A Home for Christmas by MK McClintock
Published By: Trappers Peak Publishing
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook
Acquired Book By:
I was selected to be a tour stop on the “A Home for Christmas” virtual book tour through Book Junkie Promotions. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author MK McClintock, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Includes three historical fiction short stories to delight and entertain this holiday season.
In search of family she barely knows and adventure she’s always wanted, Katherine Donahue is saved from freezing on a winter night in the mountains of Montana by August Hollister. Neither of them expected that what one woman had in mind was a new beginning for them both.
Heartache and a thirst for adventure lead McKensie Stewart and her sister to Wyoming after the death of their parents. With the help of a widowed aunt and a charming horse breeder, McKensie discovers that hope is a cherished promise, and there is no greater gift than love.
LILY’S CHRISTMAS WISH
Lily Malone has never had a real family or a real Christmas. This holiday season, she might get both. From an orphanage in New York City to the rugged mountains of Colorado, Lily sends out only one wish. But when the time comes, can she give it up so someone else’s wish can come true?
Places to find the book:
Published by Trappers Peak Publishing
on 5th November, 2014
I truly have come to love finding short story collections, except to say, my previous wanderings have been within the Speculative Fiction realms (A Chimerical World & Moments in Millennia as a for instance), as not only do they give me a lovely introduction to new authors, but they allow me to soak inside a world whose length of story might be short, but of which has a spirit & heart stitched inside breathing a vibrant life over the characters, the setting, and the timescape therein. I love seeing where different writers take their shorts, as each writer has their own unique style to convey a story within the space granted to them.
I have mentioned previously about my affection for Westerns, and how residing in the world of a Western Historical fiction story is not only a true delight to my senses but it truly feels cosy inside! I have always curled inside a Western novel with such anticipated haste that I could barely see the words across the page — I was always happy to find adventure, love, and a deep resounding passion for the wilds of the West illuminated throughout the stories. There is a connective thread of joy between a historical story and a story set in the Old West; something magical lives within the hours and days of the frontier! I do not think I could ever read my full of these stories, as there are too many exciting writers emerging on the scene to give us something new to chew on and appreciate!
You can gather a ready sense that when this collection of shorts arrived, I was elated beyond the moon!
| Christmas Mountain |
A doctor and his young daughter emerge out of the snow, alighting in my mind as if the snowflakes along with their presence were always meant to cross my path! I even liked how the dog, Crockett played such a sweet role as to not only be a guardian for the pair, but an alarm which could alert anything gone fowl to the father! I always appreciated the simplicity of life back in the 19th Century as much as I applauded the courage to forge a life where the seasons were quite brutal to survive and the life you carved out of nothing most oft proved to be the life you never dared to dream possible.
Frontier men, women, and children were a different breed — they made do with what they never had but they thrived on what they grew, found, and gathered. A warm glow of joy filled my heart as I read this tender tale of an unexpected visitor whilst snow and forest nearly covered all trace of anyone else having been so close to their home.
The circle expands to include an Aunt, whose arrival into their lives is a bundle of unexpected love and at a time where both August and Sarah needed a bit of unexpected joy to drop in their lap! The curious bit I found quite wicked happy inside this short, is how Sarah’s Aunt Katherine is questioning her position and path in life; to seek a new route or to keep the old? Questions that everyone comes to ponder at one point in their lives or another; to root out if they’ve made the right choices or if they want to tempt the fates and spin the wheel towards a discovery of a new re-genesis of life in a place outside of their own upbringing.
| Teton Christmas |
How delightful McClintock wrote-in a mail-order bride story inside the collection, but with a strong female lead of a twist and a spunky niece stepping off the stagecoach to give this short a hearty pounce of mirth! Mail-order bride stories are some of my favourites to devour, because I always love to see how the two different personalities are either going to continue to collide and distract themselves from a love which could grow together or if they find a common bond amidst the hours they felt most ill-apart from having any bliss at all.
In this particular tale, the mail-order bride has outgrown her original designation as she’s a widow whose taken over the late baron’s business – a hotel and the perfect layover stop for transient travellers and long stay visitors of this particular area in Wyoming! McClintock takes her readers on a bit of a Rocky Mountain journey through three states and three uniquely different stories where strong women and men greet you at each page turn! The niece whose moxie cannot be dismissed out of hand is McKensie (even her name has spunk!), a straight arrow of a gal whose life has dictated itself to be devoid of excitement and thus, she finds herself attempting to cure this monotony with a visit to her Aunt.
