Once Upon A Series (Guest Post by Cynthia Owens)
Once Upon A Series
by Cynthia Owens
September 22, 2o15
Hi Anna, thanks so much for having me as your guest today. It’s lovely to be here!
My name is Cynthia Owens, and I am a series-aholic.
I think there’s something special about a series of books. There’s a certain connection to the characters, and I love to revisit them, find out what’s happened to them since “their” story ended. From the Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mystery stories I loved as a child, to Mary Jo Putney’s Fallen Angels books, I’m definitely hooked!
I guess that’s why, when I started writing my own stories, they just naturally grew into series.
My first series is the Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond. It started out with two people and a village just after the Great Irish Famine, and has thus far grown into five published novels and several more in the works.
But even though I loved the people of Ballycashel, I wanted to branch out a little. So I conceived the Wild Geese Series, set for the most part in New York City just after the America Civil War. The heroes are five men who arrived in America from famished Ireland. They grew up together on the mean streets of New York and eventually fought with Thomas Francis Meagher’s Irish Brigade. The Irish heroes return to find love.
Thus began the complicated tale of two series.
I can’t deny that while I’m having a great time writing these stories, it’s sometimes hard to keep everyone straight! But I’ve found two ways to do that, and sometimes it’s the only thing that’s kept me sane!
The first is my bible. My story bible, that is. It has everything about my main characters, secondary characters, and even a few walk-on characters, as well as details about setting, timelines, research and so on. I have a separate bible for each series, and separate sections for each story. It really helps to keep things straight.
The second thing is music. Yes, music, because I always listen to music when I’m writing. When I’m writing a Claddagh novel, I listen to traditional Irish music, usually instrumental, because nothing evokes old Ireland like a fiddle and a tin whistle. But for my Wild Geese Series, I like to listen to music from that period to set the mood for those stories.
It’s quite a lot of work to keep everything straight, but I love both my series, just because they are so different. And I hope my readers will enjoy them too, because there are a lot more stories to come!
My latest release is Reluctant Betrayer, Aidan Collins’s story. It’s a Claddagh story, but fans of the Wild Geese, take heart. Yesterday’s Promise, Declan Morrissey’s story, is in the works!
Thanks again for having me today, Anna!
I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.
My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.
A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.
I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.
I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.
Sweet deception and hidden passion…
Trasnavan…a west-of-Ireland village bursting with charm, intrigue and treachery.
Aidan Collins grew up in the shadow of his heroic older brother. The steady one, the responsible one, he burns with anger against the landlord and vows to change the desperate straits of the village folk.
Raised in a family of rebels, Maura Riordan is horrified when she learns the man she loves has committed the ultimate act of treason.
But Aidan has his own reasons for taking the position of landlord’s agent. Will those reasons destroy him? Will Maura’s deception tear them apart?
Can their love survive the lies they’ve both told?
Reluctant Betrayer, Book V in the Claddagh Series.
Pity stirred Maura’s heart. “She was my bosom friend, Neil, even before she was yer intended.” She touched a tentative finger to his iron-hard jaw. “I loved her too.”
“Then how can ye even think o’ a man like Aidan Collins? Sure, he’s serving the enemy!”
“Can f-feelings just w-wither and die because you w-will them?” Her voice rang with defiance.
He caught her wrists in his hands, his fingers biting into her flesh. “Ye’ll no’ see him again, Maura.”
“I love him, Neil. And—and I know he loves m-me.”
His eyes widened, his mouth became a snarl. “And how are ye knowing that?”
“Because we’ve an understanding between us!” The words burst from her, and she clapped her hands to her mouth. Oh, why had she told him now, like this?
“Without me knowin’ about it?”
“‘Twas nothing s-sordid, Neil.” She stared appealingly up at him, her heart shrinking in her chest as she saw his unyielding anger. “‘Twas a few walks in the woods when we were going the same way, a stroll by the strand…”
“Ye’ll no’ be seeing him again.” He caught her shoulders, shook her roughly. “He’s one o’ them now. And if he were to learn of…”
“Of what?” Caught by the sudden tension in her brother’s voice, Maura stared at him, horror chilling the blood in her veins. “Neil, wh-what are you k-keeping from me?”
“Nothing. Ne’er ye mind. Just remember, ye’re no’ to see Aidan Collins again.”
“No, ‘tis not nothing.” A terrible conviction swept over her, weakening her knees and scalding her throat. She knew. “Dear God, Neil, no! You’re not—oh, Mary Mother of God, tell me you’re not involved in—in—you’re not m-mixing with a secret s-society, are you?”
“Don’t ask me that, Maura, fer ye know I can’t be tellin’ ye. I’ll no’ be putting ye in danger, love.”
“Dear sweet God!”
He shook her again, until her rich auburn hair tumbled from its pins and bounced around her shoulders. “I’ll no’ be tellin’ ye again, Maura Brigid Eileen Riordan. Ye’re no’ to see Aidan Collins again. D’ye understand me now?”
“And if I d-disobey you?”
Neil stilled, his blue eyes, the exact same shade as her own, boring into her. Angry. Passionate.
“If you see him again, Maura, then I’ll have to kill him.”