posted on June 14, 2022 by Eileen Dreyer

Ireland Calling

I’ve been lucky—and blessed—enough in my life to be able to not only grow up steeped in the lore of my Irish family, but I’ve also been able to visit it often in person. In fact, I just got back after meeting another branch of my extended family there. I wish I could spend this entire blog just recounting the special places I’ve been able to visit, the people I’ve come to call friend—and cousin. But there isn’t enough space anywhere.

What I can do is relay a bit of the magic that is still in the weave and warp of that magical isle. I know. Lots of people have waxed rhapsodic about it, in song and story and poem. It gets a bit much at times. Believe me; I hear you. My mom was positively maudlin on the subject. But then, she never got to go home, and saw it all from an exile’s perspective. And her family had been here in the US since her grandparents. That’s how strong a pull the place has. I felt the same way. No, feel the same way. I’m an American. No question about that. Born and raised and will spend the rest of my life in the Midwest. But I’ve never felt as if this magnificent country is really mine. I envy those who feel completely one with it. That feeling only happened to me when I stepped onto Irish soil for the first time. Home. Mine. There was an instant connection I couldn’t explain if I tried. And I have. A feeling that my feet settled into the soil, not just on top of it.

And it isn’t just the quilted green of the hills or the skirling wail of the music. It isn’t the unfailing hospitality of the people (my husband, whom Facebook knows as The Engineer, swears that giving directions is the Irish national sport) or the transient nature of the weather. It’s the fact that as modern as Ireland now is, its people still carry a real respect for and connection to the places and stories that have held power over the millennia. You might drive by a microchip plant, but within a mile there will be a stone circle, perfectly untouched in a farmer’s field. Blackthorn trees will stand all alone in the center of a field because you simply don’t destroy a fairy tree. Major road construction has been rerouted to protect evidence of a fairy fort, a stone or earthen circle that has been in that place beyond memory, within which the light seems somehow changed, and you feel not quite alone. Archeological work is done, but the sites are protected more carefully than cathedrals. You might not hear the stories told in Dublin pubs over Guinness, but if you ask gently, you might well hear about traditions like leaving milk out for the fairies, or planting certain trees to keep them away, or the nights near Knocknarea when the fairies can be heard to ride.

My mother used to say that the veil is thinnest in Ireland. I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world, and I can honestly say that there is more a sense in Ireland than anywhere else I’ve been lucky to visit that there are things we can catch just out of the corner of our eye that aren’t of our recognizable world. Whispers of an evening, shadows on a hill, faces that are just not quite human. Ireland is where Halloween began, the time at the crux of seasons when this world and the next lay open to each other. Ireland is where the stories are told of a race of people who ruled Ireland until invaders came. And when that happened, instead of leaving, the Tuatha de Danann simply disappeared into the earth to live on another plane. The Tua. The fairy folk.

I’ve had my own experiences, which only make sense over there. I’ve stood in the forts and walked the paths and held onto the great stones. And when I was given a chance to share my own vision of the Fae, I jumped on it. And I admit, I had a great time. My Daughters of Myth series is my own retelling of the story of Mabh and the Tuatha de Danann. Since the Tuatha are a matriarchal fairy society, I even created the patriarchal opposite, the Dubhlainn Sidhe, the Fairy of the Dark Sword. And like any good author, I gave them a great conflict, greater danger and even greater loves. The series as it stands revolves around Mabh’s daughters, Nuala, Sorcha, and Orla. It is Orla’s story which comes now, she who tried to take the fairy throne and so is exiled to the Dubhlainn Sidhe. Orla spoke to me both as a woman fighting for her place in a man’s world and as an exile from all that she knew and loved. I hope I’ve done justice to her as the Daughter of Destiny and both her fairy clans. All I know is that I wouldn’t mind falling asleep on a fairy hill and waking to find them there.

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Release date 6/14/2022

She has been exiled
Orla, daughter of Mab Queen of Fairies has committed the worst crime in the land of fairy. Conspiring with a fairy from the enemy clan, the Dubhlainn Sidhe, she tried to take the throne. In punishment, Mab condemns her daughter to marriage to the Dubhlainn Sidhe’s most fierce warrior–Liam the Protector, the very fairy Orla conspired with. The only choice she has is to meet her fierce husband and adversarial clan without hesitation or apology. It doesn’t hurt that Liam sparks a desire she has never known, or that she comes to see his honor and strength. It doesn’t help that he also ignites a need in her that could easily overwhelm her.

