“The Big Apple,” a cracked bell and Pure and Tarnished Hearts

The “Big Apple,” a cracked bell and “Pure and Tarnished Hearts.”
By Jana Marie Smith and Arthur Cola

Book Cover for new book: Pure and Tarnished Hearts

Book Cover for new book: Pure and Tarnished Hearts

Sitting down at the dining room table in the home of Arthur Cola in small town America, aka Burlington WI, with the Lilacs blooming in the back yard and the final blossoms of the Crab Apple tree in the front yard fading away one hardly gets a sense of New York City or the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. And yet perhaps this town founded in the early part of the mid-19th Century is quite appropriate for it’s in that time period in which the story of “Pure and Tarnished Hearts” is set. This novel by Arthur Cola will be available in June on Amazon or Kindle as are his other 6 novels.
It is with the scent of Lilacs that the interview began with the Chicago born and raised retired History teacher turned author, who has spent most of his life with his wife, Donna, raising their five children in this growing one-time agrarian City in rural Wisconsin. He is quick to point out that they now have six grandchildren as well.
“I understand that “Pure and Tarnished Hearts” continues a saga begun with your book, “Journey of Three Pure Hearts,” I began.
The writer replied that his characters were introduced in that earlier work. In three distinct areas of Ireland during the famine era three teens, James Shields of Inishbofin, Aengus O’Flaherty of the Aran Islands and Meghan O’Grady of Doolin meet Father Thomas O’Malley OSA and their lives would be forever changed. The focus of their story was on the conditions in Ireland circa 1849 and how the families of the young people place their trust in the priest to bring their children to America, a place of opportunity and wonder or so they heard. Their adventure on the ship called the Cushla Machree captures the essence of the experiences of the immigrants as they sailed to the United States. At the same time, it flashes back to those days when the priest was once imprisoned because he was a Catholic Priest. It also addresses the spirit of teenagers which isn’t much different than those of today, except instead of a hand held electronic device the lads used quill, ink and a Journal to record their thoughts, feelings and experiences.
“Speaking of the priest,” I asked. “Why do you go out of the way to say OSA at the end of his name?”
It turned out that OSA stands for “Order of St. Augustine.” Cola in the arc of his story line already knew that there would be another book to continue the adventure of the priest, the lads and the lass as he called them. And that story takes them to St. Augustine Church in Philadelphia and Villanova University as well. Both the parish and the college were founded by and are operated to this very day by the Order of St. Augustine. They ultimately arrive there because of his research with the Heritage Center at Villanova, the Philadelphia Library and the Church of St. Augustine. “The Friars were most helpful in providing historical information which turned out to be so dramatic in nature that it had to be included in the story,” Arthur Cola said.
“Well then how does New York City come into the story?”
“It’s a matter of historical accuracy and a change of plans,” the author replied.
What he meant by that was that the ship, Cushla Machree, was an actual ship which sailed from Galway to New York City in 1849 with destitute and often starving immigrants from Ireland. However, he had intended to use another ship and go to Boston instead but when he interviewed Monsignor John Ahern of Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral/Basilica and learned of the history of the immigrants at the First Cathedral of New York City and the events which they encountered upon arrival, Arthur Cola decided to begin his tale in the “Big Apple” specifically Mulberry St. where the immigrants settled. Today it’s part of “Little Italy.”
“Okay, so that’s the background for the writing of the story, but how would you describe this coming of age tale of three teens under the leadership of this Father Thomas O’Malley OSA?”
I soon learned that this book is more than a coming of age adventure story. It’s also historically accurate in presenting actual events taking place in the United States during this period of history. It is set against a backdrop of riots and protests against new immigrants and Catholics by a political faction known as the American Nativist Party or “Know-Nothings.”
