Monday, February 8, 2016

Unholy Crossing by Pat McDermott

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story, especially one set in Ireland? A visit to Tubbercurry in County Sligo last summer inspired this one. It all began when my aunt learned I planned to call on my cousin Michael, whom I hadn’t seen for years.
“Tell him I want that picture of my grandmother!” she said. “It’s in Grannie’s old trunk! Bridgie told me she put it there.” (Grannie was Michael’s grandmother, my grandmother’s sister.)
Years ago, my aunt lent a photo of her grandmother, my great-grandmother, to Michael’s mother Bridgie for inclusion in a historical publication. My great-grandmother was a schoolteacher, and the publishers wanted to feature her in a Who’s Who type section. Sadly, by the time I went over, Bridgie had passed away.
Undaunted by family intrigue, Michael gave me a grand tour. We saw the remains of the house where our grandmothers grew up, the ruins of the schoolhouse where our great-grandmother taught, and the cemetery where many family members rest. He knew nothing about the photo, though he knew about the trunk, stored in the ruins of a cottage near his childhood home.
“Look all you like,” he said. “But I’m telling you, my father wouldn’t touch that trunk, and neither will I.”
Michael has a touch of the Blarney about him, yet he seemed quite serious when we reached the cottage. I'd no sooner opened the trunk when a shrieking flock of crows flew above us. The wind rose and tore off a piece of the old door. I thought it was great fun, but Michael quickly left the place and said he’d wait outside.
I never found the photo, and I didn't care. The trunk had captured me. I closed it up and wondered where it came from, how it got there, and what it had seen and heard. And let’s not forget the sound effects. Whether the crows and the wind were a coincidence, or whether Ireland had cast another of its spells, I had a story—if Grannie would let me use her trunk.
Apparently, she didn’t mind. Here’s the Blurb and an Excerpt from Unholy Crossing.
A Spectral Stowaway Opens the Door to Ireland's Pagan Past...
It’s 1912, and America has lost its charm for Noreen Carbury, an educated young lady from Ireland. For five long years, Noreen has looked after the children of Boston’s well-to-do. Homesick and vexed by the gentry’s demeaning views toward immigrants, she schedules a voyage to visit her family in County Sligo.
Beneath the clothing and gifts she packs in her steamer trunk, Noreen conceals a wooden box whose grisly contents she’s promised to transport to Ireland. She boards a splendid new steamship expecting a crossing fit for a queen, yet her trunk has somehow harbored a spirit who plagues her during the week-long trip. She believes that once she delivers the box, the phantom will leave her alone. Although she keeps her promise, the visitations grow more sinister, pitting her strict Catholic upbringing against Ireland’s pagan past.
To protect the reputation of the man she loves, Noreen says nothing of the mysterious incidents. For decades, she bears the burden alone, until the elderly woman she becomes confesses the spine-chilling tale of the Unholy Crossing.
The Laconia sailed east, past the islands in Boston Harbor. Soon she would turn northeast. Toward Ireland.
Toward home.
I unlocked my cabin door and gasped at the room’s icy temperature. Annoyed that the heater had failed to perform, I eyed the button that summoned the steward. As I crossed the room to push it, I glanced at the photos on the desk and froze.
What I’m telling you now is the truth, I swear. As I gazed at the portrait of Ned and me, a golden glow rose from the top of the silver frame. A dark-haired image appeared between us.
Had I drunk more wine than I should, you ask? On my word, I did not. The woman was there, in the portrait, staring. Staring at me. Smiling.
* * * * *
Unholy Crossing - A Novella/Novelette Available in Print and eBook from

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Enchanted Highlands by April Holthaus, Victoria Zak, and Dawn Marie Hamilton

Happy New Year! Now that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is behind us, let's heat things up with a Highlander collection from three Celtic authors...

Enchanted Highlands

Three Winter Novellas
Available at Amazon for 99 cents
or Free with Kindle Unlimited

Three magical love stories...


Twelvetide (Twelve Nights of Highland Magic)
By Dawn Marie Hamilton

He has twelve nights to gain her love.
She has twelve nights to save his soul.

Fulfilling a childhood promise, Ashley Dumont returns to an ancient Druid garden in the Black Hills of Scotland on the eve of the winter solstice—a time when magic hums and the veil between realms thins and tears, allowing all manner of supernatural creatures through. Will the ghost who claimed to be her destiny still be there?

Caelan Innes awaits her arrival. Unjustly murdered in the sixteenth century, a second chance at life depends on this woman. The Druids grant them the twelve nights of Yule to find love and save Cael’s soul. Will a trip through time and the treachery of enemies make the sacrifice too dear?

Once Upon a Winter Solstice
By Victoria Zak

What if all moments throughout time existed at once? What if you had a love that stood the test of time? Never faltering, never fading. What if one legend brought both time and love together as one? Once Upon a Winter Solstice is dedicated to those who believe in true love.

