In 1875, twenty-five-year-old Michael McElhenny found himself in trouble with the local law and had few prospects in his native Donegal, Ireland. Like tens of thousands of Irish before him, he fled for the wild and beautiful frontier of New Zealand, where he quickly learned that he’ll need to keep his wits sharp and his fists up in his quest to carve out a new life for him and his new wife in this strange and beautiful land.
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Laurie Smither spent the first ten years of his career working in New Zealand’s high country as a shepherd and shearer. After that, he worked a wide variety of jobs, including heavy machine operator, landscaper, reporter, language tutor in northwest China, and most recently a beekeeper. He has dual Irish and New Zealand citizenship and currently lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. Smither is married, has three grown children and is now retired.