An Irish castle walled garden

It’s no secret I love visiting gardens. On our recent trip to Ireland, we once again wandered through the walled garden at beautiful Dromoland Castle, now a stunning hotel near Shannon Airport.

My photographing abilities don’t do the garden justice but hope you get the idea! 

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Ireland’s Black Valley

Ireland’s Black Valley is one of our favorite spots to hike on our many visits to this beautiful part of the world. When I came up with the idea for my next Sharpe and Donovan installment, I knew part of it would be set in the Black Valley. Tentatively titled Return to Declan’s Cross, it doesn’t have a pub date yet but I’m working on it. I’ll be offering a “sneak peek” in the coming weeks.

Here’s a photo I took on our first hike in the Black Valley. The cottage ruin is a well-known site on the Kerry Way, a marked hiking trail we crossed on our own route. … Read More

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The Elusive Finian Bracken

Creating and now working with the characters in my Sharpe & Donovan suspense series has been fun, difficult, exciting, exasperating, creatively fulfilling and…interesting.

Yes, interesting!

Take Finian Bracken, an Irish priest and whiskey man who appears in every Sharpe & Donovan tale. Writing about him has meant I’ve learned more about whiskey, sheep in Ireland, Maine bean-hole suppers, early Irish saints and so much more.

Finian came together and started to feel real for me during a writing getaway to Ireland. One afternoon, I took long walk to a historic cemetery on the sout… Read More

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Recipe: Strawberry/Berry Meringue Roulade!

It’s not yet our local strawberry season but good strawberries are available in the grocery store, and I’ve decided to prepare strawberry meringue roulade for Easter. With two young grandchildren with celiac, I’m always on the lookout for naturally gluten-free recipes. This is a favorite. See below and print out the recipe here.

We first had meringue roulade in Ardmore on the south Irish coast, a key setting for my Sharpe and Donovan series. Here I am in my orange Irish raincoat a few years ago on Ardmore’s famous, and beautiful, cliff walk.

 

Strawberry MerRead More

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Happy 2022!

Just a quick post to wish you a happy new year!

Our 2022 is off to a nice start with family time and now quiet to write and enjoy the Vermont winter. More snow on the way later this week. We get to try out our new snowshoes.

I thought of this new year when I happened on the photo above that we took in Ireland in November, 2019. It reminds me to keep an eye on the beauty that’s right in front of me as well as afar. And it’s just pretty.

On to new adventures — enjoy!… Read More

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Back home in Vermont from Ireland

We’re home after almost a month in Ireland. We’re back to weeds in the gardens, fuzzy stuff in the fridge and gorgeous New England fall weather and foliage. We stacked a cord of wood delivered on Saturday and have a visit in the works with my mother. And I had a great chat with my fabulous agent on Monday.

Hard to believe last week we were hiking the Irish hills!

 

Tomorrow (September 30) is the final day to enter my Sharpe & Donovan 10th Anniversary Giveaway. In addition to signed copies of the entire Sharpe & Donovan series, one lucky winner will receive Irish beeswax cand… Read More

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A gift from Ireland

Hello from Ireland! Joe and I just arrived at a small cottage on the southwest coast, within walking distance of some great restaurants and shops. It’s a great place to write! Of course we’re doing lots of walks and hikes, too.

Yesterday I found a great little gift to add to our giveaway celebrating the tenth anniversary of the launch of my Sharpe and Donovan series. A pair of Hanna’s Bees small Irish-made pillar candles: “These beautiful hand-rolled beeswax candles burn with a gentle flame and release a sweet and comforting scent of honey and beeswax.”

Here’s a photo I took at our cottage:

Have y… Read More

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Running, Writing and June Book Deals

May was a whirlwind and now it’s mid-June. Almost summer! It’s a great time to be on our hilltop in Vermont. I just chased a woodchuck out of the rose garden and watched a hummingbird flutter among the flowers. I was on a quick break from writing.

Yes, I’m writing!

I know it’s been longer than usual between book releases, and I appreciate the notes from readers wanting more books. It’s happening! I’ve been in “deep work” mode, as well as spending quality time with my ailing mother and my young grandchildren.

And training for my two half-marath… Read More

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Daffodils…need I say more? :-)

Our daffodils are poking up out of the mud, a sign of spring on our Vermont hill. I’ll post photos once they’re in bloom. In the meantime, I gathered these photos of daffodils in the Cotswolds (top, near where I placed Oliver York’s fictional country home!), the Netherlands (middle) and Ireland (bottom). They make me smile and I hope they will you, todao, as we go forward into the rebirth of spring. Take care!

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An Irish castle walled garden in spring

It might be mud season on our Vermont hilltop but elsewhere spring flowers are in bloom. Like so many of us, I’m an armchair traveler at the moment, but a few years ago we arrived in Ireland early on an April morning and wandered in a walled castle garden filled with spring flowers. It was snowing in Vermont when we took these photos. It snowed here last week, too. Hm. Enjoy!

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