Friday, August 31, 2012


Just wanted to share this book cover with my friends on The Celtic Rose. Peace on New Earth will be my first self published book and will be released at the end of November, in time for Christmas. Unlike my other books you're probably accustomed to seeing by now (ahem), this one is futuristic. Set against the background of the Earth holiday representing peace and good will, my question was whether love between members of two diametrically opposed cultures on a distant planet could reconcile the differences between their people. These are influential characters, of course--a tribal leader and a trained medical technician from Old Earth whose skills could seal the fate of his followers.

This book will no doubt make an appearance on my other blog, The Blue Rose, when it's released. It is a ninety-nine cent novella just right for a quick but thought-provoking read. I hope everyone enjoys our pending Labor Day holiday and the autumn to come.

Friday, August 17, 2012



The title I chose for my universe was not really a poetic choice, but one based on actual historic events. In ca. 432, a youngish priest was named Bishop and sent to heathen Hibernia by the Pontiff in Rome. Probably in his 40s, the man named Patricius soon became known as Patrick--in Irish Gaelic, Pádraig--and history literally began in a beautiful, isolated place named Ireland.
My imagination conjured up an 18-year-old woman named Caylith Vilton, who had run from the destruction of her villa in Britannia after it was torched by freebooter Picts. She had the foresight to find an Irish shipbuilder named Michael who was able to build a fleet of small, skin-clad boats called currachs. In those flimsy little boats, 300 immigrants arrived in what is today the harbor of Belfast and made their way to Armagh where Bishop Patrick had set up a growing monastery.
The three books that comprise THE DAWN OF IRELAND tell the story of Caylith and her eventual lover Liam, the sensuous clansman, son of the High King Leary MacNeill. Other characters enliven the series--conniving druds, cattle barons, a high king, and a brooding, mysterious man who follows her throughout all the novels.
What could an author possibly find in those rough-and-tumble days of cattle rustlers, wildass clansmen and Saxon mercenaries? How can a passionate young couple find love and fulfillment in the badlands of Old World Ireland?

Liam O'Neill meets beautiful, willful, naive Caylith--and a storm begins! In Storm Maker, the young couple fights their natural passionate nature trying to stay reasonably “pure” in the wake of a promise to Father Patrick, to stay chaste for the marriage bed. But as they try to start a life together, waiting for Patrick to join them in marriage, an implacable enemy plots their undoing.
G-rated excerpt:
Liam was so close to me now that, even in the dark, I saw the moonlight reflected back in his laughing eyes, and I saw the insolent smile playing around his mouth. He leaned into me, and I suddenly remembered all over again the sweet honey of his tongue and moving lips. I knew even before he started that I would answer his insistence, for we had been apart too long. 
I knew not when Michael left, but I was past caring. I knew only that Liam’s mouth had been created to join with my own, to probe and discover until we were breathless with the intensity of it. 
A chuisle,” he murmured at last. A-koosh-la. It was as though a song had just been written for my ears alone.
And then I left him as I had the night he sang me his love song, running into the night, not looking back.
The ship was rolling and pitching. I could see the galley of rowers in the moonlight, straining against the wind and the relentless waves. I was trying to find a small harbor, a niche where I could curl up and sleep, but suddenly I lost my balance and fell—hard—on the slick deck.
Then Liam’s arms were around me, lifting me up and to the safety of the curving planks of the ship’s side. He set me gently against the smooth timbers and knelt next to me, his eyes asking a thousand questions. 
Even if we could speak each other’s language, what would I tell him? That I had missed him, but in a place so deep I did not discover it until a few minutes ago? That the very sight of him excited me so intensely that I could not control my fierce desire? That I ached for him, but for another man at the same time?


The Wakening Fire finds Liam and Caylith just beginning to discover the secrets of passion they have not yet revealed to each other. As those fires burn, other blazes threaten not just their lives but the future of Ireland itself. An old enemy resurfaces, and his own secrets will mean a major upheaval in the lives of all the characters. And Bishop Patrick has decided to light giant ritual fires in direct defiance of the high king himself, as he attempts to win men's hearts to the promise of the gospels.
G-rated excerpt:
He lay there looking up at the thatched ceiling for a while, silent and thoughtful. “I…told ye once, Cat. I never hold ye back. I love your freedom. But…not know such a small butterfly…hurt me so much.” 
The candlelight reflected back the tears that stood in his eyes. “Oh, oh, my darling husband. A chuisle mo chroí, a Liam, I am so sorry.” I rested my head on his chest. My shoulders began to heave with the sobs I tried to keep lodged in my stomach.
He reached out and embraced me, blanket and all, and drew me back down onto our bed. “Hush, hush,” he said, caressing my hair. “Ye did nothing wrong, Cat. Ye be guilty of loving too much. Even your enemies. Ah, Cat, I understand ye.”
I kissed his dear face, licking the saltiness from around his eyes and in his short, soft beard. I could feel his readiness even through the blanket. “Liam, make love to me. But slow. Silent. Even, oh, even in the dark tonight. All right?”
Tá go maith,” he said, and I barely heard him. He rose up a bit and seized the candle on the table and blew it out. I felt his body in the sudden darkness, a heat I felt more intensely now, with no flame to light his presence. 
It was almost as though we were back on the road somewhere leaving the Lough Neagh, in the shadow of a shadow of a moonless night, under a nameless tree. He was lying on his side, facing me. Then his tongue was in my ear, soft and slow, a timid animal, and he drew my fingers into his mouth and suckled them in the same way, unhurried and gentle.


