Friday, July 29, 2022

Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders by Shannon O'Gorman - Book Tour

A celebrity author travels to Ireland to solve a mystery…

By Shannon O'Gorman

Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders follows Rose, a celebrity author in her early seventies, who dislikes the limelight but does like Hermes scarfs, round violet sunglasses, and old colonial hotels. One day, she receives a letter asking her to visit Newgrange, Ireland and discover something that has been hidden there for a thousand years.

She asks her granddaughter Samantha to accompany her, but she hadn’t expected her to continually post photos of their progress on her Instagram account. An encounter with an old love and an unexpected discovery leads Rose deeper into the past, where she finds she must make a hard decision about her future.

Book Information

Release Date: March 16, 2022

Publisher:  Independent

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1736801079; 200 pages; $10.99; Free on Kindle Unlimited


Rose took a deep breath, smiled, bent her head, and stepped carefully into the dark, low, narrow entrance and into the stone tomb of Newgrange. She passed under the ‘roof box,’ a unique open window set in heavy stone above the doorway. Like many ancient passages, it wasn’t built for a tall woman like her. At nearly 6 feet tall, with shoulder-length, black curly hair streaked with grey, she looked younger than her seventy-odd years.

The heavy stone slabs on both sides leaned slightly inward, making an awkward narrow corridor that sloped downwards. There was very little light, and she bumped her head several times, but she could still make out the ancient Neolithic geometric designs on some walls as she passed by with her small flashlight.

“Grandma, Grandma, slow down!” an annoyed voice said behind her. “I can’t keep up!”

“Hurry up, then,” Rose shouted back while she shone her flashlight beam upwards and gazed at the 20-foot ceiling that narrowed into great slabs. She could feel wispy fingers of wind on the fine hairs on the back of her neck. She paused and touched a wall as she waited for her granddaughter, Samantha, to catch up. While she stood there, she ran a palm over the cool stone, patted it gently and murmured, “You have kept a lot of secrets, my old darling. It’s all right to tell me some of them now.”

“Thanks for finally stopping and thinking about me!” Sam said sarcastically as she caught up to Rose, leaning against a wall. “My iPhone is at only 10 percent now! How much further is it?”

“Not too far, I think,” said Rose. “Stay close behind me if your battery is dying. You know, I’ve had my little flashlight for over 20 years, and it’s never let me down as long as I remember to check the batteries. It’s shown me the way inside the pyramids and some old mausoleums that are much darker than here. It could tell a lot of stories, just like all of us old things!” Rose chuckled.

“Whatever,” Sam mumbled and scowled in the darkness as she stomped behind her grandmother. She hated it when Rose pointed things out to her.

Sam was slimly built and was a strong, opinionated 17-year-old. She was dressed in torn jeans, a rain jacket and a pair of Doc Martens. Her long brown hair hung loosely over her shoulders. She had an extroverted personality but was also very sensitive. Sometimes she felt things too deeply.

Rose and Sam continued to walk until they could go no further, about 60 feet from the entrance. Here was the heart of the tomb and what Rose was looking for.

Geometric swirls decorated the back wall, just above what likely had been an ancient altar, long before the Druids and the Celts came to Ireland.

The three iconic swirls were like small circular labyrinths designed to represent what only the artist knew. Some said it was a map of the area, the underworld, or a meditation symbol. However, of course, nobody really knew. How could they? They were all drawn so long ago.

The tomb was illuminated once a year by the December sun of the Winter Solstice, when one could step onto a sunbeam and walk in the sunshine. For those short minutes, the brilliant light crept in to highlight the perfection of the sun. It would come in through the 5000-year-old roof box and pierce the darkness to the end of the tomb where Rose now stood. It would eventually creep to the three geometric swirls that she had come to examine. There it hung and lurked there before receding out the entrance; its short dance of celebration done until the next year.

Today was not the day of the winter solstice. There would be no brilliant sunshine; it was just another dull, cloudy, rainy June day in Ireland. Much like many others.

“We must be quick now. The guide said that we could only have 10 minutes in here alone,” Rose said. “Notice anything interesting about these spirals?”

Sam shone her dying iPhone flashlight on them and squinted her eyes.

“They remind me of those swirly mosquito coils. You light the end, and then it just burns away to nothing.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure anyone has ever made that connection before,” Rose said with a begrudging smile and continued. “In fact, these are examples of the ‘triskelion,’ the triple spiral.  They have been interpreted to represent many things. Some say they symbolize the past, present, future, or even life, death and rebirth. Perhaps they are a celebration of the Holy Trinity.

This symbol was adopted by the Celts as a symbol of three energies. These swirls on the walls were carved here over 5,000 years ago, long before the Celts may have come across them. Think of that, Sam!”

Sam sighed. “Uh-huh. You know that those spirals could just be some form of graffiti from a long time ago. Maybe this is some ancient pop art. You are always doodling in your notebook. Maybe some guy was doing the same thing— just on old walls instead.”


Shannon O’Gorman is originally from Winnipeg, Canada and has been living in San Jose, California for the past 10 years enjoying the sunshine. She completed a BA in English at the University of Manitoba, with a specialization in Creative Writing. After university, the travel bug bit her hard and she spent the next 10 years traveling the world and supporting herself with odd jobs ( lots of fruit picking, waitressing, temp. work and ESL teaching). She spent many years in London, a few years in Israel on a moshav, and several years in Hong Kong. And then she found herself in Japan, where she married, had a daughter and ran an English school with her husband for 10 years. Throughout this time she kept diaries and wrote many short stories, some of which were published in small ex-pat magazines. Eventually, she returned to Canada and taught international students at U of Winnipeg, and newcomers to Canada at a technical college and was a teacher trainer for new ESL teachers. One day her husband said, “Guess what I got a job in California…” and not long after they packed up the car and drove south.  She taught ESL again in the USA, and one day decided to walk the Camino de Santiago a 500 mile walk across France to Spain and wrote a book about it, The Camino de Santiago: One Wanderful Walk, and found her love for writing again. She also completed a book of short stories about her travels, Some Wanderful Times and started a book series featuring the character of Rose Hawthorne. The first book of the series is Seven Wanders: The Ancient Wanders. Last year she retired from teaching, and is enjoying writing every day with her dog at her feet.

Her latest book is the mystery, Rose Hawthorne: The Irish Wanders.

You can visit Shannon at Facebook and Instagram.  

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