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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review: Gallagher's Pride by M.K. McClintock

galagher's pride
Gallagher’s Pride by M.K. McClintock
Book 1 of the Montana Gallagher series
Unabridged, 5 hr. 57 min.
Trappers Peak Publishing
Alan Philip Ormand (Narrator)
November 12, 2014
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Genre: Historical Romance, Western
Source: Received audio download from the author
She was a on a quest of discovery. 
He was on a quest for revenge. 
Together they would discover a second chance.
Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn't know existed. Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost family, heal old wounds and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man who destroyed her family. 
As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than enough to occupy his thoughts and time-he didn't need the complication of Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn't need the trouble that came with her. Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life than revenge.
The first work from M.K. McClintock that I read, was her Christmas collection of short stories, A Home for Christmas. Those short little introductions to her writing style were all I needed to know that I would love her full length western novels…and I wasn’t wrong. I inhaled the first two books in this series before taking a pause to wait on the third. They are THAT good!

In just a few pages, McClintock introduces the readers to her characters and you are instantly transfixed, committed, and in love with them. McClintock knows how to pull you into the story – starting with the sorrow filled backstory of Brenna Cameron. When Brenna arrives in Montana that is when we meet the Gallagher clan – and while the way Ethan and Brenna are thrown together might be a little contrived – it works. As Ethan tries to help her with her mission to find her family, the story gets entertaining with the chaos and adventure that ensues. McClintock knows how to get right down to business and doesn’t waste her words – however it doesn’t feel rushed or underdeveloped. You just get caught up in the whirlwind that is the Gallagher’s and can’t believe you have already reached the end of the book.

Ethan Gallagher is one of the hunkiest hist-fic men I have read about in a while! I love his personality (even if he is stubborn) and how he cares for his family and this woman he just met. Brenna is just as stubborn, but she really adapts to the hard life in the American West and all that comes with it.

I just have to say, this is a wonderful and refreshing series that I can’t wait to read the rest of the works from this author. Inhalable reading!!!


I don’t think that a more perfect narrator than Alan Philip Ormand could have been found for this book. I just absolutely loved his narration! It felt so true to the characters and story being told.  His voice is so smooth with just a touch of drawl that was perfect for the setting of this book.  So, not only did the characters and story suck me in, but the narration was the icing on the cake. Loved, loved loved!!

If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

You can also watch the book trailer below.
Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also by M.K. McClintock:
Also in the Gallagher's Pride series:
gallagher's hope
Gallagher's Hope (book 2)
My Review

Gallagher's Choice
Gallagher's Choice (book 3)
My Review

An Angel Called Gallagher (book 4)

Other M.K. McClintock Books I Have Reviewed:

Find M.K. McClintock: Website | Newsletter | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Youtube | Blog

Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Giveaway Winner Announcement


Good evening everyone!  I have been a little MIA the last couple weeks - it's been a little crazy around here.  But I hope to get back to a somewhat regular posting schedule here this week.  Starting tonight with just a quick little post. 

I am just taking a moment to announce the winner tonight of the giveaway for The Promise by Ann Weisgarber.

And that winner is....Carl S!!! 

Congrats Carl!  An email has already been sent to you!


Thanks everyone for entering and have a great evening!


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Guest Post by Ann Weisgarber

I have the opportunity to welcome Ann Weisgarber, author of the just released The Promise as well as previous release The Personal History of Rachel Dupree.  I had the chance to meet Ann back in 2013 at the Historical Novel Society Conference when she was speaking on a panel of the American Experience in Historical Fiction.  When I heard that she was publishing a novel that centered on the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, a subject that has fascinated me, I knew I not only had to read this book, but that I would love to hear how she encountered this oft forgotten tragic event.  Please help me welcome her and read her fascinating tale.

Remembering the Forgotten
Guest post by Ann Weisgarber, Author of
The Promise


After I finished my first novel, The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, I wrote articles for The Islander, a magazine based in Galveston, an island a few miles off the coast of Texas. 


