The Dolan Girls is part of the “Thrill Me!” GIVEAWAY Audio Event!

THE DOLAN GIRLS is proud to be part of author/blogger/artist Uvi Poznansky’s

“THRILL ME!” event: 12/8/17 – 12/9/17, where the various authors shown below will #GIVEAWAY copies of their audiobooks.

Here are all the authors included in this giveaway event

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The narrator for my THE DOLAN GIRLS is Nancy Peterson, who does both a terrific job capturing the essence of my book, as well as truly portraying the Wild West.

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION:

EXCERPT 1)  “Without warning, an Irish bodrán drum started thumping. Whoops and hollers were unleashed, and all attention swiveled toward the front of the room where the fiddler had started an Irish jig.

Minnie clapped her hands. “Come, girls, it’s the Dolans turn to shine!”

Grabbing Cora with one hand, Ellie with the other, she forced them out onto the middle of the floor, and using authentic Irish steps, her hands on her hips, she began dancing. Ellie laughed and chimed in. Cora stayed still, until her sister and daughter were dancing in true Irish style—legs executing intricate patterns, their upper bodies straight as laundry pegs holding steady on a clothes line.

Thinking of her ma, Cora shrugged and joined in, as the dance steps got more complicated and the entire room watched, egging them on with rhythmic applause.

It was as if she were back in that encampment so many years before, dancing in front of strangers in a new land. Only this time, it was in front of her friends, her neighbors, and Thomas. She let herself go.

The music and drumbeats swelling, soon it was over as abruptly as it had begun. People walked by the threesome, slapping them on their shoulders and nodding graciously, as conversation returned to normal and a lilting waltz infiltrated the room.

Thomas turned to Cora, taking in her sparkling eyes, her fly-away hair, her collar opened one button down, and asked in a low voice, “May I have this next dance?”

He held out his large hand.

Exhausted, taken aback, she reacted without thinking. “Sorry, Thomas. I’m quite tired.”

Instantly, she regretted her words. When she saw his eyebrows raise, and one of his cheek muscles twitch, she opened up her mouth to explain, to try to soften her remark, but it was too late.

Clearing his throat and straightening his cravat, he turned succinct.

“Excuse me, then. I intend on dancing,” he said coldly, and without a backwards glance, walked across the room and stopped in front of a school committee member’s oldest daughter, Merribelle. Within seconds, they were twirling around on the dance floor––he talking continuously, she gazing up at him with enamored eyes, hanging onto every word.

“You had your chance, Cora,” Minnie snorted, after watching them dance for a while. “He’s a handsome devil and if you don’t…”

“Just don’t, Minnie,” she flared. “I’m tired, I don’t feel like dancing, and I don’t need your meddling. Just leave me be!” Still, she couldn’t take her eyes off of Thomas’ arm around Merribelle’s waist.

“Folks, the next dance is Ladies’ Choice, so grab the man of your dreams and keep those dancin’ shoes goin’!” He hardly got the last words out when the room broke out in a cheer.

Shot full of adrenaline, Cora didn’t even hesitate. Charging over to Thomas and Merribelle, on their way to a second dance, all she could concentrate on was his arm, and how it should be around her waist, not someone else’s.

“No you don’t! Now it’s my turn, Miss Merribelle,” Cora said firmly, gripping Thomas’ arm from Merribelle’s slim waist and yanking him over to her.

With a slight shrug to the disappointed debutant, Thomas positioned his arm firmly around Cora’s waist and brought her onto the dance floor.

“‘Bout time!” Minnie called out, then watched them glide effortlessly, with Thomas’ Cheshire cat grin growing as large as all of Nebraska.

Pete steadied himself against her and gave out a large burp.

The waltz was extra slow and melodious and to further enhance the romantic setting, Mr. Corrigan had come up with a brilliant plan. Walking around the room, he blew out alternating lamps as the room dimmed in increments, the aaah’s grew serious, and the men’s arms tightened around their partners’ waists.

Ignoring the usual waltz ‘space protocol’ between partners, Cora’s and Thomas’ bodies moved together as a single entity as they rotated and swayed, wordless. Pressed up against him like old times, her body tingled. But there was something else. The stirrings she was feeling as his lower body hardened against her, were a sudden reminder of things she had not thought about for years, not since that night on Madam Ana’s porch so long ago. At one point, he leaned back slightly and carefully placed several wispy strands behind her ear, and when he stroked her neck with his fingers, she felt it down to her toes.

