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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 6:50 PM
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Fiery Roses is on Kindle
Friday, March 12, 2010

News for those of you who enjoy your Kindles: Fiery Roses has finally joined A Band of Roses on Amazon Kindle!

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 6:00 AM
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A Visit to the Beara Peninsula and Killarney
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A problem with our rental car delayed our next outing. We had to drive to Kerry Airport to exchange vehicles, and it took so long we knew we wouldn’t see the entire Beara Peninsula as we'd planned. We’d see what we could, however. I’d visited Beara before, though my husband never had. I wanted to show him the village of Eyeries and the writing retreat whose hospitality I'd enjoyed, and I wanted to see parts of the area I'd never seen. With the rental car business squared away, we headed back to Kenmare and entered the gloriously rugged West Cork region.

Gertrude, our gallant GPS, did a commendable job with her new Irish maps until we reached Beara. The place completely baffled the poor thing. What should have been a simple drive around a modest peninsula quickly deteriorated into "direct routes" through obscure trails and elusive villages that were on the map but probably only appeared every seven years.

Eventually we unwound ourselves from the maze and found Healy Pass, a high winding road that runs from Lauragh in County Kerry to Adrigole in County Cork, cutting through the Caha Mountains. Perhaps it was because my husband was driving and I had no sense of control, but I couldn’t help imagining the car slipping over the edge of the road and plunging down the cliffs.

We stopped at a lofty overlook. Once I was out of the car, I felt safe enough to enjoy the spectacular scenery—but we had to get back down. What would happen if we met a car coming the other way? One of us would have to back up for miles. One of us would surely plunge. My bet would be on the Yanks driving backwards on the "wrong" side of the bicycle path road.

But we reached Adrigole at last having met only two other cars in spots where we could pull over and let them pass. We continued on to Castletownbere and stopped for lunch, assured by the owner we’d never find fresher haddock anywhere. He was right.

After lunch, we drove to Eyeries. Sadly, Sue Booth-Forbes, owner, director, and all around wizard of the Anam Cara Writer’s and Artist’s Retreat, was away on a family matter, but we viewed the house, Coolagh Bay, and the town. Only the occasional mooing of cows disturbed the peace. I wished we could linger and walk on the bogs, but the afternoon was fading fast. Perhaps we'd see the rest of the peninsula another time.

The next day we stayed in town for a walk in Killarney National Park. Fine blue skies and warmer temperatures graced our stroll to Ross Castle. The last time we’d seen the castle, scaffolding covered most of it. The renovations are complete, and though the old fort was closed for the winter, we had a wonderful tour of the grounds and a walk through the park.

That evening, we attended the traditional Irish music festival that had been our excuse to visit Ireland this time. After three great concerts, we returned to our hotel room to pack.

Gertrude got us safely back to Limerick the next afternoon. We strolled into town, and I picked up a few books for writing research. I nearly shrieked when I saw The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance, the new anthology containing a story I wrote, in one of the bookstores!

Our hotel room overlooked the Shannon River, beautiful at night. Our flight to Boston wouldn’t leave until the following afternoon, but I was already wondering how soon I could return.

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 1:48 PM
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A Winter Visit to Kerry
Friday, March 5, 2010

My husband and I have visited Killarney in February several times. I love the smell of burning peat (called turf in Ireland) in the air, and though the trees are bare, the grass is green, and tropical plants blessed by the warming Gulf Stream flourish outdoors. We’d always seen pots of pansies hanging on the poles throughout the town.

Not this year. One pub owner told us the snow on the mountains was only designer snow. Another said Ireland had endured its worst winter in sixty years. But the atypical chill in the air didn’t hinder our touring plans, and I’m happy to report that the rain-to-snow forecasts for each day of our visit were wrong.

We armed Gertrude, our trusty GPS, with Irish maps to help us explore. She did her best to navigate our first daytrip, which took us south through Killarney National Park. Fog and showers obscured the views, but we were still adjusting to the five-hour time change and didn’t mind. Our twisty, narrow-laned drive brought us to the town of Kenmare, a colorful 19th century market town. Its Irish name, Neidin, means “little nest, ” as the town is nestled between the mountains of Kerry and Cork. We spent an enjoyable few hours browsing through shops, and I acquired several new CDs to feed my addiction to traditional Irish music. The weather had improved by the time we caught an Irish highway back to Killarney, seeing more than one rainbow along the way.

Above and Below - Scenery Along the Dingle Peninsula

Gertrude received a more vigorous workout the next day. A pleasant mix of clouds and sunny skies shone over our first visit to the Dingle Peninsula, the northernmost arm of Kerry stretching out into the Atlantic. I’d been researching ring forts for a writing project and didn’t realize I was about to see the prehistoric remains of more than one. The famous Beehive Huts and ancient Dunbeg Fort overlooking Dingle Bay would set anyone’s imagination awhirl. We drove out to the breathtakingly beautiful Slea Head, viewed the Blasket Islands, and drove on to see the Gallarus Oratory. On our way back to Killarney, we stopped in hilly Dingle Town for a stroll and a pub lunch.

Above - Ring Forts and Beehive Huts

Below - The Gallarus Oratory and the View From Its Door

Part two of our winter break will feature the Beara Peninsula and Killarney Town. Stay tuned!

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 10:38 AM
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A Book in the Hand is Worth . . .
Friday, February 12, 2010

I received my author's copies of The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance today. What a thrill to hold this treasure-filled book in my hands at last after seeing the cover pop up all over the internet for the past few months!

My contribution, a story called By the Light of My Heart, is a tale of ancient magic that lingers into the early twentieth century. It's the last entry in this incredible anthology. Each story touches on different aspects of Irish myth, magic, and romance in the most imaginative ways. My kind of book, and I hope yours too!

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 12:47 PM
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The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance is Here!
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today is Release Day for The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance. I'm delighted that the collection includes one of my short stories, By the Light of My Heart. And I can't wait to read all the others!

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 2:20 PM
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Fiery Roses is a Recommended Read
Monday, January 18, 2010

My thanks to fellow Red Rose Publishing author Nancy O'Berry for her generous mention of Fiery Roses as a Recommended Read for January in her January Newsletter. Nancy writes both historical and contemporary romance, and is the author of the Sweetbriar Academy series.

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Posted by Pat McDermott at 6:11 AM
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Previous Posts:

This blog has moved

Fiery Roses is on Kindle

A Visit to the Beara Peninsula and Killarney

A Winter Visit to Kerry

A Book in the Hand is Worth . . .

The Mammoth Book of Irish Romance is Here!

Fiery Roses is a Recommended Read

Interview on "Desire from the Darkside"

Fiery Roses in Living Color

The Roses of Prose - My First 2010 Interview

March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
February 2010
March 2010
April 2010

Favorite Blogs:


Anam Cara Retreat

Kim Smith

Fierce Romance

Lisa M. Campbell

Damsels at the Gate

Chicks of Characterization

The Pen & Muse

The Silent Word

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