Tag Archives: We Love Books!

Newborns Are Awesome Book Launch!

It’s been ten years since I published a book. TEN YEARS.

I don’t know where it’s gone. I don’t know where I’ve been. I don’t know what’s happened.

A woman I mention this to throws an arm over my shoulders, stares off into the distance and gently whispers, ‘Motherhood is what’s happened’, like we are just out of the trenches, back from battle.

She is just shy of throwing a ciggie into my gob and pouring us both a neat whiskey (which I could really go for right now tbh).

I’m still muddling through my feelings about it all – did I lose myself? Did I give myself over fully to my family and just park everything? No, that can’t be right, because it’s been FUN, right? And hard work, and rewarding, and all I ever wanted, and nothing like I expected – exhilarating, exhausting, nerve-racking, endlessly entertaining.


Well, of course, it’s just that whenever we mothers thought we might do something for ourselves; something nice, something.. selfish… the tendency has always been to park that if a family member has other needs that seem somewhat more important than our own. And especially when those family members are cute little ones.

But mine are getting a little more grown up now. They don’t wake me up at 5am for Shreddies and Paw Patrol re-runs any more or need my attention all day. They don’t sneak into my bed in the middle of the night for cuddles, sending my heart soaring but my back into spasms. They play independently, they walk the dogs without me.. they can make toast!

One day last summer, with that extra bit of time on my hands to have a cup of tea alone and ponder life’s mysteries.. I had an unexpected jolt to the soul. An invisible defibrillator was applied to my creative heart by the universe and I remembered with a bang –

I used to be a writer!

I’ve written almost every day since and have had so much rejection for my scripts it would make your eyes water but I am loving it. I am loving remembering who I am and what I was put on this earth to do. I am me again!

Newborns Are Awesome is the first in a series of children’s books that I have in the works. It charts the developmental phases of a newborn up to twelve months of age and is beautifully illustrated by the wonderful Sarah Marsh.

We are having a launch party at Skinny Batch Bakery on April 25th, hosted by Jennifer Stevens, Editor at the Sunday Times. All are welcome and the proceeds are going to the Gaza Paediatric Care Initiative.

RSVPs to info@raisingireland.com so we know how many cakes to make!


‘I Forgot To Take My Pill’ Has Received It’s First Award Nomination!

I dunno about you but when I hear the word ‘Award’ I automatically think to myself, ‘ERMERGOD WILL HUGH JACKMAN BE THERE?!’

I have it on good authority that La Jackman will not be in attendance at the Carousel CAP Awards this year (sadly) but nonetheless it will be full to the rafters with excited and excitable independent authors like me.

You see, self-publishing is both an exhilarating and a lonely process – you know that you want your book ‘out there’ at all costs and without the support or interest from an agent or publisher, you have little choice but to attend every available workshop and seminar that you can find, in order to figure out how to do it alone.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and process of self-publishing my first book and am proud to have accomplished getting ‘I Forgot To Take My Pill!’ to print and available to buy on the great Amazon.

The downside has been, I have found, that there is little support for a self-published author thereafter. I also have a completed novel that I find I cannot enter into competitions for ‘unrepresented authors’ as to be self-published is to be considered published, one way or the other.

It’s as though I am done now and don’t require any further assistance but really, I so do!

This is an argument that I will continue to have until it changes because indie authors still need to be afforded the same opportunities as an unpublished one. We are, in reality, similarly unknown to the professional literary world and are in dire need of the same introductions!

But here I am, off on a tangent.

What Writing Cap and the Carousel/Aware team have set out to do is to create the very first competition of this kind which allows self-published independent authors access to a platform to showcase their talent and work to professional booksellers and distributors.

And not only that, but the bulk of the monies raised via competition entries goes directly to Aware, the charitable organisation that helps those suffering with depression.

As if all of THAT wasn’t brilliant enough, I am also happy to report that they then selected ‘I Forgot To Take My Pill!’ for the shortlist in the Non-fiction category.



We will see what happens on October 25th but in the meantime..

