Monday, May 07, 2012

Nancy Herriman - The Irish Healer

It's my pleasure to introduce Nancy Herriman, author of The Irish Healer. Nancy received a Bachelors Degree in Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. After 20-plus years in Arizona, she retired from a career in the high-tech industry, returned to Ohio and took up the pen. She hasn't looked back. The Irish Healer is Nancy's debut novel. When she isn't writing or gabbing over lattes about writing, she is watching historical shows on cable TV or performing with various choral groups. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and two teenaged sons, and wishes there were more hours in the day.

The Irish Healer -  During the deadly 1832 cholera epidemic in London, a heartsick Irish healer must find the strength to overcome most fearsome obstacles. Accused of murdering a child under her care, Irish healer Rachel Dunne flees the ensuing scandal while vowing to never sit at another sickbed. She no longer trusts in her abilities - or God's mercy. When a cholera epidemic sweeps through London, she feels compelled to nurse the dying daughter of the enigmatic physician she has come to love. James Edmunds, has his own doubts about God's grace. Can they face their darkest fears? Or is it too late to learn that trust and love just might heal their hearts? 

Welcome to Ink Dots, Nancy. What do you love about where you call home? I live in the state of Ohio in the mid-west of the US. I love the friendly atmosphere and relatively slow-paced life, although there's plenty to do and we're within easy reach of big cities. And after living in the dessert southwest for many years, I'm loving having four seasons again! Oh I hear you about the seasons. That's why I love living in Melbourne. We have a famous saying, If you don't like the season in Melbourne, wait five minutes and you'll get another one. But we are enjoying a golden autumn right now. Just beautiful. 

Congratulations on your debut novel. Tell us why you became an author. Simply, I love to write. From my sneak peek, I can see you're great at what you love. 

The Irish Healer is set in the 1830s. Why did you chose this period of time for your story? I've always been fascinated with the mid to late 19th century, since it was a time of great change, both  technologically and socially. And since I wanted to tell a story involving a struggling healer, what better time and place than during a cholera epidemic before medicine understood how to treat it. That is a very interesting time to set a story. 

Speaking of interesting... Have you been to Australia? I've not had the opportunity to visit Australia, but would love to experience aboriginal culture as well as see the beautiful coastline (and a few kangaroos wouldn't be bad.) I can't say any kangaroos bounce down my street, but if you were to come, I know where to find some. It would be my pleasure to be your guide. 

What are you reading now? I am reading The Messenger by Siri Mitchell. Oh, I'm almost 100% sure The Messenger is squirrelled away in a cupboard awaiting Mother's Day ribbons. I can't wait to join you in savouring that read! But for now, let's take a peek at your debut novel

Nancy's offering a free copy to one lucky guest who comments below. And why would you not? It sounds fantastic! I'll announce the winner on Friday, so please make sure I can find you, if your name's the one I call.

The Irish Healer
Chapter 1

"My name is Rachel Dunne. I am not a murderer."

Rachel tightened her grip on the ship's wooden rail, as if she might choke into silence the echo of her own voice. Better to focus on the receding sight of Ireland's blue-green hills, seek to memorize every bounding stream, every wisp of misty fog, every rubble-walled farmer's field, than to remember. 

For who knew how long - if ever - it would be before she saw her beloved homeland again?

"Oh mother," she murmured over the slap of the paddle wheels and the hiss of the steam, the scree of persistent seagulls skimming the boat's wake. 

"How did it come to this?"

This parting, this going, Deoraicht. This exile.

Mother was not there to answer Rachel's question: they could only afford ship's passage for one, and Rachel was the one who had to leave. Mother and the rest had stayed behind in Carlow to mend the damage Rachel had never meant to cause. Restore the honor of the Dunne name in a town already prone to mislike them for their English ways. Once Rachel had been a healer, but she could not heal the scar upon her family. No more than she had been able to heal poor Mary Ferguson, who also died so quickly and so quietly even Rachel had been at a loss to explain the how and why. 

I would never harm the ill. I am the banaltradh...

A healer. If the thought didn't hurt so much, Rachel might laugh. She had vowed to never let herself be a healer again.