Feb 262013
 

cozy wednesdayWelcome to this special edition of Cozy Wednesday.
There are just so many wonderful cozies coming out each month
that we have to add some extra cozy days.

I am thrilled to welcome Sheila here today because she has a brand new series – The County Cork Mysteries set in Ireland – having a few Irish ancestors myself I couldn’t wait to read this book!

Hi Sheila!

Commerical Portraits for promotional material and novelHi Everyone!

Things have been a little hectic lately as I just launched my third series. Yes, third. Actually it’s my fourth, but the first one was written under a pen name and went away after three books. The others are ongoing (I hope!).

I’ve always read fast, and when I started writing, I found I write fast too. I had no idea what the right speed was, so I just sat down and did it. I like the pace, and besides, when I’m not writing or at least thinking about writing I feel kind of lost. And for most people, including me, writing is not just about slapping down a bunch of words and sending it off to your publisher—there’s a lot of editing and rewriting involved, so often I find myself writing one new one, editing an earlier one, and proofing a third. Yes, it can get confusing!

Warner house with HerbertWhy three series? Because they all reflect parts of my life, linked by the common thread of genealogy. My first series, the Orchard Mysteries, take place in a small town in western Massachusetts, in a colonial house. The house is one I know personally, because my six-times-great-grandfather built it around 1760, and I stayed there when it was a bed and breakfast. The town is real too—a classic New England town with the green in the center, the old white church at one end, and a lot of people whose families have lived there for many generations and whose names are on the road signs. So for the series, the location came first, and then I started adding people to it. I threw in my protagonist, an out-of-work Boston banker, and told her to manage an orchard. Neither of us knew much about orchards when I started, but we’re learning together.

Phila City HallThe second series, the Museum Mysteries, came about because I worked for several years at The Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, first as a fundraiser and then as a researcher for hire. I loved working there, in part because it gave me access to amazing collections rich with local history. When I started writing I realized that while most cozies are set in small towns, the cultural community in Philadelphia is like a small town itself, where everyone knows everyone else. Plus there are all sorts of wonderful institutions there to dump a body in.

The most recent is the County Cork Mysteries. The series is based on one of the first books I ever wrote, over ten years ago. Over time some of the characters changed, but the setting never did. My father’s family came from Ireland, but I never had a chance to travel there until about fifteen years ago. He knew very little about the family’s history in Ireland, so I wanted to fill in the blanks. What I never expected was to gobsmacked by the place, in particular West Cork—also known as The Wild West of Ireland—where my grandfather was born. It’s picture postcard pretty, but just a bit wilder. And it’s not a quaint tourist attraction; there are vibrant towns and interesting people and a lot of history there.

Connollys 2000Of course, I was hooked the moment I saw that the small town where we were staying had a pub called Connolly’s. I didn’t know then that Connolly’s was legendary, not for its drinks or its atmosphere, but because it was a mecca for musicians in that part of the world—performers whose names you would recognize. I was privileged to be there at the tail end of its heyday. Alas, the man who was the spirit behind it died a few years back, but the family still owns the place and there’s talk of bringing back the music, and I can promise you I’ll be there.

Ireland is kind of like a cozy setting on steroids. Remember that the population of the entire country is still under five million people, and a lot of them are concentrated in Dublin and Cork city. In the more rural areas, everybody knows who’s who, and who their grandparents were, and who they bought the land from. It’s unsettling to an American used to a sort of anonymity. One example: recently I was in a cemetery in County Cork and ran into a stranger, and we got to talking (as everyone does). It turns out that he knows my second cousin Catherine, one of the only other people I know in Ireland—and she hasn’t lived in the neighborhood for fifty years. Things like that keep happening in Ireland.

buried in a bogI have been so happy with the response to the first book in this series, Buried In a Bog. People write to tell me they want to get on a plane for Ireland immediately. I was so worried that I’d make it sound trite or superficial, but instead I did what I’d hoped to do: convey the spirit of the place. Reviewers have said that my love for Ireland shines through.

Capturing a place on a page is one of the joys of writing. Filling it with characters that people can identify with and care about is another. I feel very lucky to be doing what I do.

~Sheila

Sheila, Thank you so much for visiting today! I don’t know how you do it, keeping all this series going, but I am so glad you do!!!

