I just came back from two weeks in Ireland, most of it spent in a (very comfortable modern) cottage on a windswept hill in County Cork, a mile from where my grandfather was born. Parts of my brain and a chunk of my heart are still there, so you may be hearing a lot about it in coming weeks.
A department of the extraordinary supermarket sells books, along with paper goods and school supplies. There's another bookstore down the street (note: there really is only one main street) that has a good selection of new releases. And there's an incredible bookstore a bit further on, called Time Travellers Bookshop, which sells new, used and collectible books. My husband and I spent quite a bit of time there poring over titles. I should note that the owner is actually German and does sell over the Internet, and one of his assistants is Scottish, with a Welsh husband; they all opted to settle in West Cork because they fell in love with it. That should tell you something. So, three bookstores in a town of two thousand people. My town, population ten times that, barely supports a rack of best-sellers in the local Hallmark store.
The first book in Sheila Connolly's new County Cork series, Buried in a Bog, will be issued in February 2013. It will not be available in County Cork bookstores, even in Skibbereen, which plays an important role in the book. She may have to deliver them herself.