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Download “A Life” For Yourself


LOHO_fullcover_R5 front onlyA Life of Her Own – Five Tales of Homestead Women is a collection of stories about women homesteaders carving out their futures on the high plains of Montana.

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2It is a free ebook for download Friday, May 27th and Saturday,May 28th. 
Click here to download.

Here is a Question: Did Women Homesteaders at the turn of the 20th century have more freedom than today’s working women?

The longing for a free life brought courageous women homesteaders to the Western lands. For single women in the United States, the Homestead Act signed by Abe Lincoln offered fantastic opportunities. Not so for the women in Canada who wanted to be independent. However, even some Canadian women took advantage of America’s land offer.

 Today obtaining a land grant would be impossible. Many a single working mother has to struggle just to meet the monthly rent let alone imagine owning a home. The hard-fought struggles of the early settler women may seem ancient, an archaic history that we have successfully moved beyond. But is that true? Yes, in some ways. At least for the moment, women have access to contraceptive methods and prescriptions. They don’t go to jail for sending birth control materials through the US Mail. At least for now.

I wonder if homestead women were paid equal value for the crops they produced. Today, a woman’s work is often paid less than their male counterparts. Yet, a woman pays more for shoes and clothing than a man. Hmm. Maybe women would benefit from dressing as men!!

In today’s society, women’s fight for fair treatment continues. Unlike some of our European counterparts who are working women that can have up to a year off with pay after the birth of each child. Fathers are released from work to have time with their newborns. How many weeks do American women get after a child is born? None!

Has there been progress for the women of today? History tells us the Homestead Act was a watershed for women who had the right to claim land in their own name.

A Life of Her Own – Five Tales of Homestead Women is my collection of stories of women homesteaders carving out their futures on the high plains of Montana. 
pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2 It is a free ebook for download Friday, May 27th and Saturday,            May 28th. Click here to download.

1-MZ Book signing-002Enjoy!    Mae Schick


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Minna Has Arrived

Minna_6x9_EF3 (2)

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2Minna for KINDLE is FREE FOR ONE DAY ONLY ON SATURDAY APRIL 9th. CLICK HERE ON SATURDAY.

My full-length novel Minna is available in ebook Kindle edition and in Print Edition for those who much prefer turning pages, and also in Goodreads

In my new novel, Minna, a  young  woman on the run from Montana explores the streets of Seattle with her new friend Cosmo. Minna spies a sign in Pikes’ Market: “Fresh Horsemeat from Montana.” She had only recently run away from Montana and her mother who runs the local bakery! For her Seattle is another world, with some things more ominous than just people eating horses! I hope you will enjoy her journey in the World War II years as Minna navigates her newly discovered world, survives, and prevails!

Click Here to learn more about Minna.

Horsemeat!  You could eat unrationed horsemeat during WWII, but fifteen hundred years ago you could be ordered to eat just bread and water for the sin of eating horsemeat! Pike Horsemeat

In Ireland in the year 732 A.D Pope Gregory III in his Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, a collection of rules for the Irish, declared it a sin to eat horses because they are “filthy and accursed.” It was rumored Gregory III was planning to go to war and would need horses. The punishment was severe for violators. Three years of penance and just bread and water was necessary to acquire forgiveness and make right one’s relationship with God. However, it still remained a common practice to eat horses during ancient religious rituals in the British Isles.

In America our love of “Black Beauty” trumps practicality. Horses are our companions. Even if we don’t train or ride them we like seeing them run in a field. We admire their proud countenance and the iconic independence they represent and don’t relish them on our platters. As one NPR commentator  said,

“It’s okay to kill a ton of chickens and cows, but kill a horse? By golly, there’s something wrong with you!”

***  More  ***


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“A Life of Her Own” collection is Free on Friday & Saturday, February 12-13th

LOHO_fullcover_R5 front onlyHere is your chance to get all five of my short stories at once- for free. This includes Mirna- A Life of Her Own, Sophie Writes From Montana, Nora Takes A Chance, Lizzie the reluctant One and Mrs. Andersson Gets Her Wish. Each portrays a different adventure inspired by true stories of Western homesteader women.

Just click this link to the Amazon Kindle webpage, then click Buy Now with 1-Click, download and enjoy reading.  You can also click Give As A Gift”

If you don’t have a Kindle just click this link and download Kindle for PC for free.

When you are done I would greatly appreciate your adding your review to the Kindle ordering page –  Thanks, Mae Schick

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Contraception Since 1873 – You’ve Come a Long Way Baby?

“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby,”… or Have You? “Male sheaths (condoms) and “rubber cap over the uterus (diaphragm) were the contraceptives of choice for Victorian women in 1892. Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher, a John Hopkins graduate who later became an assistant professor at Stanford, conducted the extant survey that included over 2000 participants.

Twenty years earlier, with the enactment of the Comstock Act of 1873, it became a federal offense to send such articles through the mail. It was illegal to mail “any article or thing designed or intended for the prevention of conception or procuring an abortion.” In addition, many states passed the Comstock Laws outlawing the use of contraceptives, or distributing contraceptive information.

