Behind the Writing of

Checkmate: Clans and Castles

Watch the trailer, read an excerpt and buy the book here.

When History Inspires

A television series has inspired me to write another book based on my ancestors. I've become addicted to AMC's series TURN, based on the book Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose. When I fall in love with a book, a movie, a play or a television series, I always...

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

An author’s life and writing process is often misunderstood so when I read the synopsis of The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley, I knew I had to read it. It is about an author that is writing an historical novel about the Jacobite rebellion of 1708. She chooses to write...

O’Doherty’s Rebellion

O’Doherty’s Rebellion took place in Ulster, Ireland in 1608. Chances are you’ve never heard of it but if you are of Scot-Irish descent, this was a significant event in your ancestor’s life. In the decades before O’Doherty’s Rebellion, Queen Elizabeth I sent English...

The Journey of the Scots-Irish

The odyssey into my family's history has taken me to unexpected places, and anyone of Scot-Irish (or Scotch-Irish or Scots-Irish) descent likely has ancestors that traveled a similar path. Scotland is only twenty miles or so across the Irish Sea from Ireland and the...

Behind the Bloody Hand

 While visiting my ancestral home in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, it is impossible to escape the images of the bloody hand. It appears in various forms, sometimes with lions, a fish, a crown or a knight’s helmet. It can be found on the side of buildings, on flags,...

Walking in an Ancestor’s Footsteps

What if you could walk in your ancestor’s footsteps? Today’s environment comes with a host of challenges, including economic recession, political drama, declining industries, a shrinking middle class, wars and threats on multiple fronts. It might be easy to come to...

Who We Are

Genealogy research is one of the most popular hobbies in America. In discovering our roots, we discover ourselves. A few years ago when my book Songbirds are Free, the true story of Mary Neely’s capture by Shawnee warriors was released, I was contacted by a Neely...

It’s a Thin Line

There’s a thin line between accuracy and the loss of credibility and nowhere does it show more dramatically than with an author. Our words are placed into the public realm for better or for worse and once credibility is lost, it can be next to impossible to regain....

Derry or Londonderry?

Londonderry/Derry is the 2nd largest city in Northern Ireland, second only to Belfast yet whether it is called ‘Londonderry’ or ‘Derry’ by residents of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has a lot to do with politics, religion and heritage. In my book, Clans...

When Fact Is Stranger Than Fiction

For authors of suspense, the political landscape has posed some interesting challenges. It has always been a popular theme to select an enemy government that our hero must infiltrate and take down, even if it’s done in bits and pieces. Consider Ian Fleming’s James...