WOOT WOOT!!! It’s the first Wednesday in April and time for What to Read Wednesday 🙂 Today I have a terrific new friend joining us for a wonderful guest post about being Irish. Then she’ll be sharing the excerpt and blurb from her debut release WATERSHED. The first book in her LOVE WHERE YOU ROAM contemporary romance series.
On being Irish
The very wee island of Ireland has had a mighty impact on the development and population of our world today. Physically, it is about the same size as the state of Michigan, yet Irish culture, music, literature, language and even drink and cuisine (Guinness anyone?) is infused into not only Western society, but all over the world. Infused, like a good cuppa tea.
I have traveled all over, and have yet to step into a country that hasn’t an Irish person on board, in one way or the other. Whether it is a great-grandparent or a cousin three times removed, everyone is keen to show their Irish colors. Over 36 million Americans and over 2 million Australians, including Aboriginal Australians, claim Irish ancestry.
Am I Irish? Nope. Mostly Dutch with a dash of German and a pinch of English. Do I have Irish heritage that I can trace back to the O’Mahoney’s of County Laios, or the Kelly’s of Galway? Not a blood ounce.
So why did I have my heroine in WATERSHED be Irish? I wrote the book when living in Australia, having married an Australian man (with Irish heritage) and we had just moved to Queensland to start our own flock of Aussie ochers. I had met my Aussie husband when we were living in Ireland. I still felt Irish, as I has assimilated and braced that country as if it was my own. Just over seven years, Dublin was my home. I worked and commuted along the Dart. I found friends and lost others, I fell in love so many times with, yes, lovely Irish lads, but also places and ideas. I celebrated birthdays, I went to weddings. I sailed boats and rode horses. I cried over silly things. I got drunk at the pubs and belted out the Fields of Athenry, as if I too, recalled the pain and suffering of years past.
So ask me again. Am I Irish? Hell, yes – in heart and soul. I’ll be there rooting for them come rugby or soccer world cup time. I celebrate their victories, and am saddened by their setbacks. I wear my Irish jerseys proudly and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with an enthusiasm greater than the Dubs themselves. Even today I can put on an Irish lilt that comes back to me with the first phone call from a mate back there. The heroine, Maggie, is a combination of many of my Irish girlfriends, who are still dear to my heart, who I still think about daily.
Being Irish, I believe, is not so much about bloodline, but so much more about heart. It’s about embracing the spirit of an Irishman or woman: courage, integrity, fun, music, and yes, a good pint. And as they say, “a bit of craic”.
I hope you enjoy WATERSHED, a romance of the Irish spirit set against the stunning backdrop of Queensland, Australia. Sláinte!
Love Where You Roam – Contemporary Romance Series
Debut Release – Book 1: Watershed – March 4, 2013
Having traveled and lived all over the world, Cd Brennan now talks with a strange accent, a mix of distant terminology, a blend of culturally cute but confusing euphemisms that leaves everyone looking at her with a blank stare. Luckily, her Australian husband (who she met in Ireland) and her two Aussie/Yankee sons have no problem understanding her – well, except for the word “NO”.
Now settled back “home” in Michigan, she enjoys reliving her glory days by writing about them. She considers the last fifteen years abroad the perfect research for her Love Where You Roam series; matchmaking women and men from different cultures, even different hemispheres, helping them find their true one across oceans of difference.
As destiny plays a hand in all the stories, Cd Brennan truly believes that what is for you, won’t pass you by. She hopes to inspire others to get out there: “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain] And of course, fall in love.
Get in touch with her at http://www.cdbrennan.com
She left home to find herself…and found love along the way.
Maggie isn’t looking for love on her backpacking trip through Australia. She’s got enough man troubles back in Ireland. Australia is her escape, a place of adventure where she can create memories to last a lifetime.
But some memories won’t be left behind.
Gray is ready to quit hiring backpackers to help with the work on his remote Queensland cattle station when Maggie turns up. She’s just passing through, but the connection they forge during the long nights herding cattle won’t be so easily cast aside.
