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Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My mom was a Kennedy and the Ireland in my blood calls me to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day. Back in my younger days I spent many of the shamrock holidays at the closest Irish Pub rejoicing in my Celtic roots. The festivities mostly involved green beer, loud singing, and the occasional hang over.
When I became a mom my St. Patrick’s Day revelries evolved into searching for four-leaf clovers and building Leprechaun traps with my wee daughters. Some of the traps were extremely elaborate, but even so we were never able to capture the elusive little man with the silly beard and hat. Fortunately, the girls always managed to snag a pile of his gold in the form of chocolate coins wrapped golden foil.
Some years my girls would find a small fragment of green material stuck inside  the traps. Ah, pieces of the Leprechaun’s suit. They were so close to a capture! After a breakfast of gold (chocolate) and Lucky Charms in green milk, (what else do you serve for breakfast on SPD?) I’d send them off to school with PBJ’s on green bread, a baggie full of green grapes, and a couple green cookies in their lunch boxes.

No St. Paddy’s day is complete without a corned beef and cabbage dinner. Toss in a few potatoes and carrots and you’ve got yourself a wee piece of heaven. I shouldn’t brag, but what the heck, I make one mean pot of corned beef and cabbage that always puts a smile on hubby’s face.
As I said earlier, my mother’s maiden name was Kennedy. My grandpa was Edward Kennedy—no, not the famous one. In honor of my mother, I named the heroine in my book, The Eyes Die Last, Kennedy Marie O’Brien. Kennedy for Momma’s surname. Marie for Momma’s middle name. And O’Brien? Well it just doesn’t get more Irish than an O’Brien.
Kennedy comes from a long line of Irish cops. I let her grandpa and ex-cop, Tommy O’Brien, keep his Irish accent, but Kennedy’s Irish cadence rarely comes across and only when she’s extremely angry or emotional. Nick Campenelli, one of her leading suspects and a man she’s attracted to, loves when the Irish lilt slips through. Nick’s pet name for Kennedy is Irish, and it drives her crazy when he calls her by the nickname.
I have Irish roots and I loved inserting them into The Eyes Die Last. You’ll never find me searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because at the end of the day, I’ve already found it…in my family.

*The second book in the Kennedy O’Brien series, The Eyes of Vengeance, will be released in summer, 2014.

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