To Sharon- My thoughts and prayers are with you. I wish you a speedy recovery my friend.
To my readers, fellow bloggers and friends- sit back and enjoy this pre-recorded interview. Sharon is a true talent and The Claddagh Ring is a tale well worth learning more about. Note: The pictures you see were taken by Sharon when she visited the beautiful Emerald Isle.
The Claddagh Ring
Struggling with her faith after her mother’s death, Meghan O’Malley finds comfort in wearing her Claddagh Ring, believed to be blessed by St. Patrick. And when Meghan meets Rork, she finds love, friendship, and loyalty. But before everything comes full circle under God’s plan, Meghan must face the biggest challenge of her life.
Rork McGuire is ruggedly handsome, sings Celtic music straight from his soul, and has a dark secret. When he sees Meghan O’Malley, he falls hopelessly in love with her and wants nothing more than to give her his heart. Will the secret he harbors bring them together—or pull them apart?
SKY: Welcome Sharon, thanks for joining me this week!
SHARON: It’s a pleasure to be here, Sky! What a fun party for a summer blog!
SKY: Tell me, what inspired you to create your hero’s character? Did he simply form as you wrote or had he been in your mind for some time?
SHARON: Sharon smiles wistfully as memories flutter through her heart. I was inspired to create the character of Rork while visiting the Emerald Isle a few years ago. With all its castles and rolling green hills, Ireland is truly a mystical and enchanting land. I can still hear the strumming of the harp floating across the countryside, its lyrical tone pulling at my heartstrings. Anyone who knows me is well aware of my passion for legend and lore. And when I learned the legend behind the claddagh, I knew I had to write a love story based on its magic.
The claddagh has a rich history dating back several centuries. It is said to bring the wearer love, friendship and loyalty forevermore.
But in order for the Claddagh to cast its mystical spell, the Claddagh must be worn a certain way. The design consists of two hands holding a heart with a crown on top of the heart. The hands represent friendship, the heart is for love, and the crown is for loyalty. If the ring is worn on the right hand with the heart facing outward, the wearer is looking for love. If worn on the left hand with the heart facing outward, the wearer has found love. But when worn on the left hand with the heart facing inward, the wearer has found its soulmate for life and will be forever blessed.
Being Irish and awed by the legend, I was inspired to write The Claddagh Ring. And while touring the Atlantic Breakers and the Cliffs of Moher, part of my book takes place in County Clare. The Breakers pound the west coast of the county, sculpting the grey limestone into a myriad of shapes, the most notorious, the Cliffs of Moher. A rich plethora of birdlife as puffins and shags crest on the cliffs, adding to the savage grandeur. Beneath the rocks, the waves have spread a thin dusting of golden sand, said to be sprinkled by angel wings. Standing on these cliffs with the wind on my back and the sun on my face, I was inspired to write The Claddagh Ring. And like a mythical Greek God, the image of Rork appeared, taking shape in a very masculine way. Wink!
SKY: Like you, I’m enthralled with The Claddagh Ring (wear one) and the history behind it. I can already hear the passion you put into this story when you describe the ring and Emerald Isle. Give me a little insight into your hero’s personality. Is he cunning, aggressive, arrogant, kind, humorous─share all!
SHARON: LOL All of the above, actually. Rork has a wicked sense of humor. His boyish charm and off the wall remarks will captivate you. Whatever is on his mind rolls off his tongue in spades. But beneath all this charm is masked a dark secret, one that he is bound and determined to keep. He wears his hopelessly romantic heart on his sleeve, daring Meghan to deny his advances. But as the story unfolds, his dark secret threatens, and he is forced to open up to the woman who has won his heart. A reviewer referred to Rork’s personality as “enigmatic” while another said she was drawn in by his “mysterious nature”.
Here’s an excerpt of the first time Meghan and Rork met…
As Meghan mixed drinks from behind the bar of The Wild Irish Rose, the fiddle and violin captured the true essence of Ireland. The tantalizing aroma of Irish stew, corn beef and cabbage and soda bread wafted through the room.
Suddenly, all activity came to a halt as the eerie wail of bagpipes keened through the bar. The lead singer took center stage with his rendition of Danny Boy, the haunting lyrics crawling into Meghan's skin. Mesmerized by his hypnotic blue eyes, she stopped what she was doing and met his penetrating gaze. With the exception of her mother,she’d never heard anyone pluck the strings of the harp with such finesse. The Claddagh Ring on her right hand felt hot, the heart pressing into her skin. By the time the song ended, Meghan’s green eyes were misty with tears.
“Well now, darlin’,” he touched her cheek. “If I knew Danny Boy would make you cry, I'd a sung When Irish Eyes are Smiling."
Meghan Shannon O’Malley lost herself in pools of midnight blue.
“I’m Rork,” the corners of his eyes crinkled when he smiled. He took her right hand and kissed the heart on her ring. "Single and looking, are ya?
“The Claddagh Ring, darlin’,” he kissed it again. “On your right hand with the heart facing outward, means you're single and looking for romance."
“Ah…I have no idea what you’re talking about; it’s just a ring, a gift from my mother.”
