Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Wild Geese Have Arrived!

Hello everyone! Cynthia Owens here. I’m so pleased to be back at the The Celtic Rose to introduce Deceptive Hearts, the first book in my new Wild Geese Series, which has just been released from Highland Press.

The Wild Geese Series revolves around five life-long friends who met on a coffin ship bound for America from famished Ireland. They grew up together on the mean streets of New York City, and when the American Civil War began, they joined up with Thomas Francis Meagher to fight with the Irish Brigade.

But now the war is over, and they’re ready to re-start their lives – and find new love.
Deceptive Hearts is Shane MacDermott’s story. A former boxing champion and a hero at Bull Run, he returns to New York City to take up his old life as a member of the Metropolitan Police Force. When he meets Lydia Daniels, a beautiful, wealthy and mysterious society lady, he begins to suspect she’s running a high-class brothel from her elegant Gramercy Park home.

…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

He survived war, and returned to devastation
A hero of the Irish Brigade, Shane MacDermott returned home to New York to find his family decimated and his world shattered.

She risks her life to save the people she loves
Lydia Daniels will risk anything to protect the women she shelters beneath the roof of her elegant Gramercy Park mansion—even if she has to trust the one man who can destroy her.

Shane and Lydia both harbor secrets that could destroy them – and put their lives in jeopardy. Can their love overcome their carefully guarded deceptive hearts?

And here’s an excerpt from Deceptive Hearts:

The Atlantic Ocean, Black ’47
The ship Sally Malone bucked and groaned and almost upended him. Shane MacDermott halted in his tracks for the fraction of a second it took to steady himself before he scurried down the crowded passageway.
“Easy there, laddie.” The gap-toothed old man reached out a bony hand to steady him. “These rough seas’ll knock ye off yer feet, sure as the devil.”
Intent on his mission, Shane nodded a brief thanks and hurried on, carefully picking his way through the narrow, crowded aisle, one skeletal arm cupped protectively around the dipperful of warm, brackish water.
“All this rolling and tossing does make walking terrible difficult,” another woman, one of the strange community that had sprung up in this miserable, stinking hole, commiserated.
Shane barely noticed, and didn’t speak. He had to bring the water for Da. Had to help Ma dribble the few drops through his parched lips, praying they might just break the terrible fever that held his father in its deathly grip.
His mother looked up at his approach, a smile lighting her haggard face. Shane looked at her closely and shook his head in sadness. She was that thin a gust of wind could blow her off the ship and away back to the Cove of Cork.
“Ah, my Shane, ‘tis a fine lad ye are.” Ma’s blue, blue eyes, the only bit of color in her pale face, glowed with love as she took the dipper from his trembling hands.
He reckoned they’d been on this dreadful ship for five torturous weeks. Shane collapsed on the narrow wooden bunk, too weary to notice the miasma of vomit, urine and unwashed bodies. His younger brother and baby sister stared vacantly at him.
He gazed into their gaunt faces. They’d left Ireland for a better life in America, but a sudden terrible fear swept over him. Would any of them live to see it?
“Shane.” His mother’s voice penetrated his terror. “Shane, yer da’s askin’ for ye.”
Shane jumped up and hurried to the bunk where his father lay, his burly blacksmith’s frame shrunken, perspiration dotting his waxen forehead.
“Shane.” Da reached out blindly. “Shane, me lad.”
“I’m here, Da.” Struggling to keep his voice steady, Shane clasped his father’s hand as tightly as he could. “I’m here.”
“You’re a good lad, Shane,” his father rasped around his swollen tongue. “Always…helped…me…”
Tears threatened to blind Shane, but he blinked them back furiously and swiped a grimy hand across his nose. He was ten years old now. He wouldn’t let Da see him cry!
He opened his mouth to speak, but all that emerged was a squeak. Da didn’t hear, for he was struggling to speak again.
“Look after them, son,” he begged. His voice, once a hearty boom, was no more than a papery whisper as he struggled against the demon fever. But his dark eyes blazed with passion, searing Shane’s soul. “Look after…yer ma. Look after…the family. Help them…when ye get…to…Amerikay. Keep…them…safe.”
“I will, Da,” Shane vowed fiercely around the strangling lump in his throat. “I promise I’ll look out for Ma and the little ones.”
“Love…ye, lad. Ye’re…me heart’s…pride…”
The tears he could hold back no longer coursed down Shane’s face as he watched his father’s eyes close for the last time.
And Shane MacDermott vowed he’d never—never—let anything harm another person he loved.

Buy Deceptive Hearts:


  1. Miriam, thanks so much for allowing me to showcase Deceptive Hearts here today! I'm so excited about this first book of The Wild Geese Series, I want to shout it from the rooftops! :)

  2. I'm excited, too! Looks like a lovely book and I love the title Wild Geese and the image it conjures of beauty and freedom.

    1. Thanks, Miriam. Like the original Wild Geese, Shane and his family and friends fled Ireland in search of a better life, this time in America. They didn't always find it, but the hope was there.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you, Ella! I do love my Irish heroes, whether in Ireland or America

  4. The Wild Geese series title certainly evokes images from Irish history, Cynthia. You're really carving out a niche for yourself in historical romance. Best wishes with Deceptive Hearts and with all your wonderful writing!

    1. Thank you, Pat, I certainly hope so! And of course, you know I love everything Irish! :) Thanks so much for the good wishes!

  5. Your story summary rings with conflict and promise. I believe this whole series will be a winner.

    1. Thank you, Kate, these stories have been an absolute joy to write!

  6. All the very best success with this latest historical romance! You have a sure finger on the pulse of what makes a gripping and passionate tale.

    Congratulations, Erin

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Erin, I certainly hope you're right!

  7. Congrats Cynthia, It was just a snippet but it was powerful reading. Trying to get the torture that was a Coffin Ship on to paper must have been hard but you seem to have done a great job. Little is written on the Death Ships ferrying the Irish to 'The New World' but I think we all know that it was a horrible crossing , its no wonder very few ever returned to the land they so dearly loved. Yet they did find a home away from the terror and hunger in Ireland and from there they thrived , multiplied and also helped make many countries Great. Well done mo Cailin alinn .. ~Sean

    1. Sean, thank you so much for your lovely words. I'm so pleased you think I got the atmosphere of the coffin ships right. I spent hours researching them, reading some first-hand accounts that were truly horrifying. It must have been truly heart-wrenching to leave behind their beloved land, but as you say, those that did survived and, in many cases, thrived. Deceptive Hearts, and indeed the entire Wild Geese Series, is my tribute to those brave men and women.

  8. What a great excerpt, Cynthia! Good luck with book sales.

    1. So glad you liked the excerpt, Julie, and thanks for the good wishes!