Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Wee Bit of Irish Information With Astraea Press Author: Elaine Cantrell

Meet Author Elaine Cantrell 
today at the Book Boost!

**All month long at the Book Boost we're featuring my fellow Astraea Press authors. Come back each day for more and be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize Pack (see below for details)!**

Hey, I’m Irish!

Until quite recently, if you had asked me about my ancestry, I would have told you I was Scottish, but as family researchers did more work on our family tree, I found that I’m not Scottish at all.  I’m Irish.  Well.  What a surprise.

After I got over my shock, I realized that there were some nice things about being Irish.  Shall I share them with you?  Okay, you talked me into it.  Here goes.

1. I can join St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with the knowledge that I’m the real deal, not a wannabe.  Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17.  In larger cities with a big Irish population, they have parades, parties, etc, to celebrate their Irish heritage.  Saint Patrick is the man who introduced Christianity into Ireland.  Legend says that he used a shamrock, one of the modern symbols of Ireland, to explain the doctrine of the trinity.

2. The Irish are great story tellers which might explain why I became an author.  One of my favorite Irish authors is Frank McCourt who wrote Angela’s Ashes.  McCourt was born in America but his Irish parents returned to Ireland which is where he grew up.  Around the age of eighteen he came back to America.

3. I like mashed potatoes.  You can grow a lot of potatoes in a small area which is one reason the Irish started planting them way back when.  Personally, I like a little garlic in mine, but that probably isn’t an Irish custom.

4. Do you associate jack-o-lanterns with autumn?  The first jack-o-lanterns were made in Ireland.  They weren’t carved from a pumpkin, though.  Can you guess what they were made from?  No, you’re wrong.  They were carved from turnips.

5. I can take pride in Irish dancers and musicians who put on such a nice show.  My husband carried me to a performance for our anniversary, and my feet never stopped tapping.

6. My ancestry might explain why I think education is so important.  Most Irish people see the value of an education.

7. The Irish have a rich mythology.  Everyone knows about the leprechaun and the pot of gold, but have you heard of the far darrig?  This is a mischievous elf who has red hair, a red nose, and a red cap and coat.  He lives on someone’s hearth and steals a smoke from filled pipes.  He enjoys playing jokes on disobedient children.  What about the banshee?  Have you heard about her?  The banshee is a scary fairy woman with a loud voice.  Her appearance means that someone is going to die.  The banshee also rode beside ancient Irish warriors shrieking to encourage them to fight harder.

8. The Irish have a respect for history that might explain why I became a history teacher.

9. Some common American saying are Irish.  Two of my favorites are: "Make hay while the sun shines." and "A man's work is from sun to sun but a woman's work is never done."  Don’t we say that a bride should have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue?  That’s an Irish custom.

10. "Cead Mile Failte."  That means 100,000 welcomes.  The Irish are known for friendliness which is a trait I hope I have.

All in all, I’d have to say that I like being Irish.  What about you?  Do you know where your ancestors came from?  Are you proud of it?

A Note from the Book Boost:  I love Irish and I'm from Scotch-Irish as are many folks in the deep south.  I also spent my honeymoon in Ireland and loved every second of it!  Thanks for joining us today.  Please tell us more about your latest.


Liesel Wolf has a secret, a dangerous secret she’ll go to any lengths to conceal.  When she’s paired in a charity game with sexy marshal Andy Bryce, a man with secrets of his own, her carefully constructed world comes crashing down, and Liesel’s on a collision course with her past.


Forty-five minutes later, they exited the woods near the bridge that crossed the little creek. Liesel fearfully scanned the inviting, family-centered area. “I don’t see anyone.”

“Two o’clock. Men in khaki.” Andy came to a halt and jerked her against him. “Kiss me like you mean it.”

Liesel didn’t mind if she did. Hopefully the khaki men would never imagine that two lovers out for a stroll had only moments before been running for their very lives. She prayed the men didn’t get too good a look at them. Throwing her arms around him, she pressed her body against his.

She wouldn’t have admitted to it for anything, but in spite of the danger, she felt a thrill from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. Nobody could kiss like Andy Bryce!

Andy took her hand, and they strolled casually across the bridge as if they’d been on a leisurely little walk. He kissed her again before they got into the Mustang. The minute they got in, he put the car in gear and slowly made his way out of the park.

“Now, Liesel,” he said. “Why don’t you tell me why those men are trying to kill you?”

Want More Elaine?

Visit her on the web here:

Pick up a copy of her book today!  Click here.

Contest Time:

Everyone who leaves a question or comment for any of our authors this month will be entered to win a Digital Reader Prize pack from the Book Boost!  Pack includes:

  • Falsify by Kerri Nelson
  • Your choice of books from author Liz Botts 
  • Saint Sloan by Kelly Martin
  • Never Trust A Pretty Wolf by Elaine Cantrell
  • PLUS much more! 
One entry for every comment.  Visit often.


Elaine Cantrell said...

Thanks so much for having me. I'm planning to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with something green. Don't know what yet.

Melissa Keir said...

I love that you are proud of your heritage. I am of mine. I have English, Welsh, Romanian and Swiss in my veins. Then I went and married a Canadian Scot! :)

Nikki said...

I love St. Paddies..but my celebrations are tamer since the baby...we do green cream cakes instead of green! I have a lot of Irish in me!!!

so said...

I didn't notice if your ancestors were from Northern or Southern Ireland. My Scottish ancestors came over to N. Ireland then to Canada then to America. the other side of my family went from Scotland to America but much later. It's amazing what you can learn. Happy St. Patrick's Day.

GladysMP said...

I have always admired Irish people and enjoyed your comments about them. When I was about 9 years old, I was one in a group that was taught the Irish Jig so that we could perform it at the Miller Memorial Theater in Hermann Park here in Houston. I can still do the Irish Jig and the music certainly does start toes to tapping.

binabug said...

I've always enjoyed reading Celtic writings. Happy St. Paddys day

jeff7salter said...

Enjoyed reading about the Irish folkways and history. Some of them were new to me.
Hope your book is selling well.

Joselyn Vaughn said...

I'm working on a bridal shower game about wedding traditions, so the tip that 'something old, something' etc is Irish will be helpful. :-)

Now to figure out how the game will work.

hotcha12 said...


Tracy Krauss said...

I really enjoyed this book. It was one of my faves from last year.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments. I'm not sure which part of Ireland my people are from, but I think I need to find out. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!

Lori Ringel said...

I love that everyone celebrates St. Patrick's Day - Irish or not!


SherryGLoag said...

Loved your post Elaine. We honeymooned in Ireland.