Vickie McDonough Visits with a Giveaway!

Thanks for inviting me to be a guest on Petticoats and Pistols. I always have a wonderful time here. Don’t forget to leave a comment (U.S. residents only) for a chance to win Jolene’s Redemption!Vickie McDonough 3 small

Vickie OK or bust

I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and I’ve always been interested in the land runs, one aspect of our state’s unique history. In case you’re not familiar with Oklahoma, much of the state was designated as Indian Territory in the later half of the nineteenth century. Over forty Indian tribes were eventually moved there because white settlers in other states and territories wanted their valuable land.Vickie OK land run

Cherokee strip sign up







Once much of the West had been settled, people started looking at Oklahoma as one of their last chances to get free land. They pressured the government to open the Unassigned Lands–land that had been promised to certain tribes, but no Indians had settled on it. The government finally agreed, and President Benjamin Harrison signed the paperwork for what was later called Harrison’s Hoss Race.

Vickie mapGabriel's AtonementOn April 22, 1889, over two million acres of land was opened for settlement in Oklahoma’s first land run. The homesteads were 160 acres with much smaller town lots also available. Anybody twenty-one and older could ride—women, foreigners, and blacks included. The race began with the blast of cannon and gunfire and a cheer so loud it made ears ache. An instant stampeded ensued. In less than a few hours, all of the homesteads had been claimed, leaving many people disillusioned and unhappy because they didn’t get one. In the first book in my series, Gabriel’s Atonement, my hero and heroine ride in the 1889 land run, which led to the settlement of Guthrie, Oklahoma City, and several other towns.

Joline’s Redemption, which released on November 1st, is the second book in my Land Rush Dreams series. It features the Cherokee Outlet aka Cherokee Strip land run, which was held on September 16, 1893. More than 100,000 hopeful settlers raced for 42,000 claims. I’m sure you can imagine the chaos of such an event. Lucky winners settled in sod homes and dugouts carved from the prairie while others lived in their covered wagons. The first winters were harsh as the land tested the endurance and character of its new inhabitants. Many of the settlers could not endure the harsh conditions, and after weeks or months, gave up their dream. But for those who stayed, hard times gave way to better days as crops flourished and communities, schools and churches rose from the wind-swept plains.

Jolene's Redemption

The land rushes were a chance for many folks to start over, and that’s what my heroine hopes to do.

Sarah’s Surrender, the final book in the series, releases next year, and it features the Oklahoma land lottery, which proved to be a less chaotic and less dangerous way to claim the land.

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63 thoughts on “Vickie McDonough Visits with a Giveaway!”

  1. Great, thanks for the information! I love Joline’s cover. Looks like a great read! I’m going to go sign up for your newsletter.

  2. Gabriel’s Atonement is in my TBR stack! Vickie, I sure wanting to read this one too 🙂
    I follow on Twitter…

  3. Thank you for your pre at post, Vickie! I loved Gabriel’s Atonement so I cannot wait to read this one! Keeping my fingers crossed!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I just picked up Gabriel’s Atonement yesterday. Looking forward to getting into this series! 🙂

  5. Very interested in these books and will be adding them to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing this little bit of history with us today.

  6. I love all historicals but there is always something special about reading your own country’s history! Thanks!

  7. Hi Vickie, so good to get to know you better and learn about your very interesting books.Go Okies…my mom was born in El Reno. Thanks for spending the weekend with us!

  8. Vickie! How exciting! Wonderfully done article. I love it when authors do stories in our home state! I’m a fifth generation Okie, my great-great grandfather establishing the first mill in Seminole after the ’89 land run down in that part of the state. I have my own bit of footprint when I got married in the first schoolhouse in the Territory last October. The Edmond 1889 Territorial Schoolhouse was the first schoolhouse built after the 1889 land run and the first recorded marriage in OK. county took place on Aug. 11, 1889 in that building! Mine was the first wedding in over 117 years. You know I collect your books, and I look forward to adding Joline’s to my collection, won in giveaway or bought, either way! Keep up your wonderful writing, such an inspiration.

    • Hi Alanna! It’s great to see you here. I bet it was a lot of fun getting married in the old school–and what a story to tell your kids one day. I enjoyed seeing you and your family when you came to town.

  9. Hi Vickie!

    Such a neat history here! I loved learning about the land runs & have read many historical fiction books about homesteads. I can imagine it would be quite rough trying to establish yourself, your family and your home in an unfamiliar territory! I don’t know if I’d survive it 🙂
    I have “Gabriel’s Atonement” so I’d love to add “Jolene’s Redemption” to it, thank you for the chance! Sounds like I would learn even more history of the homesteaders. Would be wonderful to read 🙂

  10. Love history but have to admit, I would never have had the strength to live in those days. I just can not imagine the hardships they endured.

    • I totally agree. I can’t imagine starting over in a place with no stores, no creatures comforts, or the other things we think we can’t live without. Those pioneers were a lot tougher than me.

  11. I can’t imagine the hardships they endured but oh, how proud they must have been, to finally have their own land!
    Thank you for a wonderful post!
    cps1950 (at) gmail (dot) com

    • Connie, For many people, the land runs were their only hope of ever getting land of their own. But you’re right, I can’t imagine how proud they must have been if they won a claim.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Gabe’s story. I started writing it back in 2008, got busy with other books, then finally sold Gabriel’s Atonement and got the chance to finish it and write the rest of the series.

  12. As a west coast girl I don’t know much about Oklahoma and I’d surely love to learn about it; through your books of course! 🙂

    • Amber, Oklahoma has some very unique history. The part of it where I live was part of the Creek Indian nation just a little over a hundred years ago. That’s hard to believe but true.

  13. I cannot imagine what that was even close to being like. The dangers involved such as weather, people, animals, illness and food. Many prayers needing to be prayed and I’m sure were prayed. Very interesting post Vickie. Jenny

  14. It is hard to imagine the chaos involved in the land rushes. I’m sure people died in the chaos. The land may have been free, but the work necessary to make the land home had to be difficult. in many instances. It was another example of broken promises to the indians. The settlers’ gain was another loss for the many tribes. It will be interesting seeing this process of land acquisition and development from the viewpoint of you characters.

    • That’s true, Patricia. But some of the Indian tribes were smarter than others and made a lot of money selling back the land to the government. A number of the Indians who kept their land, became wealthy when oil was discovered, especially the Osage Indians.

  15. All of the posts here are fascinating and this is no exception. People camping out for a new release for a subdivision home seems quite tame by comparison. I have not read your series but it is now definitely on my TBR list and I’ve signed up for your newsletter. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • Your comment made me smile, Sally. Imagine all of those tens of thousands of people camping out, waiting for the land run to start. There were no stores to by food or other necessities.

  16. Vickie – I have only read your novella’s within different anthologies, so far. This past summer I was visiting our local Christian bookstore and saw Gabriel’s Atonement for the first time. I was pulled in with just the synopsis. I felt a tenderness and sadness from what I read and knew that it would be a beautiful and hopeful read. Unfortunately, I haven’t read the full story yet, but I do own it and will happen soon.

  17. I think this was a fascinating time in history. I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you for the chance.

  18. Hi Vickie….I apologize for not getting over here yesterday. Been buried. Welcome back to P&P! I always love when you come. You know so much about Oklahoma’s colorful history. I cannot imagine the scene of the first land rush. That must’ve been pure chaos and danger and excitement all rolled into one.

    Wishing you much luck with life, your books and your career! I knew you when!

  19. My maternal grandmother was born and raised in oklahoma. She lived her adult life in texas so never strayed far. Thanks for the history lesson learned alot.

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