Saturday, September 15, 2007


Irish Eyes is available from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid.

An excerpt:

Dear Lily,

Nothing could have prepared me for this
place. Honestly, to say it’s beautiful is a colossal
understatement. This land takes beauty to a whole
new level. Not only the sights and sounds, but the
people, too. But more about the people later.
When I got off the plane I expected...I don’t
know what I expected, exactly—but it wasn’t
what I found. Even the airport was breathtaking,
surrounded by miles of open land covered in a
rich, deep green grass that looks more like real
carpet than the stuff that Mom had in our family
room at home.

And you know how we always thought that
Vermont was hilly? Mountainous, even? Well, we
were clueless. This place is so endlessly rolling
that I fear even a ship’s first mate could find
himself seasick. I hope I get used to walking on the
lumps and bumps of this new place. If not, I’ll be
spraining my ankles every day. Let’s hope the
sidewalks are flat, at least. Hell, I hope they have
sidewalks—I haven’t seen any yet.

Riding from the airport to my temporary new
home was an adventure. Irish taxi drivers are like
taxi drivers the world over; they talk nonstop and
spend more time pointing out the “sights” than
they do paying attention to the road ahead of
them. And what a road it was! Narrow and
unlined except for the ruts that look like they
were made by elephants, the “highway” between
Dublin and here isn’t one I’ll look forward to
riding again. I kid you not—my hip is bruised
from being bashed against the inside of the
decrepit little taxi. No exaggeration, Lily. It’s the

But I did get to see some things that you just
don’t see at home.

The driver—Shamus was his name, by the
way—was careful to show me places to eat
(Mulligan’s Pub being at the top of his list) and the
chemist’s shop (they don’t call it a ‘drugstore’
over here) for finding my ‘female fixings.’ I can
hear you laughing, but I promise you—that’s
exactly what he said. Can you imagine? A modern
man— in his thirties, probably—says ‘female
fixings’? Never in New York, huh? And he did it
all after he asked me out to dinner—did I mention
that yet? Well, more on that little tidbit later, too.
When I inquired about the castle, the ruddyfaced,
red-haired Romeo clammed right up. I
pushed him a bit, claiming that I wanted to learn
about all the old castles in County Meath, and
asked him to tell me what he knew about the
place. I wasn’t above turning on the flutteringeyelash,
hair-tossing routine, either. Sadly, neither
my pointed questions nor womanly wiles had a
positive effect on the now silent-as-the-tomb

Muttering something beneath his breath, he
made a point of showing me St. Brigid’s Church,
an imposing white brick building right in the
center of town. Under other circumstances, I
would have loved to learn more about the
building, since it’s undoubtedly an important
historical monument. There’s even a hilly little
graveyard with moss-covered slabs of granite
behind the church. Shamus made it clear, though,
that not only was he not interested in talking about
the Castle, he wasn’t at all as interested in me as
he’d first been. So I thought it prudent to keep my
mouth shut about the church—no comments on
that one.

When we reached the rental cottage, a
thatched fairy-tale fantasy like the ones we drew
with our crayons as children, Shamus unloaded my
baggage from the boot (it’s not a trunk here, no
matter how much it looks like the one on my
Audi). I swear I could hear him say something
about banshees and ghouls as he drove away.
Oh, and no second inquiry about going out to
dinner with him before he left, either. Which was
really too bad, since he was temptingly handsome
and, as we both know, I’m currently single.


Ugh, let’s not go there.

Did you think Ireland was going to be like
this? I admit that I didn’t. And I haven’t even
scratched the surface of my explorations—I
wonder what I’ll find when I get down to looking
around. I’ll keep you posted as things here move

For now, I’m off in search of a hot meal. I
didn’t see anything that even comes close to
resembling a Wendy’s or a Pizza Hut. I hope the
food here is easier to understand than the people

I’m glad I came here, Lily. It’s going to be
good to get some distance from the mess back at
home. Maybe I can begin to figure out what I’m
going to do next. After all that’s happened, I’d like
to crawl into a hole and bury myself, but I know I
can’t do that. I know, I know...I can hear you
pressing the buttons, dialing Dr. Monroe as you
read this. But don’t. You don’t need to worry
about me. I’m going to be fine. I promise.

Now, I’m really going to find some food. I’ll
write again soon.

Love, Maddy

P.S. As soon as I get the Internet thingy
hooked up to my laptop I’ll send e-mails, too.
Don’t worry, though. The snail mail will keep
coming—I know how you love to examine the
strange stamps, tear open the envelopes and hold
the pages in your hands. I do, too. It must be one
of those silly family things, don’t you think?
Maybe all those letters we got at camp from
Granny when we were kids—you know the ones.
Anyhow, the e-mails will soon be on the way, too.
Just thought I’d let you know.