Silly McGilly Giveaway – Ireland’s Magical Leprechaun

Silly McGilly is a friendly little leprechaun who loves nothing more than playing tricks on children.

Silly McGilly's AirplaneSt. Patrick’s Day may be a long way away, but since today is September 17th, and our big Irish celebration is 6 months from today, why not seize the opportunity to introduce you to a little leprechaun, and host a giveaway to mark the day.

I suppose we can treat September 17th like St. Patrick’s half birthday. My eldest boy celebrates a summer birthday, so I thought he would miss marking the occasion with his school classmates. Not in America!

Half-birthdays have now been invented to create a little razzmatazz for summer birthday kids, midway through their year.

“Wow!” is all this Irish-born mother could say, upon seeing a colorfully decorated, half-birthday hat, sported home from school one winter’s afternoon. Somehow, I don’t think Sr. Mary or any of the other Irish nuns who taught me, were ever worried about half birthdays.

Even so, dear St. Patrick, Irish American Mom is getting on board with this “we’re half-way-there” celebration thing, and introducing everyone to none other than Silly McGilly, on this the mid-way point to your Big Day.

Who Is Silly McGilly?

 

Silly McGillySilly McGilly is a friendly, Irish leprechaun.  When March arrives each year, all leprechauns love to take a break from shoe-making. Silly loves to travel all over the world from Ireland in the weeks before St. Patrick’s Day, to play fun little tricks on children.

His story is told in a rhythmical, rhyming book, which lets little ones know to place Silly’s doll by a window each evening.  When  Silly sees the leprechaun doll he knows he’s welcome to come and play tricks.

That’s when the high jinx and leprechaun magic begin. Sometimes he leaves treats. He loves to write jokes or limericks. He’s even been known to turn food or even toilet water green.  His antics are as limitless as your imagination, but the creators of this fun little toy have many suggestions to help you create excitement in the run-up to St. Patrick’s Day.

 

“I’ll work my shenanigans while you are snug asleep,

don’t worry that I’ll wake you, I will not make a peep.  

When you wake up, find the trick that I’ve done.  

I hope your whole family will join in the fun.”

- Excerpt from Silly McGilly’s book.

 

Silly McGilly In The WindowSilly can even be used in the classroom to add some green sparkle to those dark, cold mornings in early March. In schools he sometimes leaves materials for making a St. Patrick’s Day craft, and he’s even been so daring as to change pupils’ names. Everyone’s Irish with an “O’ or a Mc” before their name.  The possibilities for leprechaun school fun are endless.

Silly McGilly has his very own website, and there, parents and teachers can find ideas for leprechaun fun and games. Silly has even created downloadable learning templates, including Shamrock Rhymes, Letters to McGilly, and Silly McGilly Scrapbook templates.

 

Who Created Silly McGilly?

 

Silly McGilly is the brain child of three Irish American sisters from New Jersey. Michelle Dougherty, Eileen Cowley, and Victoria Coffey have always enjoyed celebrating their Irish heritage, especially around St. Patrick’s Day. Their own children inspired them to create Silly McGilly, the perfect little leprechaun to add family magic to March days and nights. You don’t even need to be Irish to join in the fun.

 

Title page of Silly McGilly

Charlotte Cheng beautifully illustrated Silly’s story.  When she is not creating art on walls, sidewalks and paper, she’s usually dreaming of Ireland.

 

How To Purchase Silly McGilly:

 

Silly McGilly can be purchased online for $34.95.  From 9/10/14 through 10/17/14 in celebration of 1/2 way to St. Patrick’s Day, autographed copies of the book are being offered.

Silly even has his very own Facebook page.

 

The Giveaway:

 

The creators of Silly McGilly contacted me to see if I would help spread the word about their magical creation. I love to support Irish American entrepreneurs,  so I’m delighted to share a little leprechaun fun with you through this giveaway.

The prize is a Silly McGilly giftpack, which includes one 8″ Silly McGilly plush doll, and one beautifully illustrated hardcover copy of the 8.5″x 8.5″ Silly McGilly book.  The set is beautifully packaged in a keepsake box.

