Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Short listed in TV3 Christmas Short Story Competition.

Happy Christmas everyone and the very best for 2015.

I am delighted to share with you, my flash fiction story of 500 words which this week was short listed on the TV3 Bord Gáis Energy Bookclub Christmas short story competition. To see the story you can either follow the link below and also read the winner and the other stories that were short listed, or read it here below.

 Ethel had survived another year, another Christmas dinner. How long more could she get away without having to reveal it? They were always asking questions. The praise and the compliments were lovely but she did feel a little embarrassed. Ethel, shook her head, it was silly to think she wouldn’t be found out. Yet she had done it again! How many years was it now?
Sharing the Season of Goodwill with her children and their families was thrilling but tiring. Tonight in her own home she sat by the window, alone again after the hustle of the festive season. Her family had now returned to their own corners, scattered by the winds of this world. But she knew that next year the request would once more be raised.
She thought of her Tommy, and looked up into the inky night sky, dotted with sparkling stars. 
“A frosty one tonight, Mo,” she said to the black sleek bundle of fur on her lap.
Mo purred contentedly.
The stars twinkled. Ethel recalled her mother saying they were little portholes and our loved ones in Heaven peeped out of them to watch over us. Winking down at us they were. She loved her mother’s stories, always creating a world of wonder for Ethel and her siblings. She said a soft prayer for her mother. Ethel believed she was watching over her, she missed her and her husband, Tommy. 
Her Tommy too would be looking down on her and laughing at this silly worry she carried each Christmas. It was silly, she knew that, but what would her children think? Say? Ethel liked being the best mother ever in their eyes. Would that change?
Tommy was the first to discover her secret. Teasing her, he threatened to tell the kids each time she would scold him for sneaking a quick puff out in the garden shed.
“Memories, oh the memories,” she whispered to the silent room.
Moving over to the fireside, she dropped Mo onto the sofa. The cat stretched at the disturbance and scowled at Ethel. She poured and sipped a mellow sherry, a gift from next door; Ethel needed to sort her dilemma once and for all. Therefore the clock ticked, the fire died down and she had finished her drink when she thought of it. Simple, so simple!
“C’mon Mo, it’s time for bed.”
Placing three envelopes out on the kitchen table the following morning, Ethel set to work. The same letter to each of her children, the secret they all longed to know. It would be her Christmas gift to each of them next year.
Sealing each envelope, she tucked them away in a drawer, to be opened next Christmas when they returned to their homes.  How disappointing it would be, when they read the recipe for her stuffing, – two cups of breadcrumbs and two packets of readymade stuffing from the supermarket, any brand will do!
Ethel chuckled, already looking forward to the next festive dinner. 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Introducing New Erotic Romance Author, Jaz Hartfield.


Today I have the pleasure of welcoming and introducing a new author in the erotic romance genre to my blog. He is Jaz Hartfield. So, allow me tell you a bit about him.

 Jaz Hartfield is a writer and actor who loves travelling. He’s always looking for his next thrill, having tried bungee-jumping, parachuting, white-water rafting, pot-holing and deep sea diving. Jaz has lived in many different places; his favourite parts of the world include New Zealand, Kenya, Ireland and the Lake District in England. Having been on a stag weekend in Amsterdam, Jaz is unwilling to admit whether this story has elements of the truth in it or not.

Find Jaz on Facebook:
Chloe organizes Jo's hen weekend in Amsterdam, glad to get away from the usual boring or married men she sleeps with. Perhaps she'll met some cool guys up for a bit of fun. If not, at least she'll make sure her best friend gets very drunk while they all party in style.

Dean is getting married to Tamsin, but having serious doubts. His mates take him to Amsterdam for one last weekend of debauchery before settling down for the rest of his life. But is Tamsin the right woman for him? 

When Chloe and Dean meet in Amsterdam's red-light distract, they are immediately attracted to each other. Dean tries to justify one last fling before marrying Tamsin. Chloe feels bad about having sex with someone else's intended. Yet, a night of amazing sex is exactly what both of them want. So, why shouldn't they just enjoy one night of fantastic, guilt-free sex?


