‘Irish Intrigue’ was released last week, the culmination of over a year’s work, and more if I count the earlier drafts of this story.
Charley Hunter returns
unwillingly to Ireland to complete the filming of a TV drama series. She still
hasn’t come to terms with the tragic loss of her husband there two years
previously, and the last thing she expects is an instant attraction to an Irish
Luke Sullivan’s life is full
as he tries to balance caring for his two young children with his busy rural
veterinary practice. After the break-up of his marriage, he vowed to leave
women well alone, but now finds himself drawn to Charley.
While Charley struggles with
the re-awakening of her emotions, Luke faces a series of unexplained crises at
his clinic, as well as an impending custody battle with his ex-wife.
They grow closer as their
initial interest in each other develops into mutual support and then into love.
But how can an English actress and an Irish vet reconcile their different worlds?
And will their relationship survive when Luke believes Charley has endangered
his children’s lives – and then betrayed him?
- 99 cents
- 99 pence
An important character in
the story is a retired actress. I’ve called her
Alice Vernon, but one incident in the book originally involved a real actress.
In 2011, during one of my trips
to Ireland, I visited a small village called Cong in County Mayo. The main
reason was that this was where some of the movie, ‘The Quiet Man’ was filmed in
the 1950s. It starred John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. The cottage used in the
film is now in ruins, but one of the cottages in the village has been set up to
look like the original cottage, with authentic reproduction of the rooms and
some of the costumes worn by the stars.
After we’d explored the
cottage and studied the photographs and local newspaper accounts of the filming
in and around the village, we were asked to sign the visitors’ book. Out of
habit, I glanced at the previous page of signatures and did a double-take at
the one at the bottom of the page – Maureen
O’Hara - Yonkers, NY.
I must admit my immediate
reaction was. “I didn’t realise she was still alive!” – but when we asked the
girl in the small shop, she said, “Yes, she has a house near Cork, and often
visits here when she’s in Ireland.”
I knew I would use this small
incident in a novel at some point – and so in Chapter 2 of ‘Irish Intrigue’,
Charley visits a small cottage – and see the signature of Alice Vernon in the
guest book. Alice goes on to play an important role in the rest of the story.
Originally I based her on Maureen O’Hara – but somehow as I wrote her, she
became more and more like Maggie Smith!