Silly McGilly Giftpack

To enter the giveaway just leave a comment on this blog post, or for an additional entry you can follow Irish American Mom on Pinterest. Then simply complete your entry on the following Rafflecopter widget.  The winner will be announced on Wednesday, September 24th. Just check the widget below to learn who is the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

A big thank you to Big Treasure Publications for providing this wonderful prize, and best of luck to all who enter. I’m looking forward to reading all your leprechaun inspired magical comments.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom

 

And now a little bit of legalize through a quick disclosure: Irish American Mom does not have any financial connection with Big Treasure Publications and did not receive any cash payment for publishing this post and giveaway. I did however receive a giftpack including Silly McGilly’s book for review purposes.  This in no way influenced my review.  Thank you to all who support the wonderful Irish and Irish American enterprises who sponsor giveaways on my site.

To Ireland’s Far-Flung Exiles / A Poem By Irish American Mom

Ruined stone cottages lie dotted across the Irish landscape, permanent reminders of Ireland’s emigrants, forced to leave their homes by famine, and eviction. Over one million people left Ireland in the years of the Great Hunger from 1845 to 1850, and in the decades after many more followed.

Every time I see the old shell of a stone cottage I think of Ireland’s diaspora. In today’s post I thought I would share a poem I wrote dedicated to Ireland’s exiles, who made their new homes in America.

 

An Irish Half-Door

 To Ireland’s Far-Flung Exiles

by Mairéad Geary

 

They left these shores carting their memories of Irish summers:
Nettles drooping under the weight of glittering raindrops,
Wild blackberries beckoning on thorny bushes;
Yellow furze, purple heather, the colors of rural childhoods;
Lingering twilights, soft rains, rugged cliffs with secret caves,
Unceasing waves, bronzed for hours by the rays of the setting sun.

 

Heather and Gorse

On Ireland’s furrowed shores, I explore their untamed territory,
Discovering abandoned ruins, eerie memorials in barren fields;
Roofless shells with tumbling chimneys and spiritual hearths,
Systematically overgrown by nature’s wild abandon;
Eternal reminders of far-flung exiles, and their children’s children,
Dreaming of Ireland from some place far away.

An Old Irish House Ruin

I stand alone in green fields, gazing skyward at contrails
Pointing the way toward a western watery horizon.
My thoughts turn to refugees, viciously ousted,
Nothing but rags shrouding gaunt, emaciated bodies,
Silently trudging to port, in search of virulent vessels;
Some long forgotten, lost forever in their salty oblivion.

Irish Famine Eviction

Through melancholy mists and harrowing storms, some survived
The wretchedness of ocean crossing and mountain crossing,
Only to be scattered like rain drops upon thousands of valleys,
Where they learned to hope anew, paying tribute to their homeland
In sweat and tears; toiling to the rhythm of their songs;
Whilst laying the foundations for the winding roads of your dreams.

The Jeanie Johnston Famine Ship -  at night

And when those deep-seated recollections haunt you,
Echoing from the land where your forebears sleep
Beneath enduring lunar stones, listen to the bleak cry of time.
Come wade through rain-drenched grass, in praise of summer days.
Let Ireland’s gentle breezes polish your scars, and the light of home
Illuminate the ties that bind you to a new and ancient world.

Graveyard at Myross, West Cork

To all those with Irish roots who will visit Ireland this summer, may you feel a warm welcome in your ancestral home. I wish you safe travels. May you feel a deep and meaningful connection to the land of our forefathers.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

Introducing Bríd Wade – Irish Artist and Writer

Today I am delighted to introduce you to Ireland’s newest crime writer, Bríd Wade.  Watchers, the first in a series of Dublin based crime novels, was released in 2013. Sleeping Dogs, the sequel, was released in June, 2014.  Here is a little background into Bríd’s inspiration for these Irish thrillers.

