Tag Archives: Irish fiction

The Copper Pot

New Exclusive Short Story

(Based on The Girl in the Shadows series)

Grace’s much-loved Granny proved very popular in the series and people kept asking me to write her life story.

Now for the first time ever you can download a free short story – a snapshot – based on Granny Maura’s early life!

Written in the same style as The Girl in the Shadows, The Copper Pot will amuse you much like Grace’s escapades.

The Copper Pot tells the story of Maura’s father making and selling poitin (illegal whiskey) on their small farm in rural Ireland at the beginning of the 1900s.

How do you get your hands on this Exclusive Short Story? Free?

Simply join my group of avid readers to receive your Free Short Story

The Copper Pot

Don’t miss yours!

Sign up here!

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Now Available from More Stores

My Store

Click the “My Store” link above to view my books and get links to your favourite eBook sites

The Girl in the Shadows Part 1 – A Pint of the Black Stuff

Follow the hilarious escapades of the heroine, Grace, as she grows up in a rural community in 1940s and 1950s Ireland. Fall in love with her as she struggles to overcome prejudice in her own special way.

Love’s Spirit

A romantic tale with a difference. Set in Victorian England, Joseph falls for the wrong woman but time and death come to his rescue. Will Eliza ever return his love or will he forever be a mere shadow, just out of reach?

Fibromyalgia – My Personal Experience

This simple self help guide details things that I have found helpful on my journey with this painful illness.

A Self Help Guide to Stress Relief and Stress Management

Using quizzes to help you understand your stress, this guide provides helpful hints by way of “release valves”, to get your life back on track using natural methods.

As a stress sufferer myself, I researched the subject and finally came up with factors that affected me. I wrote this short guide to help fellow sufferers to find the relief that I have found.

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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

snapshot

 

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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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Ten Great Books for Christmas

Ten great books to curl up with over the Christmas Holidays in front of a roaring fire with rain pattering against the windows and the wind howling down the chimney…

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte – Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.
With a heroine full of yearning, the dangerous secrets she encounters, and the choices she finally makes, Charlotte Bronte’s innovative and enduring romantic novel continues to engage and provoke readers.

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott – Classic novel of 19th-century family life during and after the Civil War, in a household with four sisters. Alcott based the March family largely on her own real-life family.

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt – “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.
Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.

Circle of Friends – Maeve Binchy – Big, generous-hearted Benny and the elfin Eve Malone have been best friends growing up in sleepy Knockglen. Their one thought is to get to Dublin, to university and to freedom…
On their first day at University College, Dublin, the inseparable pair are thrown together with fellow students Nan Mahon, beautiful but selfish, and handsome Jack Foley. But trouble is brewing for Benny and Eve’s new circle of friends, and before long, they find passion, tragedy – and the independence they yearned for.

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austin – “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen’s witty comedy of manners–one of the most popular novels of all time–that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

Heidi – Johanna Spyri – What happens when a little orphan girl is forced to live with her cold and frightening grandfather? The heartwarming answer has engaged children for more than a century, both on the page and on the screen. Johanna Spyri’s beloved story offers youngsters an endearing and intelligent heroine, a cast of unique and memorable characters, and a fascinating portrait of a small Alpine village.

Watermelon – Marian Keyes – Marian Keyes begins Watermelon with a rather inauspicious romantic opening when the heroine’s husband leaves her for Denise from the flat downstairs the day their first child is born. Claire, the deserted wife and mother, returns to her family in Dublin and, after going through the required stages of “Loss, Loneliness, Hopelessness and Humiliation”, begins to feel much better–so much better that when James tries to win his way back into her affections, he gets more than he bargained for.

A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley – When Larry Cook, the aging patriarch of a rich, thriving farm in Iowa, decides to retire, he offers his land to his three daughters. For Ginny and Rose, who live on the farm with their husbands, the gift makes sense–a reward for years of hard work, a challenge to make the farm even more successful. But the youngest, Caroline, a Des Moines lawyer, flatly rejects the idea, and in anger her father cuts her out–setting off an explosive series of events that will leave none of them unchanged. A classic story of contemporary American life, A Thousand Acres strikes at the very heart of what it means to be a father, a daughter, a family.

The Lovely Bones – Anna Sebold – The Lovely Bones is the story of a family devastated by a gruesome murder — a murder recounted by the teenage victim. Upsetting, you say? Remarkably, first-time novelist Alice Sebold takes this difficult material and delivers a compelling and accomplished exploration of a fractured family’s need for peace and closure.
The details of the crime are laid out in the first few pages: from her vantage point in heaven, Susie Salmon describes how she was confronted by the murderer one December afternoon on her way home from school. Lured into an underground hiding place, she was raped and killed. But what the reader knows, her family does not. Anxiously, we keep vigil with Susie, aching for her grieving family, desperate for the killer to be found and punished.
Sebold creates a heaven that’s calm and comforting, a place whose residents can have whatever they enjoyed when they were alive — and then some. But Susie isn’t ready to release her hold on life just yet, and she intensely watches her family and friends as they struggle to cope with a reality in which she is no longer a part. To her great credit, Sebold has shaped one of the most loving and sympathetic fathers in contemporary literature.

The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger – Audrey Niffenegger’s dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry’s unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

All descriptions courtesy of Goodreads. If you love books you should be on Goodreads

 

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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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