I Am Back!

March 2010 039

I AM Back!

I am excited to launch my latest book, Towards the Sun!  It is an exciting military love story with an historical background.  I love historical novels and decided to research for a year all the facts in this book.  I traveled to both coasts where Navy SEALs tend to still live and interview them for this story.  I melted fictional characters with real life non-fiction action of the 1970s and what the military, political and world climates were at that time.  

When a young impressionable Kathleen Burke steps into the scene, life changes for the three Navy SEALs she meets.  For Kathleen, life becomes a joyful yet often terrifying ride.  She parallels an American shattered by controversy, tragedy and lost innocence.  You are probably going to be pulling for Kathleen.

Beside her are the SEALs stories of excitement, love and loss, well interwoven with real-life scenarios.  I am betting you will love to love and love to hate all the characters in their many imperfections.

Lying at the heart of this book are quintessence of love in its many formulas.  Towards the Sun is the story of how the human spirit can falter yet ultimately triumph over adversity.  It is the story of the importance of friendship, of living life at its most intense level and accepting the consequences.   Oh yes, it is written for both men and women.


Don’t forget my other books!

More Than Words Can Express – A Story of Love and Forgiveness   What love is more compelling than the love of a child by a mother?  This non fiction story has all the elements of heartache, fraternal estrangement, school bullying, a life 

I AM LOOKING FOR SOME WRITING MAMAS! Check that out under News Flash! Let me know what you think; we are still working on the kinks.



St Paddy’s Day


1949 Family w Brennans - Copy

Top of the Mornin’ To Ya!
I haven’t been blogging lately because I have been busy writing the next great American novel. That story keeps me hammering away at my computer keys, not my blog.
Still, I would be remiss not to wish my family and friends a Happy St.Patrick’s Day.

Could it be so many decades ago that we got together in a park in Chicago to take the above photo? Isn’t photography wonderful to help us retain those precious moments? My Grandpa Brennan stands on the right hand side; he hailed from County Rascommon. My Grandma Brennan is third on the right; she hailed from County Mayo. They met in Chicago at a dance. Your writer is in the loving arms of her cousin, Karen.

Now I am older than my grandmother was then. Hard to come to terms with, sometimes. I remember the family celebrations on the south side of Chicago…most especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone always seem to have such fun on so little. The adults would put on the old record player and teach the children how to do “the jig”. Yes, I remember lots of drinking, but all in good fun. I don’t recall anyone getting angry or upset when they drank in this Irish household. They just knew how to enjoy each other.

My grandfather, a good-looking seventeen-year old lad came to America with five dollars in his pocket. He worked his way from pub to pub on the railroad line, sleeping in the back of the pub and singing for tips only. When he earned enough to reach the next town he would be off, repeating that”career” move again and again until he had enough money to he reached Chicago.

My sisters and I took a sentimental journey back to Ireland almost three decades ago and met with the surviving family members who’s parents did not migrate to America. For admittedly this sentimental writer it was deeply moving experience. Some of our cousins still lived in the midst of a cow meadow, wishing, they, too, lived in America.

Years later, when Lee Iacocca was raising funds to restore Ellis Island (where most Irish immigrants came through) I donated a name plate to be installed on Ellis Island in each of my grandparents names, remembering the courage and saluting the hopes of a different generation…they were the ones who enabled this generation to reap the benefits of the seeds they would sow. Where would we all be now had they not the courage to do this?

Now, so many decades later, I will this year put on Irish music, as I do every year and my son, Brian Kevin Donahue,has volunteered to cook an “authentic Irish dinner” for his old Mom. I will once again take a swig and do a jig to commemorate those of my family who have gone before me, blessing them for making my life so much better than their own.

In the full spirit of the day, from both my Grandma Brennan and me, I share with you this old Irish prayer:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


The Power Of Love – Happy Valentine’s Day!


The pressure grows: It is the night before Valentine’s Day! Will Valentines come my way? Is there a special person in my life? How do I express the love in my heart? Normally, most of us think of Valentine’s Day as a romantic expression of love. We forget about its many formulas. I write in “Meet Me Under The Eiffel Tower” about the difference between love and lust. While we all tend to want a connection to another human being, it need not only be in versions of “romantic” love. There are so very many formulas to experience!

I have never read a more profound definition of love that that written by Robert O.Johann. I wanted to share it with you.