Sleeping Dogs by Brid Wade - 500

About Bríd (pronounced like Breed):

 

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Bríd’s family hails from the inner city, making her a true blue ‘Dub’. One of four sisters, she was educated by the Holy Faith Nuns in Larkhill, a school in the suburb of Whitehall. Always drawn to the arts, she studied piano at the Municipal School of Music in Dublin. Later she joined a band where she played the electronic organ and sang harmony with her sister. They were known as The Honeybees.

brid wade

Bríd Wade

At nineteen, she met her future husband and travelled to Manchester, UK, for a year before returning to Ireland where they married and she settled down to become a stay-at-home mum to their three children. At that time Bríd began to paint and studied with Liam Belton, RHA, a renowned Irish artist. In 1984 she became Secretary of The North Dublin Craftworkers’ Association, on whose behalf she ran the annual Christmas Craft Gift Fair in the city centre. This was the path to a new career within the exhibition industry which lasted until the Millennium.

In 2001, seeking a change of environment, Bríd moved to Kilkenny City and began to write. An avid armchair detective, she chose her favourite genre; crime fiction. Her aim was to create a character in a series of mystery stories based in modern Ireland. Matt Costello is that character. In 2006, she relocated to Inistioge, a picturesque village outside Kilkenny, where she continues to write and paint.

 

And now over to Bríd……

 

 

Bríd’s Thoughts On ‘The Arts':

 

Sometimes people scoff when ‘the arts’ come up in conversation; as if it’s a club to which only the privileged have access. Certainly, there are those who would perpetuate that view, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Each of us is involved deeply with the arts in one form or another. Whether through music, drama, literature or the visual arts, they form a major part of all of our lives. To some they are extras; bonuses to add to busy lives, while to others, like me, they are a means of expression I couldn’t live without.

Over the years I have been involved with drama, music, painting and, now, writing. At the age of fourteen I won a medal for the best actress at the Schools Drama Festival at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. It was the year my mother died. My father was so emotional and so, so proud – and convinced I was headed for the Abbey Theatre.

Bríd’s artwork can be viewed on the Fine Art America website and on an Irish site called The Street Gallery.

 

Hideaway - A Sample of Bríd's Artwork

Hideaway – A Sample of Bríd’s Artwork

 

On Reading and Writing:

 

It might come as a surprise that I’m not a huge reader. Oh, yes! I’ve read many, many books in my lifetime, but now… Books have taken on a different aspect. It’s a bit like working behind the scenes in movie land, or television. You can’t help viewing the end product using ‘inside knowledge’. 

You recognize the means – or tools of the trade – used to achieve the aim. For me, reading a book now is a far cry from when I sat on the floor in front of a blazing fire at the age of eleven and read my first novel – my sister’s Christmas gift to me, Huckleberry Finn. It was a magical journey into a whole new world and I loved every minute of it – just for the story; oblivious to the craftsmanship involved in creating it. Now, aware of how it all works, a book can be either a master class in writing from some great author or something I will abandon after the first few pages.

I’m an impatient personality, which may explain the way I write. Even when I’m actually constructing the story, if it takes too long to get to where I want to go, I’ll gasp with irritation and chop it back until only the ‘bones’ remain. But then, detective crime fiction isn’t known for long prosy narrative. So, setting the scene is as descriptive as it needs to be.

Generally, I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t have a plan. What I do have is an idea and I build up characters around it. It may sound difficult but everybody does it. Haven’t you ever heard half a story and put the rest of it together yourself? Chances are your conclusion was way off the mark (and there’s a moral there) – but you created a whole story from a few facts. That’s exactly what I do.

The Village Square, Inistioge

The Village Square, Inistioge – Bríd’s New Home

 Introducing The Matt Costello Mystery Series:

 

Someone once called me a prude because of my views on sex. To me, sex is the physical expression of love between two people. It’s personal and private – not open to exploitation to pad a story. I view violence and foul language the same way. I can swear with the best, but it will be in private, among those who understand me, and violence is not acceptable in any form. So, I hear you ask, how can I write crime stories without sex, drugs, violence and bad language? Therein lies the reason behind the Matt Costello Mystery Series.

