Happy St. Patrick’s Day

The greening of the forest outside my office window has come. Skunk cabbage raises its impertinent, emerald head along the Laurel Run, beckoning me to explore the creek banks in search of spring.

Bright blue periwinkle crowds the ground cover in the garden outside my kitchen. Daffodil leaves have not only pushed through a rain-wet earth, but have grown straight and tall, like sentinels among small, living things—and just yesterday—their buds burst into brilliant bloom!

It seems the whole earth is eager for spring and “wearin’ the green” today. Are you?

As much as we celebrate Ireland—its beauty, its music, our heritage (for isn’t everyone Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?), Michael Dunnagan, one of the main characters in Promise Me This, was ecstatic to leave Ireland and his cruel uncle behind. Stowing away on the Titanic promised more than a grand adventure, it embodied hope and the possibility of life.

Owen, whose father was Irish, pined after the lyrical, romanticized Ireland of his father’s stories—much as we might.

I’ve never been to that beautiful land, though I’d dearly love to go, and have written two books in which it features prominently—Promise Me This, released last month, and Band of Sisters—which will release in September 2012.

In both books, the main characters (Michael in Promise Me This, and Maureen and Katie Rose in Band of Sisters) were desperate to escape their native land, but for very different reasons.  What each found in America changed the course of their lives.  Was it for the better, and were they welcome in their new homeland?

My maternal grandmother’s family came from Ireland—shortly before our Revolutionary War, in time to join Patriots in raising arms against the overbearing British. Are you surprised to learn she was a Dunnagan?

Do you have family from Ireland or have you ever been to that lovely land? Do you want to visit? I’d love to hear!

Leave a comment (this week or last) and you’ll be entered in a free drawing for an autographed gift copy of Promise Me This.

God’s blessings,


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  • Carrie says:

    I would love to travel to Ireland! I think we should plan a research trip soon!

    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      First stop–the Titanic exhibit in Belfast! Let’s not forget the River Shannon or the Cliffs of Moher! I think I could make a VERY long list. Where do we sign up, Carrie? : )

      I’m sure we can think of a great historical fiction plot that requires tons of firsthand research!

  • Joan Garver says:

    Cathy,Just finished Promise Me This! WoW!!!
    You really have learned to draw the reader in. I am so proud of you!! I couldn’t help but shed a tear of joy at the end when the promise is fulfilled. What a message! GOD continue to bless and use your skills for His glory. Joan

    • Cathy Gohlke says:

      Thank you for writing, Joan! I’m so glad you enjoyed “Promise Me This,” and delighted you savored the message.

      God is so good, so all in all, that praising Him is a natural, joyous response to His great love.

      God bless you!

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