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News—March 2014

If you've enjoyed my books, please share this newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or forward to a friend. The best book recommendations travel by word of mouth!


Book of Killowen

Greetings everyone!

It's March, so that means a book launch! THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN paperback hits bookstore shelves on March 11, just in time for Saint Patrick's Day. I'll be celebrating the book launch at The Bookcase of Wayzata at 7pm on March 11, with a few Bog Man Brownies. You're all invited! Details below...

A Minnesota Book Award Finalist!

"Intelligent, eerie, utterly compelling."
   —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and What We Saw At Night

"Combines powerful insights into human nature and pristine prose...offers food for thought that persists beyond the immediate thrill of a well-told tale."
   —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A textured, multifaceted plot that holds the reader from beginning to end. And a high energy, exciting finale only adds to the pleasure. Another strong entry in an outstanding series."
   —Booklist Online

"Rooted in medieval Ireland and rich in the particulars of monastic manuscripts... All of this history serves the novel's carefully measured suspense and adds to the book's splendor."
   —Minneapolis Star Tribune

Meet me along the road this spring! Click here to see the dates in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

BUY AT YOUR LOCAL BOOKSHOP OR ONLINE:
Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble


Saints Bridget's Cross Image

What sort of book is worth a man's life?

After a year away from working in the field, archaeologist Cormac Maguire and pathologist Nora Gavin are back in the bogs, investigating a ninth-century body found buried in the trunk of a car. They discover that the ancient corpse is not alone—pinned beneath it is the body of Benedict Kavanagh, missing for mere months and familiar to television viewers as a philosopher who enjoyed destroying his opponents in debate. Both men were viciously murdered, but centuries apart—so how did they end up buried together in the bog?

While on the case, Cormac and Nora lodge at Killowen, a nearby artists' colony and organic farm and sanctuary for eccentric souls. Digging deeper into the older crime, they become entangled in high-stakes intrigue encompassing Kavanagh's death while surrounded by suspects in his ghastly murder. It seems that everyone at Killowen has some secret to protect.

Set in modern-day Ireland, THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN delves deep into the mysteries of the past, revealing a new twist on the power of language—and on the eternal mysteries of good and evil.

Book Clubs

Remember, if your book club is reading any of my books, and you'd be interested in an author visit, let me know—I'm available and willing to chat in person with book clubs in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and around the country (or anywhere in the world, really) via Skype. Just zip me an email HERE, and we'll set something up.


YOU'RE INVITED!
BOOK LAUNCH—THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

March 11, 7:00 pm
WAYZATA, MN
The Bookcase of Wayzata
824 Lake Street East
Wayzata, MN 55391
(952) 473-8341
Come celebrate Ireland with THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN paperback, a bit of Irish traditional music by my wonderful husband Paddy O'Brien—and excavate a few Bog Man Brownies!

Check out all the other upcoming readings, signings, and events on my website!


Ireland Custys Shop

COME TO IRELAND WITH ME!

I'll once again be leading an intrepid band of travelers to some of the mysterious and beautiful places that have inspired locations in my novels: archaeological sites and castles, the bogs and lakes of the midlands, windswept cliffs, manuscripts and museums, ruined medieval monasteries and tower houses. And of course we'll take in some traditional music sessions, too, along with a trip to the Tullamore Dew whiskey distillery! No such thing as too much research, I always say...

To have a look at our itinerary for 2014, and find out how to make your reservation—just click on the link below.

Tour of Ireland

HART OF IRELAND TOUR
September 10-19, 2014

That's all the news for now.

May the blessing of light be upon you,
Light on the outside,
Light on the inside.

Sláinte,
Erin

News—February 2014

If you've enjoyed my books, please share this newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or forward to a friend. The best book recommendations travel by word of mouth!


Saints Bridget's Cross Image

Greetings everyone!

Ah yes, February! The Feast of Saint Bridget and the first inklings of spring in Ireland, while we're still in the depths of winter here in Minnesota. But February also means that the month of March—and the new paperback edition of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN—are only a few days away...


THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN PAPERBACK COMING MARCH 11!

Saints Bridget's Cross Image

Big news this month is of course that the new trade paperback edition of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN is coming out on March 11! It's available for pre-order right now from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or your favorite independent bookstore.

Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble

What is a trade paperback, you ask? It's that medium-sized softcover format, specially made for book clubs. There's even a handy reader's guide in the back of this edition, with some questions to get your book club discussion off to a good start. You can also see the book club questions for THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN on my website.

If your book club is reading any of my books, and you'd be interested in an author visit, let me know—I'm available and willing to chat in person with book clubs in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and around the country (or anywhere in the world, really) via Skype. Just zip me an email, and we'll set something up.


THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN IS A MINNESOTA BOOK AWARD FINALIST

Minnesota Book Awards Logo

This truly is a great honor! I'm absolutely stunned and overjoyed to be included in the excellent company of fellow finalists Brian Freeman, Cary J. Griffith, and William Kent Krueger in the genre fiction cateogory for the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards. The Minnesota Book Awards gala is going to be held April 5 at the historic and beautifully restored Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul. Find out more about the event (including how to order tickets for the festivities) at the Minnesota Book Awards website.


COME TO IRELAND WITH ME!

Ireland Tour Group

Many people have been asking for details on the custom tours I take to Ireland—to the bogs, castles, and museums where my books are set. We've just finalized the itinerary for this year's trip. Dates are September 9-19, 2014.

I'll once again be leading an intrepid band of travelers to some of the mysterious and beautiful places that have inspired locations in my novels: archaeological sites and castles, the bogs and lakes of the midlands, windswept cliffs, manuscripts and museums, ruined medieval monasteries and tower houses. And of course we'll take in some traditional music sessions, too, along with a trip to the Tullamore Dew whiskey distillery! No such thing as too much research, I always say...

To have a look at our itinerary for 2014, and find out how to make your reservation—just click on the link below.

Tour of Ireland


Erin Hart
HART OF IRELAND TOUR
September 9-19, 2014


AUDIOBOOKS—WE HEAR YOU...

Loads of people have been clamoring for an audiobook version of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, and I hear you! Working on getting an audio version into production, and will keep you posted on any progress.


EVENTS ~ EVENTS ~ EVENTS

Paddy with basket of turf

This month I'm doing the Plots & Pints Pub Quiz with some of my Twin Cities Sisters in Crime. March is going to be quite a busy month, with lots of special events on the way, including the paperback launch of THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN on March 11 at The Bookcase of Wayzata, an early Saint Patrick's Facebook event with fellow Irish-themed authors on March 16, and an official Saint Patrick's Day program at the Landmark Center in Saint Paul on March 17. I've included some of my husband's concerts as well, for those who love Irish music.

Paddy and I are still offering our "Irish Music and Mystery" program at libraries and bookstores, so let us know if there's a great venue where you live. I've been setting up some in-person events through a new outfit called Togather, which has been working out very well. Just visit my website and click on the wee widget to set something up!

March 8, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
FARGO, ND / MOORHEAD, MN
11th Annual Celtic Festival
Hjemkomst Center
202 1st Ave North
Moorhead MN 56560
(218) 299-5515
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
A multimedia program of Irish music and mystery, with additional musical performances

March 11, 7:00 pm
WAYZATA, MN
LAUNCH EVENT FOR THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN PAPERBACK!
The Bookcase of Wayzata
824 Lake Street East
Wayzata, MN 55391
(952) 473-8341

March 14, 7:00 pm
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Minnesota Book Awards
Meet the Finalists
Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Meet many of the finalists for the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards as they give short presentations about their books. After the program, everyone is invited to stay and chat with the authors and enjoy complimentary wine and refreshments. Finalist books will be available for purchase and autographing. Free admission.

March 15, 2:00 pm
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Hosmer World Music Concert Series
Hosmer Library
347 East 36th Street
Minneapolis, 55408
612-543-6900
Irish traditional music legend Paddy O'Brien in concert
I'm always on hand with CDs and books...

March 16, 2:00 pm
CHANHASSEN, MN
Carver County Library—Chanhassen
7711 Kerber Boulevard
Chanhassen, MN 55317
Paddy O'Brien and Chulrua in Concert
Erin and Paddy will have books and CDs for sale at this event, and will be signing!

March 16, 5-8 pm Eastern / 4-7 pm Central
ONLINE—FACEBOOK EVENT
Bleedin' Green—An Irish Mystery Gab-Fest!
Erin Hart, Lisa Alber, Sheila Connolly, Mollie Cox-Bryan
Join me and fellow mystery authors Lisa, Sheila, and Mollie as we answer questions about our novels, writing and research, Ireland, what we're working on next, or whatever YOU want to know about! We'll have fun facts, photos, giveaways, and Irish gleefulness galore—join us while enjoying Irish libations from the safety and coziness of your own living room. Books and Gaelic gewgaws galore will be included in the giveaways. Stop in, hang with the authors, and leave a comment for a chance to win!

March 17, 1:30 pm
SAINT PAUL, MN
IMDA Saint Patrick's Day Celebration Landmark Center
75 West Fifth Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
$6/adults, $4/kids 5-12, available at the door
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate afternoon program of Irish music and mystery!
Erin and Paddy will have signed books and CDs will be available for sale March 16-17 at the Irish Music & Dance Association artists' table in the cortile

March 18, 7:30 pm
SAINT PAUL, MN
Readings by Writers—Saint Patrick's Celebration
Sponsored by Public Art Saint Paul/Everyday Poems for City Sidewalks
University Club
420 Summit Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55102
An evening of works by Irish and Irish-American writers, including Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien, and others, with Irish traditional music by Paddy O'Brien. Dinner available from 5 pm, separate from reading. For dinner reservations, call 651-222-1751—no need to be a member of the University Club.

