Tag Archives: #JaneDougherty

…a wee cracker for Valentine’s Day from m’Ladies, Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty…

… what a bonus… not one, but two of my favourite people, Authoresses, Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty, Guest Blog together today in a terrific salutation to Celtic love… how could I NOT carry this?… take it away, Ladies:

Today we would like to thank Seumas for letting us use his blog for a spot of shameless self-publicity. On February 11th Grá mo Chroí will be released, a joint venture of Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty— the retelling of some of the great love stories from Irish myth.

                                                                                                                                     Grá mo Chroí

                                                                                                                                  ‘Love of my Heart’


Love Stories from Irish Myth

love songs


Long ago in a green island surrounded by protective mists, a people lived among the relics of a bygone age of which they knew nothing, not being archaeologists, but around whom they created a mythology. They were a volatile people, easily moved to love or war, and motivated by a strict sense of honour. They had women warriors and handsome lovers, wicked queens and cruel kings, precious heroines and flawed heroes. Magic was in the air, beneath the ground, and in the waves of the sea, and hyperbole was the stuff of stories. They were the Irish, and these are a few retellings of some of their beautiful stories.

Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty share an obsession academic interest in the stories that make up the folk culture of Ireland. What is actual history, what is fanciful embroidering of the facts, and what is complete invention is almost impossible to say now with any certainty. But there are themes that run through all of these stories—tragic love being one of the most constant.

We decided to produce this collection of retellings of some of the great love stories from Irish mythology as our tribute to this culture which has so captivated us. Love in Iron Age Ireland was a more rumbustious affair than the saccharine Hollywood version. Ancient Irish lovers had to contend with irate kings prepared to wait for decades to take revenge for a slight, jealous first wives who had the right to murder a second wife if they made up their minds to it within three days, not to mention the enchantments that turned children, wives, or enemies into hinds, butterflies, hounds or swans.

Ancient Irish lovers had to be strong and persistent, the women as well as the men. They had to be prepared to defy armies and magic, spend years on the run or in exile.

If your idea of a good love story is the Sleeping Beauty or Brief Encounter, you might want to read this collection and find out what romance was like Irish style, two thousand years ago.

Here is a short excerpt from the second story in the collection, Grainne’s Lament.

I waited all the long length of that day, till the shadows of evening stretched themselves over the land. As the sun sank beyond the rim of this world, so did my hopes and dreams, for in my heart I knew that he would not return to me unscathed.

“It’s only a boar hunt,” he had said, laughing. “I will be with Fionn and the Fianna. What could go wrong?”

So I watched from the ramparts, afraid of what I might see, yet too desperate to retreat within the sheltering walls of the hall, where servants seethed in a frenzy of preparation for the glad feast and merrymaking which was sure to follow. For it was meant to be a celebration. This was the day he had longed for all these years, to be forgiven and reunited with the man he loved almost as well as me.

Fionn mac Cumhall. I can hardly bear the taste of your name on my tongue. Greatest hero of Eire that ever lived, greater even than the dark Cuchullain, you were the man who cared for my Diarmuid as if he were your own son, and the man I should have married. The man we both betrayed.

I always knew that as daughter of Cormac, High King of Ireland, I would not choose my husband, but would marry for duty rather than love. It is how kingdoms are won and kept, through the forging of new alliances and family ties. It is how the highborn live. Besides, in all the land, you, Fionn, were second only to my father. As the charismatic leader of the famous Fianna, and well-loved by all, you were a good match.

My father had listened too much to the jealous whisperings of my brother Cairpre; he feared that your popularity would one day lead you to seek the High King’s position. So he offered me up like some prize cow. That was not the result Cairpre was expecting. He had pushed for disbanding the Fianna, removing you from your source of power, perhaps even for your death. But Cormac kept to the old ways; his wisdom was respected far and wide. He knew how useful the warband was to him, and sought to strengthen his position through me. Cairpre withdrew to plot his petty revenge, and I prepared to marry a man with as many years under his belt as my father.

I had heard all the stories of your heroism, the feats of bravery and chivalry, how women threw themselves at you. I must admit, I was more than a little enamoured of the hero of those tales. Yet there you stood before me on my wedding day, a man as old and grey as the King, but with eyes that were cold, not kindly. There was steel in them, a barrier which no woman, save one, could ever break through to win your heart.

