Cathy Mansell

Cathy, welcome to my blog. I’m pleased you were able to fit me into your blog tour schedule.

Cover Art for Shadow AcrossThe Liffey by Cathy MansellYou have a great, full bio on your website, so I will direct readers there for your background. However, I would like to discuss your book, Shadow Across the Liffey. For those who aren’t familiar with it yet, here is the blurb:

Set in 60’s Ireland, life is hard for widow, Oona Quinn, grief-stricken by the deaths of her husband and five-year-old daughter. Struggling to survive, she meets charismatic Jack Walsh at the Shipping Office.

Vinnie Kelly, her son’s biological father, just out of jail, sets out to destroy Oona and all she holds dear. Haunted by her past, she has to fight for her future and the safety of her son, Sean. But Vinnie has revenge on his mind

Q: What does “the Liffey” mean, for those of us outside Ireland?

A: That’s a good question Carol.

The River Liffey is the main river in Dublin.  It rises in Sally Gap in Wicklow, just south of Dublin.  It travels 125 kilometers through the centre of Dublin, out into Dublin Bay and into the Irish sea.

Many bridges, I think about sixteen, have been build across the Liffey, the most recent is the Millennium bridge.  The bridge, featured on the cover of my novel, Shadow Across The Liffey, is the Half Penny bridge, so named because at one time you had to pay half a penny to cross it.

Q: I’m a sucker for an emotional book and this blurb sounds like the book has plenty to tug at the heartstrings. The excerpt on your website is heart-wrenching, for sure. Writing those emotions into the book is often emotionally draining for the writer. Did you find Ozona’s struggle with grief difficult to write?

A: Yes, at times it was emotional and I cried many times in the writing of it.  This was mainly due to the fact that I had experienced the death of my first husband with leukemia, and like Oona, my protagonist, I too was left to bring up my son and baby daughter without their father.  Although I understood where Oona was coming from, it brought back painful memories. When Oona’s son, Sean, is kidnapped it tugged at my heart strings.

For most of the story, it is written from my imagination, but I enjoyed writing the happy and funny scenes that made me laugh. And I felt happy for Oona, when she fell in love again with the hero, Jack Walsh.

Q: 60’s Ireland isn’t a common time period in fiction. What made you choose that particular era and did you find it a difficult sell with publishers?

A: I suppose, growing up in Dublin, I know the place well. I felt it was a good place to set my novel, Shadow Across The Liffey.  I could always nip across for a long weekend on the pretence of doing research.

Yes, Shadow Across the Liffey was difficult to sell to publishers, particularly, to mainstream publishers, 50s and 60s Ireland didn’t appeal.  The market already had the top Irish authors, such as, Marion Keyes, Celia Ahearn and the late Maeve Binchy who wrote in a contemporary style.

It wasn’t until e-books became popular that I got my chance and was taken on by Tirgearr Publishing, an e-book publisher, who have since brought Shadow Across the Liffey and Her Father’s Daughter out in paperback.

Q: On Amazon, you have a lovely collection of high-starred reviews. Many of them say things like, “A gripping romantic novel,” “easy read,” “page turner,” and “could not put it down.” Another common thread speaks to the emotion with phrases such as, “wonderful heartwarming story,” “you will laugh and cry,” and “a lovely, touching read.”

While my books haven’t gathered the numbers of reviews yet, the comments fall along the same lines, and I find it difficult to articulate how much reviews mean to an author. Would you care to give it a go? What was your first review and how did you feel after reading it?

A: My first review for Shadow Across the Liffey made me cry. Simply because, I couldn’t believe that someone liked my work enough to compare it to the late Maeve Binchy. I was overwhelmed with gratitude because it made people want to read it.

I was thrilled with each review I received from Amazon.  Reviews mean so much because if they are good it makes you feel that you’re doing something right, by giving pleasure to your reader. Good, or bad, reviews to an author means that someone is reading your work and has found the time to let you know what they feel.

Q: I identify with your remarks. Can you tell us a little about your next book and when it will be available to purchase?

A: My third book, Galway Girl, is my first historical suspense, set in early 19c. It will be released first as an e-book in May of this year.

It’s about a young gypsy girl, Tamara, who overhears her gypsy parents discussing her marriage to a rich landowner.  She escapes by stowing away on a ship with dire consequences.

Carol here again: Cathy, thanks for your time and answers. I’ve enjoyed having you here on my blog. Best of luck with your writing career!

And for my readers, here’s a bit more about Cathy, her book buy links and contact links.

Book links: Publisher / AmazonUS / AmazonUK

Author bio:  Member of Leicester Writers’ Club, Just Write workshop, Life President of Lutterworth Writers’ Group, Member NAWG, Member Romantic Novelist Association and past president of Riverside Speakers club.