March 20
MAPLE GROVE, MN
Meeting with a local book club

March 28
EAGAN, MN
Meeting with a local book club

April 1, 6:30 pm
EDINA, MN
Twin Cities Sisters in Crime meeting
Southdale Library—Ethel Berry meeting room
7001 York Avenue South
Edina, MN 55435
Reading from THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

April 5, 2:00 pm
HINCKLEY, MN
Hinckley Public Library
106 First Street SE
Hinckley, MN 55037
(320) 384-6351
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

April 5, 7:00 pm
SAINT PAUL, MN
26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala
The Saint Paul Union Depot
214 East Fourth Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Thrilled to be a finalist in the Genre Fiction category at the 26th Annual Minnesota Book Awards, along with Brian Freeman, William Kent Krueger, and Cary Griffith. Tickets are $45, with proceeds benefiting the Minnesota Book Awards. ORDER TICKETS HERE

April 11, 7:00 pm
MADISON, WI
Mystery to Me Bookstore
1863 Monroe Street
Madison, WI 53711
(608) 283-9332
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN & THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate evening of Irish traditional music and mystery

April 12, 2:30 pm
MENASHA, WI
Fox Cities Book Festival
Menasha Public Library
440 First Street
Menasha, WI 54952
(920) 967-3660
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

April 15, 11:00 am
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
The Woman's Club of Minneapolis
410 Oak Grove Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 813-5300
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

April 21, 12:00 Noon
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
AAUW Minneapolis Branch
2115 Stevens Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404-2543
(612) 870-1661
Book chat and reading from THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

May 1, TIME TBA
IOWA CITY, IA
University of Iowa Libraries Conservation Lab
30th Anniversary Celebration / American Library Association Preservation Week
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

May 17, 1:00 pm
CANNON FALLS, MN
Cannon Falls Public Library
306 West Mill Street
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
(507) 263-2804
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

August 22, 4:00 pm
MACKINAC ISLAND, MI
Mackinac Island Public Library
903 Huron Street
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
(906) 847-3421
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate program of Irish music and mystery!

That's all the news for now. Hoping we'll have a chance to chat about books sometime soon!

Sláinte,
Erin

News—October 2013

Greetings everyone!

Holy Well

Shorter days, blustery winds, longer nights—hope you have lots of great reading lined up heading into winter. I was in Ireland in October 2002, and took this spooky picture of a holy well outside Corofin, Co Clare, a village not far from the Burren. See the last item below for more about the Burren...


NOT TOO LATE TO REGISTER FOR CLASSES!

I'll be teaching a couple of different classes this fall, a two-session community education course in Rogers about all that goes into creating a mystery novel, and a six-session writing class at the History Theatre. Details are below...

October 15 & 29 6-8 pm
ROGERS, MN
District 728 Community Education
Rogers Middle School
20855 141st Ave North
Rogers, MN 55374
(763) 241-3520
Erin Hart's Irish Crime Novels: The Science, History, Folklore, and Music in Making a Mystery
We'll dig into all the fascinating research, plot and character development—all the elements that go into creating a multi-layered mystery novel.

October 15-November 19; Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 am
SAINT PAUL, MN
Writing from Memory Class
History Theatre
30 10th Street East
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 292-4323
Six sessions: October 15, 22, 29, and November 5, 12, 19
Each person's life is like a house with many rooms. Join author Erin Hart from the History Theatre for this fun and accessible six-session writing workshop that will help you discover some keys to those many rooms. Using photographs, sounds, artifacts, taste, scents, and textures, we will explore significant chapters in your personal or family history, and with the tools of writing we will bring your memories to vivid life on the page. Absolutely no experience necessary and everyone is welcome! $120 for six sessions; discount for History Theatre subscribers.


EVENTS GALORE!

The Book of Killowen

I kept thinking that things would slow down in April, after THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN was released in March, but it's still hellzapoppin around here. Paddy and I had a wonderful time on our trip through Wisconsin and Michigan in September, where we met loads of great librarians, booksellers, readers, and music fans. Thanks so much to everyone who came along to see us and share music and stories.

And we've got even more library events and book clubs coming up, including the Donor Society luncheon for the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Libraries (one of my favorite Friends organizations), a Club Book program at the Prior Lake Library, and a trip to my ancestral home of Cedar Rapids, Iowa for book and music events kindly organized by my auntie!

If your book club (or any other group, really) would like to set up a visit, I'd be delighted to chat with you, in person or via Skype, if you're outside my local area of Minnesota. I've been setting up some in-person events through Togather, which has been working out very well. Just visit my website and click on the wee widget to set something up!

October 14, 6:30 pm
WAYZATA, MN
Wayzata Public Library
Sponsored by the Friends of the Wayzata Public Library
620 Rice Street
Wayzata, MN 55391
(612) 543-6150
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate evening of Irish traditional music and stories

October 15 & 29 6-8 pm
ROGERS, MN
District 728 Community Education
Rogers Middle School
20855 141st Ave North
Rogers, MN 55374
(763) 241-3520
Erin Hart's Irish Crime Novels: The Science, History, Folklore, and Music in Making a Mystery
We'll dig into all the fascinating research, plot and character development—all the elements that go into creating a multi-layered mystery novel.

October 15-November 19; Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30 am
SAINT PAUL, MN
Writing from Memory Class
History Theatre
30 10th Street East
Saint Paul, MN 55101
(651) 292-4323
Six sessions: October 15, 22, 29, and November 5, 12, 19
Each person's life is like a house with many rooms. Join author Erin Hart from the History Theatre for this fun and accessible six-session writing workshop that will help you discover some keys to those many rooms. Using photographs, sounds, artifacts, taste, scents, and textures, we will explore significant chapters in your personal or family history, and with the tools of writing we will bring your memories to vivid life on the page. Absolutely no experience necessary and everyone is welcome! $120 for six sessions; discount for History Theatre subscribers.

October 16, 7:00 pm
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
Stewart Memorial Library, Coe College
1220 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 399-8585
Erin Hart and Paddy O'Brien: Ireland, The Mystery And The Music THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH Multimedia book program with Irish traditional music

October 17, 6:30 pm
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA
Bata's Restaurant
1006 3rd Street SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
(319) 261-2355
Irish Traditional Music with Paddy O'Brien (button accordion) with Natalie Brown (fiddle) and Gayla Drake (fiddle and guitar) Paddy and Erin will also have books and CDs for sale and signing!

October 20 2:00 pm
GOLDEN VALLEY, MN
Calvary Center Cooperative
7600 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55427
(763) 544-1090
Event sponsored by the Hennepin County Library Outreach Program
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
Book program with Irish traditional music

October 23
MAPLE GROVE, MN
Meeting with a local book club

October 24, 11:30 am
SAINT PAUL, MN
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
Donor Society Luncheon
Town & Country Club
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
Book program with Irish traditional music

October 24, 7:00 pm
PRIOR LAKE, MN
Prior Lake Library
16210 Eagle Creek Avenue
Prior Lake, MN 55379
(952) 233-9590
Club Book Event—Hosted by Scott County Library
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN and THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
An intimate evening of Irish traditional music and stories

October 26, 10:00 am
RED WING, MN
Red Wing Public Library
225 East Avenue
Red Wing, MN 55066
(651) 385-3673
Multimedia book chat and reading from THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

November 7
MAPLEWOOD, MN
Meeting with a local book club

November 14, 4:00-6:00 pm
ELK RIVER, MN
Reading Frenzy Corner—Elk River
609 Main Street
Elk River, MN 55330
(763) 856-3736
info@readingfrenzymn.com
Multimedia book chat about THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN
(And there might just be a little singing...)

November 14
PLYMOUTH, MN
Meeting with a local book club

November 21
PLYMOUTH, MN
Rotary Club

Burren

WORKING AWAY ON BOOK FIVE

I'm not going to give away TOO much about the next book, except to say that it takes place in the Burren, the rocky region of northwest County Clare, an area rich in ancient tombs, gold artifacts, potholes, caves, and underground rivers. The mysterious karst limestone surface of the place makes a fantastic setting for intrigue! I promise to reveal more later as the story develops...


TOUR NEWS

Burren

Many people have been asking whether I'm taking another group to Ireland in 2014, and the answer is yes! I'm working with New Departures on the itinerary, but should have plans in place by the end of this year. You can take a look at our last itinerary below to see the sorts of things we usually include on the trip: castles, monastic ruins, ancient burial sites, music sessions, and bogs! I'll send out another notice when the itinerary is set, and you can see if it fits your plans for next year. We'd love to have you along.

2012 Hart of Ireland Itinerary


PADDY O'BRIEN TUNE COLLECTION

Tune Collection

Have to put in a plug for my sweetheart... In addition to writing and touring, I've been working hard on my husband's big project, the Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection: A Personal Treasury of Irish Traditional Music. Anybody who knows Paddy understands that he is a walking encyclopedia of traditional music. Since he doesn't read music, all of the 3,000 tunes he knows are stored in his head—rather like some of the characters in my books. He's spent the past twenty years recording as much of his repertoire as he can remember, so that people will have all the rare and unusual versions of tunes that he learned from the great master musicians of the last generation. It's an amazing and historic project, unlike anything that's ever been done before.

We've launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the costs of digital and CD production for Volume Three, another 500 tunes. Volumes One and Two contain 1,000 tunes, and Volume Three will be another 500, bringing the total number of tunes to 1,500. We've got loads of great rewards for backers, including copies of the Paddy O'Brien Tune Collection—Volume Three, along with Paddy's other CDs, copies of his memoir, THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH, about growing up in Irish music, and a fabulous tee shirt!

To learn more about the project, and hear some soulful music samples, visit Paddy's Kickstarter page.

Or you can learn more at Paddy's website.

That's all the news for now. Hoping we'll have a chance to meet and chat soon!

Sláinte,
Erin

News—June 2013

Greetings everyone!

White Horse

Midsummer in Ireland is a time of long days and short nights—the sun doesn't set until nearly 11 pm in late June, and bonfires still appear on the tops of hills and mountains at Midsummer to mark the longest day of the year. Many famous traditional songs, like the 'Jug of Punch' and 'Spancil Hill' mention the 23rd of June. And there's still a horse fair at Spancil Hill just east of Ennis in County Clare on the 24th of June. The festivities kick off with a donkey derby the night before the fair.


SUMMER DEALS—BOOKS AND MUSIC

White Horse

Every summer, my entire family headed to the cabin for the first two weeks of August, each of us carrying a grocery bag stuffed with books. Some of my best reading was done on a beach blanket, in a swayback camp bed, or an Adirondack chair. Summer is definitely the season for tunes and paperbacks at the beach, so we've added some summertime deals at Paddy's Online Shop. Buy two books or CDs, and get the third one free. And naturally you can have them inscribed any way you wish...



KILLOWEN REVIEWS STILL ROLLING IN

The Book of Killowen

Modesty really should forbid, but I'm so delighted to have received these lovely reviews for THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN!

