Get Lost in Ireland With Pat McDermott

Folks, help me welcome back Pat McDermott!

Boston, Massachusetts native Pat McDermott writes romantic action/adventure stories set in an Ireland that might have been. Glancing Through the Glimmer and its sequel, Autumn Glimmer, are young adult paranormal adventures featuring Ireland’s mischievous fairies. Both books are “prequels” to her popular Band of Roses Trilogy: A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses. The Rosewood Whistle is her first contemporary romance.

Pat is a member of the New Hampshire Writers’ Project, Romance Writers of America, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. Her favorite non-writing activities include cooking, hiking, reading, and traveling, especially to Ireland. She lives and writes in New Hampshire, USA.

Pat’s Web Site:

I’m delighted to be visiting Get Lost in a Story again, this time with The Rosewood Whistle. Western Ireland is the setting for my new adult contemporary romance, a tribute of sorts to Ireland's traditional music told through the budding relationship of a man and woman given a second chance at love.

I had fun with this one. Each chapter title contains a phrase from an old Irish song I learned as a kid growing up on Mission Hill, an Irish section of Boston.
Like many immigrants, the Irish who emigrated to America helped keep their homeland alive through music. During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, Irish records grew amazingly popular, especially in New York and Boston. My family wasn’t the only one who played those magical little 45s until they wore out. Almost every flat in my neighborhood’s three-decker homes had music blasting from open windows.
Irish music has it all: ghosts and romance, rebellions and outlaws, drinking and sea songs, death, emigration, and lullabies. No one needs to know the songs (or even be Irish) to enjoy The Rosewood Whistle, though it’s fun if you do. And no worries if you can't guess which tunes I used. I added a list the end of the book. So stop by the pub in the Excerpt below!

Surrounded by Ireland’s music and myths, a widowed American writer meets a tour guide leery of love…

On her own at the end of a long and difficult marriage, Gemma Pentrandolfo still hears the critical voice of her husband taunting her from his grave. To foster her independence, she schedules a summer vacation in County Mayo intending to write her first book, and she’s counting on Ireland for inspiration. An idea presents itself when she tours Achill Island with a silver-tongued tour guide whose good looks prompt her to write more than her high-minded novel: she transcribes her years of longing in a steamy fantasy no one is meant to see.

Years have passed since an accident claimed the self-absorbed wife who scorned Ben Connigan and his music. Since then, the former tin whistle ace has avoided marriage, though he never lacked for female companionship before he traded his high-tech career for the slow-paced life of a hometown tour guide. Ben has accepted the end of his run of discreet affairs, until he takes Gemma touring. Her passion for Ireland impresses him. Her love of Irish music soon compels him to dust off his whistles. Knowing she’ll leave at the end of the summer, he sees no harm in keeping her company—until he dares to dream of spending the rest of his life with her.

But he knows it can’t be, not while the ghosts of their partners still haunt them. Not unless the music and myths of Ireland can help them find their way…

* * * * *


Scully tapped his arm. "Go buy her a drink, Ben."


"You're staring at her like she's one of them feckin' U F of Os."

 "She's windin' your clock, Big Ben," said Tom. "Be said and led by me: paddle the wave when it comes along. Buy the woman a bloody drink."
A vigorous nod bespoke Scully's agreement. "At least give her your business card. She's a Yank. Probably wants to see the sights. Trace her roots and all that shite."

 Ben raised a hand. "Back off. I need no advice from a pair of henpecked husbands wearing their wedding rings through their noses."
Undaunted, Scully and Tom tilted their drinks to their smirking mouths. The gleam in their eyes dared Ben to act. Despite their jowls and glasses, they might have been fifteen again.

He wasn't about to reveal the incident with the hose to these two. They didn't have to know he only meant to apologize, not initiate farcical courtship rituals.

So why did a pendulum swing in his chest, its speed increasing with every stroke?

Something to do with her drenched blouse and pants. Would she remember him? Accuse him and his garden hose of lewd behavior? He swallowed a mouthful of beer and wiped his hand across his lips. The pendulum slowed. Aware of the eyes digging into his back, he kicked himself out of his chair and swaggered to her table.

She read her menu through little gold glasses. Tiny laugh lines enhanced her eyes and her curving lips. No lipstick. Ben liked that. She held the one-page card in her long slender fingers. No nail polish.

No paint nor powder, no none at all…

And no wedding ring. Scully was right about that at least.

She frowned at the menu as if she couldn't decide what to order. He thought he might suggest the soup, or perhaps the fish and chips, or maybe…

He'd reached the chair where she'd laid her coat. She sensed him there, for she looked up. Eyes as brown as Belgian chocolate widened in surprise. Her mouth fell open; her cheeks turned crimson. No doubt about it, she knew him. Now what?

Fortune favors the bold, and all. Exploiting her befuddlement, he pounced. "We haven't been properly introduced. I'm Ben Connigan. Might I sit?"

Her eyes returned to their normal size; the red in her cheeks softened to a tea rose hue. She slipped off her glasses and smiled at him, and his heart flopped like a fresh-caught trout.

* * * * *

The Rosewood Whistle is Available on Kindle and in Paperback from Amazon and other online book sellers.


  1. It's great to be visiting Get Lost in a Story again, Alexa. Many thanks for playing hostess today!

  2. Welcome back, Pat, always good to have you. Sounds like a very good book.


    1. Thanks so much, Angi. I'm probably biased, but I think it's a wonderful book :-)

  3. Hi Pat,
    Welcome back to GLIAS. I'm definitely in love with your story already--the excerpt was delightful. I'd love to know more about Ireland and I'd love to visit. There's not a drop of Irish in my 100% Scandinavian blood, but that doesn't stop me from being a huge anglophile--all the parts and countries of Great Britain delight me! I wish you good luck with this book, just as with all your others. Can't wait to read it!

    1. I hope you get to visit Ireland one day, Lizbeth. There's lots of Scandinavian history there, especially in Dublin, which was founded by Norsemen. A lovely meld all around. Thanks for the good wishes!

  4. One of the bad things about belonging to Get Lost in a Story blog is I have to DQ myself from winning... One of the good things about belonging to Get Lost in a Story blog, is I see fantastic stories I'd love to own... Off to buy. Thanks for joining us again, Pat! Best Wishes and what a compelling excerpt!

    1. I'm glad you belong to Get Lost in a Story blog, Donnell :-) I suspect that Ben, Gemma, and their supporting cast will provide a smile or two. Thanks so much for the good wishes!

  5. Jennifer (JC Page)August 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Love the excerpt Pat!! My favourite line, "and his heart flopped like a fresh-caught trout." Poor Ben...Now he's hooked! All the best...

    1. Jennifer, poor Ben is indeed hooked. He just doesn't know it yet :-) I thoroughly enjoyed getting into his head, with the help of the gentlemen in my writing group. He doesn't have a chance! Thanks for the kind words.

  6. I love, love, love Ireland and Scotland and any and all stories told there. Both accents make me melt into a puddle.

    1. Hi, Clover. The Irish accents in The Rosewood Whistle are as genuine as I could make them. They were mostly inspired by my grandparents, who emigrated to Boston from County Sligo at the start of the twentieth century. A puddle indeed! Thanks for stopping by.