One particular question that keeps being asked about my hero, Flynn O’Neil, in my novel IN THE LAND OF GOLD is why did I make him Irish.
Honestly? I did it because I love the accent.
Yep, that’s why. It’s just that simple.
I actually have a few accents that I love to listen to and quite frankly, I can’t between the Irish, Scottish, Australian, and New Zealand accents, tell you which is my favorite. I love them all and can listen to both men and women talk in those accents all day long.
Of course, it wasn’t until I sat down and started putting him in the story that his nationality and accent came out, but once it did, that was it. I was hooked. The heroine was hooked. We all were hooked. He was an Irishman. Period.
Looking down upon Christopher Payton, Cora Colton can’t believe she even doubts saying yes to his proposal. From a good family, wealthy, and charming, Christopher is perfect for her. However, staring down at the band of gold and diamonds, she hesitates. Something is missing, something is wrong, but she just doesn’t know what that something is.
After her father’s untimely death, Cora travels to Tacoma and learns that she is now the owner of his gold claim in Dawson City, Canada. Throwing caution to the wind, she leaves her ring on the table, and departs for Canada and the adventure of a lifetime.
Arriving in the canvas tent town of Skagway on edge of the Klondike trail, Cora catches the attention of Flynn O’Neill, an Irishman who has lived on the trail guiding stampeders for a few years. A bond thrusts them together, but their pasts threaten to tear them apart—if they can even survive the hardships and death on the trail to the land of gold.
The bartender set a shot glass in front of me and filled it, spilling a few drops. I grasped the glass and downed the whiskey in one gulp.
“So wat’re yeh hidin’ from?” A deep voice with a heavy Irish accent, from behind me somewhere, invaded my thoughts.
“I beg your pardon?” Turning to face the speaker, I spun a little too far in the chair, and the room pitched and rolled.
The unshaved ruggedness of the stranger’s chiseled jaw line exaggerated his perfect, broad smile. In my whiskey-induced haze, his devilish grin nearly knocked me off my stool. With piercing, dark brown eyes, and black messy hair, his utter deliciousness captivated me.
“Wat’re ye hidin’ from?”
Not in the mood for casual conversation, I desired nothing more than to tell him to leave me alone. To shout at him for approaching a woman he didn’t know and asking such a ridiculous, personal question, but the coy, seduction in his voice stopped me. He left me breathless, and for a brief second, the absurd thought of kissing him crossed my mind—annoying me even more.
“What sort of a question is that?” I asked.
“Apparently, one ye don’ want t’ answer,” the Irishman laughed as he sat on the barstool next to mine. “Only two kinds of women walk int’a a bar and get drunk in the first five minutes. One, be lookin’ for male company,” he paused and gave me a wink. “And the other be hidin’ from somethin’ she don’ wish t’ face.”
“I’m not drunk,” I snapped. “And, I’m not the sort of woman who is looking for male company.”
He laughed again. “No, I didn’t think ye were.” He leaned in to whisper the last word, and the gentle roll in his voice over the letter ‘r’ sent a chill down my spine.