  1. Don’t Forget To Take Your Pill
  2. Don’t Forget To Buy The Book


Review: Ross O’Carroll-Kelly ‘Game Of Throw-ins’

It is so rare that I get to read a book in full these days which is a total shitter because I LOVE books (I even wrote one, remember that craic?!)

Since I’ve had the kiddos, I literally have to leave the country with a book under my arm that I am desperate to read and tell all of my travelling companions to ignore me for the duration of the trip while I devour the pages.

And that is precisely what I did on a recent trip to Marbella (AKA ‘Marbs, dahling’ lol!) when I made a last-minute decision between bringing a rather heavy wedding magazine with me OR bringing the quite heavy new Ross O’Carroll-Kelly with me.

I chose Ross.

(In fairness, there’s fuck-all hilarious about weddings but Ross? I knew I could count on Ross).


‘Game of Throw-ins’ is the sixteenth – SIXTEENTH! – novel in Paul Howard’s epic series. To date, these annual bestsellers have sold over a million copies and are critically acclaimed as satirical masterpieces.

It isn’t hard to see why – I have been hooked from the beginning as a child of the northside who studied third level on the southside. I get all the lingo, I get all the digs at the ridiculousness of the extreme examples of both, I ADORE the untouchable social commentary in each book and mostly I am in love with the phonetical spellings of all of the different accents that are contained within our little island.

My lovely mum and two gorgeous sisters-in-law who I went abroad with had to put up with my sniggering and guffawing by the pool for the few days that we were there as I forego naps for non-stop page-turning.

I couldn’t BELIEVE when I got to the end and can still feel the absence of my pal Ross who I had grown so fond of during the few days we had together.

Until the next time Ross – YA BIG DOPE!!

Ross O’Carroll-Kely is published by Penguin Ireland and is available in all good book stores.


Review & Giveaway: ‘The Butterfly Shell’ by Maureen White (YA)

The Butterfly Shell is the first novel from writer, director and drama teacher Maureen White. The blurb, as follows, is cool:

‘There are a few things about me you should know.

I always wear my butterfly shell – even when I’m swimming or sleeping.

I don’t cut myself any more.

And I believe in ghosts’.

Good, innit?!

Being as I am, not a young adult (any more – I think you’re officially out of the gang when you turn *coughs* 38), I haven’t read all of this book but I did read the first few chapters. And it’s really, really good. If you have a young adult living in your home who is into reading and would like a copy of this, please follow the competition details below:

The Butterfly Shell

To Enter:

1. Like Raising Ireland on Facebook

2. Leave a comment telling us why your Young Adult should win this book!

***Competition Closes Midnight on Friday the 14th of August***

When Good Hair Goes Bad

I was on the telly last week, you know, yar, yar…

It was my first time ever doing a telly interview so was obviously up to NINETY (as me ma says) all week, not eating bread, doing face exercises (yes it’s a thing), making panic purchases of make up that I hoped would make me look presentable at 8 o’clock on a Friday morning, and praying to the holy Madonna that the kids would sleep the night before (they didn’t – typical).

I think it went ok – Ireland AM are really lovely to visit, were very welcoming and I managed not to swear or lick anyone’s face. Although I did consider it when I met Sinead Desmond, her skin is AMAZING.

Thanks for the outpouring of love and support online since it aired, for my ‘relaxed demeanour’ (that was Rescue Remedy btw) and my lovely blue shoes. The one thing that NONE of you are mentioning one way or the other, and who could blame you, is my hair. It seems to be lovely on one side and the other….well… I dunno… I’ll let you decide for yourselves. (I’m scarlet!)


Catch the full interview HERE!

Book Giveaway: The Lost Fairy (The O’Brien Press)

Introducing a special new edition of Marian Broderick’s The Lost Fairy with a brand new cover designed by Shelagh-Jessica Gilbourne from Millstreet, Co. Cork, winner of the Children’s Books Ireland/The O’Brien ‘Design A Cover’ Competition!

