Tag Archives: best historical irish fiction

Take Time to Smell the Roses

Well, I am currently working on a few different projects.

  • The Girl in the Shadows Part 3 – Editing
  • The Girl in the Shadows Part 4  – Writing
  • A Paranormal Romance Novel (1) – Writing (Almost ready for first edit)
  • A Paranormal Romance Novel (2) – Writing
  • Irish Paranormal Haunts Part 2 – Researching

So, lots of things to keep me busy.

I used to think I’d never finish the first book but now, I have so many things on the go and I know they will all get done in their own time.

Perhaps that’s the secret.

Let things happen as they will. Do not try to force them.

And always take time to smell the roses!

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(Fragrant Cloud)

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Editing The Girl in the Shadows Part 3

The first edit is complete!

The manuscript has gone out to beta readers and while I’m waiting I will start on the second edit.

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I’ve still got the two paranormal romances to finish and more information to gather before I can write up Irish Paranormal Haunts Part 2, but hey, things are happening!

Looking forward to getting this one published!

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99p Limited Time Only

Looking for a side splitting comedy with plenty of Irishness thrown in?

Ready  to enjoy a rib tickler with a difference?

Want a laugh out loud kind of read?

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The Girl in the Shadows has it all!

Find out for yourself why readers are enjoying it. Fall in love with Grace and her madcap adventures.

Remember a time when life was simpler and childhood was carefree and fun.

Download now while still only 99p

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A Productive Week!

The task of marketing seems never ending for indie authors. There is always another site to submit to, a post to write, an ad to tweak – not to mention giveaways to keep up with, social media to be updated, queries to be answered. Sometimes it is hard to get down to the real work – writing!

This week has been fantastic. After spending the last three months concentrating on marketing I have finally settled back down to writing.

The Girl in the Shadows Part 3 – First draft almost complete. First edit well underway.

The Girl in the Shadows Part 4 Sean’s Story – First draft well underway.

A New Novel – Wait for it! An Historical Paranormal Romance! – First draft well underway.

The marketing has also been continuing at the same time and ratings and reviews are coming in – All 5 star this week!

The Girl in the Shadows Part 1 Goodreads giveaway ending tonight – 1726 people requesting it as I write (with a few hours still to run).

Goodreads ad promotion still running.

At times it can be hard when you are struggling to get your books out there but the secret is DON’T GIVE UP!

My dream of one day earning my living from writing is moving closer baby step by baby step.

In the meantime, it’s back to the writing!

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Growing up in Ireland

People often ask me if the Girl in the Shadows is about my own life. No, it is a work of fiction but I have used my experiences of rural life in Ireland to add flavor and depth to the series.

My Grandparents lived on a hilly farm in Co Kerry. My Dad and I used to visit them regularly from our farm in West Cork. I always volunteered for the trip (about 50 miles over the mountains) as I loved meeting my extended family – Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.

As soon as we arrived my Grandfather would pour a shot glass of Irish whiskey for my Dad. My Grandmother would hang the blackened kettle over the fire and put a few pinches of tea leaves into the battered stainless steel tea pot.

While the kettle was boiling my Grandmother would cut slices of sweet currant cake and place the pound of butter on the bord (table). Cups would be taken off the dresser and the fine turf ash rinsed out of them with a little water from the bucket. The rest of the water would be poured into  a bowl and the empty bucket would be handed to me.

The well was a shallow hole in the ditch a few hundred yards down the road, filled by water dripping off the hill behind it. An old piece of wood was lodged over the hole to keep the worst of the dirt and debris out of the well and this would have to be carefully replaced once the bucket was full. It took a bit of practice to fill the bucket without stirring up dirt from the bottom of the well.

By the time I got back to the house the tea would be on the table and the currant cake would be buttered.

Sometimes, if we arrived early we would have bacon and cabbage with boiled spuds. My Grandmother used to show off the beautiful bacon with its two inches of fat, “Did you ever see a finer piece of meat?”

After eating I would help my Grandmother wash the ware. She always used Daz washing powder for the job. She never saw the point in getting washing up liquid when the clothes washing powder did the same thing.

My Dad would help my Grandad haul in a massive piece of tree trunk and this would be laid in the hearth on top of the glowing embers.This chunk of wood slowly burnt in the middle and when the fire needed making up, the two sides were simply pushed together. A few pieces of turf were thrown on top for good measure.

My Grandfather would take us on a walk around the farm, starting with the steep hill behind the house where the sheep were grazed and finishing up down by the river where the two or sometimes three, cows were kept. We would drive the cows home for milking.

It was my Grandmother’s job to milk the cows and I loved watching her as she filled the buckets with the creamy milk. The cow shed smelt of bracken as this was the bedding used by my Grandfather – straw was unknown on the mountain.

My Grandmother would pour a little milk into a bowl just inside the cow shed, “For the cats, they keep the mice away.”

