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About Eliza Watson
Eliza Watson is a USA Today bestselling author, genealogist, and former event planner. When Eliza isn't tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland or Scotland, she's at home working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband, Mark, and her cats Frankie and Sammy. Eliza's monthly newsletter features genealogy research advice and info about her latest news, giveaways, and releases! Subscribe at elizawatson.com.
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It’s been a rough year for 26-year-old Mags Murray. First she learns that her dad isn’t her biological father, a secret her mother took to her grave three years earlier. Then her beloved Irish grandmother passes away at Christmas while Mags is visiting her from the States. Now Mags must host her grandmother’s wake and sell her cottage. A cottage filled with cherished memories. A cottage Mags inherited but her odd jobs won’t enable her to keep.
Shortly after the funeral, a young man, Finn O’Brien, arrives at the cottage with an old photograph. Finn believes the boys in the photo are a clue to his father’s identity. Mags can sympathize with him, and because she often helped her genealogist grandmother uncover skeletons in people’s closets, including hers, she agrees to assist Finn.
But searching for Finn’s father stirs up trouble. Finn is in a near-fatal car crash that wasn’t an accident. So Mags and her childhood friend Biddy McCarthy investigate why someone wants to prevent Finn from finding his father. Questioning the quirky locals proves a wee bit difficult as several of the suspects were victims of Mags and Biddy’s childhood shenanigans.
It might take a fake Irish wake to reveal Finn’s father and the would-be murderer. But what if the two turn out to be the same person?
**Genealogy research tips included!**
Mags Murray’s genealogy career has taken off. She’s making great strides with the repairs on her late grandmother’s quaint Irish cottage, the historical Ballycaffey National School. She’s overcoming her fear of sheep. And she and childhood friend Biddy McCarthy are enjoying a few harmless shenanigans. Life is grand.
That is, until a family heirloom, a gold locket, is stolen when Mags holds a school reunion in her grandmother’s memory. Mags soon discovers the thief when she stumbles across his dead body on her family’s cemetery plot—the man had been burying a velvet pouch containing cremains and Mags’s stolen locket. Eeewww. While seeking the identities of the deceased persons, Mags and Biddy uncover family secrets that may be best left hidden.
However, Mags’s grandmother had believed that everyone deserved to know the truth about their family history. So why hadn’t she told Mags about hers?
*Genealogy research tips included.*
From USA Today bestselling author and genealogist Eliza Watson!
After inheriting her grandmother’s cottage, Mags Murray moves from the States to rural Ireland to embark on a new life. Her odd seasonal jobs won’t pay for the needed repairs on her home, so Mags is determined to become a full-time genealogist, following in her grandmother’s footsteps. She starts by organizing a DNA support group that encourages members to share research tips and provide moral support to frustrated family historians.
Mags soon lands her first client, but not the kind she’d expected. A group member, Aidan, hires Mags to find a stolen family heirloom—a valuable unpublished manuscript written by a famous Irish author. Shortly after hiring her, Aidan also turns up missing. His brother hires Mags and her sidekick, Biddy, to find both Aidan and the manuscript. He guarantees them a cut of the manuscript’s sale price. Rather than spending the money on an exotic trip as she would have in the past, Mags dreams of buying a shiny new riding lawn mower and a fuel tank.
Will the money they stand to make be worth the risk of uncovering a dark family secret and chasing down forgers, an ex-con, and other dodgy suspects?
*Genealogy research tips included.*
Genealogist Mags Murray is off to a Scottish castle for her first Murray Clan reunion. Even though Mags recently discovered her dad is not her biological father and she doesn’t have Murray DNA in her blood, it’s in her soul. She and her dad share a special bond, and their trip to Scotland is sure to be a fun adventure.
That is, until the castle’s treasured Robin Hood arrow is stolen. Mags’s best friend Biddy McCarthy is eager to investigate, but Mags prefers a vacation from solving mysteries. When the arrow is found in the chest of a despicable cousin the entire family loathed, the Murrays refuse to cooperate with the authorities for fear of implicating a beloved relation. Mags plans to leave the investigating to the police—until her father becomes their prime suspect.