In recent years we seem to be drowning in crime fiction drawn from Ireland’s seedy underbelly – suggesting that drugs are a way of life, as is violence and verbal abuse. That’s not my Ireland – never was. I grew up in a Corporation housing estate where there were diverse characters, including some bad ones, but, generally, the people were decent, honest, hardworking folk trying to do the best for their families. From my experience, things today remain the same.

I want to portray that Ireland. Yes, we have crime – awful, brain-numbing events sometimes, but it’s not our way of life. Yes, I do use the odd outburst, but that is part of our culture. We have so many religious pleas here in difficult situations, like, ‘Oh, dear God!’, or ‘Sweet Jesus!’, or just plain ‘God!’ Sometimes they’ll be accompanied by making the sign of the cross on our chests – and sometimes not – and they are said to register a grave or shocking situation, and to acknowledge a higher power.

Bríd's Next Door Neighbors In Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

Bríd’s Next Door Neighbors In Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny

My hero, Matt Costello, is a gorgeous Irishman. He’s a clean-cut, clever, ex-Garda Detective turned PI. His offices are in Fairview, Dublin, overlooking the park. He’s strong, yet gentle, with considerable personal charm and a profound sense of fair play. Like any mature adult, he has scars and sometimes he doesn’t have all the answers – but he’s open minded and willing to learn.

His friend and business colleague, Dennis Hegarty, is a solicitor with a practice in the city centre. With a razor sharp mind, Dennis keeps an eye on the pitfalls surrounding Matt in his investigations – the biggest one Matt’s empathetic and tenacious nature, which can lead him into trouble.

The character of Matt Costello is largely based on two men I’ve had the good fortune to know over the years. I’ve taken traits from both of them and melded them into one. As a result, I have a very close and affectionate relationship with Matt. He’s almost real to me.

Watchers is the first in the series. Set between Dublin and Kilkenny, where I now live, Matt is on the hunt for a serial killer. In Kilkenny, where the remains have been found on a large private estate, he discovers that the land holds more than one secret. Before he’s finished, Matt will uncover them and forever alter the lives of a few people.

Published as an ebook by Tirgearr Publishing, Watchers is available from Smashwords, Kobo, Nook and Amazon. The second book, Sleeping Dogs was released in June, 2014.

For further updates on Bríd’s writing, life and artwork, you can follow her on Facebook.

 

A big thank you to Bríd for today’s guest post and for introducing us to her detective hero, Matt Costello. Wishing Bríd every success with her writing and beautiful artwork.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

 

Irish American Mom

The Rose As A Symbol Of Ireland

The rose is not widely known as a symbol of Ireland, the shamrock being more famously associated with the Emerald Isle. However, in centuries past The Black Rose was sometimes used as a code word for Ireland, when English law prohibited direct references to Ireland as a nation.

I was browsing through my albums, and came up with the idea of sharing some rose photos while examining the symbolism of the rose in Irish culture, literature, and song.

 

Big Rose Bud About To Open

Many readers may think I’m getting very mixed up, and am talking about the wrong country or the wrong flower altogether. The rose is closely associated with England, but in today’s post I’ll explore why roses may also represent Ireland.

And so, here are my top ten reasons why roses make me think of Ireland……

 

1. The Rose of Tralee:

 

I suppose the most famous of all Irish roses is The Rose of Tralee.  This international festival is a global celebration of Irish culture, with the heart of the festival being the selection of a Rose from amongst young women of Irish descent from all over the world.

The festival was inspired by an old Irish song bearing the same name.

 

“She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,

Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;

Oh no, ’twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning,

That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.”

 

I’m not a supporter of beauty pageants in general, but this festival is great. Emphasis is on having a bit of fun, with personality rather than beauty being the most important factor for winning the prize. A nice smile and a warm heart goes a long way with the judges.

Red Rose

2. Joseph Mary Plunkett:

 

As a school girl in Ireland in the 1970’s I learned the words of Joseph Mary Plunkett’s poem I See His Blood Upon The Rose. To this very day the lines of the first verse reverberate through my mind, every time I see a red rose in bloom.