Cathy is an experienced writer of romantic fiction. Her early work was competition short stories and articles published in national magazines. She was Editor in Chief of the Leicestershire Anthology, ‘Taking Off’, a book promoted and supported by Arts Council UK.

In recent times, Cathy has turned to writing full-length novels that are set in Ireland/England. Her debut book, Shadow Across the Liffey, a 2013 contender for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon award, was published in February 2013 by Tirgearr Publishing.  Her Father’s Daughter, Cathy’s second book, has been contracted by the same publisher.  She was a recent contestant on the TV show Food Glorious Food.

Connect with Cathy online at  / LinkedIn / Facebook / Twitter

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This tour organized by: WMS_blogtour

Posted in Books, Cover Art, Guests, Promo | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Make like a rabbit and hop, hop, hop

alpha male big to useThe Alpha Male Blog Hop is ongoing. Don’t forget to check out all the great prizes along the hop and sign up for that big Amazon GC!

Her Unexpected Family is featured in a series of blog posts this week with five chances to win an e-book. I’ll be hopping to the following links:

Monday at: and

CarolBurnside_HerUnexpectedFamily_200pxTuesday: Fierce Romance

and on Wednesday: Pam Asberry’s Sometimes It’s Cloudy, Sometimes It’s Clear blog.

On each of those blogs, I’ll be giving away an ecopy of Her Unexpected Family to lucky commenters chosen by

Also on Tuesday, one of my books will be in the Book-A-Day giveaway at All Romance eBooks. Click the link and look in the upper left column for the book being given away.

Hope to see all you around the internet. And if you’re a member of Goodreads, I’d love it if you help me get my books noticed by voting for them in a few Listopias here:  for A Suitable Wife and here: for Her Unexpected Family.


Come on, it’s Spring! Make like a rabbit and hop around the internet with me!



Posted in Everyday blather, Books, Excerpts, Promo, Going Places, Free Stuff, Carol Burnside, Annie Rayburn, Meet the Characters | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Alpha Male Madness giveaway hop

alpha male big to useAlpha Males! You know you love em. And so do we! We’re celebrating them and all their delicious alpha male glory for an entire week with giveaways at every single participating blog. Stop by and check out which males are making us pant with all that sexy swagger they have going on.
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What makes a guy an alpha male?

I’ve read books where the author apparently thinks that the meaner a guy is to his heroine, the more alpha he is. Some even take it to the extreme of verbal and physical abuse.

I disagree with that school of thought. To me, being an alpha male means strength of character, self confidence and decisiveness. It means he tempers physical strength with caring and tenderness. He may exhibit violence, but it’s in defense of those he loves.

Grand Prize Giveaway

More alphas!
Stop by each blog listed at to check out all the alpha males and enter the giveaways each blog is hosting.

As for me, I’m giving away two prizes. A $5 Amazon or B&N Gift Certificate and an e-copy of one of my ebooks. Winner can choose from the following:
Phantoms & Fantasies
Bittersweet Obsessions
A Suitable Wife
Her Unexpected Family

You have a chance at four possible entries. Here’s how:
Comment below with an answer to one of my questions = 1 entry OR Answer both questions for a total of 2 entries
Subscribe to my newsletter (see upper right column) = 2 entries Already subscribed? Note which e-mail you’re using and get an auto 2 entries. :-)

Q1: In the Phantoms & Fantasies excerpt, what alpha trait do you think Turk exhibits?

Q2: Chose one:
What alpha trait do you think Sam exhibits in the excerpt for A Suitable Wife?  orWhat alpha trait do you think Travis exhibits in the excerpt for Her Unexpected Family?

Have fun with the hop and good luck!

Posted in Books, Contests, Everyday blather, Free Stuff, Meet the Characters, Promo | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Hey! I’m on @KinkyVanillaRom ‘s blog

Yeah, you heard me right. Today Skeeter Lee is showcasing A Suitable Wife on her blog, Kinky Vanilla Romance. and I’m giving away an e-copy to one lucky commenter over there. She has a sweet blog and features a lot of blog hops and giveaways, so if that’s your thing (Who doesn’t like freebies?) why not stop by and see what’s up over there? In the process, you just might find new authors to read.

Posted in Annie Rayburn, Carol Burnside, Going Places, Promo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tuesday Tidbits (What’s going on?) 4/8/14

I remain in my writing cave, between trying to finish taxes, juggling promotions for books already released (which includes guest posts on other blogs), doing some gardening, some flower planting, and the occasional dash to the grocery store to replenish the pantry. Time seems to whiz by these days, but I’m loving the warmer days!

I’m making progress on His Small Town Princess and am loving the changes in J.T. and Cass. Even thought it means my readers have to wait for the book, I’m glad I decided to scrap the original version I had and start over. This version will be stronger and a better read in the long run.