“What I have done,” the author went on to say, “was to weave my fictional characters into those events which took place in New York City and Philadelphia while using actual historical figures such as the First Archbishop of New York City, John Hughes, and America’s greatest actor of the day, Edwin Forrest and others such as the Philadelphia Killers gang to interact with my characters.”
In creating the story, Arthur Cola introduces you to some of the most famous and not so known iconic places in both cities. You will dock in the Battery of New York City, walk with the terrified immigrants to Castle Garden, now called Clinton Castle, which predates Ellis Island for receiving immigrants. Today you buy your tickets to see the Statue of Liberty there. Then off you’ll go up Wall Street and onto Broadway there meeting New York High society girls. In an unlikely turn of events these very girls will lead you to Mulberry St. crowded with Irish immigrants and to Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Bowery theater district.
Most of all you will get to experience how James Shields of Inishbofin, a tiny almost barren island off western Ireland, Aengus O’Flaherty, a young fisherman from the Aran Islands called the Celtic Warrior and Meghan O’Grady of Doonagore Castle in Doolin, County Clare came to be friends and befriend others like themselves to form a 19th Century singing group dubbed “The Celtic Warriors.” You will be right with them as they use pen and song and sometimes fists, to confront the prejudice and outright hatred they find in the land which they believed to be a “City set upon a hill.”
Then you will travel with them across the Hudson River through New Jersey and onto Philadelphia so that they might answer the silent ringing of the cracked bell which for them symbolized the essence of those words written in the Declaration of Independence taught to them by their teacher priest. Once in the City of Brotherly Love you will be thrust into turmoil and exuberance, murder and compassion, despair and hope. In such historic sites such as the Walnut Street Theater, Villanova University, Christ Church, St. Augustine Church, and most of all Independence Hall, which then housed the Liberty Bell, you will follow the characters.
The author believes that you will find his characters facing parallel issues which exist in America today and thus you will be able to relate to them.
As for the story itself, some may call it sentimental. In a way they’d be right, for it does touch the heart. Some may call it a celebration of American values and they too are correct in a way as it does address those principles on which our nation was founded. And yet it also addresses how those principles were not applied to all people in 19th century America. Some may see this story as a commentary on immigration and they too would be on the right track. It certainly illuminates that issue throughout the telling of the tale as the immigrants struggle for acceptance into American society. Then some may see this book as a reflection on Religious Freedom and they too are correct; for the anti-Catholic and outright riots against Catholic places and people are dramatized only slightly around the events which actually took place. And some may see in this tale a story of lads maturing into young men as they confront guy issues and a lass of the Victorian Era who isn’t quite like what the fine young ladies of American society were expected to be. Any of these views are in some degree accurate interpretations of what this historical fiction adventure novel of “Pure and Tarnished Hearts” contains.
It is because of these various depictions of the 19th Century Characters, political and religious tensions of the day and human development issues that the author feels this story is most appropriate for older teens and adults.
Pure and Tarnished Hearts along with the author’s other novels will be presented on Sunday, June 28 beginning at 3:00 p.m. at Napoli’s Restaurant in Burlington, WI. The books of Arthur Cola will also be available at Festa Italiana/Milwaukee from July 17-19. Irish Fest/Dublin OH July 31-Aug. 2, Irish Fest/Peoria IL Aug. 28-30, Irish Fest/Pittsburgh Sept. 11-13, Irish Fest/Milwaukee Aug. 13-16 and I.B.A.M/Chicago Oct. 9-11 and Villanova University/Philadelphia (date to be determined).

