THE DOLAN GIRLS
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!
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.”
THE DOLAN GIRLS Excerpt:
1861: Young Kisses
Cora Dolan refused to talk about what had happened six years earlier, ten miles above town. Sealed up as tight as a snail in the cold she was, even to her sister Minnie, who was there with her the whole time; even with Thomas, who held her heart.
Yet one star-flushed night, as the wind’s edges were chilling and the shortening days were trumpeting the around-the-corner autumn, the two sweethearts pressed against a neighbor’s barn door, and Cora opened her mouth to share her past, then paused.
“What is it, Cora?” Thomas whispered, his steady arm around her sixteen-year-old waist, his mouth brushed against her ear. “Tell me what gets you sad sometimes. Let me help you.”
She forced a smile. “I’m all right, truly I am,” she said, placing her right hand gently over her heart for a couple of seconds. With her arms then draped over his broad shoulders, she uplifted her face for a kiss.
“Oh, Cora,” he said softly, his lips heading toward hers, “I love it when you put your hand over your heart. It’s so sweet. So trusting.”
Suddenly, a horse’s sudden clop-clop broke their embrace, sending them scurrying off to Cora’s residence. Several blocks away, still running, laughing, holding hands, they slowed their pace down to a stroll as they passed the livery stable, the local blacksmith, the church shut tight for the night, the brand new post office, and the local saloon with its strong bouquet of whiskey and beer wafting into the air. Finally they stopped in front of the red-curtained Madam Ana’s, South Benton’s second watering hole, the place for pleasuring most any man.
And home to the Dolan girls.
“I guess it’s good-night, then,” her young suitor murmured, angling for another kiss.
A male snicker rang out. “Well, well, well. What do we have here?”
Out from behind the southeast porch post stepped a slightly older young man, his black hat cocked forty-five degrees, his leather jacket opened, his six-shooter holstered just below his waist. He moved in close.
“Cora, sweet thing, why in the world do you waste your time with such a greenhorn, huh?” he sneered. “Be like the gals you live with and try a real man for once!”
Thomas stepped in front of Cora. “Wes, that’s no way to treat a lady. Let her be!”
The stepbrothers faced each other. “Don’t you threaten me!” Wes spat back, splaying his tall, wiry legs and fingering his new grown mustache, as if to further prove his manhood.
“That’s rich––me threatening you. Now, leave us alone!”
As Wes half walked, half hitched away, chortling, Cora clutched her protector. “He’s always so scary,” she whispered…
“… I think you’re beautiful, Cora. In fact, you’re perfect.”
Concentrating on his piercing blue eyes, she leaned in for a kiss. All of a sudden, they heard Madam Ana inside, laughing with one of her customers while an out-of-tune piano clunked loudly in the parlor. Although the kiss ended up much shorter than he would have liked, he said nothing when Cora turned and swung the front door open to head toward the back of the house where she shared a bedroom with her sister Minnie.
Just inside, Cora walked into the parlor, with its red velvet wallpaper and red carpeting, stretching out onto the large, winding staircase that led upstairs. She continued on, past the central eye-catchers of the room: a large maroon settee, piled high with plump, satin pillows, and a glittering chandelier hovering overhead that word had it, cost a small fortune. Nothing was too good for the ambitious Madam Ana Prozinski from Russia, she was always being told.
“Cora!” called out Becky, a voluptuous blonde squeezed into a purple, gusset-enhanced corset, high-heeled boots, and her famous black velvet choker. “While we’ve been workin’ here a month of Sundays, you get to make a night of it! For two cents, I’d love to know what you’ve been doin’!”
“Yup, I reckon she just got a lick and a promise!” added a red-petticoated Julie to a chorus of shrieks and laughter.
Amy, in a rose colored shimmy and fishnet stockings, chimed in. “Look at her red face! Did you ever see anything so perty? It’s just like…”
“She’s always pretty!” Julie interrupted. “Talks fine, too. Must be all those speakin’ lessons from Pete she’s always taking.”
“Yeah,” Becky said, chuckling. “She talks like one of them refined ladies, but she’s also so pretty she could be one of us. I’ll bet she could bring in those cowboys by the wagonloads! She’s…”
Madam Ana strode into the room “Girls, enough!” You know I take no stock in dis kinda talk. Leave Cora be. Now go back to verk!” She looked around at her employees and clapped twice. “Now!” she barked.
MY INFO LINKS:
Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)
Amazon Author page:
Amazon link to THE DOLAN GIRLS: http://amzn.to/1m1wngZ
Let’s face it. S. R. Mallery is as eclectic as her characters. Starting out as a classical/pop singer/composer, she next explored the fast-paced world of advertising as a production artist while she simultaneously dipped her toe into the Zen biosphere as a calligrapher. Having started a family and wanting to work from the home, she moved on to having a long career as an award-winning quilt artist and an ESL/Reading instructor before settling on her true love––writing.
Although her taste in reading is wide-ranging, she tends to write mostly historical fiction, where she can not only weave her characters into historical times and events, she gets to perform her second love: Research. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down In the Dirt.
About the Author:
S. K. Gregory is an author, editor and blogger. She currently resides in Northern Ireland.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”