Book Review: Old Faces: Yet More Tales from Tipperary by Edward Forde Hickey

This fourth book in the series, portrays a closely-knit group of people living in the north Tipperary hills during the early 20th century – a community largely made up of small farmers, whose lives were far different from today. The book’s inspiration comes from writers such as Thomas Hardy and attempts to pass on to readers the lyrical and rich phrasings of Tipperary’s old hill folk and capture the spiritual wealth of an age that remained unchanged for several centuries.    

    Tales of . . .   

* brotherly love and hate.  

* a rogue’s return from across the sea and his efforts to reform. 

* an unexpected first-love at the harvest-time dance-in-the-fields. 

* persecution of two old saints at the hands of misguided youth.  

* sports-day activities for adults and children alike, following the arduous channelling of a new stream.  

* two adventurous toddlers, getting lost in the wilderness but saved by a witch.  

    ‘. . . lovers of literature will find themselves engrossed in the lives of a past hillside community.’ 

                                                                    Addison & Cole 

My Review

Old Faces isn’t the type of book I would normally read, but I really enjoyed it. As I read the story, I could “hear” the narration in an Irish brogue. Some of the names are ordinary, but many of the names are hilarious. In the first sentence is Molly-rattle-the-tea-and-sugar-bag. What a great introduction to some unique names and stories.

I liked all of the stories, but of course I had my favorites. It was interesting that some of the stories were tragic, others had happy endings, but there was humor in all of them, some more than others. I went through the Table of Contents so that I could pick out the story or stories I liked the least, but I honestly liked them all.

There was a lot of humour in the stories, but I laughed most when I read this:

“Goldshit sitting on a black stick under the hob above the blazing fire and then falling asleep and tumbling off his perch and landing in the hot ashes and then struggling with the blazing sods of turf in the fire and the Wild Witch of the West chasing him round the floor — this was something that would stay with them forever.”

I didn’t know that Tipperary is a real place! It’s about the size of the town I live in. I wish the people here were as interesting!

I have enjoyed all of the books about Tipperary and I hope there are more to come!

About the Author:

Edward Forde Hickey lives in Kent with his wife. They have three sons. During the years 1962 until 1998, he taught in inner city primary schools (laterally as a headteacher for 18 years). In early life, he was a pop star with Decca records (see ‘Eddie Hickey/Lady May’) and later sang with the Glenside Ceilidhe Band in The Galtymore Dancehall, Cricklewood (1965/1975).

Born of Irish parents during the Blitz of London, he spent his first five years of life nurtured and moulded by his grandmother in the foothills above Dolla, near Nenagh in County Tipperary. His grandmother is and always was his inspiration; she had a natural gift with words.

Edward has always been interested in folklore and the Irish past (its music, dance and literature). He was a champion Irish step-dancer. He taught and adjudicated it, even as far afield as in Australia, before dedicating himself to research into hillside communities in north Tipperary, from where he brought back tapes of original songs for The English Folk Dance and Song Society.

He keeps a small farm in the foothills of north Tipperary and visits it often.

The first three books in the series are entitled “Tales from Tipperarary”, “Reflections” and “From Time to Time”.


“Old Faces” by Edward Forde Hickey is currently available in paperback from Amazon at:

This book is also available to download in e-book format from Amazon at:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Grosvenor House Publishing
Tel. 0208 339 6060

Book Review & Giveaway: House of Eire by June Gillam


In House of Eire, Hillary Broome, a reporter-turned-ghostwriter from Lodi, California, and her detective husband Ed fly to Ireland—Ed for a gang conference in Dublin and Hillary to research her ancestors in Galway. Hillary plans to meet up with her friend Bridget, who’s pushing a greedy developer to include a memorial museum inside his proposed Irish theme park. As Hillary travels through Ireland and learns more about her friend’s crusade, she uncovers secrets and mysterious forces nudging her to fly away home.

Available on Amazon.


My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

This is the first Hillary Broome novel I’ve read. I plan on reading the first two books in the series when I have time but House of Eire does stand on its own. 

Hillary and her family are excited to be going to Ireland. She and her husband Ed joke that it’s their belated honeymoon but their daughter Claire and friend Sarah are also going.  Hillary learns a lot about her Irish heritage while they are there but she also runs into a bit of danger and excitement while there.

