Thursday 29 April 2021

A-Z Blogging Challenge - Y is for Youngsters

Several of my novels feature youngsters i.e. children under 10.

In Changing the Future, single mum Lisa has a four-year-old son Nicky, who gets quite a surprise when he eventually learns who his father is.

Veterinary surgeon Luke Sullivan, in Irish Intrigue, has two young children, Melissa aged 6 and Toby aged 4. His wife left him when Toby was a baby but now she has married a rich American, she is trying to claim custody – so Luke has a fight on his hands. Melissa also manages to ‘sneak’ into three other novels! In Irish Deceptions, she is one of the dancers in Ellie’s ‘dream team’ in the school musical show; in Irish Secrets, she finds the evidence which leads to the identity of a criminal gang leader, and in Irish Shadows, she tells Liam about the runaway horse she has seen in Clifden. Quite a busy young lady!

Dan Nicholas, in Irish Deceptions, has ten-year-old twin nieces, Grace and Leah, his brother’s daughters. Dan is trying to keep his real identity a secret, so it’s quite some time before Ellie realises the twins in her dancing class are related to him.

The ‘youngster’ in Irish Secrets is the baby, who grew up to become Kara’s mother. When Kara eventually manages to trace Margaret, the baby’s mother, she learns of her heartbreak when Margaret was forced to give up her baby for adoption.

Here is Margaret’s description of what happened:

“When Aileen was ten months old, I was summoned to Reverend Mother’s office, and she said I had to sign some papers. I knew what they were, because the other girls told me, and I refused. She said, You must sign, and I begged her to let Aileen stay with me. By this time I was down on my knees, crying, but she pulled me up by my hair, pushed the pen into my hand, and said, Sign it, girl.”

Kara winced. “She must have been completely heartless.”

“Indeed she was. She went on about me having to be punished for the sin I had committed, but, of course, that was drummed into us from the minute we set foot in the home. We were moral degenerates who could not be allowed to keep our children. Then came the ultimate emotional blackmail, about how selfish I would be to condemn my child to a life of poverty and deprivation, instead of letting her go to a family who would give her far more than I could.” Margaret shook her head. “I couldn’t argue against that, because it was true. I had no job and nowhere to live, and so I signed the papers.”

“And was that the day when Aileen was taken away?”

Margaret’s face creased. “It was. I ran up the two flights of stairs to the nursery, although I could hardly see through my tears, and as I got to the door, Sister Ursula came out carrying Aileen. While I was in the Reverend Mother’s room, they’d dressed her in a lovely pale blue coat and bonnet, with white socks and little blue shoes—things I’d never seen before, and she held out her arms to me and smiled and said Mama. Sister Ursula let me hold her for a minute, and I was crying as I hugged her and kissed her. I kept whispering, I love you, I love you, please remember I love you. Then another nun came to the door, and she held me from behind, pinned me by both my arms, while Sister Ursula took Aileen from me and set off down the stairs. I struggled, even elbowed the nun’s bosom, and managed to break free but by that time they’d reached the bottom of the stairs, and the last I saw of Aileen was a wee glimpse before they turned into the corridor. Then I fell on the floor in a heap and broke my heart.”

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  1. I'd not realised how many youngsters do feature prominently in your books.
    All great characters

    1. Must admit I didn't realise either, until I started looking for them!