Extract from ‘One Night in Amsterdam’ by Jaz Hartfield

“Bloody hell! You’ve got lovely tits, babe.”
Chloe bit her lip, not to suppress a moan of pleasure but to stop herself from voicing her sense of disappointment. Every bloke she went with always told her the same thing. ‘Lovely tits’. Like a mantra. As if these idiots had nothing else going on in their heads. He could at least tell her she was beautiful, or be original and appreciate her legs or arse. She thought they were pretty spectacular too. No, it was always her tits.
When Mike began twisting her nipple as if turning up a thermostat, Chloe considered walking out on him. He’d been quite sweet until now, buying all the drinks and food. She liked being pampered, and he seemed to enjoy looking after her, so she had no real reason to complain. The fact that Mike also happened to be her line manager played a part in this decision too. Rumours abounded of redundancies and this seemed an excellent ploy to avoid that eventuality. The idea of finding another job, however much she hated this one, was depressing. The only real reason she might need a new job was because she was running out of men to sleep with.
When he started touching her, she began to feel something at last. Although slightly rough and haphazard, his rubbing did warm her up and begin a small wave of haziness that helped her to relax. His aim wasn’t good, but she didn’t feel she should give her boss advice, so she went with it.
Chloe moaned a little and sighed, which he seemed to enjoy. Some of the sounds were genuine and she became hopeful. On sensing him shift position, she opened her eyes with a smile. She lay prone and naked underneath him. She’d give it her best shot and hopefully reap some dividends when the company began downsizing.
Chloe decided to take the initiative and tore off his shirt. His chest was hairy and impressively barrelled.
“Hell, Chloe. I’ve been dreaming about you for so long. You have no idea how much I’ve wanted this. God, you’re amazing.”
Chloe lay still.
“Do you masturbate, Chloe? I want to watch you touch yourself. Will you do that for me?”
Chloe shrugged, kicked off her knickers, and pressed her middle two fingers between her open legs. She began sweeping slowly up and down her labia, before parting them and inserting two fingers. Mike was obviously so taken by this sight that he began  to gawp, wide-eyed. She continued in her own little world, knowing exactly how to bring on the first swathe of deliciousness. This in turn quickly led to a mounting tide of fulfilment. She emptied her mind, treasured the moment; used it to forget all her usual concerns and self-criticism. As the pleasure intensified inside her, she could happily just exist in that moment. Only that very second mattered.
As she increased her pace, she sensed the second and third waves of her orgasm bubbling up and expanding inside her. She could keep going for ages like this. Opening her eyes, she saw Mike still ogling. Chloe swore he was drooling, and she enjoyed having some kind of power over him. This was something she could use to her advantage, when needed.



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Book Video Trailer Reveal

My debut novel, My Husband's Sin, was launched last August. Once I had written my book and found a publisher, it was a big sigh of relief. I had achieved a dream. I had worked hard on writing the story of the Taylor family, from sun up to sun down.

But oh how quickly the dream turns to work and this means promotion, promotion and promotion.
So this is the latest reveal of My Husband's Sin. A simple video for you to enjoy and share with your friends.

Hope you enjoy the video below.

Be sure to like and/or leave a comment, thank you.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Writer, Patricia Stinson

Today I introduce another writer from across the Atlantic Ocean. Patricia Stinson, has shared a little about herself with me and in turn, I want to share it with you. 

Patricia was born and raised in Minnesota. She loves horseback riding (English and Western), reading, and writing mysteries, (loves to plot murder), and historical westerns. She taught three years in Austin, Minnesota, two years in the jungle of New Guinea and thirty years in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 
Patricia believes good fiction does not require swearing to give the readers entertainment.  She also thinks readers want more than entertainment; they want to think about the characters and the way those characters chose to handle their problems.  She wants to challenge the reader to think what they would do in a like situation. Was the character right or wrong? 

So to know more about Patricia, I suggest, you go to the below links and discover more about this lovely lady. 

You can also find her on Facebook at  
Also find her on Twitter at

Monday, 13 October 2014


But I am going to tell you anyway.  I was reading an article on ‘Do People Really Know You?’  It was interesting and I decided I would share some things that most people would not know about me.  These are random facts, nothing earth shattering but maybe surprising. So here goes.

I sleep on the right side of the bed. Even in a single, I turn to the right.

I have never been on a horse. Something I must do.

