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Maida Vale Publishing

Stiletto Heels and Moonshine

Stiletto Heels and Moonshine

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Preorder NOW! | Fiction - Paperback

One hundred years of Irish history seen through the eyes of Aífe Connerty and three generations of her family.

Fifteen year old Aífe goes to school at The Convent of the Most Immaculate Heart in Freshwater town, Irish Free State, by day but every evening after school, she rolls up the sleeves of her school uniform and gets to work brewing poitín in her father’s work shed.

If her mother, no, if anyone knew what she was up to she’d be in serious trouble. But that’s Aífe. She has a daring and rebellious streak that doesn’t quite fit in, in the Irish Free State of 1930s Ireland. Precocious in every way imaginable, Aífe is a coquettish and thoroughly likeable glamour puss in a bygone age of front doors left open all day and all night, large pots hanging over open hearths under smoky fires piled high with freshly cut turf. One where village crossroads are transformed into céilí dances on hazy, scorching summer afternoons with the the raspy sound of the jazz band’s instruments being tuned and the smell of freshly cut grass, in the air.

Amid her carefree, halacyon youth spent defying convention and thumbing her nose at authority figures in the conservative society of 1930s Ireland, Aífe clashes noisily with the strict ethos of school, family and community. Her antics raise more than one of the pious eyebrows teaching her at her strict Convent school but Aífe is one of the few brave enough to raise an eyebrow of her own at the horrific abuse dished out every day by the nuns at the convent – something that nobody dares to even talk about.

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Catherine McCabe

is a poet and writer who grew up in the Republic of Ireland and in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, where she attended school. She lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her manuscript for Stiletto Heels and Moonshine was funded by the Northern Ireland Arts Council and The University of Atypical and in 2022, found its way on to the desk of Black Spring Press Group when it was shortlisted for Black Spring Press Group’s Best of the Bottom Drawer Global Writing Prize.

Catherine’s poetry is widely published, including in the Arlen House series of Washing Windows poetry anthologies, and in Her Other Language published by Arlen House in 2020. Her comic poem The Big Bold, Brass Neck of Timmy Mc Spovern was published in the Community Arts Partnership’s Across the Threshold magazine in 2022 and her poem “Hope” was a winning entry to Button Poetry’s Short Form Poetry Contest in 2020. In 2020 she was shortlisted for the Fly on the Wall Press Aryamati Poetry Prize, and her poetry has also been published by Black Bough poetry. In 2016, she co-authored a memoir for an ex-CIA Informant, The Black Market Concierge. She is currently working on a manuscript for a poetry collection, Zombie Town and a work of non-fiction, The Dirty Question, which focuses on an identity scam operated since the 1960s, in Ireland, by judges, politicians and a network of corrupt Irish priests.