About Jamie McGillen

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Jamie McGillen lives in the shadow of Mount Rainier, and no matter how many times she moves away, it draws her home. Everything about large evergreen trees delights her, except how poky they are, and the sap.

Her first novel In Sight of the Mountain was released in 2019, the sequel In Light of the Summit was released in 2020. The final book in the series, In the Heart of Paradise, came out in November 2021!

Her poems and essays have been published in Rust + MothMarathon Literary ReviewThe Raven Chronicles JournalAvalon Literary Review, and Arcturus Literary Magazine.

One of her poems was selected to be included in the anthology Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (Lerner/Millbrook, 2019). This amazingly diverse collection includes poems by Jane YolenMargarita Engle, and Naomi Shihab Nye.

Press & Interviews

Latest Release

In the Heart of Paradise

The Rainier Series, Book 3

Published: 02 Nov 2021

The Rainier Series continues with book 3!

When Anna discovers she’s with child, it doesn’t feel as wonderful as she’d imagined. She quickly feels trapped between the doctors blaming her for her morning sickness, older women wanting her to stay home, and very real risks to her baby. She’s caught between protecting her family and living a fulfilling life—an impossible choice.

Anna’s new friend Elizabeth is reeling from an unexpected loss, and she believes her nervous tendencies are getting worse. Her thoughts have always been strange, and the threat of ending up in an insane asylum is never far from her mind. When she meets a handsome stranger on the train, she wonders if she can simply keep her “fits of mania” to herself. But when she develops a phobia, she’ll have to face her most dreaded fear to save what she loves most.

In the Heart of Paradise is a deeply hopeful story that explores themes of mental health and motherhood in the nineteenth century.

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Books

In the Heart of Paradise

The Rainier Series, Book 3

Published: 02 Nov 2021

The Rainier Series continues with book 3!

When Anna discovers she’s with child, it doesn’t feel as wonderful as she’d imagined. She quickly feels trapped between the doctors blaming her for her morning sickness, older women wanting her to stay home, and very real risks to her baby. She’s caught between protecting her family and living a fulfilling life—an impossible choice.

Anna’s new friend Elizabeth is reeling from an unexpected loss, and she believes her nervous tendencies are getting worse. Her thoughts have always been strange, and the threat of ending up in an insane asylum is never far from her mind. When she meets a handsome stranger on the train, she wonders if she can simply keep her “fits of mania” to herself. But when she develops a phobia, she’ll have to face her most dreaded fear to save what she loves most.

In the Heart of Paradise is a deeply hopeful story that explores themes of mental health and motherhood in the nineteenth century.

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In Light of the Summit

The Rainier Series, Book 2

Published: 15 Jan 2021

This book received the Gold Medal in the YA Adventure Category in the Readers' Favorite International Book Awards!

After Anna Gallagher's first climb on Mt. Rainier, she faces a new challenge-enduring the ridicule and threats that come with breaking tradition. In 1890, being a young female mountaineer makes polite society uncomfortable, even angry. But despite the threats and inherent risk, she still has plans for another climb, even if it jeopardizes her family bookstore, and puts her in more danger than she ever imagined.

Emily Watson has always been close with the Gallagher family. As a young girl she dreamed of a wealthy husband, a fine house, and a future in Seattle society and now she finally has it. Her desires couldn't be more different than Anna's, but she's confronted with her own invisible mountain to climb when she's suddenly poverty-stricken. She must decide what matters most, and whether true love is worth waiting for.

IN LIGHT OF THE SUMMIT is a captivating story of ambition, heartbreak, and redemption. It's a tale of two childhood friends navigating womanhood in the late 19th century, with as much grace as they can muster, while still figuring out how to be true to themselves.

(Book Club Questions included at the end of the book.)

