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DId you read my review a couple of weeks ago for book 1 and 2, House of Cuts/House of Dads in this series?
If you did, then you know this is the third book on the Hillary Broome series!
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.
What made you write a novel about fairy tales and ghosts, with a young girl as one of the important characters?
My daughter requested I write a story about ghosts, and little Claire just naturally presented herself as a character fascinated with fairy tales and haunted castles, when I started Hillary into her adventure in Ireland.
What experience do you have that lets you create a character like six-year old Claire?
I raised five children, three my own and two step-children who were like my own. All that while my husband was building a fifty-foot Ferro cement boat in the backyard. Raising the children was as challenging as any other job I every had; in fact, mothering made the outside jobs all seem like a piece of cake.
Why does Hillary seem to have an obsession over her weight?
Probably that’s a reflection of my own constant need to be on a diet—always I’m at least ten pounds more than I should be. I can feel the turbulence that concern over weight throws into so many aspects of life.
How come coffee figures so prominently in House of Eire when Guinness Stout or tea are more generally the drink of choice in Ireland?
There, too, it’s a reflection of one of my weaknesses although it’s exciting to see nowadays some articles claiming coffee is good for your health. Not sure if I believe that but going along with it for now—until the next study comes out with the opposite point.
Did you make one of those little handkerchief ghosts that show up in the book?
Yes! It was fun. I took one of my husband’s white handkerchiefs and stuck a cotton ball in the middle then gathered the pointy corners down and twisted them to make a neck, which I tied with silk embroidery thread. Then I tied the little ghost to hang from my dining room chandelier as a quirky companion in my writing room, keeping me in a ghosty and yet playful mood.
Many readers have said they love Hillary’s husband Ed, the San Joaquin County sheriff’s deputy. What makes him so engaging in your view?
He is warm hearted and so supportive of Hillary. He is strong and yet gentle with his daughter, funny and kind. I don’t know where he came from, maybe a blend of characteristics from my own father and late husband—the best parts from them.
We notice the names Hillary and Donald show up in House of Eire—was that supposed to refer to the presidential candidates?
It’s so weird, no. Hillary’s name popped up back in 2005 when I started a different novel. That main character’s name was Amy and Hillary was the name of a minor character, a newspaper reporter who was covering a murder. But suddenly Hillary took over the story and I had to put away the Amy story for later—she’s still waiting for her turn. The Donald Trump reference popped out more than a year before he ran for president—I’d enjoyed watching The Apprentice, and that reference just popped out. So odd they are both names hitting the headlines 24/7 nowadays!
What is your next project?
I’m writing the forth in the Hillary Broome series, House of Hoops. It’s got a basketball setting both in youth basketball and professional. I am a fervent basketball fan and live near Sacramento, where the NBA Kings are about to open their new downtown arena, over some local opposition that dragged on for years. That situation called out for some kind of suspense story to be written about it! I’m 15,000 words into it now and aiming for its release in time for next summer’s California State Fair, along with my other books in the Authors Booth there.
What is one other thing you want readers to know?
The Hillary Broome novels don’t need to be read in order—each one can be enjoyed as a stand alone—readers’ choice.
Having read the books out of order (head slap), it was interesting to read this one first and then work my way back in time, so to speak. I would say that Hillary has evolved to where I really like her as a character in this book. Maybe it is because she's married now with a child, but she is stronger, less hesitant and just more likable. It was interesting to see how characters from book 2 played a key role in this book, and how June tied them all together in a fairly convoluted mystery (for a light read). This book is definitely the page turner of the series, and I highly recommend it, along with the whole series, for some great Fall reading!About the Author:
June 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. Check out her Website, Twitter and Fa
cebook pages for more.
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10 winners total