Although born in New York City, where Donovan spent most of her life, she has lived in six states and has visited most of the others. She earned her MA in English at Northern Arizona University. In one way or another, she has been writing her entire life, whether it was imaginative stories for her friends, or advertising copy for industrial clients.
She never felt her stories were “good enough” to be published. At the persistent urging of her late husband, she finally agreed to seriously edit and revise one of them and take the plunge. Although accepted for publication, the book never made it all the way to print. However, she had the courage to pursue her dream of becoming a published author.
Years later, her persistence paid off and her first novel, PROMISES, an historical fiction was published. In 2020, it won the 2019 Marie M Irvine Literary Excellence Award. It has also been nominated for the Author Academy Award for Best Historical Fiction of 2019.
Donovan currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and is a member of Authors Guild, SCBWI, Women’s National Book Association, and The Historical Novel Society.
What's being said about PROMISES. (Read the first chapter by clicking on the link on the right hand side of this page.)
Promises Wins Prestigious Marie M. Irvine Literary Excellence Award in 2019
Federal Way, WA (March 8, 2020): The Marie M. Irvine Literary Excellence Award welcomes its newest winner for 2019, Promises – a historical fiction by author, Eileen Donovan.
Historical drama fiction fans will find a new addition to the list of prestigious writing awards with Eileen Donovan's novel, Promises. Highlighted as her break out novel, Promises claims the Marie M. Irvine Literary Excellence Award as its inaugural literary award. Spotlighting the struggles of WWII survivors in this historical genre, this award-winning novel is listed with publisher, Waldorf Publishing, and is found on the shelves of better retail bookstores and online stores.
"Promises is a brilliant coming of age story that presents an often-overlooked historical viewpoint of WWII." (Goodreads review)
"Ms. Donovan has combined historical research and the realities of war with a heartfelt story… Bravo! Ms. Donovan. A truly inspiring read." (Goodreads review)
"We anticipate much success for Ms. Donovan with this award-winning book. We are incredibly pleased that her book has received the Marie M. Irvine Literary Excellence Award for 2019 and wish her many noted achievements in her writing endeavors." Marti Melville, CEO of Doce Blant Publishing announced.
"I didn't know that" became a refrain as I read Promises, even though I had lived through the World War II period in which this well-researched novel is set. A book that will engage adult readers, as well as its targeted younger audience, both middle school and high school teachers will find it a valuable resource.
- CAROL ROAN
Former Middle School Teacher, Co-Editor of When Last on the Mountain
Against a backdrop of World War II, Promises demonstrates that courage is not confined to the battlefield. Eileen Donovan brings to life wonderful characters who understand duty, endure heartbreak, and yet continue to embrace hope. Promises delivers.
- ROBIN CHALKLEY
Author of Two Americas and Noah Don't Think So
A heartbreaking, wonderfully crafted coming-of-age story that equally features great historical elements, Promises will thrill both young adult reader and adults…a page-turner, a beautiful story with a wonderful setting and well-imagined characters. (Donovan) wastes no time introducing the conflict and the reader is swept away and plunged into a world characterized by tension…the author weaves history into a compelling narrative.
- ARYA FOMONYUY
Readers' Favorite, 5-Star Review
Lizzie, a thirteen-year-old girl, is among the children sent to Canada to avoid the brutal bombing of English cities during World War II. This compelling story is not for the faint of heart. Both on the voyage and in the fishing village where Lizzie and her brother are sent, she experiences danger, cruelty, and loss. But she resiliently forms alliances, makes plans, and takes charge of her life.
- GRACE ELLIS, Playwright
Author of Rhonda's Rites of Passage, Bark, and others.
During the blitz of Liverpool, Lizzie's and Colin's mother decides she must evacuate her children to the safety of Canada. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie promises her mother she will always keep her little brother safe and by her side. But her vow is tested when they are separated on the docks, and during the crossing to Nova Scotia when their ship is endangered by storms and enemy U-boats. And for Lizzie, there is also the constant anxiety of what might await them in Canada.
Will their host family be as kind as everyone has promised? Will Lizzie's determination to keep Colin by her side be enough to keep him safe? And when will this seemingly endless war be over so they can return home to their mother?
Set against the historical drama of the evacuation of British children from the blitz, Colin's and Lizzie's story is one of fear and bravery, determination and persistence, and finally, the redemptive power of memory and love.
- BARBARA SINOPOLI
Author of "The Shepherd's Way," Founder of NESCBWI Berkshire Critique.
Promises delivers an enduring, rich, story woven in history. Lizzie's heart-breaking tale of immigration, immense loss, her coming of age, and subsequent lesson of hope and strength, is as relevant today as it was then.
- GILLIAN JONES
Photojournalist The Berkshire Eagle, B is for Berkshires
Eileen Donovan's historical fiction Promises is a meticulously researched coming-of-age novel that delves into promises made, some kept, others not, and the importance of relationships and resilience.
- LIBBY BAGBY
Author of Lucky Plott