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Inspiration Behind the Gallaghers

McDonald Falls in Glacier National Park ©MK McClintock
Glacier National Park ©MK McClintock

Have you ever imagined another way of life? Have you ever dreamed of living in another time? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an adventure that may seem completely out of reach?

Chances are these questions inspire many writers and many books, but each of these is at the core of why I write and how the Gallagher series came to be. The stories didn’t just come to me out of nowhere—they were nurtured by years of dreaming. Ever since I saw my first western movie, I thought how exciting and wonderful it would be to live that life. I had already begun reading historical romances long before this, but it was watching that first western that planted the seed in my mind about historical western romances.

I allowed the seed to grow and the ideas to form until I no longer had thoughts churning around in my head. Instead I met the Gallagher family. I began to see their struggles and hard work. I felt their pain and joy, their sorrows and accomplishments. They became as real as the mountains and streams of Montana—they became family.

As I walked along the Swan River or stood on top of Mt. Aeneas and looked out over the valley I call home, I knew the Gallaghers would find happiness and adventure in this remarkable place. I saw them build their ranch from nothing and bring a family into the world so that they may carry on the legacy. I knew their lives wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew they would find love and a reason to survive on this wild land.

As sure as I’m breathing, there was no way to stop the story from taking on a life of its own. The true inspiration behind the book is the Gallagher family. Without them there would be no story. They inspire me, not the other way around.

Gallagher's Choice, book three in the trilogy, is not the last readers will see of the Gallagher family. I'm currently working on a fourth installment for the series—two parts Gallagher-sytle western and one part Christmas story. A fifth installment is planned, this time with the series focusing on Amanda—we met her in the trilogy—and Ben, the Gallaghers' foreman. Whether there will be a sixth installment—a prequel—I cannot confirm at this point, but the idea has been forming.

I hope you've enjoyed your time with the Gallaghers as we look forward to more adventures with them on their Hawk's Peak ranch.

Update: There are eight Gallagher/Briarwood books as of 2023!


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