First Fridays with the Crew: Celebrate Celtic Heroes

This month, we're celebrating all things IRISH. 

Did you know?

The famous Irish saying 'To Hell or to Connaught' is a result of Oliver Cromwell's plans for the Irish according to the Act of Settlement 1653 where the Irish people were forced from their lands which were then given to the English. The people had the choice to die or move to Connaught!

Irish legend credits St Patrick with the Celtic Cross. It is believed he combined the pagan sun god (the circle) with a traditional Christian cross to create a Celtic cross. The Celtic Trinity Knot symbolises the 'Trinity' and represents the three forms of God as a single being. God the father, his son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Ireland is a nation of horse lovers! There are 26 race courses in Ireland, 24 in the Republic and 2 in Northern Ireland.

In 1761 Arthur Guinness (of Guinness stout fame) married Olivia Whitmore in Dublin, Ireland. They had 21 children. Dark beer = fertility?

Do you know what Tir na nOg’ is?  In Celtic mythology, it is called the land of perpetual youth. E.E. says she's looking for that land these days, as she celebrates a milestone birthday at the end of this month.

Did you know that it was once tradition for young unmarried girls to place a slice of wedding cake beneath their pillows in hopes they’d dream of their future husband?


Who are some of your favorite Irish hunks or heroes in books, movies or real life? We'll share our crushes, if you'll share yours. We're also hosting a giveaway of our Irish-inspired books (enter the raffle below).

E.E. Burke 

Burke is an Irish surname, and my Celtic ancestry may be the reason I just can't resist Irishmen! Honestly, I have too many favorites to post all of them. If I have to pick one, let's go with my current "celebrity crush," who also served as inspiration for one of my characters.

Aidan Turner is an Irish actor best known for his performances in the blockbuster movie, The Hobbit, and the hugely popular Masterpiece Theatre series Poldark. He's also a dead ringer for David O'Brien, the hero in my novella, Victoria, Bride of Kansas.

Aidan hails from Dublin, where he still lives "under the radar," as he puts it. 

He's charming, down-to-earth, smart, and has a terrific sense of humor. All traits I look for in a hero... well, in addition to having a very attractive chest. ;)

Here are a few great Aidan quotes:
"Will McGregor, one of the directors on Poldark, sends me things, and he said, 'You have to know this is happening - your hair has its own Twitter account.' That's outrageous. If I was an avid social media person, it would freak me out quite a bit."
"I don't take myself that seriously. That's not to say I don't care about what I do, but I realize I'm in a very privileged position, and it comes with the territory. It's not bad stuff. If women want to go, 'Phwoar, look at Poldark, he's gorgeous and handsome, I'd love to take him home,' well why should I feel offended?"

[On his hair in Poldark Series 1] "My hair was that length. It's a lot shorter now so if we do go again for a second series I'm going to have to start growing my hair really fast. No, that was all me. That was all Aidan Turner hair. I don't know whether I'm that proud of it but-I mean it looks a bit 'wiggy' sometimes-but I guarantee you it is all mine."

My favorite YouTube video of Aidan is this one. His laugh will make you smile.

Today, I'll give away a copy of Victoria, Bride of Kansas, in the raffle. 

This month, starting St. Patrick's Day, my book Patrick's Charm will be on sale for 99 cents in honor of Irish heroes.

Patrick's Charm was inspired by my research about the Irishmen who served in the American Civil War, and the tremendous sacrifices they made for the cause of freedom, which was something they understood after centuries of English domination. Patrick is a fascinating character with his own brand of heroism, and I hope you'll fall in love with him, too.

You can read more about Patrick's Charm here: https://eeburke.com/books/patricks-charm/

Regan Walker 

I love Irish heroes, the real ones and the fictional ones. One of my favorite actors from Ireland is Liam Neeson.

Liam as Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars

And some shots of his many kisses:

One of my favorite quotes by him:

"Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love but in reality, love is the only thing in the world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in the world that does not hurt."

But for fictional Irish hunks, I have my own: Morgan O’Connell from The Shamrock & The Rose. 

Get in the mood for St. Patrick’s day for 99¢. On Amazon.

Avril Tremayne 

Anyone who knows me will be surprised that as a Poldark tragic I'm not piping up with Aidan Turner - but the truth is, delectable though Aidan is, it's not him I'm in love with in that situation but Ross Poldark (and okay, a little bit with the evil dastard George Warleggan, too). And in any case, E. E. Burke already stole him from underneath me, so to speak. 