“Oh Cora,” he half groaned, as Cora felt the gooseflesh ripple over her arms. Still waltzing, still floating, they continued on, wordless, as Corrigan kept blowing out more and more lights.

Without realizing it, they had drifted out toward the back door, out where the air felt cool and fresh, and for the first time since forever, she wasn’t aware of her brain, only her senses.

“The moon’s almost full tonight,” she murmured. Biting her lip, she gazed up at him.

“Yes it is,” he murmured back, and pulling her close, lifted her face up toward his so they could kiss, for the first time in their lives as grown adults––slowly, deeply.

Sensations sparked through her like lightning bolts, sensations that made her kiss him back just as fully, as she ran her fingers through his hair. Transported, the screams of laughter and feet stomping inside had become a dim haze, as he stroked her back with his hands, and she melted even further into him.

“Lord!” Minnie exclaimed, coming outside where they stood.

Like two fighting cats being doused with water, the couple jumped apart. Minnie laughed.

“It’s about time…”

“Stop it, Minnie!” Cora flared, her chest still heaving unevenly. She glanced at Thomas and said, “I better go in now.” Minnie shook her head, while Thomas looked grim.

“Cora, please?” he pleaded.

“No, I need to go. After all, I’m not a young girl anymore. I’m a businesswoman,” she answered, fidgeting with her hair before she went back inside.

Thomas turned to Minnie. “I don’t understand her, Minnie. I truly don’t.”

“Thomas, honey, I guess she’s lived with a world of hurt, and frankly, she just doesn’t want to get hurt again, if you get my meaning,” she said, and headed inside.”

EXCERPT 2)

…The two sisters shifted into their usual standoff poses: Cora annoyed, self-righteous, her hands on her hips; Minnie, wiry, know-it-all, breathing hard.

Just then, one of their ladies entered. “Mrs. Cora, Miss Minnie, there’s a problem out on the floor.”

Cora sighed. “What now, Marlena?”

The soiled dove gulped before answering. “One of our customers, the old geezer one, is having a fit. Gettin’ real ornery, too.”

In recognition of a regular happenstance, the two sisters looked at each other and grimaced.

“Need any help?” Minnie asked Cora as she stood up.

“Nope, I have it under control. Thanks, Sis,” Cora replied and headed out the door, Ellie and her homecoming temporarily forgotten.

Out in the main parlor, the girls had already formed a wide circle around old Pete. Corsets, bustles, crinolines, pantaloons, and camisoles intermingled with a whiskey-stained suit, a grimy vest, and mud-caked boots. He was no match for them. As they gleefully shoved and tickled him, his fury rose with each breath, while his face ripened into the color of raw meat. Finally, when he could take it no longer, he sputtered, “She-devils!” which produced gales of laughter.

“Ladies, ladies. Enough. Leave the man alone,” Cora said, placing a concerned arm around the smelly habitué. “There, there, Pete. They meant you no harm.”

“As Mercutio proclaimed in Romeo and Juliet,’tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church door, but ‘tis enough, ‘twill serve. Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man. All I wanted was a little love, Cora. I swear it!” He sniffled pathetically as the girls giggled.

With a dirty glance aimed at the group’s ringleader, Charity, Cora turned back to Pete. “You did produce some money, right, love?”

He looked down.

“Now, Pete, you know the rules.”

“I just wanted a little love. As Henry David Thoreau said, There is no remedy for love but to love more. He also said…”

“Now, Pete, enough about Thoreau,” she interrupted, gently angling him toward the door. As soon as he left with a snort and an “After all we’ve been through together,” Cora shook her head and turned back to face her employees.

“Ladies, she said, “some women in this town may look down on us, but I do have my standards. Gentility is most important, above all else. I thought I had made myself perfectly clear.”

A few head nods and corset scratching was all she got before Marlena stepped forward. “Ah, Mrs. Cora?”

Placing one hand on her hip, Cora sighed. “Now what?”

“He was full as a tick, that one was. He almost fell down twice.”

Cora squinted her eyes, assessing her new employee. “I don’t care how drunk he was. He, Miss Minnie, and I go way back.”

“But you tossed out a feller from Fanny’s bed just the other night. I reckon he wasn’t half as likkered up as that ol’ coot.”

Cora frowned. “I could tell the man with Fanny was going to be big trouble.”

“Yes, zat one very, very scared me,” Suzette, the resident French girl affirmed. “I zink Mrs. Cora maybe saved Fanny’s life.”