"Hart's novels always mix historical and contemporary crime, and here she mingles the two with particular skill... a textured, multifaceted plot that holds the reader from beginning to end. And a high energy, exciting finale only adds to the pleasure. Another strong entry in an outstanding series."
   —Booklist Online

"Conceives a fascinating situation and lays out its complexities in careful, graceful prose."
   —New York Journal of Books

"The novel is rooted in medieval Ireland and rich in the particulars of monastic manuscripts... All of this history serves the novel's carefully measured suspense and adds to the book's splendor."
   —Minneapolis Star Tribune

"It has history, as Nora and Cormac discover more and more about the ancient artifacts they do uncover; it has a tricky mystery, complicated enough to please Agatha Christie herself; and it has a real emotion and sense of place that is all Hart's own... One of the very best traditional mystery series being written at the moment."
   —Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's Mystery Books, Ann Arbor, MI

"Erin Hart has crafted a beautiful novel, as intricately woven as the illuminations in an ancient Irish manuscript. She brings together themes of history and violence, all the while exploring the nature of communication and family, and probing the darker secrets of the human soul. Hart's characters are beguiling and her language poetic, but her plotting never fails to propel the reader along at a breakneck pace toward a dramatic finish."
   —Michele A. Reed, I Love A Mystery



eBOOKS AND AUDIO

Audiobook

I've been getting lots of questions about whether my books are available as ebooks, and the answer is yes! You should be able to order all of my books from your favorite ebook seller, including Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and many other formats. Paddy's book is available in lots of ebook formats as well.

My first three books, HAUNTED GROUND, LAKE OF SORROWS, and FALSE MERMAID, are also available as audiobooks. The first two are on unabridged CD from Books on Tape, and all three are downloadable from Audible.com. The narrator of all three existing audiobooks is Rosalyn Landor, a wonderful character actress. She used the stage name Jennifer McMahon for the first two, but trust me, it's the same person! We're working on getting THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN released as an audiobook. Will keep you posted on that...



EVENTS GALORE

Book of Killowen & Road From Castlebarnagh

Paddy and I are still making the rounds at libraries, book clubs, and now that summer is finally here, quite a few festivals around the Upper Midwest. Here are a few highlights; full schedule is of course on the website.

July 15, 12 noon
BRAINERD, MN
Brainerd Public Library
416 S 5th Street
Brainerd, MN 56401
(218) 829-5574
Brown Bag Series—Lunchtime Book Chats
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN & THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
Book chat with Irish traditional music

July 20-21, ALL DAY
SHAKOPEE, MN
Minnesota River Arts Fair at The Landing
2187 Highway 101 East
Shakopee, MN
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN & THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
Keynote program and readings, signing at the authors' area near the Gazebo

July 27, ALL DAY
BRAINERD, MN
Saint Mathias Celtic Festival
Erin Hart & Paddy O'Brien
THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN & THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH
Book chat and readings with Irish traditional music throughout the day

August 10-11 ALL DAY
SAINT PAUL, MN
Irish Fair of Minnesota
Harriet Island Regional Park
Across the Mississippi from downtown Saint Paul
Readings and book chats throughout each day
Come see us in the Literary Corner in the Pavilion, at the Speakers Tent, Celtic Chat Table, and at New Folk Records in the Marketplace! We'll have a great lineup of writers at the Literary Corner, a new area at the Irish Fair of Minnesota.

We've also got a short tour lined up for September, through Green Bay, WI; Washington, Ann Arbor, Hartland, and Kalamazoo, MI; Chicago; Milwaukee and Madison. Dates will be posted on the website as events are confirmed, and not to worry, I'll remind you in a later newsletter as well...



LET'S GET TOGATHER.COM

Erin and Paddy

Paddy and I have both signed up for Togather.com, which offers a new way of creating author events. It's a bit like crowd-sourcing sites Kickstarter or Groupon; if enough people sign up, buy a book (or however you want to set things up), an event can go forward. Invite some friends over to talk about books, and you can also invite the author whose book you're discussing.

Togather.com can also help organize events at bookshops, libraries, pubs—wherever people gather to talk about books and reading. The site helps keeps track of RSVPs, and can even sell books to people attending the event. We think it'll be a great way to do visits to far-flung book clubs via Skype or Google Hangouts, maybe we can even plan some in-person events in your hometown. Read more about Togather.com.

If you'd like to try setting up an event, just visit one of our pages, and click on "Start a Proposal."

My page
Paddy's page

And if you'd like to know more about Paddy's book, THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH, or would like to order a copy, just visit his website.

Hoping our paths will cross on the road somewhere soon!

Sláinte,
Erin

News—March 2013

If you've enjoyed my books, please share this newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or forward to a friend. The best book recommendations travel by word of mouth!

Greetings everyone,

Snowdrops

I don't know about you all, but I'm about done with winter. Here in Frozen-tundra-land, we've still got a foot of crusted snow on the ground, and snowbank and street alike are topped with about three inches of rock-solid ice. Even in late February the windchill is enough to take your breath away. But March is on the way. So I close my eyes and wait, and dream of spring softness, the forest floor of an oak wood filled with snowdrops.

Here's a short clip of my friend Susan McKeown singing a Scottish song, 'The Snows They Melt the Soonest.' To me, it's a perfect song for the end of winter. And here are the original lyrics as printed in Blackwood's Magazine, 1821 (Just so you know, 'wad' is Scottish dialect for 'wager.'):

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing;
And the corn it ripens fastest when the frosts are setting in;
And when a woman tells me that my face she'll soon forget,
Before we part, I wad a crown, she's fain to follow't yet.

The snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
And the swallow skims without a thought as long as it is spring;
But when spring goes, and winter blows, my lass, an ye'll be fain,
For all your pride, to follow me, were't cross the stormy main.

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing;
The bee that flew when summer shined, in winter cannot sting;
I've seen a woman's anger melt between the night and morn,
And it's surely not a harder thing to tame a woman's scorn.

O, never say me farewell here—no farewell I'll receive,
For you shall set me to the stile, and kiss and take your leave;
But I'll stay here till the woodcock comes, and the martlet takes his wing,
Since the snow aye melts the soonest, lass, when the wind begins to sing.



THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN HITS THE SHELVES MARCH 5

The Book of Killowen

[SOUND OF TRUMPETS] I'm thrilled to say that THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN will be in bookstores everywhere on Tuesday, March 5! To celebrate my new release, and Paddy's memoir being distributed in the US (see below), we're having a double launch party down at the James J. Hill Library on Rice Park in Saint Paul. (The Hill Library is in the same building as the Saint Paul Central Library, where we launched FALSE MERMAID.) Our friends Ann and Charlie Heymann will be on hand to play some traditional harp tunes, jigs, and reels; we'll have refreshments, maybe even a few door prizes. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (thanks, Friends!) so it's free and open to all.

March 5, 6:00-9:00 pm
SAINT PAUL, MN
LAUNCH PARTY FOR THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN &
THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH

Sponsored by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
James J. Hill Library
80 Fourth Street West
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Live Irish music, refreshments, cash bar

We've also got loads of other great bookstore and library events coming up for March: reading with Wendy Webb at Common Good Books, Paddy and I are doing a special event at the Water Street Inn in Stillwater, sponsored by The Valley Bookseller, then we're at The Bookcase in Wayzata, Once Upon A Crime, SubText, Cafe 318 in Excelsior, and Scout & Morgan Books in Cambridge, among others (see the full schedule), and we'd be delighted to see you at any or all of these great events.

I'm also thrilled that THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN has been picking up some nice reviews, from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews (click on the link to see the full review):

"Combines powerful insights into human nature and pristine prose...offers food for thought that persists beyond the immediate thrill of a well-told tale."
   —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Hart's foray into soggy Killowen has a rock-solid foundation of musical language and deft plotting."
   —Kirkus Reviews

And I'm beyond thrilled to have received this lovely testimonial from Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean and What We Saw at Night:

"Can the arcane science and lore of the Irish 'bog people,' who often died alone and in agony, be fuel for a mystery that actually does what The Da Vinci Code tried to do? A thousand times yes, if Erin Hart's storytelling witchery is at work. Intelligent, eerie, utterly compelling."
   —Jacquelyn Mitchard

You can order your copy at an of these retailers:
Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million



BLOGGING ABOUT BOGS

Faddan More Psalter

I've been having great fun blogging about all the research I had to do for THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN, which was inspired by the real-life discovery of the Faddan More Psalter, a ninth-century book of psalms, in an Irish bog a few years ago. I was fortunate enough to talk to Ned Kelly, archaeologist and Keeper of Antiquities from the National Museum, who supervised the recovery, and even corresponded a bit with the book restorer expert who undertook the psalter's conservation. I also had great fun digging into medieval ink-making, and other wonderfully esoteric history. If you haven't seen those posts, you can catch up on all the fascinating scientific and historical background for the new book—over on my blog.

I'm also posting snips and images from the blog on my Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Pinterest, so you can also join me there. All for those, like me, who can never get enough pictures of bog people, artifacts, or ancient ruins...



THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH

Road from Castlebarnagh

For those of you who don't know about Paddy's book, it's THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH, Growing Up In Irish Music, A Memoir. Of course I'm completely and totally biased, but it really is a wonderfully entertaining account of life in rural Ireland sixty years ago. Paddy grew up in a thatched house with no running water or electricity, and his stories about all the local characters and his adventures as a boy musician are amazing and utterly captivating. And I'm not the only one who says so! We'll have Paddy's books and CDs on hand at all of the events on the schedule. Published by Orpen Press in Ireland, THE ROAD FROM CASTLEBARNAGH is being distributed in the US by Dufour Editions, the premier distributor of Irish books in North America. There's going to be a formal launch in June, but it's available from March 1 in bookstores and online in paperback and e-book. You can check Paddy's website for more information.



SAINT PATRICK'S DAY MUSIC

Chulrua

People have asked me to let them know when Paddy is playing, so I have a couple of local opportunities to hear him, coming up in March. I'm not performing at either of these events, but I'll be around, playing music groupie at the book-and-CD table.

March 16, 11:50 am-12:20 pm
SAINT PAUL, MN
IMDA Saint Patrick's Day Celebration
Landmark Center
Weyerhaeuser Auditorium (lower level)
75 West Fifth Street
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Tickets: $6/adults, $4/kids 5-12, available at the door.
For group discounts call 612-990-3122 or e-mail Lisa@IMDA-MN.org.

March 17, 7:00 pm
HUDSON, WI
CHULRUA IN CONCERT (Paddy and his band)
Phipps Center for the Arts
109 Locust Street
Hudson, WI 54016
(715) 386-8409 tickets



THE LOFT'S MYSTERY, CRIME, AND THRILLER CONFERENCE

I'll be doing a workshop, "Creating Your Cast Of Characters" at the Loft's biennial Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Conference on April 27. This was a whopper of a day last time around, great seminars, and a chance to mix and mingle with crime writers of every stripe and subgenre. I'm also hosting a "Memorable Characters" table at Lunch with An Author that day. Should be a ton of fun, plotting with fellow mystery buffs about imaginary mayhem.

