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The Dolan Girls by @SarahMallery1 #FREE!

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“The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Added to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!”

“The Dolan girls will pull at your heart, …”-5 Stars

“A great and exciting read. I always like a good first line.”-5 Stars

“Do you like westerns? Romances? Then The Dolan Girls is your book.”-4 Stars

https://www.amazon.com/Dolan-Girls-S-R-Mallery-ebook/dp/B018Y063XA?ie=UTF8&ref_=asap_bc

The Dolan Girls

Sarah Mallery

#Bookreview by @OlgaNM7 The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery (@SarahMallery1) The West and the Women who Won It.

The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery
The Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery

REVIEWS FOR LITERARY WORLD REVIEWS

Title:   The Dolan Girls
Author:   S. R. Mallery
ISBN13:  978-1519695246
ASIN:  B018Y063XA
Published:  3 December 2015
Pages:  212
Genre:  Historical Romance, Victorian, Western

First the description:

Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. Two, in fact!

Body of review:

I was given a free copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve read two of S. R. Mallery’s books before and I’ve always admired her ease in creating stories emotionally real and characters we care for set in historical eras and around historical events that add dimension and depth to the narration.  Most of her stories centre on female protagonists and we experience through them the travails and challenges these women had to face in different times in history, be it because of their class, race, gender, profession or their situation.

Cora and Minnie, the young girls arrived from Ireland with their parents, who plan to get some land in Nebraska but fail, end up alone and living in a brothel after tragedy strikes. Madam Ana treats them like her daughters and the brothel becomes their home and later their business. Cora’s love story is ruined by a terrible event, a baddie with no redeeming qualities (Wes’) rapes her and impregnates her, and she doesn’t trust men again. She focuses her life on the business and her family, and wants to ensure that her daughter will be respected and safe, even against her wishes.

The three Dolan girls, Cora, Minnie and Ellie embody different models of womanhood: Cora worries about society’s views and being respected, and is straight-laced and serious. Minnie is free, unconventional and only worries about doing what’s right and fun, no matter what anybody else might think. Ellie loves education, learning, and is passionate about enlightening the population and not taking no for an answer. Despite their differences, they all have in common their strength, their perseverance, and their determination to live life their own way, no matter what polite society might think.

 

Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill and Lola Montez make significant appearances and add to the historical interest but their appearance is not an exercise in hero worshiping. The author blends beautifully historical detail, language and décor without dumping information or appearing to quote from a textbook.

 

The bandits’ train-raid and later arrival at South Benton, Buffalo Bill’s first show, and the Pinkerton detective agency and their work add a good dose of adventure and make it a page turner even for people who wouldn’t consider reading a standard romantic novel.

The male protagonists are heroic but understanding and not overbearing. Their behaviour seemed to me somewhat idealised but well within the conventions of the genre.

The Dolan Girls shows us that winning the West wasn’t only a man’s endeavour, that not all immigrants were the same (Irish not being welcome with open arms), that gender violence is not new, and that women can be strong together.

In sum, a great read and a must for people who love historical romances. Ah, and don’t worry about the ending. You’ll love it!

What the book is about: A historical romance following a family, the Dolans, who have immigrated to the US from Ireland, in search of a better life. Unfortunately tragedy strikes hard and the two girls, Cora and Minnie, end up living at a brothel that becomes their home and their family. The two sisters, and later Ellie, Cora’s daughter, show enterprise, strength and exemplify how difficult it was to be a woman in the 1800s in the Wild West.

 Book Highlights: The relationships between the sisters and later with Ellie, the women’s community, including the Doves, the authentic historical feel without going overboard, a fantastic ending. Historical events and figures (like Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill) are brought to life in all their human greatness (or smallness).

 Challenges of the book: Although there are no explicit sexual scenes, some of the topics, like the rape, might be hard for some readers, as the emotional impact and the anxiety and anguish are vividly rendered.

 What do you get from it: A great story of strong women that provides an insight into a historical era, popular but misunderstood and often misrepresented.

