Isabella Connor talks bullying and acceptance

An Irish Promise is like Beneath an Irish Sky, in that it deals with a newcomer to a small village, and tackles the issue of non-acceptance and bullying. Annie, though never seen in Beneath an Irish Sky (except in flashback), was the victim of both, possibly more so than Luke, the book’s protagonist.

Bullying is generally the action of cowards, but in An Irish Promise we try to show that although some people are born (and remain) bullies, others are the victims of their own circumstances. This may not be acceptable in adults who arguably should be stronger, but is it more understandable in children?

Rachel’s life has been devastated by the actions of school bullies some fourteen years previously, and she needs closure in the form of revenge, or as she sees it, justice. The bullies were never punished, and never made aware of the consequences of their actions. Rachel returns to the scene of the crime, a small village in Ireland, intent on putting that right. Of course, love gets in the way, when she meets Finn MacKenzie, an actor from Australia, who is in the village to help his aunt with a school production of ‘A Christmas Carol’. Rachel sees Finn as one of life’s golden people, unaware that he has his own demons to deal with, not least of all, a paralysing phobia that he is forced to overcome in less than ideal circumstances.

Over the course of the novel, we learn whether the bullies are capable of guilt or remorse and whether they even think about their past actions; we ask whether revenge brings closure, or whether it just perpetuates the cycle of anger and hatred.

Rachel has a lot of soul-searching to do, especially after her first act of revenge –
but has she come too far to turn back when she has the bullies in her sights? Can she put the past firmly behind her, and concentrate on building a new life, maybe with Finn, or will her thirst for justice and closure stand in the way of her moving on?

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Author bio:

Isabella Connor is the pen name for Liv Thomas and Valerie Olteanu.
Liv Thomas was born and raised in the South of England. She always had the dream of becoming a writer, but never had the confidence to pursue it completely. After positive responses to Lord of the Rings fan-fiction, she decided it was time to make the dream a reality. Wife and mum, Liv works for the NHS, and is employed at the hospital which first featured in Channel 4′s One Born Every Minute. Liv is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.
Valerie Olteanu grew up in Scotland, and her childhood ambitions were to travel and to be a writer. After studying English and Art History at the University of Glasgow, she moved to London where she worked in the Literature Department of the Arts Council England. Some years later, she decided to teach English and see the world. She lived and worked in Croatia, the West Bank, and Mexico, before settling with her husband in Canada. She is currently an adult educator in Burnaby, British Columbia.

Blurb:
A promise is a promise …
Art historian, Rachel Ford has returned to the Irish village of Kilbrook intent on keeping her promise to take revenge on the school bullies who ruined her childhood and destroyed her family.
Australian actor, Finn MacKenzie sets hearts fluttering when he turns up in sleepy Kilbrook to help his aunt with a school production. He seems to have a charmed life, yet his confident façade hides heartbreak and tragedy. Although Finn isn’t looking for love, when he meets the mysterious Rachel, there’s a definite spark between them.
Rachel is torn between her desire for revenge and this new love affair. She doesn’t want to deceive Finn, but can she trust him to keep her real identity a secret? And will he understand why she must keep her promise, no matter the cost?

Author links:
Liv’s Twitter
Val’s Twitter

Buying Links:

Amazon UK:
Amazon US
iBooks UK
iBooks US
Kobo
Google

A big thank you to Isabella Connor for stopping by today

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15 thoughts on “Isabella Connor talks bullying and acceptance

  1. What a brilliant premise for a novel – and an important issue too. As a parent I worry about both of my children and whether they ever encounter bullying… as for whether they would ever BE the bully – God forbid – I tell them constantly that it’s important to always be kind. Looking forward to reading how Rachel heals the hurt. x

  2. bernimoonhouse1620

    Bullying is a terrible thing and never seems to be redressed properly in schools. The effects of being bullied can last into adulthood, the memories certainly never go away. This is a very brave book, beautifully told, and the romance is cleverly woven in. I loved it. x

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