixed up. Had she rolled away from it?

“Get off!” Striking at whoever had her, she got one good punch in, then found her arms pinned. She wrestled, shoved, fought, shouted. Nothing gained her any ground.

She felt a tug at her clothes. For a second she froze. Was this a nightmare? She was swept back to the war. To memories that haunted her. A nightmare that she’d barely survived. There was another tug, then another. Shaking her head she tried to force herself to wake up, hoping desperately she was dreaming.

The tugging stopped. She heard a sound, part gasp, part grunt. It was the first she’d heard from this man and it wiped away any hope she had that she was sleeping.

A hand slid down her side following her from under her arm to her waist to her hip—in then out down the hourglass curve. With a yelp, not unlike a dog with a pinched tail, the man rolled off her.

“You’re a woman!” Gage Coulter’s voice cut through the horror that had frozen her. He moved so fast you’d’ve thought he was laying on a bed of rusty nails.

Bailey scrambled for her gun.

He leapt to his feet. “You can quit looking. I’ve got it.” His arm swooped up, her rifle silhouetted in the darkness, held high over his head.

Miss Bailey Wilde.” The disgust in his voice almost shook the cabin walls. “Now why didn’t I know you’d be a woman? I’ve seen your sister Shannon running around in britches. I’ve heard your pa go on and on about his son Jimmy—the way a man might talk if he only had one boy.”

Bailey suddenly realized she was free. She clawed at her holster.

“I got your six-shooter, too.” Gage lifted his other hand. “And don’t bother searching for the knife up your sleeve nor the ones in your boot or your belt.” He bend to the floor and scooped up every weapon she had. The tugs she’d felt. Not a man assaulting her. A man disarming her.

Mary ConnealyHonestly…that was annoying, but better than what she’d feared.

He tossed the knives on her kitchen table along with her guns, the clatter shook her into action. She lurched to her feet and ran for the nearest deadly object.

Coulter moved fast for a big man.



Rita Award Finalist Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She has been a finalist for a Christy Award and Inspirational Readers Choice Awards and a two time winner of the Carol Award.

Mary has over three quarters of a million books in print. She is the author of 41 books, including Fire and Ice, book #3 of the Wild at Heart series, Kincaid Brides series, Trouble in Texas Series, also; Lassoed in Texas, Montana Marriages, and Sophie’s Daughters series and many other books. She lives on a ranch in eastern Nebraska with her very own romantic cowboy hero. My Newsletter

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


    • Ashley, I think this makes a rousing conclusion to the series. Bailey and Gage are the most mismatched of all the couples, although a carnivore fur trapper like Tucker in Now and Forever…vs an animal lover like Shannon was pretty bad. 🙂

  1. So excited!! Cannot wait to read this book on Bailey!! I really enjoy reading your books – so much fun and humor.

    • Hi Patty! The wait is ALMOST OVER! I finally got my author’s copies and I just now checked Amazon and it’s open for reviews…that means it’s shipping right? It’s officially released?
      It’s supposed to release Oct. 1 but they very often come out a few days early.

    • Aw, Melanie, that’s so sweet. Share my talent. I like that. I think of it more as an obsession, since it’s pretty much all I do (write) but you’ve made it seem WAY NICER!

    • Thanks, LaRaine. I always love when a new book comes out. Even after about … I think this is book #46? … I still remember that crazy, giddy thrill of holding my first book in my hands. And it’s not quite got THAT edge, but it’s so sweet!

  2. Woohoo, look at that cover, outstanding ! I can’t wait for the release of this fun book. It’s gonna be a great read !

    • Hi Deanne. 🙂 Bailey is the really TOUGH one of the Wilde Sisters. And of course Gage Coulter is by far the stubbornest man ever born. Getting them together took some series FORCE! I think you’ll laugh out loud when you hear what finally makes him and and what makes her say yes.

  3. I can’t wait to read this book! I have hoped from the beginning of the series that these two would end up together. Can’t wait to read their story.

    • Thank you so much, Kelly. I really appreciate that. Some days, being a writer can really be demoralizing, eSpecially toward the middle of a book when you realize you’ve got no idea what to write next and you’re a no-talent weasel who has tricked her way into a publishing contract. TRUST ME ALL AUTHORS HAVE THOSE DAYS!
      All these nice comments help keep the words flowing and the books coming!

  4. JUST FYI…I’ve got a book free right now in all ebook formats.
    SWEPT AWAY. This is Kindle. It’s also available on Nook. Are there other ebook formats? I’ve never really known about that!
    Book #1 of the Trouble in Texas Series.