I love being put to sleep by anaesthetic, (will be explained by a later fact)

Courtesy of Wikipedia. 
I dislike mornings, until I get up then I’m okay. My Dad always said it was the best time of the day and he was right.

My favourite painting is ‘The Meeting on the Turret Stairs’ by  Frederic William Burton. I have it on my sitting room wall, above the mantel.  The real thing is totally beautiful to look at.

I enjoy ironing; I find it therapeutic and a great time to think about my stories. My characters and I have great conversations with each other.

I love strong colours, reds, oranges, autumn colours and deep purples, pinks and blues.

I like to go against the norm, to think outside the box, to test my comfort zones. 

I have had meningitis in my late teens and most things ending in ‘itis’. I have been my doctor’s best friend, a real challenge for the poor man. The day I walked out of his surgery on my own and not have to be taken out on a trolley to a waiting ambulance, he said he should have taken a photo.

One of the occasions, in the ambulance with blue lights flashing, I found myself slipping into unconsciousness, then I heard the paramedic say”Step on it, Mike, we’re losing her”, and I said my goodbyes to my family in my heart and cried.

I give thanks to God, daily for the many blessings in my life.

To read more about the above painting , please follow the link. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Join Dellani Today, for Conduct Unbecoming

Did you fall in love with Teague McMurtry in The Ninja Tattoo? Well, he's back and sassier than ever! This time, he's got help from his family as well as his good friend, Jasper Waters.
Jasper's a former Marine who is now a cop. Quite by accident, he's involved in helping Teague find an old friend—Nadeya.
Nadeya has a problem—lots of them, really. Her fiancée was murdered and she's seeking revenge against the men who did it. Unfortunately, the one man who could have helped her has been brutally murdered and the police are looking for Nadeya as a person of interest. Join Teague, Vivica, Jasper and Nadeya as they search for the truth.

It took awhile to find the perfect picture for this cover. I had a very specific message in mine—don't mess with Nadeya. I wanted a picture of a woman who was attractive, but looked like a bit of a bad ass. With the help of my good friend, Suzette Vaughan, I found just such a picture. With her expert help, this cover was born! I'm really excited about how well this came out. It expresses Nadeya's strength, but her inherent vulnerability and loneliness. Thank you, Suzette 

So what about the lady herself?

Dellani Oakes makes her home in Florida, but she grew up in Western Nebraska. Before that, she lived in Tennessee, Ohio, Massachusetts and Texas. After graduating from high school, she added Mississippi. The diverse locations gave her a unique perspective on life. Always a people watcher, Dellani put that talent to use when she became an author. She took up writing full time when her youngest son started kindergarten in 2002. Since then she has published five books. Her two romantic suspense novels are with Tirgearr Publishing and an historical romance and two sci-fi novels with Second Wind Publishing. She also has contributed to several anthologies, MJ Magazine and shares her unpublished works on her blog. Because she loves to talk to other authors, Dellani hosts two talk shows a month on Blog Talk Radio. Armed with bravado and wonderfully supportive friends and family, Dellani had embarked on a journey of self-publication. Conduct Unbecoming is her first venture into this new, and somewhat scary world.

