Coming in March…Braced for Love

I will tell a little story that serves as the background of my upcoming three book series Brothers in Arms

I’m from a town that shall remain nameless, but it is old. It’s claim to fame (one of the few) is that it is old.

An old town.

So the man who founded the trading post and thus started the settlement, was a scoundrel.

He was married back east, had children, and at some point, he ran off, headed west, abandoned his wife and children to explore the frontier.

It got him as far as my hometown.

Where he married, had children and ran off. No mention of his wife back east.

He went to Colorado and (do we really need a drumroll?) he helped found a town, got married, had children and…his story is lost from then on.

But I’m assuming he ran off and who knows how many families he scattered across the west.

So my series is inspired by the scoundrel but of course I make it much worse when, if you really look at what my town’s founder did, it’s honestly hard to be much worse. Still, my scoundrel managed it.

Three families, each with one son. Each abandoned…except…his last wife was the owner of a large ranch. He first husband died and she inherited his ranch. Her father neighbored with her and after she because a young widow, she moved home to her father and the two of them, with her daughter, ran the ranches as one.

Then along comes the scoundrel. He has to be a charming rogue doesn’t he? To convince these women to marry him?

So then he runs off, but once in a while he wanders through. He has a son now with this third wife who has learned what a useless man she married. Then his third wife dies.

And suddenly, he is the sole owner of a huge ranch. And when he dies (this all happens before the book begins of course) instead of dividing it as his wife had laid out, between her daughter and her son…our scoundrel leaves it in three pieces to his three sons. None of these three men knew about each other.

And here come the heirs. And they all thought Pa was dead, only his final family knew when he really died. Two men who thought their father had been dead for around twenty years, are furious to find out what a horrible man he was. The brother and sister who own the ranch, their grandfather and mother’s ranches, are furious that the will reveals the cheating and lying. And they expect the very worst of the newcomers.

And then someone tries to kill one of them. Then another. Then a third.

They suspect each other. Distrust each other. And have to stick together to survive. It won’t be easy.,

Book one is Braced for Love, releasing March 2, 2021. More details about that next time.

Coming in July book #2 of the Brothers in Arms series is A Man with a Past.

And this year (and next) my publisher Bethany House Publishing is releasing three books from me. The whole series coming out in a single year!!!

Book #3 is Love on the Range. Coming in November.

Come along for a ride rooted in a true story…and then of course, taken into fiction without a qualm.

Mary Connealy


Website | + posts

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

39 thoughts on “Coming in March…Braced for Love”

  1. True story: My husband’s grandmother at 11 was put on a train heading west with her 9 year-old sister. Their mother had died, and their dad told them he had things to clear up, and he’d follow them soon – someone would be there to meet the train and watch them.

    They got off in Texas, no one there. Their father never showed up. Several good families helped the girls.

    Fast forward – the 11 year old lived to 90 something. A month after she died, someone from back East contacted the family looking for her. Seems the father started a whole new family back East.

    He put those girls on a train to get rid of them!


    • Thank you. It’s next up! And coming fast with three books in a year. I asked Bethany House if I could do three. I seem to get in trouble if I don’t always have a book to write. I start trying to have a life, and that always goes badly.

  2. I love it when we can get inspiration for our stories from real life happenings. What a scoundrel, and what a great premise for these books. And, I LOVE the covers!! Best wishes, Mary!

  3. Welcome. Oh so cool. I love to read books that are based off of true stories. You are going to be one busy lady. Prayers for your writing life

  4. Mary, it is always good to see you in another venue and I will be looking forward to this one. BTW, hunky covers.
    Kathy Bailey

    • Hi Karen. I’m reading a book about a real-life woman doctor in a mining camp in Montana in 1890. I started it because I wanted to the medical info, thought it’s a little too modern for my books usual era. But the story is so interesting, I did a woman doctor a few years back, Doctor in Petticoats. But this book is so graphic that it’s opening my eyes to what a doctor’s life was really like. I may do something with it.

  5. Hi, Wow, your series coming up sounds Very Intriguing , I love the sound of it and it sounds like it will be hard to put down! Thank you for introducing us to your Great sounding new series! I will definitely be looking for your new series! Have a Great rest of the week and stay safe.

    • HI Alicia. Right now I’m sort of Super Quarantining because I’m babysitting a granddaughter quite a bit while her mom, my daughter, works from home and is juggling child care arrangments. So I don’t poke my head out for much except babysitting. A long way to say, “I’m staying safe.”

    • Abigail, thank you. It was so interesting to research inheritance laws and Wyoming history. one of my heroes had to go west along the Oregon Trail, though he wasn’t in a wagon train. And the Transcontinental Railway was open so I got him off his mule and onto a trail finally..

  6. Sounds like this will be another wonderful series from you. One has to wonder just how often this type of thing happened. As far as the multiple marriages, probably rather often. I look forward to reading the series.
    Take good care of yourself.

  7. Mary, you are the queen of fascinating series! I just love this. And I’m sure the West was littered with men like this scoundrel. Good grief! I’d hate to have been one of his wives. I think I’d have killed him if I could’ve found him. A very unusual villian.

    • The earlier wives believed he died. He left them to hardship and one of them even remarried which factors in because depending on when his first wife died. The wife’s second family might be … ahem… born on the wrong side of the blankets as they liked to say.
      Or if his first wife was still living then her second family is illegitimate. All factors we look into. Hard to prove when your ma died when you have amnesia. PLOT TWIST ALERT!!!

  8. Oooooh! This sounds like a really intriguing series! My birthday is in March so guess what present I’ll be getting myself. LOL

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