April 27, 11:15 am
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
The Loft's Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Writing Conference
The Loft Literary Center
1011 Washington Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 215-2575
Workshop: Creating Your Cast of Characters with Erin Hart
Lunch with an author: Memorable Characters



BOOKS TO DIE FOR NOMINATED FOR ANTHONY AND AGATHA AWARDS

Books to Die For

I am overjoyed to report that BOOKS TO DIE FOR has been nominated for two of the mystery world's most prestigious prizes, the Anthony and Agatha awards, given out by readers at two international mystery conventions, Bouchercon and Malice Domestic.

B2D4 is a collection of personal essays from 120 of the world's most beloved and renowned crime writers on the mysteries and thrillers that they most admire, edited by two of their own—John Connolly and Declan Burke. I'm one of the phalanx of contributors—my essay argues that A.S. Byatt's novel POSSESSION is actually a crime novel.

About their aim in putting the collection together, Connolly and Burke say on the book's website, "What we sought from each of the contributors to this volume was passionate advocacy: we wanted them to pick one novel, just one, that they would place in the canon. If you found them in a bar some evening, and the talk turned (as it almost inevitably would) to favorite writers, it would be the single book that each writer would press upon you, the book that, if there was time and the stores were still open, they would leave the bar in order to purchase for you, so that they could be sure they had done all in their power to make you read it."

And if by chance you don't know John and Declan, you should. John Connolly is the author of such international bestsellers as The Whisperers, The Gates, The Lovers, The Reapers, The Unquiet, The Black Angel, Every Dead Thing, Dark Hollow, The Killing Kind, The Book Of Lost Things, and Bad Men. The eleventh Charlie Parker novel, The Wrath of Angels, was published in Ireland and the UK in August 2012, and was released in the United States on January 1, 2013. John is also the host of the weekly radio show ABC to XTC. He divides his time between Dublin, Ireland and Portland, Maine. Declan Burke is the author of Eightball Boogie, The Big O, Absolute Zero Cool, and the recently-published Slaughter's Hound. He is also the editor of Down These Green Streets: Irish Crime Writing in the 21st Century. He lives in Wicklow with his wife Aileen and daughter Lily, and hosts a website dedicated to the growing field of Irish crime fiction called Crime Always Pays.

Read more about BOOKS TO DIE FOR.



NEW 'BUY THE BOOKS' PAGE

Medieval Bookseller

So many people have asked where they can buy my books that I've had my fabulous web designer Maddee James come up with a new page that makes it easier. Just clickety-click on your favorite bookselling site on this handy page, and presto, a book or e-book can be delivered into your hot little hands. This page can also tell you where to shop for actual, hard-copy books in your own locality. Yay for bricks-and-mortar stores! Here's the link to clickety-click.

I think that's all the news for now. Wishing you all a beautiful, temperate spring, and happy reading!

Slán go fóill,*
Erin

* Pronounced 'SLAWN go foil,' and it just means 'bye for now.' Now you can say you speak Irish!


News—April 2012

If you've enjoyed my books, please share this newsletter on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or forward to a friend. The best book recommendations travel by word of mouth!

Court Tomb with Bluebells

Greetings everyone,

Here's an eternal spring image for you, the Knockranny Court Tomb outside Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon, awash in bluebells. And here's an ancient Irish poem as well (some say it's the oldest there is)... I used a snippet of this in LAKE OF SORROWS

The Song of Amheirgin

I am the wind which breathes upon the sea,
I am the wave of the ocean,
I am the murmur of the billows,
I am the ox of the seven combats,
I am the vulture upon the rocks,
I am a beam of the sun,
I am the fairest of plants,
I am a wild boar in valour,
I am a salmon in the water,
I am a lake in the plain,
I am a word of science,
I am the point of the lance of battle,
I am the god who creates in the head of man the fire of thought.

Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the mountain?
Who announces the ages of the moon, if not I?
Who teaches the place where couches the sun, if not I?

I am the womb: of every holt,
I am the blaze: on every hill,
I am the queen: of every hive,
I am the shield: for every head,
I am the grave: of every hope.

THE SERPENT'S EGG IS NOW THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN

Bluesnake, Bookmanflip

The new book, which has gone by the working title THE SERPENT'S EGG is now... THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN. My wonderful editor, Susanne Kirk, suggested the change to offer a stronger hint at what it's all about. And since it's about a ninth-century manuscript that turns up in a bog, I think the new title fits. We may still go with a serpent image on the cover—we're waiting to see some jacket designs right now.

The story takes a page from the real-life discovery of a late 8th-century psalter discovered at Faddan More bog about five years ago. So I'm starting with that detail and a few mighty what-ifs: What if a book wasn't the only thing buried in the bog? As a devious mystery writer, I quite naturally include a body or two as well... Locations include bogs (of course), ancient ruined monasteries, and spooky oak woods near Birr, County Offaly.

The good news is that the book will be released in March 2013, so there's at least a date for everyone who's been waiting so patiently!

IRELAND TOUR UPDATE

Custy's

I know everyone's been waiting for the news, and it's now official! New Departures is taking reservations for a third Irish tour, this time called, "Erin Hart's Ireland: ON HAUNTED GROUND." The dates are September 12-22, 2012, and a full itinerary is now up at the New Departures website.

I'll once again be leading an intrepid band of travelers to some of the mysterious and beautiful places that have inspired locations in my novels: The National Museum of Ireland, archaeological sites and castles, the bogs and lakes of the midlands, ruined medieval monasteries and haunted tower houses. And of course we'll take in some traditional music sessions, too, along with a trip to the Guinness brewery and an old whiskey distillery! (Never too much research, I say...)

We're calling this trip after my first novel, 'Erin Hart's Ireland: ON HAUNTED GROUND.' The title of HAUNTED GROUND was actually inspired by a line from Byron: 'Where e'er we tread, 'tis haunted, holy ground.' I've always thought that line really captured the spirit of Ireland, a place where so many undiscovered layers of history remain perpetually underfoot.

My good friend Kathy Sidla from New Departures has organized this tour down to the last detail, from lovely hotels and companionable dinners, to bogwalks and visits to ancient tombs and fairy forts where the little people dwell.

If you've always wanted to visit Ireland, but wanted something a little more off-the-beaten track, this is just your ticket. We'll have a little history, a little science, a little folklore, a little music and a bit of pub crawling. I do hope you'll be inspired to join us! If you are, please give Kathy Sidla at New Departures a call at 1-612-305-0025 or 1-800-853-1880.

The cost for the tour is right around $3,995 (with $750 required to reserve your space); full details and itinerary are on the New Departures website.

ERIN HART'S IRELAND: ON HAUNTED GROUND
September 12-22, 2012

DYSART O'DEA DOORWAY, MUSIC SESSION

September 12: Depart US for Dublin

September 13-15: Dublin, Book of Kells, National Museum ('Kingship and Sacrifice' exhibit, ancient Irish gold, and the Faddan More Psalter), Guinness Brewery, Georgian House Museum, National Museum Collins Barracks, An Goílín Singers' session, traditional Irish music session at Hughes's Pub, Chancery Street, overnight in Dublin

September 16: Newgrange, Tullynally Castle and Gardens, Slane Castle, Corlea Trackaway Centre, overnight at Kilronan Castle, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon

September 17-18: Ceide Fields, Museum of Country Life, Westport, walking tour of Galway City, Ballynahinch Castle, coral beach at Carraroe, traditional music session at the Crane Bar, overnight in Galway

September 19-20: Portumna Castle, Clonony Castle Tower House, Leap Castle (most haunted place in Ireland), Kilbeggan Whiskey distillery, Clara Bog Visitor Centre, St. Manchan's shrine, Celtic Roots Studio (bog wood sculptures) at Ballinahown craft village, overnight in Tullamore, Co Offaly

September 21: Dysart O'Dea medieval monastery and Clare Archaeology Centre, Poulnabrone Dolmen, Corkscrew Hill, the Burren, fairy fort, Kilfenora, traditional music session, overnight in Ennis

September 22: Back home again!

That's all the news for now. Hope you're breathing in and savoring the early spring—and happy reading!

Sláinte,
Erin


News—December 2011

Greetings to everyone,

Holly Berry winter

And warmest wishes to you in this coldest of seasons! Here's a short poem for you, scribbled by a monk on the margin of his manuscript back in the ninth century:

I have news for you:
The stag bells, winter snows,
summer has gone.
Wind high and cold,
the sun low, short its course,
the sea running high.
Deep red the bracken, its shape is lost;
the wild goose has raised its accustomed cry.
Cold has seized the birds' wings;
season of ice, this is my news.

   —Anonymous, Ireland, 9th century

UPDATE ON THE SERPENT'S EGG

Serpents Egg

Well, the new book is coming along (I do keep saying that, don't I?) but this time it's true! Cormac and Nora are in the wilds of west Tipperary, and digging up early medieval books and people. The story takes a page from the real-life discovery of a late 8th-century psalter discovered at Faddan More bog about five years ago. So I'm starting with that detail and a few mighty what-ifs: What if a book wasn't the only thing buried in the bog? As an evil mystery writer, I quite naturally dig up a body or two as well... I visited with Eamonn Kelly, Keeper of Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland when I was over in Dublin during April 2011, and he was able to give me lots of behind-the-scenes information that will be useful, not just in this story, but in subsequent tales as well. My sincere thanks to Ned for his time and consideration.

ARCHAEOLOGY NEWS—NEW BOG BODY FOUND IN LAOIS

A few weeks after I visited with Ned Kelly at the Museum in April, there came news reports of a bog body discovered in County Laois (pronounced 'leash'), and photos of Ned in his spiffy green wellingtons out at the findspot. There is some puzzlement over whether the remains were male or female, and whether the body had been placed inside a leather bag, or if indeed the 'bag' was actually the upper torso. Much more remains to be seen as the forensic examination is being carried out now.

MIXING THE PUNCH

Mixing the Punch CD

My husband Paddy has yet another brand-new CD out, this one a mighty solo effort. He plays many strange and lively tunes, with tasty accompaniment from our friend Teresa Baker on piano. Paddy's fellow Offalyman and fellow button accordionist Felim Egan puts in a guest appearance on one track as well. All of Paddy's CDs are available through his website. This one's perfect for the holidays, conjuring as it does banquets of old like O'Rourke's Feast, a full fortnight of prodigious eating, drinking, dancing and swearing around Christmas in 1588. More than a century after O'Rourke's Feast, it was commemorated by an Irish poet, Hugh MacGauran, whose words were translated thusly by Dean Jonathan Swift:

O'Rourke's noble fare / Will ne'er be forgot
By those who were there / And those who were not
His revels to keep / We sup and we dine
On seven score sheep / Fat bullocks and swine!