Death and loss can alter your perceptions on your life but also give you a bit of freedom to try something new or to re-invent yourself in a way that if the person were still alive you might not have given yourself license to change. McClintock has tied these beautiful shorts together with a measure of loss affecting her characters in different ways, but at the heart of the collection itself is the seeking of a truth lit within and extended towards taking a journey towards a path not yet known. The men are resoundingly strong of mind, heart, and spirit – giving the women a thought to chew on towards accepting you can meet someone in a far off different place from whence you grew up but it is what you bring with you that counts in the end. The bits and bobbles of what make yourself unique and individualistically different from the others, whilst allowing your heart to heal and turn over a new chapter.
|Lily’s Christmas Wish |
I will always have a soft spot for stories about orphans, guardians, and the families who take in the children who are seeking a forever family and a place to call home. I have occasionally come across stories where the orphan trains ran through townes attempting to make a match between child and families or even individuals if they were not able to settle with a family outright; yet I do still intend to read one particular story by Christina Baker Kline which brings the whole history of this dead lock and center.
Lily is the type of girl you vie to find inside a story such as this, because it is through her spitfire personality of having strength through adversity that knits your heart to her immediately! The fact her teacher wanted to adopt her simply pulled at my heartstrings, inasmuch as when Aunt Katherine found herself a bit betwixt on how to deal with her growing affections for August!
Liam is a proud man who found himself in towne on the very day a neighbour of his started to cause a bit of a muck of mischief in attempting to get an orphan adopted without necessarily in want of being a father figure towards the child in question. Personally, I nearly felt as though Liam almost did not speak up soon enough on Lily’s behalf! And, the fact he noticed the two were a pair (Lily & Miss Abbott) was heart-warming to say the least! Who else would take-on a young girl and her teacher, in order to keep the safety of the child intact?
Wishes have a curious nature attached to them; oft-times the wishes we cast out are the ones our heart’s want to see arrive as quick as span but it is how our wishes are generally answered or resolved that takes a bit longer to accept! Young Lily has a true blue wish nestled into her heart, one that will lift her spirits and give her a lasting bout of joy, but it comes with a bit of courage that she isn’t even sure she has the confidence to embrace! What I appreciated the most about McClintock’s telling of Lily’s story is how she kept her innocence yet grounded her in being bold when necessary and vulnerable at the same time!
A Home for Christmas is simply the right cuppa of Christmas stories settling into your heart at a time in the season where Winter is not fully in force and where Autumn’s long smile has already started to wan. The holidays are sneaking up on you, and the happiness you have whilst reading stories of Winter’s best known holiday are filtering into your reading hours. This is the collection which can kick off a season of joyous stories knitted out of heart, love, and the incredible girth of wilderness settled in and around the Rocky Mountains! You quite nearly want to hop on a flight and seek out your own small tract of land somewhere in Montana, Wyoming or Colorado, where the wilds of the West are still alive and can be found.
On the Western style of writing by MK McClintock:
McClintock encourages her characters to step out of their interior lives and to take up a bit of a residence inside our foreground of sight; she breathes in images of their lifestyles which alter our sense of reality for the time in which we pick up her stories – giving us a true sense of freedom of how living in the West truly is a living adventure, changing per season and moment lived. I like the gentle favour she has with telling her stories, and how she gives honour and grace to the characters by only revealing what they want to impart to us as we read about them, yet with a guiding hand towards providing the elements of era and place.
I was so caught up in her stories — the warmth emitting out of the heat settling around me as Winter’s grasp has started to come to the Southern states afterall, matched my affection for her style of the craft. I truly enjoyed soaking inside her shorts, and realised as I had such a fond memory of reading the characters within them, this would only mark the beginning of my readings of her novels! I can only hope more are available in print editions and that perhaps, I’ll be a bit lucky and find them available through my local library’s ILL services!
On a dearly personal level, I love how sweet the romances are written and how lovely it is to drink in stories whose writer uses language and words I love to etch into my own writings! Words of emotion and feeling yes, but words which are never too strong nor too unyielding to tell a story; both honourable and authentic of it’s generational timescape. I nearly pegged these as inspirational and uplifting as a Heartsong Presents novella! Yet, I held back a bit as I wasn’t sure if the intent was to market this on the INSPY Romance branch of literature or to be a collection within the mainstay of Western Historical Romances. Readers of both designated areas will find themselves wicked happy for finding this treasure of a short story collection!
A Home for Christmas Book Trailer by MK McClintock
The Virtual Road Map for “A Home for Christmas” can be found here:
This marks my second blog tour hosting for:
See what I am hosting next on my Bookish Events page!
Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.