Dellani would like to share an excerpt with you the reader 

Excerpt taken from Chapter Six

"You don't mind sharing with me, do you?" Joel asked Aileen.
"Do you snore?"
"Not that anyone's ever told me."
"Joel doesn't have sleepovers often," Jasper said. "He wouldn't know."
Joel punched Jasper hard in the chest. "Back the fuck off, Waters."
Vivica interceded once more. "Do you guys need anything?"
"I've got a change of clothing in the car," Joel said, heading outside to get it. He slammed the door behind him.
Jasper watched him leave, jaw working angrily. Vivica had to speak to him again to get his attention.
"I just need a toothbrush and some boxers. I'm good to go."
"Teague has some new ones here somewhere. They should fit you. Hang on." She ducked into the master bedroom and brought out a pair of plaid boxers.
Jasper thanked her and went in the bathroom. Vivica and Aileen made the bed while he took a quick shower. Joel still hadn't come back in. Concerned, Aileen called him, but his phone went to voice mail.
"I'm going to go look for him," she said.
Vivica nodded and tucked in the blanket. Aileen went outside. She found Joel sitting on the neighborhood dock, gazing at the moon. He looked up when she sat down on another deck chair.
"He really gets under my skin," he explained. "And I let him. I want to kick myself in the ass."
"What's with you two. You seem to hate each other."
"No. Jasper's a good guy, he's just so competitive. I've been on the receiving end more times than I'd like. He's a sore loser, but he's a worse winner. Problem is, I am too." He chuckled, shaking his head. "We're too damn much alike to be friends. The only reason we tolerate each other is because of Teague."
"He's always had that effect, hasn't he? I've never seen someone who can bring people together and get the best out of them like he can. God, he had me charmed and in his bed faster than any man I've ever met."
Joel held up his hand, halting her monologue. "I can handle many things. But hearing how good my cousin is at seducing a beautiful woman is not one of them."
"As all hell," Joel admitted. He stared across the water.
"I can't imagine you've had much trouble along that line," Aileen said quietly. She scooted closer, shivering.
Joel flung an arm around her, pulling her closer. "I'd loan you my jacket if I had one."
"This is good. So, you don't want to know how he seduced me?"
"Nope. Why would I?"
"Because it might work for you too."
Joel chuckled, rubbing her arm. "There is that. Maybe I'll find my own way."
Aileen gazed into his eyes. They looked silver in the moonlight. "How would you go about it?"
"First, I'd take you for a ride in my sexy car."
She giggled. "And then?"
"Then I'd buy you a cup of coffee and a slice of the best pie in town."
"Jasper actually did that."
"Yeah, but I drove you there in my sexy car."
"Then I'd have me a temper tantrum and storm outside like a three year old."
"Oooh, be still my fluttering heart."
Joel turned his face to hers, pulling her close. "Then, I reckon I'd get you by the river in the moonlight and hope you let me kiss you."
Aileen leaned closer. Joel brushed her cheek, touching her lips with his thumb. His lips met hers—warm and soft and full. She shivered against him, but not because she was cold. Joel's tongue flickered between her lips and she opened them more. He took full advantage, deepening the kiss. Sighing, they scooted closer together. Joel touched Aileen's cheek, his fingers winding in her hair. Gradually, his hand dropped to her shoulder before drifting down to her breast. Teasing her, he traced circles over her shirt.
The screen door of Vivica's house screeched, sounding loud in the still night. Joel's head snapped around.
"You two okay?" Vivica called.
"Yeah. Be right in, Viv.
Sorry," Joel replied. He stood, giving Aileen a hand up. Her arm slipped around his waist.
"That was a nice kiss. I'd like to continue that sometime."
Joel sighed. "But I'm guessing not tonight."
"Not tonight. But soon."
She started away from him. Joel caught her hand, pulling her back. The kiss was even more powerful when they were standing. His firm body pressed against hers. It felt good to have a man show his interest so definitively. There were no games with Joel. He liked her, he was attracted. She had no intention of bedding a man she'd known less than 12 hours—though it was damned tempting.
"How long did it take my cousin," he whispered huskily. His breath tickled her neck.
"A week."
Joel nodded, smirking. Arm slung around her shoulders, he planted a kiss on her cheek, smirking as they walked to the house.

Conduct Unbecoming is available at the following link 

Monday, 6 October 2014

Lacey Taylor, Character Blog-hop 2014

Today I am taking part in a character blog-hop that I was tagged in by Sharon Burgess. Sharon loves to read and that is what prompted her to write fiction. When she is not in front of her computer writing or editing, she is comfortably settled in her recliner with a cat on her lap and reading a romance novel. I met Sharon through Linkedin. She is a most wonderful writer, her novel, Simply Irresistible: A Spruce Creek Romance was published in July. The Kindle version is coming soon. You can visit Sharon at her website, to get to know her better. I want to thank her for asking me to be a part of this. 

So what is a character blog-hop? 
It is, very simply, a way for you the reader to learn more about a character in one of my books. Through questions and answers, more is revealed about a character. I have chosen, Lacey, the main character in my new novel. So read on to find out a little more and hopefully encourage you to want to read her story. 