SEPTEMBER TOUR

Whiskey with Lemon

The 'Erin Hart's Ireland' tour group was back in early October from our travels, exhausted but very happy to have seen such wonders, everything from the inside of a 5,000-year-old passage tomb to the back rooms of a working distillery. I've been posting stories and pictures from the trip on my blog, and you can see more pictures on my Facebook page.

We're lining up another HAUNTED GROUND tour for September 5-15 of 2012, so let me know if you're interested, and we'll get you the full itinerary as soon as it's ready...

SPOILERVILLE

Indefatigable writer and all around good egg Jan Burke's latest venture is Spoilerville, a place where people can discuss crime novels without fear of letting any cats out of proverbial bags. More than three dozen authors are currently listed on the site, with more to come. The assumption is that you've already read a book before you venture into the discussion about it, so revelations about whodunnit can be flung about with abandon. Here's my page on Spoilerville; feel free to have at it with fellow mystery lovers!

ABSOLUTE ZERO COOL

Absolute Cool Zero

My pal, Dublin-based crime writer Declan Burke recently launched his latest novel, Absolute Zero Cool, and garnered some spiffy reviews in the process...

"A genuinely original take on noir, inventive and funny. Imagine, if you can, a cross between Flann O'Brien and Raymond Chandler."
   —John Banville, author of THE SEA

"A fiendishly dark thriller that evokes the best of Flann O'Brien and Bret Easton Ellis."
   —Sunday Times' 'Best Books of the Year'

And if you're interested in Irish crime writing, and haven't yet been to Declan's fabulous blog, Crime Always Pays—well, you ought to be ashamed of yourself, that's all I can say!

BOUCHERCON 2011—SAINT LOUIS

Bouchercon

A very belated thank-you to all my fellow Bouchercon panelists and our moderators from Bouchercon 2011, beginning with the great Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan, who wrangled authors Deborah Crombie, Jan Burke, Hank Phillippi Ryan and myself. Thanks also to mad reader/book blogger Erin Mitchell, who handled the Irish crime writing panel, featuring Eoin Colfer, John Connolly, and Stuart Neville, and yours truly. I'll admit to having plenty of giddy fan moments in such company. Thanks also to everyone who came to listen to our palaver!

A HOLIDAY TOAST

Paddy and I did a program for the Hennepin County Friends of the Library 38th Annual Holiday Toast last weekend—and what a thoroughly delightful and festive event for library friends and volunteers! We left the crowd with visions of steaming hot whiskey punch, and a suitably wintry toast:

May you have warm words on a cold evening,
A full moon on a dark night,
And the road downhill all the way to your door.

That's all the news for now. Hope you stay warm wherever you are. And happy reading!

Sláinte,
Erin


News—April 2011


Greetings to everyone,

Daffodils

A hundred thousand thanks to all the wonderful tour organizers, librarians, and readers Paddy and I met on our travels during February and March. We got such a warm welcome from everyone at the Kitchigami and Lake Agassiz libraries, and will carry fond memories of those visits for a very long time. Only a couple of weeks home from the road, and already I'm missing the north woods and the prairies!

April is one of my absolute favorite times of the year in Ireland—daffodils blooming everywhere—so I'm fortunate to be heading back to tackle the research I didn't get to finish last fall. Go raibh mile maith agat to my pal Bonnie for ALL her help of late, and to my auntie Betty for making another pilgrimage—I hereby give my word not to fall over this time around.

Slieve League

RESEARCH TRIP IN APRIL

I leave April 13 for a two-week research trip, visiting organic farms and retreat centers, and a bog spa in the Midlands, where you can soak in a hot peat bath. If it's good for a 2,000-year-old man, they say, think what it'll do for a living person... I'll be posting photos on my blog to share some of the fascinating details I'll be digging up for the new book.

SEPTEMBER TOUR OF IRELAND

I know everyone's been waiting for the news, and it's now official! New Departures is taking reservations for a second Irish tour, this time called, "Erin Hart's Ireland: The Bodies, the Bogs & the Blarney." The dates are September 22 - October 2, 2011, and a full itinerary is up at the New Departures website.

Clonfert Cathedral

This trip will include some familiar places (the National Museum, Newgrange, Ceide Fields, the Burren) and a few new stops as well: Tullynally Castle and the Corlea Bog Trackway Centre (home to a 2,000-year-old wooden road), day trips to Slieve League in Donegal, the Rock of Cashel, and the Lough Boora boglands, Saint Kieran's Bush and Leap Castle (the most haunted place in Ireland), among others. We'll sit in on a few traditional music sessions as well.

New Departures is hosting an information meeting for people who might be interested in booking places on the tour:

Saturday, May 7, 10 am
INFORMATION MEETING FOR ERIN HART'S IRELAND: THE BODIES, THE BOGS & THE BLARNEY
Lexington Restaurant
1096 Grand Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105
PLEASE RSVP to Sharon at New Departures Travel or call 612-305-0025. www.newdepartures.com

Mary Pat Flanagan from CIE Tours will be doing a slide presentation with pictures of the places we'll be visiting, and I'll be there as well (of course), chatting and signing whatever is put in front of me. Everyone who books by May 7 will received a signed copy of FALSE MERMAID, and a copy of THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT, Paddy's brand-new CD—featuring three sad songs from yours truly.

Sailers Cravat

SAILOR'S CRAVAT CD

And speaking of, free copies of THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT are still available from the following indie bookstores, with the purchase of FALSE MERMAID...

See full details here...

If you're a bookseller, and would like to participate in the FALSE MERMAID CD giveaway, just give me a shout at mail@erinhart.com... And of course, those who'd like to have their very own CD on its own can just order at www.paddyobrien.net...

APRIL AND MAY EVENTS—OR, COME WEST ALONG THE ROAD

False Mermaid

Click here to see where I'll be over the next month!

That's all the news for now. Hope the spring is lovely wherever you are. And happy reading!

Slàn go fóill,
Erin


News—March 2011


Greetings to everyone,

Excellent progress to report on the fractured shoulder—I can now bench press a 32-oz. can of beans!

To celebrate my improved range of motion, the month of March, and the paperback release of FALSE MERMAID, I'm offering faithful friends and readers a free MP3 of 'Willie-O,' a song I recorded back in 1997. Just visit my blog and click on the link to download.

Hunger No More

I originally recorded the song for a CD called 'Hunger No More,' a fundraiser for Minnesota food shelves organized by our friend Dermot O'Mara in 1997 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Great Hunger in Ireland (also known as the Famine). I actually learned 'Willie-O' eons ago, from the singing of Cathal McConnell, an old friend of Paddy's who plays the flute and sings with the Boys of the Lough. At the time I learned the song, I hadn't yet met Cathal or Paddy, but loved the beautiful, sad lyrics of this ghost story set to music. For anyone who's interested, the full lyrics are posted on the blog as well.

False Mermaid

FALSE MERMAID PAPERBACK IS HERE!

The biggest news this month is of course the new trade paperback edition of FALSE MERMAID, coming out on March 1! A trade paperback is a medium-sized softcover format, specially made for book clubs. There are even some discussion questions in the back of the book, to get your book club started talking. You can also find book club questions for FALSE MERMAID on my website I'm overjoyed that it's been selected for the Indie Next List 'Now in Paperback', feature for March.

 

SINGING THREE SONGS ON BRAND NEW CD—THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT

Sailers Cravat

I've got a brand-new CD, THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT on the New Folk Records label. It mostly features great Irish traditional tunes played by my husband, Paddy O'Brien, on button accordion, Tom Schaefer on fiddle, and Paul Wehling on bouzouki. But they asked me to sing a few unaccompanied songs as well: 'The Flower of Magherally-o,' 'The Generous Lover' (which Nora Gavin sings in HAUNTED GROUND), and 'Molly Bawn, or The Shooting of His Dear.' You can hear a few excerpts of songs and tunes here.

Check with these indie bookstores around the country who will be giving away some free copies of THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT with the purchase of FALSE MERMAID...

Once Upon A Crime
604 West 26th Street
Minneapolis MN 55405
612-870-3785
onceuponacrime@earthlink.net

Aunt Agatha's
213 South Fourth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-769-1114
store@auntagathas.com

M is for Mystery
86 East Third Ave.
San Mateo CA 94401
650-401-8077
info@MforMystery.com

Excelsior Bay Books
36 Water Street
Excelsior, MN 55331
952-401-0932
ebaybooks@aol.com

Common Good Books
165 Western Ave N, Suite 14
Saint Paul, MN 55102
651-225-8989
info@commongoodbooks.com

Mysterious Galaxy Books
7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego CA 92111
858-268-4747
mgbooks@mystgalaxy.com

Centuries & Sleuths
7419 West Madison St.
Forest Park IL 60130
708-771-7243
cns7419@sbcglobal.net

The Valley Bookseller
217 Main Street North
Stillwater, MN 55082
651-430-3385
kathleen@valleybookseller.com

Bookin' It
113 First Street SE
Little Falls MN 56345
320-632-1848
book@integraonline.com

The Little Read Book
7603 West State Street
Wauwatosa WI 53213
414-774-2665
littlereadbook@mindspring.com

Kingdom Books
283 East Village Road
Waterford VT 05819
802-751-8374
KingdomBks@aol.com

If you're a bookseller, and would like to participate in the CD giveaway, just give me a shout at mail@erinhart.com...

Book Clubs

SPECIAL NOTE TO BOOK CLUBS

I've added some special things for book clubs on my website! Just look for and click on the Book Clubs icon to find out more.

AUTHOR VISIT

If your book club is reading any of my books, and you'd be interested in an author visit, let me know—I'm available and willing to chat in person with book clubs in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and around the country via Skype. Just zip me an e-mail at mail@erinhart.com, and we'll set something up.

FREE CD FOR BOOK CLUBS

As a way to celebrate the joint release of the FALSE MERMAID paperback and THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT CD, I'm offering a special freebie for book clubs:

  1. Purchase at least six copies of the new trade paperback for your book club
  2. Send proof of purchase and a mailing address to mail@erinhart.com
  3. Receive a free copy of THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT CD to play at your book club gathering!

Of course, those who'd like to have their very own CD can also order here.