Stars and Stones
By April Holthaus

Riley Kincaid was a man who thought he had everything, until fate intervened. While traveling to London; only days before Christmas, a fierce storm blew in forcing Riley to land in Scotland instead. With treacherous winds and snow-covered roads, Riley found refuge at a small bed and breakfast as he waited out the storm. But little did he know that his arrival was not by mere chance.

 Three Celtic Authors...

Dawn Marie Hamilton:

April Holthaus:

Victoria Zak:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Available Now: Irish Pride Box Set by Kemberlee Shortland

Kemberlee Shortland

 ISBN: 9781310562150

ASIN: B01520GFE2

 Length: Novel

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Price: $7.99 (SALE $2.99 through September)

 Buy Here: Tirgearr Publishing

  This box set includes:

Rhythm of My Heart - Eilis Kennedy, gave up a singing career to become an Artists Representative with Eireann Records. Kieran Vaughan is just the talent she needs to contract who will really launch her career, while at the same time getting her out from under her boss's thumb. Fergus Manley vows to have Eilis in his bed at any cost.

A Piece of My Heart and the short story sequel, Constant Craving - Ten years after their break-up, the addendum in Mick's father's will forces Mick and Kate together to save Mick's heritage. Kate thought she was falling in love with Mick all over again, but a new revelation is too much for her. She is determined to finally say goodbye forever to her childhood sweetheart. Mick has other plans for Kate's future. And none of them involve goodbye.

Shape of My Heart - Gráinne moonlights at The Klub! to earn money for college tuition. John ‘JD’ Desmond is an undercover detective. The Klub!, owned by Jimmy Malloy, is being used as a drug front, headed by the notorious Taylor 'The Hunter' Wade. JD wanted Gráinne to snitch for him, but things get complicated when they fall in love. When Gráinne witnesses Jimmy’s murder, she and JD are forced to run for their lives.

• • •

Kemberlee is a native Northern Californian who grew up in a community founded by artists and writers, including John Steinbeck, George Sterling, and Jack London. She has dual diplomas -- canine and feline nutrition, and hotel and restaurant management. At one time she also ran a private part time obedience business, and also showed English Bull Terriers In 1997, she left the employ of Clint Eastwood to live in Ireland for six months. It was there she met the man she would marry, and relocated to live in Ireland permanently. While always writing, Kemberlee earned her keep as a travel consultant and writing travel articles about Ireland. In 2005, she saw her first romance sell, and to date, she has eight published romances. Kemberlee enjoys her two Border Collies, who feature on the cover of A Piece of My Heart, and also knitting, gardening, photography, music, travel, and tacos! 

Find Kemberlee Online:

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Tirgearr Publishing -

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Sneak Peek at Reluctant Betrayer!

Hi Miriam and all Celtic Rose blog fans. I'm thrilled to report that Reluctant Betrayer, Book V of the Claddagh Series, is now available! I hope this story of love, betrayal and treachery will touch your heart and soothe your soul.


Sweet deception and hidden passion…

Trasnavan…a west-of-Ireland village bursting with charm, intrigue and treachery.
Aidan Collins grew up in the shadow of his heroic older brother. The steady one, the responsible one, he burns with anger against the landlord and vows to change the desperate straits of the village folk.

Raised in a family of rebels, Maura Riordan is horrified when she learns the man she loves has committed the ultimate act of treason.

But Aidan has his own reasons for taking the position of landlord’s agent. Will those reasons destroy him? Will Maura’s deception tear them apart?

Can their love survive the lies they’ve both told?


Pity stirred Maura’s heart. “She was my bosom friend, Neil, even before she was yer intended.” She touched a tentative finger to his iron-hard jaw. “I loved her too.”
“Then how can ye even think o’ a man like Aidan Collins? Sure, he’s serving the enemy!”
“Can f-feelings just w-wither and die because you w-will them?” Her voice rang with defiance.
He caught her wrists in his hands, his fingers biting into her flesh. “Ye’ll no’ see him again, Maura.”
“I love him, Neil. And—and I know he loves m-me.”
His eyes widened, his mouth became a snarl. “And how are ye knowing that?”
“Because we’ve an understanding between us!” The words burst from her, and she clapped her hands to her mouth. Oh, why had she told him now, like this?
“Without me knowin’ about it?”
“‘Twas nothing s-sordid, Neil.” She stared appealingly up at him, her heart shrinking in her chest as she saw his unyielding anger. “‘Twas a few walks in the woods when we were going the same way, a stroll by the strand...”
“Ye’ll no’ be seeing him again.” He caught her shoulders, shook her roughly. “He’s one o’ them now. And if he were to learn of...”
“Of what?” Caught by the sudden tension in her brother’s voice, Maura stared at him, horror chilling the blood in her veins. “Neil, wh-what are you k-keeping from me?”
“Nothing. Ne’er ye mind. Just remember, ye’re no’ to see Aidan Collins again.”
“No, ‘tis not nothing.” A terrible conviction swept over her, weakening her knees and scalding her throat. She knew. “Dear God, Neil, no! You’re not—oh, Mary Mother of God, tell me you’re not involved in—in—you’re not m-mixing with a secret s-society, are you?”
“Don’t ask me that, Maura, fer ye know I can’t be tellin’ ye. I’ll no’ be putting ye in danger, love.”
“Dear sweet God!”
He shook her again, until her rich auburn hair tumbled from its pins and bounced around her shoulders. “I’ll no’ be tellin’ ye again, Maura Brigid Eileen Riordan. Ye’re no’ to see Aidan Collins again. D’ye understand me now?”
“And if I d-disobey you?”
Neil stilled, his blue eyes, the exact same shade as her own, boring into her. Angry. Passionate.

