Guest Book

Welcome to our new guest book. Please send your comments to Cora Harrison.

Please post your Guest Book comments in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of the page. Comments are moderated, and will appear when approved. Thank you!

58 replies on “Guest Book”

Chapter One

‘SHE’S GORGEOUS, SAYS DIRECTOR!’ screams the billboard outside the newsagent shop in the main street of Castletown.
‘LOCAL GIRL WOWS THEM IN LONDON!’ – the billboards outside the Spar Shop. There is a newspaper on the stand and I can see my name. ‘A fresh new talent…Agents queue to sign up beautiful young Fern Hamilton…’ The words jump out at me and I move away from the notice in the window quickly in case someone spots me staring at news about myself and start to run down the street. No more newspaper shops down this end, I think.
‘CASTLETOWN IS PROUD OF OUR FERN’ says a hand-lettered notice in the window of Morelli’s Ice-Cream Parlour.
I just stand there staring until the big black letters start to blur before my eyes. I’m dead tired. I only had six hours’ sleep last night as the plane from London was delayed by three hours. I’m a week late for the first day of secondary school –that couldn’t have been helped because of having to attend the opening night of the film and all the rehearsals – but I’d been hoping that I could creep in and get lost somewhere. No hope of that now!
My phone rings. I take it out of my pocket. There’s a text message on it. it’s from Jessica wishing me good luck.
For a moment I wish she had rung and that we could chat but I knew that would have been too expensive and she may not have been allowed to chat on the phone at this hour of the morning anyway. Jessica is in an all-Irish-speaking boarding school at the other end of the country and the rules there are very strict. I think about telling her about the billboards but I haven’t the time so I just type in a thank-you message.
The clock on the main street is now showing 8.55. It should be safe to go into the school now. I daren’t be late, but I don’t want to be early either. With a bit of luck Zara and her friends won’t be in the playground.

Click here for the full chapter

Hi Cora
I am a primary school teacher in east Clare, looking to get an author in to help the children in our school and inspire them with their writing. We would love for an author to come in and stimulate the children with how characters are created, how a scene is set etc and get them writing. We have had interest, but only via zoom sessions and we are reaching out to local [kinda of !] authors to see if they might be willing and able to come into the classroom. Your books are really interesting,and I think children have had enough of online lessons.
Please let me know if you are available and interested in working with 3-6th classes for a few weeks this November.
Yours sincerely

Sorry, Karen. I’m too far eighties to take up classroom work again!
And, of course, I no longer write books for children – not for then last ten or eleven years!
Good luck with your search.

Dear Cora,
I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful example and for your encouragement when I was very young. I found your website over fifteen years ago after reading your Drumshee Chronicles, and your support and encouragement on the children’s website helped to fuel a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling. Thank you for all that you do, and I am so excited for the day that my two little ones will be old enough to enjoy your stories!

Dear Bridget,
Thank you for a most heart-warming note. May I wish you great happiness with your little ones.

Chapter One

Dear Teacher of Eve and friends;

Well, I’ve eventually found my sketch for chapter one of book 2, which I named TWICE AS GORGEOUS’

Would you like me to give you the first paragraph of it? I can put it on this Guest Book.

Best wishes,
Cora Harrison

That would be fantastic Cora.The girls have already voiced their own ideas about what shape the sequel should take.It would be great to read your first chapter. It will be a marvelous writing exercise for 6th.
Thank you
Elaine( 6th class teacher)

Hi ya I told my teacher about it today she thought that is was great and the whole class was really excited when your ready you can send me or my teacher the outline and we are delighted 😁 (Sorry if I dent this twice I don’t know if the first one sent)

Dear Cora, I am ready your book Gorgeous in school with my teacher and class mates. My teacher and two of my class mates have wrote to you already. But I am writing to you today to ask where do you go to get inspiration for your books? I was also really disappointed to find that you have no time to make a sequel but that ment that I almost jumped out of my seat when I found out that you wanted OUR class to write what we think the sequel should be like when you give us the outline. Once again I just want to say I love your book gorgeous and can’t wait to get writing. Yours truly Sophia

Hi cora I am reading your book gorgeous with my teacher and classmates it is on eof the best books I have ever read or listened to I was so exited to hear that you wanted our class to write a sequel to gorgeous I am so exited and when I am reading gorgeous I feel like I am one of the characters it’s amazing
Yours sincerely Leah

Hi Ms Harrison I love your book gorgeous we are reading it in school my teacher and a girl in my class texted you I can’t wait to do the sequel please write a part two bye

Hi Cora,
I am currently reading GORGEOUS to my 6th class and they are really enjoying it.Is there any way they can contact you to ask questions.It would be great for them to hear from the author. You used to have a children’s guest book.Is this still up and running?

