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Debut author Carmel piling up book awards

A first-time Irish author has said she feels like she has won the lottery after claiming her fourth international book award.

Carmel Harrington, from Wexford, has joined the ranks of JK Rowling and EL James in winning the Kindle Book of the Year Award after her debut novel, Beyond Grace's Rainbow, fended off competition from 260 other titles.

The novel, which went on sale as an e-book in September and only this week in paperback, has been a phenomenal success and received more than 1,000 votes in the online competition.

Beyond Grace's Rainbow tells the story of Grace Devlin who needs a bone marrow transplant. However, the single mother was adopted as a child, and previous efforts to contact her birth mother ended in bitter disappointment.

The author said she has been blown away by the success of the novel, and never anticipated its international appeal.

"It's an incredible feeling and one that I never expected when I started writing the book," the stay-at-home mum told the Herald.


"People seem to have connected with the book. Perhaps it's because of the issues like adoption and other personal issues that we didn't discuss before."

Earlier last year, the book won the romantic ebook of the year award as well as being voted the most inspirational read of 2013, a title the novelist believes is fully merited.

"I've found that a number of people have subsequently signed up to become donors after reading the book, which is something I really hadn't expected," said Harrington.

She has now secured an extension to a contract with Harper Collins that will see her write at least two more books.