RECENT INTERVIEWS

HEIDI HOLTAN OF 'REAL GOOD WORDS' ON KAXE, GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA
Had a wonderful chat recently with Heidi Holtan of 'Real Good Words' on KAXE in Grand Rapids, MN in advance of our trip to the Kitchigami Libraries. Heidi is a great interviewer, and has an amazing array of guests on her show, everyone from yours truly to Hmong-American memoirist Kao Kalia Yang, to satirist T. C. Boyle and bestselling crime writer Kathy Reichs, to actor and writer Alan Arkin. If you're interested in books and writing, you must check out her blog and archive!

ROBIN AGNEW OF AUNT AGATHA'S MYSTERY BOOKSTORE, GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN

The delightful Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha's was nice enough to select FALSE MERMAID as her favorite read of 2010. To help celebrate the paperback release, she asked me a few questions about the book and about the writing process.

MARCH EVENTS—OR, JOG A MILE

Paddy and I will be zipping around to library programs all around Minnesota in mid-March, so check out the full listing of events on the website . We'll be doing a book chat with music and images called "FALSE MERMAID: Delving into the Otherworld," at the Moorhead Celtic Festival on March 12, and visiting libraries and community centers for books-and-music events in Twin Valley, Moorhead, Barnesville, Breckenridge, Rothsay, Hawley, and Ada (MN) between March 14-16.

I'll also be at the Irish Music & Dance Association's Saint Patrick's Day Celebration at Landmark Center on March 17, doing a presentation on all my books at 2 pm, and will have books and CDs along for a signing at the Irish Music & Dance Association table from 3-4 pm. March 19 is the Bloomington Writers' Festival and Book Fair, where you'll find me bouncing between my own table and Sisters in Crime. I'll also be touring a bit with Paddy and his trio Chulrua between March 19-26 (see dates below). Look for me behind the CD table—I'll have a few books along as well. And then March 31 I head up to Grand Marais and Books in the Woods at the Gunflint Lodge.

EIGSE CIM 2011

Paddy & Erin at Eigse

I was so happy to be asked to serve as the honorary chair of a fundraiser for the Center for Irish Music, our local traditional music school. The party was February 12, and I actually succeeded in getting my husband to don a tuxedo for the evening. Truth to tell, I think he enjoyed swanning around like James Bond, saying, 'The name's O'Brien. Paddy O'Brien.' As we were going in, he said it was a little odd to be at an event where he had no official duties, no playing to do, no speeches to make. I told him to just relax and enjoy his role as arm candy! (Photos by Teresa McCormick and Lisa Richardson/Dáithí Sproule)

SEPTEMBER TOUR OF IRELAND

Arch

I'm working on an itinerary for another 'Hart of Ireland' tour with New Departures Travel. We did our first trip last September and had a great time visiting ancient sites and bogs and pubs. You can see last year's itinerary here. The 2011 trip will have some new and different sights and a few more music sessions. I'll keep everyone posted about details, and will let you know just as soon as reservations are open.

That's all the news for now, more to come soon. In the meantime, let's try to melt the remaining snow with warm thoughts, perhaps in time for Saint Patrick's Day. Happy reading!

Slàinte,
Erin

News—February 2011


Greetings to everyone,

brigids cross

February 1 is the feast of Saint Brigid, now a Christian saint, but once the goddess of fire and learning in ancient Ireland. Also known as Imbolc, the feast of Saint Brigid is one of the four major fire festivals on the old pagan calendar, and people still light fires on hilltops to celebrate. The other traditional pastime on February 1 is to make Brigid's crosses from green rushes. I don't know about where you are, but there's a serious shortage of green rushes in Minnesota this time of year—we've still got six feet of snow in the back yard! That's why we like thinking about spring in Ireland.

Here's a song in Irish that celebrates Brigid's excellent qualities, from the singing of my friend Daithi Sproule on his wonderful CD, "A Heart Made of Glass." Hear him singing it here.

The hard, dark winter comes,
Short and sharp,
But once Brigid's Day appears,
Ireland's spring is not far behind.

The full lyrics in Irish and English are posted on my blog, Artefacts.

FALSE MERMAID PAPERBACK COMING MARCH 1!

False Mermaid

The biggest news this month is of course the new trade paperback edition of FALSE MERMAID, coming out on March 1! What is a trade paperback, you ask? It's that medium-sized softcover format, specially made for book clubs. Some, like FALSE MERMAID, even have reader's guides in the back of the book, with some questions to get your book club discussion off to a good start. You can also see the book club questions for FALSE MERMAID on my website. If your book club is reading any of my books, and you'd be interested in an author visit, let me know—I'm available and willing to chat in person with book clubs in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, and around the country via Skype. Just zip me an email at mail@erinhart.com, and we'll set something up.

THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT—NEW CD WITH THREE SONGS

Sailers Cravat

The second biggest news is that I've got a brand-new CD, THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT on the New Folk Records label. It mostly features great Irish traditional tunes played by my husband, Paddy O'Brien, on button accordion, Tom Schaefer on fiddle, and Paul Wehling on bouzouki. But they asked me to sing a few unaccompanied songs as well, so I screwed up my courage and gave it a go. The songs are "The Flower of Magherally-o," "The Generous Lover" (which Nora Gavin sings in HAUNTED GROUND), and "Molly Bawn, or The Shooting of His Dear" (which happened to inspire one of the plot twists in HAUNTED GROUND). It's pretty exciting! You can hear a few excerpts of songs and tunes HERE.

SPECIAL OFFER FOR BOOK CLUBS

As a way to celebrate the joint release of the FALSE MERMAID paperback and THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT CD, I'm offering a special freebie for book clubs:

  1. Purchase at least six copies of the new trade paperback for your book club.
  2. Send proof of purchase and a mailing address to mail@erinhart.com.
  3. Receive a free copy of THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT CD to play at your book club gathering!

Of course, those who'd like to have their very own CD can also order at www.paddyobrien.net.

LA LEGENDE DE LA SIRENE

FALSE MERMAID IN FRENCH

Good news, Francophones! Just heard from my wonderful translators, Frédéric and Armelle Grellier, that the French title for FALSE MERMAID is going to be LA LÉGENDE DE LA SIRÈNE (THE LEGEND OF THE MERMAID). The artwork isn't up on bookstore sites yet, but the designers posted an image on their blog... What do you think? I absolutely love it. It captures the bleak, beautiful look of Donegal, where the Irish portion of the story is set. The book will be coming from Payot & Rivages/Payot Suspense in March.

MY TWEEPS!

If you're 1) on Twitter, 2) currently reading any of my books—on paper, ebook, or audiobook—and 3) feel like tweeting about it with a #fridayreads or #bookclub hashtag, you will receive profuse thanks and many good vibes from my general direction! Find me on Twitter here!

FEBRUARY/MARCH READINGS AND WORKSHOPS—OR, AROUND THE WORLD FOR SPORT

Paddy and I will be zipping around to library programs all over Minnesota during February and March, so check out the full listing of events on the website.

In addition to our regular library program—FALSE MERMAID: Delving into the Otherworld, a book chat and reading with images and music—Paddy and I will also be offering separate 90-minute workshops through the Kitchigami Regional Library System (Bemidji, Blackduck, Brainerd, Cass Lake, Longville, Park Rapids, Pine River, and Wadena, and Walker, Minnesota) from February 24-March 5. Here are the brief descriptions:

Erin Hart Workshop
Writing from Place: What's in Your Site Kit?
Erin Hart writes a mystery series set in Ireland (and occasionally in Minnesota). In this 90-minute workshop, Erin will talk about how she conjures up vivid settings, convincing readers that they're walking the peat bogs of Ireland and digging up ancient treasures. Just as archaeologists wield the tools of their trade—trowel and brush—writers also have many tools at their disposal. Erin will talk about her research and all the various items she keeps in her writer's site kit, then ask participants to assemble their own kits, and use them to create unforgettable places.

Paddy O'Brien Workshop
Sitting by the Fire: Where Irish Traditional Music Lives
Button accordion master Paddy O'Brien first began playing Irish traditional music as a child, growing up in a thatched house outside the village of Daingean, County Offaly, in the Irish midlands. Today he plays and records all over the world, and leads three traditional ensembles, but he has never strayed from the philosophy of sharing music, passing along his vast store of tunes and lore to the next generation, as they were passed along to him. Paddy will talk about the long history of Irish music and the various instruments that have found a home in the tradition, and about the social settings for Irish music—the session, the house party, the ceili dance.

O'ROURKE'S FEAST IN CONCERT

O'Rourkes in concert

My husband Paddy's band, O'Rourke's Feast, will be making their full debut concert at 7:30 pm on Friday, February 4 at Celtic Junction, 837 Prior Avenue North in Saint Paul, MN. O'Rourke's Feast is a seven-piece ensemble, with a repertoire that includes lively Irish dance melodies like jigs and reels—but they also play older, sometimes long-neglected material from the Irish tradition, including hornpipes, clan marches, and some beautiful old slow airs. The group also plays some original music, composed in traditional style. The band is composed of Danielle Enblom, Nathan Gourley and Ann Sandberg on fiddle; Suzanne Rhees and Amy Shaw on flute; Paddy O'Brien on button accordion; and Sherry Ladig on piano.

The band takes its name from a song composed by Turlough O'Carolan, a blind harper from Ireland, who was born in 1670 and died in 1738. The song, written originally in the Irish language by Hugh MacGauran (with a 1720 English translation by Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver's Travels), commemorated a remarkable banquet given by O'Rourke, a powerful chieftain of Ulster during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I:

O'Rourke's noble fare
Will ne'er be forgot
By those who were there
Or those who were not.

His revels to keep,
We sup and we dine
On seven score sheep,
Fat bullocks, and swine.

Usquebaugh* to our feast
In pails was brought up,
A hundred at least—
And a mether** our cup.

* In Irish, 'uisce beatha,' or 'the water of life'—whiskey

** a large, four-handled drinking vessel

You can read more about O'Rourke's Feast and hear samples of a few tunes at their website.

That's pretty much the news for now, more to come soon. In the meantime, stay warm, and happy reading!

Erin Hart books

Slàinte,
Erin

News—December 2010


Snow covered tree

Greetings to everyone,

Ahh, buried in snow already, and December's just begun. Hope you are warm and snug wherever you happen to be... One of my favorite recordings to listen to this time of year is A WINTER TALISMAN, by Susan McKeown, Johnny Cunningham, and Aidan Brennan. It's a combination of poetry and music that's guaranteed to keep you warm...

BREAKING, BAD

Thanks for all the good wishes as I continue to recover from a broken funnybone (alas, as I've discovered, a fractured humerus is no laughing matter). I'm doing well in physical therapy, and should be good as new in another couple of months. In case you missed it, you can catch up on the whole sorry saga—with pictures!—on my blog.

HOLIDAY CHEER...