Yes, I used to love my Children’s Guest Book but, unfortunately I am really busy now.
How about dividing the class into four, or even six groups, and then sending the question which they have agreed upon to this website? I’ll do my best to answer as soon as possible.

Dear mrs Harrison,I’m wondering if you will do a sequel on your book gorgeous.It is my most favourite book ever. we are reading it in school and we are on around chapter nine i don’t want it to end honestly

Oh, Eve, I would so love to do it. In fact, I have a whole storyline mapped out and I think you would like it.
The problem is that I have three books for adults which my publisher wants me to write – and has paid an advance for so I can’t see myself getting the time.
Unless I had lots of help! How many in your class?

And, more importantly, how many would be willing to write a chapter, or even a few pages, if I gave you the outline of the story?

Hi ya I told my teacher about it today she thought that is was great and the whole class was really excited when your ready you can send me or my teacher the outline and we are delighted 😁

Hi, Cora. It’s wonderful to read these letters and replies. You were an important Muse to me over the last seven years. I did finish the film,
Burren Girl (in which you appear several times) and it has shone at film festivals, mostly in the U.S. We will have an Irish premiere 4 may, 2022, 8 pm at Hotel Doolin. You are warmly welcome. Egerton 88 ended up center stage in this documentary. I treasure our conversations about Donal O’Davoren.
Forever thanks and kindest wishes!
I’m so glad you continue to write!
Rita Davern
p.s. I will bring or send you a DVD.

Lovely to hear from you, Rita. It will be a great treat to see the film and to see proper recognition of the part played by the O’Davoren law school in preserving Brehon law.

I think I said to you once that it was one of my most cherished moments to have touched and looked through the Egerton document, the British Library, written by the students at the law school.

By the way, have you seen one of your relatives, in America, has been in touch with me? I hope he looks again and sees your exciting news.

Dear Mrs. Harrison, I enjoyed your Burren series so much and was delighted to discover your Reverend Mother series and just finished the sixth one. Your chapters always opened up with a quote, but this time did not. I enjoyed them. Have the quotes been discontinued?

Dear Mrs Sullivan,
First, I must apologise for the delay. I’ve just got a new puppy, an eight-year-old Golden Retriever and everything is topsy-turvy. I start a job and then there is a crisis!

Yes, I enjoyed resurrecting my Latin, but, unfortunately, it began to get harder and harder to find appropriate quotes from Aguinas. I do hope that you will continue to enjoy the books, nevertheless.

My own favourite, at the moment,is Book 9, ‘Death of a Prominant Citizen’, but you may not agree.

Thank you so much for writing.

I would like to know if there will be more Hugh Mac Egan books? It’s been four years since the first.
Thank you for your writings! Enjoying them!

I would love to write some more, but unfortunately, soon after this book was published, the History Press was sold and the new owners decided to stick to non-fiction.
I was very disappointed as I had planned a series and loved writing about Hampton Court and the Tudors.
Thank you for writing and I’m glad that you enjoyed the first book.

Dear Cora,
I am several chapters into my first one of your books – An Unjust Judge – and enjoying it immensely.
I feel that I may have a unique perspective on this work as I grew up in a house called Knockfinn in Ennis – named after the Law School that is central to this work.
I will reach back to you when I have finished it.
Best wishes,
Nigel James Boetius MacClancy
(Now living a little further west – outside Boston, Massachusetts!)