 

I See His Blood Upon The Rose

By Joseph Mary Plunkett

 

 

“I see His blood upon the rose

And in the stars the glory of His eyes,

His body gleams amid eternal snows,

His tears fall from the skies.”

 

An Irish Black Rose

3. Róisín Dubh or My Dark Rosaleen:

 

Use of the rose as a partiotic symbol for Ireland dates back to the 16th century.  Róisín Dubh (pronounced Ro-sheen Dove in the south of Ireland and Ro-sheen Doo in Ulster) literally means Little Black Rose, and is one of Ireland’s most widely known political ballads.

This Gaelic language song supposedly originated in the Irish soldier camps of Red Hugh O’Donnell in the late 16th century, with a Black Rose being used as a metaphor for Ireland. Here’s James Clarence Mangan’s translation from the early 19th centruy.

 

Dark Rosaleen

by James Clarence Mangan

 

“Oh my Dark Rosaleen,

Do not sigh, do not weep!

The priests are on the ocean green,

They march along the deep.

There’s wine from the royal Pope,

Upon the ocean green;

And Spanish ale shall give you hope,

My Dark Rosaleen!

My own Rosaleen!

Shall glad your heart, shall give you hope,

Shall give you health and help, and hope,

My Dark Rosaleen.”

 

White Peony Rose

4. The Druids:

In ancient Ireland the Druids held sway, ruling the country from a place called Ériu, near Brú na Bóinne.  Supposedly these Druids wore long black and red robes, embellished with a black rose.

Whether this is fact or fiction is beyond my knowledge. Perhaps we learned of rose wearing druids from ancient manuscripts or perhaps it is a romantic poetic creation of 19th century Gaelic scholars.

 

Yellow Rose In Full Bloom

5. Aubrey de Vere:

 

Aubrey de Vere, a Limerick born poet, once again used a black rose to represent Ireland in his 1861 work The Little Black Rose.  Despite his aristocratic, English heritage de Vere was highly influenced by Irish nationalistic sentiments. In this poem, what de Vere’s little black rose, a representation of Ireland, needs to turn red is blood sacrifice.

 

from The Little Black Rose

by Aubrey de Vere

 

“The Little Black Rose shall be red at last,

What made it black but the March wind dry,

And the tear of the widow that fell on it fast,

It shall redden the hills when June is nigh.”

 

Red Peony Rose

 

  6. William Butler Yeats:

 

Yeats, Ireland’s most famous poet, used rose symbols in his early poetry.  The Rose,  a collection of twenty-two poems, was first published in 1893.

For Yeats, the rose represented unwavering beauty, since they never go out of fashion, yet he acknowledged individual roses live for a very short time. Yeats used the rose to symbolize women and Ireland, in the same nationalistic vein as his predecessors.

  from The Rose Tree

by William Butler Yeats

 

“‘Maybe a breath of politic words

Has withered our Rose Tree;

Or maybe but a wind that blows

Across the bitter sea.’…….

 

…… ‘But where can we draw water,’

Said Pearse to Connolly,

“When all the wells are parched away?

O plain as plain can be

There’s nothing but our own red blood

Can make a right Rose Tree.'”

 

White Rose In Bloom

Yeats’ poetry is a celebration of Ireland, with the rose representing untamed Irish beauty.  These rose poems are Yeats’ homage to his homeland.

 

from The Sweet Far Thing

by W.B. Yeats

 

“Rose of all Roses, Rose of all the World!

You, too, have come where the dim tides are hurled

Upon the wharves of sorrow, and heard ring

The bell that calls us on; the sweet far thing.”

 

Orange Roses In St. Anne's Park, Raheny

from To The Rose Upon The Rood Of Time

by William Butler Yeats

 

 

“Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days!

Come near me, while I sing the ancient ways:……

 

…….But seek alone to hear the strange things said

By God to the bright hearts of those long dead,

And learn to chaunt a tongue men do not know.