This month (in addition to writing like mad, of course!), I'm helping to whip up the usual army of gingerbread men for the holidays. Does anybody else remember that great line from Margo Ledbetter on the Brit-com "Good Neighbors"? Surely you remember Margo (played by the estimable Penelope Keith), on the subject of her impressive baking output for charity: "Gingerbread men in quantity hold no fear for me!" The recipe below was handed down on the German-American side of the family by my wonderful grandmother, Morine Pickart Van Steenhuyse.

gingerbread

Gingerbread Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup dark molasses
2 eggs
7 cups flour (more or less)
1 cup hot coffee (with 2 heaping teaspoons baking soda added)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoons ground ginger

Mix sugar, shortening, molasses, and egg with electric mixer, then slowly add hot coffee/soda mixture and stir well. (It will look horrible, but don't be deterred!) Add half the flour, spices, and stir thoroughly, then add remaining flour until the dough is easily handled, but still sticky. Cover and chill overnight. Roll out and cut as desired. Bake cookies at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until no imprint remains. When cool, frost and decorate as desired.

False Mermaid

...AND HOLIDAY SHOPPING

If you need a book signed or personalized for somebody special, just get in touch with Once Upon A Crime in Minneapolis, or Irish on Grand in Saint Paul.

You can also order from your favorite local bookstore or online bookseller, with links direct from my website.

Don't forget that all my stories are also available in digital e-book and audiobook format as well—for Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPod, smart phone, or any other e-book or listening device.

FALSE MERMAID tee shirts, notecards, or magnets are available at CafePress.

And in case you're in the mood for some mad-hot Irish traditional music, my husband Paddy O'Brien has CDs for sale on his website, and his band Chulrua also has a cool-looking tee-shirts and various other sundries at their CafePress shop.

Rosalyn Landor

AUDIOBOOK NEWS

Delighted to report that FALSE MERMAID is now out in audiobook from Audible.com, and I'm also happy to tell you that it's read by none other than Rosalyn Landor, who also read the unabridged versions of HAUNTED GROUND and LAKE OF SORROWS (although she narrated the previous two books under a stage name, Jennifer McMahon). Roz is an amazing reader, who has also narrated the work of P.D. James, Elizabeth George, Ruth Rendell (AND Barbara Vine!), Henning Mankell, Peter Robinson, and Charles Todd—and that's just in crime fiction! She's also well-versed in historical fiction, romance, so-called chick-lit, and highbrow literature, including A.S. Byatt's latest, THE CHILDREN'S BOOK. You can see a sampling of her recent work at Audible.com. In addition to her audiobook work, Roz has extensive theater, film, and television credits. Mystery fans will no doubt be pleased to know that she has appeared in Rumpole of the Bailey and in "The Speckled Band" episode of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett. (And for all you sci-fi fans, she was also in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation...)

Faddan Psalm

BOOK FOUR—THE SERPENT'S EGG

Just signed a contract with Scribner for book four in the Nora Gavin/Cormac Maguire series, for now tentatively titled THE SERPENT'S EGG. It begins with something that really happened in Ireland a few years ago, the discovery of the Faddan More Psalter, a ninth-century book of psalms, found buried for 1,200 years in a bog in Tipperary. The most amazing fact was that some of the Latin script was still readable. So of course my evil imagination immediately went into overdrive, conjuring up not only a rare ancient book, but also the ninth-century scholar who was carrying the book! Nora and Cormac must head back into the bog to recover his remains, found in the boot of a car buried in the bog (also based on a true story, as it happens...) And of course the ancient bog man is not alone... When people ask me how a ninth-century man ended up in the trunk of a car, I can only say, I don't really know—I have to write the book to find out!

BOOKS IN THE WOODS, AND OTHER MARCH MADNESS

As Saint Patrick's season approaches, I'm booking events at lots of libraries and book clubs for February and March. There will be an updated list on the EVENTS page of my website.

MORE PRINTINGS

Thanks to readers who like to consume their series books in order, the trade paperback editions of HAUNTED GROUND and LAKE OF SORROWS have gone into multiple printings, as has FALSE MERMAID hardcover is now in its third printing! The trade paperback of MERMAID (for all those who've been waiting) will be available in March 2011.

Erin Hart books

That's all the news for now, more to come.
Don't forget to keep in touch!

Slán go fóill—so long for now,
Erin

News—September 2010


Greetings to everyone,

False Mermaid

Hope you're all enjoying the last days of summer wherever you are. And that you've gotten in some dancing at Lughnasa. Thanks so much to everyone who's written over the past few months. As usual, I'm a little tardy in responding, but I do read everything! Looking forward this month to a tour of Ireland, lots of library events in October, and book clubs throughout the winter months. And working on Book Four, of course—which seems to be taking on a life of its own!

FALSE MERMAID TOUR DATES CONTINUE

Had a great time at the Irish Fair of Minnesota—thanks to everyone who turned out. Looking forward to the Minnesota Library Association Annual Meeting in Rochester on October 7, and the Chippewa Valley Book Festival on October 23. A complete list of upcoming events is on my website.

MINNESOTA LIBRARIES: SERIOUS PLAY

I've been asked to give a lunchtime keynote at the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference on October 7. The program will also feature great live Irish traditional music by my husband, Paddy O'Brien, along with fiddler Nathan Gourley and guitarist/singer Daithi Sproule. The theme of this year's MLA conference is 'Serious Play.' Conference attendees will also read FALSE MERMAID as their 'One Conference, One Book' selection, and there's also a book club discussion scheduled as part of the festivities on October 7. So exciting!

CHIPPEWA VALLEY BOOK FESTIVAL

On October 23, Paddy and I will do a Saturday evening keynote program at the Chippewa Valley Book Festival, sponsored by the Literary Arts Committee of the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council. With words, music, and images, we'll conjure up the Otherworld of FALSE MERMAID for the booklovers of the Chippewa Valley.

AUDIOBOOK NEWS

I've been getting lots of inquiries about whether there will be an unabridged audiobook version of FALSE MERMAID. The answer is—yes! Audible.com just wrapped recording on the project, and the great news is that Jennifer McMahon, who read HAUNTED GROUND and LAKE OF SORROWS, is back again for FALSE MERMAID. 'Jennifer McMahon' is actually a stage name of Rosalyn Landor, a multi-talented actress with extensive theater, film, and television credits, who really brings the stories to life. (Mystery fans might be pleased to know that Roz has appeared in Rumpole of the Bailey and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett. And for all you sci-fi fans, she was also in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation...)

FIRST EDITIONS GOING FAST

Thanks to dedicated book lovers everywhere, FALSE MERMAID has gone into a second printing! And I'm still visiting libraries and book clubs to talk about the first two books in the series; the HAUNTED GROUND trade paperback has been reprinted as well.

GOOD QUESTION

The trade paperback edition of FALSE MERMAID is in the works and will be out in March 2011. I've just finished a reader's guide for the book; those discussion questions will be printed in the larger paperback edition. They're designed to get book clubs thinking and talking about the characters, the ideas, the imagery in the novel. Here's just a brief representative sample; the full set of questions is on my website:

  • What sorts of experiences and connections do Elizabeth, Tríona, and Nora have with seals in the novel? If the one-eyed seal is a symbol, who or what do you think it represents? What does Cormac discover about his own previously unknown connections with seals and selkies?

  • Many characters in the novel are conflicted, torn between loyalties or emotions or places. How does internal conflict affect their external actions? Can you think of instances when it is a positive force or a negative one? Which characters are aware of their conflicts and for which are they subconscious?

  • Shape-shifting and transformation are among the major themes in False Mermaid. Several characters are shown changing shape, wearing disguises, or assuming a different identity. Can you think of several instances where this sort of change is depicted or suggested?

CROSSING THE WIDE OCEAN—REDUX

September 9-17, 2010
Hart of Ireland: Myths, Music and Mayhem
September 9 we set off on the "Hart of Ireland" tour, put together by my friends at New Departures Travel. We'll visit some of my favorite places in Ireland, including the exhibition on Iron Age gold (and bog people) at the National Museum in Dublin. We'll also go to Glendalough, the Neolithic tomb at Newgrange, the 5,000-year-old, bog-buried farms at Ceide Fields, among other ancient and historic sites. And of course there will be plenty of jigs and reels along the way, even a special music night organized by our old pal (and great fiddle player) John Kelly in Dublin. I hope to be posting pictures and updates on my blog about all the wonders we encounter.

And if all goes well, there may be more tours like this in the offing. Anyone interested can contact Kathy Sidla at New Departures for details on future tours:

Kathy Sidla
New Departures Travel
625 2nd Ave South, Suite #408
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612-305-0025 voice
612-305-0116 fax
kathy@newdepartures.com

IRISH MUSIC

I always promise to let people know when my husband Paddy O'Brien is playing music around the region. In addition to the Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference and the Chippewa Valley Book Festival (which he'll be playing with me), Paddy will be doing some concerts around the Twin Cities and surrounding area this fall. There's more to come, and details are always on Paddy's website, but here's the latest:

SEPTEMBER 2010
Riverview Showcase: Paddy O'Brien & Paul Wehling — September 18
Riverview Wine Bar & Cafe
3753 42nd Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN
612-722-7234 for tickets
8:00 pm / Admission: $12
One of the nicest acoustic gigs in the Twin Cities is the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar's Showcase Series. Paddy will be doing a night there on September 18 with multi-instrumentalist and singer Paul Wehling. The boys had a lovely crowd the last time they did a concert at the Riverview, and are looking forward to this evening of playing together again. Paul's a whiz on bouzouki, guitar and banjo, plus he's got a great selection of songs, and Paddy will supply the jigs and reels, and maybe a slow air or two as well.

OCTOBER 2010
1-2 Denver, CO—solo concerts and workshops TBA
15 Dodgeville WI—Folklore Village Farm
16 Richland, MI—Richland Community Hall
22 Saint Paul, MN—Celtic Junction

AND... Irish Music & Dance Association Honors — October 29
Each year the Twin Cities Irish Music & Dance Association honors someone who has made a lasting contribution to the local music and dance scene, and for 2010, they've chosen Paddy as their honoree! There will be an evening of music, jokes, and fun at Celtic Junction on Friday, October 29. Watch this space for more details!

That's all the news for now, but there's much more to come.

Don't forget to keep in touch!

Slán go fóill—so long for now,
Erin

August 25, 2010
BOOK CLUB READER'S GUIDE—The trade paperback edition of FALSE MERMAID is in the works and will be out in March 2011. I've just finished a reader's guide for the book; those discussion questions will be printed in the larger paperback edition. They're designed to get book clubs thinking and talking about the characters, the ideas, the imagery in the novel. The full set of questions is here on the website. Let me know what you think!