Can Mags identify the killer and prove her dad’s innocence before he’s arrested for murder?
*Genealogy research tips included!*
Despite a few setbacks, Caity Shaw’s future no longer looks as emotionally and financially bleak as it did a few months ago. Rather than working as an elf this holiday season, she is the head photographer for a group event in Dublin. Not only is Caity mending family ties, she’s learning to trust men again, thanks to her hot Irish coworker, Declan.
That is, until Declan and Caity visit rural Ireland and their relationship comes to a crossroads. Declan’s family welcomes Caity into their home with open arms, but they are tight-lipped when it comes to sharing memories that could send Declan running from his past—just when Caity is learning to face hers. However, facing her grandmother’s mysterious past is a different story. With the help of her quirky Irish rellies and a local historian, Caity uncovers secrets about her grandmother that may cause her family ties to unravel once again.
When Caity experiences her biggest mishap to date, everyone is forced to face their pasts and nobody’s life will be the same.
*This series is best when read in order.
Caity Shaw is settling into her new life in Dublin. She is now juggling two event planner jobs, but she hopes the family clan gathering she is organizing will launch her genealogy business. Over the past year, Caity has transformed from an insecure victim of emotional abuse into a confident woman thanks largely to Declan, her Irish boyfriend.
When Declan accepts a caretaker position at the home of her Coffey family’s archenemy, Caity and Declan’s relationship becomes strained. Even her faithful companion Mac abandons her in Dublin for life in the country. Caity goes to Killybog to try to mend their relationship, but she unexpectedly takes over the caretaker duties. Mischievous animals and a mysterious man searching for an abandoned IRA hideout are just a few of the challenges she faces. When a popular soap opera films at her uncle’s home, Caity’s sister Rachel hopes to get the English estate out of massive debt by organizing a slew of fan events while also planning a family wedding. Once again, Caity’s dream of becoming a genealogist is put on hold.
That is until she takes on a wealthy but unsavory genealogy client. As Caity tracks the family’s history, and the client disputes the nefarious findings, Caity finds herself in a real-life soap opera!
Caity Shaw has finally found her place in the world when she moves to her grandmother’s homeland, Ireland. A new full-time event planner job, a steady paycheck, and less travel are providing her a more stable and balanced lifestyle. She is able to focus on nurturing her relationships with family, friends, and Declan—who has taught her to once again believe in love and herself.
Caity’s lack of meeting planning experience and having to run off to England to visit an ill newfound rellie soon jeopardize her job. And when she uncovers this rellie’s mysterious life, her entire family must come to his aid and Caity’s personal life turns upside down. Despite her growing client list and passion for genealogy research, Caity feels inept after she fails to trace even one of her clients’ ancestry lines. Then Caity faces her biggest research challenge to date. She’s unable to locate her grandmother’s birth record. Without it, Caity will not be able to obtain citizenship and remain in Ireland.
If she is forced to leave Ireland, she fears she’ll lose everything she’s worked so hard to attain—her sense of identity, direction, and belonging, and most importantly, her relationship with Declan.
In 2007, a twelve-day trip to Ireland—my ancestors’ homeland—turned out to be the most significant turning point in my life. I never dreamed when I embarked on my adventure it would lead to me becoming a genealogist, meeting dozens of Irish rellies, writing two fiction book series set in Ireland, and buying a renovated 1887 schoolhouse in my Coffey ancestors’ townland.
Since that trip, I’ve researched more than twenty-five of my maternal and paternal Irish lines as well as numerous Scottish ones. I’ve also done extensive research in Canada, England, and the United States, and I've assisted friends and family members with tracing ancestry lines in Austria, Germany, and Hungary. Besides conducting online research, I have visited many historical archives, traipsed through hundreds of cemeteries (many now situated in sheep-filled fields), and located several family homesteads.
