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Seven Letters By Sinead Moriarty

Seven Letters‘Seven Letters’ is the latest book by Sinead Moriarty.

Every year she writes a birthday letter of love to her adored daughter, Izzy, now seven. And after she falls pregnant, she promises Izzy that the arrival of a baby brother will make their family complete. So when she collapses a few months later, the safe happy life Izzy knows is shattered. With Sarah’s future, and the future of her pregnancy, in their hands, her husband and sister disagree fiercely about her treatment. The once close family starts to fall apart. The clock is ticking, and the doctors need a decision. Can those who love Sarah get beyond the fog of grief and anger to figure out what’s for the best? Can they ever forgive each other for the decisions they make? Will Izzy lose everything she knows and loves?

I’ve come to recognise that Sinead Moriarty is the Irish equivalent of Jodi Picoult, she writes sensitively and poignant about controversial stories that only not pulls the characters hearts apart but also the readers.

In her latest book, we meet sisters and best friends Mia and Sarah, where Mia is bossy and controlling, Sarah is calm and soothing and when Sarah is pregnant, she embraces the joy of giving her daughter Izzy a little brother or sister. But, one day Sarah collapses and never recovers, Mia and her family’s world falls apart as they are delivered the tragic news that Sarah will never recover and the baby will die. The family is torn apart when Mia and her family want to give Sarah the peaceful and respectful burial that she deserves, whereas Adam, Sarah’s husband is determined that her body is kept alive so the baby will survive.

The story is a battle of morals and feelings that really pulls the reader in and it’s a heart-breaking one that should come with a warning. As the family falls apart and an adorable seven year old is caught in the middle and this character is one of the sweetest characters I’ve read in a while, as well as Mia’s outspoken teenage daughter Riley, who’s trying to recover from a broken heart. Whilst Mia, visits her sister every day and sees her sister worsen, she comes across her diary and reminiscences on happier times.

Sinead has written this tale with sensitivity and class about this painful subject that really divides people’s opinions onto what is the right and wrong in this situation. For every sad moment in the story, Sinead has injected an element of humour into the tale to help the reader recover from the trauma. A thought provoking and compelling story that really touches the readers hearts, ‘Seven Letters’ is a tender exploration of difficult subjects that left me an emotional wreck!

You can buy ‘Seven Letters’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Niamh Greene Releases New Book – A Year And A Day

A Year And A DayLovely Irish author, Niamh Greene has revealed her new book for 2016 called ‘A Year And A Day’ which is currently available to buy on the Kindle Store.

The story of ‘A Year And A Day’ is –

In 1958, a ring was buried on a remote Irish beach. Sixty years later, it’s discovered again – but will the true secrets of its past ever be revealed?

In the tiny village of Kellmore on the West Coast of Ireland, Garda Patrick Cullen is struggling to cope following the death of his beloved wife in a hit and run. When his young daughter, Zoe, finds a ring on the local beach, she believes it’s a sign from her mother in heaven. Disappointed to learn that, by law, the rightful owner has a year and a day to claim it back, she begins to secretly plot how to keep it. Meanwhile, Patrick is haunted by a terrible secret of his own – his wife’s needless death was his fault. When two mysterious Americans arrive in the village, neither Patrick nor Zoe has any idea how their lives will change.

In San Francisco, Jo White wants only one thing – to be a mother. But repeated IVF attempts have failed and her marriage has begun to crumble under the strain. When a charismatic new resident in the retirement home where she works asks Jo to accompany her on a trip to the West of Ireland, she grabs the opportunity to escape her troubles. But will travelling halfway round the world help to heal her pain or shatter her dreams forever? And just what is the link between an old American lady and a remote village on the Irish coast?

Sounds like another lovely story from Niamh.

You can buy A Year And A Day from Amazon.

Vanessa Ronan Writer’s Tips

Vanessa RonanAuthor of ‘The Last Days Of Summer’, Vanessa Ronan shares her writing tips with us. Write as often as you can. Stay true to your inner voice. Don’t be afraid to write your own way.

Vanessa Ronan

Vanessa RonanVanessa Ronan was born in Houston and in her 28 years has lived in Texas, Mexico, New York, Edinburgh, and Dublin, where she now lives with her Irish husband. Among other things, she has been a dancer, a PA, a barmaid, a literature student, a dance teacher, and now, a writer. Home-schooled by her literature teacher parents, Vanessa began writing as soon as she learned the alphabet. ‘The Last Days of Summer’ is her first novel.

  1. To the readers of the blog, that may not be familiar with you or your writing, can tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into writing?
    Well, I just turned 29. I was born in Houston TX, but we moved around a bit, even living a few years in a colonial village in the mountains of central Mexico. I was home schooled till I left for university at 16 moving to NYC. My 1st degree was in dance and choreography (though I later received my Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh as well). After that first graduation in NYC, I subsequently got the travel bug, and, after a year working at the bottom of a totem pole of personal assistants to a multimillionaire, I left to backpack through Europe for six months. Eight years later, here I still am! And, long story short, that’s how I fell onto that path that lead to meeting my husband and Ireland becoming my home.

