Irish Roots

My Maternal Grandparents, Maria Nolan and Thomas Hughes

If you are a fan of Death on Clare Island‘s Star O’Brien, you know she is in County Mayo searching for her mother, who disappeared when Star was six years old. In Death at Ashford Castle, Star’s search continues with a visit to the National Archives of Ireland in Dublin. (Note: Ashford Castle should be out sometime in May; I will keep you posted).

In the meanwhile, for Star O’Brien fans who are interested in their Irish roots, check out the Irish government web site: I count among the many blessings in my life, the opportunities I’ve had to get to know and spend time with my mother’s family (her siblings). Unfortunately, I never got to meet my grandparents (picture above). Maria was from Turlough and Thomas was from Carramore.

Keep the luv going, Martha

My Leadership Test

From one of my walks in the woods at Cong, Mayo, Ireland

Here we are after another week of keeping physical distance and staying at home (cocooning as it is called in Ireland). My heart goes out to everyone who is on the front lines, fighting to save lives, to keep people alive, to keep each of us alive.

Our behavior makes a difference is my mantra whenever I speak to friends and family. A reminder that our commitment to staying at home is our part to do in this time of the virus. I don’t know if you saw the Prime Minister of Ireland’s speech on St. Patrick’s Day. The Prime Minister paraphrased Winston Churchill saying, “never will so many ask so much of so few.”

When our lives turned upside down several weeks ago, my first response was to treat the time at home as an extended snow day. You know, get in plenty of exercise, get some much needed rest, write as much as possible. But as the devastation of what is happening in the world, our country, our cities, and our families unfolded each day, the thoughts of self improvement turned to consideration of what each of us can do not just during the “stay at home” time but after. What are we going to do after? Each of us is being called upon to show leadership in our homes and our communities. This time of the virus will end and then I offer this definition of leadership from Robert Greenleaf for consideration. I am asking myself this question each day?


Robert Greenleaf

Our behavior makes a difference. Stay home, stay safe. In the meanwhile, keep the love going. Martha

How are you doing?

Another week of staying home so we can keep each other safe especially the nurses, doctors, police, and firefighters on the front lines of this time of the virus.

I find my days are even busier at this time. My mom is 89 years old and lives in NJ. I’m in Florida so I spend a lot of time each day, speaking to her. It’s been difficult to get food delivered to her. I’m finding that all her local grocery stores in Instacart don’t have delivery times available. The one store that will take an order over the phone will deliver seven to eight days later. I am so grateful for this store and the woman who takes my order.

I’ve been getting up before the sun rises and going for a long walk with my dog. The streets are mostly empty. I used to walk for exercise and still do but now I walk to keep me connected to the world and to the belief we will get through this. The rest of the day is spent keeping Bill safe and fed. I’ve shared before that Bill had a stroke a few years ago that has affected his cognitive abilities and vision.

But we are fine. My heart goes out to those who have a family member on the front line or are taking care of a covid sick family member at home. In the quiet moments I pray for you and all of us that we will get through this. It isn’t and won’t be easy but we will get through and we won’t forget the sacrifices that people have made to save us.

The one thing we can all do is stay home. Staying home is a way to give meaning and purpose to ourselves and each other at this time. Our behavior will make a difference. Keep the love going, Martha

My Book Cover is in a Contest. I need your vote!

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Death on Clare Island: A Star O’Brien Mystery (Star O’Brien Mystery Series Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I need your support. Please take a moment to vote for my book cover here: Click to Vote!

Please vote! Only three winners will be chosen!