“If you see him again, Maura, then I’ll have to kill him.”

Amazon         Barnes & Noble         Smashwords

I'm having a contest on my website! You can win an autographed print copy of In Sunshine or in Shadow, Book 1 of the Claddagh Series, or an autographed flat of the gorgeous cover Highland Press created for Reluctant Betrayer!


I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

Website     Facebook     Twitter    Google+     Amazon Author Page

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Pot of Glimmer

Adventure and Romance in Ireland for Young Adults of All Ages! Book Three in the Glimmer Series is out. No worries if you haven’t read the first two. Each book can stand alone.

The cast members include Janet, an American teen whose grandfather serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland; Liam, an Irish teen whose father is the King of Ireland; and, members of Ireland’s unpredictable fairy clans. It’s the leprechauns who shake things up in A Pot of Glimmer, a rollicking ride spanning centuries.

Here’s the Blurb (an Excerpt follows):
A leprechaun’s feud with a Viking ghoul puts Liam and Janet in deadly danger…

Ireland - January 1014 Fledgling leprechaun Awley O’Hay leads a raid on a Dublin mint. The mission:steal a shipment of coins to aid the High King, Brian Boru, in his war against the Vikings. Awley and his team plan the heist with commando precision, but they hit a glitch and only escape a bloodthirsty mob with the help of Hazel, the uncommon sister of one of the leprechauns. Yet the money master’s vengeful ghost troubles Awley for centuries. So do Awley’s forbidden feelings for Hazel.

Ireland - July 2015
Janet Gleason has had her fill of fairies. They’ve not only plagued the American teen since she arrived in Dublin, they’ve also hindered her romance with her gallant friend, Prince Liam Boru. When Janet’s grandfather, the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, throws a Fourth of July celebration, Liam reluctantly attends with the rest of the royal family.

Also attending are several uninvited guests. A fairy witch named Becula arrives with Hazel, her clever and quirky protégée, to beg a favor of Janet. The unplanned appearance of Awley O’Hay and his leprechaun pals triggers a chilling visit from the money master, now an undead monster hungry for human flesh.

Liam and Janet fall into a nightmare that tests their courage in ways they never imagined. Nor did they imagine that real leprechauns are nothing like the “little men” of Irish lore.
* * * * *
Excerpt - Young love has its problems, but Janet and Liam seem to have more than their fair share of trouble. Can they rekindle their former romance? Should they?
* * * * *
The formal reception room beside the foyer seemed a silly place for teens in casual clothes to meet. When Janet first came to Deerfield House, she’d disliked the opulent room and its overwhelming chandelier. She’d thought it pretentious and fussy. Now it was merely another room. Liam and Kevin must feel that way about their royal digs, she thought as she slipped in behind them, her theater eye regarding them as actors on a stunning set.

Only inches apart, Kevin and Matti were laughing. Liam stood away from them, saying nothing, thumbs hooked in the pockets of his tailored jeans. He wore contact lenses instead of his gold-rimmed glasses. His hunter green rugby shirt set off his dark red hair and cinnamon eyes and flattered his well-toned physique. He needed a haircut. A sudden desire to touch the rebellious curls at the tops of his ears confused her.

Waving the shears, she made her entrance as if she were following chalk marks on a stage. “Hi, guys.”

Liam turned. His eyes grew wide. He slapped his hands over his heart. “I beg you, lady young and fair, to lay your weapons down!”

His dramatic performance made her chuckle. She laughed out loud at the agonized look on Kevin’s face.

“Eejit,” he said. “I wouldn’t blame her if she skewered you.”

“Aw, come on, Kev,” Matti said. “I like Liam’s poems.”

Liam made a slight bow. “Thank you, fair Matti.”

“Gee,” she said. “I’m starting to wish I had a weapon too.”

