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June 9, 2016

Born 100 Years Apart But Will Their Paths Cross?

Katie Donnelly had no idea of the twists and turns her life would take when she left Ireland for New York in 1878. 

Janie Riley, born almost 100 years later, was only going to Salt Lake City to research her 4th great-grandmother. She too had no idea of what other adventures awaited her.

Will their paths cross? What, if anything, will bring them together?

Janie Riley has a habit of stumbling on to dead bodies. Once in Salt Lake City, her search into the past leads her to more than she bargained for. The discovery of a dark secret brings her closer to danger. Can she solve the mysteries of the past and the present, and untangle a web of lies before disaster strikes? 

Find out in my new Genealogy Mystery Novel "Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery" now available on 

But first read a bit of Katie's story: 

The Steamer Baltic, April 5, 1878 

Sixteen-year-old Katie shivered in the cool morning air and pulled her woolen cloak tighter as she nudged her brother. Tendrils of glossy blue-back hair escaped from her hood and she impatiently pushed them back. “Joey!” a soft cry escaped Katie’s lips. “Look! That must be New York!” 

Brother and sister were standing on the deck of the ship that had brought them from Queenstown Ireland. The bow plunged through the murky water and the shoreline loomed closer. “Finally,” muttered Joey, “I can hardly wait to get off this damn thing and on to solid ground again!” 

The passage had not been an easy one. Joey had been ill for most of the voyage across the Atlantic. They were both happy to be on deck where the smell of salt air filled their nostrils. Being stuck below in steerage was miserable. Katie wasn’t sure she would ever get the smell of urine, vomit, and other body waste out of her nostrils. Babies with colic screamed long into the night, hungry children cried for hours, and passengers who were sick moaned and retched with horrible gagging noises. Women cried out in fear on hearing the ship groan and creak as its wooden hull protested with every wave that hit. Katie had taken to wrapping her cloak around her ears at night so that the dreadful sounds were muffled.

She shivered again, partially from the cold and partially from nerves. They were starting a new life in a foreign country. She remembered vividly the day Joey came in from the fields and she had to tell him that their beloved ma was gone. Pa had died of the fever just a few months before and their ma had followed not long after. 

Now here they were here in a city where they knew no one. Joey had a few pounds to see them through until they could find work but Katie was terrified it would not be enough. She hoped that the emigration agent had been telling the truth when he said jobs were there for the taking in New York City. She prayed she could find a position as a maid or downstairs kitchen girl in a good home, while Joey figured that with his strong muscles and young back he’d work on the docks or help in a stable. He was good with horses and even though he was only 18, no one knew more about gentling or taming a horse than he did. 

The cool wind had reddened Katie’s cheeks and they felt numb. She was glad the bad weather had finally lifted and she had something to look at besides waves and gray water. The sun was just coming up and Katie imagined she could feel a slight warmth from it already. She could hear the cries of gulls overhead, this sign of land bringing comfort to her.

Joey nudged her. “Katie, look! I think we’re coming into the harbor.” He pointed to an island on one side, mainland on the other and the narrowing gap of water between them. Their excitement, coupled with apprehension, built. What would happen now? How long would it take to get off the ship, find their baggage, and get on their way? But on their way where? [Excerpt from "Death Finds a Way: A Janie Riley Mystery" by Lorine McGinnis Schulze]

Information on the author and her books, articles and interviews can be found at


Mary Rohrer Dexter said...

I added this title to my Amazon wish list for a future read. Thanks. Looks like a good one.

Dana Leeds said...

Just ordered your book and it should be here Tuesday. I'm looking forward to reading it!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thank you Dana! I hope you enjoy it! If you liked it perhaps you would consider leaving a review on Amazon when you are done. Reviews are really important so I'd appreciate it if you feel so inclined.

Enjoy the story of Katie and Janie!

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

Thanks Mary - hope you get your wish! :-)

Unknown said...

I love a good mystery and the genealogical twist sounds like fun! I ordered your book and look forward to more.