Gallagher Series Extras
Author MK McClintock talks about the Montana Gallaghers and the characters of "Gallagher's Pride."
Adventure. Romance. Revenge.
Amidst the rugged beauty of Montana is a ranch known as Hawk's Peak, and in case you haven't met them yet, these are the cowboys of Hawk's Peak, and a little recipe on how to wrangle one of your own.
Ethan Gallagher (Gallagher's Pride) is stubborn and sometimes infuriating – he's also gorgeous, chivalrous and for the right woman, he has a heart bigger than the big sky.
Gabriel Gallagher (Gallagher's Hope) is charming and easy-going - he's also ruggedly handsome, chivalrous, and for the right woman, he'll find a way to give her the stars.
Ramsey Hunter (Gallagher's Choice) is a quiet drifter who enjoys solitude - he's also a darker, handsome version of his sister, chivalrous, and for the right woman, he'll give up his drifter ways.
The locations in the Gallagher books were all chosen with great care and for reasons specific with the story lines.
Montana: Having spent most of my life in Montana, it seemed only natural to set my first series here. Montana is still considered by many who have never stepped foot on it's soil, to be a wild land of cowboys and Indians. This "ideal" became the perfect setting for the majority of the Gallagher books.
Scotland: Scotland, one of my absolute favorite lands, welcomes a person the moment they step on her soil and I miss her every day. With such a fondness for this land, I knew Brenna must have her roots and upbringing in this remarkable place.
New Orleans: Not actually having been to this city, I had to rely on online reports and descriptions. This city makes a brief appearance in the second book, but it was chosen for one of the lead characters in Gallagher's Hope, for it's strong French influence.
Kentucky: Known for it's glorious horse farms, of course it would be the perfect setting to make an appearance in Gallagher's Choice.
The Ranch & Town
Hawk's Peak, the Gallagher family ranch, captures how I imagine the old ranches of that time with the vast expanse of land, big skies, open ranges, wild horses, and cattle drives. I love Montana and the years I've spent here have been the best of my life. I moved here because I had a dream of living in a place that embodied what the real west would have been like before becoming populated and overgrown.
The fictional town of Briarwood is set in what would now be the region north of Bozeman, Montana. I couldn't find a single good picture of an old western town as I imagined Briarwood to be, so think instead of a cross between Dr. Quinn's 'Colorado Springs' and Lonesome Dove series 'Curtis Wells'.
10 Things You Didn't Know About Gallagher's Pride
1.The fictional town of Briarwood, Montana is actually set in an area north of the real city of Bozeman, originally platted in 1864, though mentioned in journals by William Clark from his 1806 travels.
2. On the evening of December 26, 1881, the first Utah and Northern Union Pacific train entered Butte, Montana; however in Gallagher’s Pride, the train doesn’t enter into Butte, but rather it’s implied that the train went into Bozeman.
3. The Umbria and her sister ship the Etruria were the last two liners of the period to be fitted with auxiliary sails. Umbria was built by John Elder & Co of Glasgow, Scotland in 1884. They were the largest liners then in service and they plied the Liverpool to New York route. Though a specific ship was not mentioned in Gallagher’s Pride for Brenna’s crossing to America, it is possible she would have traveled on one of these vessels.
4. The first cattle operation in Montana was likely in or around 1850 and operated by Johnny and James Grant whose ranch was sold to Conrad Kohrs in 1866 and later sold and is now The Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site near Deer Lodge, Montana. The Gallagher’s ranch of the fictional Hawk’s Peak would have been established in the 1860’s making them some of the earliest ranchers.
5. September 2, 1883 marked the last stagecoach run in Montana, but I took some liberties with that in having the stagecoach run through October of 1883.
6. Brenna’s tutor mentioned early in the book was from London and she most likely would have traveled from London to Edinburgh on the Flying Scotsman, an express passenger train that ran between the two cities since 1862.
7. A couple of events in Gallagher’s Pride take the characters into some wilderness areas of Montana. Geographically, those areas would now fall into modern day Helena National Forest and Lolo National Forest, established in 1907 and 1906 respectively.
8. In the story, the Gallagher’s used wood fencing on some of their borders though it would have been more likely they would have run wire to cover such a great expanse of acreage. Since I could find no evidence to suggest that wood fencing would have been impossible or unheard of, I opted for that over wire. Overgrazing, drought and the harsh winter of 1886-1887 helped to end the practice of open range in Montana.
9. The telegraph is an often used form of communication in Gallagher’s Pride. November 2, 1866, the telegraph came to Montana. "Montana is no longer an unknown Territory, hidden from the view of the country and the world by the Rocky and Wind River Mountains, but is united with civilization," editor Henry Blake's of the Montana Post. The telegraph survived 150 years.
10. What’s in a name? The surname Gallagher has a long Gaelic heritage and is the Anglicisation of the Irish surname Ó Gallchobhair meaning ‘foreign helper’. It is the most common surname in Donegal, though the Gallagher family was born in America.
The Four Seasons of Gallagher's Hope
You may have heard the phrase “The seasons of our lives . . .” and then someone will go on to tell you they are in the summer of their life or perhaps the winter. The same can hold true for a book and its characters. Whether intentional by the author or not, chances are the characters of a story can be used to represent the seasons in a year. Such is the case with Gallagher’s Hope.
As the youngest of the main characters in Gallagher’s Hope, Andrew represents the innocence needed to balance out the Gallagher’s lives. With him, there is a new beginning and hope for future generations at Hawk’s Peak. The young ones allow us to see the Gallaghers in a new light.
Isabelle is still young, but has experienced enough in life to know of the dangers lurking in the world. And yet, she still has much to learn. Her spring has passed, but her summer is in full bloom. This is a time for her to make choices and she has big choices to make. She is searching and is uncertain as to what the future holds, but she’s willing to take risks. She is wary and at the same time hopeful.
Always so easy-going and level-headed, Gabriel has seen more of life than many and has managed to remain calm and collected, for the most part. He’s willing to do anything for his family, but with the arrival of Isabelle and Andrew, we see a cooler side of Gabriel. Just as the winds shift and the colors change, so does Gabriel as he faces his most difficult challenges, deepest desires, and greatest hopes.
Mabel introduced herself in Gallagher’s Pride, but it is in this story, we feel closer to her. Though she doesn’t bear the last name, she represents the eldest of the Gallaghers. Far from cool, but ready for a change, Mabel is our winter. She’s a hardy survivor whose love and sacrifices have kept the family warm during their coldest times.
Just as the seasons blend one into the next, the dreams of the Gallaghers complement the dreams of each family member until there is one common goal—hope, love, and the promise of peace.
19th-Century Recipe for a Cowboy
Equal parts tall, dark, and handsome
2 parts horse expert
2 parts chivalry
A heaping spoonful of loyalty
1 part cattle wrangler
A dash of superior lip skills
A dollop of 'willing to move heaven and earth for the woman he loves'
Bake at steaming hot temperatures until full cooked.
Enjoy at your leisure.