Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Tour: Keeper of the Light by Cynthia Owens Interview & Giveaway

…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

She was everything he despised…but he didn’t know it

Cathal Donnelly washed up on the shores of an Atlantic island one stormy night, with no memory of who he was or why he was there. But is his lovely rescuer his salvation…or his doom?

She dreamed of a very different life

Laura Bainbridge has spent her entire life on tiny Turtle Island, but she dreams of a Season in London and a presentation to Queen Victoria. Can a handsome Irish stranger with a golden tongue and a disturbing past change her heart and convince her to stay?

As Cathal’s memory slowly returns, both he and Laura must come to grips with his painful past…and fight for a future free of hatred and loss.

He moaned again, but made no further response. A cloud skimmed across the moon and away again, leaving her with an unimpeded view of his sleeping face. She caught her breath.

He was beautiful.

His skin was fair but for the nasty gash at his temple. A livid scrape slashed across one high cheekbone. His long black curls flopped wetly over his forehead, and Laura fought the urge to brush them back…

His brows were long, dark slashes against the pallor of his high forehead, the two vertical lines between them the only sign of his conflict. A soft moan spilled from his full lips, making her wonder what it might be like to be kissed by that oh-so-masculine mouth.

Her fascinated gaze roved over the freckles sprinkled across his long straight nose, the tiny dent in his chin that surely must deepen into a cleft when he smiled. He shifted restlessly, drawing her gaze to the broad shoulders encased in white wool, down the long body and along his well-muscled legs. His hands were large and square, calloused and bleeding. One of them clutched a canvas bag in a death grip.

“They’re coming for us.” His deep voice vibrated with raw anguish. “We’ve got to…get out of here. Now!” He tried to rise, but fell back with a helpless half-groan.

  1. Where did you get the idea for the novel?
In my second novel, Coming Home, my hero, Cavan Callaghan, is a veteran of the American Civil War who fought with Thomas Francis Meagher’s Irish Brigade. As I researched their exploits at Antietam, I found myself fascinated. In fact, General Robert E. Lee said of the Irish Brigade after the Battle of Marye’s Heights, “Never were men so brave.” And it was from that research that the Wild Geese Series was born.

Keeper of the Light is Book II of the series. Those of you who have read the first book, Deceptive Hearts, will recognize my hero, Cathal Donnelly. He’s the dreamer of the group, the story teller and the singer of songs – mostly Irish rebel songs. He became involved with the Fenian movement, and he’s a bit of a rebel. That’s why he just had to wash up on Turtle Island, a place populated by descendants of the United Empire Loyalists, who left the United States for Canada rather than renounce their British heritage.

  1. Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title?
I came up with the title, and yes, I changed it several times. At first it was “The Rising of the Moon,” after an old Irish rebel song. Then it became “Laura’s Lighthouse.” But finally, I decided on “Keeper of the Light,” a reference not only to Spirit Lighthouse, where Laura Bainbridge lives with her father, the lighthouse keeper, but also to the light Cathal found in Laura herself.

  1. Why did you pick this genre? What do you like about it?
I think the historical romance genre picked me, rather than vice versa. I’ve always loved to read historical romance. I love to get swept away to another place and time!

  1. Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you?
I’ve had so many amazing experiences since becoming a published author. Book signings, meeting people I might never have me otherwise. Holding a book with my name on it. But probably the most exciting experience was my trip to Ireland in 2009. It was during that trip that I was able to visit Dunguaire Castle, the medieval castle in Kinvara, Galway, that’s on the cover of my first book, In Sunshine or in Shadow. That visit was one of the most moving experiences of my life. It was almost as if I’d been there before, as if I’d walked the grounds at another time.

  1. What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Sometimes a Rogue, by Mary Jo Putney. It’s part of her Lost Lords series. She’s my favorite author, and since this one is set partly in Ireland, it made the story even more special.

  1. What is your writing process?
I start with a character, usually my hero, but occasionally my heroine. I’ll “interview” my characters to get their back story, and the plot usually comes from there. I don’t plot very far in advance, maybe a few scenes, at most a chapter or two, and the characters will usually reveal the story as I’m writing it.

  1. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? 
When doing a book signing, I like to write a note. I always put the date and the person’s name (or the person they specify if it’s a gift). As to what I write, it depends on who the book is for. If it’s someone I know personally, I’ll say something that refers to our friendship. If it’s for a stranger, I’ll write something like “I hope you enjoy Cathal and Laura’s story” or “Enjoy your visit to Turtle Island” or something about the book to (hopefully) interest them.
  1. What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a collector (some would say hoarder). I collect odd things like sea shells from various summer holidays, brass pencil sharpeners (in interesting shapes ranging from an old Victrola to a spinning wheel), and music boxes. There’s no rhyme or reason to these collections, it’s just the ones I see, like, and decide to pick up or buy.

  1. How do you react to a bad review?
A review is one person’s opinion. I keep reminding myself of that. Maybe they had a bad day, or don’t like Irish heroes or my setting or something else about the book. I try not to let myself be hurt by a bad review and concentrate on the good ones.

  1. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
The day I got the e-mail offering me my first contract, I took my daughter to see a touring production of the musical “Cats.” Actually, we already had the tickets, but it made the whole day (which included lunch at MacDonald’s) even more special.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three. I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond. The first three books in The Claddagh Series, In Sunshine or in Shadow, Coming Home, and Playing For Keeps, are all available from Highland Press. Deceptive Hearts, the first book in The Wild Geese Series, has just been released, and Book II, Keeper of the Light, will soon be released in October, 2013.

I am a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.




Buy Links:

Amazon -


Barnes & Noble




The Book Depository



Powell’s Books

Cynthia will be awarding a signed print copy of "Deceptive Hearts," Book I of The Wild Geese Series (Keeper of the Light is Book II), and a handmade beaded bookmark (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a GRAND PRIZE of a sterling silver Claddagh necklace will be awarded to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US/Canada only)

 The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: 


  1. Alisia, thanks so much for hosting me . I hope to meet many of your readers here today!

  2. Great interview!
    Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post, Natasha, best of luck to you in the give-away!

  3. Interesting story

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  4. Thank you again for having me as your guest this week. The winners of my Virtual Book Tour are:
    Natasha D won the copy of "Deceptive Hearts," Book I of The Wild Geese Series.
    And TisEyerish won the sterling silver Claddagh pendant.
    Congratulations, ladies!