What is the name of your character?  Is s/he fictional/historical?
My character's name is Lacey Taylor and she is a fictional person. Auburn haired, she is the youngest of four and had had a strained relationship with her mother all her life. Being the baby, her sisters and brother love her and feel the need to protect her.
When and where is the story set?
The story is set in Ireland and it is a present day setting. Lacey's life takes her on a different path then she had intended or thought it would go and so has to cross the water, to Chester, England for a short visit.
What should we know about your character?
She is a young woman who has never felt loved by her mother. So she searches for love and acceptance. But being young she also has no patience or the wisdom that comes with age. It makes her life's journey difficult and frustrating at times.
What is your character's goal?
To know her true identity, I would think. She battles with a lot of emotions, her family relationships all change and she needs answers to a lot of questions.
What is screwing up your character's life?
What has screwed up her life is her mother's nasty and unloving ways.
What is the title?
The title of the book is My Husband's Sin. When reading the book, the reader shall understand why I called it this.
Is the book published?
Yes, it is published with Tirgearr Publishing. To find it, please follow the link below.

Continuing on this character blog hop next Monday is writer Mary Angland. Mary has had stories successfully published and she also enjoys writing plays. Her play-work has been in rehearsed readings and will be on stage in early 2015. You can find Mary at the following link

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Meet Ted, Storyteller Supreme

Courtesy of
Did you know that western books are the most borrowed genre from libraries? Yep, so put on your Stetsons, pull on those chaps, don't forget the spurs and get ready to read some wonderful writing from top class western writers.I was thrilled when asked to join a group, who are reviving the Western genre and I heartily agreed to become a member. The group are called Writers of the West and more of what this outstanding collection of writers has to offer can be found at the following link 

This week I introduce you to Ted Atoka, a man of awesome writing talents. He hails from the US and has written in many genres but it is through the Writers of the West that I first met this wonderful man. His novella, Come Sundown, under the auspices of Writers of the West  is a story about The Horse Trough Saloon, in Oklahoma. The saloon is being threatened by ruthless investors from Las Vegas, but what they haven't bargained for are the local townsfolk giving them a fight to protect what is theirs.
Come Sundown is available in both ebook from and Amazon , Lulu and in print from

Courtesy of
Ted has many short stories, novellas and books to his credit, he is a natural storyteller and when it comes to writing about everyday relationships, the man is a master. He connects the reader to his characters in a warm and subtle way that makes you the reader a part of the story.

For a more intimate setting why not pop over to and see what the man has to say for himself and why not visit his website and connect with this top class writer at

“Writers of the West” brings some of the best contemporary penslingers in fiction, offering up western storytelling based on just about every other genre you can imagine......all focusing on the original superheroes—cowboys, cowgirls and people of grit who tamed the wild west, or died trying."
Courtesy of WOW website

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

New Novel from David J. O'Brien

It is with great pleasure that I host fellow writer David J. O'Brien. David is a busy man and I was honoured that he dropped in to tell us about his new book Five Days on Ballyboy Beach. 

Mary Bradford: David welcome to my blog. I am going to hand it all over to you today to tell us about this wonderful second novel.

David O'Brien: Thanks for hosting me today, Mary.

MB: So David, take it away...

DO'B: My second novel Five Days on Ballyboy Beach, is just out and it feels like the rushed second album of a young songwriter, even though this book, like Leaving the Pack, was written a long time ago. When I started it, however, it was as a more experimental effort at literature than my first novella-expanded-into-novel-because-the-characters-demanded-it.
In all drafts up until the second last, even after I signed the contract, the main character was called David. It was, and still is, written in the first person and I decided at the time to use my own name - or it's derivative, Dave.
There were a few reasons. One is that Dave is a common name. More than that, it's a kind of Everyman name, like Jack, or Bill, or Chuck. I wanted the character to be a common or garden bloke, similar to most other men.

Dave is also usually the name of someone nice, someone likeable. I'm not just saying that because I am nice and likeable (though I seriously am), but I've never yet met a real asshole called Dave. Not in real life - David Brent, or David Copperfield (the magician) might be plonkers - even gobshites - but I've never met them: one is fictional, the other a persona. The movie Dave with Kevin Kline, is a great example of the niceness of characters with that name: a nice guy substituting an asshole president. Calling the "hero" such a likeable name allowed me to make the character a bit of a dick without (hopefully!) turning the reader against him - because there are elements of his personality that originally might have made you wonder whether he deserved a happy ending. Using a first person narrator helps make the reader more invested in the character, which also allowed me, as the writer, to let the character do things the reader might dislike him for. He does of course later show that he at least deserves a little happiness, though whether he gets a happy ending is something the reader will have to find out.

