Erin’s Children By Eileen O’Finlan
The Sequel to Kelegeen
BWL Publishing, Inc.
Publish Date: December 1, 2020
Paperback: 412 pages
Digital ASIN: B08MTLXR4Z
About Erin's Children:
In 1851 Irish Famine survivor, Meg O'Connor, buys passage to America for her younger sister, Kathleen, and arranges employment for her as a maid. Kathleen's feisty spirit soon puts her at odds with her employers, the bigoted and predatory Pratts. Driven from their home, Kathleen ends up on a wild adventure taking her to places she could never have imagined.
As a domestic servant in the Worcester, Massachusetts home of the kindly Claprood family, Meg enjoys a life beyond her wildest imaginings. Yet she must keep her marriage to Rory Quinn a secret. Rory, still in Ireland, eagerly awaits the day he will join her. But as the only jobs open to Irish men pay poorly, Rory's imminent arrival threatens to plunge her back into dire poverty.
On the eve of the Civil War, while America is being rent asunder by the fight over slavery, Irish Catholics wage their own war with the growing anti-immigrant Know Nothing party. Through grave doubts, dangers, and turmoil, Meg and Kathleen must rely on their faith and the resilient bonds of sisterhood to survive and claim their destinies in a new and often hostile land.
Read an Excerpt:
“Master Lemuel, I didn’t expect you home so early.”
“Keep track of my comings and goings, do you?” He tilted his head to the side.
“I thought you might be Clara.”
He laughed. “Hardly.” His face became unreadable, his next words spoken neither harshly nor kindly. “You have not answered my question. I asked what this mess is all about.”
Kathleen looked around. The kitchen was in disarray, but no more than on any other wash day. Had he never seen it so when his mother had done the homemaking? “I’ve to finish the ironing, but I don’t want supper to be late, so I’m trying to do both at once,” she explained.
“Hardly seems efficient.” His eyes roved disapprovingly about the room.
“It will all come out right and be cleaned up proper by the end of the day, Master Lemuel,” she stated.
“I’m sure.” His tone was dismissive. Forgetting the mess he’d just complained of Lemuel advanced towards Kathleen. As he approached, his eyes bore into her. A shiver ran up her spine as if his very look could graze and bruise her skin.
“Is there something I can help you with, Master Lemuel?” Kathleen asked.
“Indeed there is.” His words oozed like slime.
“What would that be?”
“My father has meetings until suppertime. Meetings I’ve no need to attend. So I’m home early. I simply came in for drink of water.” He looked about the kitchen. “You’ve barred the way.”
“I’ll fetch you some,” Kathleen said, hurrying to fill a cup and hand it to him.
Lemuel’s hand brushed hers as he took it from her. As he raised the cup to his lips, Kathleen turned toward the table. Lemuel’s hand gripped her upper arm and pulled her back. He drained the cup before letting go of her.
“More,” he said handing the cup back.
Kathleen noticed her hands shaking as she refilled the cup. This time she did not turn away. She'd wait rather than be grabbed again.
Lemuel took a sip, lowered the cup and stared at her. “What are you doing just standing there, Bridget? I thought you had work to do.”
Waiting to see if you wished another refilling,” she answered.
“Good. I like a servant who knows her place.”
“Will that be all, then?” she asked, ignoring his snide remark.
Lemuel took his time draining the cup of water before answering. “For now,” he said, handing the cup to her. Before Kathleen could turn away, he pinched her chin between his thumb and forefinger, tilting her head so she’d no choice but to look him in the face. “When I want something from you, Bridget, you’ll know it.”
His tone unnerved Kathleen, making her stomach feel as though she’d swallowed one of the irons.
“The iron!” she gasped.
Lemuel, momentarily taken aback by her outburst, let go. Kathleen scrambled to the stove, throwing on an oven mitt and grabbing a heavy flatiron. Now she had the table, the press board, and the stove between them. The hot iron pressed against the damp linen sizzled. A haze of steam rose.
Lemuel cocked his head, one side of his mouth turned up in a triumphant half-smile.
“You can barricade yourself in if you want, little lass,” he said, the word “lass” sounding like the hiss of a snake, “but I will always be able to break through.”
Kathleen’s anger overtook her fear. She held the sizzling iron aloft, its flat bottom facing him. “Master Lemuel,” she said, her tone dignified and strong, “I’ve much work to do and little time to do it in. I should like to get on with it.”
Meet Eileen O’Finlan:
Eileen O’Finlan writes historical fiction, telling the stories on history’s margins, the things rarely taught in the classroom. For her, that’s where history really gets fun. Her promise to her readers is to craft stories that will thoroughly immerse them in another time and place.
Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, her family moved to Worcester when she was two. Four years later they moved to Holden where Eileen grew up and where she now resides.
Eileen holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Ministry. She works full time for the Diocese of Worcester and teaches online courses in Catholic studies for the University of Dayton, Ohio. Erin's Children is her second novel and the sequel to her debut novel, Kelegeen.Author Links:
Thank you again for being part of my blog tour for Erin's Children. Twice in one tour - how awesome is that!ReplyDelete
:) It was my pleasure having you on the blog twice!Delete