James Patrick Rooney | Author | Sitting on a Rainbow

Sitting on a Rainbow: A 21st Century Irish American Morality Tale is a story of severe loss and courageous resilience, financial markets and malfeasances, Irish history and mythology, justice served, and broken promises remaining to be mended. Set in West Palm Beach, Florida in the early 2010s, protagonist Patrick Connelly (aka Paddy or Pat) is a mid-fifties paraplegic and veteran stockbroker/financial advisor at a major Wall Street firm.

The story begins with a glimpse at Patrick’s formative years and his two serious injuries (ages three and nineteen), the first resulting in partial blindness, and the second in the emerging ice hockey star’s sudden transition to paraplegia and life in a wheelchair. His ordeals are expressed genuinely and with humor, offering insight into his resilience and eventual emergence from his grieving period. The story rotates to his present life and career challenges where we meet Marie, his colleague at the office and one of three powerful and influential female characters in the story. We also visit Murphy’s, the local Irish pub which becomes central to the story.

Patrick’s dilemma becomes evident: a recent divorce has his ardent desire for success and financial freedom teetering. In the wake of two historic market crashes, the rapidly changing financial services industry compounds his predicament, leaving his antiquated stockbroker business at risk of obsolescence to a new generation of wealth management advisors.

By relying on personal grit and the support of family and friends, Patrick has survived serious setbacks his entire life. But now, everything he has labored three decades to achieve, his dream of prosperity and leaving the workforce on his terms, may be vanishing. As the battle for his independence, maybe his life, unfolds, he feels utterly alone and powerless, uncertain he can prevail one more time.

The alarming events at his business intensify, and Patrick discovers that he is anything but alone. A coinciding story arises which includes fascinating characters, unexplainable happenings, and the joy of new friendship and romance. Irish history and culture (with its related music and poetry, and reverence for women, nature, and animals) become prominent themes, often told through character dialogue. Irish folklore has come to life, or maybe not? Nothing is as it seems.

To build Patrick’s persona and color the story, his early challenges adapting to the wheelchair and then building his stockbroker business are revisited intermittently. In addition, the traumatic personal consequences of two crushing financial collapses (2000-’03 & 2007-’09) and the ’9/11 terrorist attack are chronicled. As the integrating storylines move steadily toward resolution, suspenseful twists will surprise and satisfy.

In sum, readers will find Sitting on a Rainbow entertaining, lighthearted, and romantic, while also being thought-provoking, impossible, and inspirational.

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