Hot Cross Buns In January – Not Such A Good Idea

Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated the worst time of year for homesickness that bitch ups and hijacks you! And it was something so small, so insignificant that I didn’t see it coming…
One of my Dad’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun. He positively delights in putting those little beauties in the toaster until they’re lightly browned, then spreading some butter on them and sitting down and enjoying them with a cup of piping hot tea.
One of my son’s favourite things to eat is a hot cross bun… He needs it lightly toasted with plenty of butter on top and he will enjoy it with a glass of chocolate milk. Yesterday he lit up with excitement in the local supermarket when he spotted a packet of hot cross buns. Of course I bought them for him and smiled smugly to myself thinking – “breakfast is going to be easy tomorrow.” I had no idea what was going to be served along with it.

A Simple Hot Cross Bun – Seems There’s More To These Delicacies Than Meets The Eye!

This morning I watched as my boy smiled in delight as I presented him with his perfectly prepared hot cross bun. I listened as he “yummed” his way through it.  I grinned at him finding such happiness in something so simple and then I clutched my tummy as a bolt of homesickness shot through me so intense that it took my breath away.
I turned and fled to the kitchen before my son could see the change in my demeanour and dragged in a deep breath as a longing and yearning for home washed over me like a wave and, in that instant, threatened to drown me.
I held onto the counter top for strength as I wondered where the hell this had all come from.  I waited for it to pass but it didn’t.  Images of home assailed my senses instead.  The soft sand between my toes on Keel Beach, the smell of a turf fire, laughing with old friends and my Dad’s smile.  And that was it – I realised what had set me off – the inextricable link between generations epitomised by a simple smile.
My boy has his grandfather’s smile and this morning I’m sad that he hasn’t seen enough of that smile in his short life.
Don’t get me wrong  – I’m not belly-aching (even though I literally was!) I’m not complaining about my life – I’m incredibly blessed to have these opportunities to live in other countries and I’d be a miserable old bitch if I couldn’t explore this incredible world of ours.  However, there are times when you need home.  I need to go home.  I need my kids to spend time with their grandparents.  I need to see my father’s smile.
Now all I need to do is figure out how to make that happen

My Thanksgiving Day

The washed out wintry light of the early morning sun was just starting to peep over the hedgerows.  The road was still damp from the rain that had fallen soft and slow throughout the night.  I looked over at my husband, his face deep in concentration as he wrangled our recently acquired left-hand drive camper van around the twists and turns of the Irish country roads.  I looked back to check on the dogs and I smiled as I spotted Billie peeping out at me from underneath the table and Zara sitting up on the seat, her head resting on the tiny lip of the window – determined not to miss a thing.

black dog on beach

Miss Billie

Zara in snow

Zara

I looked back out onto the road and I smiled some more, this smile warming me from the outside in.  We were doing it.  We were finally calling time on all the shit luck that had plagued us in recent years.  We had already covered the first few miles on an adventure we had planned for months.

We had no idea where we were going.  We had no idea what we were doing.  We had no clue as to what the future held for us but we were throwing caution to the wind and just going for it anyway. The presenter on the radio announced it was Thanksgiving Day in America and wished everyone a happy thanksgiving day. I smiled again, somehow it seemed appropriate that we were setting off on our journey into the unknown on a day when people celebrate that which they are thankful for. At that point in time I was intensely grateful to be physically putting some distance between me and so much that had happened in the years before.

hymer-history-5

The Good Old Hymer!

A few months previously we had sold up everything  – our beautiful home, our cars and anything else of value we’d had.  We’d paid off the tax man and our debtors, glad to finally be free of crippling debt that had arisen from a business deal that had gone horribly wrong.

However, it wasn’t just our business that we lost in those few years but also the dream of being parents.  Our tiny babies lay dead and cold in a grave on a hillside in the west of Ireland. We were emotionally battered and our souls were weary.  We needed to step off the merry-go-round of life for a while and take some much needed time out.

And that’s exactly what we did.  For the next nine months we trundled along the highways and byways of Europe. We ate all manner of wonderful food and we washed it down with cold beers and fine wines.  We walked for miles on golden sands – I don’t think there is an inch of European coastline we missed.  We hiked through sun dappled  forests and swam in lakes the colour of earth and sky.  We gloried in freshly fallen snow and we skied and fell in love with the granite peaks at the heart of Europe which we’d never visited before and at night we warmed ourselves with the heat of a log fire and the local firewater.

triglav_national_park_-slovenia

The Julian Alps in Slovenia

We got lost, gloriously lost and yet somehow managed to find our way.  We met great characters that enriched our journey beyond measure.  Bit by bit we healed and started to feel the joy of life flowing in our veins again.  We dared to believe in dreams once more and we even dared to dream.

A year later we found ourselves back in Ireland patiently awaiting the birth of the child we were told we’d never have.  From one thanksgiving day to another our lives had changed beyond belief and we had so much to be thankful for.  A few weeks later I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl – a precious gift that I will spend the rest of my days being thankful for.

laoise-in-sunglasses-on-hols-in-greece

My Perfect Little Girl

However, on Thanksgiving Day I always remember that wintry morning in Ireland as myself and my husband bumped our way along to the early morning ferry that was to deliver us to Europe and from there to God only knows where.  I remember and give thanks for the small bud of hope that still remained somewhere deep within me.  Sometimes you’ve got to let go of all you think you know and just go – go with your heart and feed your soul.  You’ll be thankful for it more than you can ever know.