In 2018, I began writing a genealogy column for my monthly author newsletter about my personal research experiences. Because I was writing articles faster than I was publishing newsletters, I decided to compile them into a book. Genealogy Tips and Quips includes:
• twenty-five newsletter articles
• twenty-five brand-new articles
• a case study about how a paternal DNA test revealed my family's royal lineage and my quest to uncover family secrets
• an extensive case study on tracing my most difficult family line back to the 1700s in Ireland
Be prepared for a lot of unexpected twists and turns as I share my mistakes, lessons learned, and tips for getting to the roots of your family tree!
Caity Shaw takes on Paris and her next event planner job with a bit more confidence—which is immediately shot down when she’s forced to take responsibility for a six-year-old brat. They’re kicked out of a famous museum, and she goes from being a glamorous event planner—for a funeral directors’ group—to a reluctant au pair. Just what she doesn’t need as she struggles to regain self-esteem whittled away by an emotionally abusive ex-boyfriend.
Declan, Caity’s hot Irish coworker, helps her maintain her sanity and sense of humor when she is repeatedly thrown out of places in Paris. He also perpetuates her facade as an experienced planner, a goal she’ll never achieve if she’s spending her days at puppet shows. Caity and Declan spend evenings exploring Paris and researching her Irish grandmother’s mysterious past, uncovering secrets that could tear Caity’s family apart. Declan reveals his own secret, which might bring Caity and him closer, despite her attempts to keep an emotional distance from the charming womanizer. However, the only way to help Declan open up and heal might be to confide in him about her past.
Caity finally has faith in herself—can she learn to have faith that others won’t judge her mistakes?
*This series is best when read in order.
Caity Shaw has come a long way since her appearance as a sausage at her first meeting in Dublin. The shadow of her abusive ex is fading. Learning about her Irish grandmother’s past has brought her family closer together. She’s building confidence as an event planner, along with her client list. And she’s no longer always flying by the seat of her knickers while traveling abroad. However, she is nervous about flying solo at her first meeting without her sister, Rachel, or her Irish love, Declan.
When Caity travels to the fairy-tale city of Prague, grim reality soon sets in. She’s stuck working in a historic hotel with her archenemy, a psycho planner, and a resident ghost. The romantic notion of meeting Declan in exotic locales is proving more difficult than she’d imagined. Maintaining balance between her professional and personal lives is becoming a losing battle. And when she’s wrongly accused of a crime, she must fight to prove her innocence.
Everything Caity has worked so hard for—Declan, her reputation, and family relationships—begins to bite the dust!
*This series is best when read in order.
When Caity Shaw is fired from her first job that doesn’t require an elf uniform, her older sister, Rachel, an event planner, hires her to work a meeting in Dublin. Caity jumps at the opportunity to travel abroad and escape her pathetic life. However, even four thousand miles from home, there’s no avoiding debt collectors, an overbearing mother, and haunting memories of a controlling ex.
While in Dublin, Caity suffers a series of humiliating mishaps, causing her to lose even more faith in herself. Caity struggles to earn Rachel’s respect—and to keep Declan, her hot Irish coworker, at arm’s length. Declan repeatedly saves Caity’s butt and helps boost her self-confidence, making it difficult to keep her distance from the charming womanizer. When Declan helps her research her Irish grandmother, Caity discovers the mysterious past of the courageous woman she barely knew might hold the answers to her future.
When the city’s most affluent and eccentric philanthropist dies, Cassidy is hired to fulfill the woman’s deathbed wish: find a wife for her playboy nephew, Ryan Mitchell.
Ryan has always avoided the spotlight, and he’s not thrilled by the media attention spawned by this final decree. If he doesn’t marry within the year, however, his aunt’s quirky staff will lose their home and livelihoods. So he wants Cassidy to find him a Ms. Right Now that he can ultimately divorce, but she’s determined to find him a true soul mate since the right match could launch a new matchmaking career for her. Too bad she seems to understand him better than any of the potential brides she’s found.
Is it worth risking a real chance at love to arrange a fake wedding?