The Rose Garden new paperback cover

Here’s the new paperback cover for The Rose Garden! It is part of a big Summer Reads campaign across the UK. The talented designers in Transworld have given my book a totally different new look, which I think is really appealing and very different!

I hope my lovely readers across the Irish Sea like it, and enjoy reading all about Molly, Gina and Kim and fall in love with beautiful old Mossbawn House, just the way I did!

The Rose Garden display



1914-2014 – Remembering The Great War

War Memorial and poppiesI visited the beautiful War Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin where the death of 49,400 Irish soldiers, who died during The Great War 1914-1918, is commemorated.

This calm peaceful garden that borders the River Liffey, was designed by Edwin Lutyens and not only contains the memorial itself with its temple and water ponds, but also two absolutely magnificent rose gardens, planted with thousands of roses. You can get the scent of roses as soon as you get out of your car.

Walking through the gardens and seeing the wreaths is a reminder of the unnecessary slaughter and loss of so many young men in the battle fields of Flanders, Ypres, the Somme and Mons, which was an absolute tragedy.

Marita war memorialThe war that was meant to last only a few weeks, lasted four years. It decimated families, villages and towns across Europe as casualties mounted on all sides and over six million people died.

A hundred years later and it seems that the world has learned nothing from their sacrifice as war continues to rage in Gaza, the Middle-East, Ukraine and other places.



Irish Women Artists

Irish Women's ArtI finally made it along to Adam’s in Dublin to see this amazing collection of art by some incredibly talented Irish female artists. This large group of artists includes Norah McGuinness, Estella Solomons, Mainie Jellet, Rose Barton, Evie Hone, Sarah Purser, Lily Yeats, Joan Jameson, Grace Gifford and Elizabeth Rivers.

All of the artists were working – painting and illustrating – during the same period in Ireland and were part of a very vibrant art scene.

Many studied at Dublin’s Metropolitan Art School and the breadth and variety of their work really impressed me and made me wonder why we don’t hear more about them!

The exhibition moves to The Ava Gallery in Bangor for August.

Dalkey Book Festival

The sun always shines for the Dalkey Book Festival! There is no nicer place than this seaside village to sit around in cafes, restaurants and pubs talking about books. Kirsty Wark discussed writing her first novel The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle in a packed St Patrick’s Church overlooking the sea. Interviewed by Miriam O’Callaghan she talked about Scotland, her work as journalist and thoughts on media and teenagers.

A summer’s evening, perfect to have dinner in the Tramyard with my author friends Sarah Webb, Catherine Dunne, Claire Dowling and Martina O’Reilly who was celebrating the recent launch of her new bestseller Things I want you to know.

It was a busy week as I saw Bryan Ferry give a stunning performance in the National Concert Hall and also attended Mary Finn’s lovely book launch for No Stars in the Circus where playwright Frank McGuinness talked glowingly about Mary’s work.

Marita, Frank McGuinness and Mary Finn

Marita, Frank McGuinness and Mary Finn