 What I would have changed if anything: I was not sure the fragments of the story that are quoted again throughout, that seem to reflect internal thoughts or preoccupations of the characters, added much to the story.

 Who Would I recommend this book to?: To anybody who likes historical romances, particularly in that era, with great adventures and a terrific ending.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5 

Buy it at:  
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $ 8.50 
Kindle: $ 2.99

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://www.authortranslatorolga.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

 

An @COLLEENCHESEBRO INTERVIEW WITH @SARAHMALLERY1

I am excited to introduce you to author, Sarah (S. R.) Mallery who shared with me that she has worn various hats in her life. Sarah also shares that she was, “First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.Next came a long career as an award-winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down in the Dirt.”

Author S. R. Mallery

I actually met Sarah on Twitter. I was immediately intrigued because she was such an engaging personality, something that you don’t always find on Twitter. In no time at all, I was reading her novel, “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.” You can read my review here, and below is the synopsis for this excellent book:

These eleven long short stories range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

What was really amazing was that Sarah likes to do interviews! So here you have it. My interview with Sarah (S. R.) Mallery:

Colleen: Sarah, tell me something about yourself. Where do you live? Are you a full-time writer?

I live in Southern California, where the weather is basically so much tamer than the rest of the U.S. and Europe I have survivor guilt! And no, I would say I am only a two-thirds of the time writer. One-third of my time is spent teaching English to people from other countries and I have learned over the years that it is that balance of being inside my head––both creatively and promotion-wise––and helping others is what works best for me.

Colleen: What inspired you to write Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads? Have you written other books?

When my father told me about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, I had already been a quilt designer/teacher for over twenty years. So, in doing my research on that horrific event, I was particularly drawn to those hapless immigrant seamstresses who, in spite of their overworked hours and low pay, were often the only ones in their families that could find work in the U.S. I also enjoyed thinking about the sewing aspect, surrounded as I was by so many quilts and fabrics in my studio. I therefore decided to continue writing short stories, connected only by one element of sewing/craft. That actually helped focus me on future stories. In other words, no matter what time period I was reading about, that context kept me asking questions like how would sewing/crafting ‘fit’ into a story that takes place in this time frame? Who would be the likely characters?

Yes, I’ve written two other books: TALES TO COUNT ON (http://amzn.to/1x8QqyD) and UNEXPECTED GIFTS (Currently set to be re-released in late June 2015).

Colleen: What message do you want your readers to get from SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS?

By interweaving a ‘thread’ of sewing/crafts throughout each of my stories, I wanted to emphasize how in life as well as history, the ‘little things’ are what loom large. In other words, these quilts, necklaces, crafts, etc. stay with us no matter what events revolve around them.

That idea extends to when I do research for my writing. I am always fascinated by some small fact that most people might pass over but for me, pops out from the page. Soon, that fact starts to percolate in my brain until it becomes a major plot device and/or character development.

Colleen: Who is your favorite author and explain what really inspires you about their work.

Although there are several authors I admire, I would have to choose Harper Lee, who taught me that being simple yet lyrical, presenting appealing characters and touching subjects, and ‘showing not telling’ is more powerful than the most flowery, magnificent prose which can after a while, for me at least, go in one ear and out the other.

Colleen: What was the hardest part about writing this particular book?

I would say perhaps looking for a ‘sewing element’ in my research process that I could authentically use in a story. Originally, there were a couple more stories, but I decided to scrap them because their sewing component seemed too manufactured.

Colleen: Do you have any works in progress you will tell us about?

Yes. I am currently working on an historical fiction western and enjoying not only that time period, but also the colorful lingo that was used. Here’s the synopsis:

The
Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. It’s not only a taste of America’s past, it’s also about people overcoming insurmountable odds.

Thank you, Sarah, for spending some time with us and sharing about your book, “Sewing Can be Dangerous & Other Small Threads.” I look forward to reading your other books too!

***

Here is An Excerpt from Sewing Can Be Dangerous & Other Small Threads

From “A Drunkard’s Path”

“…Are you kidding me?” Deborah exploded. “My life is falling apart! C’mon, curses don’t really happen, do they? I mean, what can I do? You tell me now!” She segued into a screech.

