Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guest Author Cathy Mansell

Please help me welcome author Cathy Mansell, who’s here to tell us a little about her new release, SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY. One lucky commenter will receive a copy of her book, so be sure to post your comments!

Shadow Across The Liffey by Cathy Mansell - 200


Set in 60’s Ireland, life is hard for widow Oona Quinn, grief-stricken by the tragic deaths of her husband and five-year-old daughter. Struggling to survive, she meets charismatic Jack Walsh at the Shipping Office.

Vinnie Kelly, her son's biological father, just out of jail, sets out to destroy Oona and all she holds dear. Haunted by her past, she has to fight for her future and the safety of her son, Sean. But Vinnie has revenge on his mind . . .


The sun had just come out, and McNally cursed the task ahead of him. The child’s death had touched him deeply. At the station, he had seen tears in grown men’s eyes. This was, by far, the hardest thing he had ever had to do.

He parked the car outside the house with the shiny green door and well-maintained garden, and walked slowly up the path. He hesitated. From inside he heard laughter and music, and it pained him to be the bearer of such shocking news. A lump formed in his throat. He removed his hat and held it in front of him, before knocking on the door.

‘Mrs Quinn?’

Oona stared at the uniformed man on her doorstep. ‘That... that’s me.’ She clutched the door. ‘Has, has something happened?’

‘I’m Sergeant McNally. There’s been an accident. May I come in?’

Connie joined her in the hall, the smile slipping from her face.

‘Are you a relative?’ he asked.

‘We’re sisters. What is it?’

He thought Oona was going to faint but her sister’s hand guided her towards the living room. A moment later, the two women sat on the sofa clutching hands.

‘May I sit down?’

Oona nodded. She was trembling. McNally could see a glimmer of hope in her big brown eyes.

‘I’m afraid your husband’s been in a serious accident, Mrs Quinn.’ He saw all her fears encapsulated in that one terrible moment as he delivered the news.

‘Please, tell me he’s not dead.’

He swallowed, barely able to answer, and then he nodded.

‘No. No. Please don’t tell me that. Dear God! Eamon can’t be dead. You’ve made some mistake. Are... are you... sure it’s my husband?’

‘We found his driving license.’ He gripped his hat. How could he tell her about the little girl?

‘My little girl! What about Jacqueline?’ she cried out. ‘Where is she? She’ll be frightened. I must go to her.’

‘I’m afraid there was nothing we could do, Mrs Quinn. It all happened so fast.’

‘God! No! Not my little girl! Not Jacqueline!’ She was shaking hysterically. ‘Connie! Tell him; tell the Sergeant he’s got it wrong. Please, Connie.’

‘They’re not, not both of them,’ Connie pleaded, her face distraught.

‘Everything that could possibly be done was done at the scene. A drunk driver coming off the boat caused the crash. He’s dead, too. I’m afraid I was a witness. I’ve spoken to a number of other eye witnesses who saw the white van veering erratically before hitting your husband’s car.’ He swallowed again. ‘There was nothing your husband could have done, Mrs Quinn. I’m so sorry. If it’s any consolation at all, they were both killed instantly.’

‘God Almighty! No! No!’ Oona rocked back and forth. Her breath was coming in huge spasmodic lurches as if her chest was about to explode. He had seen people grieving before, but to lose a child... He wished this was all a dream and that he hadn’t been a witness. He sat with his head bowed, turning his hat round and round in his hands.

Oona stood up, shaking uncontrollably. Before he could do anything, she collapsed onto the floor.



(Photo courtesy Kevin Ryan)

Cathy is an experienced writer of romantic fiction. Her early work was competition short stories and articles published in national magazines. She was Editor in Chief of the Leicestershire Anthology, ‘Taking Off’, a book promoted and supported by the Arts Council UK.

In recent times, Cathy has turned to writing full-length novels that are set in Ireland/England and America in the 1950s/60s. Her debut novel, SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY, is published with Tirgearr Publishing and weaves her affinity with Dublin and Leicester.

Having lived her childhood years in Ireland, all of her work has that touch of authenticity. They depict the lifestyle and hardship of Irish families in those days, with the passions and emotions of her characters, who are wound up in intricate criminal plots, mixed with illegitimacy and the desperate and tragic loneliness of widowhood, contrasting with the happiness when love comes calling once more.

Readers of Cathy’s novels are transported to a distant time, with page-turning tension, having tears and laughter in equal measure.

All of this is borne out of Cathy’s own early experience of widowhood, alongside the trials of bringing up a family as a lone parent in the 70’s. In addition, finding love again with Dennis, her husband and most ardent supporter.

Nowadays, Cathy lives in rural Leicestershire where she writes daily in her ‘Loft Study’ overlooking fields and trees.


