Cover Reveal for Louise Hall’s PILGRIM

I am thrilled to share the gorgeous cover reveal for Louise Hall’s debut novel, PILGRIM which will be published in September by Mercier Press in Ireland.

I’m curious — which figure did you see first, the white face or the black one?  I saw the white face first. Then the black one just jumped out at me!  I absolutely love this cover.

Both international best selling authors Carmel Harrington and Donal Ryan have given the book their endorsements.

“Deeply moving and evocative prose. Haunting, tender yet hopeful, PILGRIM is a beautiful read that lingers” – Carmel Harrington

“In this cynical age it’s a joy to encounter such sincerity, and wonderfully unexpected to see contemporary fiction as a profession of fervent yet gentle faith. Louise is a brave and humane writer, a breath of the freshest air.” – Donal Ryan

Looking forward to publication day!

Congratulations Louise!


Happy Publication Day to Maria Duffy – In Search of Us is out now!

Happy Publication Day to bestselling author Maria Duffy on her newest release, In Search of Us, published by Hachette Ireland.  In Search of Us is a story about sisters, friendship and bonds that never break.

Twin sisters Ronnie and Elizabeth couldn’t be more different.

Happily living with her boyfriend Al, Ronnie loves her job in an antique jewellery shop – the only thing that’s missing is the baby she’s desperate to have.

While wealthy, glamorous Elizabeth, owner of a thriving recruitment company in Dublin, is married to the equally successful Nathan – having a baby couldn’t be further down her list of priorities.

But when their mother Belinda passes away, she reveals a secret about the twins’ father which changes everything. As Ronnie and Elizabeth travels to New York to find out more about the man they never knew, it turns out that their mother has a few more surprises in store for them. Will the sisters finally discover that they have more in common than they think?

Congratulations Maria!!  Book launches are scheduled later this month. Please check back in for details.

The Girl Who Ate The Stars by Caroline Busher is published!


Congratulations goes out to Caroline Busher on the publication of her second book The Girl Who Ate The Stars.

Caroline Busher is the Irish Times best-selling author of “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” and “The Girl Who Ate The Stars”(Poolbeg Press). She graduated with a First Class Honours, MA in Creative Writing and was appointed as the Reader in Residence with Wexford Public Library Services (2017). Caroline is also a Heritage Expert with the Heritage Council of Ireland and Vice Chair of Wexford Literary Festival.

Last month she became the Festival Manager of the Towers and Tales children’s book festival which takes place in the enchanting and inspirational setting of Lismore Castle on 4th and 5th May 2018. The festival is designed to give younger audiences unforgettable and creative experiences with books. Caroline’s star is steadily rising on the Irish Literary Scene.

The Girl Who Ate The Stars will be launched on Tuesday 13th March at 6:30pm in Dubray Books by Deirdre Sullivan. There will also be a question and answer session with E R Murray.

Her Wexford launch will take place on Friday 16th March in Enniscorthy Castle at 6:30pm. All are welcome to attend. The Girl Who Ate The Stars will be launched by Tomm Moore from Kilkenny based, Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon. Byrnes Bookstores are partners for the launch and food will be provided by “The Wilds” Café and Deli Enniscorthy.

Caroline believes that books can have a transformative effect on the lives of young people. She says – “Each day I receive messages from parents and teachers who tell me that my books are making a difference to the lives of children. I believe that books should be at the heart of children’s lives.”

The Girl Who Ate The Stars was inspired by the bombing of Campile in 1940 as well as her love of myth and folklore.

Caroline says –“It is so important to me that children living in Ireland see themselves represented in the books that they read. It brings reading alive to them, and encourages them to write themselves.”

More About The Girl Who Ate The Stars…..

As World War II rages, Lottie and Albert Hope are evacuated from England. They are sent to Kilbree, a village in Ireland where nothing is as it seems.

A German bomb is dropped in error there by a young pilot. It opens a portal to another world, Wolf Land, which is ruled by the evil Deathhound and his Werewolf Warriors.

Lottie and Albert, together with their gypsy friend Blaise and the pilot Gunther, cross the portal to that savage world. They are on a mission. They must find a Wolf Girl called Cuán– a girl with two hearts, one human, one wolf, who eats the stars to survive.

In a race against time, they must rescue her from Wolf Land. A terrifying future awaits them all if the portal between the two worlds closes forever.

Praise for The Girl Who Ate The Stars

“A creepy, delicious tale of wolves and darkness in wartime”  – Peadar Ó Guilín, winner of the Children’s Choice CBI Award 2017

“A highly original tale with Gothic Overtones” – The Irish Examiner

Eoin Colfer of Artemis Fowl fame described Caroline’s debut novel “The Ghosts of Magnificent Children” as having “An excellent and original voice, with shades of Neil Gaiman and Lemony Snicket.”

You can order your copy from Poolbeg Press or Amazon.  Either way, you don’t want to miss out on this gem of a book!

Happy Publication Day to Adele O’Neill – AGAIN!

Huge Congratulations and Happy Publication day to Adele O’Neill on her second book, Behind A Closed Door (Aria Fiction).

