Tag Archive | Celtic Contract

Tá sé Seachtain na Gaeilge!

Dia daoibh, peeps!

It is Irish (language) Week, which actually runs from March 1-17th, so I’d thought I’d share a bit about my journey into Ireland’s culture, history and language. And, I’ve made my Kilts series FREE until Saturday. More on that later.

I’ve been taking classes from CKonLine @ CKonLineteaching.com. It’s the company founded by Irish musician Colm Keegan, of Celtic Thunder, and the classes are taught by him.

I started by taking music theory, which was fascinating for me. Although I remembered quite a bit of the information (notes on the staff, beats per measure, etc) I learned a great deal in just the five sessions. So, I signed up for more. It’s a bit of a jolt to have someone whose music you thoroughly enjoy suddenly on camera teaching your class, but Colm is a terrific teacher and I soon got over my jitters.

The next class I took was a ten-week individual class on The Great Famine, or An Gorta Mór. Serious stuff. As a child of an Irish mom, who came to the States when she was just sixteen, I connected with the history and could easily imagine the pain and suffering of the Irish people, whether they chose to denounce their faith, language and culture in order to survive, or whether they stuck to their guns. More than a million people died during the period between 1845-1852, and more than a million left, often tricked into leaving their home by the false promises made to them by the landowners.

And I’ve just finished a five week group class in Irish, or as Gaeilge. That’s pronounced “gwale-guh”. I can now make small talk as Gaeilge, and  I practice my cúpla focail as often as I can. I’m looking forward to the next class already.

For those of you who are interested, CKonLine’s Spring II term just went on sale. He’ll be teaching Irish, Music Theory and a class on the 1916 Easter Uprising.

If you’re looking for great character backstory, a new setting for your novel, or just to learn a bit about the rich culture and history, and the beautiful language of Ireland, CKonLine is the place to start.

To honor Seachtain na Gaeilge, I’ve made my Irish-themed books free on Kindle until Saturday, March 18th.

the celtic contract picThe Celtic Contract–Claire Regan is on a mission, and not even Liam–the handsome “bad boy” of the Irish music group Kilts,  will get in her way.

But when the accidents start happening, Claire finds herself reluctantly accepting Liam’s help. Now if she can just prevent herself from accepting his love.

 

 

 

The Celtic Captive–Molly’s self-imposed seclusion is interrupted when a man literally falls face down at her feet. She tends to his injuries, and once he’s finally regained consciousness, learns he can only speak and understand Irish.

the celtic captive pic

Cáel has no idea where he is. Worse, he has no idea who he is. All he knows is that he’s going to use every advantage he has, including pretending not to understand the beautiful girl at his side. It’s not every day a man wakes to find himself injured and tied to a woman’s bed, after all. **This book contains lots of phrases/words as Gaeilge (Irish). There’s a glossary and pronunciation guide in the back to help you out. 🙂

 

The Celtic CradleThe Celtic Cradle–Life, as Séamus Kierney knows it, is over. The confirmed bachelor is suddenly a dad to petite, ginger firecracker named Róisín. Good thing his American neighbor, Rebecca,  is so easy to manipulate. He’s going to need a lot of help.

Rebecca Foster is no dummy. A psychologist staying in Dublin to run a final experiment before she can earn her doctorate, she uses her leverage to coerce Séamus into helping her with her project. His charm is legendary, though, and so Rebecca uses all of her weapons in her arsenal–positive self-talk, purposeful insults, and the knowledge that she has to leave in a few months to take the position her parents always wanted her to have.

But the man and his adorable baby are working their way into her heart. When Séamus’ custody of Róisín is suddenly in jeopardy, and the timeline for Rebecca’s departure is moved up, what will she do?

 

I am also pleased to announce my debut psychological thriller is now available.

Serve Me is the story of a woman who learns she is not who she thought she was. Her name, her culture, her husband…all lies. For what reason? Jada doesn’t know, but she’s not about to let the man who calls himself Jake get to her. No matter what shocking techniques he uses to make her obey. And even though he’s the same man who’s been haunting her dreams, a stranger whose every move, every gesture feels immediately familiar. Kindle Ready Front Cover JPEG_5979764

Jake Turner is an undercover agent working for the agency called One. His mission is to get Jada ready, by any means available, for the big test coming up. If she fails, she dies.

 

All of my books are available here: http://amzn.to/1QUmmhC

 

Go raibh míle maith agaibh! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

(Thanks a million)

Jeanie

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When you let your 5-year-old choose where to turn: 5 lessons about life and writing

When my daughter was five, we began a tradition that continues to this day. She called them “The Martin Family Traveler Trips.” As a single mom who was blessed to have the same holidays and summer vacation as her daughter, we relished our times together.

