Maddie O'Brien's Wild Turkeys


    After days of rain and storms, Maddie O’Brien is restless to venture out into the forest. Little could she know that while walking with her beloved grandfather, they will come upon a nest of eleven turkey eggs protected by their dying mother. Maddie and Otis can’t save the brave wild turkey hen, yet they are determined to hatch out and raise her feisty poults.

    But times are hard for the O’Brien family and as Thanksgiving looms ever nearer, it seems certain that Maddie’s beloved turkeys are destined for the roaster and the holiday dinner table. How can Maddie O’Brien save her turkeys and still help her family pay its bills?

    That is the challenge and when you read this delightful and unforgettable sequel to MADDIE O’BRIEN’S CHRISTMAS DONKEYS, you’ll discover how love, bravery and the spirit of Maddie’s wild turkeys prove to be a blessing for the O’Brien family and their entire Northern Arizona town. And you will also learn something about the noble wild turkey that Benjamin Franklin once believed courageous enough to replace the bald eagle as America’s greatest symbol of freedom.


Gobble-Gobble! Gobble-Gobble!




    Gary McCarthy has always loved animals and has a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Cal Poly, Pomona, California and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno Campus. During his long and distinguished writing career he has sold fifteen historical and thirty-four western novels as well as his four-volume OUR AMERICAN WEST SERIES.

    Regarding his Maddie O’Brien stories, McCarthy says, “I wrote the first one, MADDIE O’BRIEN’S CHRISTMAS DONKEYS as a Christmas gift for my grandchildren. I wanted them to learn of a simpler time when many people raised pigs, ducks, goats, chickens, pigeons, ponies and donkeys. Being the father of three adventuresome daughters, I can relate to a smart and spunky girl like Maddie O’Brien. My wife, the former Sylvia Jane Henry, grew up in the beautiful hills of Pennsylvania and has told me many stories of her childhood and of her love and knowledge of wilderness and animals. Writing about Maddie O’Brien has been fun and in the future I hope to tell many more of Maddie O’Brien’s adventures.”




Maddie O'Brien's Christmas Donkeys


    Growing up on a small ranch without a mother hasn't been all that easy for only-child Maddie O'Brien. Her father, scarred by war emotionally and physically is kind, but very withdrawn. Her grandfather, Otis, is funny and wise but a confirmed bachelor who is completely content to tend to their livestock and endlessly re-tell old stories.

    As another difficult Christmas season approaches, Maddie O'Brien is hoping for something special to bring joy into their lives. And then one snowy winter night a small band of abandoned and hungry donkeys appears at their barn door braying for food and comfort.


HEE-haw. HEE-haw. HEE-haw.


    They are achingly cute, sweet and there is even a little one among them, but where could they have come from? And why did they find Maddie O'Brien? This is a heartwarming story about how magical donkeys transformed the lives of the entire O'Brien family in ways that Maddie could have never even dared to dream. Whether you're young or old, Maddie O'Brien's Christmas Donkeys will bring a smile to your face.




    Award-winning author Gary McCarthy also has a degree in Animal Science. He and his wife Jane have a few acres up near the Grand Canyon, shared with many happy animals. Donkeys are smart, easy to be around and fun to watch. Anyone interested can learn all about them by going online and looking at the website of THE AMERICAN DONKEY AND MULE SOCIETY.

    There are also thousands of donkeys that need adoption from the Bureau of Land Management and information about these adorable animals can be found by contacting that nationwide federal agency. If you invite a donkey into your home and heart, I am absolutely sure that you will have a faithful and delightful friend with loads of personality—maybe even one just like MADDIE O'BRIEN'S CHRISTMAS DONKEYS.


    The American Donkey and Mule Society's web address is, and the Bureau of Land Management can be found at


    A special thank you to Cheryl Orlowski of for Bella and her baby, with their Santa hats!