New to the historical romance genre, novelist Jennifer Deibel made her mark on readers in 2021 with A Dance in Donegal, a stunning debut full of romance and mystery in the lush Irish countryside. Her work has appeared on (in)courage, on The Better Mom, in Missions Mosaic magazine, and in other publications. After nearly a decade of living in Ireland and Austria, she now lives in Arizona with her husband and their three children.

Influenced by her experience on the Emerald Isle, Deibel now delivers more of the lively sights, sounds, smells, and language of this colorful country in her sophomore novel, The Lady of Galway Manor. Uncovering the true meaning of loyalty and friendship, Deibel’s lyrical prose will redefine home through the lens of culture, history, and family in The Lady of Galway Manor.

FF: Please provide readers with a brief description of The Lady of Galway Manor.
The Lady of Galway Manor is a quintessential love story, but it’s also a story of redemption, loyalty, and true friendship. It’s a journey of self-discovery for both hero and heroine that requires them—and the reader—to examine their own preconceived notions about the world.

This story blends so many of my favorite elements of Irish culture—art, music, story, and the Claddagh ring. We follow Annabeth De Lacy as she moves to Ireland since her father has been assigned as the newest British landlord. She finagles an apprenticeship with the ancestor of the creator of the famed Claddagh ring, and she must figure out how to work with her Irish hosts while balancing the expectations of her proper British family.

FF: What was the inspiration for your book?
So many things inspired this story. Of course, my love for Ireland and her people played a huge part. I love the legends, myths, and storied past of the Emerald Isle, and the legend of the Claddagh ring and how it came to be has always intrigued me. Writing this book also let me see and experience the unique relationship between the Irish and British, and how even today their painful past shapes their worldview. I really wanted to explore that a little bit and press into the idea that we all have beliefs about people, cultures, races, religions, and so on that we’ve either been taught, or we’ve formed on our own from various experiences. And those ideas are very rarely completely accurate.

So I wanted to explore what it might be like for two people from opposing cultures, with no love lost between them, to be thrust together in a close quarters working environment. When I first started this story, I had no idea what the world would be dealing with when it was released. And the events of the past year cemented my conviction that we all need to press into these beliefs and see where our own worldview may be skewed.

FF: The Lady of Galway Manor takes place in Galway, Ireland, in the 1920s. What drew you to this particular place and period in time?
We lived in County Galway, about half an hour outside Galway City, for four years, and it’s one of the most majestic and exciting places on the island. It’s a hub for music and culture and is just ripe with stories. This time period—at the start of the Irish War for Independence—is also deeply fascinating.

We spent countless hours wandering the same streets Stephen and Annabeth do in the story. I’ve stood on the shores of the River Corrib, near the Spanish Arch, looking out over the Claddagh, and I’ve eaten fish and chips at Ireland’s best chippy. I’ve tapped many a toe at traditional Irish music sessions in several of the countless pubs that fill the city. Like A Dance in Donegal, this book is a love letter to Ireland and her people. I want to help others who may never be able to set foot in Ireland experience a little piece of it for themselves.

FF: One of the main threads of this story is the legend of the Claddagh ring. Can you tell us a little more about the history behind this symbol?
The Claddagh ring is a world-famous design on which a heart is topped with a crown and held on either side by hands. Many people have seen these rings, even though they may not know what it’s called.

The ring came to be when a young man was kidnapped shortly before his wedding and sold as a slave to an Algerian goldsmith. During that time, he learned the craft of jewelry smithing and became a master at it. Unable to stop thinking about the true love he left behind in Ireland, he came up with the design in which the heart represents love, the hands friendship, and the crown loyalty.

At long last, he was released and allowed to return to Ireland. As luck would have it, his true love had waited for him. So he presented her with the ring, and they finally wed. The man passed the jewelry craft on to his descendants, who own a jewelry shop to this day. You can learn more about this shop and the legend at

FF: What is the biggest hook for your latest novel?
Honestly, I think it would have to be Ireland itself. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like, or isn’t fascinated by, Ireland. The culture, language, music, and history hold such charm and intrigue, it’s hard to pass up!

FF: Are there any lessons you hope readers will take away from the pages of your novel?
At the risk of sounding cliché, I really hope readers will see that you truly can’t judge a book by its cover—or by what you’ve been told about it. The characters in this book really have to deconstruct what they’ve been taught about each other’s cultures, and I think that is something we can all benefit from doing. To challenge our long-held ideas and beliefs and test them, hold them up against the Truth of what God has to say about His creation, and see if any tweaks need to be made.

FF: How do you bring authenticity to your books?
Having lived in Ireland for a total of six years has blessed me with an authentic inside look at Irish culture. Though I’ll never fully understand it, I’ve been able to get beyond Blarney and experience firsthand all the amazing things Ireland has to offer. I’ve learned the language, tried some dancing and music, sent my children to school there, and made some of the best friends of my whole life. It is my hope and prayer that I honor those experiences and the Irish people by bringing a level of authenticity that I wouldn’t have a hope to do otherwise.

FF: What do you prioritize in your writing process?
Oh goodness. I honestly think that changes from day to day! Ha! A priority that never changes is to honor the story and honor God through the telling of it. Beyond that, what gets prioritized depends on where I am in the process. I think of it like cooking an elaborate meal in which I’m using all the burners on my stove. The things on the front burner need my attention and focus now. The items on the back burner are left to simmer or cool or set. Eventually, the time comes to move some things from the front to the back and vice versa. And that’s how it is for my writing, especially as I balance it with being a wife, mom, teacher, and friend.

FF: The Lady of Galway Manor combines romance and just the right amount of intrigue. What do you think makes your historical romance novels different from others in the historical romance genre?
Unlike western, Amish, or Regency romance, my novels take Victorian romance to international destinations and are woven with a familiarity of the culture and intricate descriptions of place that make them more personal and intimate.

FF: What are you working on next?
I am so excited and honored to have just signed another contract with Revell for a new book that’s slated to release in spring 2023! In this story we return to Donegal, this time in 1935, and experience life in a cold, harsh boarding school just outside Letterkenny as young orphan Brianna Kelly searches for purpose and meaning beyond her job as the lowest kitchen maid in the school.

The Lady of Galway Manor
Jennifer Deibel
Genres: Historical Romance
Release Date: February 1, 2022

ISBN-10: ‎ 080073842X
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0800738426

Book Summary:
Annabeth De Lacy’s father is appointed as the new landlord of Galway County, Ireland, in 1920, amid the Irish War of Independence. Adjusting to a slower pace in Ireland leaves Annabeth itching to use her design prowess, and with the help of her father, she finagles an apprenticeship at a local jeweler—the home of the famed Claddagh ring.

Stephen Jennings is sick of romance. Unfortunately, he’s surrounded by it. The Jenningses’ jewelry shop is built on the Claddagh legend and the optimistic promises of love that it holds. Disillusioned by a heartbreak at an early age, how can Stephen peddle a “lie” that he no longer believes in?

When Annabeth becomes his new apprentice, worlds collide. She’s English, he’s Irish—somehow, they must manage their working relationship and their differences. But as tensions in the city rise, the Irish locals take matters into their own hands, which spells trouble for the De Lacys. Will Stephen and Annabeth see that perhaps the “other side” isn’t quite as barbaric and uncultured as they’d been led to believe? Working together, they just might find that the bonds of friendship, love, and loyalty are only made stronger when put through the refiner’s fire.


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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.