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Pure and Tarnished Hearts by Arthur Cola

Book Cover for new book: Pure and Tarnished Hearts

Book Cover for new book: Pure and Tarnished Hearts

I am pleased to announce that my new novel: “Pure and Tarnished Hearts” will be published this summer. It will be available on Kindle and at Amazon (just search Arthur Cola on their sites) and at this link: http://www.feedaread.com/profiles/597/

And now here’s a little of what you may expect from this adventure tale of historical fiction. First is what one of my readers wrote about my book: “Journey of Three Pure Hearts” in anticipation of the new book.

Carol J. of Wisconsin says: I loved the first book of this series, and am sure this one will meet my expectations, as well. I look forward to their immigrant experience in the “new world,” and the events that await the characters of this book as they step off their ship and into the hustle of New York City.

Following is an introduction to the new novel: Pure and Tarnished Hearts and a bit of what you will find in its pages from the lips of its characters.

The silent ringing of a cracked bell summons
young Irish immigrants, called the “Celtic Warriors,” to the City of Brotherly Love.

Enter a world of a very different America and yet similar in many ways to the present day. The saga continues as Father Thomas O’Malley leads his flock of immigrants to a new life in a new land. Join James Shields, the Hero of Inishbofin, Aengus O’Flaherty, the fisherman from Inishmor and Meghan O’Grady, of Doonagore Castle, as they become part of a new singing sensation proclaimed as the Bards of New York City. Despite secret societies, a political movement called the “Know-Nothings,” arson, riots and murder, The “Celtic Warriors” respond to the call of the bell. Their journey will touch your heart and thrill your very soul as they use pen and song to bring down the walls of hatred and intolerance while bringing to life the spirit of the Founding Fathers words of
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Pure and Tarnished Hearts by Arthur Cola
The characters speak and you discover their tale of coming to America from Ireland in 1849.

Chapter 2: What could going to America have to do with this question?

“Mother of God, are we to become thieves as those who beat us?”

Chapter 5: And this is only the lads and lass’ first day in America.

“I’m James Richard Shields and you shouldn’t forget that name for this day you and your store shall be entered into my Journal and when it’s published you shall be seen for what you are, a mean spirited human being with a cold heart and rude manners.”

Aengus smiled broadly and then head butted Roger, who held him.

Chapter 5: How Megan responds to James and Aengus meeting three New York Society girls.

“Doonagore Castle…your home was a castle?”

Chapter 7: How does this lament bring on darkness to a lad’s heart?

“Meghan, why did ye have to leave? I could have offered you a future which would have brought you back to your ancestral castle home. It would be yours once again.” Michael paused in his spoken thought and fell silent.

Chapter 8: How does this question from an immigrant teen reflect the growing pains of the lads who are called, “Celtic Warriors?”

“I don’t understand girls, Father. Will that ever change?”

Chapter 9: How did Bishop Hughes save New York City with a threat like this?

“You can send forth your new police force of which you are so proud and protect the people on both sides and save yours and my city this day. For I tell you as I hold onto the cross of Christ about my neck that should one Irishman be harmed, one Church burned that this city shall be likened to a second Moscow and left in ashes.”

Chapter 11: And this is only some of the adventures since arriving in America for Aengus, James and their mates.

“Really Aengus, I almost got shipped back because of my fear of separation from you, we almost got our arse handed to us in a fight, your exhibition on a horse brought us our first earned money, and Father O’Malley fought for us not once but twice since we stepped onto American soil and all you can think about is how your shirt was washed?”

Chapter 12: What did happen, which brought the lads to become a 19th Century singing sensation?

That is…how such a raggedy looking bunch of what would have been called thugs not more than a year or so ago for simply walking the streets together, were producing such a sound as to bring joy to the hearts and tapping of the toes of those who watched.

Chapter 15: Who was this person? How did this chance encounter change the lives of the “Celtic Warriors?”

“Have you any idea whom you just pushed to the ground,” he stopped, looked at his employer sitting upon a trunk and thought to revise his statement, “…onto the trunk in such a violent manner.”

Chapter 20:

“Meghan, Meghan, we’re over here.” The lads shouted but they couldn’t wait, they ran to her and Aengus swept her off the portable step stool and plopped her right down into the arms of James.

“Hi, we almost forgot you.”

“Typical boy…gone for a few days and I am forgotten.”

“I’d never forget you Meghan, you must know that.”

Chapter 21:

“James, men aren’t supposed to cry.”

“Who says so? The Bible says Jesus wept in the garden.”

Chapter 22:

“You won’t be beating me Master?”

James was now shaking almost as much as the youth who wouldn’t let go of his hand.

“I’m not your Master, I’m just like you.”

The shivering youth shook his head. “No, Sir, you’re not like me.” He then looked up at all the lads dressed in their fine new suits. Pulling up his shirt, he exposed streaks of reddened flesh obviously caused by the lash of a whip, such as one might use on a horse.

Chapter 22: The song of the “Celtic Warriors”

“Aye ‘twas a lucky day that lad met me
For out of pure love the future came to be.
And those waves which rose would make us close.
They have brought us across the sea.”