    • Hi Wendy! Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. Did you know I have a daughter named Wendy? (why would you know that?…unless I’ve mentioned it here before of course) One of my favorite names in the world. You’re in the drawing. GOOD LUCK!

    • I think Fire and Ice is the funniest yet, such a clash of characters. Although I am on the record saying the WEDDING in Now and Forever (bk#2 of the Wild at Heart series) is, I think, the funniest scene I’ve ever written.

    • It’s available, Chris! If you don’t win and don’t feel like you can buy it, go to a library and ask for it. They will often buy a requested book and, if not, they will get it for you through Interlibrary Loan for a dollar or two. I love libraries so I won’t worry about you using them.

  5. What an interesting title for this book and I’m ooking forward to reading it to find out the origin of the title. Thank you Mary! I wonder when women gave over to accepting pants as part of the norm?

    • Jennifer, I’ve got this THEORY that out west, where people really were almost utterly alone….people did what they wanted. I’ll bet you they PRETENDED to be proper and could dress properly if needed, but I’d bet anything Ma Ingles did her chores in trousers. But of course that was SCANDALOUS so she’d never admit it.

  6. After reading (and enjoying) the last two book, I was hoping Gage was going to get a chance at one of the sisters. Looking forward to another great read!

    • Hi Becky Lee. Thanks for stopping in. I’ve been waiting for this one almost since I started the series. Finding the right character clash is so fun and sometimes I feel like I hit it way better than others. Not that they don’t all clash somehow…that’s the book right? 🙂
      But having two really STRONG, STUBBORN, INDEPENDENT characters like Bailey and Gage is fun to write (and read!) Sometimes it’s almost more than I can manage. Getting these two together was a test, I promise you!

  7. I cannot wait! I have started sharing your books with some of the ladies who live in the assisted living facility where I work and they love them too!

    • Krystal, thank you so much for that. I love hearing my books are being passed around. I think they’re a lot of fun so you’re spreading laughter. (that sounds a little POETIC for me. Hmmmmm)

    • Aw, thanks Andrea. There is a lot of real TROUBLE in this book beyond the bickering, attracted hero and heroine. When I talk about it being funny I almost feel like I need to mention it’s not ALL funny!

      • Oh, I know it’s not all funny. You have such a great way of sneaking humor into your stories. I love trouble and bickering.

    • Thank you, Becky. BTW I love your last name. If you come back, tell me about Hriv. Is it shortened, I’ve got a neighbor named Vlach who’ ancestors came to America with a name something like Vlachovotscki or some such long difficult name.

  8. Doing the happy dance! I Fire & Ice. Then I want to read the whole series again in order. Sounds like Bailey and Gage were meant for each other if they don’t kill each other first. Both tough cookies. Every new Mary Connealy book is a cause for celebration. Starbucks here I come.:)

    • Barbara you sweet thing! Starbucks? Like when a book you like comes out you go buy fancy coffee??? I like that! I need a celebration tradition.
      Have you heard that Lenora Worth, a really talented author, goes and buys herself a pair of new shoes everytime a book comes out?
      She’s hilarious talking about it. And since she’s got about 100 books out now, I think she’s decided to knock it off. LOL

      • Mary, I just reloaded my Starbucks card for special occasions. On Saturday, I bought a couple of grandes (mocha for me, pumpkin spice for my friend Gwen) to cheer her up on her birthday. Three weeks ago, she had a knee replacement. Oh, and I got her a pink birthday cake pop. If I were a shoe person, I’d probably adopt Lenora Worth’s favorite pastime, but my closet’s not a walk-in. And hey! If I was a billionaire, I’d find something to celebrate every day at Starbucks. My parents would roll over in their graves if they knew what I “occasionally” spend on an overpriced cuppa joe. LOL

    • Jana, I have really loved this one, too. I wonder what makes them different? I just end up with a particularly fun idea? Or maybe some books are more given to light-hearted moments? Not sure, but I wonder about it all the time.

  9. Can’t wait for another “can’t put this down” book.
    You write phenomenal books.
    Love your characters and books.

    • Michele thank you. This is so encouraging. I think most writers spend significant time thinking they are talentless bums. LOL Or maybe I shouldn’t say that, leave others out of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Well now, the story is intriguing! I really want to know what’s going on here with Bailey and Gage. I just love cowboy/romance stories.

    • You sweet thing, Kim!
      Hey, I just got in the mail yesterday an audio book of Now and Forever, the 2nd book in this series. Fire and Ice will have one, too. But they come out (apparently) six months after the book.
      So if anyone is partial to audio books the Wild at Heart series will be available.
      I have a neighbor with a ONE HOUR COMMUTE…that’s ONE WAY, another hour home. She is an audio book fanatic. She says they’ve kept her sane all thirty years she’s been making this drive.

