Celebrating Bookshop Day at Magpie Books

What a lovely afternoon spent in the beautiful Magpie Books bookshop in Enniskerry, County Wicklow. A big thank you to Frank and Amy for inviting me to help them celebrate Bookshop Day. It was a super series of events all day and I was delighted to be a part of it, reading from my new book, Othelia's Orb. To all the parents, boys and girls who turned out, I hope you enjoy the fifth instalment in the Grindlewood series.

Free Children's Event - Bray Literary Festival 2017

I'm delighted to be participating in this year's Bray Literary Festival. This will be the first reading from my new book in The Secrets of Grindlewood series, "Othelia's Orb". I'd like to wish the festival every success and I'm looking forward to the exciting programme of events. You'll find all the details on the Festival's website

Grindlewood Visits Cork and Laois

After the excitement of the launch last week for The Queen's Quest, the fun continued with a trip to Cork for a series of library visits. First stop on Tuesday was in the City with several readings in Bishopstown and Grand Parade Libraries. Wednesday saw me head east to the lovely towns of Midleton and Youghal where I was reading to local schools in both libraries. The week closed with trips to Portlaoise and Mountmellick libraries on Friday. Huge thanks to all the librarians and pupils who helped make my week so enjoyable. It always delights me the atmosphere that's created by a library full of enthusiastic children. It's a special place and a privilege to contribute to the stories told.


'The Queen's Quest' Launch - Bray and Wicklow - October 2015

'The Queen's Quest' Launch: Dubray Books, Bray (15th October, 2015) & Reading at Bridge Street Books, Wicklow (17th October, 2015).


What a great evening! I was thrilled to see so many boys and girls come out to help me celebrate the launch of The Queen's Quest. Thank you all for coming along, especially all the boys and girls from local schools including the 'gang' from Moneystown NS Roundwood. I really hope you enjoyed it.


The wonderful Pete Wedderburn, better known as Pete The Vet, took time from his busy BrayVet practice to launch Book 3. He told us of his own love of books from an early age. Not surprisingly for a dedicated vet he was hugely influenced by the books of James Herriott which featured the life and times of a vet in practice. I was delighted he could join us and to find he is a keen Grindlewood fan! Meanwhile my fantastic illustrator Fintan Taite was kept busy creating drawings of readers' favourite characters.


The launch evening was followed by a reading on Saturday for fans of the series in Wicklow Town at the magical Bridge Street Books. The enthusiasm for books from a super group of young readers was wonderful to see. A huge thank you for coming along and enjoy reading The Queen's Quest!


Blessington Educate Together National School


10 Writing Tips For Young Writers



1. Read, read, read! Reading lots of different books will help you to create your own ideas.


2. Write a lot - at home and at school. Practice makes perfect.


3. If you don’t know where to start, write about things that you like or that interest you.


4. Remember to plan your story. It must have a start (tell your readers about the characters and where the story is happening), a middle section (the plot, the action), and an ending.


5. It’s easy to forget some of your best ideas, so jot them down in a notebook as soon as they pop into your head! They might come in handy when you want to write your next story.


6. Ask yourself: Who? What? Where? When? How? The answers to these questions will be important in your story.


7. Imagine yourself as one of the characters when you’re reading and when you’re writing. What can you see, hear, smell, think and feel?


8. Try to make each of the characters in your story a little bit different from each other. Remember, they don’t all have to be perfect!


9. If you feel stuck, ask yourself “What if?” and let your imagination wander. Jot down your ideas and choose the best.


10. Read over your work when you’re finished and check it carefully. Make sure it is the very best it can be.


Wishing you the best of luck with your writing!



A Busy Week For World Book Day!

World Book Day Ireland 2015

Already getting excited about World Book Day! There's a wonderful array of authors taking part in events all around the country. I'm thrilled to be doing my bit to support the day with events throughout the first week of March. I'll be in Dubray Books in Galway, Kilkenny and Bray, Bridge Street Books in Wicklow, and a number of schools in Meath and Carlow. It'll be an action-packed week and I can't wait! If you can, please support your local World Book Day events and help to make this the biggest one yet.


Killruddery Christmas Market 2014

I'm looking forward to the wonderful Christmas atmosphere for the Christmas market in Killruddery House. You'll catch me there on Sunday 7th and 14th of December from 10 to 4 each day. Don't forget Santa, Mrs Claus, the elves and reindeers will all be there to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. Hope to see you there.


Wicklow Arts Festival

This year's Wicklow Arts Festival looks like being a fantastic event for all the family and I'm delighted to have been invited to join in the fun. I'll be participating in two events. The first is a special reading for two local schools at Wicklow town library (closed event) on Friday 23rd of May 2014. The second is a reading in the wonderful Bridge Street Books on Saturday 24th at 3pm. This is an open event so all are welcome! Hope to see you there. 


Jackie B. 


The Secrets of Grindlewood Book 2 is out March 24th

The St. Patrick's weekend got off to a great start with the arrival of the first batch of Book 2! Here's a photo of the latest cover straight off the press. Book 2, The Secret Scroll will soon be in bookshops around the country and available online through all the leading booksellers including for Kindle, iBooks, Nook and Kobo. 


Wow - busy week!

What a busy week! As well as the usual Christmas preparations, there were two national radio interviews, the final Christmas market of the year at the wonderful Killruddery House and Gardens and just finished Book 2 of the Grindlewood series! Phew :) Follow the links below to hear my interviews on Liveline with Joe Duffy (from 57 mins), and George Lee on The Business (from 30 minutes).  


Join me at Killruddery Christmas Market!

I’m delighted to tell you that I am taking a Christmas stall at Killruddery market along with fellow local author, Carmel Kelly. We will be selling books and other Christmas gifts on Sunday 8th December, Sunday 15th December, and I’ll also be there on Saturday 21st December, the last day of the market.

It will be an extra special and magical Christmas Market in Killruddery this year! Santa himself, Mrs Claus, the elves and reindeers will all be there to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. I hope to see you there. Spread the word, Santa is coming to Killruddery!!
See more at:


Photos from the launch

Click to see the gallery

Click on the photo to see more images capturing the fun on the night! 


A Thank You

Jackie Burke & fans



What a wonderful evening in Dubray Books. I was overwhelmed by the support and kindness of everyone who took the time to join me for the launch of The Secrets of Grindlewood and all the good wishes of friends and family who couldn’t make it.  It was a truly special evening and Nicola, Susan and all the team in Dubray Books deserve great credit for their support of new writers.


A special thank you to Paul McNeive for launching the book and for his sound advice; to Una Armstrong for her fantastic photos (more to follow later); my expert publishing partners Vanessa O’Loughlin and Chenile Keogh, and my marvellous editor Robert Doran.


There were many compliments on the artwork for the book. I’ll be forever grateful to my wonderful illustrator Fintan Taite. I’m really looking forward to seeing Book 2! I’m very appreciative of all the work done by Andrew Brown of Brown Media on the book cover design and Nigel Baker of SolidDesign on all our materials.


I would also like to thank my husband Angelo, for all his hard work, love, encouragement and support.


Enjoy Grindlewood!


The Secrets of Grindlewood now in bookstores

First window display for The Secrets of Grindlewood

I'm thrilled to let you know that The Secrets of Grindlewood is now available. Here's a shot of the first window display in Dubray Books, Bray, County Wicklow. 




Creative writing tips for children

In the Autumn issue of the Primary Times out now, you'll find my tips for young writers to get their creative juices flowing.