“Come over to my place tomorrow and I’ll try to relate it all to you, I promise…”

….”Do you know anything about the Salem Witchcraft trials?” The older woman leaned in toward her niece, as if casting a spell herself.

“No, not much, why?”

“You remember Martha Stinson from my quilt group? Well after the wedding, she showed me a journal written by a relative of hers and frankly, I am very concerned about you. It seems one of the accused witches from the original Salem trials might have actually had a connection with a real witch, an ancestor of Martha’s…”

* * * *

Inside the packed meetinghouse, dust particles from mud-caked boots floated throughout the air, rendering it dense, murky. That year, April had been an unkind month to Salem Village. Rain-drenched meadows produced a sludge that clung to the edges of women’s dresses, creating odors so foul that in such tight quarters, it became difficult to breathe. But people weren’t concerned with such matters on this day. They had gathered for a higher purpose: the Devil was in Salem, and they wished him thwarted at all costs. Even the constant threat of Indian attacks and surviving harsh winters paled in comparison to what was happening now, in that room, swelling with apprehension.

Crammed into high-walled pews, dark wooden benches, or simply shoved up against walls, spectators filled every conceivable space in the meetinghouse. Donning black hats, cloaks, and breeches, the men angled forward, their eyes boring holes into the five men sitting up front, yet it was the women who carried the greatest burden that day; their hooded coats and muffs covering their recently unkempt hair and unwashed fingernails, couldn’t disguise the uncertainty they felt about their community’s loyalty to them and how it would all end.

Sitting at the head of the counsel table, amongst other magistrates in the newly appointed Court of Oyer and Terminer, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin quietly conferred with each other before beginning their first round of questioning. Arrogant, self-important, the black-robed magistrates assumed their positions on the political totem pole, and having been brought to Salem for such a specific purpose, they dared not disappoint. They were on a mission to deliver souls. Hathorne, displaying the greatest exhibition of self-aggrandizement, seemed the most severe. With no real legal experience, and having only glanced at Sir Mathew Hale’s Trial of Witches, and Joseph Granvill’s Collection of Sundry Trials in England, Ireland the week before, he nonetheless believed he was more than competent to interrogate the accused.

At the front of the room facing the magistrates, sat all the accusers, the “afflicted” girls: Abigail Williams, her cousin Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, Sarah Bibber, Sarah Churchill, Elizabeth Booth, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Sheldon, Jemima Rea, Mary Warren, Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard. With downcast eyes and folded hands, they appeared demure; inwardly they were experiencing emotions quite different from anything they had ever known. Childhoods stocked with adult repression and fear now served as a springboard to the frenzy of accusations they had created, because on this day, along with their catharsis and even exhilaration, came the most important emotion of all: a sense of empowerment. At last, they were getting adults to listen to them, and it was intoxicating.

John Hathorne commenced with the proceedings. “Bring in the accused, Bridget Bishop….”

Here’s what they’re saying about SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS And Other Small Threads:

“S. R. Mallery is quite simply a master story-teller.”

“This is a box of bonbons, every story an eye-opening surprise. Eat one and you’ll want to devour the whole box.”

“An exquisitely crafted, impressive portrayal of life’s journey!”

Women, sewing, history, and storytelling. A quilt of wonderful stories.”

“Rich and beautiful stories that will captivate you.”

“These stories will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book…”

“I was amazed by the variety of stories that took place in various locations, and at different historical times.”

Here’s where you can find Sarah:

Website/Blog: http://www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

FB: http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Google+:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/107388739382996104658/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films) http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Amazon Author page:
http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon link to SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS: http://amzn.to/1P8OTyo

Audible.com link for SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS: http://bit.ly/1uyFUuF

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sewing-can-be-dangerous-and-other-small-threads?keyword=sewing+can+be+dangerous+and+other+small+threads&store=ebook

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sewing-can-be-dangerous-and-other-small-threads

Skribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/260906999/Sewing-Can-Be-Dangerous-and-Other-Small-Threads

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sewing-can-be-dangerous-other/id982813512?mt=11