Thursday, January 3, 2013

Flight of the Earls: An Heirs of Ireland novel by Michael K. Reynolds, ©2013

It’s 1846 in Ireland. When her family’s small farm is struck by famine, Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, set out across the ocean to the Promised Land of America.
   Four years prior, Clare’s older sister Margaret and her Uncle Tomas emigrated in similar fashion and were not to be heard from again. But Clare must face her fears as she lands in the coming-of-age city of New York. There she discovers love, adventure, tragedy, and a terrible secret which threatens to destroy her family and all she believes.

Flight of the Earls is the first book in a historical novel trilogy based on Irish immigration in the 1840s. 
The history of immigration to America remains a popular topic; there are more than 35 million people in the United States today with Irish ancestry.
I am an heir of Ireland, and eager to read this book! I am quick to tell my heritage of being half-Irish... My Irish insides cannot be still when I hear ♫♪♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸The Irish Washerwoman¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪;

my shoulders and head move in rhythm, my hands start clapping and my feet can't be harnessed. Try to still Irish tapping toes! Try as I might, they move! A rowdy bunch, aren't we? But... look at those smiles, from all ages. When Irish Eyes are Smiling, makes my lips and my soul smile. For I am indeed an Irish lass through and through.

Branlow, County Roscommon, Ireland
September 1846
Flight of the Earls tells the story of Liam Hanley's family. So much sorrow. The loss of a child, his younger brother and eldest daughter in their passage, and now, the rot of their entire potato crop ~ sustenance for generations. His wife lost to them in her sinking reality, barely functioning; so much loss.

And Clare...
Although one more day of her fading youth would escape her, those she loved would be safe. At least until the morning sun delivered new burdens. --Flight of the Earls, page 2
Caregiver, teacher, pray-er, tending to the needs of her siblings, she wished more for them. Until the day...
"Seamus and I are going to a faraway place where there is money enough to buy food for everyone. A place where people are never hungry. We're going to send all of our spare earnings back here. And while I'm away, I will think of you every day and I'll say a prayer for each of you." --Ibid., page 16
Their father has a traditional Irish farewell for Clare and her brother Seamus and his friend Pierce, called an "American Wake" as few ever returned. Their journey begins.

This story is very well written and I look forward to continuing it. Book 2 releases in the summer and Book 3 in 2014.

"The Hanley curse is your only dowry, I fear," Liam announces to his second eldest daughter Clare as he sends her and her brother Seamus, accompanied by his friend Pierce, to America in desperate hope that they will find a better life for themselves than the famine ravaged farm where the remainder of the family toils.

After the eldest, Maggie, left with their Uncle Tomas in hopes of finding riches in America, Clare was left to care for not only her remaining siblings, Caitlin, Davin, and crippled Ronan, but also her mother Ida, who is so overcome with the loss of her youngest son, that she can no longer feed or dress herself. With reluctance and guilty excitement, Clare follows her father's instructions and is soon bound for New York.
She marveled at the grandeur of Manhattan rising before her... the tiny moving dots on the shoreline became people alive with the bursting commerce of an upstart nation.
The first book in the Heirs of Ireland series by Michael K. Reynolds launches the reader into the heart-wrenching history of Irish immigration by opening up the fictional Hanley family's struggles on a barren potato farm which is in stark contrast to the promised land of America - or is it? Flight of the Earls (January 2013) is also a coming-of-age story about how God calls each to serve in his or her distinct way.

A tumultuous voyage from Ireland to New York, fraught with food shortages, typhus and an un-seaworthy vessel mimics that of real life immigrants, as does the dire plight of many arriving in America, only to find shelter, jobs, and the trustworthy are few. Michael K. Reynolds is a writer with more than two decades of experience in crafting fiction and non-fiction. His work as a writer and producer of an Emmy and Telly award-winning documentary series is evident in the imagery, plot and dialogue in Flight of the Earls, a novel that reads as an epic mini-series.

Mexican-American War, 1846-1848
The novel's twists and turns centered on unveiling family secrets in New York, the significance of a clover pendant and a mysterious gold key, Seamus and Pierce's decision to fight in the Mexican-American War, and Clare's discovery of two loves - journalism and Andrew Royce, son of New York Daily newspaper magnate Charles Royce, propel readers toward an unexpected reconciliation with the past and future.

Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.

Book 2 in An Heirs of Ireland historical novel trilogy, In Golden Splendor, July 2013

Irish immigrant Seamus Hanley is a lost soul, haunted by his past as a U.S. Army deserter and living alone in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains in 1849. But after witnessing a deadly stage coach crash, he finds purpose in the scattered wreckage -- a letter with a picture of a beautiful and captivating woman named Ashlyn living in San Francisco at the height of the Gold Rush.

Moved by her written plea for help, he abandons all and sets out on an epic journey across the wild and picturesque American frontier. While being pursued by those who want to hang him, Seamus encounters fascinating characters including a young Pauite Indian who makes the ultimate sacrifice in helping Seamus to cross the snowy Yosemite Valley.

Battered but changed for the better, Seamus reaches San Francisco on Christmas Eve as the city burns in the tragic fire of 1849. But there is little time for rest, as an even greater, more harrowing adventure involving Ashlyn is about to begin.

B&H Publishing Group, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is a team of more than 100 mission-minded people with a passion for taking God's Word to the world. Because we believe Every Word Matters we seek to provide intentional, Bible-centered content that positively impacts the hearts and minds of people, inspiring them to build a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ. Among our print and digital releases for the trade, church, and academic markets, titles include New York Times No. 1 bestsellers, The Love Dare and The Vow as well as the award-winning HCSB Study Bible.

***Thank you to author Michael K. Reynolds for sending a copy of Flight of Earls: An Heirs of Ireland novel to me to review in my own words.***


  1. Wow! This has to be one of the most amazing book reviews I've ever seen...complete with historic photos, accompanying music, video and...even a dancing reviewer.

    And to's for my debut novel! So grateful to you for your efforts and talents. It really is both a blessing and a work of art. I am going to share this like crazy.

    1. Thank you for your kind comments! Very enjoyable novel and will be a blessing to many readers. Kathleen

  2. I love Ireland and books set there. The Irish immigration simply fascinates me. Awesome review. I really want to read this now.

  3. Holly! Oh-my-goodness. Our daughter made this recipe for us for Christmas morning when we visited for Christmas week ~*~ Cinnabon Clone Cinnamon Rolls *** she read off of her "phone" ~ I asked for the recipe and JUST FOUND IT on your Cook site!!!
    Amazingly amazing!! WHAT A SMALL WORLD ~


    This is a very readable book! Like talking to your peer relatives. Fun. I am looking forward to future novels! Thank you for your comment. Half-Irish Kathleen :-)

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