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Praise for In Light of the Summit

"I love how independent, strong, and brave the female characters are in this book. [...] This book has something for everyone. It has female friendships, romance, mystery, history, and adventure. If you are looking for a new historical fiction to try out, look no further than this series! I can’t wait until she publishes the 3rd book!⁣" — Nicole (5 Star Review)

"McGillen deftly writes these women’s stories, hardships and struggles and also a satisfying redemption when everyone and everything just seems so set against them. This story is a perfectly painted picture of women’s life in the late 19th century for those that break molds and pave the way for future generations. This was simply stunning!" — Michelle, Nursebookie (5 Star Review)

"...absolutely breathtaking. The descriptions and character development by McGillen are stunning and there is a sense of mystery and awe that is spread throughout the book. I found myself tucking the book into my purse in order to get reading done throughout the day when I would be out running my errands." — Anya Leonard (5 Star Review)

In Sight of the Mountain

Published: 19 Sep 2019

In the devastating aftermath of the 1889 Great Seattle Fire, nineteen-year-old Anna Gallagher faces considerable pressure to marry well and soon. But she has no intention of giving up her freedom to keep house. She wants to be the first woman to summit Mount Rainier.

Anna's grandfather couldn't disapprove more. And after he discovers that she's befriended a Duwamish woman in the forest, he threatens to disown her completely. Still, her resolve to summit doesn't waver until she meets a fisherman who seems to love adventure as much as she does. He's not the kind of high society gentleman who could save their family's finances after the fire, but he adores her and treats her like an equal. Attempting to climb the mountain might cause Anna's family to disown her forever. It might even ruin any future marriage prospects. But if she succeeds, she could pioneer the way for women mountaineers, and create a new identify for herself, something she's been longing for her whole life.

Inspired by the trailblazing women of the 19th Century who dared to climb Mount Rainier, In Sight of the Mountain is a charming coming-of-age story, but it also casts the reader's gaze upon issues of colonialism, class, and women's far-too-narrow options.

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Praise for In Sight of the Mountain

"An engaging escapade with a feisty female lead." — Kirkus Reviews

"A beautifully written story. A must-read for those who are striving to fulfill their dreams..." — Seattle Book Review

"An epic and gripping work of historical fiction... the perfect historical read for fans of pioneering heroes and tales of triumph over discrimination." — K.C. Finn, Reader's Favorite (5 Star Review)

"As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, I found it entertaining to try to picture Seattle as a frontier town and see Mount Rainier without its modern trappings. The story begins with the 1889 Seattle fire (a true event) and I was immediately hooked... In all, In Sight of the Mountain is a really great read--compelling, educational, containing complex characters and a well-crafted plot. Recommended for all readers YA and up who enjoy historical fiction. I'd give it more than 5 stars if I could." — Donna Gielow McFarland, Reader's Favorite (5 Star Review)

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude

Anthology

Published: 03 Sep 2019

How do you give thanks?

Gratitude isn’t something we need to save up for a special holiday. What are you grateful for right now, today?

This anthology brings together a diverse group of poets who express gratitude for everything from a puppy to hot cocoa to the sky itself. Each writer uses a different poetic form, and readers will encounter a concrete poem, a sonnet, a pantoum, a sijo, and much more.

Contributors include Jamie McGillen, Kimberly Blaeser, Sun Yung Shin, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, Janice Scully, Jane Yolen, Traci Sorell, JaNay Brown-Wood, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Margarita Engle, and more. Stunning illustrations from Marlena Myles invite close examination, making this a collection to return to and savor again and again.

Awards & Honors

  • Lectio Book Award Master List, Long-listed, 2021
  • Notable Books for a Global Society Notable Book, Winner, 2020
  • ALA Notable Children's Books, Winner, 2020
  • NCTE Notable Children's Book in the Language Arts, Winner, 2020
  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2020
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books, Winner, 2019


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Praise for Thanku: Poems of Gratitude

"Beautifully written and illustrated, this book reminds us that there are many simple things in life for which we can be grateful every day. It’s also a fantastic tool for teaching young children about different forms of poetry. A delight!" ― Cath T.

“Lovely lyric lessons in appreciating the ordinary.” — Kirkus Reviews

“[T]his attractive and accessible collection should be popular with browsers and useful for creative writing classes.” — Booklist

“[A] thoughtful resource for poetry students and teachers.” — Publishers Weekly


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Mailing Address: P.O. Box 367, Enumclaw, WA 98022

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