“Ah, come on now, darlin’ girl,” he got a little closer, staring into her eyes. “Ya
can’t fool an Irishman. My mother bought one for each of my sisters. I’ll have ya know they're all married."
Meghan felt lightheaded. “My mother gave me this ring the night before she died. It's a family heirloom, said to be blessed by St. Patrick himself. Mama promised me by wearing the Claddagh, everything in my life would come full circle. So before you go thinking I'm wearing it to find a husband, think again."
“Do you believe in love at first sight?” his blue eyes seared into hers like lasers.
“What do ya say, Meghan, darlin’ girl of my heart."
SKY: He sounds wonderful-love that lilt! Turning up the temperature─Why are readers going to fall in love with your hero-lust for him?
SHARON: Rork has the face of a fallen angel. Dark, wavy hair, high cheekbones, full, sensual lips and midnight blue eyes that could melt an iceberg. But above all, he’s a hopeless romantic that wears his heart on his sleeve. He strums the strings of the harp with his long, slender fingers, drawing emotion with every cord. His lyrical voice steals hearts. Rork has a hauntingly bewitching way of seeing into the future with his hypnotic blue eyes, convinced the legend behind the claddagh is no blarney.
And as My Wild Irish Rose played, Meghan and Rork danced, their bodies gliding across the dance floor in perfect rhythm. Rork sang in her ear, the lilt in his voice sending chills through her entire body. “And my one wish has been…that some day I may win…the heart of my wild Irish Rose…”
As Rork’s arms tightened around her, the lyrics of the song seemed to crawl deeper and deeper inside her skin. Gazing into his hypnotic blue eyes, she thought perhaps St. Patrick had indeed bestowed his blessing into the Claddagh. Could Rork be her purpose? Finding love and friendship with a man who could sing like an angel?
On a romantic lilt, Rork ended the dance with a simple promenade around the floor, giving the couple the regal look of a king and queen. Staring into midnight blue eyes, Meghan’s heart danced a wild rhythm. When she finally came back down to earth, she was giddy with delight. And when they kissed, it was the kind of kiss dreams were made of. Meghan Shannon O’Malley had met her destiny.
SKY: Oh, how romantic and beautifully written! Thanks so much for visiting and sharing!
SHARON: My pleasure, Sky. Thanks for having me as your featured guest!
Watch a book trailer for The Claddagh Ring
The Claddagh Ring
2009 CAPA Nominee The Romance Studio
5 Heart Review
Reviewer: Jacquelyn Ward
This fast paced, fun book is full of inspiration and devotion. If you are looking for a book that is fun to read and yet will have your heart racing, try this book. It tugged at my heart and yet left me with a smile on my face and a good feeling about life. The characters are interesting people full of life and love. Their personalities jump at you from the pages. Rork’s mysteriousness will draw you in and keep you on your toes, while Meghan’s recent loss will garner your sympathy. This is one of those feel good books that you just can’t help but feel the need to read it in one sitting. I couldn’t put this book down. For me, this book is a keeper that I know I will return to when I need to put a smile on my face.
Rating: 5 Books
A melancholy aura washes through the start of Donovan’s ""The Claddagh Ring." Evocative from the first line, true romantics will find their own heart touched, again and again. It's timely issue; timeless emotion. Bereft Meghan O'Malley decided, not without sorrow, to the past in the past. She takes up her pragmatic post behind the bar with every intention of being the mischievous barmaid, and sets up banter with her guests. This is- right up till the new band's lead singer, Rork, takes up a rendition of 'Danny Boy.' Rork has hypotic blue eyes...and reads the meaning of the Claddagh ring she wears, more accurately than she does herself. donovan fits an awful lot in a small package! Her characters feel. Her dialogue is plausible. The backdrop pull more emotion from the tale; from the plaintive strains of Danny Boy and the strumming harp to the hint of lavender, every sense is fed. With its heartfelt tone and endearing quality, this is an unabashed tear-jerking, heartwarming romance that wallows in emotion. I just love it.
WRDF Review of The Claddagh Ring By Sharon Donovan
O'Malley is still reeling from her the death of her beloved mother, when the last gift her gave her, leads her to someone who might be her true love. Rork McGuire is the lead singer in the band that performs at Meghan's Cafe, The Wild Irish Rose, during a St. Patrick's Day celebration. During a short break in the music, Rork and Meghan meet and are instantly drawn to each other. Rork notices the Claddagh Ring on Megan's finger. He recites the same passage that Meghan's mother recited when she gave Meghan the ring, a beautiful wish that the wearer will find love and friendship in the arms of her destiny.
As the couple falls head over heels for each other, Meghan discovers Rork has a huge secret. With the help of the world wide prayer chain and her faith in God, Meghn rushes to Ireland to help Rork. Will she get there in time?
This story reflects the beauty in God's Grace and the power of love and prayer to overcome insurmountable odds. Truly a great read.
Learn more about Sharon. Visit her Website and Blog
Contact Sharon at Sharonad@comcast.net
Can’t wait to read this story? Purchase The Claddagh Ring HERE.
Don’t forget, for a chance to win an Ecopy of The Claddagh Ring and a $6 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press, leave a comment by Friday, August 20th, 12 PM EST.
Thanks for popping in!