As a proud and happy veteran of not one, but two Wild West Irish tours, I felt privileged to experience the history and culture of Ireland with knowledgeable guides in a relaxed atmosphere, where a driver is perfectly happy to stop the mini-bus just because a Wild Westie wants to snap a picture of one of Ireland’s breathtaking views.
As an author, I’m thrilled to share with my fellow Wild Westies that my new novel, The Carousel, has just been released!
My first WWIT tour was the Signature Tour, in 2017. It was an amazing experience. We visited some amazing places around Sligo, places that took my breath away (you’ll have to click the link to find out just where). But the sights and sounds, the magical Irish mist (and a few showers!) was only a small part of what I received from the tour. The best part was being able to soak up what people call the “real Ireland.” I heard sweeping stories of sailors foundering on the Irish coast and a legend of forbidden love. I witnessed the devastation of a village abandoned during the Great Hunger, and the silent tragedy of a children’s famine graveyard.
And I soaked up every bit of it, taking hundreds of photos and filling a notebook with ideas to use in future stories!
Last year, I was lucky enough to return to the home of my heart for the Galway-Clare Adventure. Another amazing experience, and quite different from that of the Signature Tour. Since most of the books in my Claddagh Series are set in or near Galway, this tour was extra-special! And since I’m working on a new Medieval/fantasy series, many of the places I saw, such as Bunratty Castle and Cragganowen, were gold mines of information.
But as on the Signature Tour, it was the people who made it special. The guides, particularly Pius on the Burren and Inis Oirr, really knew their history! And what better place to shipwreck the hero of my Christmas story, The Christmas Shop, than Inis Oirr?
I have always drawn inspiration from all aspects of Ireland: her breathtaking vistas, the magical mist that hangs over the emerald grass, her myths and legends, and especially her music (and you’re pretty much guaranteed at least one live music session on a Wild West Irish tour!). But I would never have been able to delve as deeply into all those elements on my own. Wild West Irish Tours bring together warm, welcoming B&B owners, expert guides with a wide range of knowledge from history to just what that pretty pink flower is, and a pace that’s tailored not to the masses, but to the tastes and interests of the small group of people who, by the end of the tour, have become friends. And I’m pleased I still stay in touch with the people I traveled with!
The Carousel is my 15th historical romance novel, and the seventh story of my Wild Geese Series. Although set mostly in New York City, the heroes of the stories are Irish. Shane, Cathal, Dary, Declan and Kieran met as boys on the Sally Malone, a coffin ship fleeing the hunger and tyranny of 19th Century Ireland. They grew up on New York’s mean streets and eventually fought in the American Civil War with Thomas Francis Meagher’s Irish Brigade. Now the war is over, they’re home again and eager to put the horrors of the war behind them.
The Carousel is Kieran’s story. He was a gifted artist until the war ripped away his ability to see the beauty he once longed to paint. Until he meets Emily, a beautiful young woman who forces him to see.
But rather than tell you about Kieran and Emily, let me introduce you to them!
…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…
The War had left him blind to beauty…
Kieran Donnelly is a gifted artist who has sworn never to paint again. He saw and did too many things during the war to extinguish the ugliness that lies in his heart. But a chance to work with some of the most magnificent paintings brings him close to the world he still loves…and an extraordinary woman who sees his true heart.
Darkness couldn’t extinguish the light in her heart.
Blind from the age of four, Emily Lawrence yearns to experience the outside world. When she hires Kieran Donnelly to catalogue her father’s paintings, he offers her a glimpse at life outside her exquisite home…and a chance for a future.
Can Kieran and Emily emerge from the darkness to find happiness and love?
The Carousel is available in both paperback and e-book. You can buy your copy here:
I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.
My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.
A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.
I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero. I have two adult children.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Owens/e/B003DQ1V2E