About This Author

Sheila Connolly has taught art history, structured and marketed municipal bonds for major cities, worked as a staff member on two statewide political campaigns, and served as a fundraiser for several non-profit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company providing genealogical research services. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime-New England (president 2011), the national Sisters in Crime, and the fabulous on-line SinC chapter, the Guppies. She also belongs to Romance Writers of America and Mystery Writers of America.

Sheila is Regent of her local DAR chapter, and a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants. She’s also the grandchild of Irish immigrants (in case you’re worried that she’s a snob). In addition to genealogy, Sheila loves restoring old houses, visiting cemeteries, and traveling. She is married, and has one daughter and two cats.

She blogs with Poe’s Deadly Daughters and Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen on Fridays, and Killer Characters the 25th of each month.
Check out her webpage: www.sheilaconnolly.com

buried in a bog

Buried In a Bog
(A County Cork Mystery)

A Brand New Series
Cozy Mystery
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group (February 5, 2013)
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425251898
E-Book File Size: 531 KB
ASIN: B0095ZMHUW

Honoring her late grandmother’s wish, Maura Donovan sets off on an adventure that could change her life. She travels to the small Irish village where her grandmother was born to connect with one of her grandmother’s friends and maybe learn a bit about her ancestors. The small community welcomes her with open arms and she even start to work in the local pub. 

The pub is bursting at the seams as people gather to talk about the body found in a nearby bog. They speculate he may have been in there for more than 50 years. Maura realizes she man know something about the dead man but before she can talk to the authorities her own life is put in jeopardy. She starts to get that sinking feeling she just may be getting in over her head.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

With an Irish grandfather myself that I never was able to meet I was so excited to read this book. It is a delightful debut to a series that I know I will love.

The author lets us escape to the beautiful countrysides of County Cork. Even when it is raining or foggy it sounds like charming place. She also gives us the history of the townlands and the people. She takes the time to explain the traditional naming patterns found in Ireland like the first born son is named for the father’s father. This custom could get quite confusing in large families. It gives an interesting twist to the story.

We are with Maura just as she starts on her journey to discover Ireland and its people. I am really looking forward to getting to know all the characters better in the next installments, especially Rose. She seems to have led a life very similar to Maura’s. Life runs at a much faster speed in Boston than it does in Leap but both stuck pretty close to home and put family needs ahead of their own. I look forward to a time of awakening for both young ladies. 

Maura’s adventure to Ireland was quite a treat, the mysteries added were just icing on the cake. I am ready for my trip back to County Cork today. I can’t wait for book #2.

a perfect escape

5 STARFISH

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the people at Penguin
I have 2 copies to giveaway!!

PLUS 1 COPY DIRECT FROM SHEILA CONNOLLY!

U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Leave a comment for Sheila for 5 Bonus Entries !

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 12, 2013 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

readalattechallenge_zps01d248d085941mystery challenge2013where are you reading1st in a series

  47 Responses to “Special Tuesday Edition of Cozy Wednesday With Author Sheila Connolly (Giveaway too!)”

  1. Although I’m not of Irish descent-my name is (Kathleen). I’d love to visit Ireland one day, but I’ll armchair travel by reading your book. I’m a huge fan of the Orchard series and look forward to reading this one too!

  2. I read a lot, but until now, I was unfamiliar with Shelia Connolly. (Lori introduces me to the best people!) You wouldn’t know it from my last name, but I am part Irish and am interested in the series!

  3. My Mother was born in Ireland and came here as a child. I would love to visit, but will probably just read your books! Dee

  4. Sounds like an interesting new series….

  5. Not Irish but I like to travel vicariously.

  6. An interesting and different cozy series

  7. I appreciate that you can admit that you write what you know. Most authors say that what they’ve written has nothing to do with their real lives. An author that writes from within always writes a better story.

  8. Sheila Connolly makes her writing seem like so much fun. I enjoyed read about her experiences. Sounds like fun learning about the orchards along with her sleuth. I also like the “gobsmacked.” Never heard it in my whole life. Can’t wait to get involved with these cozies.

