23 January 2023

A Long Way from Clare by Robert W. Smith Blog Tour and Excerpt!

Romance, Kidnapping, and Murder…
Will a young Irish lawyer unravel the secrets or die trying?

Conor Dolan, a young Irishman, travels to Chicago in 1903 to visit his older brother; instead, he finds a mystery. His journey sparks a quest to peel away secrets and rediscover a dead sibling he idolized but never really knew as he strives to learn the true meaning of brotherhood.

His search reveals an Irish Republican plot to assassinate a visiting British royal. In the process, he is drawn into an alliance with two women: a mesmerizing Jewish widow and a struggling young Irishwoman. Each teaches Conor existential truths of life and love in her own way.

But the brother he finds may not be the brother he remembers. A Long Way from Clare is a story of Chicago's early twentieth century immigrants and one man’s struggle with both bigotry and justice in an unforgiving city where no good deed goes unpunished.

Will Conor find the answers he desperately craves? Or will this trip punch a one-way ticket?

I’m pleased as punch and tickled pink to have landed this gig. But the pressure is on here. I mean you write a book populated by mostly Irish characters, even an off-kilter priest, and one of the first people to see it is named Celticlady. What’s more, I heard a reliable rumor that her husband may be stopping by today because he reads historical fiction. Well, I’d like to thank Celticlady for this opportunity and, fingers crossed, she and her hordes of followers will like the book.

You’ll find plenty of crime and mystery in the pages, but mainly Clare is a story of a great city in its infancy and the immigrants clawing their way up its ladder of vice, corruption, and hardship on their path to a better life. Within that framework comes a young Irish lawyer, Conor Dolan, who arrives in Chicago on a mission to find his beloved older brother, Kevin, to whom he owes so much. Instead, he finds a mystery and two women who tutor the somewhat awkward young man in the ways of life and love.

For an excerpt today I chose a reflective passage, a special one for Celticlady. By this time in the novel young Conor has been beaten, betrayed, and bounced around enough to have acquired the power of insight, maybe even confidence, like a war hero who finally questions the war itself. Could he finally be starting to figure out this thing called life? Let’s listen…


He turned to face her at the piano, the last rays of sunlight beating onto her fair skin and dancing through her hair. For the first time, he could see the natural color of her eyes. His mother had called it “County Leitrim green,” the rare, hypnotic color God himself created only for crimson-haired Irish colleens. Maureen’s Leitrim eyes had won young Conor Dolan’s heart and his soul. This is a remarkable and desirable woman, a woman with enough radiance and strength to fill my life.

She touched his cheek gently and whispered, “Sure we were all damaged, Conor: ye, me, Kevin, Rebecca, even the bloody dog. Lovely Father Brendan, deviant soul he is, told me all about yeer little collie back in Ireland. All of that aside, the next time I see that three-legged mutt of yours, sure he had better be washed and groomed. I’ll not tolerate that smell in my house, Conor Dolan. Am I clear?”

He reflected finally upon his brother, the meaning of brotherhood, and the irreconcilable duality of human nature. It all made him appreciate the three-legged dog more than ever. Dog was immune to all the duplicity and did not understand the concepts of lies or hate or concealed motives. He liked a good steak or rib bone now and again, shared his home with a needy stranger sometimes, and did not give a damn where another dog came from or what color he was. If only Dog could talk. What a conversation they would have over a Schlitz.

Like Father Brendan White, the animal had adapted and evolved to a point of perfect coexistence with a city that loved and laughed and killed without apology or excuse. Conor thought he might do the same if he was not alone. He was coming to love this city as he had this woman, but Maureen needed to know everything…everything.

Bob was raised in Chicago, enlisting in the Air Force at age eighteen during the Vietnam War. Following a year of language training at Syracuse University, he served four years as a Russian Linguist in Security Service Command, a branch of the NSA. He attended DePaul University and The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on the G.I. Bill while working as a Chicago Transit Authority Police Officer. Thirty-odd years as a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago followed. His first book was Immoral Authority (Echelon Press, 2002) followed by Catch a Falling Lawyer (New Leaf Books, 2005) and The Sakhalin Collection (New Leaf Books, 2007, hardcover). In February of 2022, Between the Lines Publishing released Bob’s newest novel, Running with Cannibals, a historical/military thriller based on actual events of the Philippine-American War.  

Amazon Universal Link

Facebook Author Page

Amazon Author Page



Blog Tour Schedule

January 21 My Vices and Weaknesses

January 23 Celticlady's Reviews

January 24 So Little time…

January 25 Meryton Press Blog

January 26 From Pemberley to Milton

January 27 Elza Reads


Meryton Press will be giving away one eBook for each stop on the Blog Tour, for a total of six eBooks.


  1. I love the variety of interesting characters, including the dog. This excerpt illuminates Conor’s growing understanding about how things are always more complicated than what they appear on the surface.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading this one!

    2. Wow! I appreciate the beautiful comment. Thank you. I've been feeling pretty lonely this morning. I will ask my daughter to name her next baby "Anonymous O'Connell." But seriously, you are very kind

  2. Thank you for hosting for Robert today. I enjoyed reading the post and the excerpt.

  3. Entertaining excerpt, Robert! Congratulations on the new release! :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kelly! Appreciate it!


Google Adsense


Please Share!

Pin it!


View My Stats!

View My Stats

Pageviews past week


Google Analytics