The Flower of France

Picture of purple and white fleur de lis
The Flower of France

I write a cozy mystery series set in County Mayo, Ireland. So why am I posting a picture that represents the flower of France. If you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll find out why and get to read an interesting document concerning the cottage (French Hill cottage) in the Star O’Brien series.

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Zooming on a Friday Afternoon

“Star O’Brien is a haunting voice for the dead, the missing, and the lost.”

Martha Geaney, Author

Excited about my upcoming Zoom author talk Friday, October 16 with “The Happy Hour Book Club” based in Delaware. I’ll be talking about the first book in the Star O’Brien mystery series, “Death on Clare Island” and other authorly topics. I plan to record the event so watch my website for viewing information.

Image of the front cover of the mystery book: Death on Clare Island
Clare Island Lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic Ocean

Thank you so much for reading my blog post today. I hope you enjoyed it. Please use the buttons below to share with your friends. If you haven’t already, use the sign up form below to receive an email when I post something new.

Let’s Have a Hooley

So, I posted several weeks ago about my mom’s dementia. She’s with us now in Florida and she really misses home in New Jersey. One night after dinner, I was racking my brain to think of something to do because (like everyone else) we are pretty much homebound due to the pandemic. Then, it came to me: Let’s have a hooley.

Image of my mother, Mary.
Mom

What is a hooley? By the way, I love this word. Hooley has two definitions: (1. a party – an Irish night of traditional music and dance. 2. a strong wind or a gale as in “it’s blowing a hooley'”). Okay so I had the idea. I knew my mother would love a hooley (the party kind) because we grew up surrounded by relatives in the Bronx who played the accordion and sang all the old Irish songs. My dad was always a featured singer at the gatherings. My mother never sang but she loved to dance. My brother John and I went for Irish step dancing lessons when we were kids.

Image of a dog with hair blowing in the wind. Used as an illustration of "it's blowing a hooley" - strong gale winds.
It’s Blowing a Hooley (Image: PROCarlo Scherer under CC BY 2.0)

So, here we are (Bill, me, and my mom) sitting in the living room and I get the idea. Now all I had to do was find the music. Enter Alexa! my hooley hostess. That’s right. I turned to our Alexa dot that usually sits in the living room (doing nothing – well maybe she’s listens) and I asked her to play one traditional Irish song after another. Bill closed his eyes and tapped his knee. Mom’s feet were moving and I sang along with the music. We asked Alexa to play many of the songs my dad sang. Songs like Black Velvet Band, Wild Colonial Boy, Paddy Reilly, and I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen.

Musicians in an Irish pub - an Irish music session.
An Irish Music Seisiún

Overall, our first digital hooley was a success. My mom said it was fun. And, boy we do want her to have fun and be happy here with us in Florida. What are some of the things you are doing to pass the time together? I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for reading my blog post today. I hope you enjoyed it. Please use the buttons below to share with your friends. If you haven’t already, use the sign up form below to receive an email when I post something new.

Plotting a Poisoning

What finally drives someone to murder? Passion, anger, jealousy? What kind of person uses poison to commit the deed? Of course, someone who likes to plan! Someone who knows their way around the kitchen maybe? Or the garden? Or an antique shop? Or garage sale?

A is for Arsenic

According to Lucy Zahray, aka The Poison Lady, any number of sinister plants, herbs, and elements can be used to “cut the threads of life”. Looking for arsenic? Go to an antique shop or garage sale and buy fly paper. Yeah, grandma had arsenic hanging around the kitchen in the form of fly paper.

Arsenic Fly Paper

Or, how about that mixed green salad that hubby insisted he make for you this evening? Are you sure, he hasn’t mixed in some datura seeds masquerading as red pepper flakes?

How about some red pepper flakes?

Have you guessed? I’m working some poison into my latest Star O’Brien County Mayo Mystery Series? Still deciding how and whom but I’m a planner so who knows how I’ll sneak the pinch of toxin into the mix. You’ll have to read the book!

Thank you so much for reading my blog post today. I hope you enjoyed it. Please use the buttons below to share with your friends. If you haven’t already, use the sign up form below to receive an email when I post something new.