In addition, using my own name would make the reader wonder if some of this weren't really my own feelings. I did inject a few anecdotes and opinions that both the character and I share, just to muddy the waters, too. I think that the closer the writer superficially seems to be to the action, the characters, the more he hides real facts that are far from his real life and experience. None of what happens in the novel actually happened to me or to anyone I know. But the ruse was too well done and it read more like a memoir than contemporary fiction - so I changed Dave to another everyman's name - Dave's brother in Only Fools and Horses - Derek. He's still a plonker, sometimes, but ultimately just as worthy of our friendship.

MB: Gosh, David, that is a very thoughful insight into the naming of your character and clever too. So give us a bit on the novel to whet our curiosity. 

DO'B: Well, the Blurb is as follows:
A startling revelation - the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

But what do you do about it?

For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland's west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing.

Never the proactive one of the group - he's more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore - Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he's currently seeing someone else - and she's coming to join him for the weekend.

As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realises that to get what he desires, he'll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?

 MB: Please share some more, this is intriguing.

DO'B: Okay, here is an excerpt, so enjoy.

The five of us had been friends for about five years. We’d met in first year of our science degree course, during freshman week, and conglomerated together the way people do when they arrive in a new university. I used to cycle there from Deansgrange, where I was still living with my parents. Sarah got the DART from Blackrock, where she had lived with her parents until she graduated. Bill did the same from Howth. Sinéad lived on campus, since she couldn’t be arsed commuting from Naas, where she was from. John shared a flat in Donnybrook, because it was nigh on impossible to commute from Bettystown, Co. Meath, from where he hailed. We’d found ourselves deciding on mostly the same courses, and were in the same classes for nearly all our time there.
I met some people in those first few days of university that I would hate to meet now. Some of them I could safely ignore and would, since our acquaintance didn’t last long before I’d moved on to more fruitful associations. Others I could not ignore, and would thus avoid if at all possible. The individuals I was camping with, however, were people with whom I'd just clicked and stuck with, like Lego.
They liked most of the stuff I liked and that’s why we were such good friends. The major difference between me and them was that they were more inclined to actually do things, whereas I was more content to laze about and do nothing. Not exactly nothing. I mean watch: watch them surfing, watch the waves, watch the clouds travel across the sky. Look at the birds foraging and gliding over the sand and waves, see the rabbits warily leave their warrens and seek out succulent plants among the dry dunes. That was why we were there; to do things and to relax – mostly the former for them and mostly the latter for me. There was a kind of gradient of laziness, to give it a name, though; from me to Sarah, her to Sinéad, then to John and Bill.
We had gone away on weekends and for short holidays together in summer many times since we'd met. This was our first summer in real jobs. Or rather, it was the first summer after we had finished our degrees. I still didn’t have a job. I’d gone back to study English and Spanish. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, I’d discovered a love for the written word, and had decided life would be rewarding even if all you did was read. I was prepared to be poor for this, at least for a few more years—a bit like the narrator of A Prayer for Owen Meany, though there was no way I would cut off my trigger finger for it. Second, I’d decided that Spain was a place that I wanted to become more familiar with, and it was necessary to learn the language in order to do this.
It was Hemmingway who brought the country to my attention. He wrote as if he’d known the language all his life, which of course he didn’t. I never got an idea from his writings when he actually learned it and how much difficulty he’d had in doing so. But I hoped I could also become fluent one day. Third, I hadn’t been sure quite what to do when I finished university. I had gotten used to the quiet life, the one where quality is more important than the standard of living. Time had become more precious to me than money—well, the large amounts of money gotten by working hard for long hours. I didn’t want to give my time to a job I wasn’t really interested in. I’d toyed with the idea of doing a PhD, but had decided against it. The first years might be light on work, but the long year or more of writing up the thesis would be unbearable. I'd only have time to read literature concerning my project, and I'd probably end up no more ready for work or employable than I already was, or would be with a second degree.
The others had real jobs. Sarah worked at Proctor and Gamble, doing statistics of medical experiments and tests. Sinéad worked for an environmental impact consultancy, a recently created company called EnviroSol. John had got a job with the Central Fisheries Board, somewhere a high percentage of Zoology and Environmental Biology graduates ended up, since it was one of the few places where there were any jobs going. Bill worked as a sales rep for a company that sold medical supplies. He liked to say he was a travelling salesman, and I suppose you could call it that, because he did a hell of a lot of travelling, up and down the country week in, week out. Luckily, he liked to drive, and was an expert in living out of a suitcase.
So this was the first time the others had two weeks holiday to spare in the summer, and they’d decided to stay in Ireland for some of it and we’d spend a long weekend on the west coast together.  

