Susan Colleen Browne, Author
Here's where you'll find more about my Village of Ballydara series of Irish novels and stories: It Only Takes Once, Mother Love, The Secret Well and The Christmas Visitor... My latest Ballydara novel features Kerry and Stephen, a young married couple in Book 3,The Hopeful Romantic!
Ballydara is a small community in the West of Ireland I created for my Irish stories--a safe, old-fashioned place where people find love and hope. In my imagination, it's located in County Galway, near Lough Corrib. Ballydara is a bit remote and out of step with the times...since the village and the surrounding countryside are in a mobile phone "dead zone" with no reception.
Pat Hurley owns the local pub, where sports fans, retirees, and anyone who likes a pint now and then spends their afternoons. Due to geography and luck (whether good or bad, that's for Pat to say), it's the only place around with a phone signal.
Prequel to The Christmas Visitor
In this luminous, bittersweet story, Frank O’Donoghue’s retirement celebration is marred when his son Declan tells his startling news. The next day, St. John's Eve, Frank wants to help his son, and longs for a fresh start for his relationship with Maeve, his wife. Going to a hidden glen, Frank has an extraordinary experience that leads him to re-examine his own life, marriage, and what it means to be a father.
A Whitethorn Press ebook.
Sequel to The Secret Well
A lonely cottage in the Irish countryside...a rare snowstorm the night before Christmas Eve...
Grieving Maeve O’Donoghue hasn’t the heart to celebrate Christmas this year. All that changes when a mysterious stranger, a young woman, arrives at her home, seeking shelter for the night. In this tender, magical tale, can an unexpected blessing and a bit of fairy lore help a family rediscover the true meaning of Christmas?
A Whitethorn Press ebook.
My romantic-comedy novel, It Only Takes Once, tells the story of Aislin Moore, a twenty-something Dublin single mom. Aislin (pronounced "Ash-lin") has really mucked up her life, so she decides to lay low at her granny's cottage in Ballydara with her little boy Kevin. Who knew that Ben Carpenter, the the guy she's trying to avoid, now lives part time at Ballydara Lodge, not far from the village! Aislin's best friend Deirdre O'Donnell has family in Ballydara too--and Deirdre's not above stirring up some trouble, if she thinks it'll help Aislin's love life in the long run.
Mother Love, a romantic comedy-drama, features brash, irreverent Grainne Larkin, and the man she's been mad about forever, Rafe Byrne. Taking a page from her favorite fictional heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, Grainne ("pronounced Grawn-ya") goes after her dreams, no holds barred... But after the discoveries she makes about her past, her family and herself, she finds that life, and love, have something much different in store for her.
My two Ballydara short stories have a little more mystery and sentiment than It Only Takes Once and Mother Love...
The Secret Well and The Christmas Visitor feature the O'Donoghue family: Frank, a newly-retired schoolmaster and his wife Maeve, an artist. Declan, their grown son, and his daughters Nuala and Ava are visiting, having recently returned to Ireland from America.
The Secret Well opens with Frank's retirement celebration the day before St. John's Eve.
"Browne has done wonderful work in capturing Ireland's language, socioeconomic picture and current cultural milieu from pubs to puddings..." --The Bellingham Herald