I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Readers are treated to a journey through time as author Neil McKee highlights his family history and both the heroes and villains who comprised his family’s legacy in Canada and America in the book “Guns and Gods In My Genes”.
Neill McKee, author of the award-winning travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo, takes the reader through 400 years and 15,000 miles of an on-the-road adventure, discovering stories of his Scots-Irish ancestors in Canada, while uncovering their attitudes towards religion and guns.
His adventure turns south and west as he follows the trail of his maternal grandfather, a Canadian preacher who married an American woman in Wisconsin, and braved the American Wild West from 1904 to 1907, finding a two-story brothel across from one of his churches and a sheriff who owned a saloon and dance hall, while carrying a gun with 20 notches, one for each man he had killed.
Much to his surprise, McKee finds his American ancestors were involved in every major conflict on North American soil: the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the French and Indian War. In the last chapters, McKee discovers and documents his Pilgrim ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth in 1620, and their Puritan descendants who fought in the early Indian Wars of New England.
With the help of professional genealogical research, he tracks down and tells the stories of the heroes, villains, rascals, as well as, the godly and ordinary folk in his genes, discovering many facts and exposing myths. He also lets readers in on a personal struggle: whether to apply for Canadian-United States dual citizenship or remain only a Canadian.
The author has really crafted an amazing book. What immediately stands out is how unlike the typical memoir or biography style of writing this book takes. A great portion of this read encompasses a personal take on some of history’s greatest and most memorable moments through the lens of one man’s family, from the American Civil War to the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. The amount of detail and research the author poured into his family’s history was incredible to read, especially for a fan of history such as myself.
Yet what really stood out was how so much of this book also incorporated meditative, reflective moments in which the author seemed to speak to the reader, to his ancestors as he explored moments in history, and to himself. It allows the reader to really get a sense of the connection the author had to this journey and his family as he delved deeper and deeper into their history, allowing the reader to also feel more connected as well.
A remarkable, thoughtful, and lengthy yet engaging read, author Neil McKee’s “Guns and Gods In My Genes” is must-read non-fiction read. The amount of research, history, and personal reflection that the author shares in this journey make for a truly memorable read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of this amazing book today!
About the Author
Neill McKee is a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, won a bronze medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2020, as well as other awards. McKee holds a Bachelor’s Degree, from the University of Calgary and a Master’s Degree in Communication from Florida State University. He worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. He directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos and multimedia initiatives, and has written numerous articles and books in the field of development communication. During his international career, McKee worked for Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO); Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC); UNICEF; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Academy for Educational Development and FHI 360, Washington, DC. He worked and lived in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, he settled in New Mexico, using his varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.
Find him online at:
Author’s website: www.neillmckeeauthor.com/
– Blog Tour Dates
February 15th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Grab your coffee and join us as we talk to author Neill McKee and celebrate the launch of his blog tour for his travel memoir, Guns and Gods in My Genes. You can also enter to win a copy of the book yourself!
February 17th @ Choices
Join Madeline today as she spotlights Neill McKee’s travel memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 20th @ Bring on Lemons
Turn lemons into lemonade by visiting Crystal’s blog today, where you can read her honest review of Neill McKees insightful memoir, Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 22nd @ CloudsGirls27 Reads Books
Join Melissa as she reads Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Come by Anthony’s blog today where he interviews author Neill McKee about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 25th @ What is That Book About
Michelle spotlights Neill McKee’s book Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 26th @ Lisa Haselton’s Book Reviews & Interviews
Visit Lisa’s blog today where she interviews author Neill McKee about his book Guns and Gods in My Genes.
February 27th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Join Linda as she treats us to an interview with author Neill McKee and chats with him about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. She also shares some insights about the book!
February 28th @ Lilly’s Book Wonderland
Join Lilly as she shares her insights into Neill McKee’s fascinating travel memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 1st @ World of My Imagination
Light up your imagination when you visit Nicole’s blog today! She shares her insights into Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 3rd @ Joy Neal Kidney’s Blog
Make sure you stop by Joy’s blog today and read her review of Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 3rd @ Memoir Memoir
Visit John’s blog today and you can read his review of Nell McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 5th @ A Storybook World
Deirdra spotlights Neill McKee’s profound memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 8th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Join Kathy as she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 11th @ The Frugalista Mom
Join Rozelyn as she reviews Neill McKee’s fascinating memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You can also win a copy of the book too!
March 12th @ Memoir Revolution
March 14th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog
Join Anthony again when he reviews Neill McKee’s memorable memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 15th @ My Writer Blog
Join Carole as she reviews Neill McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.
March 16th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire
Set your reading list on fire with Mindy McGinnis as she spotlights Neil McKee’s memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You also have the chance to win a copy of this fascinating book!