    Funny as it sounds, I started writing before I knew the alphabet. When I was three I had a black notebook I filled with squiggly lines. I brought the notebook to my mother and very proudly told her, “Mommy, I just wrote a book.” My mother swears that every time I read my “novel” to her I read the same story, word for word, as though I knew what each squiggly line meant. Nearly everyone in my family writes. It felt natural to start writing, too.

  2. Can you tell us about your debut novel, ‘The Last Days Of Summer’.
    ‘The Last Days Of Summer’ begins as the convict, Jasper Curtis, is released from the Huntsville State Penitentiary to move in with his sister and her two young daughters far out on the Texas prairie. It is a story about a dark soul coming home and how this affects the family and the community. Told from four different points of view, it explores the aftermath of crime more than the crime itself, while simultaneously examining themes of forgiveness, redemption, and revenge.
  3. If you were to start your own book club, what authors would you ask to join?
    Let’s see… Living: Cormac McCarthy, Stephen King, Liz Nugent, Isabel Allende, Markus Zusak, Dennis Lehane, Larry McMurty, Leslie Marmon Silko, Vince Gilligan.

    If I can resurrect a few dead members, I’d love Tony Hillerman and the poets, C. K. Williams and Franz Wright to join us, too.
    The Last Days of Summer

  4. From books and films, who has been your favourite bad guy?
    That’s a tough one… When I was in my teens I was quite taken with Iago from ‘Othello’. But I think I’ve outgrown him a bit. And who hasn’t been charmed by the pure evil intelligence of Hannibal Lecter at one time or another? Lately though I seem more drawn to grittier baddies. I quite admire Anton Chigurh, from McCarthy’s ‘No Country For Old Men’. The character Pooh Bear from the film the ‘Salton Sea’ is another one that gets my skin crawling.
  5. Why did you decide that you wanted to write crime thrillers?
    I wanted to write ever since my first early memories of loving the stories my mother read me. Writing a crime thriller just happened somewhat organically, I suppose. Personally, I like dark tales. That creepy, gritty element that makes your skin crawl is what gets me ticking. I like unpredictability. A few surprise twists. I was raised on the original Hans Christian Anderson and ‘Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales’. ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ and most of PD James’s Inspector Dalgliesh mysteries were all bedtime stories before I was nine.

    My dark side comes out in my writing, and I suppose that’s what ultimately lead me to crime. In everyday life I’m a pretty happy person. I smile a lot. I believe in good karma. I try to surround myself with positive energies, good influences, good friends. BUT, if I wrote novels about good people who try to be nice to everybody and do good things all the time I would bore my readers to tears. I’d bore myself to tears! Darkness can have a certain mystery to it. A certain dark beauty. That’s the type of darkness I hope I write. That’s my goal.

  6. What is your favourite book of all time?
    ‘The Fionavar Tapestry’, a fantasy trilogy by Guy Gavril Kay. Book one is call ‘The Summer Tree. I’ve never been much of a fantasy writer myself but I first read this trilogy as a child, and, no matter how many times I re-read it, opening the pages still feels like coming home.
  7. If you could rewrite any book, which one would it be?
    I really truly wouldn’t want to rewrite any book. I’m jealous of the concept behind ROOM by Emma Donoghue. What a brilliant POV to have written such a dark story from! Seeing that world through the child’s eyes is genius—a truly original concept through and through. But I still wouldn’t’ want to rewrite it. It’s like Cinderella—every country has a version of it, and now there have been so many remakes and spinoffs and retellings and films. Some of the retellings yes, are wonderful, but I’d rather wait and hope my own lightbulb moment comes.
  8. What do you think makes a good crime book?
    I think what makes a book good transcends all genres: strong, believable characters; descriptive, evocative settings; enough of a “secret” to keep the pages turning. A certain level of unpredictability. A certain level of relatability. In crime that extra element of danger needs to be there, too—just enough to keep the hairs on your arm raised as you read.
  9. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    ‘The One And Future King’ by T H White, ‘Padero Paramo’by Juan Rulfo, ‘All The Pretty Horses’ by Cormac McCarthy.
  10. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Write as often as you can. Stay true to your inner voice. Don’t be afraid to write your own way.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    My cat, Bo. He tends to always curl up beside me, channelling the muses while I write. Hence his newest nickname—Edgar Allen Bo!
  12. And finally Vanessa, do you have any projects or releases on the horizon which you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    I am writing my second novel. Another darkish tale set into the fringes of society.

Follow Vanessa Ronan on Twitter Vanessa Ronan for updates or check out her website at Vanessa Ronan

You can pre-orderThe Last Days of Summer from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th May 2016.

Sinead Moriarty Releases New Book – The Way We Were

The Way We WereOne of my favourite Irish authors, Sinead Moriarty is back with a new book called ‘The Way We Were’.

The story of ‘The Way We Were’ is –

‘He needed something else. He wanted more.’

Alice and Ben are a couple like any other bound together by love, work, children, familiarity and a shared sense of purpose. But when Ben decides to pursue a dream of his own, he brings devastation on his family and, as far as they know, their lives will never be the same again. Alice and Ben are now on different paths: she needs to put their shared life behind her; he needs to remember it to survive.

So, what happens if they get a second chance?

Can they – should they – go back to the way they were?

I’m really looking forward to this book and if the cover is anything to go by, then it looks like a cracker of a story!

You can pre-order The Way We Were from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 30th July 2015.