After milking the men would drive the cows back down to the river fields.

As darkness began to fall the rest of my Dad’s family began to arrive bringing their own families with them. The parents would sit in the house drinking tea and playing cards while we younger ones played outside or just sat around in groups.

My cousins were as fascinated by my life in Cork as I was by their lives in Kerry. The counties are side by side but sometimes it seemed like a whole world away.

As the evening wore on we made our way into the fire and watched the card games and listened to the chatter.

Finally, the table was pushed back against the wall and everyone pulled up a seat to the fire.

“So! Who’s first for a song?”

One by one we all sang for the company. My cousins had some of the sweetest voices I have ever heard and I was always embarrassed to follow them but everyone clapped, praised and thanked each of the singers in turn so I never really minded.

All too soon it was time for Dad and I to say our goodbyes and head back over the mountains. I consoled myself with the knowledge that in a few short weeks we would be back again.

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The Girl in the Shadows Part 3

When the Apple is Ripe, it will Fall

The Girl in the Shadows is coming to Amazon again soon. The third book in the series tells the story of Grace’s new life with her family around her. She is no longer the carefree little girl we first met. Now she has matured into a sensible woman who knows what she wants – even if she does need some help along the way.

She retains her special way of looking at the world and moves us all to tears as quickly as to laughter.

Laugh with her, cry with her, but most of all, fall in love with her.

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2 Free Copies!!! Enter Now!!!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Girl in the Shadows (Part 2) There's No Place Like Home by Kim O'Shea

The Girl in the Shadows (Part 2) There’s No Place Like Home

by Kim O’Shea

Giveaway ends January 29, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

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Grace is Back!

Our favorite character, Grace, has returned to make us laugh, cry and hold our breath as we quickly turn the pages to find out what she has been up to now.

Find out here!

Sam Gomes from Ireland kindly left a review on our Facebook page

“Having Read a few of Kim’s fabulous books I thought I’d write a little review for those who haven’t read any of her books. Growing up myself in the uk I was a little sceptical about reading girl in the shadows thinking I may not get the Irish humour! I must say I was totally wrong. Anyone from any country can relate to Grace she’s a typical girl always wondering what it’s like to be grown up she’s naughty funny and very inquisitive & I could relate to her a lot. Each character in the book has been well described and the more you read it the more you learn to love each & everyone of them I think every family has a grace in it 🙂 I loved how I could relate to where she lived and I visioned her growing up where I now live even though that was never confirmed. Girl in the shadows is most certainly one of my favourite books & I read it in a few days as I couldn’t put the book down. I look forward to reading more about Grace & her family!! Kim is most certainly a very talented writer”

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Cover Reveal!

The Girl in the Shadows  Part 2 – There’s no Place like Home

 

Chapter 1

I’d been feeling unwell for some time before my mother asked my employer if she would go with me to see a doctor. I’d always been treated like a child and I was aware that after being born with a lack of oxygen, my brain did not work quite the same way and my outlook on life was often very different from what other people expected of me. I tended to take a more simple but questioning view of life. This had often led me into trouble before but I was completely unprepared for this….

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Fall in love with Grace and her beautiful way of looking at the world.

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Best Irish Authors – Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin in 1940. She wrote newspaper columns and plays but is probably best known for her wonderfully Irish historical fiction novels and short stories. Her true to life characters portrayed life in Ireland with an often humorous twist.

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Among her many wonderful characters my favorite is Benny, the awkward lump of a girl from Circle of Friends. Maeve mentioned that she considered herself to be a lump of a girl and never expected to marry, however she met her future husband Gordon, in London while recording a piece for radio. They married in 1977 and were together until her death in 2012.

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As a young woman Maeve worked on a kibbutz in Israel and the life she saw and experienced there help to influence her writing. Her parents always believed in her and they sent her letters from Israel to a newspaper where they were published.This was the catalyst for her writing career.

Although I have read many of her short stories, her novels will always have a place in my heart and they have influenced my own writing of The Girl in the Shadows series.

I was very upset when I heard the news of her death. I wondered what I would do without my favorite author but to my delight her publishers have announced that they are going to publish one further collection – A Few of the Girls. In the meantime I will re-read some of the novels listed below.

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How many of the following novels have you read?
Light a Penny Candle (1982)
Echoes (1985)
Firefly Summer (1987)
Silver Wedding (1988)
Circle of Friends (1990)
The Copper Beech (1992)
The Glass Lake (1994)
Evening Class (1996)
Tara Road (1998)
Scarlet Feather (2000)
Quentins (2002)
Nights of Rain and Stars (2004)
Whitethorn Woods (2006)
Heart and Soul (2008)
Minding Frankie (2010)
A Week in Winter (2012)

For more info and details of the upcoming collection, “A Few of the Girls” make sure to bookmark the official Maeve Binchy website

 

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