June Gillam’s writing flows well and this was a quick read. There was a lot of Irish history which was interesting. There was also a bit of mystery and suspense.

I liked the characters. The relationship between Hillary and Ed was refreshing. They had no conflicts and were obviously happily married. The characters are complex and likable. Seamus, the boyfriend of Hillary’s friend, was my favorite because he was so complex and conflicted. 

Anyone who enjoys a mystery with a lot of history will enjoy House of Eire. I’m looking forward to reading the first two books in the series.


About the Author

2016-09-16_8-20-25June Gillam teaches literature and writing at a Northern California Community College. She describes this series as psychological suspense novels in which Hillary Broome, reporter and ghostwriter, fends off complex villains of many kinds: a berserk butcher, a demented daughter and a haunted theme park developer.


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Book Review: Fireflies and Hope from the Ocean by P.S. Bartlett

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3-30-2014 2-58-33 PMTitle: Fireflies

Author: P.S. Bartlett   

Release Day: April 3th, 2013

Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Historical Irish Fiction


However peculiar Ennis Whelan has been for the first six years of his life, not until the day he found the bird, did the degree of his strangeness become so tangible. 

Dr. Owen Whelan and his wife Sarah, both Irish immigrants, have been living the American dream, as well as raising seven bright and expressive children. Their youngest Ennis, however, has since birth, been a bit of a mystery.

Ennis was always small, meek and frightfully odd but there is so much more to him than anyone could have imagined. His sister Teagan grows increasingly suspicious of his behavior but their mother dismisses her claims, until the day he starts healing people.

When Ennis ultimately reveals the gift of sight, he questions his father about visions of his past, including his voyage to America in 1844. Owen prayed he’d never have to share those tragic memories but he will share them, when he realizes he has no choice. Ennis’ life may depend on it.


I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

This isn’t just the story of Ennis, who has supernatural gifts, but of his family. Since I read the prequel first, I already knew the stories of Sarah and Owen which made this book better for me. Both books could stand alone but they are very intertwined. 

Fireflies has twists and turns, young romance, heartache, and a lot of family drama. I really liked it until the end which was unbelievable and disappointing. I’m glad I read Hope from the Ocean first.



3-30-2014 2-58-14 PMTitle: Hope from the Ocean

Author: P.S. Bartlett   

Release Day: May 30th, 2014

Genre: Historical Fiction/Paranormal/Historical Irish Fiction 


When Owen Whelan revealed his secret, he was set free from a haunting past and an uncertain future for his son, Ennis. However, in order to know the true depths of his heart, first we must follow him all the way back to a dirt road on a chilly and bitter spring dawn in Ireland. Behind the locked doors of his memories and hidden beneath shame, hunger and eventually escape, we learn the true meaning of the proverb, “There’s hope from the ocean but none from the grave.” Owen’s journey will teach him that sometimes you have to cross that ocean not only to survive but to finally find love, life and become the man worthy of your own admiration and respect. 

There are turning points in life you cannot come back from but if you’re brave enough, you can begin again.


I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

I got both books at the same time and since this was the prequel I read it first. It took me longer to read than many books because there was a lot going on. The dialogue slowed me down a bit, too, because the author tried to convey the correct accent for the characters, and I thought she did a good job.

I fell in love with the characters. They were well developed and I found myself cheering them on or crying along with them.

I don’t want to give anything away but I was a little confused for a bit when the story came to America. If I’d read Fireflies first, I wouldn’t have been confused but I’m still glad I read this one first. 

I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who likes a good, well-told story.


About the Author:

3-30-2014 2-56-47 PMI was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m the youngest of eleven children. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family. I write, I draw and I work full-time. I also paint beautiful watercolors with my three year old granddaughter.


I’ve been married for nearly 19 years and together we have two sons and a daughter. I’d call myself a football fan but I mostly only watch my home team, the World Champion Baltimore Ravens. I love super heroes and Superman has been my favorite since I was a little girl. June 2013 the new Superman movie “Man of Steel” arrives in theaters and it cannot get here soon enough for me. I love cats and I have a Maine Coon named Columbus.









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