“Much has been written about love. But most of the writing, as Pere Teilhard de Chardin has remarked, concerns “only the sentimental face of love, the joy and miseries it causes us.” Relatively little has been set down about love as a way of life. And the power of love, which is the power of Being itself, has been all but passed over…

“The reason why an encounter with love moves us so deeply is that, no matter how humble and fleeting the gesture that embodies it, it dramatically recalls to us our own vocations as persons. For the person is not a mere element caught up in nature’s restless process…In the person, the transcendent power and creative free of God Himself are unleashed in their own right. To be a person is to share in Being itself and in Being’s creative concern for all that is…The person who lives as a person…is one who has learned that to be is to love, to spend oneself for others that they may more truly be, and that in the spending one is not impoverished but evermore deeply rooted in that limitless abundance on which one draws.

“This is the secret of love’s power over us. To be loved is to encounter Being itself, eternity in time, God’s face among the faces of men. The loving person translates for our benefit the exuberant life of God in human terms…In the one who loves us we hear God’s voice in the realm of everyday…The only thing is not to let it go unanswered.”

He seems to be saying love is not a vocation. As an extension of God we are asked to love more and differently throughout our lives. In all its many formulas, it is our call. The most important thing is “not to let it go unanswered.

Happy Love Day!

Film Festivals Abound in San Diego County!


I have noticed something lately: there seems to be more and more film festivals in our county. For this movie buff I am ecstatic! I always have been a film fanatic just as sure as most men were riveted to the Super Bowl today. If it is films you want, it is film festivals you will have. As a matter of fact San Diego will offer a Film Festival every month in a variety of themes. The latest to be announced starts this week.

The 24th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival sponsored by Leichtag Foundation, runs between February 6-16 at a variety of theaters through San Diego. The Festival showcases over sixty of the best contemporary Jewish themed films from around the world showcasing drama, documentaries, comedies, shorts and major epics. There were be products from fifteen different countries. Since I often review foreign films because they are usually mass produced in the cookie cutter manner than often comes out of Hollywood. You may well agree.

Highlights for this year’s event will include a screening of Bethlehem, the official Academy Award entry for best foreign film

The entire line up of films, times, opening and closing ceremonies and where you will find it all may be found on: http://www.sdcjc.org . They offer ticket bundles at discounted prices. Watch for my reviews coming up by the end of February. See you at the movies!

New Year’s Eve Resolutions


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Some of the ideas for this blog came from my favorite preacher, Joel Osteen. He is the only preacher who uses good spiritual sense, common sense and philosophy to make his point. He airs on Sunday mornings and you’ll want to take notes if you watch him. Yesterday his sermon was called “Get Over It”.

So here we are, the last day of 2013. Beyond the all-time resolution of loosing ten pounds (which rarely seems to happen), maybe we should be considering other things that will better ourselves, our lives and the world. Below are some of my ideas intermingled with Joel’s:

10. Don’t be pitiful; be powerful.

9. Respect yourself; God wasn’t having a bad day when He created you.

8. Get rid of the chip on your shoulder; it makes you look twenty pounds heavier and ten years older.

7. Get over disappointments. Holding them close makes you and everyone around you miserable.

6. Stop blaming others. It is over, done, kaput. Get on with your life and learn from its harsh lessons.

5. Don’t feel shortchanged. You are given the ability to improve your life. Use it!

4. Stop thinking about you. Start thinking about others, how you can help them improve their lives.

3. Every day get up and say a prayer: “May my thoughts, my words and my actions reflect your Holy Name.”

2. Smile more; it is contagious.

1. Find at least one person every week who you do not know and do something nice for them. There are millions of opportunities out there.

And then, my dears, at least TRY to loose that ten pounds. 🙂

Blessings to you and your family and friends for finding greater peace in the new year.

Christmas Greetings


As we give and receive Christmas greetings from family, friends and neighbors, I am reminded of my favorite holiday greeting.  I want to share it with you, my “followers” on WordPress.  It was written in 1513 by Fra Giovanni Giocondo to his friend, Countess Allagia Aldobrandeschi on Christmas Eve, 1513.  Five hundred years later, it still touches the heart:

“I am your friend and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got, but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take.

“No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in today. Take heaven!
“No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!
“The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness could we but see – and to see we have only to look. I beseech you to look!
“Life is so generous a given, but we, judging its gifts by the covering, cast them away as ugly, or heavy or hard. Remove the covering and you will find beneath it a living splendor, woven of love, by wisdom, with power.
“Welcome it, grasp it, touch the angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, believe me, that angel’s hand is there, the fit is there and the wonder of an overshadowing presence. Our joys, too, but not content with them as joys. They, too, conceal diviner gifts.
“Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – beneath its covering – that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven.
“Courage, then, to claim it, that is all. But courage you have, and the knowledge that we are all pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.
“And so, at this time, I greet you. Not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem and with the prayer that for you now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
Blessing today and every day.  Tasha Donabue