  11. Just picked up In Too Deep this week! I really appreciate authors who sponsor giveaways and Amazon freebies, thank you so much! I really enjoy your writing 🙂

    • Beth have you looked for Swept Away? It’s book #1 of the Trouble in Texas series and is free right now on Amazon, in Kindle, also Nook and all ebook formats.
      I love when they do it too, Beth. I think it’s fun to have something to promote and hopefully it helps me find new readers.

    • Hey, Jewell! Hi there. I’m sorry I missed the writer’s meeting last weekend. It’s been CRAZY around here! I’ve done a terrible job of getting to the meetings this year. Shameful!

    • Well, Bailey is fiery and her hazel eyes almost shoot sparks.
      And Gage is a man with icy control and cold gray eyes that make most people (not Bailey!) back off.
      So….Fire and Ice!

  12. YOU KNOW??? Being an author is a strange thing.
    I read some tiny throwaway comment…no here but somewhere and that made me look up Winchester Rifle on Wikipedia and it’s so COOL. (well, to me)
    All these NAMES involved in the history of guns. Smith and Wesson, Colt, Browning, Henry, of course Winchester.
    Then I start clicking on names. Read about Samuel Colt and the fires that forged him. And read about the Henry Rifle and it’s ‘rimfire 44’… I think is what it was called. Henry invented it, the first really good bullet that by passed the powder and muzzle loading, then he had to invent a new gun to make it work….the story just feeds on each person who went before.
    Sorry, it’s one of my historical things I love.
    Let’s go back to the beginning when I said ‘being an author is strange.’

  13. I am so excited this is coming out soon. I’ve enjoyed the series myself but now I can read it to the boys!!! They hate waiting for books to come out but are excited that I’ll be reading a new series of your books to them soon!!!

    • June, you are reading my books to your BOYS!!!??? That’s so cool. You know, I’ve had very good response from men to my books. They honestly are more Louis L’Amour than Danielle Steele. But getting a man to READ ONE!
      That seems like the big trick. 😀

  14. Wow! Great giveaway. I enjoyed the other Wild at Heart books, and would love to read about Bailey, since I like her strength throughout the books. Can’t wait!

    • Sandy B….RIGHT NOW one of my books, Swept Away, is free on Kindle and Nook. And if you don’t have those devices you can download apps for them on a smart phone, tablet or PC. It costs you NOTHING…which is extremely affordable.

      You know my daughter reads all her ebooks on her phone now. I’d think that would cause eye strain but she loves it.

  15. So looking forward to reading this 3rd book in your Wild at Heart series. I’ve read many of your other books and absolutly LOVE them! Love the humor, storng women and cowboys…YeeHaw! I’ve lived in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado though I make my home in Indiana now. Miss the Southwest & hope to be back one day.

    • Barb I would like to talk to you before I start writing. I am so fixated on trying to get flora and fauna right. I love talking to people who have actually SEEN what I’m writing about.

    • Hi Janelle, well, the wait is over! If I’m counting right, I think this is my 45th? or 46th book. I can’t remember what I’m messing up but I’ve counted several times and keep getting different numbers. 🙁

  16. I LOVE Mary’s books! I read a lot and none engage me and make me giggle like her books do. I can’t wait to read the next Wild at Heart book.

    • The time is now, the place is here, the book is done!
      (that’s sort of poetic don’t you think?)

      Oops, googled that and apparently it’s been used a LOT in extremely … ahem …. questionable songs. Everyone from Neil Diamond…yes, questionable…to Snoop Dog.

      I’m never gonna be able to un-remember that one! Eek!

    • Oh the trouble I cause for sweet Bailey, Carol.

      Well, sweet except she shoots at Gage every time he comes to visit her. (that’s why he pounces on her during the night)
      And she does punch him once but it was a BIG misunderstanding. Still, her knuckles really hurt which gave her grim satisfaction.
      And she possibly loves her cows more than her husband.
      And she did steal 5000 acres of lush grassland from him, very deliberately.

      But other than that………..she sweet.

    • Alisha you’re in the drawing. If you don’t win, go to your nearest library and demand they buy it. I recommend dropping to the floor and screaming. Also call the TV Stations first. Make sure and spell my name right and let’s go ahead and pretend that this was YOUR idea.

  17. Looks wonderful, Mary! (OF COURSE!) You know I need a reading vacation–just to sit and read Mary Connealy books and laugh myself silly and get in a wonderful mood–that’s what always happens when I read your stories. You are a fantastic storyteller! Hugs, and congrats on the new release!