Cathy is giving away a copy of SHADOW ACROSS THE LIFFEY to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment here. Good luck!

Thanks to Cathy for being my guest today.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Guest Author Sheri McGathy

Please help me welcome author and cover artist Sheri McGathy! She’s answering a few questions today. Hope you’ll enjoy reading her answers, and checking out her books and cover art.


1) Tell us a little about yourself, Sheri, and what inspired you to become a writer.

Sheri said: At one time, I think I knew the answer to this, but time has a way of fading some memories or in this case, reasons. I can say for certain that I have always loved storytelling. I use to sit for hours and tell my dog stories. He was a very good listener. One summer during my teens and friend and I pretty much wiled the months away with me telling a very long epic story, her listening. She would chime in from time to time and offer plot suggestions and I would weave them in. Our parents thought we were crazy since all they ever saw was the two of us sitting around talking. But it was one of the best summers of my life. It helped me realize that I could story tell every bit as well (in my mind) as my uncles and other family members. Once I actually started writing, it was in story poem. Epic poems, mainly fantasy. My very first novel actually was written as a poem first.

2) Tell us about your latest work.

I don't have anything new published aside from a chapter in The Complete Guide to Writing the Paranormal Novel published by Dragon Moon Press. My chapter is a very quick overall of Faeries titled: Fae, Fey, Faery, Fairy-A Quick Glance into the Abyss. What I have been doing recently is cover art creation. I love doing the covers. As to my latest work, it is a Enchanted Grove fantasy tentatively titled HOLE IN THE SKY. I'm about a quarter into it. Did I tell you I am a slow writer? It takes me a while to get the magic just so and weave everything together. If I didn't have another job, I suspect I could write quite quickly. I actually think HOLE is going to be one of my better attempts. At least I feel so at this time.

3) If you were casting the movie version of your work, who would you choose for the leading roles?

For Hole: I don't know. There are five siblings in the story, each equally as important as the other, ages from 6 to 21. Plus several support characters. So I just don't know yet. Many authors I know actually use pictures of actors to help them visualize their characters. I don't seem to need that. This sort of fishtails into question six, but I tend to daydream my characters for what seems forever before I ever start writing. By the time I do start typing, they are my best friends.

4) Tell us about a hidden talent you have that most people don't know about?

I don't think I have a hidden talent. I'm pretty much "What you see is what you get." I can snap my toes, does that count? LOL

5) What's your favorite comfort food?

Hamburgers and fries. I can live without the fries, but a hamburger is my first choice when I am in need of comfort. Or anytime.

6) Are you an outliner or do you write by the seat of your pants?

As stated above, I think I might be a little of both. I don't outline but I daydream the characters, the world, the magic, long before I ever start writing. I usually always know where I am starting, what I want to happen, the lessons each character must learn and how I want it to end. But, everything else is a pure fly into the mist type of writing. That's my term for a pantser.

7) What's your favorite season and why?

Fall. I love fall. Where I live now, we really don't get a long fall, but when I was a kid in Ohio, you got a chance to really experience the season. I love the smell of fallen leaves, the musty earth smells, and I even like the rain. I can still recall the smell of leaves burning and the autumn breezes, cool sometimes chilly, but always invigorating.

8) If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

Don't know. Maybe I'd be an amateur archeologist or perhaps a Graphic Designer. Beats me.

9) Tell us about anyone famous you've met.

I think I live a sheltered life. I've touched the Monkey Mobile, while it was parked outside a radio station; I have seen David Cassidy once, and sometimes I stumble into meeting people that others consider quite famous but dummy me had no clue who I was speaking to. Such is my life J

10) What's your favorite non-writing-related website?

Well, not really my favorite, but I seem to always be on Facebook wasting time! I actually don't have any real favorites. I like history, and anything paranormal, aliens, ufos, etc. And science. I'll read almost any website that sparks my interest!

About Sheri L. McGathy

“Born in the Buckeye state, I was uprooted in 1971 and replanted amongst sunflowers, tornadoes, and college football. It’s a good life.”

During the weekdays, Sheri is a Graphic Arts Coordinator/Copy Editor in prepress. In the evenings and weekends, she's a writer…or she tries to be. She also expresses her artistic side by crafting cover art for both e-books and paperbacks.

Her work includes short stories and/or novellas in various anthologies:


OMNIBUS – A Collection of Fantasy Stories

TRESPASSING TIME – Ghost Stories from the Prairie (Sheri has also released her four stories from this collection. See Ghostly Tales)





PROMISES with The Gift

Her novels include:





The Complete Guide to Writing the Paranormal Novel - My chapter: Fae, Fey, Faery, Fairy-A Quick Glance into the Abyss

Please visit Sheri's site:


Thanks for guesting, Sheri!