Wednesday, July 13, 2022

đź“™ Mystery Book Feature: Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders by Shannon O'Gorman #Mystery #PUYB


Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders 
follows Rose, a celebrity author in her early seventies, who dislikes the limelight but does like Hermes scarfs, round violet sunglasses, and old colonial hotels. One day, she receives a letter asking her to visit Newgrange, Ireland and discover something that has been hidden there for a thousand years. She asks her granddaughter Samantha to accompany her, but she hadn’t expected her to continually post photos of their progress on her Instagram account. An encounter with an old love and an unexpected discovery leads Rose deeper into the past, where she finds she must make a hard decision about her future.

Book Information

Release Date: March 16, 2022

Publisher:  Independent

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1736801079; 200 pages; $10.99; Free on Kindle Unlimited


As Rose drove toward Bill’s apartment and back into her past, she felt more nervous than she would have liked to admit. She hadn’t seen Bill in person for so long that she wasn’t sure how they would both react to each other. She knew what he looked like from his photos on the internet over the years for a new award or publication, and they had kept up a little with each other over texts and emails. As a department head at Trinity, and the author of several books on Celtic history, he had achieved what he’d wanted. He had told her of his desire to stay at Trinity all those years ago.

She thought back to that time, more than fifty years ago. Those memories had never changed and never would.

Bill would always be her slightly arrogant, often funny and fiercely loyal first love. She had been just twenty-two when they met in a writing seminar. He had been one of a few students willing to critique her writing in the class. The seminar had been small; fewer than ten students met once a week around a few old, stained oak tables that had been pushed together.

The air in the room was always heavy with smoke that smelt as if it was two weeks old. Old white styrofoam cups filled with cigarette butts covered the table. The professor, a man with thinning white hair, had often dressed in faded corduroy pants that hung low on his waist. He dozed most of the class, sometimes waking to ask, “Any other comments?” He was totally self-absorbed and forgetful; his attention span was short even when he was awake. Rose used the classes to catch up on other work. Usually, she sat in class writing furiously in a black notebook. Likely the students thought she was taking notes, but she was actually working out a storyline for her first novel.

Behind the professor, balanced on a dirty chalkboard ledge, was a cheap art print of the famous painting, ‘The Sleeping Gypsy.’ For Rose, it had been a strangely compelling image of a woman who lay fast asleep in the desert while a lion nuzzled her under a midnight moon. It had a dream-like quality to it and had made such a strong impression on her, that she even had a copy of it hanging back in her home in Toronto now. Nevertheless, she’d always preferred the tattered old print in the classroom. It seemed more real, more personal, despite its faded appearance.

The class had been given an assignment to imagine a story based on the Sleeping Gypsy painting, and Rose had written a story about a woman who abandoned her family for many years, then returned to find her children were strangers and her husband remarried. The woman had been unable to truly forget her family and had only left because she thought she was dying. It had really been a terrible piece of writing, but she still had a copy of it somewhere. She remembered Bill’s comments, “You need to develop your characters more, especially the husband. If he didn’t want her to go, why didn’t he fight harder?” Rose had felt confused. Must that come from the husband? He was not the protagonist. The woman had been the protagonist. “But, keep at it and you’ll get it. I can help you with your second draft,” Bill encouraged her with a wry grin.

Shannon O’Gorman is originally from Winnipeg, Canada and has been living in San Jose, California for the past 10 years enjoying the sunshine. She completed a BA in English at the University of Manitoba, with a specialization in Creative Writing. After university, the travel bug bit her hard and she spent the next 10 years traveling the world and supporting herself with odd jobs ( lots of fruit picking, waitressing, temp. work and ESL teaching). She spent many years in London, a few years in Israel on a moshav, and several years in Hong Kong. And then she found herself in Japan, where she married, had a daughter and ran an English school with her husband for 10 years. Throughout this time she kept diaries and wrote many short stories, some of which were published in small ex-pat magazines. Eventually, she returned to Canada and taught international students at U of Winnipeg, and newcomers to Canada at a technical college and was a teacher trainer for new ESL teachers. One day her husband said, “Guess what I got a job in California…” and not long after they packed up the car and drove south.  She taught ESL again in the USA, and one day decided to walk the Camino de Santiago a 500 mile walk across France to Spain and wrote a book about it, The Camino de Santiago: One Wanderful Walk, and found her love for writing again. She also completed a book of short stories about her travels, Some Wanderful Times and started a book series featuring the character of Rose Hawthorne. The first book of the series is Seven Wanders: The Ancient Wanders. Last year she retired from teaching, and is enjoying writing every day with her dog at her feet.

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