Last summer I travelled to Ireland. At thirty-two years old, it was my first time out of the United States and "God's Country" was as poignantly beautiful as I'd always imagined. I still remember the moment I looked out the airplane window and caught my first glimpse of the vibrant green patchwork fields and hills...I'll always remember that.
My desire to visit the Emerald Isle was first stirred by--you guessed it--a book. Nora Roberts' "Born In Trilogy". I fell in love with the country as hard as I did with the characters. In my mind's eye I could see the small, friendly village, the fertile fields worked for generations by generations. I could hear the crash of the ocean's waves against the black cliffs and feel the whip of the wind sting my cheeks. Nora Roberts transported me there in my imagination, so when I finally arrived in 2007, it was only realizing the places where I had visited so many times through my books.
Of course, I didn't meet Maggie and Brianna Concannon or their sister, Shannon Bodine. Nor did I actually have a pint in the Gallagher's pub from the Irish Jewels Trilogy. But, I crossed the River Shannon as Amanda did before she met the love of her life, Tommy Concannon. I stood on the Cliffs of Moher where the three sisters could have stood as they realized they not only loved one another, but needed one another. And, while I didn't perch on a stool at Aiden Gallagher's bar, I did have fish 'n chips in a pub where music and laughter--and smoke--crowded the air.
I walked in the footsteps of some of my favorite characters. And, while I think it's safe to say I'll never be able to tour Avalon in Angela Knight's "Master" series, to climb a hill where Carrick, the King of the Fairies could dwell is a memory that will always live in my imagination.