Finally, in Captive Heart, Caylith must face the history of her mother's past captivity by slave dealers, all the while being shackled by the unseemly love of her husband's own kinsman. Caylith and Liam are joined by friends trying to save a group of captive women, traveling to the desolate, lightning-racked north shores of what is now Donegal and to the rugged, remote Tory Island. Finally she confronts first the man who had enslaved the women, and then the man who has tried to bind her to his fevered heart.
G-rated excerpt:
Brigid and I rode home at a slow canter. I thought about today’s practice, how I had won not a match the whole day. The best I could do, as with Magpie, was to settle for a draw. I thought she knew that I was deliberately slowing the pace, and she rode quietly beside me, waiting for me to speak.
“Bree, I have made a huge mistake.” She was silent, but she looked at me with her wide, clear eyes, inviting me to continue. “A man’s heart reached out to me, but I was not free. Instead of slaying the monster, I allowed it in. This happened not once but twice. Two different men. Same mistake.”
“How did you let it in, Cay?”
“I found a beautiful woman for each of those men, thinking that would set me free. And set them free, too.”
“Yes, I see how that was a mistake, a chara. Those beautiful women were but a reflection of you. You still gave yourself to them.”
I thought about her words, and tears began to flow down my face. “I see it now,” I said, barely above a whisper. “Now they are bound not to one heart but two. And I am bound to three.”
She stopped her little white mare, who began to browse the roadside.... “Ah, Cay. The human heart is too complex to rein in, to teach tricks, to bind and set free at will.”
“What can I do, Bree? How can I undo all this hurt?
“As I said, it is not a matter of untying a knot, of letting the butterfly flutter free from your hand. It is something to be done slowly and carefully, so the hearts do not break. How you do that is what will define you as a real person. As an adult woman and as a wife.”
Adult. Wife. At last, after nineteen years of the imaginary fairy-princess life, I was being forced to see the vicious thorns under the soft-petalled rose. I thought I was teaching that lesson to others back when I was a willful sixteen-year-old playing warrior games. Now, somehow, I had to go back and undo the hurt I had caused. And if I did not do it right away, I stood to lose the one man in the world I loved beyond all others, the one whom I must never lose.

Lightning over the Fanad Peninsula, northern Ireland,
as experienced by the characters in CAPTIVE HEART

OQ Erin O’Quinn’s Gaelic blog:
Erin O’Quinn’s Manlove blog:
Storm Maker:
The Wakening Fire :
Captive Heart:
Fire & Silk:
Warrior, Ride Hard:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


To the right at the top of this blog you will see the Liebster Award. Presented to me by Sunni of the Surviving Life blog, it's an award to acknowledge up-and-coming quality blogs with less than 200 followers and is much appreciated! After a brief struggle with my muse, Persephone, I was finally able to post this image to the blog and will "wear" it proudly.

Along with this award comes the request to respond to some questions and therein lies the answer to the mystery of why Persephone was miffed. She does not like me to write about myself, only about the characters she gives me! Well, sorry, Seph. Just this once I'm hiding your light under a bushel and letting a little glimmer of mine peek out. You can play tomorrow, OK? It's raining. Go back to bed.

1. What is your greatest achievement so far and why?

This is a bit of a sad one, yet it's important. Several years ago my husband was diagnosed with a form of leukemia we were told was treatable, but not curable. He was told to put his affairs in order. This had hit a seemingly healthy man in the prime of life and to say we were both stunned is the understatement of all time. Nevertheless, we did put affairs in order and in the course of dealing with this catastrophe, Dave and I made a pact. He would give it literally the fight of his life. And when he lost that fight, I would be there with him--at home, in our own bed, with friends. There would be no hospital death, surrounded by kind strangers. No, if we couldn't beat death--and we couldn't--we would make it come on our terms. And we did. So in a sense you could say the greatest achievement of my life came through death. I was my husband's home-care nurse for four and a half years and when the final battle was lost we met it with what I would like to think was consummate grace.

