Happy St. Patrick’s Day with Sue-Ellen Welfonder (aka Allie Mackay)

Sue-Ellen/Allie here…

Benny St Patrick Cat DepotIt’s St. Patrick’s Day!

All the world is Irish today. Even Benny, a resident charmer at my favorite no-kill cat shelter, Cat Depot. *Edited to add that Cat Depot just told me great news: Benny has been adopted!!!

Talk about the luck of the Irish!

Now back to the ‘regular post.’ (after I dash my leaking eyes)…

The truth is, there’s a lot to love about the Irish and Ireland all year.

Many moons ago, I visited the Emerald Isle a lot. I was an airline stewardess. And I often worked flights into Dublin. Because I loved the city so much, I also went there on my own time.

Usually with a girlfriend.

Sometimes alone.

Whether shopping for woolen goods, Claddagh rings (I wear one I bought for myself – never take it off), visiting the sites (Book of Kells, anyone?), enjoying the amazing pubs, soaking up just-as-phenomenal atmosphere in the coffee shops, delving into Dublin’s Viking past, or simply walking the streets…

I never tired of being there.

How could I?

How could anyone?

Besides being beautiful, indeed oh-so-green, and steeped in more legend, myth, and lore than could ever fit into a single blog post, Ireland truly has a touch of the enchanted. No, let’s make that a ton. I’m very serious. It’s there, it’s real, and anyone even halfway sensitive to such things, will feel it.

But don’t take my word for it.

Long-time readers will recognize Devorgilla, a mischievous crone who wends her way through all my books. She does a bit of meddling, matchmaking, and assists in time travel and any other magic that might be required.

She has a strong role in my only Irish-set story, The Seventh Sister

TSS JPG - The Seventh Sister Cover JJ Final

Maggie is the heroine and this is her first meeting with the eccentric old woman. An encounter that shows Ireland’s powerful appeal…

The Seventh Sister Excerpt I ~ Maggie and the Crone

Maggie wheeled about, nearly colliding with a tiny old woman.
“Oh, I’m sorry!” Maggie reached to steady her. But there was no need. The woman beamed, her lined face wreathing in a smile.
“An American, are you?” The crone’s eyes twinkled. “But it’s home you are now, eh?”
“Home? I….” Maggie blinked. Something about the old woman seemed otherworldly. Yet she looked solid enough and her smile was full of warmth. If her clothes were a bit old-fashioned, her small black boots were tied with sassy red plaid laces that were definitely modern. She also sported a glittery shamrock on her jacket.
“I just got here yesterday.” Maggie tried again. “Well, to Dublin.” She paused as the wind kicked up, tossing her hair. “This is the last stop on my grand tour of Europe before I head back to Philadelphia and start college.
“And, yes, Ireland does feel like home.” She didn’t feel silly saying so. It was true. “I’ve never been here before, but my grandmother came from Cork.”
“Ah! I had the right of it!” The old woman nodded, seeming pleased. “There’s the look of Ireland about you.” Her gaze flickered to Maggie’s coppery-bright hair. “I once had tresses so fine myself. Back in the day…
“But it was the wonder on your face that gave you away.” She waggled a gnarled finger. “It doesn’t matter how many oceans a body crosses. Or how many generations lie between, the Celtic heart is always drawn back home.”
She stepped closer to Maggie, her tone almost conspiratorial. “That’s the magic of Ireland.”

~*~

If you’d like to visit Ireland today, I hope you’ll let Maggie’s Irish-set story take you there.

TSS JPG - The Seventh Sister Cover JJ FinalThe Seventh Sister is a wonderful tale about an Irish-American woman who discovers that the land of her ancestors really is a place of magic. And truest, unending love.

Here’s the blurb:

The Seventh Sister

The Celtic heart is always drawn home…

Down-on-her-luck American artist Maggie Gleason returns to Ireland, hoping to put old hurts behind her. Instead, revisiting the fishing village that enchanted her years before only reopens wounds – until the unexpected appearance of roguish pub owner Conall Flanagan proves that the Ancient Isle is a magical place where anything can happen and true love always stands the test of time.

