Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guest Post with Clare O'Donohue -and Book Giveaway

I have recently read and reviewed "The Devil's Puzzle" by Clare O'Donohue.  It was a great murder mystery set around quilters and a quilt shop.  As an avid reader, I love finding out about the author. So when I was given the opportunity to have a guest post by the author, I was thrilled.  Rather than do an interview, I asked that she write about herself and why she writes.  Being of Irish descent also, I asked that perhaps she include a bit about her Irish heritage.   
Okay, I will quit rambling (I can't help it, this is so exciting to me!) Here is the post from the lovely and talented Clare O'Donohue.
I grew up in a house filled with words. My mother, an English teacher, used to recite poetry to us at the breakfast table. My dad told funny stories that he made up on the spot. At the holidays, we were all required to entertain with stories, jokes and songs. My sister Mary and I still do a rendition of “Sisters, Sisters” from the movie, White Christmas, at our holiday celebration. And it rocks.
My parents are Irish, raised on farms on the west coast of that beautiful country. Music is a mainstay of the place, but so also is the craic, an Irish term that translates loosely as fun and good conversation. The ability to tell a good story is a cultural imperative.

I suppose that may be why I was so drawn to words and stories. It’s part of my DNA. We grew up with lots of books in our house, though few were aimed at children. We had Steinbeck, Hemingway, Twain and Dickens as our reading material. We were encouraged (aka forced) to learn the works of poets like Keats, Yeats, and of course, Shakespeare. My brothers, sister and I can quote our favorite speeches from Shakespeare plays, and occasionally still recite them at family dinners to entertain Mom. Mine, by the way, is Henry V’s, “Upon the King,” speech in Act 4, Scene 1. It’s a great piece of writing.

Words have power. They entertain, they incite, they inspire. I realized early on that, even though I was the youngest member of the household, if I could tell a good story, I could command attention. So, from five years old, I did. I changed the endings of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (ugly stepsisters and mean witches repented in my stories). I told my sister about the lives of the kind monsters who lived under our beds, who protected us from the mean monsters who lived in the closet. I entertained myself on car trips by making up tales about the people we saw when we stopped at red lights. Later, I wrote my stories down, writing my first short novel when I was 15. Stories became my way to explain myself, and the world around me.

When I hang out with family, both in the U.S. and in Ireland, a good craic is always the evening’s entertainment. We tell stories and jokes. My brother, Jack, usually spins an elaborate yarn that has us all believing a nearly unbelievable story, until he bursts out laughing, and we know we’ve been had.

For my parents, there was magic in a well told tale and a beautifully written story. And, clearly, all four of their children took that lesson to heart. Both my brothers, Dennis and Jack, have published essays and articles. My sister, Mary, has an award winning parenting book out. I’ve got my novels. And my mom still recites poetry at the breakfast table, usually breaking into tears at the sadness it, reminding us all about the power and beauty of words.
I hope you enjoyed this bit of insight into the author. 
If you would like to win a copy of the book "The Devil's Puzzle"  please be a follower of my blog (not required, but highly suggested) and leave a comment on your favorite mystery series.  (I would love it if you mention the author's name also.)
And for a second chance, blog about this giveaway on your blog and leave another comment with a link to the blog post. I will be checking.
*** Edit***
The eligibility period for this will run until  midnight central time on Tuesday October 18.  All comments must be made prior to that time to be entered.  The drawing will happen on Wednesday (as time permits) and the winner will be notified. After hearing back from the winner, I will announce the  winner.******

I will probably not reply to comments as giveaways usually draw a large number of comments. However, know that I read every comment that is posted.
And if you can't wait to win, or if you want to read the first three books in this series; check your local bookseller or
Happy reading,


A.J. Dub. (Amy) said...

The Cat Who ... series by Lilian Jackson Braun is one I enjoyed. I also like Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. And the Chocoholic Mysteries by JoAnna Carl.

They are all what I call "fluffy" mysteries because they are light easy reads with fun characters.

Pat said...

My favorite series is also a "fluff" one.......the Stephanie Plum series of mysteries written by Janet Evanovich. Nice idea to have "your" author tell about herself for your blog post!

quiltingnana said...

I liked your author post....great idea for a post. I love to read mysteries so I have many favorites...I just started a Maisie Dodd series which takes place in England between WWI and WWII.

wordmama said...

