Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RELEASE DAY: Shea McIntosh Ford "The Stone of Kings"


Twelve year old Ardan is hopelessly distracted because he wants to meet a real faerie. But when he gets his hands on a mysterious red book loaded with faerie spells and accidentally sends himself three hundred years into Ireland’s future, he soon learns that there are more important things on which to focus his attention. Throw in some immortal druids, fun storytelling, a touch of forbidden romance, along with the music and antics of the legendary Irish harper, Turlough O’Carolan, and you’ll become swept up in a very real Irish mythological adventure.



Shea McIntosh Ford lives in Florida with her loving husband of eleven years and their two boys ages four and five. Growing up she lived under the delusion that prejudice and bigotry were no longer being taught to children. Oh, how much she has learned. After feeling powerless as a first year teacher when one student adamantly said that Americans should send ALL Mexican’s back to Mexico, Shea has found her voice through her writing. While she knows that bigotry probably won’t be eradicated altogether, at least she’s doing her part to help decrease it.



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Going Blind

County Mead, Ireland 1688

“Haste Charles, or I shall have you purchase all the drinks,” Turlough O’Carolan said as he hurried ahead of his friend.

“Don’t be daft. I am already purchasing your drinks.” Still, he quickened his steps to a light run.

“’Tis me birthday, I doubt I would receive rejection if I offer to have you purchase everyone’s drink.” Turlough pulled his coat tighter around him to block out the chill wind. In the dim twilight, he stumbled on a stone in the road and narrowly escaped landing on his face.

“If you don’t keep your eyes on your feet, I may only have to purchase me own drinks. Why I keep your friendship, I shall never know.”

“Because without my friendship, your life would be dry as powder and you know it.”

“Ha, you shall set the Good People against you with your antics one day, and I shall not be around to save you.”

“If I ever meet the Good People, I don’t think I shall want you around. Sure you would try to steal the attention away from me.”

The two young men continued their banter as they ambled up to the public house, and when Charles opened the door, they were given a boisterous greeting in honor of Turlough’s birthday. The smell and warmth of the peat fire gave the room a comfortable feel. After thanking the well-wishers, Turlough addressed the fiddler. “Hey now, Geoff. Are you my birthday present?”

Geoff laughed and poked his fiddle bow at Turlough’s chest as Charles handed Turlough his pint of ale. “I am here for your musical bidding, my friend. Someday you shall have to learn to use more than that voice o’ yours.”

“Give us some—“

“’Molly MacAlpin,’” Geoff and Charles said together.

Turlough burst out in laughter. “What if I had been about to say ‘jigs?’”

“We would have checked you for fever then called on the doctor anyway,” Charles said.

“I would have fainted dead away from shock.” Geoff put a hand to his forehead and pretended as though his knees were about to buckle.

“Well then, Geoff, get on with the music, and let it fill your soul.” Turlough spun round and let his words fall on the ears of all the party guests. “For you shall find no finer Irish tune anywhere in our fair land. ‘Tis just what I need to feed me own spirit and forget what those oppressive Englishmen took from my family.”

“Here, here!” Every pint of ale was raised in salute to Turlough’s speech. Geoff took the cue and began playing Turlough’s favorite.

During his party, Turlough gave warm greetings to his friends and engaged in several lively games of backgammon. All the while, he insisted Geoff continue to play “Molly MacAlpin.”

“Come now, Turlough,” Geoff protested. “I’ve played it eighteen times tonight. I know. I kept tally. I have allowed it that much because ‘tis your eighteenth birthday, but I think I can speak for your party guests, that a change would be nice.”

Turlough stood, upsetting the game of backgammon he had been playing with Charles. The pieces clattered and rolled away across the floor. He felt the flame of the brew he had been drinking fill his face. Had he been sober, he would have ground his teeth. “Nothing is nicer than ‘Molly MacAlpin.’”

Someone stepped between the fiddler and Turlough. “Geoff has the right of it. We would like to hear anything else.”

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