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Celtic Thunder Concert 2015 by Arthur Cola

Celtic thunder is a talented group of Lads from Ireland and their band who bring music and song to the stage. You will find yourself close to tears with some of their songs such as Emmett singing Danny Boy and Ryan and Neal singing Hallelujah, laughing a belly laugh as their antics take you through songs which tickle your funny bone with songs by all six members like Black Velvet Band and Seven Drunken Nights (which was so funny that this guy who rarely laughs out loud did so unabashedly) and still there’s more. Songs such as Calendonia and a Place in the Choir will have you clapping your hands and stomping your feet. You will find them witty and friendly as well. When they come to a city near you, get a ticket and go have some fun. They certainly have inspired me as I write my 7th novel: Pure and Tarnished Hearts which is due out this summer. It is about a group of young people who have come to America during the famine era in Ireland . Here they find challenges and prejudice against them because they are immigrants and Catholics to boot. And yet they also discover new friends, opportunities from those already here to give them a chance. Their adventures, some of which threaten their very lives, also elevate them to stardom as they sing in the choir and on stage as well. From 19th Century New York City to Philadelphia, this tale will introduce you to James Shields, Aengus O’Flaherty and Meghan O’Grady as they come of age in a new land which is called America and discover that “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is not easily attained as not “all men are created equal” in the eyes of some. And yet they persevere and strive to make it happen.

Here’s something about our experience at the Celtic Thunder show.

<table cellspacing=”0″ cellpadding=”0″ border=”0″ bgcolor=”#ffffff”><tr><td><a href=”http://www.smilebox.com/play/4e44497a4d6a41344d54453d0d0a&blogview=true&campaign=blog_playback_link&partner=googlee&#8221; target=”_blank”><img width=”420″ height=”330″ alt=”Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook” src=”http://www.smilebox.com/snap/4e44497a4d6a41344d54453d0d0a.jpg&#8221; style=”border: medium none ;”/></a></td></tr><tr><td><a href=”http://www.smilebox.com?partner=googlee&campaign=blog_snapshot&#8221; target=”_blank”><img width=”420″ height=”46″ alt=”Create your own scrapbook – Powered by Smilebox” src=”http://www.smilebox.com/globalImages/blogInstructions/blogLogoSmilebox.gif&#8221; style=”border: medium none ;”/></a></td></tr><tr><td align=”center”>Another <a href=”http://www.smilebox.com/scrapbooks.html?campaign=blog_playback_link&partner=googlee&#8221; target=”_blank”>scrapbook</a> by Smilebox</td></tr></table>

Take a look at my website for information about all my books: http://www.legendarytalesofarthurcola.com and at amazon or kindle.com/arthurcola

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Creating New book: Pure and Tarnished Hearts by Arthur Cola

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Creating “Pure and Tarnished Hearts in America”

Wisconsin: The 19th Century briefly returned to Milwaukee as author Arthur Cola gathered his family to create photo images depicting the landing of Irish Immigrants in America circa 1850. Their task was to reproduce the look and feel of some of the most famous images from that period of Irish-American history. Off the author and his entourage went to Miller and Campbell Costume Co. of Milwaukee on First Street. By the time the 21st Century clothes were replaced by 19th Century ones the characters of his upcoming novel: Pure and Tarnished Hearts seemed to come to life. Arthur Colaianni V was transformed into James Richard Shields one of the heroes of the new novel which is a tale of Irish immigrants coming to America from the horrors of Ireland during the potato blight years. Connor Smith became Aengus O’Flaherty, the Aran Islands fisherman lad who fancied himself as a Celtic Warrior and the best mate of James. Meghan Timler took on the persona of Meghan O’Grady the heroine whose heart belonged to James but in secret as he announced his intention to become a priest. Riley Smith picked up his violin and became the fiddler Riley McCarthy, the lad from Mulberry Street in New York City who would become the catalyst in changing his impoverished mates into a 19th Century Singing troupe which would wow the city. Mack Timler buttoned his tweed suit coat and donned his cap and suddenly he was Mackain Kelly of Doolin, Ireland who befriends Michael Nagle whose love for Meghan would change his and Mack’s life as they pursue the lass to America. Olivia Colaianni experienced a personality change as she clothed herself in a period high society gown and effused the character of Olivia Seymour of New York City who is a socialite coming to understand the newcomers and their Catholic faith as not being a threat to the American way of life but rather an enhancement of what Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness really means for all people. Completing the photo shoot was Mark Timler who adjusted that white clerical collar and became Father Thomas O’Malley, friend, teacher, leader and priest to the James, Aengus and Meghan who watches over them as they arrive in America which was a very different nation than it is today. For they must face the anti-immigrant Secret Society of the Star Spangled Banner, a real group of the day which was an off shoot of the Nativist American Party known in today’s history books as the know-nothings.