Instead, I want to draw everyone's attention to the astounding beauty of Jonathan Ryhs-Meyers. The sexiest guy ever to play Henry VIII. (And if you haven't watched The Tudors yet, I beg you to find it immediately - hot, hot, hot, HOT!) I also have a soft spot for Rhys-Meyers as he's my visual inspiration for a character in two of my books - Drew Stevens who appears in Wanting Mr Wrong and Escaping Mr Right - and who will get his own story next year, I hope!


Ireland calls to me like no other country on the planet. One day I will get there. With a heritage of McIntire’s, McIntosh’s and Ferrell—there is a variable wealth of Scottish/ Irish blood in my DNA. Stories of its legends, the magic and lore, the ancient ruins of castles, the mysteries of its history, have appealed to me from the beginning of this journey I call storytelling. It is in this spirit of “storytellin’” that I wrote Tir na ‘Oge.

If you believe, true love lasts forever....
AMAZON KindleUnlimited
In 1947, a strange encounter in his youth with a Sighoge faery spawns a lifetime of collecting and documenting the tales and lore of Roan McNamara's Irish homeland. Even as decades’ age him, and life around him changes--friends come and go, die, move on--his passion for preserving these tales are his lifeblood, along with his deep love for Feeorin, whose very existence relies on Roan's belief in her world. Take a magical journey through decades of a man's deepest love as he seeks to preserve Tir na n'Oge--the land, according to faery lore, of perpetual youth!

I always had the hero Roan McNamara in my head, a quiet man, a bit stubborn, loyal to a fault, a true knight in shining armor to anyone in need—similar traits not unlike the modern-day cowboy ranchers and country boys in my current stories!
But I digress…since this story takes place over the lifetime of the hero in real time—over fifty-four years—I’ve had various images flit through my brain at each turn. But when I saw Clive Standen, I knew this was the guy who could portray Roan McNamara (in the made-for-TV-movie, of course!)

 Young Roan                     Middle-age Roan                                  Older Roan

 One of my favorite lines spoken by an older Roan, which I feel sums up his passion to preserve the stories he'd gathered through the years and had published. He is talking to his godson, William-son of his life-long friend. 
"This world takes all kinds, Will. There are those who hold the belief and preach, and those that listen and carry on what they believe to the next generation."
"I suppose then you'll want to know, Roan," Will said, " that should I have children, I won't let them forget the old stories."
Roan smiled. "That is a comfort to me. And I pray you have many to pass on the old stories to."

I'll be gifting TIR NA 'OGE in the raffle and hope you'll enjoy reading this unique tale of sacrifice and romance! As a bonus, this book includes a short Valentines day novella-When Candy Met Cupid!

And just for fun...I couldn't resist this wonderful meme--
 (yes its Scottish, but who doesn't love Outlander?)

Nan Dixon

Since my mother was British, we did tend to wear orange on St Paddy's Day. (Even though my sister--Patricia--was born on March 17th.) But how can I not love a good Irish hero.

In the FITZGERALD HOUSE series, the Fitzgeralds are of Irish descent, but in THROUGH A MAGNOLIA FILTER, I give Dolley a real Irishman, Liam Delaney. The book even opens in an Irish cemetery. Here's my inspiration for Liam. I love the black haired, blue eyed Irish.

THROUGH A MAGNOLIA FILTER just got a lovely 5-Star review from Long and Short Reviews. So I'm feeling generous. I'll be giving away an eCopy of the book.

Who are your favorite Irish heroes? Comment and enter our drawing to win one of three books featuring Irish heroes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. How do we enter?

    1. Use the rafflecopter widget to enter the drawing. Also, please share your favorite Irish hero! Thanks!

  2. Love this post and seeing my fellow crewmembers' favorite Irish hunks. Enter to win The Shamrock & The Rose... it has a handsome Irish barrister hero!

  3. Love an Irish hero... the first that comes to mind is JD Robb's Roarke!

  4. Hmmmmmmmmmm....
    Michael Fassbender, Chris O'Dowd, Aidan Turner & Kenneth Branagh top my list of Irish hunks!

    Kelly Braun

  5. Thank you for this great St. Patrick's Day inspiration.

  6. Grace O'Malley the Pirate Queen is one of my favorite Irish heroes

    1. I am so excited to read this!! She is one of mine as well! I've written a fictional time-travel about her actually! Not yet published, however...do you think its time?

  7. I will go with Roan McNamara as my Irish hero. He projects a quiet strength. He is handsome, but not a pretty boy at any age.

    1. I already have Victoria, Bride of Kansas and well as the Christmas Bride follow-up. Both enjoyable reads.

    2. Thanks library pat!I loved that Roan was an ordinary man who stepped up to the plate in extraordinary circumstances. Thanks for stopping by!