Jennifer Deibel is the author of A Dance in Donegal, The Lady of Galway Manor, and The Maid of Ballymacool. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and in other publications. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family.

In this interview, Jennifer talks with us about her latest novel, The Irish Matchmaker.

FF: Can you please provide a brief summary of your novel The Irish Matchmaker?
Catríona Daly is no stranger to the business of love—even though personally she has yet to find it. Eager for a match of her own and a fresh start away from her sleepy village, she makes grand plans for the annual Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival. She never expects a shy, widowed sheep farmer to distract her from her goal.

FF: What do you hope readers will gain from reading The Irish Matchmaker?
I pray that all readers will be encouraged in their own faith journey—whether they’ve been following Jesus for years or just exploring what this God thing is all about. And if anyone is struggling to trust in God’s provision, when it’s almost impossible to see how He could provide, I hope that they would be heartened and encouraged to trust Him.

FF: Why do you love setting your novels in Ireland?
The culture, language, and people are part of my heart and soul. I love being able to help others experience even a piece of that incredible country. It is such a joy.

FF: What type of research was required to portray the historical setting in The Irish Matchmaker?
While I’ve driven through Lisdoonvarna and stopped for tea once or twice, I was never able to spend much time there. So I spent a lot of days and weeks online learning about the town’s history, as well as the history and methods of matchmaking. I was so grateful to be able to chat with people at the Spa Wells Historical Centre, as well as talk to third-generation matchmaker Willie Daly (who is still making matches in Lisdoonvarna to this day)! It was some of the most fun research I’ve done in a while!

FF: Catríona is the daughter of a renowned matchmaker. What were the responsibilities of a matchmaker during this time period?
Matchmakers were responsible for finding suitable matches for their clients. Sometimes the first match worked, other times it took a few tries. Then it was their job to negotiate the terms of the match—money for dowry and land or livestock that was going to be part of the deal, etc. Many matchmakers also kept meticulous records. Lisdoonvarna’s current matchmaker carries a book with him that has the details of every match made by him, his father, and his grandfather!

FF: Catríona is determined to make a reputation for herself as a great matchmaker, as well as make herself a prosperous match. What, in your opinion, makes a great match between two characters?
That’s the million-dollar question! There has to be some common thread connecting the characters to begin with. It could be a shared circumstance, mutual attraction, or even mutual annoyance! But both parties really need to have the same goal for the relationship. A good dose of conflict or a few obstacles can really help refine those goals and draw the couple together. I also think laughter is a must for any successful romantic match.

FF: What do you love most about writing historical romance?
I love being able to experience the world through a different lens. No matter how many stories I write, I learn so much, and I get to see countries, cultures, and time periods most people don’t get the opportunity to if they don’t read or write historical fiction. It’s a chance to see what things were like.

FF: What about your own life influences your writing?
Oftentimes, my own faith and struggles influence what or how I write. I’m able to draw on those experiences in order to add a deeper layer of authenticity to the characters’ thoughts and actions. Many of the humorous situations in my books were inspired by events I actually experienced—like the “moving cloud” (aka sheep) in the nighttime journey over the Errigal Pass in A Dance of Donegal and the cows munching on seaweed in the middle of the street after a storm in The Lady of Galway Manor!

The Irish Matchmaker
Jennifer Deibel
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 13, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎0800744853
ISBN-13: ‎978-0800744854

Book Summary:
As daughter of a well-known matchmaker, Catríona Daly is no stranger to the business of love—and sees it as her ticket away from the sleepy village that only comes alive during the annual matchmaking festival. Enter Lord Osborne’s son, Andrew, who has returned to the festival after being disappointed by a rival matchmaker’s failed setup. Catríona seizes the opportunity to make a better match for the handsome man–and for herself!

Cattle farmer Donal Bunratty is in desperate need of a wife after loss left him to handle the farm and raise his daughter on his own. Shy and lacking the finer social graces, he agrees to attend the matchmaking festival to appease his daughter. But when he arrives, it’s not any of the other merrymakers that catch his eye but rather his matchmaker—who clearly has eyes for someone else.

Catríona will have to put all her expertise to work to make a match that could change her life forever. Will her plan succeed? Or will love have its own way?


Buy The Irish Matchmaker from the FF Store HERE!


Buy The Irish Matchmaker from Amazon HERE!

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About The Author

Jennifer Deibel is a middle school teacher whose work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and others. With firsthand immersive experience abroad, Jennifer writes stories that help redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.