Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: The Carousel by Cynthia Owens @Cynwrites1 @GoddessFish

The Carousel
by Cynthia Owens
GENRE: Historical Romance


..Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York...
The War had left him blind to beauty…
Kieran Donnelly is a gifted artist who has sworn never to paint again. He saw and did too many things during the war to extinguish the ugliness that lies in his heart. But a chance to work with some of the most magnificent paintings brings him close to the world he still loves…and an extraordinary woman who sees his true heart.

Darkness couldn’t extinguish the light in her heart.
Blind from the age of four, Emily Lawrence yearns to experience the outside world. When she hires Kieran Donnelly to catalogue her father’s paintings, he offers her a glimpse at life outside her exquisite home…and a chance for a future.

Can Kieran and Emily emerge from the darkness to find happiness and love?


Emily’s breath caught in her throat. His hard thigh pressed warmly against hers. He smelled of paint and turpentine and cologne. His gentle voice teased her senses, made her heart pound and her body tremble. If she moved her face just a little…

She didn’t have to. He caught her chin in his hand, raised her face to his, and claimed her mouth with such tenderness she almost cried out. “Emily. Sweet Blackbird.” He murmured the words against her lips. He always thought of her that way, although he rarely voiced the words. “I don’t ever want you to be afraid or sad. You should always be happy.” A sigh escaped her as his thumb brushed her lower lip. “D’you know you have the most beautiful mouth, as red and sweet as a wild strawberry?” Another kiss, softer, yearning, as his knuckles caressed her cheek. “And the softest skin…like satin, it is, only warmer, more alive…” His lips brushed over her cheek, oh, she couldn’t breathe! But what did it matter, with Kieran’s lips on her skin, his warm hand caressing her back, the low rumble of his voice twining around her like a tender vine?

“Kieran.” His name felt soft on her lips. She reached out to stroke the hard line of his jaw, feeling him grow rigid. “Kieran…please…”

He pulled her closer, closer still, and his breath came harder. “Ah, sweet Heaven. Emily…darlin.’ Kiss me, love. Kiss me… Emily…Em…”

She could only open her mouth under his and gasped as his tongue slid into her mouth. Hot little sizzles danced over her, even as tiny chills chased over her arms.

Had anything ever felt so exquisite?

Interview with Cynthia Owens

Hello, and thanks for having me as your guest today! I’m thrilled to be here to talk about The Carousel!

Hello, and welcome to The Avid Reader!

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
If I had a mascot, I’d love it to be a fairy!

I’ve loved the idea of fairies since I was a child. I memorized the story of Peter Pan, not only the movie, but the book as well. I was convinced Tinkerbell lurked somewhere in my bedroom, and if I just opened my eyes fast enough in the morning, I would catch her out.

Of course, I didn’t, but as I grew older, and my fascination with Ireland grew, I began to study the different types of fairies. They’re a fascinating bunch, and I still believe they exist—at least in Ireland—hiding beneath their fairy forts, waiting for the dark night to come out and play their fairy music and dance their merry reels.

Two years ago, on a trip to Ireland, our guide took us to a magical fairy glen. It was such a peaceful place, with ferns and buttercups and high, natural stone walls. I could almost feel a thousand fairy eyes upon me! It was truly a magical place!

How many hours a day do you put into your writing?
It varies, depending on what I’m doing on any given day. When I’m writing, I try not to set a specific time, but write until I’m satisfied with the scene, the chapter, or whatever. I do like to set a minimum word-count goal of 1000 words each day. Researching a project can be very time-consuming. I have an extensive library of research books, and I’ve been known to work far into the night. Looking back on this, I realize I don’t really have a set number of hours! Does “as many as possible” count as an answer?

Do you read your book reviews? If yes, do they affect what you write in the future?
I love reading my own reviews! It gives validation to what I try to do, which is entertain my readers. I even read the not-so-good ones. But I don’t let it affect what I write. My stories come from the heart, and I will never change how I write them. The one exception is when a reader/reviewer asks for another character’s story. That is the ultimate compliment, and it sets my plotting wheels spinning!