Katy (4)

Katy, Age Five

 

Sometimes, though, we (or more accurately, I) would be struck by cabin fever and just need to get out. Money was tight, always, so big vacations were out of the question. But little day trips? Perfect.

We’d load up the Dodge Neon with snacks and drinks, and Katy would fill up the rest of the space with blankets, paper and pencil, and enough dolls babies to staff a world summit. Then I’d start driving.

Katy would choose the direction. Not only did this reinforce the concepts of “left” and “right,” but also taught her the value of observing her surroundings, patience, and looking for just the right moment. At first, her directions would come quickly, and we’d make endless loops just around our neighborhood. But as she grew, and learned to wait, we’d head farther and farther afield, and the rewards were great.

At some point during the trip, she’d give in to her sleepiness and nap for several hours. (A reward for me, at the time. A few hours of quiet is a luxury for any parent.)

We still do these trips when our schedules allow, only now we take turns driving and snoozing in the passenger seat. But sometimes I head out on my own, music blaring. Ryan Kelly’s Live for Life is the perfect song for a road trip, as are most of the songs on Byrne & Kelly’s albums.

When writer’s block hits me, or I’m struggling through some issue I may not even be able to name yet, driving with no particular destination in mind is therapeutic. The wide open roads allow for careful daydreaming, and introspection. curveThe unfamiliar scenery prompts new scenes, or better descriptors for a current scene. The scary, tight turns of the two-lane roads through the mountain passes gives me a different place to focus all my energy, which provides respite from whatever I’m working on. Especially when the road looks like this:

 

What I’ve learned from our Martin Family Traveler Trips:

  1. Fill up your tank before you go. Whether that’s a practical thing, like with fuel (you’ve never known fear until your gauge reads “empty”, and your car is at the top of a two-lane, pitch-black road, with ten miles before the next station). Or with snacks (isn’t life much better with snacks?) Or with the gift of the Spirit that provides refreshments of a whole ‘nother sort.
  2. It’s the journey, not the destination.  I know–a trite saying. But it’s true. The only caveat is that if you’ve got a five-year-old on the journey with you, make sure to hit the bathrooms as often as possible. (And for the love of God, don’t forget Baby Jennifer (Katy’s favorite doll) in that restroom.)
  3. Don’t force it. Our trips were a fairly equal measure of talkative five year old, road trip games, and quiet moments. Granted, most of the quiet moments were when Katy was sleeping, but still.
  4. Enjoy each other. Katy gets her sense of humor from me, but her vocabulary is entirely her own. Some of my favorite moments from the trips we took are when she’d play school with her babies, and listening to her teach the dolls their lessons. She’d tell them, “I’m going to show you the next letter, and you’ll learn it by my own gracious will.”  She cracked me up–still does.
  5. The best moments in life aren’t planned. Discovering a fun little store, or an awe-inspiring vista, or having the gift of your child making up a song from her journey–all gems from allowing my child to choose our path.

There are so many things in life that you must choose for your child, at least at the beginning. Giving her or him this one freedom, and responsibility, is incredibly rewarding.

I’d love to hear about any trips you’ve taken, and any lessons you’ve learned. Please feel free to comment below.

Great. Writing this post has gotten that song of hers stuck in my head. Thanks, Katy. Well, to share the love, I’m going to post it below.

Flexibilly ruler, flexibilly ruler,

Riding around in a limousine.

No trespassing, ke-ep out,

Pri-i-vate property.

Yep. Love that kid. And you’re welcome.

Royalties, Seattle Writer’s Workshop, and The Celtic Cradle

Hey, how’s everyone doing? First off, my apologies for taking so long between posts—it’s been a hectic few months. Second, here’s an update on my last post. My son from another mother (and father), Kaleb, is doing great! His recent check-ups have all gone very well, and he’s back to playing his guitar and viola. His plans include heading back to school in the near future to focus on his music, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Continue reading

The chicken and Charlie, part three…and other bits of useful info

Hey, everyone! Thought I’d do a quick blog to give a little update. So, my new book is out—The Celtic Captive. During the weekend, it was free on Kindle, along with my first book, The Celtic Contract. Altogether, the books were downloaded an incredible 1,113 times! Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the promotion. Please let me know what you think—either here, or on the Amazon website in an official review.

I promise I won’t cry if it’s bad. (At least, not where anyone can see me.) 😉

If you missed out, don’t worry. I’ll be running the promotion one more time, soon. And, of course, they are always available for purchase on Kindle, Amazon Prime and Createspace.com.

Those books are part of a series about strong women, and the Irish men they meet, who cause all sorts of havoc in their carefully controlled lives. Book three, Séamus’s story, will be out in January.

