It’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.
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…
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.
The 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 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…
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.
I 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.