I’m honoured to hear from a Boetius MacClancy.
You might be interested in this from my notes:
Cnoc Fionn (Knockfinn in Tuath Ghlae, Killilagh parish) in west Clare appears to have been the chief dynastic seat of Síol Fhlannchadha.20 It is from this branch that the notable Boetius Clanchy, supporter of Gaelic loyalist Donough O’Brien, fourth Earl of Thomond, descended.21 Boetius (Baothgalach) of Cnoc Fionn achieved notoriety by his attacks on Armada survivors and his correspondence to Sir Richard Bingham, written from the fields of Liscannor in Co. Clare in September 1588, provides a first hand account of Spanish ships off the Co. Clare coast.22 Boetius was of a long line of ‘law-ollamhs’ and he himself was noted by the Irish annals as fluent in Irish, Latin and English.

I wonder how many of the present generation are fluent in Irish, Latin and English.

Dear Cora,
I appreciated your response and the rest of the book. Just finished it – on a rainy and cold summer day that would be familiar to all in north Clare – here at my sister-in-law’s cottage on the shore of a lake in southern Maine.
Thank you also for sharing your notes. I was generally aware of my notorious namesake who ‘welcomed’ the Spanish who were shipwrecked off the Clare coast. I did not know of his account of the sightings from Liscannor.
Speaking for myself – this Boetius does speak English, has secondary school Irish, did study Latin and has a credible grasp of French!
Best wishes, I will look forward to reading the rest of the Burren Series.

Just finished writing my fourth volume of Wilkie Collins/Dickens series. It deals with the spring after the ‘summer of the great stink’ when the smell from the river Thames was so bad that the House of Commons, at Westminster, had to hang linen curtains, dipped in vinegar, at the windows in an attempt to block the smell. And, more seriously, huge numbers died of cholera from the polluted water. I was prompted to write this story by reading about the engineer, Joe Bazalgette.
My book also deals with the sensational story of how Wilkie Collins rescued his mistress Caroline and her little daughter and I hope will prove an interesting and engrossing read.

Hello – I have read all your Burren novels and absolutely loved them…so it was with great disappointment I started reading The Hampton Court Mysteries .
The ebook is full of typos : sewer instead of server …serjeant instead of sergeant
Even worse some times it is spelt serjeant and sometimes sergeant.
It is very distracting and hard to read – I was unable to finish the novel.

Please write more Burren novels


I’m so pleased that you like my Burren books. My publisher felt that there were enough in the series and sales had begun to fall so the decision was taken to stop them. However, I’m sorry as I did enjoy writing them.

I’m wondering whether you have an unapproved ebook of The Hampton Court Mysteries. These are made by scanning a hard copy and are usually full of mistakes, such as rv can turn into a w etc. Over the years there have been lots of occurrences of this, especially with my London Murder Mysteries. It’s infuriating, as you can imagine. Not only do I lose royalties, but also reputation if it is too bad.

However, some errors may be me! I write very quickly and I do make typos and rely on the editor to spot them. The sergeant serjeant may be me as Dickens always spells the word with a j.

Thank you for going to the trouble of writing.

i love the Burren series. But please, you can’t have a Bramley Apple in 16th century Ireland. The first Bramley tree was grown from seed in Nottinghamshire in 1809.

Dear Cora
How are you, hope you are well. I’m teaching 5th and 6th class in Clonfert in East Galway, we’re a small school and have read 2 of your Drumshee books this year, famine secret and titanic voyage. We read the last one during lockdown and today I’ve asked them to write you a short letter, I’ll pick a couple to send onto you by posting here or by email whichever suits best. Do you by any chance do zoom class visits or school talks or anything like that? I’m sure they’d love to hear from you if you did but no worries if you can’t, we really enjoyed reading both books.
Thank you, Kind regards
Niall Kelly Clonfert NS-910-891

Thank you so much for your letter. How wonderful to have people still reading those books which I wrote about twenty to twenty five years ago. Your pupils might like to know that ‘Drumshee’ though an imaginary name, is a real place. I live in the cottage that I write about in those books, and only this afternoon I spent a couple of hours clearing weeds from the passageway that leads up to the fort where Nuala, in the first book, lived with her family.
Would it be possible to put your pupils’ comments, questions on to this guestbook? I don’t like to put my email address in case spammers get hold of it! I will reply, tell them.

yeah ! i finally found ur site !! i have read ur burren mysteries, mother superior & now the gaslight mysteries. when i visited ireland i took a bus trip 2x (once with my grand daughter erin) to the burren area. i tried to imagine how life was when the legal system was irish & women were honored. my children’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was harrison & my oldest son spent time visiting her cousin in ireland. i am soooo pleased that u r still sharing ur writing talent with we readers. thank you. marilyn, whose maternal grandfather james murphy came from doonane, county clare.