“Trust Mrs. Cora,” Rosie interjected. “She’ll always watch your back, or at least your backside!” There was an explosion of laughter.

“All right, all right. Get a wiggle on, ladies,” Cora continued, her eyes sweeping over them. “I heard a group of cowboys are ridin’ through town, maybe even this afternoon. Now, go, go!”

 EXCERPT 3)

A slow, undulating breeze ruffled the prairie grassland as the Baltimore & Ohio chugged on toward Cheyenne. High up on a distant ridge, the Soltano gang sat back on their horses and carefully surveyed the scene before starting their drill. Composed of two Mexican-born brothers, seven cohorts, and a new member named Clyde, each man inspected his Winchester rifle or Smith & Wesson, readied his bandanna, and roll-clicked a fast command to his horse before heading downhill toward the Pullman.

On the train, the passengers had been lulled into an exhausted stupor. After days of rhythmic jiggling and wheel clanking, they were looking forward to their final destination in Wyoming. Families, businessmen, and immigrants jostled silently in their seats, while thick dark clouds of smoke blasted past the soot-stained windows.

Down on the plains, the ten-member Soltano gang stretched out in a line, galloping furiously, their torsos bent forward over their saddles, their linen dusters flapping feverishly against the wind.

The train engineer had delivered careful instructions to his fireman, conductor, and brakeman earlier that morning. “Be on high alert today. We’ve got a safe overloaded with payroll, and we’ll be entering Wyoming soon. That’s not a good combination.” Seeing the nervous faces in front of him, he added, “But there’ll be a Pinkerton agent riding in the baggage car to protect the money, so there’s no cause for alarm. Just be watchful.”

The conductor nodded slowly and promised vigilance, but by noon, his predilection for liquor had gotten the better of him. Swaying slightly from side to side, he teetered through each passenger car holding onto seat backs and barely registering the outside world.

As they neared the train, the robbers slowed down long enough to position their bandannas up on their faces and secure their six-shooters. Four of them galloped next to the railroad tracks and stayed in tandem with the last car, four on each side. Two men covered the rear as designated horse wranglers.

The leader, José Soltano, still galloping, rode on ahead and hoisted himself up onto the moving baggage car as his horse dropped away and moved on, riderless. On the other side of the car, his brother Guillermo did the same. Soon, eight of them were onboard with bandanna-covered faces, empty burlap bags, and handguns cocked, ready to go.

 

HERE’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING ABOUT THE DOLAN GIRLS:

1) “At times rollicking, at times poignant, but always authentic, well- researched and a beautifully told story.”

2)“A compelling read, perfect amount of romance, with a wonderful ending.  With Mallery’s warm writing style, you will be immersed in cast, time, and place.”

3)“S.R. Mallery’s words thunder off the page like a cattle stampede… her sharply written characters demonstrate that truly it was WOMEN who tamed the American West.”

4)“It’s a rip-roaring, nail-biting, heart-throbbing ride…my Stetson is off to S.R. Mallery, five stars all the way.”

5)”What a marvellous story… A well-researched book of historical value for this reader–entertaining and very warmly written. Highly recommended.”

6)“Mallery has done it again. THE DOLAN GIRLS leads you on a trip that is sometimes painful and sometimes loving. You are taken from innocence to womanhood. From love to heartbreak… Definitely 5-stars!”

7) “As a history buff, I just loved this whoppin’ good tale set in the old west…From the first word to the last, the pages couldn’t fly fast enough. Highly recommended!”

8)“S. R. Mallery gives us a colourful view of America’s wild west of the 1800’s… The characters are endearing and the action is fast paced  … Looking forward to more from this talented writer.”

9)“If you’re a fan of the old west, strong women, and enjoy a great read, this book is for you. Recommend highly!”

10)“The Dolan Girls is simply a wonderful book. It brings the West alive in a way that is not only historically interesting, but one can’t help but become fascinated with how the story is going to play out.”

11) “S.R. Mallery knows how to write historical fiction in a way that hooks the reader…”

12) “I loved The Dolan Girls. It was easy to get interested in from the start. I recommend that anyone wanting a good read of a clean historical western romance give this book a try.”

 

JACKIE WEGER: The Tough Texan With a Soft Soul

Jackie Weger, founder of the fine author’s group, eNovel Authors At Work, claims she’s a sharp shooter who “takes no prisoners, particularly when it comes to idiots and scammers.” Indeed, she lives by and is proud of both her candor and the occasional “snake gun” comment.