  18. This book looks exciting! I don’t think that I have read anything by this author, would love to give it a try!

    • Heidi, if you check back, go grab a FREE COPY of Swept Away. Free in all ebook formats right now.
      Kindle/Nook/Whatever (are there other formats?)
      Remember it’s FREE! Which is an incredibly REASONABLE PRICE. It’s book #1 of the Trouble in Texas series and, if you like it, books #2 and #3 are on sale.
      Also I’ve heard a couple of people say they thought the Kincaid Brides (that’s the Colorado book) was funnier but that’s only because I had one of my heroes be insane. Now I can’t do THAT every book, can I? (guess I could try!)

    I noticed that messed up line of words under the book cover, but I’ve tried to fix it until I’ve become demoralized. Every time I go in and try to write those words correctly the whole picture vanishes.

    Sorry. The link does work though. 🙁
    Mary Techno-Genius Connealy

    • GINA! I’ve always got something new coming! 🙂
      I’m hoping to make you fall in love the NEXT series soon.

      Hero of the next series, in book #1???? Heath Kincaid, all grown up, that youngest brother from the Kincaid Brides series.

      • I just screamed!!! ? So excited for another SERIES ??? AND to re-visit that Kincaid bunch…also related to the “closer than brothers” bunch by marriage…I LOVE ALL THOSE CONNECTIONS!!! (i’m still screaming…sorry! ?)

  20. Looking forward to reading this and would really like to win it! I enjoy clean books with action and humor. Thank you for writing something I can enjoy and can share with my diaightwr and friends.

      • Charlyn, my cell phone, when I try and make a smilie fact, you know a colon : and the right side of a parenthesis )
        I always want to hit the Upper Case key because that’s what I do on my laptop, HOWEVER on my phone I’m supposed to hit the FN key.
        Well, if you hit the Upper case key on the smilie combo, : ) what you get is a capitalized H and a number Zero. HO

        Get that? I’m trying to tag some sentence with a smilie face and instead I call someone a HO.

        I had to do some fast apologizing to my brother!!!!!!!!! So I forgive you for diaightwr, auto correct is a pill!

  21. Wow! Just throw us into the middle of the action without any warning! Kinda the way Bailey must’ve felt. 🙂 Can’t wait to read Fire and Ice!

  22. This sounds fascinating! And with you I know it will involve some laughter! I just saw your comment that you’re coming out with a book about Heath Kincaid! Yippee! Thank you for wonderful books!

  23. This excerpt drew me in….I need to find out what happened….lol!! I do have a copy of “Now & Forever” and this would be a nice addition to it. Thank you for the chance to win & for the little snippet! I can well imagine the men’s reaction to finding out that Bailey is a woman…haha!

  24. This sounds like fun. I can’t believe I have missed this series. Need to go back and start at the beginning. Thanks for the giveaway.

  25. Thank you for the excerpt. Set up the character of the heroine pretty well.
    You have the best covers. The characters portrayed are individuals, not romance caricature.
    I love her smirk. A good indication what Gage is up against.

  26. Romantic comedies are my favorite genre within a genre and you have some great ones! I just purchased the last book in the Trouble in Texax series. Once I finish that one, I’m looking forward to moving on to this series.

  27. Love, love, love your books!!!! I find myself laughing out loud as i am reading them. I can hardly wait for the next one.

  28. You are new to me. This book sounds like a lot of fun! The excerpt is so well written that I feel I’m there. Wow!!!

  29. I loved your Trouble in Texas series. I have the first two books in this series and would love to win this one so I can start reading it. (I am one of those weird people who prefer to have the whole series before I start reading it so I can read it all at one time.)

  30. I read Spitfire Sweetheart (Four Weddings and a Kiss) and I loved it. That may have been the first book of your I’ve read, but it won’t be the last. Fire & Ice sounds like another book I’d love to read, and will be added to my TBR list.

  31. The first book I read from you was Short-Straw Bride. I loved it and have enjoyed all of your others as well. I’d love to read this one! Thank you!

  32. I can’t wait to read this story. I’ve read the other 2 books in the series and they were really good! I like Shannon best of the 2 sisters because I can really relate to her loving animals super much. I had 16 chickens at one point including a couple blind ones and all my siblings would talk about how they would like to eat my chickens. So like Shannon I had to protect them with my life. 🙂 But I think Bailey might become my favorite yet or there may be a tie. Plus I think I’ve read all of your other books that are published. They have made me laugh out loud so many times. I love how your female characters are feisty and know how to take care of themselves(usually) and how they give the men a run for their money. Its always a fun adventure west when one of your books comes out. Thanks.

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