Daniel Donovan wants nothing more than to get married, unless it's to restore his friendship with his closest friend, Alec Twelve Trees.
Alec is raging about his mother's murderer, whose identity Daniel knows but will not reveal, as the killer is dead and the family he left behind would be compromised if the knowledge became public. But Alec cannot recognize any needs but his own, and the rift between the friends grows wider every day.
Daniel's fiancée, Annie, is a delicate girl, her health frail and her future uncertain. Prone to vicious headaches that at times rock her to her knees, she’s accepted Daniel’s ring but is hesitant to name their wedding date, worried that marriage and possible pregnancy will exacerbate her physical problems.
Annie inherited the gift of insight from her Welsh mother and digs into the past, searching for a way to help Alec and Daniel mend their relationship. But when she discovers the secret behind the murder, it’s more horrifying than she could have imagined.
It may take more than Annie’s small strength and inherited skills to bring the friends together again. And that’s before a new enemy shows his face.
It usually takes me more than a month to put away my Christmas decorations. Anyone who knows me can tell you I get a “little” crazy with it. Every room gets decorated (even the bathrooms); I have a wreath or candelabra for every window; and I usually have five trees to decorate: one for the living room (top row L); one for the lower level TV room (top row R); one for my office (Bottom L); a 4’ wall tree that hangs in the master bedroom (bottom C); and a teeny-tiny one (2’ tall) for the guest room (bottom R). And that doesn’t count the two small trees that go out on the front porch to greet visitors!
Origin: My personal photos
Though I write historical fiction/historical romance, I usually read murder mysteries and thrillers. My favorite authors in this vein are Agatha Christie, J. D. Robb, and the late Dick Francis.
My first library was a Book-Mobile. My grandmother lived in a tiny hamlet called Herbertsville in Ocean County NJ, and my older sister and I would visit her for 2 weeks every summer. The Book-Mobile came every week and parked at the village grocery store. Granny (pronounced “Grah´-nee”) would bring us to pick up books for my bed-ridden grandfather, a voracious reader.
Tired of kids’ books by the time I was 10, I asked the librarian to recommend something, and thus became acquainted with The Virginian by Owen Wister. What a revelation! My own copy of the book finally fell apart, but for years it was one of my most treasured possessions. The hard-core Knight of the Range and the literature of that time, that place—both live deep inside me.
Origin: Public Domain
When I was in the 7th grade, I won a puppy—a long-haired border collie mix that I named Sam—at the school fair. I’m not sure who was more surprised, my father, or myself. I do know who was happier!
PS: I’d love to show you a picture of Sam, but all our photos of that time were destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.
Gifford MacShane is the author of historical fiction that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit.
Her novels feature a family of Irish immigrants who settle in the Arizona Territory in the late 1800s. With an accessible literary style, MacShane draws out her characters' hidden flaws and strengths as they grapple with both physical and emotional conflicts.
Singing almost before she could talk, MacShane has always loved folk music, whether it be Irish, Appalachian, spirituals, or the songs of the cowboys. Her love of the Old West goes back to childhood, when her father introduced her to the works of Zane Grey. Later she became interested in the Irish diaspora, having realized her ancestors must have lived through An Gorta Mor, the Great Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. Writing allows her to combine her three great interests into a series of family stories, each including romance, traditional song lyrics, and a dash of Celtic mysticism. Having grown up in a large and often boisterous Irish-American family, she is intimately acquainted with the workings of such a clan and uses those experiences to good purpose (though no names will be named!)
MacShane is a member of the Historical Novel Society and is an #OwnVoices writer. A self-professed grammar nerd who still loves diagramming sentences, Giff currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband Richard, the Pied Piper of stray cats.