Friday, February 17, 2023

Blog Tour: The Maid of Ballymacool


Now that Valentine's Day is over, you will find me gravitating towards novels set in Ireland. Not only is St. Patrick's Day coming up, but Ireland is one of my favorite settings for novels. When I heard about the new historical novel, The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel, I knew I had to read it! 

This historical novel has it all! It includes a fresh take on the traditional Cinderella story, some romance, a gorgeous setting, and a captivating mystery. Thanks to Revell Books and Austenprose PR, I am sharing an official excerpt from the novel today.


Learn More About the Novel:

The Maid of Ballymacool by Jennifer Deibel
Pub. Date: February 21, 2023

Goodreads says, "Brianna Kelly was abandoned at Ballymacool House and Boarding School as an infant. She has worked there since she was a wee girl and will likely die there. Despite a sense that she was made for something more, Brianna feels powerless to change her situation, so she consoles herself by exploring the Ballymacool grounds, looking for hidden treasures to add to the secret trove beneath the floorboards of her room. When Michael Wray, the son of local gentry, is sent to Ballymacool to deal with his unruly cousin, he finds himself drawn to Brianna, immediately and inescapably. There is something about her that feels so . . . familiar. When Brianna finds a piece of silver in the woods, she commits to learning its origins, with the help of Michael. What they discover may change everything. Fan favorite Jennifer Deibel invites you back to the Emerald Isle in the 1930s for this fresh take on the Cinderella story, complete with a tantalizing mystery, a budding romance, and a chance at redemption."

You can pre-order your own copy of The Maid of Ballymacool at Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, Amazon, Book Depository, and Baker Publishing.  You can learn more about Jennifer Deibel by visiting her website and connecting with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Read an Excerpt From the Novel:

The Maid of Ballymacool Excerpt 3
The table hadn’t been set? Of course, it wouldn’t have been. That was always the last thing Brianna did before retiring for the night. Mary would have done it, she was sure, so Magee must have instructed her not to. Brianna stood in the corridor looking from the kitchen door back to the direction of the dining room, torn on whether or not to deliver the food first or go back and bring the dishes and food all at one time. A stirring of footsteps overhead caught her attention. The girls were lining up and would be marching down the stairs any moment.
She scurried back to the kitchen, set down her tray, and loaded a second one with plates, cutlery, teacups, and serviettes. She propped the door open and then lifted the food and settled that tray into the crook of her right arm. Then, she carefully finagled the tray of dishes onto her left arm. The weight of them both nearly toppled her, but she steadied herself and made for the servants’ quarters. Taking care to roll her feet smoothly from heel to toe so as not to jostle anything, she kept her gaze on the entryway at the end of the long corridor.
Suddenly, the back door slammed open, and Brianna was flung against the wall. By some miracle, she managed to hang on to the tray of dishes, but the food toppled onto the floor with a sickening splat.
“Oh, good gracious me. I beg your pardon.” Mister Wray cupped her elbow with his hand and inclined his head to look at her face. “Are ya alright?” 
She puffed at a strand of hair that had fallen over her face. “I’m fine.” She puffed again, but instead of helping, it frayed the strands, some of which curled into her eye. She clamped them shut against the sting. 
“Allow me.” Tender fingers brushed the hair from her face, gently grazing her forehead and temple. Goose bumps prickled her skin at his touch. “There. Can you see now?” 
Brianna blinked hard and forced herself to meet his gaze while heat crept up her cheeks. “Aye, thank you.” She knelt down, setting the tray of dishes carefully on the floor, then started picking up the broken pieces of pottery. 
“No, no, please let me.” He knelt beside her and started scooping handfuls of porridge and eggs back onto the fallen tray. “’Tis my fault,” he added. “I was rushing to not be late to breakfast and carelessly neglected to look where I was going.” 
Brianna opened her mouth to respond, but Magee flew around the corner and shrieked. 
“What have you done now, you amadán?”
Brianna blanched at the word. Being called a fool stung, but no more so than Magee’s use of Irish. Irish Gaelic was only allowed in certain circumstances within the walls of Ballymacool. “As a center of decorum and propriety, we will speak only proper, civilized English,” the headmistress had said when one of the boarders deigned to converse in her first language. Magee’s slip into her native tongue belied just how furious she was. 
“My apologies, marm,” Brianna said. “’Twas an accident.”  
Magee’s lips clamped into a thin line. She planted balled fists on her hips. “I’m growing quite weary of hearing that from you, Brianna. And to add insult to injury, you’ve forced Mister Wray to help you.” She turned her attention to the man. “Please, sir, you mustn’t help her. This is a problem of her own making.” 
Mister Wray stood, hands held in front of him, porridge dripping from his fingers. He studied the headmistress for a moment before responding. “I’m afraid you’re mistaken. It was I who ran into Brianna in my haste to be on time for breakfast. Therefore, ’tis only right that I be responsible for cleaning this mess.” 
Fire flashed behind Magee’s eyes, and she scowled at Brianna. She opened her mouth to retort but closed it again when she looked back at her guest. A guest who, Brianna noticed, somehow still managed to be blindingly handsome even while covered in porridge.

Chapter 6, pages 62-65 
From The Maid of Ballymacool © 2023, Jennifer Deibel, published by Fleming H. Revell Company


So, what do you guys think? The Maid of Ballymacool comes out on Tuesday, so be sure to add it to your TBR list. I can't wait to read it and how gorgeous is that cover? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 



  1. Ireland is always a gorgeous setting!

    1. Right? And it's perfect for the upcoming month of March. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. Thanks for sharing, Christina. It is intriguing that the story is set in Ireland and inspired by the fairytale Cinderella.


I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

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