July 14, 2010
AUDIOBOOK NEWS—I've been getting lots of inquiries about whether there will be an unabridged audiobook version of FALSE MERMAID. The answer is—yes! Audible.com just wrapped recording on the project, and the great news is that Jennifer McMahon, who read HAUNTED GROUND and LAKE OF SORROWS, is back again for FALSE MERMAID. 'Jennifer McMahon' is actually a stage name of Rosalyn Landor, a multi-talented actress with extensive theater, film, and television credits, who really brings the stories to life. (Mystery fans might be pleased to know that Roz has appeared in Rumpole of the Bailey and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Jeremy Brett. And for all you sci-fi fans, she was also in an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation...)

May 18, 2010
FALSE MERMAID first editions have evidently flown off bookstores shelves, so it's going into a second printing—hooray!

May 2, 2010
Only eight places left on New Departures' September tour—Erin Hart's Hart of Ireland: Myths, Music and Mayhem.

April 28, 2010
Booklist includes FALSE MERMAID in the Top Ten Crime Novels of 2010!

March 1, 2010
FALSE MERMAID selected as an Indie Next Notable for March 2010.

News—March 2010


Hello everyone,

False Mermaid

Spring is in the air, despite the six-foot pile of snow in my back yard. I hope you're keeping warm and well, wherever you are. With publication date less than a week away, the FALSE MERMAID boulder has begun to roll downhill, and I'm just trying to stay out in front of it!

PUTTING THE BROAD IN BROADCASTING

I'll be doing loads of local media appearances—actually started last week with a live interview on Write On Radio! at KFAI-Fresh Air Radio here in the Twin Cities, and a lively chat with the Minnesota Crime Wave for their cable series, MCW Presents. The media onslaught continues with a live interview March 2 (10-11 am) on Showcase Minnesota on KARE-11 television, an interview taped for later broadcast on a local segment of All Things Considered on Minnesota Public Radio, and a live reading/interview on KFAI's Century Song on Sunday, March 7 (9-11 am). Also look for reviews and features soon in the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Saint Paul Pioneer Press, and at the International Thriller Writers THE BIG THRILL. Meanwhile, the trade reviews continue apace, with a swell nod from Booklist's Bill Ott in American Libraries magazine.

COMING SOON TO A BOOKSTORE OR LIBRARY NEAR YOU!

Dates are piling up fast and furious for the FALSE MERMAID tour, with a few more added each day. Here's a partial list; the complete rundown is of course on my website. I'm thrilled to be doing some hybrid book/music events with my husband Paddy O'Brien and his Irish band Chulrua, and will be tagging along on their March tour of Minnesota and East Coast tour in April.

WORDS AND PICTURES

I'm working on words and images for various programs, and thought I'd share a couple of sample pictures, one from Saint Paul and one from Donegal. More snaps will undoubtedly pop up on my blog ARTEFACTS as time goes by...

Donegal      St.Paul

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO BLOG?

I'll be a guest on a couple of equally-entertaining-and-edifying crime writers' blogs during the month of March:

Poe's Deadly Daughters, featuring Darlene Ryan, Sheila Connolly, Lonnie Cruse, Sharon Wildwind, Sandra Parshall, Julie Buckley, and Elizabeth Zelvin. An interview with the wonderfully inquisitive Sandy Parshall, whose new Rachel Goddard mystery, BROKEN PLACES just came out in February.

Jungle Red Writers, a salon featuring fascinating back-and-forth between Rosemary Harris, Hallie Ephron, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Rhys Bowen, Jan Brogan, and Roberta Isleib.

BLEEDING GREEN

Here's the reading list for "BLEEDING GREEN: Exploring Contemporary Irish Crime Fiction" for the University of Minnesota's Compleat Scholar program. We'll read and discuss six novels representing a variety of styles and sensibilities in the rapidly expanding world of Irish crime writing: The Big O by Declan Burke, a fast-paced comic crime caper, described as "Elmore Leonard with a hard Irish edge," and The Wrong Kind of Blood by Declan Hughes, about a private eye who comes back to Ireland to bury his mother; (May 6) The Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville, in which an IRA assassin lives with the ghosts of all 12 people he's murdered, and Borderlands by Brian McGilloway, a police procedural set in the border lands between Northern Ireland and the Republic; and (June 3) My Lady Judge by Cora Harrison, a historical mystery featuring a female magistrate in 16th-century Clare, and FALSE MERMAID by yours truly, in which a cold-case murder in Saint Paul carries eerie parallels to the shape-shifting mermaid and selkie lore of County Donegal. Looking forward to some great discussion!

CROSSING THE WIDE OCEAN

Details are almost finalized for "Hart of Ireland" in September 2010, a tour put together by my friends Brian Nystedt and Kathy Sidla at New Departures Travel. As I mentioned last time, we'll visit some of my favorite places, including the exhibition on Iron Age gold and kingship rituals (some involving bog people) at the National Museum in Dublin. Also includes visits to Newgrange and Céide Fields, among other ancient and historic sites. And of course there will be plenty of tunes along the way. Anyone interested can contact Kathy Sidla for details.

MAKING ANCIENT FACES

Speaking of bog people, sculptor Bjørn Skaarup and medical examiner Niels Lynnerup from the Panum Institute in Copenhagen have reconstructed the face of Auning Woman, a 2,000-year-old Danish bog body, thought to have been a victim of ritual sacrifice... Read more.

That's all the news for now, but there's much more to come.

Keep in touch!

Sláinte,
Erin

February 15, 2010
Bill Ott from Booklist has been a fan since HAUNTED GROUND was published in 2003; he gives FALSE MERMAID a rave as well.

January 28, 2010
Finished hardcover copies of FALSE MERMAID arrive in the mail. It's finally real!

January 26, 2010
Advance reviews for FALSE MERMAID are starting to come in; see excerpts on my blog, ARTEFACTS.

January , 2010
January Newsletter.

News—January 2010

Hello everyone,

False Mermaid

Hope you're well and in good spirits... FALSE MERMAID is coming on March 2, so there's LOTS of news to report—a new website and blog, tour dates, a new recording, a course on Irish crime writing, a tour of Ireland in September, Irish festival news—better get stuck into it!

NEW WEBSITE and BLOG

As you might be able to tell from this fabulous new newsletter, I have a rockin' brand-new website, from xuni.com. I'm thrilled about the design, by xuni's creative genius Madeira James, for the way it captures the complex, layered quality of my stories. I've also got a brand-new blog, ARTEFACTS (not a typo—that's the way they spell it in Ireland). It'll feature all the latest on bog finds, random thoughts on writing and publishing, notes and photos from research trips, and reactions to what I've been reading—a regular gallimaufry that I hope will inform and entertain. (Okay, true confessions of a word geek—I've been waiting thirty years to use the word "gallimaufry" in a sentence...)

MODESTY FORBIDS, ETC.

Advance reviews for FALSE MERMAID have been trickling in (from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Irish America, IndieBound, and various independent booksellers) and so far they've been very kind.

TOUR DATES

I'm working on setting up tour dates for March, April, and May (so far). March will start off with a bang, lots of local events in the Twin Cities, including a launch party at Once Upon A Crime on March 2, and a bash at the Saint Paul Central Library on March 5. After OneBook, OneLakeville on March 13 (see below), I'm off on some road trips around Minnesota with husband Paddy O'Brien and his band Chulrua—(we'll be at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center on Saint Patrick's Day, March 17), then on to Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee at the end of March. In April I'll be touring with Chulrua again (Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, plus Connecticut, Rhode Island, and possibly New York City and New Hampshire). In late April, Paddy and I will head off to Houston, Scottsdale, San Francisco, Southern California, Portland, and Seattle. In May I'm hoping to tour a bit more around the Midwest. The full story is on the EVENTS page on the website, or you can sign up at BookTour.com for automatic notices when I'll be reading or signing in your area.

Haunted Ground

HAUNTED GROUND FOR "ONE BOOK, ONE LAKEVILLE" IN MARCH

Just a reminder that the community of Lakeville, Minnesota has chosen HAUNTED GROUND for its all-city book club in 2010. The OneBook, OneLakeville committee has a whole slate of great events lined up, including a community potluck, book club reading groups, a panel discussion featuring local mystery-writing stars William Kent Krueger and Mary Logue along with Pat Frovarp of Once Upon A Crime bookstore. There's even a program called "CSI: Lakeville," by Cherie Townsend from the Dakota County Attorney's Office.

One Book Logo

Finally, I'll be appearing with Paddy and his band Chulrua on March 13 at the Lakeville Arts Center. This should be a terrific evening, with food and music, and chat about HAUNTED GROUND. It's been great working with Luann Phillipich and the OneBook Committee on this terrific project. Check out the OneBook, OneLakeville site.

FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

At long last making appearances on Facebook and Twitter, for those who like to keep up that way... thanks to all would-be friends and followers, and apologies to all who've written me via regular e-mail and have yet to receive a reply; I haven't forgotten about you, just trying to keep up!

S&S AUTHORS REVEALED

No, not revealing photos—thankfully. Just glimpses into the lives of working writers. Check out the new feature at Simon & Schuster's site, in which writers admit their greatest flaws, pet peeves, and ideas of perfect happiness.

BITS AND BOBS...

Spring 2010 will bring the release of a new and long-awaited recording called THE SAILOR'S CRAVAT, featuring Paddy O'Brien (button accordion), Tom Schaefer (fiddle), Paul Wehling (bouzouki), and yours truly singing three songs unaccompanied. More details soon...

Looking forward to teaching a course this spring called "BLEEDING GREEN: Exploring Contemporary Irish Crime Fiction" for the University of Minnesota's Compleat Scholar program. We'll read and discuss six novels representing a variety of styles and sensibilities in the rapidly expanding world of Irish crime writing.

Donegal Door

I'll also be escorting a tour called "Hart of Ireland" in September 2010, put together by my friends Brian Nystedt and Kathy Sidla at New Departures Travel. We'll visit some of my favorite places off the beaten path, including exhibitions on gold and other archaeological finds (yes, bog people) at the National Museum in Dublin. Also includes visits to Newgrange and Ceide Fields, among other ancient and historic sites. And of course there will be plenty of tunes along the way. Details are still being finalized; look for booking information soon at New Departures.

In summer festival news, Paddy and I will be at the Rocky Mountain Irish Festival August 28-29 just outside Loveland, Colorado.

That's all the news for now, but there's much more to come.

Keep in touch!

Sláinte,
Erin

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