Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Bachelor Buttons by Kathleen L Maher ends March 18th!

Please welcome my very dear friend Kathleen Maher. Kathy and I have been critique partners for over 12 years now. I love this story she wrote and I know you will too. Read on down to find out how to be entered. 

What a treat to be back on your blog again! Thank you so much, Debbie Lynne.

It feels like déjà vu, since we celebrated this same novella here seven years ago when it first came out. The re-release of Bachelor Buttons, an Irish historical romance, comes with a fresh new cover and edits, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

Today I thought I’d share an excerpt for your readers, and a chance to win their very own copy.

Excerpt from Bachelor Buttons:

“Katherine, would you please watch wee Thomas while I see who ‘tis, knocking at the door.” Rose handed off her youngest sibling to her sister then smoothed her cotton gingham skirt on the way to the front parlor. She wasn’t expecting Da for a day or two, not until his ship made port at
one of the East River docks. As a longshoreman, he made a sporadic presence in their lives. Even between berths, he’d come in after dark, his hands and clothes reeking of sweat and his breath of whiskey. Ever since Ma had passed in early 1862, her father seemed to need the medicinal effects of the tonic before coming home. So, if the commotion at the door wasn’t Da, then who?

She pushed back wisps of her loose titian hair and drew open the door.

His silhouette gave him away. The tall, broad-shouldered man in coat jacket, waistcoat and bow tie held a satchel in one hand and a crisp, black felt bowler in the other.

“If it isn’t Doctor McGuiness, himself. Pleased to see you this afternoon. What brings you all the way down to the East Side?”

“Greetings, Miss Meehan.” He fidgeted with his hat, fumbling to tuck it under the same arm as his medical bag, but unsuccessfully. He finally gave her a half-bow and straightened, looking at her as though she might invite him in. But that wouldn’t be proper with only Katherine at home. He jerked back the same way a horse stopped on short rein and spun the brim of his hat in both hands.

“I—I wondered if you might be interested in accompanying me to a lecture this evening. You know how fascinated I am with the study of phrenology, and it just so happens I have an extra ticket—”

Thomas let out a wail from the other room and drowned out the good doctor. Rose smiled, glancing between her guest and the lad. She shrugged one shoulder. “I promised Katherine I would stay with Wee Thomas tonight. I do apologize, especially considering that you came all this way to see me.”

He shuffled his feet and looked down at the dirt coating his newly shined shoes. “Oh, it wasn’t out of the way, Miss Meehan. I saw a patient in the old neighborhood.”

She deflected his unblinking intensity with a saucy grin. “I’ll bet all your patients just swoon at that smooth charm of yours?” His serious face mottled with port and he stammered to find a reply. She waited patiently for a repartee that never came, Da’s words reverberating in her head. Marry well, and you’ll have no worries.

Dr. Ian McGuiness was a kind man, and not hard on the eyes, if a girl like her could indulge in such frivolous concerns. She should consider herself blessed to have his attentions of all the girls he might have chosen to fancy—girls of better social advantage than she. But his Ma and hers had come over together from County Kerry during the famine. She and Ian had practically grown up together, he preoccupied with his books while she ran a racket with the neighborhood boys in marbles.

She smiled up at him, swishing her gingham work skirt. “I could see if Katherine will stay with wee Thomas.”

His dark brown eyes narrowed, the kindly edges crinkling in a slow smile.

She scurried inside to confer with Katherine, but all the while her thoughts betrayed her. If marrying a doctor was such a prize, why did the auburn waves and the snapping blue eyes of a certain violin teacher suddenly dance in her mind?

“Kate?” She used her most endearing tone on her sister and the nickname only their Ma had used. “Dr. McGuiness has called, and—”

“And you’ll be wanting to renege on your promise to me this evenin’ I suppose?”

Rose let out a sigh. “But couldn’t you bring Thomas with you? It’s only this once, and I’m sure the Sisters would welcome his presence.”

“It’s a novena, and no place for a squalling babe, Rose. And if you weren’t so selfish, you’d be keeping your mother’s memory with me instead of snaring two men in your net.”