He is her new home
Liam the Protector lives to serve his clan. When he conspires with Orla, he believes it will help restore his clan’s power. The Dubhlainne Sidhe are guardians of the wastelands where danger never dies, and power comes at a premium. Liam comes home, though, to a new danger. A wife he hadn’t wanted or anticipated. Worse, a wife who has decided to stand against the age-old customs and beliefs of the patriarchal Dubhlainn Sidhe. Does he resent her or respect her? He’s not sure. All he is sure of is that their lovemaking lights the night sky.

Note: This title was previously published as Deadly Redemption


Eileen Dreyer

Eileen Dreyer

Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Eileen Dreyer is actually evil twins. Known as Kathleen Korbel to her Silhouette readers, she has published thirty-seven novels and novellas and 11 short stories in not only the various genres of romance (including historical, suspense, fantasy and contemporary) but suspense---most particularly medical forensic suspense, where she kills off the people who annoyed her when she worked as a trauma nurse She came to publishing from that world of trauma nursing, which taught her some very important lessons, the most important being "don't sweat the small stuff," or, as her family puts it, "come see me when you get hit by a bus." In addition to trauma, she is trained in death investigation and Tactical Medicine (technically she is eligible to be a medic on a SWAT team). Eileen won her first publishing award in 1987, being named the best new Contemporary Romance Author by Romantic Times. Since then she has garnered not only a prestigious Anthony Award nomination for mystery, but five Rita Awards from the Romance Writers of America, which afforded her a place as only the fourth member in the RWA Hall of Fame. Eileen is a voracious reader---of everything---who started writing at ten, when she ran out of Nancy Drews. She writes in two genres, because she believes in the message of both: hope and justice. (well, and because she hasn't finished that big fantasy yet) You can figure out which is which. A frequent speaker at writer's conferences and universities all across the country (and more recently, Italy), Eileen is a member not only of Romance Writers of America, but Novelists, Inc, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and, just in case things go wrong, Emergency Nurses Association. She has also assumed the mantle of unofficial mascot for the International Association of Forensic Nurses, a new forensic subspecialty that, amazingly enough, has begun to show up in her work. A lifelong resident of St. Louis, Missouri, Eileen has been married for forty-four years to husband Rick, and has two children and might have grandchildren. She also has animals but refuses to expose them to the glare of the limelight. An addicted traveler, she has sung in some of the best Irish pubs in the world, and enjoys the kind of hands-on book research that lets her salve an insatiable curiosity. She counts film producers, police detectives and Olympic athletes as some of her sources and friends.

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10 thoughts on “Ireland Calling”

  1. Judy Skapik says:

    Dear Eileen,
    When you mentioned the feeling that came over you when you stepped onto Irish soil it ran a “chill” up my spine. In 2000 I was fortunate to be able to visit Ireland with my daughter. I had been to England, Wales, etc. but when I first stepped onto Irish soil I felt a deep guttural connection to my Irish ancestors. Although Irish on my mother’s side only I felt at that moment a tie with all my kin who had come before me. It lingers still. I will never forget it and will always remember that trip as the best I have ever taken. Thank you for reminding me of this awesome feeling!

    1. Judy– Amazing, isn’t it? My DNA is 13% Scottish, and yet, my pervasive feeling when I’m there, even in the gorgeous wild Highlands is sadness that none of it is mine. But every inch of Ireland resonates clearly.

  2. Vicki says:

    I so long to travel there and I feel I would never want to leave! I have always felt such a pull to that country and I know my family’s ancestors are from there but no one in my immediate family has ever been there. I still hope to do it someday but until then I love escaping there in books and stories about it.

    1. Vicki,
      I truly hope you do, too. You’ll never forget it.

  3. Colleen C. says:

    I hope one day to see Ireland for myself… beautiful book covers!

    1. Me, too, Colleen. Aren’t the covers wonderful? I love working with Oliver Heber Books.

  4. Rachel Flesher / Raonaid Luckwell says:

    I have always been enchanted by Ireland and its myths and lore.
    I wish I could visit, but I doubt I would ever get the chance

  5. bn100 says:

    seems nice to visit

  6. Maggie says:

    My husband and I both share an Irish heritage. While visiting, we climbed out on the giant black rocks at Galway Bay. We watched the sunset, our feet getting splashed by the waves. Moving to leave, we realized we had been there for three hours. Yes, it was magic. And very beautiful.

    1. Yeah, funny how that is. Several times I’ve been driving down back lanes and seen heavy mist to the side of the road and felt absolutely compelled to walk into it. I didn’t. But I had the most persistent suspicion that if I did I’d never walk back out.

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