Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve got Kathleen Maher here today talking about Irish things, and her novella Bachelor Buttons. When I checked Amazon, it’s free on Kindle Unlimited and only $0.99 for ecopy!!! (check before you purchase in case prices have changed) Plus, Kathleen had a pretty sweet giveaway!
The daughter of immigrants who fled the Irish Potato Famine, Rose Meehan longs for a better life than the tenements of New York City. Courted by two men–a young doctor who represents material security, and a poor violin instructor who has captured her heart–she must choose between the two. When Manhattan explodes in mob rule following Lincoln’s unpopular draft, Rose’s decision could mean the difference between life and death.
Purchase at Amazon
Begorrah! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I am doing a jig, I’m so excited about my new release, Bachelor Buttons. Can’t wait to share a chance to win a copy with your readers. Thank you, Jessica, for having me here today, one of my most favorite days of the year.
As you guessed, my last name Maher is indeed Irish. But it’s my husband’s last name, after all. My maiden name is decidedly not Irish. “Talvi” is a Finnish name that means winter. But my mother was Irish, and her maiden name was Cronin. So I’m proud of all the Irish blood that’s in me, and I get the privilege of telling you a tale of one of my Irish ancestors, who led an interesting life.
grandfather, John Cronin, was born in Ireland in 1848. He emigrated to the
United States, settling in New York City, learned the language quickly, and
signed up in 1864 with the famous New York ”Fighting Irish” 69th
regiment as an infantry volunteer for the Union. He was just shy of his 16th
birthday, but he convinced the recruiting office that he was 18 in order to
enlist. He served a year of active duty, present at the Battle and Siege of
Petersburg, receiving an injury, witnessed the surrender at Appomattox, and marched
in the Washington DC review of the Grand Army of the Republic.
If that wasn’t excitement enough to last a lifetime, John Cronin held a series of livelihoods after the war to support his family. For a while he owned a tavern, which ultimately brought more trouble than good fortune. Next, he apprenticed with a milliner, and soon mastered the art of hat making. This vocation would prove to have occupational hazards, too. Hat shapes were formed with quicksilver, or mercury, which is now known to cause neurological impairment. Back then, the common phraseology was “mad as a hatter.”
Through his ups and downs, John’s love for Ireland remained, and he devoted time each year as an organizer for the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in New York City. It was marching in this parade that he caught pneumonia which led to his demise.
John and his wife bore eleven children, and my grandfather was the seventh son. Here my mother’s father, Vincent Cronin, is pictured in a photo taken in 1897, the second in from the left with the big buttons. His brothers Phil, Ray and Harry (from L-R) appear with him. Don’t you just love the clothing? So dapper. And those walking caps, so Irish. I want to pinch their cheeks. But that would just be weird, because they are my elders, after all.
What interesting stories does your family have that you’ve always thought would make good conversation over Twining’s Irish breakfast tea and soda bread? I would love to hear them! Leave a comment with your email addy so if your name is selected by random dot org, I can contact you. Also, feel free to share this post, and tell me where/how many shares for extra entries to win your own e-copy of Bachelor Buttons.
And while we are on the subject of winning, try your luck and enter our rafflecopter. The top prize is a $50 Amazon gift certificate. I tell you no malarkey!
Please take a moment to enter for your chance to win one of these great prizes!
Rafflecopter runs from March 9-18th. Click below to enter!
Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. The luck of the Irish be with you!
Stories where every underdog has his day.
Kathleen L. Maher’s first crush was Peter Rabbit, and she’s loved conflicted heroes ever since. She has two novellas in BARBOUR BOOKS’ collections: Victorian Christmas Brides and Lessons on Love. Winner 2012 ACFW Genesis Award. Author of Sons of the Shenandoah Series: The Abolitionist’s Daughter and The Chaplain’s Daughter.
Kathleen and her husband live in an old farmhouse in upstate NY with their children and a small menagerie.
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