But I’ve learned that’s just her outer shell. Like the aloe plant––prickly on the outside, yet soft inside and full of healing properties––she is fiercely loyal, compassionate, and more than willing to go the extra mile for her group members, even when she’s in the middle of fires or floods!

So thank you, Jackie, for your help, tutelage, and constant support of our efforts!

BIO:

Jackie Weger has been writing romance novels off and on for thirty years. When she’s writing, she’s anchored in a tiny room with a desk, a chair and an annoying cat. When not writing, blogging or chatting with fans, she’s traipsing around the Internet searching for recipes, but much prefers to travel the good earth by foot, boat, bus, train, plane or pickup–but usually only gets as far as Walmart.

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Julia Gousseva: A Kind & Supportive Russian Treat!

Yet another wonderful ASMSG member, Julia Gousseva came into my life about four years ago. A fine, prolific writer from Russia, her support and encouragement of my work as well as others, touched me greatly.

Not only did she read and review my Sewing Can Be Dangerous short story collection, she went even further. Being an English professor, she asked my permission to actually teach the first story from that collection to her writing class, as an example of American literature. Then she put the entire story on her Chats with Writers.

Talk about her making me feel special! I will never forget the thrill it gave me to have my work “studied” in college. I also truly enjoyed answering her curious and delightful students’ questions regarding characterization and plot development.

So thank you, dear Julia, for your great support and encouragement––not to mention ego boost!

 BIO:

My name is Julia Gousseva.  This website is about my love for writing and teaching writing.

I was born and raised in Russia when it was still a part of the Soviet Union. For a long time, Russia was hidden behind the Iron Curtain and had a mysterious image of the Evil Empire to many Westerners, especially Americans. But Russia was a mystery to its own people as well. My history professors  referred to Russia as a country with unpredictable past. Why? Because every time a new leader came to power, all history books were revised and rewritten.

My books are my personal attempts to shed some light on the mystery (and history) of Russia.

In Moscow Dreams, the teenage heroine Marina is preparing to enter college when the attempted coup of August 1991 brings terrifying, uncertain and volatile times for Marina, her friends, and the entire country.

Anya’s Story and Struggling to Survive are loosely based on events surrounding the tragedies of two Russian submarines: Komsomolets and Kursk.

Gray Shadows, the first book in my Russian bodyguard series, shows the darker side of Russian business and its inherent dangers. The setting is based on a small town in the Russian Arctic where I worked in the early 1990’s. The second book in the bodyguard series, In the Crosshairs, the second book in the series, has the same protagonist, Nikolai Volkov, but this time his adventure is more personal and the setting is a tropical town on the Black Sea. The events in both books come from my imagination and my research.

Twelve Months of a Soviet Childhood focuses on earlier years, 1970’s and 1980’s, when life in the Soviet Union seemed stable and happy, especially for kids shielded by their families from daily problems.

The Firebird, The Lollipop, Snowdrops, Grandma Witch, and Cinderella & Her Prince is a series of stories that put two American-born kids of Russian heritage  into the world of Russian fairy-tales where their decisions and actions change the outcomes of the traditional stories.

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MAER WILSON: Kind, Humorous, & Savvy

Yet another member of ASMSG, Maer Wilson is, to me, a combination of great Fantasy talent and social media know-how. And generosity. Not only did she read and review one of my works early on without my asking her to, she featured me on her blog, then invited me to partake in her Myth Behaving Podcast Show, which gave me my first introduction to radio interviews.

I remember her humor, responsiveness, and kindness back then leading up to the podcast, all of which eased my nerves tremendously. For that, I will forever be grateful to her. So thank you, Maer, for all that you did for me and for your ongoing outstretched arms toward many other authors!

This is the Myth Behaving Podcast interview that she and her partner, Carla Clifton, did with me. If you do happen to listen, please forgive all my, “You know’s”. Ouch!

 

 BIO:

*** Named 2015 Fantasy Author of the Year (by Author Classifieds), Maer Wilson continues to delight readers with her Cozy Dark style, believable characters and dialogue, and plots with unexpected twists and turns.***

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. Maer is a partner in Ellysian Press, a small publishing house. She also co-hosts the literary podcast MythBehaving. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her three dogs, a chihuahua and two poodles.