 MB:To find out more about this talented writer and to engage with him about his work, you will find David at any of the links below. The links will also take you to where you can purchase this book and find out what happens to Derek. It only remains for me to thank David for joining me today and to wish him all the best with Five Days On Ballyboy Beach, no doubts it will be a great hit with his readers.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Mental Takeover

When you take time off from your daily writing schedule to attend to other hobbies you have, be it gardening, scuba-diving, whatever, do you switch off truthfully from your writing persona?  I have been wondering about this lately because my hobbies outside of my writing are suffering big time. Now that I think of it, it is my writing life that is impacting on my hobbies. It has always been like this I know but ah, it’s got out of hand I tell you.
I walk in the mornings, and it is my chance to think and get my thoughts in order. I plan my day and think about family stuff and then without realising it I am thinking about the story I have not finished and my characters are talking to me. The plan for the day is pushed aside. I sometimes take my mp3 and listen to a mix of music and hey, presto, certain lyrics hit me that would make great titles for a novel. I can’t listen to a song without analysing the words.
Even when I am with friends chatting and having a good laugh, something that is said, gets stored in my head for future use in a story. Or I wonder what if, when I notice another event happening nearby in the café we are sitting in. It’s not that I am not paying attention when I’m with my friends or family, it’s that my head is storing all this information and I cannot allow it to be wasted. 
Going to the cinema, another thing I like to do. Yet I’m sitting there and mentally I am editing the film. Making suggestions to what they should have done, all in my head of course.

So my dear friends, any tips for me on a past-time that I can enjoy without my writing life butting in and jeopardising it? 

Friday, 22 August 2014



To be in with a chance of WINNING a FREE copy of my novel just click on the link below and it will take you to the Heart of Fiction site where I am hosted to day, just leave your email with a comment. GOOD LUCK !

My Husband's Sin is launched today by Tirgearr Publishing. It is exciting and I am thrilled to bits. It is available on Amazon (Kindle)

and in other outlets and for those of you who want to read it, just follow the link below and it will take you there to buy your copy. As an e-book, it can be downloaded to not only an e-reader, as in a Kindle etc, but also to your computer. So NO excuse, go on over and get your copy today

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Almost There, One More Sleep

Page 2 of The Vale Star today.

With what has been a very tough emotional week, a close family member is very ill, it is wonderful to see it brighten today. There is an article about me in today's paper and people are so nice coming up to me and congratulating me on my novel, My Husband's Sin, due out tomorrow. I was getting hugs too and I love hugs.

Then this afternoon, some of the swag for promoting my book was delivered. I got really excited as I and my writing friend, author Daniel Kaye, worked hard on them. They are gorgeous. So I shall be getting them out over the next few days. My Husbands Sin is coming alive!

Check out the photo to see the postcards, aren't they cool?
On the front is a picture of my fantastic book cover and the blurb from my novel. Then on the reverse is an author bio and links to where it is available to buy, plus my photo of course. It is making it all so real now. Must say I'm nervous.
Tomorrow it all happen's!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

My Husband’s Sin, the Playlist

When writing, I enjoy listening to music to help keep the creative juices flowing, never more so than working on my first novel, My Husband's Sin. 
Even when we are not at our desks writing, we are thinking about our work. Each time when I'm out walking with my mp3, the music I listened to, often stirs up thoughts for me of my characters and what they were going through. The songs following below shows in a small way some of what I mean. 

For instance, when Lacey, the main character, is feeling abandoned and alone, it was important for her to realise how family, no matter what, will be there for her.  Listen to Whitney Houston sing Family First, at the link following, see what you think.

