I’m working on the third book in the Star O’Brien series. I’m about seventy pages into the first draft and one or two chapters from the first plot twist.
I’ve set many of the scenes in Turlough, County Mayo. Lots of reasons why I decided to do this. One of which has to do with the mystery’s theme (more about this at a later date). Most importantly, Turlough is a place in Mayo that steals your heart and captures your soul. Turlough (meaning dry lake) is also the site of the Turlough Museum of Country Life and one of Ireland’s best preserved round towers.
Turlough’s round tower dates to the 9th century. Irish monks built the towers as a refuge from the Vikings. The tower’s belfry rang out to call the monks in from the fields for prayer. And, sometimes, the bells warned of an impending attack. The tower is surrounded by the Old Turlough Cemetery. Grave sites, including my great grandparents’, dot the landscape that falls away from the tower.
The tower and the cemetery sit on a rise overlooking the fields and Turlough lake which are now part of the Turlough Museum. I’ve stood on that rise many times to contemplate the landscape’s beauty.
I look forward to sharing more with you about the third book in the Star O’Brien series. You might want to sign up for my newsletter. In the meanwhile, here’s a picture of the Turlough round tower.
Enjoy and keep the love going. And, if you want to read the first two books in the series, follow this link: http://martha-geaney/books
When I woke up this morning, I felt like a kid again on Christmas Eve. Why? Because the second book in my Star O’Brien series released today! After a year of writing, editing, and designing, Death at Ashford Castle (Book 2) is available for Star’s fans. Sign up for my newsletter and you receive a map to go along with the book.
I planned to host a location book launch for Death at Ashford Castlehttp://www.martha-geaney.com/books this summer in Castlebar, County Mayo. Because the setting in the Star O’Brien series is real, a location book launch in Ireland matters to me. But as for most, if not all, of us, plans are on hold due to the coronavirus. The Castle Bookshop on Castle Street featured me at the Irish debut of Death on Clare Island last September. And, I’d hoped the Castle Bookshop would do the same again this summer.
The Castle Bookshop
Before I ever wrote a novel, I spent many happy moments in the Castle Bookshop when I’d be on vacation in Mayo. I discovered one of my favorite mother and daughter writing teams, P.J. Tracy, at the bookshop. P.J. Tracy write the Monkeewrench series. The American mother/daughter team published first in Europe before they became popular here. Like most independent book stores, the owners and assistants are familiar faces who are welcoming and ready to answer questions. Even when there’s been a long lapse of time between visits, they recognize and greet you like they just saw you yesterday.
Selfishly, I wanted my dose of the beautiful Mayo countryside. I wanted to walk along Barney Road and get my morning dose of the fields, the sheep, the mountains, and the sky. I wanted to go for coffee each morning at my favorite haunt when I’m in Ireland, Cafe Rua. But most importantly, I wanted to see my cousins and friends. Just for a wee bit. For I know I must return to my home here in Florida. But for a short time, I want to be in that heavenly space, called Ireland.
This is it for this week’s blog post. In the meanwhile, let’s keep everyone in our prayers are we deal with this pandemic. And, always keep the luv going.
Star O’Brien is a strong female sleuth. When I set out to write the Star O’Brien mystery series, I had some ideas in my head about what kind of person Star would be. The words “feisty”, “independent”, “inquisitive”, “relentless” came to mind. She’s had some losses in her life which have forged her being with these character traits. She doesn’t take no for an answer nor does she need anyone to tell her what to do or say. She takes the lead in her amateur investigations despite the dangers she faces.
Is there ever a good time to find the lost, the dead, and the missing? This is my mantra–maybe it’s because of my own losses, maybe it’s because this is just who I am, but I have always been for the lost souls.”
No, it stands for ‘Star O’Brien’. But I’ll admit I like the play on words.”
Star O’Brien in response to a character’s question about Star’s monogrammed initials (S-O-B) on a key chain.
Star is Flawed
Star is feisty and relentless when she faces the world around her. But underneath there is a vulnerability that keeps her from putting her emotions into relationships. She’s had too many losses in her life. She’s not about to allow a male character to swoop in and rescue her. No way! Inside she may be hurting but when she faces the world, she is S-O-B.
Female Sleuths Who Have Influenced Me
I love any mystery novel written by a female about a female sleuth. My all time favorites are Sue Grafton’s ‘Kinsey Milhone’ and Dorothy Sayer’s ‘Harriet Vane’. Recently I’ve fallen in love with Lisa Gardner’s ‘Flora Dane’.
Who are Your Favorites?
Let me know who some of your favorite strong female sleuths are?