What if everything in your life was a lie? An emotionally tense story of love, loyalty, betrayal and revenge. Perfect for the fans of Louise Jenson.

DUBLIN – For the past two years Jill Ryan has tried to keep her darkest secrets deeply buried and remain relatively anonymous. Haunted by her tragic past and struggling to keep her life together, Jill soon realises that the last person she can trust is herself.

KILKENNY – Only Heather Martin knows the lengths her husband will go to teach her a lesson and Heather has had enough. Faced with the impossible choice of saving herself or staying to care for her ailing father, Heather has a choice to make. But does she have what it takes to survive?

When Detectives Louise Kennedy in Dublin and Tony Kelly in Kilkenny begin to investigate, their dark discoveries collide unravelling a complex web of secrets that stretch far and wide.

Fabulous reviews are already coming in.  You don’t want to miss the chance to read Behind A Closed Door.  Click here to order your copy now.

Today’s Author Focus: Sharon Thompson


Today I’d like to introduce Sharon Thompson and her debut crime novel, The Abandoned, which comes out this week – Thursday 25th of January.

We were thrilled when Bloodhound Books offered to publish The Abandoned. Bloodhound Books are the UK’s leading independent publisher of crime fiction.

The Abandoned is the fictional story of Peggy Bowden, a backstreet abortionist and brothel owner in 1950s Dublin. The idea for the novel started after Sharon researched some imprisoned women of the period.

Peggy Bowden has not had an easy life. As a teenager, her mother was committed to an asylum and then a local priest forced her into an abusive marriage. But when her husband dies in an accident Peggy sees an opportunity to start again and trains as a midwife. In 1950s Dublin it is not easy for a woman to make a living and Peggy sees a chance to start a business and soon a lucrative maternity home is up and running.

But when Peggy realizes that the lack of birth control is an issue for women, she uses their plight as a way to make more money. Very soon Peggy is on the wrong side of the law. What makes a woman decide to walk down a dark path? Can Peggy ever get back on the straight and narrow? Or will she have to pay for her crimes?

Set against the backdrop of Ireland in the 1950’s The Abandoned tells the story of one woman’s fight for survival and her journey into the underbelly of a dangerous criminal world.

The early reviews and feedback of The Abandoned are extremely positive with pre-orders going exceedingly well. The Abandoned has already reached #13 on the Irish crime best-sellers on Amazon.

Please click here to purchase your copy.

Praise for Sharon:

“Sharon Thompson has firmly taken her place as a superb new voice in Irish crime fiction writing.”  – Sheila Forsey, author of Mending Lace

“The main character Peggy, is one of the best characters I’ve read in a long time. A great debut novel by Sharon Thompson.” – Teresa Hanley, emerging new Irish author

“Confident and fearless, Sharon Thompson is a new voice in Irish crime fiction to watch out for.”  – best selling author Carmel Harrington

Sharon has scheduled book launches and signings in her local area on the 25th and 26th of January.  On the 25th of January from 9-10pm, there will be an online book launch on #WritersWise.  Everyone is welcome to join in. Signed paperback copies will be available in some Donegal and Sligo bookstores and print on demand will be available from Amazon.

We love for readers to get in touch and leave reviews once they read and enjoy books.

You can also subscribe to Sharon’s newsletter and contact her on her website or tweet with her on @sharontwriter.

There’s an exclusive extract from the book on Sharon’s regular column with the Donegal Woman. You can read it here.

A radio interview she did with a Canadian based radio station can be heard 30 mins in.  Please click here to listen.

Sharon was also featured in IndulgeInBooks – “6 New Books You Need to Read in January 2018!”

So its a wonderful start to the new year for SharonThompson and we couldn’t be happier to have her on board at Trace Literary and look forward to great things to come this year – including her second book!!

Today’s Author Focus: JOAN BRADY


It’s time to get back to Trace Literary’s Author Focus, and today our focus is on Joan Brady.

Joan Brady is is an award-winning Irish journalist and broadcast producer. She started her career as a features writer and newspaper columnist for Independent Newspapers and later worked as a researcher, producer and scriptwriter for RTE, Ireland’s national television and radio station.

Joan’s first novel, The Cinderella Reflex, was published in 2016 by Poolbeg Press in Dublin.  Her second novel, Reinventing Susannah, was published in May of 2017 also by Poolbeg.  Both novels have been published in trade paperback and paperback format.

The Cinderella Reflex

No matter how strong and independent Tess Morgan tries to appear on the outside, she’s always let down by her inner five-year-old – who persists in holding out for the fairy tale – that someday her Prince will come.

Real life is tough. For Tess, her job as producer on struggling local radio station Atlantic 1 FM is very  tough.  Between dealing with the demands of  megalomaniac presenter Ollie Andrews,  neurotic boss Helene Harper and the crazy workload associated with her role on the ‘This Morning’ programme, sometimes she finds herself wishing for  someone  who would just make all her problems go away.

Meanwhile, Helene is having difficulties of her own. Coming up to forty, her career has taken a wrong turning into a not very pleasant cul-de-sac and she’s hoping that her (married) lover Richard will soon make an honest woman of her.