I have read every single Agatha Christie mystery. And I read a lot of Arthur Conan Doyle when I was young.

I'm responding because I loved the author's description of words and stories in her family and her life. I love to hear the stories that people tell about their lives.

Thank you for such an interesting post.


Jennifer said...

I don't know that's these are really mysteries but Ann B. Ross Miss Julia series is a hoot. Of course I'm a follower.

Jennifer said...

Off to add to my sidebar now Genie:)

Snoodles said...

I saw the title of your post and came a-runnin'! I've only read one of her books, but I enjoyed it tremendously! My fav series has to be Arthur Conan Doyle's famous sleuth and his sidekick, Watson. Love the repartee between those two. Thanks for a wonderful and interesting post.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I'm a follower. I enjoyed the Patricia Amble Mysteries.

Vesuviusmama said...

I love series - I get attached to characters and don't want to say goodbye to them after just one book. I have several favorites - and Clare O'Donohue's books are one of them. I've not yet read the last one, so I'm excited about the chance to win. Other favorites include Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper mysteries, Marie Bostwick's Cobbled Court Quilts books (not mysteries), and I just read Leann Sweeney's The Cat, The Quilt and the Corpse, and enjoyed it so much that I've ordered the 2nd book in the series.

Pattie Crum said...

Patricia Cornwall's Scarpetta mysteries are my favorite. I love stories set in England and Ireland, such beautiful countries with quirkey charactors.

Beeshebags said...

G'day Gene, I have to agree with Pattie Crum, Patricia Cornwalls Scarpetta mysteries would be my favourite too. (I'm a GFC follower of your blog...oooh and as I write this, I've just noticed you have email subsription too....signing up for that now!) Hugs Naomi

Beeshebags said...

I'm ba-ack, I just shared a link to the giveaway on FB and went and wrote a post on my blog about the giveaway (


Unknown said...

What a fabulous guest! Thanks for sharing! I have to admit, I am more of a non-fiction reader than any other genre, but I have read a bunch of Agatha Christie in my time!
Thanks for the chance!

Quiltin' Sandy said...

Enid Blyton's Famous Five set me off on a life-long love of reading. I read Agatha Christe, Patricia Cornwell, Mary Higgins Clark- you name it!! Lately I have read James Patterson and JD Robb. :)

quiltmom anna said...

I have a number of favorite quilting series. I have read some of Clare's other books so I would love to read this one.
I also really enjoy the Elm Creek Quilt Series by Jennifer Chiaverini. I have read them all except her newest ones.
Earlene Fowler has a good series that are the Benni Harper mysteries.
The last set of books that I will share are ones by Nancy Turner. The first one is called These is my words - the Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine. They are stories of travel and life on the migration cross country on the Oregon Trail.
Someone is going to love reading Clare's new book.
I have become an official follower though I have followed your blog for quite a long time now.

SewCalGal said...

Fun review Gene. Looks like a great read.


SewCalGal said...

I shared insights on your giveaway on my page where I share insights on contests & giveaways:


Becky said...

I enjoy the Coffee House Mystery series by Cleo Coyle. It's set in New York City and includes lots of information on coffee brewing. Thanks for this guest post!

Anonymous said...

i also enjoyed Enid Blytons famous five,thankyou for a chance to win this lovely prize

Margarita said...

I read!!! Usually everything, I loved the Stephanie Plum series and also the JD Robb series on the futuristic cop.

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I have enjoyed all of the Earleen Fowler books - not so much a mystery as a 'who done it'. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your great giveaway.

Melissa ;-) said...

LOVE mysteries!! Thanks for the chance to "meet" one of the authors. I am still quite smitten by Earlene Fowler's Benni Harper series, myself! I haven't read any of Clare O'Donahue's series. Thanks for the chance!

GerryART said...

There's nothing like a mystery, Gene.
One of my favorite mystery writers is Lee Child and his Jack Reacher series.
John Sandford and his Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers series.

tpott said...

I'd love to find a new mystery series. I'm into Mary Higgins Clark and Jennifer Chiaverinni there are many others but right this minute I'm drawing a blank on names. Thanks for hosting such a wonderful giveaway. ;->

Jodi said...

I LOVED Nancy Drew growing up many moons ago - now I'm showing my age!
Thanks for the wonderful chance!

Jodi said...

And I'm a follower, of course!