~*~

If you’re still undecided, here’s an explanation of Ireland’s enchantment from Maggie’s grandmother…

The Seventh Sister Excerpt II ~ Maggie’s Irish Grandmother speaks

From nowhere, or perhaps from her heart, her grandmother’s words flashed across her mind. ‘Someday you’ll see, Maggie-girl. The glory of Ireland isn’t just the green of our hills and the blue of the sea. Nor is it all those soft, misty days. Or the way the light shimmers, polishing the sky until you’d swear you’re looking at the world through a swirl of finest gossamer silk.
That’s part of it, true. But the real magic is inside us.’ Here, Granny Gleason would lean forward, clutching the arms of her rocker. ‘It’s the music in our voices and the fullness of our hearts. The way we can move forward when we must, yet still keep our traditions alive.’
Maggie blinked and swallowed, half sure her long-dead grandmother had just stood beside her, whispering the words in her ear.
Now she knew the truth of them.

~*~

The Seventh Sister is one of my favorite tales. I love Ireland. Whenever I’ve been to Dublin, I’d always make a special trip to a nearby fishing village called Howth. For whatever reason, it drew me powerfully.

Here’s an old picture of me at the Howth harbor…

A - SE - Howth

If you look close, you’ll see how happy I was. Not long after the picture was made, I nipped into a really great fish-and-chip shop for a takeaway fish lunch. After that, I left the village and wandered across the moors, eventually climbing a mountain to search for standing stones. I didn’t find them that trip, but did on a later visit.

It was so wonderful to sit high above the village, surrounded by nothing but rock, heather, and wind. I could have stayed there forever. The climb was also special. It took me through a thick rhododendron wood that I swear stood under a fairy enchantment. I quickly became lost, circling and circling through the rhododendrons, half expecting to meet a Leprechaun, a fairy queen, or perhaps Devorgilla, the mischievous old woman who ‘helped’ Maggie find happiness.

I did, too.

SE - Above HowthI smiled all through the writing when, years later, I remembered my adventures in Howth. I loved revisiting a very dear-to-me place as I brought Maggie, her hero Conall, and Devorgilla, to life in The Seventh Sister.

If you’d like to meet them, today is the best-ever time!

The Seventh Sister is FREE with Kindle Unlimited or just .99 cents.

To grab your copy, click here.

**Please note that The Seventh Sister is a novelette. It was originally published in 2010, in the Mammoth Book of Irish Romance. Mammoth anthologies have a limited page count, hence the shorter length.

It remains a beautiful story and readers who enjoy my work, should love it. It’s magical, has a great Irish hero, and will make you feel as if you are right there, in the lovely Emerald Isle. If that isn’t enough, you can visit Devorgilla at Conall’s pub, Flanagan’s.

The old gal would be ever so happy if you’d join her!

~*~

To celebrate the day, leave a comment to win another magical set of books! A beautiful new bundle I’m in, A Kiss and A Promise!

This gorgeous collection is also FREE with Kindle Unlimited or just .99 cents.

To order your copy, click here.

I’ll announce the lucky winner late tonight. (when I return from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day at my local Irish pub, Lynches Pub and Grub.

KISS PROMISE 3D Cover High Res - a-kiss-and-a-promise-3-d high res

Sue-Ellen Welfonder
USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder is known for her strong heroines, Alpha heroes, and weaving Highland magic and humor into her tales. Her passions are Scotland, medieval history, Celtic legend and lore, the paranormal, and animals. All can be found in her medieval romances and the contemporary paranormals she writes as Allie Mackay. She lives on Florida’s southwest coast with her husband and her muse, Snuggles the writer cat.
Follow Sue-Ellen Welfonder:

USA Today bestselling author Sue-Ellen Welfonder is known for her strong heroines, Alpha heroes, and weaving Highland magic and humor into her tales. Her passions are Scotland, medieval history, Celtic legend and lore, the paranormal, and animals. All can be found in her medieval romances and the contemporary paranormals she writes as Allie Mackay. She lives on Florida’s southwest coast with her husband and her muse, Snuggles the writer cat.

25 Responses

  1. Janet Worth

    Your stories always make me feel as if I am there! Thank you again for sharing your inspirations!!!

    • Bless you, Janet! That is always a tremendous goal – sweeping readers into the place and time of the tale so they can feel as if they are right there with the characters. My pleasure re the back history for this story. So glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for being one of my most long-time and dedicated readers. xx

  2. Mary Preston

    I always imagine Ireland to be full of magic. I love stories that reinforce this.

    • Oh, it is, Mary. Hate to say it, but that is so even more than in Scotland. It’s hard to pinpoint why, but it always struck me as so. Especially when you get out away from the cities, into the deep countryside. It is almost as if the air itself is charged with enchantment.