On Thursday, A Suitable Wife is showcased on Skeeter Lee’s blog, Kinky Vanilla Romance and I’m giving away an e-copy of the book. Perhaps you remember seeing her name in my winners post from the last blog hop?

Coming up this Friday: the Alpha Male Blog Hop begins! Check back for the blog list and prizes!

Arkansas Authors has my work spotlighted on their New Releases page. They do a wonderful job of promoting local authors and spotlighting our work.

Check out my schedule below. If you’re in any of these areas, I’d love to meet you.

I’m making plans to be at RomCon in June. If you’re in the Denver area, you should check it out because it’s a great venue to meet with authors and discover new ones to read. Can’t wait to visit with my daughter while there.

July 23-26 is the Romance Writers of America national conference (also known as RWA Nat’l Con) in San Antonio. I hope to have all three books of my Sweetwater Springs series at the book signing there.

In August and September, Susan Carlisle and I will be presenting a month-long online workshop for novice writers and those with intermediate skills through Savvy Authors.

The ABC’s of Writing – All Basics Course: Go from clueless to clued in— during an interactive overview of what two authors learned on their way to publication. Receive solid information on the basic elements of writing, editing and professionalism that every writer needs to understand in order to be successful.

October 9-12 I’ll also be attending the Georgia Romance Writer’s Moonlight & Magnolias Conference in the Atlanta area as well as presenting The ABC’s of Writing again with Susan and signing books at their literacy event.

I will post my guest blogging schedule weekly and let you know what prizes are available.


Posted in Annie Rayburn, Carol Burnside, Tues Tidbits | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Here and there 4-7-14

CarolBurnside_HisSmallTownPrincess200Blonde or brunette? Today I’m blogging on PetitFoursAndHotTamales with a title of “Hurray for Hair Dye” about a hair color snafu that I encountered while writing three books across several years. Mind you, there were other books written between, so don’t judge my forgetfulness too harshly.

Follow the direct link above. Come on over to PFHT and read the whole story.


Posted in Annie Rayburn, Books, Carol Burnside, Going Places, Promo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can I borrow your blog?

Do you have a book loving blog I can borrow? Well, not exactly borrow. More like I want to come for a one day visit.

I’m setting up a series of book blitz blog tours in an attempt to reach a broader audience with my latest releases and to revive interest in my backlist. To that end, I need host blogs. Posts will run Monday thru Friday, with a different book featured each week.

Hosting me is an easy way to fill a blog date on your calendar, and I will gladly supply you with all that is needed for the post. The tour schedule is below, with dates available on a “first come, first served” basis. I’ll schedule a maximum of two blogs per day. You may host as many tours/weeks as you wish. ;-)

SSSeries covers_CBurnsideTour Dates:
April 7, 8, 9, 10 &11 – A Suitable Wife by Carol Burnside (sensual romance)
April 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 – Her Unexpected Family by Carol Burnside (sensual romance)
April 21, 22, 23, 24 & 25 – Phantoms & Fantasies by Annie Rayburn (erotic romance)
Apr 28, 29, 30, May 1, & 2 – Bittersweet Obsessions by Annie Rayburn (erotic romance)
May 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9 – His Small Town Princess by Carol Burnside (sensual romance)
May 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30 – Sunset Beach Sizzle by Carol Burnside (erotic romance)

Host responsibilities:
• You agree to have the post appear on your site no later than 3 AM (Eastern time) on your scheduled date
• You agree to publicize the post via any social media outlets you use, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, G+, Triberr, etc.
• If you choose to review the book, you also agree to post it on sites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads or Shelfari within a week after your post date.

If you are interested in hosting me, please contact me HERE with the following information:
1) The date you’d like to reserve
2) The name of your blog
3) Your blog url (link)
4) Your 1st and 2nd choices for type of post you’d prefer (see list below)
5) Your choice of one:
___a) entry into weekly drawing from host names of $5.00 Amazon or B/N GC. Multiple entries allowed for the Grand Prize when you host multiple times.
___b) Have your book release featured on my blog
___c) receive copy of my featured book for review (if that is your chosen type of post)

The April 7-11 info is ready to send out, so you’ll have time to get the post ready.