Maer’s books include the recent Apocalypta Z, as well as Relics, Portals, and Magics in the Modern Magics series. There are four prequel novelettes in the series – “Ghost Memory,” “Unwanted Ghost,” “Ghost Dancer” and “Wedding Ghost.” A recently released box set includes all the novelettes plus a new story, “Lost Ghost.” Maer recently contributed to, compiled and published the charity anthology, The Dark Dozen.

You can find all Maer’s books and novelettes at Amazon. For more info, you can visit Maer’s website at http://maerwilson.com/.

 

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LIFE PASSES AND ANOTHER REPLACES IT

I had to share this beautifully written post about the passing of P C Zick’s father along with her recycling of life. So touching…

P.C. Zick

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Today marks the 36th anniversary of my father’s death.

He passed away around noon on August 29, 1981. I find it difficult to comprehend–how could it be so long ago when it seems as if we last spoke only yesterday? But it has been that long. Recently, I wrote about the months leading up to his death because of the serendipity of life. I’m honored to have been a part of the circle of life as my family struggled to accept the passing of our leader. Here’s the story of that time.

I love you, Dad, and always will.

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE

Written in 2017

One week in May in 1981, my family went from the depths of sorrow to the heights of joy.

It all began on Mother’s Day. But, in actuality, serendipitous events swirled behind the scenes unbeknownst to us gathered at my parents’ house to celebrate…

View original post 1,240 more words

LORD DAVID PROSSER = British Humor + Kindness + Generosity

I first came in contact with Lord David Prosser about four years ago through the support group, ASMSG. I found his books to be very funny and utterly charming, with that British dry wit we Americans envy to no end.

As a member of this group, imagine my surprise and delight when he invited me onto his blog at the drop of a hat. Once was lovely enough, but no, each time I had a new book out he made it extraordinarily clear he would not only feature me, he would help promote it up the Yin-Yang (which he did).

Modest and unassuming as he is, when I first mentioned I wanted to thank him on my blog at some point, he flat out told me not to bother. Well, dear David, here I am, ignoring your wishes, because truth be told, I feel I owe you too much not to!

With “massive hugs,” I thank you for all you have done for me and for many other authors. You’re a gem…

 

 

BIO:  

David Prosser was born in 1951 and worked for many years as a Local Government Officer before taking early retirement due to health problems. Finding it difficult to talk to people as a result of the illness he found himself in the situation of being housebound most of the time. In an effort to prove to himself he still had a value, he started The Buthidars, which is an all denomination, all colour, all creed group determined to better the world by Hugging. There is a site dedicated to this that welcomes all people who feel the World is better by forgetting our differences whilst celebrating the individuality of all peoples.

The next step was to remind the world of Edwardian style and beg the designers to recreate it in exchange for clothing that displays too much of next weeks washing. Let’s dress with some dignity!

Often heard are the words, life begins at 40. David is trying to show that life can get a kick-start at 60 too. He chose this age to sit and write his first novel, My Barchester Diary, a fictional look at the life of the gentry.

Book 2 which is also in diary form is a prequel telling of the days between gaining his title and now, when he performed the duties of an unofficial envoy to Her Majesty. There are times when confronted by women when it’s not sure if his stiff upper lip is enough to help him get by!

The third book, More Barsetshire Diary is a continuation of the first book. Lord David was volunteered to help the Dreaded Edna achieve an ambition. I this book he starts the job of making her more popular when Lady J volunteers his services to help Diana The Dowager Duchess of Cheam raise enough money to save her childhood home. Maybe he can do it with the help of the Toastie Tenors and the mysterious Eileen Dover.

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S.K.GREGORY – Who Introduced Me to Kindness & Horror

 

I first met the fine, amiable author, S. K. Gregory––or Samantha Gregory, as she is also known––through my former publisher, Mockingbird Lane Press. Even though our genres were vastly different, we reached out to one another, and I’m so glad we did.

 

 

She pens YA Horror, and it was through her excellent writing that I discovered an important fact. No matter the genre, if the characters are appealing, the plots page turning, and the prose well versed, that’s all that counts. As a fellow writer, that was a great lesson for me.

 

After a couple of years, I left Mockingbird Lane Press, but she continued to reach out to me, reading a couple of my books and reviewing them, then featuring me on her blog. So thank you, Sam, for your kindness and your talent!

 

 

BIO:

I am a journalist, blogger and writer. I write horror, fantasy and YA novels. When I’m not writing, I offer free reviews through my website and paid promos for authors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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