Contraception didn’t disappear despite the Social Purity Movement and its leader, Anthony Comstock, a postal inspector, who believed contraception was an immoral practice that promoted prostitution. It went underground. Drug stores euphemistically sold condoms as “rubber goods” and cervical caps as “womb supporters.”

Dr. Molly Atwater, a Montana physician in the early 1900’s, carefully selected a reliable person at the Dillon pharmacy who would agree to sell “rubber goods.” As a doctor, she tended to women at risk for another pregnancy, and other women who tried to, or did commit suicide rather than face one more childbirth.

The Birth Control Movement, initiated in 1914, fought to increase access and legality to contraception in the United States. By the 1930’s their persistence resulted in legal victories that weakened the anti-contraception movement. Several years later, in 1942, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was formed to provide nationwide clinics to promote women’s health and contraception.

But, today, our current US Congress continues to debate the viability of Planned Parenthood with the intent to defund it. Have we, as the Virginia Slims, slogan launched on July 22, 1968 by Phillip Morris says, “Come (such) a Long Way, Baby?” What do you think?

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A New Year for Women of Montana

cropped-16-DSC068473.jpgThis winter is pretty cold and snowy here in Bigfork, Montana. We have much to be thankful for living in our warm houses. Imagine how much we live a life of luxury compared to women homesteaders of Montana in the 1890’s living in a shack on a homestead farm!

You can read about these women by downloading two my two stories for FREE from my Amazon Kindle sit today, Friday, January 15th,  and Saturday, January 16th.

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2    You can read Sophie Writes from Montana and Nora Takes A Chance on a Kindle, or any PC or smartphone with the Kindle App. I would greatly appreciate it if you write a brief review of the stories at the Amazon Kindle sites.

Best wishes for the New Year! – Mae Schick


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Mrs. Andersson

Mrs. Andersson Gets Her Wish is the story of a widowed woman homesteader. Like the woman homesteaders in my previous short stories, she works tirelessly to be independent. At the same time she is stalwart soul of her community. Mrs. Andersson  supplies a liquid product that is much appreciated by many in those dreary days of hard toil, as well as in the dark, cold winters.

She fills out the final details of her life as if she anticipates moving her soul onto the next stage. She is a descendant of one of the families who sought to venture west to escape repression, and have a chance to make it in a new land. Her life impacts her whole community, in the form of her many acts of kindness. Her neighbors gather together to find that in so many ways she has touched and enriched each one of their lives.

This heroine story is the fifth of the collection of woman homesteader short stories to be published in time for before Christmas entitled A Life of Her Own. Together you will find that the stories are alike as colored glass in a mosaic . . . each with its own special shape and brilliant color.


Download the ebook on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents or FREE on Kindle Unlimited.



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Lizzie the Reluctant One

Hello Friends!

My latest short story Lizzie the Reluctant One  has “arrived”. It is available now for 99 cents on Kindle. But if you can wait it will be free for 4 days starting Thursday October 1st to Sunday October 4th.

LIZZIE_R2v1What will become of lovely, gentle Lizzie from Bessarabia? At fourteen she was pushed away by her papa and sent with her unkind brother Adam to homestead in America. Reared to believe that men are in charge, she submits to Adam’s rules and slaves in the fields alongside him without question. He hires her out when he doesn’t need her on the farm.
At seventeen, Adam gets her a job, in town, and she experiences freedom for the first time. It is a blow when, Adam retrieves her to tend to his growing family and his unstable wife.

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2 Buy ebook on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents or FREE on Kindle Unlimited. Write a review on Amazon and you could win a bound volume of the anthology of my 5 short stories, A Life of Her Own FREE.

Meanwhile you an can enjoy my first short story Mirna – A Life of Her Own FREE this Saturday and Sunday September 26-27th.

MIRNA_final_200x300Danger awaits Mirna outside the door of her homesteader’s shack in Montana. She is on her own except for Dog who lies near her feet . . . and the cocked rifle in her lap. Mirna is one among the more than 150,000 single women trying her luck in the West, living on land opened up by Abraham Lincoln’s 1862 Homestead Act. Alone, she faces fears of wild animals and men who don’t always behave as gentlemen. As dawn breaks, Dog begins a steady low growl. Is it the secret from her past that has come to threaten her safety? What is in store for her now?

pointing+hand+vintage+image+graphicsfairy2 Buy ebook on Amazon Kindle for 99 cents or FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Just write me with your questions or comments!

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Where are the Native American tribes now?

The distribution of Western land mandated by the Homestead Acts resulted in a breakup of the cultural nucleus of Native Americans, and the accustomed lifestyle of many European immigrant homesteaders.The US Government’s theory was that if the land could be broken into small parcels every separate family would be more productive, and enjoy the benefits of ownership.

Montana homesteaders

Montana homesteaders

In fact for the immigrant homesteaders this produced a breakup of the type of community centered way of living they had followed for generations in Europe, which was to live in small towns and work the surrounding fields of the towns together.

