Guest Blogger: Pat McDermott, Author of The Band of Roses Trilogy
The Band of Roses Trilogy is a series of romantic action/adventure fantasies set in an Ireland that might have been. The "what if" premise supposes that High King Brian Boru survived the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 A.D. and established a royal dynasty that still rules the Emerald Isle. As head of state, the current King Brian upholds ancient traditions, as does his daughter, Crown Princess Talty, though Talty has a knack for landing in trouble.
Where did the idea for these books come from? Thank to my Irish-American family, my childhood vision of Ireland was one of magic, legends, banshees and leprechauns, rebels, heroes, and ancient kings, especially Brian Boru. My O’Brien aunts assured me our family was royal, as Brian had given his name to all the O’Briens. I didn’t really believe it, but curiosity led me to learn more about Irish history. I found more than one comment stating that if King Brian had survived the Battle of Clontarf, Ireland would be a very different place today.
In The Story of Ireland, published in 1894, historian Standish O’Grady wrote:
If Ireland had been left to herself, a King of Ireland and a Royal Family of Ireland would have come up…just as out of…the Saxon nations of England the King of the English at last appeared.
I began to wonder… What if Ireland had been left to herself? What if Brian Boru had survived? And then the fun began.
In A Band of Roses, Book One in the Band of Roses trilogy, Crown Princess Talty must hide her identity to outwit assassins, but she can't hide her ingrained training as a warrior sworn to protect her homeland. From Japan to California to an eleventh century Ireland, she finds romance and adventure, yet all she wants is to return to her family and Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves and cannot have—or so she thinks.
In Book Two, Fiery Roses, the discovery of offshore gas ensnares the Boru clan in a web of blackmail and murder. When the residents of rural County Mayo object to pipelines on their land, an arsonist tries to change their minds. One of his fires sends newlyweds Talty and Neil to an ancient world at the mercy of a waking volcano. As they fight to survive, King Brian locks horns with ruthless oilmen. The resulting conflict proves fatal for the Boru clan, whose members again close ranks to guard the kingdom they’re sworn to protect.
Book Three, Salty Roses, finds Talty a wife and a mother at last. The dynamic princess believes her days of adventure are over. Her royal duties seem endless, and a day off with Neil is looking good. The royal couple accept an invitation for a jaunt aboard a luxury submarine. As they view an eerie shipwreck, an unknown enemy lures them to an ancient tomb and sends them to a world infested with treacherous pirates. Talty takes charge of a pirate ship and its mangy crew, while Neil matches wits with a temptress who jeopardizes his wedding vows.
In this excerpt from Book One, A Band of Roses, Talty’s life is about to change forever:
The Irish Constitution mandated that the king’s heir must be ready to accede the throne on his or her eighteenth birthday. Talty was already twenty and doubted she’d ever be ready. She had so much to learn! Still, an Air Corps Dauphin flew her from the LÉ Alastrina to Tara Hall’s helipad each Saturday morning to meet with her father for a review of the week’s events. His request for a midweek meeting worried her.
Praying that the dark blue of her navy uniform hid the wrinkles in her skirt, Talty smoothed her pinned-up hair and stepped from the private elevator to Tara Hall’s fourth floor. The rapid click of her regulation military heels echoed down the corridor leading to the King’s Chambers.
Though she’d told no one, Talty hated being Crown Princess. The prospect of spending her life preparing for her beloved father’s death depressed her. She wouldn’t have to worry about that for years, however. Silver might speckle King Brian’s russet hair, but he was only fifty, and still strong and healthy.
She hurried past the reception area, where her father’s no-nonsense assistant rose from her desk and opened the carved oak door bearing the royal lion of the Boru clan. With a nod of thanks, Talty stepped into her father’s chambers.
Boston, Massachusetts native Pat McDermott writes romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland that might have been. Autumn Glimmer, a young adult paranormal adventure featuring Ireland’s fairies, is the sequel to Glancing Through the Glimmer. Both books are “prequels” to her Band of Roses Trilogy. Pat is a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. She lives and writes in New Hampshire, USA. For more information: Pat’s Website: www.patmcdermott.net Pat’s Amazon Author Page