Arranged on the studio stage of Main Stage, Milwaukee by photographer Ron Colaianni, who looked more like a Hollywood cinematographer as shadows were addressed and expressions ordered to be changed to reflect 19th century appearance. First came the group shot which will be magically changed to fit a scene at Independence Hall in Philadelphia were some of the action of the tale takes place by the book’s illustrator John Colaianni of Burlington, WI. Then came some silly shots to relax the faces after holding stoic expressions and finally the head shots which will be featured in the acknowledgement section of the new book.

“Pure and Tarhished Hearts in America” is a sequel to Arthur Cola’s sixth novel: Journey of Three Pure Hearts. All the novels of Arthur Cola may be found on Amazon and Kindle.

The author hopes to debut his latest work at Milwaukee’s Irish Fest in August of 2015. It will make its appearance at Irish Fest in Dublin Ohio in August, Irish Fest, Pittsburgh PA in September and at I.B.A.M./Chicago later in the fall along with his other legendary tales, historical fiction and Renaissance mystery novels.

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Give the gift of Reading this Christmas

I am sending out some book order forms so that readers may get signed copies in time for Christmas. If anyone is interested just email me and request that I send an order form to you. It will also have a summary of each of my six novels, so that you may choose the right one for that reader in your life whether they be mature, teens or youngsters. And don’t forget my story about the miracle of Christmas Love, just perfect for the holiday season (Stolen Christmas). email; arthurcola@yahoo.com.

New novels for the holiday season.

New novels for the holiday season.

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New Book: Journey of Three Pure Hearts by Arthur Cola

NewJourneyofThreePureHeartsCoverTake a look at my new books.

“Stolen Christmas” (ISBN: 978-1-78299-439-8)

This tale blends a Romeo and Juliet theme with a David and Goliath theme as it presents a charming holiday story for the whole family.

“It’s the season celebrating the love born in Bethlehem long ago when in the heart of Chicago a young Pastor struggles to save his Church. Two cultures are about to collide as a Mexican-American girl and an Italian-American boy reveal their relationship. The innocence of a young boy is about to be tested as he comes to the aide of his Church by enacting a dastardly deed to save it from demolition on the day after Christmas. Amidst these emotions of aa dejected priest, lovelorn teens and a boy who still believes that Christmas is a time for miracles there enters a white bearded stranger. The mysterious gentleman, known as Mr. Nick, shows not only these charactgers but an entire city the power of faith and love.”

“Journey of Three Pure Hearts”
(ISBN: 978-1-78407-828-7)

“Bro-Mance” and “Romance” in Victorian Era Ireland and America

Arthur Cola has woven a coming of age tale in “Journey of Three Pure Hearts.” This is Book One of “The Doonagore Theft Trilogy.” The tale takes three teens in famine devastated Ireland on a Journey to America. Experience their life adventure as their families seek to give them a future of hope in the land of golden opportunity. Join James Shields, Aengus O’Flaherty and Meghan O’Grady as their lives become entangled in a triangle of friendship which grows into something more as a vocation to the priesthood is tested, boys start to become men, prejudice presents itself in a violent manner and love binds friend to friend, man to woman and “brother” to “brother.”

In this time of immigration concerns, this tale presents events which took place in the 19 th Century but is quite relevant to what is taking place in the present day in our nation. “Journey of Three Pure Hearts” is Book One of what will be my Doonagore Theft Trilogy, which will come to completion in late 2015.

Both books may be ordered at http://www.feedaread.com/ and on http://www.kindledirect.com/arthurcola

You may learn more about them on my web site: Legendary Tales of Arthur Cola – Home

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Arthur Cola’s New website

I just published a new Website. Do give it a visit.

"Stolen Christmas" is the newest tale. To be published this summer.

“Stolen Christmas” is the newest tale. To be published this summer.

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