But things go from bad to worse for both women when the station is suddenly bought over by mogul Jack McCabe, who immediately launches a competition for a new star at Atlantic 1 FM.  Soon nerves are frayed and friendships strained as everyone battles to keep their jobs.  

Tess gets back in touch with the ex she thinks of as the One Who Got Away.  Helene tries to pull strings with her influential lover. But will Tess cope when she finally realises there’s no Prince Charming after all?  And how will Helene react to her next, unexpected production?  

You can buy The Cinderella Reflex here.


Praise for The Cinderella Reflex:

‘Bears all the elements needed for a rollicking beach read’ – Irish Examiner

‘The writing is sharp and succinct, making every word, line and chapter worthwhile’ – Evening Echo

‘I really enjoyed it….an entertaining read about finding love in unlikely places’ – best selling  author, Rachael English

Reinventing Susannah

A big bereavement.  An empty nest.  And a runaway husband.

Susannah Stevens hopes that whoever said bad things comes in threes got it right because she can’t cope with much more going wrong in her life.

She finds herself a job as a freelance Mind Body and Spirit correspondent, meets a self-styled guru who thinks Susannah needs liberating from more than just an empty nest and learns that sometimes all you can do is to go with the flow of life.

Susannah’s boss, Katie Corrigan, is young enough to be her daughter.

She has always played by the rules in order to further her career but when she too discovers there are some things she just can’t control, she has to reassess all she thought she knew.

In a fast-moving year of crisis and reinvention, both women have to figure out what to do when their A plans fall apart   – and they never dreamed they’d need a Plan B.

You can buy Reinventing Susannah here.

Praise for Reinventing Susannah:

‘This heartwarming read is steeped in delicious escapism’ – best selling author Carmel Harrington

Joan is currently working on her third book. Details forthcoming.

To learn more about Joan and her writing, please visit her website at

You can follow her on Twitter at @jgbrady

Louise Hall signs with Mercier Press!

Louise Hall

I am just thrilled to share the latest news from Trace Literary Agency.
My long time client and friend, Irish author Louise Hall, has just signed with Mercier Press – Ireland’s oldest independent publishing house.

Just prior to Christmas, Patrick O’Donoghue gave us the good news that Mercier would like to publish Louise’s newest novel, PILGRIM. What a Christmas gift!! Publication date is set for September 2018.

PILGRIM is set in the 1980’s and centers on a 14 year old girl, Jen, whose mother has died tragically. Her father, Charlie, unable to cope, turns to alcohol as he blames himself for his wife’s death. Jen is already an outcast amongst her peers and finds it hard to make friends, except for a traveller boy names Francis Nelligan. This coupled with trying to cope with her grieving and alcoholic father means that life isn’t easy. Jen’s aunt convinces her and her father to go on a pilgrimage to a little known village hidden behind the Iron Curtain in a communist country known as Yugoslavia, in the hope that her sister’s husband and her niece might find some sort of solace in their broken lives.

PILGRIM is a story about a man who feels he has nothing more to live for, and his daughter who is determined to prove him wrong.

Louise Hall is an author from Malahide, Co. Dublin. She writes both fiction and non-fiction. Louise’s first work of non-fiction, Medjugorje: What it means to Me, was published by The Columba Press in 2012 and has been very widely received. Her second book, Medjugorje and Me, was also published by Columba in 2014. This book is a collection of testimonies and short stories from people all around the world, about their experiences of Medjugorje, and includes Louise’s own experiences from her visits. Medjugorje and Me has been translated in Italian and published by Edizioni Piemme.

Aside from publishing her first book on Medjugorje, Louise has written for The Sunday Independent, Woman’s Way, The Medjugorje Herald, The Malahide Gazette and The Irish News. She has also appeared on RTE – both on radio and television and contributes to RTE Radio 1’s “The God Slot” program doing book reviews, theatre reviews, interviews and more.

Louise has twice been longlisted for the RTE Guide/Penguin Short Story Awards in 2014 and 2015, and was shortlisted for the Colm Toibin International Short Story Competition.

In 2016, her short story, Frankie’s List, was published in the Irish Times newspaper in its “12 Stories of Christmas”.  This year Louise’s short story, Turlough’s Dream, has been chosen by the Irish Times for their “12 Tales for Christmas”.

Internationally renowned Irish author, Donal Ryan, whose novel The Spinning Heart was long-listed for the Booker Prize has this to say:

“I’ve just finished the first four chapters. I’d intended reading just the first few pages and finishing the extract later but was completely sucked in. What a gamut of emotion in only 40 pages! Louise is using the polyphonic form expertly. There’s a lovely, unforced rhythm to her prose, and she’s a natural storyteller. In this cynical age it’s a joy to encounter such sincerity, and wonderfully unexpected to see contemporary fiction as a profession of fervent yet gentle faith. A particularly tender and poignant moment is when Francis asks Jen to pray for his father, considering the description of savagery that precedes this. Louise is a brave and humane writer, a breath of the freshest air”.

To learn more about Louise and her writing please visit

You can find her on Twitter at @LouHallWriter

Congratulations Louise, so well deserved!