Do you leave hidden messages in your books that only a few people will find?
I’ve only done this twice.

The first time was in my book, Playing For Keeps, Book 3 of my Claddagh Series. The hero is an actor, and my heroine attends a performance of Macbeth, in which the hero plays Malcolm. Now I’ve always been an avid fan of the Broadway musical, Phantom of the Opera.  So it seemed only fitting that Katie and her family would sit in Box 5!

The second occasion was in Book 4 of the Claddagh Series, Everlasting. My heroine’s father is a fisherman in Galway, Ireland, and his curragh is named the Pretty Lady. My dearest friend (who was also a research advisor on all things Ireland) used to call me Pretty Lady, and I gave Tom’s boat the same name as a thank you.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in The Carousel?

I’d love to! Kieran and Emily are two of my favorite characters!

Kieran Donnelly is an artist. From the time he was a child in Ireland, he was compelled to draw everything that touched him. His drawings of the great Irish famine would bring a tear to the eye of the most hard-hearted curmudgeon. But Kieran fought with the Irish Brigade in the American Civil War. He saw and did things he can never forget, and those things killed his ability to see the beauty that once inspired him. He’s given up his art.

Emily Lawrence is a woman who has lived an extremely sheltered existence. Blind from the age of four, she grew up protected by her father and the Morans, who manage her grand Gramercy Park home. Despite her disability, she is quite self-sufficient, but she years for the company of people her own age. She wants to experience everything—parties, balls, and most of all, love.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?
I have sooo so many projects on my desk I sometime don’t know which one to work on on any given day!

There’s another story for the Claddagh Series featuring the youngest O’Brien daughter, a spin-off of The Carousel featuring Shane MacDermott’s daughter, Fiona, who makes sever charming appearances in the story, and possibly a story for her step-brother, Caleb.

I’ve also begun the first story of a new series. I can’t say too much about it, except that it will be a little bit “darker” than my other stories, and it’s set in the enchanted kingdom of Ceiluradh, which is based loosely on the Irish legend of Tir na nOg.

Do you allow yourself a certain number of hours to write or do you write as long as the words come?
I write as long as the spirit moves me, whether it’s 100 words or 10,000. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling the words flow from your mind through your fingers onto the page!

Do you have a certain number of words or pages you write per day?
It’s all about the word count for me. I set a minimum goal of 1000 words a day. Anything more is icing on the cake. Doesn’t always happen, of course. Life sometimes gets in the way.

What inspires you to write?
The stories! There are so many stories that float around in my head that I sometimes wonder it I’ll ever have time to write them all. A song, a throw-away comment by a friend, a news story can spark a new idea, and I have to rush away and write it down. I have a collection of sticky-notes on my wall with all sorts of different stories to be written.

Would you rather

Read fiction or non-fiction?
Both, depending on my mood.

Read series or stand-alone?
Again, both. I love reading stories with familiar characters that I’m invested in, but a good book is a good book.

Read Science fiction or horror?
Neither. Romance is IT for me!

Read Stephen King or Dean Koontz
Mary Jo Putney, the queen of historical romance!

Read the book or watch the movie?
Read the book. The movie is never as good.

Read an ebook or paperback?
Once again, both! I prefer paperbacks, but sometimes an e-book on my Kindle is more convenient.

Be trapped alone for one month in a library with no computer or a room with a computer and Wi-Fi only?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one. But I think I’ll choose the library—as long as I have a pen and notebook with me to write on an old wooden library table!

Do a cross-country book store tour or blog tour online?
I love to travel! A cross-country tour sounds like a grand adventure!

Thanks so much for hosting me on your lovely blog. It’s been wonderful fun talking about The Carousel with you!

Your welcome, I am so glad you could visit with us today!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of  Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.
My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America and Hearts Through History Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero. I have two adult children.

Buy Links:


$10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC or a Sterling silver Claddagh necklace (International)

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

Thanks for sharing your book with us. I think we all enjoy hearing about new books we previously didn't know about. Also, thank you for the giveaway.

Cynthia Owens said...

Thanks so much for having me today!

Cynthia Owens said...

Hi James, glad you're enjoying!