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Who are you connected to?

Last week we were at a family reunion in Ireland.  We had a wonderful night with our relations.  Nick had his picture taken with his 3rd cousin Gary Doherty.  Gary is 5 months younger than Nick.  Gary and Nick are both retired.  During his career in the premier soccer league, Gary was called Doc or the Ginger Pele.

We first met Gary when the boys were 6 years old.  In the past week I have pondered about the connections that we have with other people, and then the connections that they have with others that we don’t know.

There are a lot of people who know Nick and many many who know Gary.  I wondered if there are some who know both Nick and Gary, excluding relations of course.  I think that it would be fun to try and create a tread throughout the connections.

I guess that has already been tried for almost 90 years.  First there were academics and later commercial enterprises looking into the idea.  Facebook and other social media sites give us an immediate indication of this concept of six degrees of separation that connects us with other people around the world.  Some people say that it is an urban myth, but it is mind boggling to think of.  Are we really connected to anyone else on the planet with five or fewer people in between?  Facebook and Twitter both have statistics that say their users have an average distance of less than 5 people.

I thought of the small group of young cousins who got to know each other 30 years ago, by kicking around a soccer ball in a field in rural County Donegal.   Among that group, there is Gary, who has played professional soccer, my son Ryan, who is flying jets around the world and Nick, who gently brings out the best in all of us.  It is hard to imagine all of the people, as a sampling, that these three men are connected to as ‘a friend of a friend.’ It definitely makes the world seem like a smaller place.

Who are you connected to?  For example, I have had dinner with someone who had dinner with Prince Charles in his private residence.  I skated in an ice show with Dorothy Hamill.  Another friend of mine was at a luncheon at Buckingham Palace, meeting Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.   These are just a few.  I would love to hear of yours.

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.