Friday, May 15, 2015

The Glass is Always Half Full

Kerry, the heroine of my new novel, The Hopeful Romantic, and I have something in common: we believe that things will always turn out okay.

Sunny optimism is almost a requirement for gardeners (what do you know, Kerry gardens too!). How else can you stick seeds in the ground every spring, and trust that plants will sprout and grow from those seeds and eventually feed you? Living on Berryridge Farm, surrounded by a forest in the middle of the Foothills, takes an even more optimistic spirit. John and I grow plants that we trust will survive, despite the constant onslaught of critters determined to steal, gobble up, or otherwise demolish them: deer, rabbits, birds, mice, voles, slugs and our tiny "friends" the aphids and cabbage worms.

Fencing, nets, raised and screened beds, and row cover only goes so far--so we're always glad when a new predator shows up. (Except for mountain lions.) Last week, John saw an animal we'd never before encountered, some kind of skinny rodent with a bushy tail. He of course Googled it, and discovered it's a kind of weasel. Normally, the thought of any more rodents on our place will put me in a tailspin, but apparently, these weasels eat voles. So it's all good!

Anyway, as I dive into another planting season, looking at the bright side gets me through. I'm just sure that this year, my tomato plants won't get blight, that the robins won't sneak inside the nets and devour our blueberries. or slugs won't mow down my new rows of teensy spinach seedlings. I'm heading outside now, but not before I put on my rose-colored glasses!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mother's Day Goodreads Giveaway!

What's more appropriate for Mother's Day than mothers and love? Maybe...a story about both? Starting today, you can sign up for a free, autographed copy of my novel Mother Love! The Goodreads giveaway runs from May 5 to May 12.

Mother Love, the second novel of the Village of Ballydara series, is about falling in love...or trying not to. It's also about mothers, traditional and not-so-traditional. Here's more about the story...

In this rollicking tale, meet brash, irreverent Grainne Larkin, a modern Irish heroine juggling family relationships and the man she can’t forget…   

Grainne wants three things: her mother's love, a baby, and Rafe Byrne—not necessarily in that order. On Rafe's wedding day, Grainne is keen for a fresh start—why not settle for the nice guy in the wings who’s successful, and mad about her too? Just as Grainne is poised to get her future on track, her family pressures her to leave Dublin for the quaint little village of Ballydara, to help her mother launch a B&B. Given her turbulent relationship with her mam, the last thing Grainne wants to do is live with her.

But when Rafe, her old flame, turns up in Ballydara a free man, Grainne takes a page from her favorite fictional heroine Scarlett O’Hara: she plunges into a no-holds-barred pursuit of the child she wants so badly. But Grainne soon discovers that opening her heart—to Rafe, to the prospect of motherhood, and to her mother—is the biggest risk of all… 

See more about Mother Love, my new novel The Hopeful Romantic, and the Village of Ballydara series at