CONTENT WARNING: A strong-willed Irish heroine, a stubborn Australian hero, and oceans of difference to bridge for love.
A Lyrical Press Contemporary Romance
Excerpt – Short (under 250 words)
“In Ireland we have the Banshee.” Maggie broke Gray’s daydreaming with a start. “She is the omen of death and the messenger from the Otherworld.”
She continued in a whisper. “Often she appears an old hag. Folklore says she may also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman.” Maggie raised her brow at him, her eyes twinkling with fun.
Gray threw his head back and laughed, and she joined him. There was no shaking her. He decided he wasn’t going to best Maggie, and for the first time in a long time he was content with that.
He shifted so she had to settle against him. He heard her sigh as he wrapped his arm around her. They sat watching the fire, listening to the sounds of the bush settle for the night. It was peaceful and, Gray had to admit, romantic. He smiled, fulfilled after a long day’s hard work, some good bush tucker and a beautiful woman by his side. He had almost worked up enough courage to kiss her when she shivered, wrapping her arms around herself.
“I’m going to sleep.” Pulling off her trainers, she climbed into her swag. “Goodnight.”
Excerpt – Long (under 600 words)
She couldn’t figure him, and this was the first chance they’d had to be alone since that night. She put on her best teasing smile. “How did a seasoned bushman like you let a bull get the best of ya?”
As soon as it came out of her mouth, she knew it was the wrong thing to say.
His brow furrowed, anger lighting his eyes. “It happens to the best of us.” He ripped another piece of bark from the tree and turned to go.
“Did you have a good time last night?” Maggie hurried on. “I mean, other than the incident with the bull.”
He shrugged. “It was all right. Did you?”
“It was brilliant. I had a fantastic time.”
“Yeah, it looked like you were having a good time with ol’ mate there.”
Maggie raised an eyebrow. “Jason?”
“Yeah, that skeg.”
He had noticed.
“What does that mean? Skeg?”
Gray shook his head. “It’s nothin’, forget it.”
Maggie’s temper flared. “I might not be an Aussie, oi-oi-oi,” she mimicked, “to know that it’s rude.”
Gray shrugged. “Anyway, looked like you guys were getting pretty close. Are you going to stay with him next?”
Now her temper kicked in. She pumped harder on the swing. If he would only step a few feet closer, she’d be able to get him with her legs. That’s what he needed, a kick in the bum.
“Maybe I will.” She raised her chin in defiance. “With Lizzy here, you don’t need my help anymore.”
Gray narrowed his eyes at her. “Who told you that you were any help?”
Her mouth fell open. How rude! He was treating her like he had when she first arrived.
Suddenly, a loud crack sounded, and then snap! The next thing Maggie knew, she was lying on the ground on her back, the rope in her hands.
Gray squatted down over her. “Are you okay?” He appeared genuinely concerned.
She let go of the ropes and let her head fall onto the grass. “I’m grand, just need to catch my breath a moment.” There she was lying on her back again, looking up at him, wondering what the hell had happened. This was twice now. Was it divine intervention? Maggie wasn’t superstitious like most of the Irish, but she was smart enough to know not to push her luck if things looked grim.
He hovered over her, and she could feel the energy building between them like it always did when they were close. He smelled of earthy oats. His eyes were darker in the shade, not the usual golden reflection from the sun. She gazed into them, feeling herself being pulled deeper into everything that was Gray. “Thank you for bringing my journal and phone to me at the hospital.”
His features softened. “No worries.”
She dropped her eyes away to play at the blades of grass, pinching individual stems and running them through her fingers. “You came like you promised.”
He grabbed her hand with both of his, forcing Maggie to return her gaze to him. He gently rubbed the outside of her hand with his thumb. “We ride out early tomorrow. Be saddled up by first light.”
He dropped her hand suddenly and stood to go.
Maggie yanked a bunch of grass from the ground and threw it at his retreating figure, letting her head thump onto the ground. God, was she in love with him.
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