Location of Galveston Island

The focus of the articles was unusual or quirky businesses, and in Galveston the options were nearly endless.  Each month, I set up interviews to get the scoop on a particular business or job.  I talked to people who worked in the downtown area such as the man who organized the Historic Home Tour, and I interviewed the owner of a wedding chapel.  All were fascinating but it was an interview with a brother and sister on the West End – the more rural part of the island – that eventually inspired me to write The Promise.

The brother and sister own and manage a small grocery on the part of the island where there’s a mix of beach homes, campgrounds, acres of undeveloped wetlands, and small cattle ranches.  The customers are weekenders, tourists, and the few locals who live year round in the area.  Although the grocery is small, it’s well stocked with everything from fishing lures to pricey wines.  In the summer, customers jam the narrow aisles but in the winter, everyone seems to disappear.

Seven Seas GroceryThe Seven Seas Grocery & Market

In 1963, the brother and sister were teenagers when their parents bought the grocery store.  “There wasn’t much here back then,” the brother told me.  “Just a scattering of houses and a liquor store.”  It was so isolated “you could shoot a shotgun down the road and not hit a thing,” he said.  His sister added that there were more rattlesnakes than children. 

Unlike the downtown area where most Galvestonians lived, electrical outages were common and the water wasn’t safe to drink.  Cold drinks and refrigerated food were sold out of ice chests. “Grocery suppliers refused to deliver to us,” the brother said. “We were too far out of town.”  Even the bread man wouldn’t make the drive.  

Seven Seas - Across the street
Across from the Seven Seas Grocery

The interview ended and I wrote the article.  But I kept thinking about the rustic conditions of Galveston’s West End.  What was that area like at the time of the historic hurricane that struck the island on September 8, 1900?  The storm was and still is the deadliest natural disaster in the United States.  At least 6,000 people were killed and some historians think there might have been 8,000 – 10,000 people who lost their lives.  

Seeking valuables in the wreckage, Galveston, Texas
Searching for valuable in the wreckage.

I’ve long been fascinated by what was commonly called The 1900 Storm.  It’s very much a part of Texas history and families pass down stories about ancestors who perished or who survived the storm.  All other hurricanes are compared to it, and many of the buildings that withstood the storm are marked with historic plagues.  Yet, everything I’d read about the hurricane focused on its impact on the downtown area.  

Carrying bodies, Galveston hurricane, 1900
Carrying bodies from the wreckage

Did anyone live outside the city limits?  If so, who were they?  Did they survive the storm?

Determined to find the answers to these questions, I read every non-fiction book and novel about the storm that I could find.  To my disappointment, none mentioned people who lived on the rural part of the island.  St. Mary’s Orphan Asylum was outside of the city limits and the disappearance of the buildings and the tragic deaths of the nuns and the children are still a part of the 1900 Storm lore.  But was St. Mary’s completely alone without neighbors?

My question took me to the Galveston and Texas History Center at Galveston’s Rosenberg Library.  With the help of the archivists, I eventually found names of people who lived outside of the city limits.  They were fishermen, ranchers, and dairy farmers.  The facts were bare and sparse but combined with the interview with the grocery store owners, I had enough to get started on a story.  

The Promise is my tribute to the forgotten – the women, men, and children -- who lived on the rural part of the island on September 8, 1900, the day a massive hurricane forever changed their lives.  

Ann Weisgarber
Photography Credit: Christine Meeker

Ann Weisgarber's latest novel is The Promise. The Promise was shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, making Ms. Weisgarber the first American to be a finalist for this UK prize. In the United States, THE PROMISE was a finalist for the Spur Award in Best Western Historical Fiction and The Ohioana Book Award for Fiction. The novel was a Women’s National Book Association Great Group Read, a Pulpwood Queen Pick for October 2014, and the Pulpwood Queen Bonus Book of the Year. Weisgarber’s first novel was The Personal History of Rachel DuPree, which actress Viola Davis’s JuVee Productions has optioned the film rights. For her first novel, Weisgarber was nominated for England’s 2009 Orange Prize and for the 2009 Orange Award for New Writers. In the United States, she won the Stephen Turner Award for New Fiction and the Langum Prize for American Historical Fiction. She was shortlisted for the Ohioana Book Award and was a Barnes and NobleDiscover New Writer. Weisgarber serves on the selection committee for the Langum Prize in American Historical Fiction and is a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. Originally from Ohio, she now divides her time between Sugar Land, Texas, and Galveston, Texas.