If you like the sound of the world of the ancient Irish, treat yourself to a little Celtic romance for Valentine’s Day. You can get Grá mo Chroí here



Normal price 99c/ 99p FREE Wed 11th Feb – Sun 15th Feb

Almost forgot, we have Amazon countdown deals on the first books in our respective series running from February 11th to February 15th.

Ali’s Conor Kelly and the Four Treasures of Eirean

A.com       http://www.amazon.com/Conor-Kelly-Treasures-Eirean-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008T8A7SK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1422812188&sr=1-1&keywords=ali+isaac


A.co.uk     http://www.amazon.co.uk/Conor-Kelly-Treasures-Eirean-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B008T8A7SK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Jane’s The Dark Citadel (only Amazon UK)


To learn more about the authors,


you will find Ali pottering about most days on her blog: www.aliisaacstoryteller.com, her Facebook author page, or tweeting. Alternatively, you can email her at: ali@aliisaacstoryteller.commailto:aliisaacstoryteller.com@gmail.com. Her books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.


Jane can be found on her blog, www.janedoughertywrites.com, on her FaceBook author page , or tweeting. You can find out more about her on Goodreads, and all her books are available on Amazon.com, and Amazon.co.uk.

…many thanks, Ali and Jane… yeez know what to do now, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… get downloading… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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Promote Yourself: Lorraine Montgomery

…a post well worthy of a reblog… from m’Lady Jane Dougherty, featuring another m’Lady, Lorraine Montgomery… with a poignant piece included about the late Robin Williams…


Jane Dougherty Writes

My guest this weekend is Lorraine Montgomery who is quite simply a wonderful blogger. Lorraine writes about all kinds fo things, and has two blogs—one for life in general, the other mainly books, films, and reviews. I recommend you go and have a look, particularly at some of her book recommendations.

Here is Lorraine to introduce herself.

Retirement is Wonderful!

Having taught elementary school for more than 25 years and been involved in many amazing technology and curriculum projects, I find I’ve developed a myriad of interests based on literature I’ve read and music I’ve heard. I’ve followed The Wright Three to Chicago, Ansel Adams to Colorado, The Kon Tiki Expedition to Easter Island, Simon & Garfunkel lyrics to New York City, Frank Lloyd Wright to Fallingwater, Pennsylvania, and have only just begun.  I began writing my Bookshelf blog in May and am enjoying the challenge of keeping up…

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…soapbox time for a great friend, Author and Poetess, Jane Dougherty, who Guest Blogs with me today… #TBSU…

…it’s truly remarkable what an excellent range of different Guest Blogs yeez get when yeez open up yer Web Pages to others… prolific wordsmith-ess, Jane Dougherty adorns my page today with a superb Guest Blog… she calls it a ’rant’… I see it as a terrific reality check for publishers and readers alike… some of we Lads and Lassies do scribble stuff thats’s neatly labelled in its own JONGGR… others often produce broader themed WURK... Jane’s views on it are crystal clear… LUV IT!…enjoy…


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Today I am interviewing me. You can find me on my blog most days, and you can find all my books on Amazon. I tweet a ton of poetry too so you might want to follow me on Twitter too. There’s a button for that somewhere. Blog home page, I believe.

Today I am going to answer that ugly question: Who do you write for; what is your target readership?

I truly hate this question, and what follows is a rant explaining why.

Yesterday I found a review of The Dark Citadel on Goodreads. I was doubly pleased, firstly because the reviewer who had picked up my book because she liked the cover is neither a fantasy nor a YA reader, and secondly because she didn’t even realise it was classed as YA until she looked for the book details on Amazon. She said that while she was reading, the ages of the main protagonists didn’t ring alarm bells in her head. It didn’t alter their humanity in any way; she just wanted to know what happened to them.

This reaction is a perfect example of how genre stereotyping can reduce a book’s visibility rather than increase it. It also incidentally shows how important it is to have a good book cover.

To go back to genre though, one of the worst forms of booksellers’ censorship must be the age recommendation. Taking their cue from the film industry, they insist on sticking fiction into age-suitable categories. What is fine for early learners at infant school surely shouldn’t apply to real books? I can understand that a school reading series is planned to progress in terms of vocabulary and concepts. A five-year-old has a more limited vocabulary that a ten-year-old, but will never increase her reading vocabulary unless she reads books that make demands on what she can assimilate. It’s called learning.