  9. Sheila, you are so right about Ireland. I have no roots there that I know of (mine are on the other side of the Irish Sea), but I’ve been twice in the past 13 months and am completely in love with the country and the people. I’m really looking forward to reading Buried in a Bog for many reasons, not the least of them your way with words (ah, how Irish!) and the setting.

  10. My cousin just came back from visiting some of our distant relatives in Ireland. Our family tree was traced back to the 1700’s in Ireland. Bucket list visit Ireland! Thanks for the wonderful interview. Looking forward to reading your books.

  11. I love coming over here. Just seeing the pics, makes me feel good. The books you choose are always sound fun to read. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. A fascinating peek into the writing and the background.

  13. Great photos and wonderful informative post.

  14. I love the series that Shelia writes. Would be great to win!

  15. I have always heard Ireland is pretty and a wonderful place to vist. I love the photos!

  16. So nice to meet you Sheila! My grandparents were from Ireland, and I visited several years ago, and would soooo love to go back. I will definitely grab Buried in the Bog, and recommend it to my niece and her husband who is from Dublin. Thanks Dolly for the opportunity to read Ms. Connolly’s work!

  17. I would love to visit Ireland (and I love reading books set in Ireland). Great review! Looking forward to reading this series (have added it to my seemingly never-ending TBR list).

  18. Sheila, I love how you base your series on a museum you worked at & places you’ve been that have a special place in your heart. I’m anxious to read your newest series set in Ireland.

  19. Congratulations Sheila on your latest release! How exciting! I enjoy the different settings you have used in your books. It is like a mini vacation for me. I look forward to reading this book and to many more in the series.

  20. I am really looking forward to your new series Sheila! I love books that take you to another place, especially since i’ve always wanted to travel to Ireland. Thanks for your giveaways! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into your books 🙂

  21. thank you so much for your wonderful post I enjoyed it very much

  22. I am very excited to find a new author! The Irish series really has be champing at the bit!

  23. This looks like a great series…I am obsessed with anything Irish and have been to Ireland twice, if I had my way I would move there…I would love to read this book…the title was what caught my in the post…thank you for the giveaway…

  24. I enjoyed your post very much. Looks like I have another book for my TBR list!

  25. Congratulations on your newest book Sheila! All of your books sound so interesting.
    I love reading about the history!

  26. I’m not Irish, but this book still looks fascinating. Sounds like a good mystery. Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  27. Good luck on your new book hope its a hit.

  28. The Irish in me wants to read this book!
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  29. I can’t wait to try out this new series! I love books set in Ireland, and this cozy sounds like fun.
    Thanks for the chance to enter the giveaway!

  30. I am originally from Philadelphia and after reading about your books, I want to read all three series. rblerner@ptd.net

  31. Best wish on Buried in A Bog. Thank you for the giveaway.

    I’ve enjoyed your orchard series.

  32. Thank you for the information on your 3 series. Now I want to read them all!!
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  33. The new series looks great–can’t wait to read it!

  34. I enjoyed reading the background information for the locales in your books. Very interesting.

  35. This book and series look like they will be a wonderful read…Ireland and a cozy in one book..how could you go wrong??? Thanks for the giveaway.

  36. Thank you for the chance to win this cozy mystery, my daughter would love to have this.

    wfnren(at)aol(dot)com

  37. My father’s side of the family have some Irish ancestors. I would love to visit the town that they came from someday.

  38. Cant wait to read this new series!

  39. Looks fabulous! I cannot wait to read!

  40. I can’t waiit to read this book. It sounds like a wonderful series. I am definately putting on my Goodreads “To Read” list.

  41. Love your other series Sheila, looking forward to starting this one.

  42. As far as I know, I have no Irish descent and have not been to Ireland – yet! We will be visiting there in the fall and I am very excited to finally see that country, along with Scotland and England. Thanks for the giveaway!

  43. I am Irish My Grandfather came over from Ireland in a boat with his sister. Great Giveaway..Thanks

  44. A wonderful interview. I am totally hooked and have put this book, not only on my TBR list, but my MR (must read) list. Thank you.

  45. I look forward to adding Sheila’s books to my reading list

  46. i have a smidgen of irish in me.would love to go to ireland.thanks for the chance to win your book

  47. Can’t wait to read one of your books!

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