Hooligans in Shining Armour

merged photoAfter her mother is killed in a car crash, seventeen-year-old Fiona Fitzpatrick is forced to leave her home in Madison, WI, and move across the ocean to face with the father and brothers she’s never known. The graffiti on a forty-foot peace wall, separating her father’s neighborhood from the next, greets her on arrival: Welcome to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Fiona has spent her life hating the father who’s had no part in her life, but soon learns he’s desperately tried to connect all along. As she starts putting the pieces together, she learns the terrible truths of her family’s past … and present.

Belfast-born Danny Stewart hopes to join the British Army when he turns 18, but his da and his mates rag him for staying on in school and wanting to abandon his Protestant culture. Everyone’s waiting for him to wise the bap and join the Ulster Volunteer Force, the paramilitary group his da, brother, and mates are in. When Danny meets Fiona, he’s immediately drawn to this beautifully tragic American girl who shares his secret love of folk rock. She sees him for who he can be, not who everyone pressures him to be. But Fiona’s family comes from the wrong side of the wall. Danny’s da and UVF mates would beat his bollocks in if they found out they were dating, and that’s nothing compared to what her older brothers would do.

HOOLIGANS IN SHINING ARMOUR will appeal to fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park and Todd Strasser’s If I Grow Up.

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To see images that inspired this novel, visit my Northern Ireland album.

To watch some of the videos I used while researching, visit my Youtube channel.

Check out my Pinterest inspiration board:

29 comments

  1. Jared · April 22, 2014

    Wow! I’m impressed you are very descriptive and paint a great picture. Also the characters sound very interesting. I really like it can’t wait to read the whole thing.

    Like

  2. Ana Atach · April 23, 2014

    There is very little I know about this conflict in Northern Ireland. Thanks to your narration I can start to get a feel for what it is like to live in that region of the world. Looking forward to more!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 23, 2014

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the positive feedback, Ana. It is a very complex topic, as I’ve learned over the past few years!

      Like

  3. Stacy Black · April 23, 2014

    Great chapter! I’m anxious to read the rest. Especially when “Juliet” is introduced!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 23, 2014

      Haha thanks! She’s coming soon. Just waiting on some feedback from my Singapore Writer’s Group!

      Like

  4. Mark · April 24, 2014

    I really enjoyed that and the vernacular was spot on. Well done.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 24, 2014

      Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! The dialect is thanks to countless hours upon hours of research. Thanks for taking the time to read it 🙂

      Like

  5. Geoffrey · April 24, 2014

    This really brought me to Belfast. The dialect, setting description, and characters made it so real. I’d heard about the IRA and The Troubles, but this got me to do a bit more research. From what I saw, the setting and plot should prove compelling!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 24, 2014

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Glad you enjoyed it. Yeah I went to Belfast in the summer of 2011 knowing little. I learned a lot while I was there and left fascinated, needing to learn more. It was from that follow-up research that I was inspired to write this novel 🙂

      Like

  6. Heather · April 25, 2014

    hehe Mark’s the teachers pet. But for real, it’s looking really good 🙂 can’t wait to read more!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 25, 2014

      Haha it is a common name after all 😉 glad you liked and thanks for reading!

      Like

  7. Mariam Tsaturyan · April 30, 2014

    Omg! I can’t even describe how well this was written. I could easily imagine the scene in my head as I was reading. I love the dialect your characters have, and the personalities really come through. Very impressive work! 🙂 I think I am gonna really love Danny, he seems like a tortured soul, who is never going to give up.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 30, 2014

      Yay! So glad I set the scene well and the dialect was comprehensible. Thanks for reading and thanks for the positive feedback!

      Like

  8. Wesley Morrison · April 30, 2014

    “Hooligans in Shining Armor” … Great title!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · April 30, 2014

      Thanks! I like it as well, but I also know that, in the UK at least Hooligans has more of a soccer/football connotation. I think US it’s more just like general ruffian so it works. My market will be US, but I need to be mindful of it.

      Like

  9. Donald Miller · May 26, 2014

    Hey Sarah.

    Like

  10. authorleighmichaels · June 18, 2014

    I’m looking forward to reading this whole novel!

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · June 18, 2014

      Thanks!! Here’s to hoping it’ll be finalized soon lol.

      Like

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