Right now, I’m working on several different projects. The first is a novel, unrelated to the series, which I’m classifying as a psychological thriller masquerading as a romance. Obviously, it’s a little darker than my Kilts series. (Is it weird that I’m enjoying the Dark Side?)

The second and third are projects with my good friends Dennis and Dee Dee Irby. We’re putting together a couple of fun ideas–a cookbook (don’t laugh. I can cook ), and another fun event we’re keeping under wraps for now.

The fourth project is the continuation of Charlie and the Chicken. Thanks to Julie Lucich and Jim Martin, the story is rolling along. Now it’s your chance to help me create.

Just read the whole story so far, and then leave your list of words that match the parts of speech listed. For each person who leaves a list in the comments, and their email address, I will send you the story with your choices included. Then, I’ll pick the best/funniest options, and post the next section of the story.

Be creative!

And, thanks again for downloading or buying my books!

Cheers,

 

Jeanie

 

It was a surprisingly hot day at the Puyallup Fair when the incident happened. When Charlie Miller made her report to the police later, “incident” was the only word that fit.

She had just finished her third scone, this one dripping with butter and raspberry jam, when the man ran by her, screaming about a crazy postpartum chicken who had just tried to run him over with a disproportionately large tractor. Charlie hadn’t really paid much attention to him–it was the Fair, after all. Over a million people had been expected for this opening day, and Charlie was pretty sure she had seen every single person. Besides, tractors were the norm, and how big could the tractor be?  Chickens were pretty small.

The Fair was jammed with little kids crying for caramel apples and Krusty Pups, people throwing up and teenage boys pretending they hadn’t just been scared out of their minds by the seemingly death-defying rides they had just been on.

But when a second, and then a third person ran past, and the third one was a woman with yolks dripping from her ears, Charlie began to take notice. She hurriedly shoved the rest of the scone into her mouth, took one last drink of ice-cold lemonade, and regretfully passed up the elephant ears booth on her way to make her report.

It was her job, after all. Charlie Miller may have looked like an easy target, standing just 5’1″ in her heels, and not a single, shiny black hair out of place in her elaborate hairdo. And to her kindergarten students, she might have been the beloved teacher who sang to them each morning, and brought homemade cookies for them for snacks, making sure to always have peanut-free and gluten-free treats.

But Charlie Miller’s side job, her real mission, was in her position as Short-Statured Egg  Snatcher. Usually, the chickens didn’t put up much of a fight when Charlie snatched their eggs. But her partner, Nancy “Butterfingers” Lovelace had been on the job earlier. Oh, it wasn’t that Butterfingers was bad at her job, she just was…dexterity-challenged, and Charlie spent a lot of time cleaning up her mess.

Just then, the chicken drove by.  Apparently, tractors can get pretty big–the chicken, dressed in a polka-dot bow, was a speck against the seat of the behemoth that rumbled past, slowly pushing its way through the crowds of people without regard for personal space, or toes.

She clucked as the tractor went past, and the chicken clucked back, an angry demand that she be allowed to roam as chickens were supposed to–high up on their tractor seats.

Charlie gave pursuit. It was the longest, slowest chase she had ever been on. Charlie had time to eat that elephant ear she had been craving, ride the ferris wheel, play an impossible-to-win game, and spin the wheel at the Mountain Mist booth (she won!) before the chicken atop its mammoth tractor had even gone ten feet.

But that was where Charlie’s luck ran out.

Before Charlie could finish eating her second elephant ear, an actual elephant came stampeding past her, trailing a number of small shouting men who seemed to be alternatively calling for the huge beast to stop and calling for someone to buy maps of the fairgrounds.

“Stop! Stop!” yelled the nearest.

“Maps! Maps!” yelled the shorter one.

The elephant, apparently not able to read the map stuck in his trunk, feinted a right turn and then swerved left.

Right into the path of the slowly rolling tractor.

There was a colossal crash as the pachyderm rammed into the side of the tractor followed by a squawk of outrage from the chicken.

Things might have gotten ugly at that point – you haven’t seen ugly until you’ve seen a knock down, drag out fight between an enraged chicken and a pachyderm – but the nearer small shouting man finally managed to catch the big animal’s lead rope and regain control.

The other small man sold a map to Charlie, who didn’t need a map, and quite against her wishes.

Charlie considered filing a complaint with..someone…but couldn’t get her sticky fingers to work her cell phone correctly.

The tractor, apparently mortally wounded in its battle, gave a groan of disgust and quit moving.

The relative silence that followed was interrupted by the angry chicken pecking at the controls and making sounds more appropriate to a mistreated tea kettle.

Giving the now dead machine one last resentful kick, the chicken looked up and around, seemingly searching for something.

Charlie felt herself flinch as the crazy bird’s beady eyes swung past her and then flicked back, widening in outrage.