RELEASE DAY!!! RELEASE DAY!!!

It’s finally here!  In just a few hours Someone To Come Back To is live!

STCBT-print-for-web

In honour of the day that’s in it, lets have an excerpt.

“The cabin was illuminated by a number of lamps and the fire was crackling to life in the hearth.  Maggie came around by the side of the fireplace when she stopped dead in her tracks.  Over beside the bed, his back thankfully to her, stood her rescuer, totally naked.  Maggie clamped her hand over her mouth to stifle the gasp that was rapidly making its way up her throat.  She had seen thousands of bodies in her time but never one quite like the one before her now.

Christ, thought Maggie, even this guy’s muscles have muscles.

She knew she should retreat in to the bathroom to give him enough time to get dressed but she stood transfixed.  The breadth of his shoulders and the way his muscles flexed as he reached down to the bed for his shirt held her spellbound.   The perfect form of his back as it tapered flawlessly down to his hips and the tightness of his ass, followed by the incredibly toned muscles in his legs all combined to immobilize Maggie into a state of almost euphoric appreciation.

She had never seen a man quite like this before and she couldn’t help but gape.  However, as she looked closer, she began to notice scars and the more she looked the more she realized the embodiment of male perfection before her was covered in them.  Some seemed a few years old but her medical knowledge told her some were quite recent.  Worryingly, she noticed a few were gunshot wounds.

Oh God, she groaned to herself, who is this guy?

He threw the shirt over his head and she started to back up towards the bathroom when he turned around.

“No need to leave because of me,” he grinned at her.

Maggie blushed the color of her hair.

“I….I….I’m sorry,” she stuttered as she tried to look anywhere except between his legs.

“It’s ok, I’m not the shy type,” he chuckled as he pulled on a pair of boxer shorts and slung a pair of jeans across his hips.  He left the shirt hanging loose and it was then Maggie realized, as she looked into his laughing brown eyes, just how incredibly handsome he was, like Henry Cavill and Eric Bana all rolled into one.  She didn’t think it was possible but she blushed even more.”

You like? Go read some more by clicking the link below and then clicking “buy”!!!

https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B01E25PE86&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_RgBdxb0QEYK5T

 

The Editor’s View – Someone To Come Back To

They say time flies when you’re having fun but let me tell you it completely disappears when you are trying to launch a book!  I can’t believe my last post was on Valentine’s Day – which seems like a lifetime ago.  Since then I’ve had the big Cover Reveal for my upcoming novel Someone To Come Back To and the response was so phenomenal I’ve hardly had a second to spare since.  The irony wasn’t lost on me, however, that my cover was out there on a plethora of blogs across the globe and not on my own!  So, let me correct that right now.  Here it is – the cover (ebook and paperback) for Someone To Come Back To  – releasing April 13th 2016.

STCBT-for-web

STCBT-print-for-web

 

In my next post (which shouldn’t take as long as this one!) I’ll be talking about the amazing people involved in the production of this beautiful cover but today I’m going to introduce you to another person who has been crucial to the development of my story – editor extraordinaire – Miss Sheryl Lee.

Shery Lee

Sheryl very kindly stepped in at the last minute when another editing arrangement I had organised didn’t work out and am I so glad it didn’t because I could not have imagined a better editor for me!

Sheryl is quick and efficient and my goodness does the woman know her stuff.  Misplaced modifiers and dangling participles – watch out when Miss Lee is about!

On top of being a superb editor Sheryl is a very warm and kind-hearted person and deeply respectful of another author’s work but she’s kinda hard-ass when she needs to be (I’m still smarting over one particular scene!)  She makes the gruelling editing process almost bearable and Someone To Come Back To is all the better for having had her sharp editor’s eye thrown over it.

As I was sending out ARCs the other night it occurred to me that I should ask her to write a few lines about the story – considering she was the only other person in the whole world, apart from myself,  who had read it!  And this is what she had to say:

“A couple of days ago Roisin asked me to write a few lines about what I thought of her new book, Someone To Come Back To. An impossible ask, for how can you write a few lines about a book you loved?

As her editor I got to read this book before almost everyone else and that’s one of the perks of the job!

I love this book, I loved it so much that I kept forgetting to do my job with it. In the end I had to read the whole thing and then go back to edit. That’s how compelling this story is.

The main protagonists, John and Maggie, are wonderfully and realistically complex. Essentially good people, they are shaped by their environment and circumstance. They both have a lot to learn about themselves and what is important to them, and they don’t learn the easy way.

This is a love story, between the main characters, between friends, between family. It has love, romance, action, humour, tears, good guys and bad guys. It has a lead man who will have you swooning, a feisty female lead you’ll be cheering on, and supporting characters you will want to know more about, and will once Roisin gets her writing mojo on with the rest of the books in the series.