Website | Twitter |

The Promise


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Book Blurb:

In THE PROMISE, critically acclaimed and award-winning novelist Ann Weisgarber returns with a deeply moving story about the Galveston, Texas 1900 Storm, the worst natural disaster in the United States in the twentieth century. While there are accounts of what happened to the city of Galveston and its residents, little has been written about what happened to the families on the rural, isolated end of the island, something Weisgarber sought to remedy.

The story begins a few weeks before the storm and is told by two narrators. The first narrator, Catherine Wainwright, is a concert pianist fleeing scandal and Ohio society by marrying Oscar Williams, a recently widowed dairy farmer who lives on the island. The second narrator is Nan Ogden, the local young woman Oscar hired to care for his home and small, grieving son, Andre.

Nan has grown attached to Oscar and Andre, and she struggles to accept Catherine in the household. As for Catherine, she is overwhelmed by her secrets, by motherhood, and by the rougher surroundings. But when the hurricane strikes, Catherine and Nan are tested as never before.

Read an Excerpt!

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia

Also from Ann Weisberger

The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

rachel dupree

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Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | RJ Julia



Now what you have all been waiting for...the giveaway!!

The giveaway is for one paperback copy - open to the USA and Canada only.  The giveaway is open from May 6th - 17th and entries are made through Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Copyright © 2015 by The Maiden’s Court

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Guest Post by Jeffrey Smith

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Jeffrey Smith to The Maiden's Court.  Jeffrey is one of the authors of the book, Mesabi Pioneers, with author Russell Hill.  Today he brings us a guest post about the life of women on the range in one of the last real frontiers in the United States - Minnesota.  I don't know about you, but I don't know much of anything about Minnesota, now or in the past.  So, I am really looking forward to this post and this book.

Women on the Range

Guest Post by Jeffrey Smith, Co-Author of
Mesabi Pioneers

02_Mesabi Pioneers Cover

The Mesabi iron range in Northern Minnesota may have been one of America's last western frontiers. While life in the early days on the Mesabi was dominated by men--hardy men, rough men--there were women, too.  In fact, it was women who made the Mesabi range the place it is now.

As I write in Mesabi Pioneers, men were the first settlers to come to Mountain Iron, the first mine on the Mesabi. They were men accustomed to being alone for long periods of time. Bigoted men who fought wars, who battled enemies, who sought solitude for any number of reasons.

As mining in the region took off immigrant workers flooded newly built towns. They were as culturally and ethically diverse as the continent of Europe: Finns, Swedes, Norwegians, Slavs, Cornishmen, Germans, Italians, Irish. Once they got settled they sent for their wives.

And the women came. Not just alone, but they brought their children, or their sisters, or their mothers. They came on the promise that their husbands and brothers and sons were living the American dream. The men had struck it rich, they believed, and so they left poverty, political instability, and ethnic repression, as well as everything they had ever known, to move to an unknown place in the dense Minnesota wilderness.

What these women found was not the luxurious life they had expected. They found their husbands and fathers working twelve hour shifts in the mines, out of the pits long enough to eat and sleep for a few hours before they did it all again. The homes they were offered, built by the mining companies, were often nothing more than shacks. In a place where winter temperatures dipped to thirty degrees below zero, thin, tar paper covered walls did little to protect their families from cold winter winds.

The rocky soil fought against the plow, and while the men were in the mines the women dug boulders out of the ground. They tilled the earth and planted seeds. They grew vegetables and herbs and cooked the recipes they brought with them from the old country.