“Why me?” Charlie muttered.  And then she realized that the bird wasn’t staring directly at her, but rather at her hands.

Testing a theory, Charlie cautiously waved the map, which was still stuck to one hand, up in the air.

The bird went ballistic.

Here, we should pause to note the following chicken logic, to wit:

The chicken was making good its escape, if slowly.
The elephant took out the chicken’s slow motion getaway car.
The small shouting men chasing the elephant were selling maps.
Charlie was waving a map.

Therefore:

Charlie was one of the enemy.

Charlie’s logic train, all of the two cars it included, looked something like this:

The crazy bird’s eyes had started to glow an eerie red in the lengthening shadows of the big fairgrounds.

Run!

The bird launched itself into the air.

Charlie screamed something incoherent, whirled, and ran for her life.

Chickens, it turns out, can make a fairly decent speed in a sort of glide / hop / walk way.

But they don’t have a lot of stamina.

Charlie was able to duck into the next lane of booths, finish yet another fairground sweet – chocolate covered strawberries this time, and do some updates to her social networks on her cell phone before the end of the chase came.

Hiding behind a stack of quilts that were being sold for the low, low price of 199.99, she heard a flutter behind her.

She reflexively ducked and would have rolled, but she still had sticky chocolate on her hands.

As she turned to face the foul fowl, she knew the worst of her late night fears had come to life.

The mad eyes of the chicken stared into Charlie’s from about a foot away. And the chicken was holding an electric shock rod that it must have stolen from the fairgrounds security person lying unconscious on the ground.

Charlie slowly raised her hands above her head and whispered, “Oh, boy!”

 

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  5. Superlative
  6. Helping verb
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  9. Adjective
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  18. Exotic food
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  25. Body part
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The chicken saga continues…

Hey, everyone!

Just wanted to mention a few things. First, check out the continuation of the story in the comments section. Jim Martin has added to the story and it is funny! Poor Charlie…

The next challenge will be up shortly, and anyone can contribute.  I’m going to do a “Mad-Lib”-style questionnaire, and then weave the answers into the next part of the story.

 

Second, and this is huge, my second book will be available Friday, September 26th! Whoo hoo!

This is part two of the four-part Kilts series. The Celtic Captive tells the story of Cáel Moore, one of the principal singers of Kilts. Cáel gets himself into a pickle when he witnesses a crime and is taken at gunpoint into the mountains. He manages to get free, but is injured in the attempt.  Somehow, he makes his way to safety–a cabin rented by Molly Evans.

But when he wakes up tied to her bed and with no memory of how he got there, he’s a little…umm… concerned. And when he realizes she thinks he can only speak Irish, he plays along for his own safety.

Molly Evans is in hiding, too. She has escaped her celebrity life, for the time being, ostensibly to write her next album, but the music just isn’t coming. And then a sexy Irish stranger shows up at her door.

Trapped in her cabin by a mudslide on the road, she must tend to his injuries herself. The more time they spend together, the more their attraction grows.

As both rescue and danger close in, Cáel must wrestle with a choice. Tell her the truth, and risk losing her forever, or keep his secret and risk breaking her heart.

Which will he choose?

 It will be available on Amazon and Kindle. My first book, The Celtic Contract, is still available, too! 

Please check it out, and let me know what you think!

Jeanie

 

Write a story with me! (Part deux)

It was a surprisingly hot day at the Puyallup Fair when the incident happened. When Charlie Miller made her report to the police later, “incident” was the only word that fit.

She had just finished her third scone, this one dripping with butter and raspberry jam, when the man ran by her, screaming about a crazy post-partum chicken who had just tried to run him over with a disproportionately large tractor. Charlie hadn’t really paid much attention to him–it was the Fair, after all. Over a million people had been expected for this opening day, and Charlie was pretty sure she had seen every single person. Besides, tractors were the norm, and how big could the tractor be?  Chickens were pretty small. Continue reading

Welcome!

Hi everyone! Welcome to my first ever blog…post…thing. I just wanted to share a few things with you all.

So, my first book is out, The Celtic Contract. (That’s “kell-tic”). It’s the first of a series of related stories. The heroes in this series of books are based on a group of Irish male singers, and the women are all strong, independent women, often with secrets of their own. So, yeah, you guessed it. They’re romances, although they have suspense/mystery aspects to them. Some have said they would also call them “cozy mysteries”.

Many have asked why I started writing. The simple truth?  I was bored. My daughter, Kaitlyn, went away to school, and I was left with the cats, no internet and no cable. So…my imagination began working overtime. My solution? Come home from work, feed the cats, go to bed. I was in bed by 7:00 p.m. most nights.

Yeah. Continue reading