So you are from the Tipperary side of County Clare. That’s nice. I love Clare so much. It’s my adopted county, but I was born in Cork, and my father’s family, zMockler came from Tipperary.

Yes, Brehon law is so marvellously intriguing and yes, women were so valued and on an equal standing to men. It’s amazing to think that in the time of Dickens a man had complete control over his wife’s money and property, whereas hundreds of years earlier in Ireland a woman could be a judge, and, indeed, a blacksmith as I found when looking up ‘honour prices’
It makes one proud to be Irish.

Thank you for your reply, so packed with incredible information! I ran to the library yesterday to look for more of your novels…before we went back into lockdown. I grabbed the only one on hand, “Beyond Absolution” (so off on another of your paths!) but I’ll request “My Lady Judge.” 🥰-910-891

Well, you may, or may not like this. It’s on a very different track.

I was born and brought up in the city of Cork, born in 1939 to fairly middle-aged parents, especially my father Who was five years old when Queen Victoria died. He was at university during the War of Independence and worked as a solicitor in Cork during the Civil War which resulted from the unpopular division of the six counties of Northern Ireland from the rest of the country and as I was growing up he told me many stories about these troubled times – and these have gone into my Reverend Mother Series.
He was a great communicator and I owe my interest in the Brehon Law to him. He was a friend, and had been in school with Daniel Binchy who was the first to translate early Irish law, Brehon law, from its original Gaelic.

I’m writing to thank you for this intriguing novel, “Deed of Murder” the first of your Burren series I’ve read. It was poignant to revisit the Burren in my mind, as it was top of list on my first visit to Ireland 15 years ago. I wish we’d had the chance to meet then! Maybe on my next trip. I’d love to learn more of the Breton laws and the Irish language. Many thanks, again.-910-891

I found Brehon law to be hugely exciting and when we moved from England and bought a little farm, quite near to the Burren, I was astonished to find the remains of a law school quite near by, which had been in operation only a few hundred years ago – astonished because I had always believed that Brehon law belonged to somewhere around the time of St Patrick and here was a law school in operation at the time of King Henry VIII of England and up to the time of his daughter Elizabeth. And I went to the British Museum in London and found the actual law documents copied by the students with jokey comments in the margin. Even one signed Sile (Sheila) so there was a girl there!
And so the germ of an idea began to grow in my mind…
You might be interested to read the first book: ‘My Lady Judge’
Thank you for writing. Lovely to hear from you.-910-891

Hello from New Zealand. Our local library had you latest book Summer of Secrets on display so thought i would have a look, Really enjoying it. However I would point out that on page 43 Maguire is requested to “telephone for the doctor”. Bell didn’t get a patent on the telephone till 1876 and Dickens died in 1870! Perhaps send for the doctor. Can go in the reprint.-910-891

Thank you for this. How stupid of me! I can’t believe that sneaked through since I pride myself on being a historian!

What did you think of my theory about Ellen Ternan? Did you think that I proved my point?-910-891

Well I’ve finished the Sumer of Secrets and really enjoyed it. It took me longer than normal as i had not realised (with exception of Dickens) that these were real people so ended up researching them as well. This added to the enjoyment of the book. Regarding your hypothesis on Dickens daughter, you make a good case. True or not, we don’t know but I’d be inclined to agree with you Something else you may want to consider for your reprint, Page 140. Station staff offer to arrange a taxi? Perhaps a hackney cab or maybe a Hansom cab and on page 170 the inspector talking from his notes talks about “broken plates, pistol, phone call”. Having said all this I repeat I really enjoyed the book and I’ll look for more of your work in our library. Finally, thank you for engaging with me. I appreciate it.-910-891

I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it and that you thought my reasoning worked out!