Come near; I would, before my time to go,

Sing of old Eire and the ancient ways:

Red Rose, proud Rose, sad Rose of all my days.”

 

Wild White Roses

 

7.  The Rose As A Symbol Of Irish Beauty:

 

The traditional song Red Is The Rose was popularized by the Irish folk singer, Tommy Makem.  Some believe he wrote the song, but it was previously recorded by Josephine Beirne and George Sweetman in 1934, so it is a traditional Irish song.  However, it is sung to the same melody as the Scottish traditional air, Loch Lomand, but with different words, albeit similarly themed lyrics.

 

Red Is The Rose

 

“Red is the rose that in yonder garden grows,

Fair is the lily of the valley,

Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne,

But my love is fairer than any.”

 

Red Rose in St. Anne's Park Rose Garden, Raheny, Dublin

Black Is The Colour

by Christy Moore

 

“Black is the colour of my true love’s hair,

Her lips are like some roses fair,

She’s the sweetest smile, And the gentlest hands,

I love the ground, Whereon she stands.”

 

Red Roses Growing Together

9. Sean O’Casey:

 

Red Roses for Me, one of Sean O’Casey’s lesser known plays, was first published in 1943.  The play focuses on the 1913 labor disputes and turmoil in Dublin. The poem/song Red Roses for Me is part of the play:

 

Red Roses For Me

by Sean O’Casey

 

“A sober black shawl hides her body entirely

Touched by the sun and the salt spray of the sea

But down in the darkness a slim hand so lovely

Carries a rich bunch of red roses for me.”

 

Wild Irish Roses In Bloom

 9. My Wild Irish Rose:

 

In Ireland, roses don’t always grow in neatly pruned rows, with wild rose bushes climbing around hedgerows, over fences in rural gardens, and adorning the doorways of thatched cottages.

Being very familiar with the term Wild Irish Rose, I realized I had no idea why the term is so widely accepted. There are bars in Ireland with the same name, and a brand of whiskey touting the title.

After checking on the internet, I learned how an old black and white movie popularized the term.  The title of the 1947 film My Wild Irish Rose is where the term originated. The film was actually nominated for an Oscar in 1948, with the original song of the same name being nominated for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.

 

Wild Irish Roses

 My Wild Irish Rose

by Chauncey Olcott

 

“They may sing of their roses, which by other names,

Would smell just as sweetly, they say.

But I know that my Rose would never consent

To have that sweet name taken away.

Her glances are shy when e’er I pass by

The bower where my true love grows,

And my one wish has been that some day I may win

The heart of my wild Irish Rose.”

 

 

Center of a Rose

10. Thomas Moore:

 

And finally, I think of Thomas Moore’s beautiful poem The Last Rose of Summer where a single, surviving rose is a metaphor for the sadness of being left to carry on alone when loved ones pass on.

Simple yet haungingly beautiful words evoke the sadness felt by many towards the end of life. First written in 1805, this poem as a song has remained popular for over two centuries. Major artisits including Celtic Woman, Clannad and The Fureys have recorded it.

‘Tis The Last Rose Of Summer

by Thomas Moore

 

“‘Tis the last rose of summer

Left blooming alone;

All her lovely companions

Are faded and gone.

No flower of her kindred,

No rosebud is nigh,

To reflect back her blushes,

To give sigh for sigh.”

 

The Last Rose Of Summer

And so now, I hope you understand why roses make me think of Ireland.

I hope you all enjoy the beauty of roses blooming this summer.

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

Irish American Mom

“Put Yer Rosary Beads Away Ma” by Cahal Dunne – Book Review And Giveaway

‘Put Yer Rosary Beads Away Ma: A Salty Tale of a Young Man’s Musical Dreams and Struggles in 1970’s Ireland’ was written by Cahal Dunne, a native of County Cork, who now calls Pittsburgh home.

Today I am delighted to introduce this wonderful new book to you.  A copy of ‘Put Your Rosary Beads Away Ma’ will be won by one lucky reader.  So read on and check out how to enter our giveaway at the end of this post.