I had planned to give out a few teasers, but you know what? I’m not. This is a great book, read it and be enthralled. It’s a world you will not want to leave.”

So there you have it, the Editor has spoken!

If Someone To Come Back To sounds like your kind of read then log on to amazon on 13th April and click on it and buy.  It will be at a special promotional price of $2.99 (U.S.) for the first two weeks.

If you are an author in need of a top class editor then click the link below

http://sherylleee.wix.com/editor

 

STCBT-FB-promos-3

Love – Perfect, Even When It Isn’t

So, here we are, Valentine’s Day 2016.  Another year and another day where the magic of love is celebrated across the globe.  To mark the occasion I’m going to share one of my favourite poems about love with you.

It’s Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 and those of you who are familiar with it might be scratching your heads right now and wondering why I chose these particular fourteen lines where Shakespeare basically derides the physical attributes of the object of his affections.

However, for me, that is the point.  There is a truth and a reality in this Sonnet that is not present in so many other works.  Here, Shakespeare lays bare the fact he doesn’t find the lady in question particularly attractive and that others exist who are far more beauteous than her.  She is far from perfect but he loves her all the same, if not more so than he could love any of those other goddesses.

The last two lines are so beautiful – where he admits that it is the sum of all her parts and all her physical imperfections that make her a rare find indeed.

Love, even when it (seemingly) isn’t perfect, it is.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all  – Roisin.

SONNET 130

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips’ red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask’d, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.

 

A Many Splendored Thing

All my life I have enjoyed a rich and eventful life at night.  Come the time I close my eyes, I enter my dreamworld and all sorts of wild and wonderful things happen. Sometimes, they haven’t been so wonderful and I’ve had nightmares I’d rather forget but my dreams are always vivid, colourful and powerful.  Over the years I’ve also experienced what I call “auditory dreams” where someone / a voice is saying a word or words to me throughout the night.  These “hearing dreams” are rare and I only need my two hands to count the number of times they have happened but it just so happens I had one the other night.

The words, “love is a many splendored thing” kept being repeated throughout the night to the extent that when I woke up I immediately googled them and to my surprise came across an Oscar winning song that was featured in the 1955 movie of the same name.

Colour Poster of 1955 Movie

The 1955 Movie – Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

The lyrics are beautiful and I thought I’d share them with you today.

Love is a many splendored thing
It’s the April rose
That only grows in the early spring
Love is nature’s way of giving
A reason to be living
The golden crown that makes a man a king

Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed
And the world stood still
Then your fingers touched
My silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s
A many splendored thing

Once on a high and windy hill
In the morning mist
Two lovers kissed
And the world stood still
Then your fingers touched
My silent heart and taught it how to sing
Yes, true love’s
A many splendored thing

Interestingly, the sentiment of the song has particular relevance to my current work in progress about a man who decides love is not for him and the line, “then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing” perfectly describes what happens to him when fate throws him under the love bus.

Why the title of this song repeated itself to me throughout the night, I have no idea but I’m glad it did. It’s been covered by many artists over the years but one of the best versions I’ve heard is by Old Blue Eyes himself and I’ll let him do justice to it for you today.  Take it away there Frank.

The Smile

I saw this beautiful video on facebook the other day and it reminded me of one of the most amazing days in my life.

It was approximately seven years ago and it was the day my little girl met her baby brother for the first time.  Ah that’s sweet, I hear you say but does it really fall into the amazing category? Well, yes it does when you consider her baby brother had fought for his life since being born at twenty-nine weeks and wasn’t due to be born for another six weeks.  But as amazing as that fact was, it wasn’t the most amazing thing about the day.

I’m not sure how much you know about babies, I didn’t know a whole lot until I finally managed to have one but they don’t properly smile until they are between six and ten weeks old.  Apparently their facial muscles aren’t developed enough to pull off a full-on beam.  They may entertain you with plenty of adorable expressions and attempts at a smile but the main event doesn’t usually come until at least six weeks of age.

So here’s the amazing thing, on setting his eyes on his big sister and hearing her squeal of delight, the baby affectionately known as Scrappy, broke out into one of the biggest smiles you have ever seen. Yup, he pulled off a mega-watt beam of joy that reduced us all (including the battle-hardened NICU nurses) to tears.  The only exception was his sister, who was captivated with him from the second she set her eyes on him and proceeded to smile back.

Little girl holding baby boy in her arms

Sister & Brother Finally Meet

Very often we only recognise defining moments in our lives as we look back and view events with the benefit of hindsight, however, I knew immediately this was a defining moment in my life.  I knew if my son (who wasn’t even supposed to be born yet) could pull off a smile like that for his sister, someone who he innately knew, then he would be okay.  He would make it.

All too often these days we are bombarded with science and it seems someone, somewhere has all the answers but if my son’s incredible smile taught me one thing, it’s that we don’t have all the answers and sometimes things happen that just can’t be explained. At a time when so many seek to break the most incredible events in life, such as falling in love, into their component parts e.g. hormones, pheromones etc I think it’s wonderful that life keeps us on our toes and her mysteries up her sleeve.

So, the next time you smile, think of Scrappy and feel the magic of life.