Friday, 23 August 2013

Book review & Giveaway - Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor - incl Guest blog from the authors!

Title - Beneath an Irish Sky
Author - Isabella Connor
Publisher - ChocLit publishing

The past is never over.
Jack Stewart thought he'd put the past behind him. On the surface he was everything - success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world.

Raised as an Irish Traveller. Luke Kiernan hasn't had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he's hated since childhood at his bedside, he's hungry for revenge.

Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.

Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?

GUEST BLOG POST BY THE AUTHORS........ Yes authors. Carry on reading :)

Beneath an Irish Sky
by Isabella Connor

I can't remember when I began my love affair with Ireland. Or why. It just happened. I think there was always a little fascination but it suddenly erupted into full-blown obsession which has never gone away, and when I'm there, I feel comfortable. More than comfortable - I feel at home.

I buy as many books about Ireland as I can; I buy DVDs of movies set in Ireland; I have a shelf full of CD's featuring traditional Irish music; I have a stash of recorded programmes on the V+ that I'm loathe to delete. And don't start me on the accent - I swear that if I were on a jury for a trial with an Irish defendant, I'd find him innocent irrespective of the evidence. 

The protagonist in ‘Beneath an Irish Sky’ (initially, the book was called Luke) was always going to be Irish. I'd happily have Irish heroes every time, but maybe that would be going beyond passion into fanaticism!
Beautiful Cobh, Ireland - credit psyberartist

Despite my fascination with Ireland and everything/everyone Irish, I didn't actually get there until 1992, when I visited my penpal, lovely Kathleen Ryan, living at the time in Borrisoleigh, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. We'd never met, but she and her family welcomed myself and my children into their home and ensured my first visit to Ireland was everything I’d hoped for. Kathleen will hopefully forgive me for saying she's not unique. I've found everyone I've met in Ireland to be welcoming, so it's no surprise it has a reputation for being one of the friendliest countries in the world.  

Limerick, Ireland - Credit fitm
It's impossible to choose my favourite part of Ireland, but I do love Limerick. It's a typical city, but I loved it there, and felt a real affinity for it. I always loved watching Terry Wogan, so maybe it's his influence! Mallow, Cobh, Cork, Killarney, all places that were once just names on a map, but now I feel the same kind of familiarity that I do with places in England.

Three years ago, I found myself in Ennis, where Luke was living before having to leave so suddenly. Now this is where I probably lose any credibility, because I walked around this lovely little town, thinking he had probably covered the same ground, and when we went into a pub for lunch, I wondered if Luke's family drank there...
Ennis, O'Connell St - Credit Joseph Mischyshyn

But this is what fiction does, right?  It takes you away from reality, and I'm quite happy with that. And I don't think I'm looking through shamrock-coloured spectacles - I know it's not Utopia. But as nations go, it's the best for me. 

Isabella Connor is the pen-name of Liv Thomas and Val Olteanu. Val lives in Canada, and Liv is in England. They met on a Tolkien fan forum and decided to write a novel together. Despite living some 4,700 miles apart (and with an 8-hour time difference), they succeeded in producing their debut novel, ‘Beneath an Irish Sky,’ which is now available as eBook and paperback. 

My Book Review 

Well ChocLit publishing have done it again. They've given us another great author in the form of Isabella Connor.

Beneath an Irish Sky brings us some amazing characters. Some you'll love and some you'll just despise. 

Without giving away anything with spoilers, this book tells the story of how the lives of Jack Stewart, a wealthy man who wants for "almost" nothing, and Luke Kiernan an Irish Traveller, collided in a way neither of them could have expected. This was a great story that drew you in from the start. It is an amazing story of families and deep connections. 

There are so many wonderful characters in the book, but you never lose track of who is who, due to the way the author immerses you into their lives.

Whilst reading the book it took me through so many different emotions from concern to anger and love to sadness. 

The way the author depicts the locations in the book makes you feel like you have actually been there. Bizarrely enough, after reading the book the author sent me some photos, and Ennis (shown in the photo's above) is just how I pictured it to be when reading the book.

I loved this book and I didn't want it to end. I would love to know what happened to all the characters next. I didn't want it to end and I didn't want to leave them behind. A great read.

I loved this video of Ennis as it was all about families - Some beautiful music too. Enjoy.

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