Family is a big part of My Husband’s Sin, and keeping secrets in families are never a good thing. It always leads to heartache. Some of this next song really resonated with me, I wonder if Lacey’s dad was still alive would he be thinking along these lines? Have a listen, its Secrets, by One Republic

Moving along, what do you do when the one you love pushes you away yet cries out for help? What do you do when you offer that help but it’s too late for them? Sadness and helplessness raises their head in the book throughout but none so much as between Willow and her husband Derek. This song by The Fray, How to Save a Life came to mind for me as did Miss you by Don Baker. Here is The Fray,

Music is an important part of everyone's life, be it Rock n Roll, Country, The Blues, Jazz or Classical. It stirs the emotions. How often have you heard a lyric or a short melody and it started up an avalanche of memories? Music can make us sad, make us smile, dance, heal a broken heart and ease pain. Lacey suffers a lot of unhappy days after Lillian’s revelation so when I wanted to get her fighting spirit up and running, awaken the determination she had within herself I thought of Katy Perry’s  ROAR, it sums up Lacey’s attitude when she does decide to take back control of her life. Listen to it by clicking on the next link,

Writing the words The End when I finished the novel, I had mixed feelings myself, let alone my characters lives finally ending their journey.  This is my debut novel, I was happy I completed it, thrilled that I achieved the challenge I had set myself to write a book. But a part of me was also saddened. The journey I had taken with Lacey and her siblings was over. We needed to part ways and I had to send it out into the world. Letting go is difficult but the sense of accomplishment was greater. Enjoy this last song that I turned to when it all came to an end. Walk On, by U2

The End

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Publisher Releases Excerpt from My Novel

Excitement mounts as I get closer to the launch date of my debut novel, My Husband's Sin. My publisher,Tirgearr Publishing Ireland has released an excerpt from my book and I am delighted to share it with you. I really hope it whets your appetite for more. So get your e-readers dusted off, even your computers, you can download to these also, so no-one will feel left out!

Let me know what you think in the comments box below. The count down to August 22nd begins...

To read the excerpt, click on the link below.

Monday, 4 August 2014


Today I have the great honour in introducing to you, a wonderful person, poet, Jack Byrne. I really am thrilled to host Jack as I have been an admirer of his work for a long time. So let’s get started.

Mary Bradford: I know you as Jack, but I see you also called John, so which do I call you? 

Jack Byrne: Allow me to introduce myself, I’m John Byrne universally known as Jack. I am from a small village called Newtownmountkennedy in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. I’m getting a wee bit old now. I’m married to Valerie and I’ve been writing for more than ten years, mainly poetry in the traditional genre. I try my hand also at Oriental style poetry in the form of haiku, haiga and tanka. I have had relative success at being published in all the styles I’ve mentioned, both in Ireland and abroad. Thanks to you, Mary, I am striving to write short stories with some success.

MB: That is a kind thing to say Jack, thank you. But you are here to tell us about your latest project?
JB: My latest project is a step in to that great fast flowing river of published works, a chapbook of poetry titled ‘Roses and Rhyme'. Forty love poems, most in the traditional form with some tanka and haiku mixed in. I am excited about getting my work out there so to speak, reaching a new and wider audience. I believe by sharing my work, it will give me an indication of my works acceptance in general and boost connections with other writers and poets. So any writer/poet wanting to contact me please do so.

MB: Where does the inspiration for your poetry come from?
JB: The inspiration for the type of poetry I write, well, my answer would be life, in all its wonderful forms, human, insect, marine, creatures of the air, there is no end to inspiration, happiness or sadness, it’s all there to write about. My greatest influences in poetry mainly concern the genres which I write in, Francis Ledwidge and Katharine Tynan Hinkson for Traditional and Issa for Oriental works. 

MB: Where can a copy of your chapbook of poetry, ‘Roses and Rhyme’ be purchased?
JB:Roses and Rhyme’ is available to purchase directly from me at present and I can be reached at the following links below. Price per copy is €10, including P&P.
Twitter:  @sirjackbee           Email: 

MB: Finally Jack, you have a link where people can hear your poetry being read?
JB: Yes a sample of my work can be heard at the following link,