Sometimes they worked themselves, as Minnie does in Mesabi Pioneers. Early mining camps operated kitchens near the mines so the men would not have to stray far from the work. As the mines grew, though, and as towns formed near them, mining camps became more like towns. The company called them Locations. The companies took less and less care of the men and began to treat them more like tools. There were so many immigrants willing to move to the Mesabi range, labor was cheap and replaceable. The burden of caring for the men, and of caring for the home and children--and, to some extent, the land itself--fell to the women.


They baked breads and cooked stews. They harvested the vegetables from their gardens and in the fall canned them so that when the winter came they would not want for food. They fished not for sport but for food and preserved catches of walleye and trout in barrels of salt. They hauled water from nearby lakes and streams in summer and in winter, and heated it over a fire so they could do the laundry. They sewed clothes for themselves, their husbands and their children. When the mines shuttered in winter, or when the men were laid off, the women continued to work. The labor of living never stops.

The women of the Mesabi Range built the communities that grew around the mines. These towns were both ethically diverse and culturally segregated. Outside the mines, Finns only mixed with Finns, Slavs with Slavs, Italians with Italians. They distrusted one another. There were historical reasons for some of the mistrust. Finns, for example, harbored an animosity towards Sweden which had ruled over Finland for centuries. When the Swedes gave Finland to Russia, the Finns had another ethnic group to distrust.

In many ways it was women like Minnie who began the process of bringing the different cultures together. They shared recipes with their neighbors. Finns learned to make Cornish pasties, a meat, vegetable and potato stuffed pie. Italians learned to bake Finnish cardamon bread. Slavs grew to love Italian almond cookies. They discovered that their cultures and people were not so different after all.

If America was the land of opportunity for the immigrants that flooded northern Minnesota in the late 19th Century, the women who came to build homes and raise families found satisfaction in a life "challenged by limits."* While it was men like Lon Merritt and Arthur Maki who helped bring the iron ore out of the ground, it was women like Minnie Maki who helped keep the men working. And who created the culture of the Iron Range that survives still to this day.

*Laitala, Lynn Maria, 1991. "Carrying the Burden: An Historical Reminiscence of Vermilion Range Women." Entrepeneurs and Immigrants, Michael G. Karni, ed. IRRRC P. 40-46.

03_Authors Russell Hill & Jeffrey Smith

Dr. Russell Hill was born and raised on Minnesota’s Iron Range. During World War II he served in Naval Intelligence, receiving several prestigious medals for his service. After the War he received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota and began a long and successful teaching career. Hill passed away peacefully in 2011, surrounded by his beloved family. He was 85-years-old.

Jeffrey Smith began his love of letters at fourteen on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter borrowed from his father. He is a full-time writer, homemaker and stay-at-home parent. He is also an accomplished distance runner, completing 16 marathons, seven 24-hour relay races, and multiple ultra-runs, including several 100-mile races.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Mesabi Pioneers

02_Mesabi Pioneers Cover

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Book Blurb:

In the early 1890s, a group of brothers discovered iron ore in the dense pine woods of northern Minnesota. Mesabi Pioneers tells the story of the immigrants who dug that ore out of the ground, who carved towns from trees, and who built new lives for themselves and their families.

Arthur Maki, a Finnish immigrant known for his carpentry skills, has been hired by the persuasive and poetic Leonidas “Lon” Merritt to join a crew of explorers in the forest. From this remote and formidable locale, Arthur must construct a camp and foster a community into which he can bring his wife and son.

The camp, which the Merritts call Mountain Iron, sits on what Lon believes to be a huge lode of iron ore. However, the rest of the world thinks the Merritts are crazy. While Arthur builds a camp with a Chippewa Indian everyone calls Charlie and a French-Chippewa fur trader named Richardson, the other members of the team explore the surrounding woods for more caches of iron. When a second lode is discovered at Biwabik, Arthur and the rest of the crew know the finding is real. And the iron mining world knows it, too.

As the mine gets deeper and mining operations expand, the camp crowds with a diversity of ethnic and cultural groups. Tragedy strikes in ways large and small. And it is from the ashes of destruction that Arthur finds the community he has been seeking.

Read an Excerpt!

Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Mesabi Project Website

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