Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I realized that I made this announcement on my Facebook page & Twitter account, but neglected to mention it here (other than on the "events" tab). So, tomorrow--March 27th--I have two events in Logan, UT that I'd love to see you at...

I'll be signing books at the Deseret Bookstore at 1309 N Main Street, from 4:30pm-6pm. Directly after that I'll be making a presentation at the Logan Library from 6:30-8pm. In addition to a fun (I hope!) presentation and Q&A, I have made the offer via Facebook to read an excerpt from Jason Jonquil's not-yet-available book "A Fine Gentleman" if 12 people or more come for the presentation.

So... if you're in the area, please come say hi, enjoy the presentation, and get an exclusive sneak peek at the next Jonquil brother's story!

March 27, 2014
4:30-6:00pm, signing, Deseret Bookstore on Main Street in Logan, UT
6:30-8:00pm, Presentation, Q&A, sneak-peek reading, Logan Library, Logan, UT 


Monday, March 17, 2014

☘ ☘ ☘ ☘ Happy St. Patrick's Day! ☘ ☘ ☘ 
The Irish Countryside
It's that time of year again! St. Patrick's Day, aka "The Holiday of Coolness!" At the Eden home, we spend the day singing Irish songs, speaking in horrifically bad Irish accents, decorate the place in 40 shades of green, and... celebrating my birthday!

In keeping with Holiday of Coolness tradition, here are some fantastic Irish Things I Love...

love The Pogues. Traditional Irish music with a modern flare. And if you've ever doubted that the music of the "Old West" here in America was heavily influenced by the enormous influx of Irish immigrants at the time in American history, have a listen to this little number straight from the Emerald Isle...

It's no secret I'm a big fan of Irish drinking songs, despite not being a drinker. I have passed that love on to my children with sometimes disastrous consequences. Imagine my horror when my then 6-year-old daughter, when asked at church what her favorite song was, launched in to this little ditty...

Anyone who has read Longing for Home and Hope Springs knows that I love Irish fiddle music. Every tune mentioned in those books is authentic and real and absolutely adored by me. Here is the amazing Donegal fiddler John Doherty giving you just a taste of this amazing style of music. This is "Bonnie Kate," a particular favorite of mine...

Every year I post a song by The Script, one of my favorite groups of all time. These Dublin boys are pretty fantastic. They can regularly be found busking on the streets of Dublin and my daughter hopes to run into them next time we're there so she can sing this song with them, which also happens to be one I love as well...

Looking for more great Irish music? Tune in to the live internet radio feed at and thank me later!

The History
I visited Ireland in 2012, a lifelong dream of mine. As we walked through the Irish countryside and cities, I was struck by how filled with history it really is. For a history buff like me, it was heaven! We visited centuries-old monasteries and grave yards...

Glendalough, County Wicklow (founded in the 6th Century AD)

St. Fin Barre's Cathedral, Cork (built in 1863)
Kilkenny Castle, Kilkenny (built in 1195)
...and so much else. I absolutely loved it!

The Food
Every year I post a recipe for a traditional Irish dish. This year it's colcannon, an Irish staple!

1 lb cabbage, washed and shredded
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
2 green onions, trimmed and chopped
1/4 pint creamy milk or single cream (I use half and half)
salt and black pepper
pinch of mace (or nutmeg)
4 oz melted butter

Boil the cabbage and potatoes in separate saucepans until cooked. Meanwhile, chop leeks, add to the milk and simmer together in a pan for 5-10 minutes.

Drain the cabbage and potatoes very well. Mash the potatoes, stir in the leeks and milk and then add the shredded cabbage, salt and pepper, and mace. Combine very well, turn out into a deep serving dish and heath through thoroughly in the oven, covering with foil to prevent browning, if necessary.

Make a well in the centre of the mixture before serving and pour in the melted butter. Serves 4-6.

Irish Blessings
I always close out my annual Holiday of Coolness post with this gem...

May those who love us, love us.
And for those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He can not turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we may know them by their limping.

Happy Holiday of Coolness, everyone!
(And, in case you're curious, here are links to the HofC posts from 201320122011 & 2010)

Monday, March 10, 2014

I received word over the weekend that Longing for Home has reached the semi-final round of the 2014 RONE awards, an award of growing significance in the Indie/Small Press publishing arena. I am excited, humbled, nervous, hopeful, etc., etc., etc. I am crossing my fingers that Longing for Home can make it to the next round, but I need your help.

Longing for Home is up against 23 other titles in its category, of which only 6 will move on to the finals. The finalists are selected entirely by reader votes, and the voting period is only open this week, March 10-16th!

If you've read Longing for Home and feel it worthy of this recognition, please help me out by going to the RONE awards voting page here: You have register and/or log in to cast a vote. However, if you would rather not, you can also submit your vote via email to the following email address: -- be sure to include genre (American Historical), book (Longing for Home), and author (Sarah M Eden) in your email [email votes will only be accepted during the voting period, Mar 10-16].

Please, please, please take a moment to cast your vote for Longing for Home! I really, truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In long and short form, I have published ten stories in the past thirteen months. Ten bits and pieces of myself. Ten works I crafted and reshaped. Ten fragments of life I agonized over and worried about and rejoiced in. Ten creations of my heart I sent out into the world to be alternately enjoyed and dismissed, praised and flogged, embraced and rejected.

Stories are odd like that. They begin as an idea in an author's mind. A passing thought. A brief moment of intrigue. That fleeting bit of contemplation, when acted upon and taken up, becomes an invitation to a writer to open themselves up and pour themselves out onto a page. So often our own vulnerabilities and crushing insecurities flavor the words we use, making the tales inherently personal, a potent weapon we hand over to the public, knowing at times it will be turned back on us.

Writers are often told we need a thicker skin or the ability to not feel the pain of a stinging criticism. But feeling is part of what we do. Because our skins aren't thick, no matter how desperately we pretend otherwise, we have that all-important reservoir of emotions, experiences, empathy, and insights into what it means to be a person walking around in an often cruel world. We create stories from places of vulnerability, then invite others to pick them apart, and from the discomfort and misery of that criticism, craft new ones.

Someone once told me that when she picks up a book, she assumes the author wouldn't have published it if he didn't believe it was the best book ever written. I have thought so many times since then how much I wish she could understand that most authors publish despite a sense of inadequacy, despite seeing all the flaws in their work magnified one-hundred times over, despite anticipating criticism, despite so much. And we do it because there is a power in stories, a power we feel driven to share. 


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