PF2 WEB 200-300Types of posts available:
Promo/Blitz only: includes packet of book cover jpeg, author jpeg and mini bio, blurb, social media links, book links, giveaway code (if applicable)
Review with Promo: includes book cover jpeg, author jpeg and mini bio, blurb, short blurb, social media links, book links, and giveaway code (if applicable). Free PDF files of that week’s book are available to the blog host, if they wish to review the book and use their honest review as the main body of the post.
Interview: Send me a set of five questions no later than 10 days before the date you’re hosting me and I’ll supply the answers as well as the promo packet listed above. Sorry, no interviews for the first week, due to the tight time frame.
Character Interview: Same conditions as the interview post, except you’ll choose one of my characters from the featured book to answer the questions you pose.
Mini Excerpt: Short excerpt from the book, plus the promo packet listed above

My responsibilities:Avail for download 6.1.11
• I will supply the packet of information you’ll need to complete the post no later than one week before the scheduled date.
• I will supply a PDF of the book, if you’re posting a review. (Other file types may also be available. )
• I will publicize my promo schedule with links to participating blogs on my website, blog, and various social media accounts.
• I will personally respond to individual comments on each blog post at least twice during the scheduled date
• I will take care of drawing winners for any giveaways. Purchase and distribution of all prizes I offer are my responsibility.
• To show my appreciation for your time and support, all hosts during the six week book blitz will be entered into a Grand Prize drawing (prize TBD).


Posted in Annie Rayburn, Books, Carol Burnside, Free Stuff, Going Places, Promo | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Here and there 3-31-14

CarolBurnside_ASuitableWife800Today I’m blogging on PetitFoursAndHotTamales about an incident of what I perceive to be authors behaving badly.

I’m also reminding readers that today is the last day A Suitable Wife will be 1/2 price at the following sites:

All Romance eBooks: formats avail: PDF, ePub, .mobi

Kobo: (ePub)

and at Smashwords: (use code FM83B at checkout)

Thanks for your attention. Have a great day!
formats: epub, mobi, pdf, lrf, pdb

Posted in Annie Rayburn, Books, Carol Burnside, Going Places, Promo | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Make Your Own Holiday Day!

In celebration of “Make Your Own Holiday” Day and prompted by Eli Pacheco of CoachDaddy, who is compiling new holiday suggestions, my new holiday is Believe In Your Better Self Day.

I don’t know where my propensity for negative self-talk originated from or why, but I seem to be way better at it than affirmations, which make me feel silly and embarrassed. Ergo, I need a Believe In Your Better Self Day, perhaps more than others.

My better self writes faster than I do. She cleans house more frequently, exercises and is more efficient and energetic and cheerful about it all. (Damn it!) She is my Dream Barbie in stylish clothes and a pink convertible, wearing a flamboyant head scarf and designer sunglasses with such élan that people stop to smile and wave. They shake their heads and wonder where she gets all that energy and zest for life.

Hmm. Perhaps that’s pushing things a bit too far, especially for a fifty-something homebody writer who is perfectly content in her favorite armless chair, laptop in place, a dog snoozing contentedly nearby, and the TV playing soft background music. Dream Barbie resembles the me of thirty years ago. But today, my better self will surface.

Better Self will write more than she did yesterday. She will stop procrastinating and continue compiling those dreaded tax records, even if it’s only for an hour. The recumbent bike isn’t pink, but I’ll climb into the seat and utilize my e-reader while trying to forget I’m exercising for health and energy, no head scarf needed. How’s that for efficiency, Dream Barbie?

Do you want to be a better friend/person/employee? Perhaps your Better Self is more athletic, tactful, patient or less judgmental. Imagine, if everyone, for just one day a year, decided to let out their Better Self! Even if it happens in small increments, I believe it would be contagious and one day would become two, then three . . .

What does your Better Self look like?

Posted in Carol Burnside, Everyday blather | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Spring Fling Blog Hop WINNERS are…


Kindle Fire— Sally Fryman Wagoner

$75 Amazon Gift Card— Eva

$25 Starbucks Gift Card— Eva Millien

$25 Blushing Books Gift Card— Kathy Osborn

$25 Loose ID Gift Card— Jessica Subject

and my winners are:

Amy Bowens – ecopy of A Suitable Wife.CarolBurnside_ASuitableWife800Skeeter Lee – $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

amazon-gc-100._V192250695_Congratulations and thanks for participating. You should receive an e-mail from me today.

Amy, if you would, let me know in the comments below which file type you need. I have PDF, ePub (Nook and most e-readers and apps) and .mobi (Kindle and Kindle apps).

Entrants were assigned a number based on order of entry. chose numbers corresponding to Amy and Skeeter’s names. I had a great time interacting with everyone and hope you enjoyed the hop. Special thanks go out to Jane Wakely, Blushing Books, Sue Lyndon and Patty Devlin for the grand prizes and sponsorship.

Check back here for these upcoming hops and more chances to win:

Alpha Male Madness – Apr 11-18

Wicked Nights – May 14-21

Covergasm – Jun 6-13

If anyone would like notification of new releases, please sign up for my newsletter (Top of right column.) Thanks!

Posted in Contests, Free Stuff | Tagged , , | 2 Comments