Wednesday 29 March 2017

Mugs & Monasteries Release Day

Today, the 29th March 2017, I'd like to welcome Mugs & Monasteries onto the book shelves and wish her all the very best. In her honour, I thought I'd tell you a little bit about the Burren, west coast of Ireland as it was that very place that introduced Evie (orchid hunter) and Aiden (alpaca farmer {as you do!}) to me. In fact, here's the passage in the book when Evie and Aiden are out walking...

Mugs & Monasteries

Yet whatever else, she loved the Burren, with its rocky, karst landscape that resembled in her imagination the moon. The strangest place she had ever seen, she had become inured to its wild beauty, yet being with Aiden made her see it anew.

“There must be so many stories attached to the Burren. It’s seen a lot of history.” Aiden’s eyes were dark as he glanced around. “I’ve always thought my uncle’s to be only one of many. I mean, take a look over at that Dolmen.” He stopped behind her and pointed over her shoulder to the familiar three-rock formation. “That’s the Poulnabrone Portal Tomb Stone, dates back to the Neolithic period. Apparently there are around twenty-five adults and children buried below.”

Evie gazed over at it, doing her best to imagine centuries before, and the kind of world these stones had seen and been an integral part of.

So often have I sat by that Tomb, more so when I growing up as now you cannot get near enough to it. Sitting there, you can hear the wind whistling though the stony fields, stunted trees doing their best to thrive--which they actually do, but they are nothing like thriving trees you'd see normally. The air carries on it the tang of the Atlantic Sea, that wild ocean that separates Ireland from the US and often my fancy would lead me to seeing folk standing on the Cliffs of Moher (the pic on the front of the book) staring out across the water as their family sailed away to a new life in the new country far far away, knowing they would never see them again. I think the Burren absorbed all that wanting and waiting, took it and transformed it into a very wild beauty, a lonesome place where you could lose yourself, find yourself and lose yourself all over again. 

Perhaps Munster Abbey, the monastery (eponymous?) in Mugs & Monasteries is my metaphor for that feeling--it comes in and out of reality, almost as at will. (But you'll have to read more to find out why :) ) 

I don't want you to think the Burren is a sad place though--plants and animals do thrive, you just have to look hard to see them. But then nothing gained easily is as worth something you have to work for, hey. The days when the sun is out and chasing the clouds at a fast rate across the blue sky, shadows dancing merrily over the hills and rocks, darkness descending, quick downpours of fresh Irish rain moving quickly on, allowing the sun back to chase the clouds...those days are the days you're so glad to be alive and part of this beautiful place. 

But hey--why not go yourself and find out? Failing that--check out Mugs & Monasteries and read yourself into it. Go on--I dare you! 


  1. Sounds like a wonderful story -- and a spectacular setting. Wishing you lots of sales! Now, I'm off to check it out a little more...

  2. I've stood on the Cliffs of Moher, and I recognized them on your cover. Western Ireland is wild and wonderful, a sacred place. I too have felt the pull of the ancients there. I look forward to reading your story, Cait. Congratulations!

    1. Ah thank Deborah--it is a very special place, I'm so pleased you have been there too!