As coronavirus sweeps the globe, the Irish government has called on pubs and bars to close from Sunday to help tackle the spread.
The closures, (which came into effect at midnight on Sunday), were announced ahead of St Patrick’s Day, one of the busiest days in the year for these establishments, especially in locations such as Dublin. Sadly, 40 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed by the government, bringing the total in the Republic of Ireland to 169. This must come as a huge disappointment to those who enjoy celebrating St Patrick’s Day, myself included. But don’t be dispirited. Get some Guinness in the fridge and have a virtual celebration instead.
It so happens I chose St Patrick’s Day to run a book promotion, as my newest title has a strong Irish theme running all the way through with a colourful cast of characters.
Rosebrook Chronicles the Hidden Stories
This collection of gripping stories follows the lives of three abused teenagers. With snippets of social history from the 70s to the 90s, these are the personal journeys of ordinary citizens who never had a voice but I wanted to give them one. Focusing on the Irish connection, orphans, Bessie and Peter are separated by the Catholic Church, their lives about to twist down very different paths.
Bessie (later known as Beatrice)
Six-year-old Bessie overhears a conversation between novice, Sister Maria and the Mother Superior. Taken in by the nuns, she is far from happy in the Convent but at the mere hint of being torn from her homeland to be adopted, she panics.
What of her parents?
They say they went to live with the angels.
And where is her dear brother, Peter?
They tell her he was chosen by God but where is St. Benedict Orphanage?
It’s not impossible he is in Ireland somewhere. If only she could see him…
Leaving Ireland, Bessie’s tragic life starts to unfold where fate will throw many obstacles in her path, from family estrangement to poverty. How will she survive?
Peter is an intelligent boy but with good looks and a quiet, pensive nature, he catches the eye of Father O’Brien. He is the most senior priest at St Benedict Orphanage.
Peter is destined to study for the priesthood but all is not what it seems. Within a few years his life is turned into a living hell. Desperate to go searching for his sister, he embarks on a daring escape only to land in England with the law on his tale. But he clings the hope he will find Bessie, his letter to her a talisman to guide and inspire him.
Dear Bess, dearest little sister. Where did you go? I been wanting to write a letter to you for ages and pray I am not too late.
It feels like thunder and lightning struck at once. An almighty storm blew down from the Heavens when one minute we was together fore the angels swooped in and parted us.
Lord knows what happened to the others so bout you, Bess?
You was my only hope, the only one left in Ireland.
There is a third character, Robin, who weaves in and out of the plot. No one can possibly know the influence he will wield over these two naive youngsters as the story rolls through the decades. It is not light read but a book that will make you think. Not everything in society is rosy but it is how people deal with their emotional traumas that mould them into the people they become.
This novel can be read as a standalone, a mix of domestic noir and suspense, rich in social history from the 1960s to the 1990s. A book that will immerse you in the stories of these three troubled characters as they strive to find love, success and happiness.
Rosebrook Chronicles is on a Kindle countdown promotion for 99p/99c
(March 17th – 21st).
Or if you are a fan of audio books, you can hear the musical Irish accents of my characters come to life in an audio version, narrated by Paul Metcalfe.
I have 10 codes up for grabs. Download the Audible app from Amazon, enter your promotional code and enjoy the experience for FREE.
Two ways to get your free audible code
Leave a comment on this post and will contact you with details on how to claim your free audiobook (open to readers in the UK and the US)
Use the ‘FREE audiobook’ form to send me an email.
No personal data will be harvested from this promotion and once I have sent your code I will discard your details.
K T Robson
This was such a powerful read – Helen Christmas has managed to navigate the complicated worlds of abuse, politics and religion expertly, weaving the stories of her three main characters seamlessly together.
This story was well researched, with the historical facts running through the book, you really feel as you are following these characters throughout their lives
Gripping, dark, and emotional, Rosebrook Chronicles is an incredible novel. The sensitive material is handled well, and the stories merge beautifully together. I highly recommend reading this.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!