When I first met Michael at Mount Hermon Christian Writer’s Conference, he was giving away gold-foiled chocolate pieces tagged with the cover of his first book, Flight of the Earls, which released in 2013.
The story traces the plight of an Irish potato farmer who sends his two oldest children, Clare and Seamus Hanley, to America to seek their fortunes. The father believes the brother and sister will send money home to save his family. But arrival in America plunges the siblings into dire circumstances and they live like rats in a poverty-stricken neighborhood. No money makes it to Ireland.
The second story, In Golden Splendor, follows Seamus’s journey to California where the 1849 gold rush is on. He has fled the mountains of Colorado after being branded a horse thief and a deserter from the U.S. Army, finding new purpose in a letter he discovers while pilfering through a lost load of mail. In his pocket he carries the picture of Ashlyn, a woman stranded in San Francisco whose plea for help drives him. The lust for gold and the environment it breeds are described in gritty detail. Meanwhile, sister Clare remains in New York and wonders if she’ll ever see her brother again.
The third story in the series, Songs of the Shenandoah, just released his spring, finds Seamus once again serving the military, this time as a chaplain for the Confederate army. His beloved wife, Ashlyn, has returned to her family’s farm in the South and in the face of war Seamus must either serve as a soldier for a cause he doesn’t believe in or follow his newfound faith ministering to the wounded. Sister Clare fights her own battles in New York writing for a doomed daily newspaper.
I recommend the entire series. Once you are hooked on the struggles of Clare and Seamus as they venture to America, you’ll want to know the entire story. Men and women alike will find their adventures thrilling, the writing fresh, and the history compelling. Available in bookstores, on Amazon.com, and at Christianbook.com (CBD)as singles, a series, or on Kindle. Just in time for Father’s Day.