Salish People

Salish Native Americans



Native Americans, the People, were wide-ranging hunters who also lived in large communities, but were forced to accept 640 acre plots for farming, to which they were unaccustomed.

The Salish were “reserved” a large part of the Bitterroot Valley, only to be later moved out of this land and replaced by homesteaders. They were then were moved to the Flathead Valley north of Missoula, where tribal members received 80 acre allotments, and forfeited the huge “reserved” federal lands in the Bitterroot Valley, which had been their ancestral home for centuries. The new “reserved” Flathead Valley land also was eventually privatized by homesteaders, some of whom coveted  even the small plots of  land the tribal members had individually acquired. Towns and merchant stores were built, and some of the Salish were encouraged to buy on credit. If they could not pay up they had to trade.They signed over their land allotments.

Where are the Native American tribes now? Today the Salish & Kootenai tribe’s reservation covers a large part of the lower Flathead Valley, but much of this land has become private agricultural property and homes. Only 23% of the population of Lake County, Montana is Native American.

The history of the West is tumultuous. It is difficult to comprehend the changes that took place in those years from 1862 to 1930. I was raised at the head of the Bitterroot Valley, part of that ancestral home of the Flathead Nation. Nearby my house, on the outskirts of Missoula, is a place where The People pitched their tepees. I was told that they had came down to the Valley from the surrounding mountains to spend the winter, and to dig for bitterroot. Those days are gone forever.

Have outside events radically changed your life? How does that compare to the radical changes in the West? I would love to hear your comments.

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Mirna: A Life of Her Own is FREE on Amazon

Mirna will be FREE on Friday and Saturday, December 5th to 6th.

For those of you who missed it first time around Mirna: A Life of Her Own is FREE at Amazon Kindle  from Friday December 5th through Saturday December 6th.

This is the story of a young woman who flees Indiana to Montana at the turn of the 20th century to escape her intolerable family situation. The progression of her forming relationship there and finally having to confront a family member highlights the determination young women homesteaders had to have to survive on the prairie.

A full description of Mirna and a excerpt can be read at at this link- MIRNA: A Life of Her Own 


If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon offers a free app for PCs and Smart Phones


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Suffragette and Journalist

Jeanette Rankin HatWomen’s suffrage came earlier to Montana than most states. Perhaps it was in some measure the influence of single women homesteaders who independently took up the offer of free land authorized by the Homestead Act of 1909. After all if a single woman laid claim to land, planned and worked hard to succeed, and “proved up” her own land, why shouldn’t she be allowed to vote? Jeannette Pickering Rankin – A former schoolteacher born near Missoula Montana, was the first woman member of the US Congress, elected in 1916 and again in 1940. After being elected in 1916 she said, “I may be the first woman member of Congress but I won’t be the last.” She also said “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.”

Young and old single women voted with their feet when they came out West. Some were well educated, and even from well to do families. It was the challenge of making a place of their own that drove many of them. In my short story Sophie Writes from Montana a young, attractive, quick-witted newspaperwoman becomes intrigued with the idea of homesteading. Despite the entreaties of her lawyer suitor, she gives up her job, her home, and the social and cultural amenities she has in Chicago.

Here is an example of a woman journalist who had a “can do” attitude just like Sophie, and could do the job as well as any man..

Peggy Hull photoPeggy Hull – Henrietta “Peggy” Deuell, a Kansas farm girl, left home at an early age to become a journalist. After her marriage to a fellow journalist, Peggy Hull covered General Pershing’s pursuit of Pancho Villa in Mexico, and survived submarine-infested waters to report from the Western Front during World War I — without any official recognition or assistance from the United States government, which frowned on the idea of female war correspondents. With help from General Perusing, Hull became the first officially accredited female war correspondent and promptly accompanied American soldiers to Siberia during the Russian revolution. In Shanghai during the Japanese invasion of the city, Hull stayed to cover the action, and would continue covering the war in the Pacific after the United States entered the Second World War. She was known for featuring the “ordinary” man in her stories. In 1944, an American G. I. wrote to her, saying “You will never realize what those yarns of yours . . . did to this gang. . . . You made them know they weren’t forgotten.”- History of American Journalism, Univ of Kansas, 1907

Sophie Writes From Montana, and Nora Take Her Chances join Mirna in my  A Life of Her Own series of women homesteader short stories. Soon they will be followed by Lizzie and Mrs. Andersson. Each person’s story is presented in a different style according to her character. All are about women who have the courage to be different.  As we prepare for the holidays and the New Year perhaps their stories will inspire you to take up that challenge as well. .

Sophie Writes from Montana, Mirna: A Life of Her Own and my full-length novel Lila are all available in Kindle EBOOK editionLila can also be ordered in as an EBOOK and in PRINT edition for those who much prefer turning a book’s pages

Mirna will be FREE on Friday and Saturday, December 5th to 6th.

Lila’s Clarion review and other reviews can be read here.

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