“You don’t need one,” Liam said. “Your tresses black, your garnet lips, your cutting azure glance, can murder unsuspecting swains with neither knife nor lance.”

Kevin groaned. “I’m losing the will to live here. What’s the garden stuff for, anyway? I thought we were going to the zoo.”

“We are.” Still grinning at Liam’s theatrics, Janet placed the shears in the basket. “My grandfather asked me to put these away. Why don’t you two go on ahead? We’ll catch up.”

Kevin and Matti happily agreed. Janet opened the front door Out on the lawn, workers were clearing yesterday’s stands and tents. Chatting away, Kevin and Matti ambled down the sun-drenched driveway. A burst of noise from the workmen drowned out their conversation.

Liam took the basket from Janet. “Where’s the shed?” he shouted.

She pointed to the right. They strolled to the back of the house, where stands of thick green shrubs subdued the racket. As they turned up the path to the shed, they both spoke at the same time.

“Sorry,” he said.

“No, I’m sorry. What were you going to say?”

“Only…nothing. Are you coming to my father’s birthday outing tomorrow?”

“I don’t think so. Matti’s here. We have plans.”

“You know she’d be welcome. Kevin will be there.”

Janet reached for the latch on the potting shed door. “I know, but—”

“But one day with the Boru boys is enough for you, eh?” He spoke with the comical flair he’d used to recite his poem. Then he grew more serious. “I’m sorry you’re stuck with me today.”

Her hand hung suspended over the latch. “What are you talking about? I was going to apologize for putting you in an awkward situation.”

“It’s not awkward, Jan.” He kicked at the grass. “Well, maybe a little, but only because you said you didn’t want to see me anymore. It’s Kevin. He asked me to come, y’see. He thought Matti wouldn’t want to be alone with him. Guess he was wrong about that.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Thoughts scrambling, Janet opened the door and placed the basket on the potting bench. The pungent odor of cow manure wrinkled her nose. She wasted no time escaping the shed and shutting the door, and not because of the smell.

She wanted to touch those curls at the tops of Liam’s ears. “Liam, I like you. A lot. I’d like you even if you hadn’t saved me from the fairies. Twice.”

“That’s a memorable reason, I expect.”

“But it’s not the only reason. You’re a great guy, and I’m glad we’re friends. I have no problem with us having a date today, as long as it’s okay with you. I just don’t want a steady boyfriend.”

“So you’ve said, and I agree. I’m glad we’re friends too. Anyway, the best you’d get with me is an unsteady boyfriend.” He caught her hands and drew them to his lips for a pair of proper royal kisses.

Not fair, Liam!

His eyes seemed locked in place, so intensely did he stare at her. She eased her hands from his, not to escape his handclasp, but to touch those curls at the tops of his ears. She had to stand on her toes to reach them. When she did, he hooked his arms around her and hugged her tight.

The woodsy scent of him entranced her. Was that pounding heartbeat his or hers? No longer caring about steady or unsteady anything, she raised her chin in hopes he’d kiss her.

He did, a neat little peck that chased all thought from her buzzing head, but he broke their embrace and backed away. “I’m sorry, Jan.”

“I’m not.” She ran her hands from his sturdy chest to the back of his neck and drew his head to hers for the lingering, pulsing sort of kiss they’d often shared. “I mean, I am,” she said when she could speak again. “Oh Li, I don’t know what I mean!”

He opened his mouth to respond. A woman’s piercing cry cut him off.

“Is somebody there? Help me! Oh, please help me!”

Janet exchanged “uh oh” looks with Liam. “Where are you?” she called.

“Herbs! Please help me!”

Liam’s gaze raked the sunlit lawn. “Where are the herbs, Jan?”

“This way.” She pivoted left.
* * * * *
Boston, Massachusetts native Pat McDermott writes romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland that might have been. Glancing Through the Glimmer, Autumn Glimmer, and A Pot of Glimmer are young adult paranormal adventures featuring Ireland's mischievous fairies. The Glimmer Books are "prequels" to her popular Band of Roses Trilogy: A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses. The Rosewood Whistle is her first contemporary romance.

Pat’s favorite non-writing activities include cooking, hiking, reading, and traveling, especially to Ireland. She lives and writes in New Hampshire, USA. Excerpts from her books are available on her website:
* * * * *
A Pot of Glimmer / Available in Print and eBook

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cover Reveal!

Reluctant Betrayer, Book V of the Claddagh Series, will be released next month! And here's the first look at the absolutely gorgeous cover Highland Press has designed for it!

Those of you who have read Everlasting (Claddagh Series, Book IV) will most likely recognize Aidan Collins, Liam's younger brother. Weary of the wretched conditions in the small, west-of-Ireland village of Trasnavan, he makes a decision that will change his life. But will it also cost him the woman he loves?

Look for Reluctant Betrayer at your favorite bookstore soon!