I have no idea at what age a human being is considered to have acquired an adult reading age, or even what that entails. I doubt Amazon does either. However, given the school literature reading lists for fifteen/sixteen year olds I think the expectation is that they should be able to read classic literature. Vocabulary, like understanding of life in general has to be built, grown, added to. And you don’t do it by always doing the same things, talking to the same people, going to the same places, and reading the same books.



(Personally I’d prefer a small, very expensive piece of Swiss chocolate)

Problems start when you bring marketing into it. Kids are targeted with confectionary, sodas, films, fashion, theme parks, computer games, because they are the things they already like. Just keep giving them more and more of the easy, brightly coloured, sickly sweet junk that catches babies’ eyes and palates, and they’ll be thrilled to bits and so will the junk manufacturers. It means not only will we produce a broad generation of children all liking the same things, but they will hopefully never grow out of it. How many adults do you know who still eat sweeties? Drink fizzy sodas? Watch Disney films? Pretend they are still sixteen? Don’t, for heaven’s sake give kids something that might be older than their current tastes because that would be so unsuitable, destabilising and possibly dangerous. Wouldn’t it?

There was a time in France not so long ago when children were taught how to appreciate adult tastes in food and drink. Children ate the same food as adults and from an early age were introduced to the taste of wine and coffee. The idea wasn’t to turn France into a nation of obese gourmets with advanced liver cirrhosis before they left school. It was an education of the palate. Nowadays, French kids swallow the same junk poisons as the rest of the civilised world and are all the poorer for it.

Kindle has recently introduced a new super-efficient target tool for not-adult fiction. You can now pinpoint to a pimple, to a facial hair, the age group your book is intended for. Whoopee! All you writers who have been chewing the ends of your fingers off worrying about what would happen if a nine-year-old read your MG book that you think is really only suitable for ten-year-olds can sleep easy. Amazon has taken care of it. Your book will be listed as unfriendly to any but ten-year-olds.



(The young Cicero reading. I bet he’d have been allowed to read Crime and Punishment before he was out of nappies)

I am not playing that game. The answer to my own question is that I write books for PEOPLE WHO CAN READ. I write for people who like my style of writing, who like escapism, who still reach into the back of every wardrobe in the hope that…I don’t care how old or young you are, as long as you have an adult reading age, because yes, folks, even though my protagonists might not have signed their lives away to the bank in exchange for a house, I still write about them using adult words.

My main characters are young people but they are not morons. They have dreams and responsibilities. They aren’t superheroes and adults don’t follow them in droves over a cliff because they happen to be the main characters in a story. They are just like you and me but without kids, mortgages, mid-life crises, career angst, and with the shine still on their idealism. They are what we used to be like and still are if we look hard enough.



(Deborah and Jonah deciding which way to go)

I’ll let you into a not-very-well-guarded secret. I have no idea how to market my books. When I was growing up we decided whether we liked the sound of a book by opening it and reading some of it. Why is that tactic no longer acceptable? I would love to have thousands and millions of people read my books, but I can’t say: they are New Adult shape-shifter romances set in New Jersey and the hero is really hot so if that’s your thing you’ll love my books. I can’t say that they are like anything else I can think of. So, you know, the only way to find out whether you’d like it would be to try the ancestors’ method of reading some of it.

I’ll shut up now, Seumas, and get back to what I do best. Writing. Thanks for the loan of the soapbox J










…thanks for that, m’Lady Jane… a thoroughly entertaining post… if any of yeez want to share yer opinions on this or anything else that grabs yer fancy, the soapbox is free here at all times… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!







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The Author Hot Seat: Second round

The wonderful Author and Poetess Wordsmith Supreme, Jane Dougherty, carries an interview with yours truly today… thank you, m’Lady 🙂


Jane Dougherty Writes

My first guest in this second round of The Author Hot Seat is an old (in blogging terms) friend, Seumas Gallacher.


We all know you as the Scottish crime writer who wears a kilt even when he’s trolling about among the dunes of Abu Dhabi. What we might like to know is what he did before he became a camel driver that inspired him to write international crime novels. So, to satisfy the morbid curiosity of the red top readers among us, I’ve shoved said Scot into the hot seat, manacled him and got the irons nice and hot just in case he wants to hold something back.

J : Do your early years in Glasgow influence your writing?

SG : Undoubtedly. They say you can take the boy out of Glasgow, but you can’t take Glasgow out of the boy. Much of the grit and values that I’ve instilled…

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