The words didn’t sting as much as they probably should have. Her sister didn’t truly have a mean bone in her body. She wished she could be more like Kate, good and kind and close to God. Rose leaned in and kissed her sister’s pastel cheek.

“Thank you, Kate. I promise I’ll make it up to you.” She dashed away to report to her beau.

Waiting for her at the door, the doctor stood toe-to-toe with Mr. William Lee. Rose’s steps faltered and her breath stuttered behind her stays. Composing herself, she clasped her hands at her skirt, pasting on her most winsome smile.

“My, what a pleasant surprise, gentlemen! To what does a girl owe such a delightful turn of events?” She stepped out onto the stoop between them.

William adjusted his instrument case and reached out to take her hand. “You’re looking fit as a fiddle, Miss Rose, if I may say so.”

She giggled. “Aye, and your fiddle is fitter than most, Mr. Lee.”

Dr. McGuiness cleared his throat. “I must be going, Miss Meehan. Do you have an answer for me?”

“I spoke to Katherine and she has agreed to free me this evening—”

“Splendid,” William Lee interjected. “Then you can come with me to the show. I have two tickets. . .”

The doctor folded his arms across his chest, staring down at the violinist.

Mr. Lee tipped the visor of his cap down over his brows and thrust his chin up.

Rose brought them around with a gentle exhortation. “Gentlemen, tis flattered I am that you both want to take me out tonight. A girl’s only got but one Saturday evenin’ a week. Monday I am free from obligations. Perhaps one of you would care to escort me then?”

Mr. Lee grunted deep in his throat and stepped around her to pin his glare on the good doctor. “I’m not giving up these tickets without a good reason.”

“You’re too late. I have already asked Miss Rose to accompany me this evening. We’re attending a symposium.”

William cocked his head and thrust his finger within an inch of Ian’s chest. “Why don’t we let the lady decide?”

Both sets of expectant eyes turned to her. Rose held out her hand, her embroidered hankie hanging between them. An idea settled over her as deft as the breeze that rustled the tatted edges.

“It’s easily settled. Whichever one of you wins this, wins me for the outing.”

William snatched at it, but she darted it back from his reach. “Not so hasty. First you must run a race.”

“A race, Miss Rose?” The doctor’s brow furrowed, and he stood askance.

“What’s the matter, doc? Don’t want to soil your spats?”

McGuiness tossed down his hat and set his satchel by Rose’s doorstep. Straightening, he shrugged out of his overcoat. “Name the course.”

Bachelor Buttons

The daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, Rose Meehan longs for a better life than the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men--a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instructor who has captured her heart--she must choose between the two. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln's unpopular draft, Rose’s decision could mean the difference between life and death.

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0851WX4JC/


I am offering a giveaway to one of your readers of an e-copy of Bachelor Buttons. All they have to do to enter is share this post on social media. The more shares, the more entries. Just tell me in the comments where you shared to claim your entry(ies). And a way for me to reach you if random dot org selects your name. (email is great.)

Also, I am hosting a huge Rafflecopter giveaway with another Christian historical author with a March release. Please take a moment to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes!

Raffle copter runs from March 9-18th Grand prize is $50 Amazon GC, second prize is a $25 Ammy GC, third prize is an Irish goodie basket.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. The luck of the Irish be with you!

Kathleen L. Maher: Stories Where every underdog has his day."
The Author’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. Kathleen has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS' collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist's Daughter and The Chaplain's Daughter.
She and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-L-Maher/e/B00D8EXO80/
Facebook author page:


  1. I shared on Facebook jarning67(at)hotmail(dot)com

  2. Thanks, Joan! Good luck in the drawing ☘️💕

  3. Thank you. Shared on Facebook.

  4. Not sure if my previous comment went through. Thank you everyone for sharing and commenting. And a big thank you to DebbieLynne for having me this week.

    Our winner via random dot org is Joan Arning. Congratulations!

    I still have a few blog stops open for a chance to win. Check my Facebook author page for a list.