GALLAGHER SERIES EXTRAS
This page contains extra content about the Montana Gallagher series. Some of the content is from guest spots at other blogs, and some is extra from either research or random bits of information. The extra pages are updated periodically.
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 original heroes 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.
Many more heroes now live at Hawk's Peak and in Briarwood. I hope you get a chance to meet them all.
Gallagher Extras from the Blog
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 fully cooked.
Enjoy at your leisure.
The locations in the Gallagher books were all chosen with great care and for reasons specific to the storylines.
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 its 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 its strong French influence.
Kentucky: Known for its 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 (at least the version I hold dear to my heart) and the years I've spent here have been some of 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
Gallagher’s Pride is where it all began, or I should say, it began with Ethan Gallagher and Brenna Cameron.
The book is a complete work of fiction, and though very few real places or events are mentioned, there is still a history behind the story. These are tidbits I came across from my research, and where they may not all have a place in the book, the events are still a part of the story’s foundation, even where I took some liberties. Not to mention it is always fun to learn something new.
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. Because the town is fictional, more leeway can be taken since the exact setting in my head is unsettled/undeveloped to this day.
2. 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.
3. 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 1860s making them some of the earliest ranchers of their kind.
4. 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. After all, there were towns that operated their own stages (or something similar) to keep mail and supplies moving into places where the trains did not go.
5. 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.
6. Some events in Gallagher’s Pride take the characters into some wilderness areas of Montana. Geographically, those areas would now fall in or near the modern-day Helena National Forest and Lolo National Forest, established in 1907 and 1906 respectively.
7. In the story, the Gallaghers 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 as a matter of personal preference. Overgrazing, drought, and the harsh winter of 1886-1887 helped to end the practice of open range in Montana.
8. The telegraph is an often-used form of communication in Gallagher’s Pride. On 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 of the Montana Post. The telegraph survived 150 years.
9. 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.
10. The character forenames in Gallagher's Pride, and throughout the series, are all given a great deal of thought to make sure the name matches the personality, or at least that's how it works in my head. As for the three siblings . . . Ethan shares a name with an old friend, Gabriel is a name that has stuck with me for a long time and one I always liked, and Eliza is a name from my family tree. In fact, Eliza Jane McClintock is her full name, and it is her surname I use in my pen name. Upon completing some extensive family history in 2021, I discovered ten generations' worth of McClintocks.
There's your bit of trivia from Gallagher's Pride. One of the nice things about writing a series is that a lot of research for the first book means there won't be quite as much in the other books (or so I thought until I got to book four). I don't mind the time spent researching because it happens to be one of my favorite processes in writing my stories.
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 and can be said for any of the Gallagher's stories.
As the youngest of the main characters in Gallagher’s Hope, Andrew represents the innocence needed to balance out the Gallaghers' 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.
Letters from Hawk's Peak
A collection of letters have been unearthed from the historic Hawk's Peak ranch by the descendants of Ethan and Brenna Gallagher. These letters give us greater insight into the lives of all the Gallaghers during the late 1800s. Click on any letter to view the post.
Rachel’s story as a secondary character begins with tragedy, and yet she is the essence of hope throughout the story. Through her, Katharine and Brody see both the end of sorrow and the renewal of life. She has a long, personal journey ahead, and the best of what is to come for her is just beginning.
Katharine is considered an old maid at thirty years, and while her spring has passed, she has many more seasons to look forward to as she continues to bloom. Like others who have come before her, this is a time for her to make choices and she has big choices to make. She is willing and ready to take risks in life, business, and love, and she does so with courage.
Brody is a practical sort who has seen much of life—good and bad—and has come through it with hope for the future intact. He’s a steady sort with a big heart who isn’t afraid to do whatever is necessary to heal those in need and fight for those he loves, all while living by a code of honor that puts him in good company with the Gallagher men. There is more to Finnegan Brody than anyone realizes.
Elizabeth, as the eldest female, is for all intents and purposes the matriarch at Hawk’s Peak. She is not directly connected to Katharine, Finn, or Rachel, nor does she rule the Gallagher clan, but the people feel her presence from ranch to town, and into every home. She comforts, heals, and is a beacon of strength to all who might ask, “Is it too late?” Elizabeth would reply, “It is never too late to live your best life.”