ABOUT THE BOOK
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!
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 . . . "
1. Love or money?
Can’t I have both? Seriously, this is a more complex question than one might think. I’ve known people who have chosen for love, and when that works, it’s a true blessing. On the other hand, love can fade due to lack of money and when that happens, it is not a pretty sight. Then, I’ve seen some people who have chosen for money, making them miserable and those who have chosen for money and they’ve led charmed lives.
2. Plain or peanut? (M&Ms)
Definitely M&Ms with peanuts. Rounds out the flavor and helps with the sure-to-come later blood sugar crash.
3. Beef or chicken?
I mostly eat chicken, but boy, do I love a good steak once in a while! Yummmmm . . .
4. Coffee or tea?
Coffee, or as we say in New York, “Kawfee." I’ve tried so hard to like tea; it sounds so lovely to say, “Would you like another spot of tea?” like they do in England, but it just doesn’t cut it for me. I’m an old New Yorker gal, I guess.
5. Oxford comma: yes or no?
Definitely yes! I have found I’m sometimes in the minority with some folks, but Lordy, my need to have something before that ‘and’ is powerful.
6. Hardback or Kindle?
Hardback or Kindle? Both, please! I have bad eyes, so for pleasure reading, I do much better with my kindle. I love how you can make the font bigger, the lines spaced differently. What a treat! On the other hand, being an historical fiction author, I need to do a lot of research. That’s when I prefer hardbacks, because I use them as working manuscripts: lots of notes go in their margins about how my characters would fit in with that passage or sometimes, I just simply scribble, “USE!”
7. Salty or sweet?
I do like them both, but feel it’s important how they’re eaten and with what. Salty goes with wine, sweet with coffee. No doubt about it in my mind . . .
8. City or country?
Again, I like both. The city is great for stimulation and access to many places, such as restaurants, museums, landmarks; the country is perfect for beauty and relaxation.
9. Dog or cat?
Although I like both, I’ve become a total cat person. I love not having to walk my pet all the time, or come home early from having fun with family and friends to once again, walk my pet. I do recognize the differences between the two: dogs are always there, wagging their tails, anxious to please. But being so busy with other things, that’s a little too much in my face. I prefer cats, who are far more independent. Tomcats, I have found through experience, can be real lover boys and give me plenty of affection––draping their bodies and paws over my legs or my chest, purring on my shoulders or at my feet, but I can always get a break from them, which I feel I can’t do with a dog.
10. Fame or fortune?
I could say both, but there’s a caveat. Fortune certainly makes for a feeling of security; unless you become a victim of a kidnapping/ransom plot (Sorry, I am a writer after all). As for fame, it depends on the kind of fame and to whom it’s happening. A writer’s fame is good because he/she can still have a private life. But for an actor? Forget about it!
11. Laptop or desktop?
I mostly use a desktop. And because I am a luddite and only have the old kind of cell phone, not an iPhone or android, I am used to answering my emails with full sentences. And lots of them (I’m a very fast typist with an active mind). Or, let’s say I was used to it. Since most people answer me back from their phone, I’ve learned to accept their incredibly short responses, and am learning to cut down on my own words.
12. Health food or junk food?
For the most part, I try to eat healthy, but every once in a great while, I do love eating some goooood junk food! Oh, yeah.
13. Mountains or beach?
Definitely the beach, particularly in the late afternoon, just as the sun is about to set. Beautiful, just beautiful, and talk about soaking up all those negative ions.
14. Gourmet or diner?
To me, good flavors are good flavors, whether it’s simple/no fuss, slapped down on a thick, clunky white plate, or artfully presented on a high-end platter. But Amy, if I could eat at the diners in your book, I’d be sure to come in every day . . .
15. Sweet or unsweet? (Tea of course.)
Alas, I really don’t like tea, but when I have it I want it with milk only. Sorry. My bad??
16. Humor or drama?
I love both. I need drama to really sink my teeth into, and I need humor to relax and get those laughing endorphins flowing.
17. Dr. Seuss or Mr. Spock?
Dr. Seuss! I never was a Star Trek fan, although my husband certainly is, as well as my children. Sorry, world. . .
18. Halloween or Christmas?
Christmas. Big time. I love all the decorations at Christmas. Our tree is always exploding with homemade ornaments from when I was a quilter/crafts person and was part of a group. Every year, when I put up all those ornaments, it brings me such a feeling of comfort and fond memories. No glitzy silver orbs or fancy draping ribbons; just lots of folk art angels, fabric objects, Santas, etc., all lovingly stitched/hand glued by myself and good friends.
19. Spring or fall?
I like the fall for its crispness and the amazing leaf color changes. Spring is wonderful with each new, fresh bud bursting into color after a long hard winter of bare-branched trees and spindly bushes.
20. Morning or night?
Definitely, I am a morning person—always have been. In fact, many years ago, when I was a singer performing in little clubs, while the rest of the band members would stay up jamming with each other until dawn broke, I was home, showered, and snuggled up in bed so I could actually get up in the morning to take a run on the beach.
EXCERPT FROM THE DOLAN GIRLS
Returning Home: 1883
. . . 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!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S.R. Mallery has been labeled nothing short of 'eclectic'. She has been a singer, a calligrapher, a quilt designer, and an ESL teacher.
As a writer, History is her focus and is woven into her stories with a delicate thread. When people talk about the news of the day, or listen to music, Sarah's imagination likens the story to a similar kind of news in the past and is conjuring up scenes between characters she has yet to meet.
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