CoverFinal_Book

1. The Book

 

This fictional tale is loosely based on Dunne’s own experiences throughout his distinguished career as a composer, pianist, comedian, story teller, and television personality. 

The entertaining exploits of Billy Golden, a young man from Cork City, who struggles to make it big as a musician in 1970’s Ireland, are recounted in hilarious fashion.  Billy begins his career as a choir director, and music teacher, progresses to show band musician, Eurovision songwriter, then prominent Celtic rocker, and finally an acclaimed solo performer in the United States.

 

“The adventures of Billy Golden reflect the era in which I was raised in Ireland.

Without a few breaks coming my way over the years,

I would most definitely have been a rather unhappy veteran teacher by now.

I’m very grateful instead, to have had a lifetime of entertaining,

which I still enjoy more than ever to this very day. “

– Cahal Dunne

 

This book highlights Billy’s struggles and successes through heartwarming vignettes. Billy and his bandmates entertain the reader as they deal with the highs and lows of life ‘on the road’, sometimes with charming innocence. 

The trials and tribulations of a career in show business are shared in a vibrant, humorous and touching way.  Escapades of young musicians and their girlfriends, love affairs and broken hearts, dealings with a few shady managers and some decent agents, are all recounted as poor Ma is busy at home in Cork, wearing out her rosary beads, praying for young Billy.

Cahal Dunne is a natural story teller, who brings Billy Golden to life as he travels the length and breadth of Ireland in a beat up old van with his band mates.

Cahal Dunne - Irish Entertainer

 

2. Praise For ‘Put Yer Rosary Beads Away, Ma':

 

I found this book to be a very entertaining read. My husband also read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

“Anybody who ever played in or danced to the beat of an Irish show band has to read this book.

Apart from that however, it is a great read in its own right, and should appeal to anyone

who likes a story of a young man’s dreams and his struggles to make them come true.

A universal tale, beautifully chronicled.

- Sean O Se, Cork, Ireland

 

As a writer, who loves to edit and re-edit manuscripts, I did notice a few transitions from past to present tense throughout the text, interrupting the flow of my reading.  I mentioned it to my husband. He never even noticed any tense changes from one chapter to the next. And so, I decided I should switch off my editing eyes when reading anything other than my own manuscripts.

 

DunneRED

3. The Author

 

Cahal Dunne attended University College Cork where he received his Bachelor of Music degree.  He is the nephew of the former Prime Minister of Ireland, Jack Lynch.  He is a winner of the Castlebar Song Contest, and represented Ireland in the Yamaha World Song Contest in Tokyo with his own song, “Lover, Not Just a Wife.”

His song, “Happy Man”, won Ireland’s National Song Contest, and he represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel in 1979.  In February 1982 he performed some concerts in Michigan, and the following year he emigrated from Ireland to the United States. He now calls Pittsburgh home.

Cahal Dunne is a composer, talented musician, entertainer extraordinaire, and now an author.

Copies of this book can be ordered directly from the author’s website.

 

4. The Giveaway

 

Cahal Dunne has generously provided a copy of ‘Put Yer Rosary Beads Away Ma’  as a prize for one of Irish American Mom’s readers.

To enter our giveaway just leave a comment on this blog post by noon on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 at noon.  You can leave any comment you wish. What you write does not affect your chances of winning.

If you need some inspiration, why not tell us if you have ever been to a concert by an Irish musician in America.

A winning comment will be chosen randomly.  Remember to leave your e-mail so that I can contact you should you win.  Your e-mail won’t be published or shared, just used to contact our lucky winner.

The winner will be announced on Saturday June 20th, in a separate blog post.  I’ll send the winner an e-mail so that I can mail the book.

Best of luck to all our entrants and a big thank you to Cahal Dunne for sharing his book with Irish American Mom’s readers.

 

 

Slán agus beannacht leat!

(Goodbye and blessings)

 

Irish American Mom

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a free copy of this book for review purposes.   I do not receive payment for my book reviews.  My first responsibility is to my readers and I am committed to honest reviews. All opinions given are my own.