I’ve had a few people ask me questions about the Ballybeg series and my other projects, so I thought I’d put together a brief F.A.Q. section on my website. To listen to me talking about the series and my plans for future books, check out my Audio Files page.
Why do you set your books in Ireland?
I’m Irish! After a disastrous attempt to write romance set in a generic American town, my very wise critique partner suggested I write what I know. The result was the Ballybeg series. 😀
Is Ballybeg a real town in Ireland?
Although there are several towns named Ballybeg in Ireland, the Ballybeg in my series is fictional. The name stems from the Irish (Gaelic) term, baile beag, which means “little town” or “small town”. One of my favourite Irish playwrights, Brian Friel, has set many of his plays in a fictional Ballybeg located in County Donegal.
My Ballybeg is a seaside town in County Cork. Its geography was loosely influenced by a few different towns along the south coast of Ireland. They include Clonakilty, Kinsale, and Cobh (formerly known as Queenstown, the last port of call of the ill-fated Titanic). The picture in the teaser above is a stock photo of houses in Cobh.
Does each book in the Ballybeg series stand alone?
Yes! Readers can jump into the series at any point. Each book or novella features a different couple, all of whom get their HEA by the end of their story. The stories are set in the same town with recurring secondary and tertiary characters. Some characters are friends. Others are related to one another, or simply know each other from work or places around the town.
I considered focusing the series on a particular group of friends or siblings, but decided against it. I wanted to be able to write about different personalities and I didn’t want to be in a situation where I felt I had to force characters to be friends with one another merely to fit in with my series concept. I’m also not a fan of couples from previous stories stealing scenes from the current hero and heroine. If they appear in the story, it has to be organic (e.g.: they’re a close friend and it makes sense for them to be in the scene). For example, Gavin and Fiona (the hero and heroine in Book 1, Love and Shenanigans) don’t appear in Love and Blarney (Book 2) because the timing wouldn’t make sense.
How many stories will be in the Ballybeg series?
Short answer: probably six.
Long answer: There are currently five Ballybeg books published and I have ideas for a couple of more stories in the future. However much I love the town and the characters I’ve created, I want to keep my writing fresh. To keep writing stories set in the same place, I need to be sure I have something new to add, and not simply rehash old settings and scenarios with a different couple. With this in mind, I’ve created a spin-off series called the Ballybeg Bad Boys.
What’s different about the Ballybeg Bad Boys series?
These stories are long novellas. They’re steamier than the Ballybeg books, and each features an adventure-suspense plot along with the romance. Ballybeg characters appear in this series, either as secondary characters or as the hero/heroine. For example, Muireann from Love and Shenanigans is the heroine of The Rock Star’s Secret Baby, and Olivia’s friend, Jill, is the heroine of The Navy SEAL’s Holiday Fling. There are currently five Ballybeg Bad Boys novellas published, and I’m planning a sixth for late 2017.
You also have a Dublin Mafia series. What’s that about?
The Dublin Mafia stories are sexy romantic suspense set in the Dublin criminal underworld. All the stories are novel-length. Semi-reformed gangster, Lar Delaney, joins forces with his brothers and cousins to form a private company of mercenaries. They’ll sell their services to everyone from government agencies needing off-the-books jobs to criminal organizations. Lar appeared as a secondary character in Love and Shamrocks (Ballybeg #6) and I knew I had to give him his own story. The Dublin Mafia series is grittier than the Ballybeg stories but still retains my signature humour and focus on family and friends. I’ve planned four books in the series so far, but there’s the potential for more. Final Target was released in March, and Kiss Shot will be out in October 2016.
In what order should I read your stories?
All the Ballybeg stories are stand alone romances with recurring secondary characters. The chronological order of the series is as follows:
- Love and Shenanigans — Gavin and Fiona (novel) Out Now
- Love and Blarney — Ruairí and Jayme (novella) — Out Now
- Love and Leprechauns — Jonas and Olivia (novel) — Out Now
- Love and Mistletoe — Brian and Sharon (novella) — Out Now
- Love and Shamrocks — Seán and Clio (Novel) — Out Now
In terms of the timeline, the Ballybeg Bad Boys series picks up right after Love and Shamrocks ends. They are all novellas of 25,000-35,000 words.
- Her Treasure Hunter Ex — Dex (Seán’s little brother) and Katy Out Now
- The Rock Star’s Secret Baby — Damian and Muireann (appeared in Love and Shenanigans) Out Now
- The Navy SEAL’s Holiday Fling — Liam (Katy’s brother) and Jill (Olivia’s friend in Love and Leprechauns) Out Now
- Bodyguard by Day, Ex-Husband by Night — Cash (Liam’s boss and best friend) and Mindy Out Now
- The Navy SEAL’s Accidental Wife — J.D. (Cash and Liam’s new operative) and Naomi (Jill’s sister and Sharon’s best friend in Love and Mistletoe) Out Now
The Dublin Mafia: Triskelion Team series starts roughly a year after the end of Love and Shamrocks.
- Final Target — Lar Delaney, the hero of Final Target, was a secondary character in Love and Shamrocks. Out Now
- Kiss Shot — Shane Delaney’s story. 11 October 2016
Do you have any other books or series planned for 2017?
Yes! I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment, but the main one is a cozy mystery series set on a fictional Irish island. The protagonist is an American ex-cop who moves to Ireland after her career and marriage implode. I’m having a blast writing these stories, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
In addition to the cozy mystery series, I’ll be publishing the third Dublin Mafia book, Bullet Point, later this year.
Where can I buy your books?
Both Ballybeg series are available on all major ebook retailers. The Dublin Mafia series is currently exclusive to Amazon and is part of their Kindle Unlimited subscription program.
Do your books have DRM?
Not if I can help it. I believe some vendors automatically add DRM, but I opt out of it wherever I can.