  3. Glenda

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! I’ve never been to Ireland but it is high on my bucket list.

  4. Great excerpt! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Lady Sue Ellen!!! 😉

    • Thanks so much, Katherine. I adore this story so much. The characters, the setting, the magic, and -of course- my own happy memories from being the village. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too! We’ll be out having fun at a great Irish pub here tonight. Can’t way! 🙂

  5. Alyssa Alexander

    Great excerpts! I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland. Maybe someday soon!

    • Thanks so much, Alyssa! I adore this story – for so many reasons. You will love Ireland when you go. It truly is a special place. I’ve always wondered why so few romances are set there. It has everything for the genre and then some. Wonderful, wonderful place.

  6. Great post! Ireland truly is magical! I’ve visited myself and lived for a bit in Northern Ireland. Thanks for reminding me what a great place it is, and especially for doing so on St. Patrick’s Day. 🙂 Erin go Bragh!

    • Ah, you were blessed to live there for a while. Scottish friends who have also lived in Northern Ireland have told me how much they loved it. Sadly, I haven’t made it there yet. Would love to see that part of Ireland someday. So glad you agree about the magic. I shouldn’t say it, but I always felt it there even more strongly than in Scotland – which,while ruggedly beautiful, is very much a modern day land. Ireland? Also modern, but the ‘veil between now and the distant past with all its enchantment,’ just seems more transparent there. To me, anyway.

  7. Now I want to go to Ireland too!

    • Oh, you must! You would love it so much. Being able to nip over there so easily is one of the things I regret the most, miss the most about no longer working for the airlines, and even more so, no longer living in Munich. It was all only a hop and a wink away. Will be excited for you when you go. Ireland truly is wonderful.

  8. best author ever – and Snuggles is the best assistant

    • Bless you, Kathy! I know you love my books. And cats! The two go together so well. Yes, he is an excellent assistant. He was spying again this morning. Big time (will share pix on FB later tonight). Now he is napping, filling my office with kittie snores. Love. 🙂

  9. Happy ST.PATRICK’S DAY Sue- Ellen , you know i love your books and this was fabulous , never been to iRELAND , MAYBE ONE DAY.

    • Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, too! Yes, I knows, bless you. Thank you! xx Hope you do get there. It truly is a special place. xx

  10. LOVE the pics, Sue-Ellen. Snuggles is my favorite 007 spy!

    • That was a long time ago. Many happy memories made there. They live on in this story. It is one of my absolute favorites. 00Snug isn’t very daring this afternoon. I have been cleaning, so is he hiding away somewhere. !! He will come out again when all strange noises, bumps, and clatterings, cease. 🙂

  11. Everyone, I’m away now… off to celebrate the night in style at the local Irish pub, as noted above. Thank you so much for looking in here today. It’s been fun chatting with you. I’ll look in again late tonight to announce the winner of the beautiful new collection, A KISS and A PROMISE. Till then, here’s to the Irish!! And, hey, isn’t it WONDERFUL that dear little Benny above is now adopted and in a loving forever home? Hurrah, Benny and Cat Depot!! 🙂

  12. Great post, but I have to tell you that the pics are probably my favorite part – you’re like a travel model!

  13. ~*~*~ WINNERS! ~*~*~ Well, Ladies, as it is St. Patrick’s Day still – a lucky day – I am making all readers who have commented up to this time (11:00 EDT) a winner!

    So the winners are:

    Janet Worth, Glenda, Kathy Luehrs, Miizzxo – you all win a digital Amazon copy of A KISS and A PROMISE!

    Mary Preston, I know you are in Australia and I do not think it is possible to purchase a digital book for you because of us being in different countries. I will try. But if it doesn’t work, apologies. In that event, I will personally send you a digital ARC of my last NY traditionally published Scottish medieval, TO DESIRE A HIGHLANDER.

    All of you, please email me at welfonder @ msn (dot) com with your email addresses for Kindle delivery.

    Please do not send me a FB PM. I miss so many of them, sadly. Regular email is the best way to contact me. And please note that I will be away from my office much of tomorrow. I will respond asap, at the latest tomorrow afternoon.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, All! Thank you for joining me! See you next time.

    Sue-Ellen/Allie
    xx

  14. Jennifer

    Hope everyone had a great Saint Patrick’s day. I worked all of it but video chatted with my family so it worked out

  15. LOVE the story and a great read for anyone looking for love and magic. 🙂