Asheville, NC, couple will sell you ice cream and put you in a romance novel

Tom and Marcy Gallagher appear on the cover of the new book they wrote for, Wild West Love Fest with the pen name Thomas Marcy.

Tom and Marcy Gallagher appear on the cover of the new book they wrote for, Wild West Love Fest with the pen name Thomas Marcy.

Visitors to Kilwin’s Chocolates, Fudge & Ice Cream in downtown Asheville often spot the colorful book covers framed on the wall. That’s when to their surprise, they discover that husband-wife shop owners Tom and Marcy Gallagher are writing romance novels when not working on a vat of double dark chocolate fudge.

“It’s a great reaction,” confides Marcy, “when I tell them, ‘Oh yes, we write novels, and you can actually star in our books.’ ” Under the pen names Marcy Thomas and Thomas Marcy, the pair has in fact produced half a dozen novels any couple can star in at

The publishing company, based in Raleigh, is the brainchild of another husband/wife team, J.S. Fletcher and Kathy Newbern, who write as Fletcher Newbern. Said Fletcher, “Our company’s actually celebrating its 25th year, and it’s been our absolute delight to work with the Gallaghers for 15 of those.” Newbern added, “Each year we release a new book, and this year’s is a rip-roaring hoot penned by Thomas Marcy. I promise, you’ll laugh out loud.”

Like all 50+ titles available at, the new Wild West Love Fest can be personalized for any starring couple with more than 25 details using an easy, online form – including not only their names but eye and hair color, where they live and work, best friends, favorite music, sweet nicknames for each other, even their perfume and cologne. And, to make it fun, each book comes “wild” or “mild” in terms of romantic interludes.

In this latest novel, the starring couple rides horses into the Colorado mountains for a romantic picnic but are suddenly transported to the Wild West, circa 1870. They’re confronted by notorious pistol-packing outlaws, a love-sick gunslinger, a half-witted bounty hunter, a bevy of bodice-busting saloon girls, a less-than-ethical newspaper man, a quiet-but-wise Native American, a not-so-wise but good-hearted lawman and a cast of townsfolk straight out of central casting.

Said the Thomas, “You can’t believe how much fun it was to come up with this story line. It’s an idea Marcy and I had been bouncing around for a few years, but when we settled on it, the writing just started to flow.”

Said Newbern, “All the Kilwin’s fans in Asheville really have us to thank at least in a small way. Our relationship with the Gallaghers started when they lived in Florida, and Marcy won a trip to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. We were running a romance writing contest for our 10th anniversary, and her story was selected for the resulting anthology Celebrating Romance. The trip was her prize, and Tom actually was the one who pointed the contest out to her.”

Marcy adds, “We fell in love with Asheville, and my sister had a successful Kilwin’s franchise in Florida, so we decided to take the plunge and here we are.”

(Read an excerpt from “Wild West Love Fest” at


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