2. How do you spend your free time?

Reading, hiking with my dogs or in travel, usually to Ireland.

3. What is your favorite season and why?

Fall. I love everything about it--the crisp air, the red and gold leaves contrasting with a sky which somehow seems more blue than ever. The crunch of leaves under foot, the smoky smell of them lingering in the air. The last warmth of summer slowly but surely relinquishing itself to winter...looking forward to the mantle of snow covering what will be the flowers of spring. The preparation for rest before beginning anew the endless cycle of life.

4. If you could live anywhere besides where you do now, places today or times back in history, where would it be and why?

There are so many times in history I love to write about, yet I don't think I would actually want to live in them. If now, today, I could live in a little cottage in Ireland where I could write, burn peat, drink vast quantities of tea and walk among the beauty of Connemara or the Dingle Peninsula, I think I might well be the happiest woman on earth.

5. To date, what has been your worst disappointment in life?

Not experiencing a peaceful old age with my husband, looking back on our achievements and memories.

6. How did you get interested in writing?

I think I was simply born that way. As soon as I could print--not even write cursive--I started trying to write "books" on the lined paper my mother kept to make up her shopping lists. She was inordinately pleased. My becoming a writer would have meant more to her than anything else I could ever have done. I hope she knows it finally happened.

7. What advice would you give a new writer?

Persist, persist, never give up. Listen to the inner voice. Nothing you ever hear from the outside will be as important as that one. Do not lose touch with it. It will be your lifeline in difficult times.

8. If you could start all over in life, would you change anything?

I don't think so. I believe this is the life I was meant to live.

9. What is the most exciting thing you’ve ever done?

Picking myself up off the ground, metaphorically speaking, after my husband's death and setting out for Ireland, where I didn't know a soul. But it felt like everyone I met was a friend.

10. Are you scared of anything, or do you conquer all your fears and do it anyway?

I'm always afraid of not having enough money, of losing the house I have worked two and three jobs at a time to keep. It's a realistic fear, but I get up every morning and face it anyway.

11. What are the best five words that would describe you?

Iconoclastic, tenacious, honest, loyal, creative.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


My gracious editor, Jean Watkins at DCL Publications, gave me a very special gift on August 2 when she released my book The Eagle's Woman. Set in 856 A.D., it is Book I of The Eagle, a series about the Vikings in Ireland.

Son of an impoverished, dying Norse chieftain, Ari raids for booty and slaves so he can feed his people. Pagan himself, still he spares priests though he sells them. He’s a heathen, a murderer, and it is a sin for any Christian woman to love him. Yet when he abducts Maeve from her peaceful Irish fishing village, he may have found the one woman who can.


“What?” Ari asked, reaching with his free hand to take her chin in it. His thumb caressed her bottom lip and she thought she was not out of danger with him, no matter how disheveled her appearance. This man wanted her, no doubt of it. Not enough to commit violence on her, apparently, but she thought gentleness held its own dangers. If she was not careful, it could weaken her will. He was not unattractive—with fair skin, strong angular features and striking eyes—though just then he looked like a drowned rat as all of them did. It did not obscure the strength of his body or the keen intelligence in those eyes. She turned her head to the side, dislodging his thumb.

“I have not seen tears from you before,” he said thoughtfully, “though many of the others are crying. What has finally broken you?”

“I am not broken,” she spat, “only mourning two good people who raised me. But I am sure you know nothing of such feelings.”

He sat back on his heels. “Do I not? Two good people raised me as well. One lies crippled in his sickbed and the other waits for me to bring coin to buy things a sick man needs.”

Maeve was silent, surprised and momentarily chastened. She had never seriously supposed he had motives other than greed.

“Do you think raiding is worthy of a fighting man?” he persisted. “I would rather face an army than hungry children.”

She stifled an impulse toward sympathy. “Ours are dead or captive. You seem to have no trouble facing that.”

Abruptly, he set both feet beneath himself and got up, undaunted by the motion of the ship which made such things impossible for Maeve. She had not noticed a wineskin hanging from the rigging, but she saw him reach for it then. “I cannot help your children.” He took a fulsome swig. “Just mine.” Wiping the neck with his wet tunic, he held the wineskin out to her.

It was decent wine, probably from their monastery, tasting of strength and summer. She needed strength to remember that summer would come again, so she drank.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

It's Miriam's birthday!

Please join me in wishing Miriam a wonderful and happy birthday!