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The current stop on this tour is Ireland and today I have a lovely post from author Clodagh Murphy who has also very generously offered two of her books as giveaway prizes. The giveaway will be at the end of this post but first I’d like to introduce you to Clodagh who will tell you a little about the setting of her latest novel, Some Girls Do.
A strong sense of place can really add to the enjoyment of a book for me, and I especially love when a book is set in the author’s home town, so you get a really good feel for the place from an insider’s perspective rather than a touristy travelogue that follows the standard guide book route.
Most of my books are set in my home town of Dublin, but in my latest novel, Some Girls Do, I really wanted to celebrate my native city and showcase some of my favourite places. So here’s a look around some of the locations that appear in the novel.
The Iveagh Gardens
The Iveagh Gardens is a public park located between Clonmel Street and Upper Hatch Street, but the first time I was taken there it was through the gate behind the National Concert Hall. I had no idea it was there, and it had a really magical, secret garden feel to it. It’s still one of the lesser known parks of Dublin. In Some Girls Do, Claire takes Mark here on their first date.
The Queen of Tarts
The Queen of Tarts on Dame Street is one of my favourite cafes in Dublin, famous for its delicious home-made cakes and, as the name suggests, tarts – they also serve an awesome breakfast. There’s another branch now on nearby Cow’s Lane. In Some Girls Do, Claire comes here for a solitary breakfast with a good book.
Merrion Square Park
Merrion Square Park is right in the heart of Georgian Dublin. It’s also home to the colourful Oscar Wilde statue, where he’s portrayed reclining on a rock looking across to his childhood home at No. 1 Merrion Square. The two plinths nearby are covered in Wilde quotes.
The Merrion Hotel
This five-star hotel is set in four restored Georgian townhouses on Merrion Street. It’s elegant and luxurious, and one of the nicest places in the city to eat, drink and be merry – or to stay, if you’re from out of town. Their legendary afternoon ‘art tea’ features cakes inspired by the work of Irish artists.
The Grand Social
The Grand Social is a bar and live music venue on Lower Liffey Street. When I was sending Claire and Luca to a gig in Some Girls Do, I chose the boho circus themed Loft upstairs just because it’s so pretty.
Roly’s Bistro in the south Dublin suburb of Ballsbridge is one of the most popular and well-known restaurants in the city, and one of my favourites. In Some Girls Do, Luca’s sister Ali takes him to lunch in Roly’s when she wants to feed him up.
Dun Laoghaire (pronounced Dun Leery) is a suburban seaside town on the south side of Dublin. It’s home to several yacht clubs and the country’s largest marina, and it’s a popular spot for sailing, windsurfing and other water sports.
One of the things I love most about living in Dublin is that you’re never far from the sea. Walking Dun Laoghaire pier is a popular activity for Dubliners on a fine day, and no trip would be complete without ice-cream cones from Teddy’s – a Dublin institution.
Dalkey (pronounced Dawkey) is another seaside suburb on the south side of Dublin. It’s one of the most desirable addresses in the city, and has been home to rock stars, film producers and actors, and the late Maeve Binchy.
These photos are taken from a house in Dalkey that I was lucky enough to borrow while writing Some Girls Do. It was very inspirational waking up every morning to the stunning views over Killiney Bay, and I used the house as the inspiration for Luca’s family home in the book.
Not quite in Dublin, but just outside it, Brittas Bay is a beautiful long, sandy beach in County Wicklow.
It’s the beach we always went to as kids, and it has lots of happy childhood memories for me, some of which I’ve loaned to Claire in the book.
Clodagh Murphy lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her first novel, The Disengagement Ring, was published in 2009, and to date she is the author of three more books and an ebook novella, all published by Hachette Ireland.
She is a compulsive writer, an inveterate dreamer, a devoted aunt, an enthusiastic traveller and an expert procrastinator. She loves writing funny, sexy, romantic stories with happy endings, but likes to leave the ‘ever after’ bit to the imagination. Her writing heroines are Jilly Cooper and Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone.
- The Disengagement Ring
- Girl in a Spin
- Frisky Business
- Scenes of a Sexual Nature (ebook novella)
- Some Girls Do
Clodagh is very kindly offering a giveaway of two signed copies of her latest novel, ‘Some Girls Do’. This is open to international entrants too. Please use the Rafflecopter entries below and when the giveaway closes on 13 October, two winners will be chosen. Clodagh will be posting the books directly to the winners.