Standing Stallions

A couple of you eagle-eyed readers noticed that Danielle and Megan have had cameos in each of the five books. Here is an excerpt from when Mick first walks into the “Standing Stallions” pub and meets one of the owners.
This is from book #3 A Day Without Stars

“…Memories crept too close while he was looking up the river.
He decided to walk towards the park winding his way back to his little mews house a couple of blocks off Grosvenor Square. 
A block from the river, he spotted the dim glow of a pub calling to him for one more before calling it a night. As he got closer, he could see the dimly lit sign naming the establishment.  
“Standing Stallions estb.1793.”
The windows were frosted over small Christmas lights twinkling their welcome. The smell of peat escaped to the street, making it mandatory for him to grace this public house. When he entered, he saw two peat fires flanking the long bar that separated the room. Not long ago, women would be relegated to a separate section to spare them the misery of watching the men carry on-
Other than two couples huddled in booths, the place was empty. He took a stool at the bar ordering three fingers of the Tullamore Dew he spotted on the shelf. The barmaid gave him a big smile responding with, “We’re a long way from home this Christmas,” in a brogue thicker than his.​
She poured herself a dram of Jameson’s, reaching over to clink his glass with an Irish Christmas toast. They exchanged the where they were from in Ireland information.
She from near Carrick on Shannon and himself from Sandymount and other places unspecified.
When asked too many questions, he always retreated to vague replies.
Other than a few interruptions by the couples wanting more drinks, and the entrance of a small group looking for shelter from the increasing level of falling snow, they shared a delightful “bit of crack” covering all sorts of things Irish.​
She told him she and her older sister had bought the pub four years ago. They were new to the pub business but felt confident the location would bring them a steady bit of business. ​
On the way to the gents, Mick noticed a wall full of photographs showing the two sisters either aboard, or standing next to, a variety of horses.​
When he returned to his spot at the bar, they continued their conversation centering on the joys of horses they had known.
Seems they had both ridden ponies at full gallop down the beaches in Connemara.
Mick felt like he was home.​
Realizing the hour and the impact of his second whiskey, he decided to head home before he decided to have a third.​He waited until the customers were served another round before saying his goodbyes.
“Sorry, what is your name?” He asked. He was a little embarrassed he had waited so long before the introductions.​
“Megan Anne, and yours?”​
“Mick Garrett.”​
“Well, Mr. Garrett, may you have a Happy Christmas.”​
“You as well.” He said, shaking her hand before heading back out into what he was sure the Times would call a blizzard in the morning edition…”

Excerpt From: “A Day Without Stars “Life in the Shadows.” Apple Books. 

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