Flora the diary reckons she is the most important part of Christmas and the most beautiful fairy ever! But Flora has heard worrying stories that some families put a star on the top of the tree. Can you imagine it? A mere star! Flora makes sure to kick the star back down a few branches every time she sees it advancing up the tree. But when Flora falls off the tree, the vain and selfish diary has much to learn before she can regain her rightful place on the Christmas tree.The Lost FairyFor a chance to win a copy of this very special book, just like Raising Ireland on Facebook and leave a comment below. (By the way, “WTF IT’S NOT EVEN CHRISTMAS?!” is totally acceptable.

***Competition Closes At Midnight on June 10th***

Book Giveaway: I Forgot To Take My Pill

I know I haven’t gone on about this a lot (*coughs*), but I just launched a book. A BOOK! A REAL BOOK! The whole process has been exhausting and exhilarating in equal measures, from the stress of self-publishing (and learning precisely how to do that on the go!), to trying to keep on top of the marketing (with great help from sexy PR expert Maeve Barry), to throwing a fab launch party in Chez Max last week, and then running off to Prague with my parents and sister-in-law and getting completely shit-faced last weekend. I may never leave the house again…

Tomorrow, May 29th, from 12-1pm, I will be taking over the HerFamily.ie Twitter Page, to answer any questions you might have about the book (note: I really have no idea how many times I have written ‘vagina’ in it!), or just to have a chat in general. I DO love an ole chat!

I’m so looking forward to it, and to mark the occasion, I’m going to give away three copies of ‘I Forgot To Take My Pill!’ to anyone who Tweets in using the hashtag #AskSharyn. I’ll randomly pick the winners at the end of the session. So, get your questions ready and….good luck! x

Book - Available Now!

‘I Forgot To Take My Pill!’ – Now Available To Pre-Order!

I am having a GREAT day. I made it to the RTE radio centre, to speak to Ryan Tubridy about the book, on time, despite the following obstacles:

1. Ass Monkey used the car all weekend and DIDN’T FILL UP THE TANK WITH PETROL (a sackable offence if you ask me). And,

Who Does She Think She Is?!

Who Does She Think She Is?!

2. I accidentally parked in the radio director’s parking spot when I arrived in RTE. (I KNOW, the state of me, but I was a bit distracted with the giddiness of it all).

Mr. Tubridy himself is SO nice and professional, that I didn’t feel one bit as nervous as I thought I was going to be, and the interview went really well. My favourite bit was when he was kind enough to ask how doggie Pearl took the news that there would be a new additional to the family, coz no one else remembers that PEARL IS MY FIRST BABY!

If you missed the interview, catch the podcast below:

Pre-order eBookNow. I am THRILLED to report that, as of today, the eBook version of ‘I Forgot To Take My Pill!’ is available to pre-order on Amazon and Smashwords before it’s release on May 20th. The 4am finishes have paid off.

Can I go lie down now please?! 

Review: ‘One Of Us’ by Jeannie Waudby (YA)

Martyn Pig stg2From debut author, Jeannie Waudby, comes a nail-biting contemporary drama set in a modern society divided by violence, prejudice and distrust. One of Us is a topical YA thriller about young love and religious intolerance – can one isolated girl learn to understand who she is and where she stands in such a world?

(Here is a review from our amazing YA fan, Louise Reilly – Ed)

‘One of us is an amazing story and after reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about it! K is an amazing
character and the storyline is brilliant, the betrayal is unbelievably surprising and the characters’ backstories are really deep and detailed. I enjoy how the characters expand during the story, it almost feels as if I am there with them while I was reading the book! The cliffhangers made me want to read more until it came to a time where I couldn’t put the book down! Definitely one of my new favourites and I highly recommend this book!’

You can purchase One Of Us on Amazon

The Little Book of Christmas Memories

I am so, so, so, so, SO delighted to be published for the first time ever, in The Little Book of Christmas Memories. All author royalties from the book will go to Aware, an Irish charity who support people suffering with depression.

Not only did I get to write a little story on my childhood memories of Christmas (Caffrey’s Snowballs, anyone?!), but I get to see my name published beside some professional writers who I adore, such as the super cool Roddy Doyle and my amazing friend Carol Tobin!

The Little Book of Christmas Memories is published by Liberties Press and will be available to purchase in early December. For more information, see: The Little Book of Christmas Memories PR-1