This is the third of these Dickens & Collins books that I have written. The first was based on the murder of a real girl who was expelled for bad behavior from a charity cottage that Dickens set up to give a new start in life to girls who were coming out of prison, mainly for prostitution and theft. His idea was to train them in housework and then pay for them to emigrate to Australia.
Worked out in some cases, but not in others! Many of the girls missed their life on the streets.

I’m now writing the fourth book of this series. Not sure whether I shall go on or not. It’s more difficult than I am imagined to write about real people and to get their tone right. I have another series about the city of Cork in southern Ireland (where I was born and lived until I was 21) and I think I find that easier and more enjoyable to write. And my earlier series about early Irish law and the beautiful Burren where I now live is very close to my heart.

Thank you so much for writing. It makes such a difference to a writer to get feedback. I’m very grateful to you.

Thank you, also, for spotting errors that need to be corrected. You would make an excellent editor!-910-891

Hello Cora,

I just wanted to send you best wishes and hope you are keeping well, especially during these times. I hope everything is well with you and your loved ones and that you are all keeping safe and in good spirits. I used to send my writing in to your story club many many years ago. I think I was about thirteen, so about eleven or twelve years ago! I was a very shy girl not sure of myself at all and no self confidence. To receive your feedback and encouragement meant the world to me and still does. I absolutely loved your novels, I have a lot of them here with me at home. Your confidence in me pushed me to go forward and continue to write. I’ve now been published a few times here and there and writing a novel now. I wouldn’t have had the self belief if it weren’t for your kind words. So, thank you. I really wanted to reach out to you and say just that. I have always admired and respected you as a writer and your willingness to inspire others is truly a gift. All the best to you.

I am so very pleased to hear this. The story club was a source of pleasure and admiration to me and it’s great to know that it may have been of use to others.
I wish you all the luck in the world with your writing,

Dear Cora,

I’m sorry I don’t have a question, but I wanted to reach out and say hello, and that I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well in these difficult times. You probably don’t remember me, but I used to post on the story board when I was a child with a love of reading and writing. I stopped writing for fun when I went to college and started working, but the one fortunate consequence of this pandemic for me is that I’ve now been reunited with it, and I’m working on what I hope will be a novel. I’m delighted that you are still writing and I’m excited to read your newest releases. The Drumshee series is so sentimental to me – I still have all of my old copies! They sparked my imagination and encouraged a fascination with Irish history that I still have today.

When I used to send you my own stories on the storyboard, you were so kind to take the time to read them, and I just wanted to say that your kind words of encouragement had such an impact – I think of them often, more than ten years later. Thank you.

Dear Kristine,
It’s lovely to get your letter. It brings me back to the good old days of ‘Drumshee’.
Yes, I’m well thank you and still living in the same old cottage which was home to so many ‘Drumshee’ children.
And when I want exercise in these lockdown times I climb the hill to the fort which is on top of a little hill (Drumshee – the hill of the fairies) – behind the cottage and which was home to Nuala and her Wolf.
Good luck with your novel!
And thank you so much for writing,

Dear Mrs. Harrison, I wonder if you would consider writing a sequel to Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend? I enjoyed it so much(and Jane Austen Was My Best Friend was really great as well). I know Jane/Jenny Cooper died 7 years after she could married, but she’d still have 7 years to tell all about married life-or you could have Jane Austen write it, kind of like a memoriam. Either way, I loved how the books were both informative, VERY romantic and had an amazing plot…

Dear Julia,
That’s a great idea and I’d love to do that. Jenny is more my own creation than Jane as I had to be very careful to keep to what is actually known about Jane Austen, but little is known about her cousin, the other Jane, whom I ‘christened’ as Jenny, which I think is a pretty name. And i am very fond of Jenny.
Thanks for writing,

Nice to have a new guestbook up and running. Am looking forward to hearing from those who enjoy my books and from those who have a question.

Hi Cora,
I am currently reading GORGEOUS to my 6th class and they are really enjoying it.Is there any way they can contact you to ask questions.It would be great for them to hear from the author. You used to have a children’s guest book.Is this still up and running?

Leave a Reply

Please keep your comments to 300 words. No links or HTML, thank you! You are not allowed to enter any URLs in the comment area.