The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage released in June in the Time travel, Scottish Historical Romance.
He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.
It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…
Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.
The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion.
Will they find Duncan’s uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?
Trigger Warnings: Sexual Content. Violence.
Universal Link: http://myBook.to/WoT
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.
Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.
All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.
Find out more about Anna, her books and her eclectic historical blog on her website, http://www.annabelfrage.com .
The most difficult thing the hero encountered in modern times.
I imagine landing in an entirely different time is extremely difficult, but instead of me speculating as to what Duncan Melville may have found the most difficult when I sent him flying from 1715 to 2016, how about we ask him instead?
To do so, we have to find him. Proves to be difficult. He’s not in his office. His clerk is at his carrel, scowling at the pile of documents he’s expected to rewrite during the day, but when I ask him about Mr Melville he shakes his head. Under his breath, he mutters something uncomplimentary about gentlemen who take to farming, adding rather sourly that there are no similarities between drafting a contract and ploughing a field. I leave him to his grumbling.
He’s not in the fields. A complement of labourers—all of them white, because Duncan Melville does not hold with slavery—are haying, and I stop for a moment to watch the rhythmic scything of the men. Behind them come the women armed with rakes, piling the hay into neat rows. Swish, swish, swish—there’s something almost peaceful about it, but to judge from the sweating brows and the laboured breathing, haying is not exactly a meditation exercise.
After some more searching, I finally find Duncan in the kitchen where I explain my purpose. He produces a jug of something that smells like cider and pours us both some. The tin mug is cool to my touch.
“Well?” I ask Duncan. “What was the most difficult thing?”
He levels me with his Death Star glare – an expression he picked up during his weeks in modern times.
“Most difficult?” Duncan snorts and drags a hand through his dark hair—for the day left unbound. “I don’t know,” he says (rather sarcastically, I might add), “I’d say everything was difficult—starting with the distinctly unpleasant experience of falling through time.” He shivers and closes his eyes for an instant. “Terrifying,” he adds. “May God grant me that I never need to experience something similar again.”
“Yes, yes,” I say, “I got it: you don’t want to fall through time again.” (Which, dear reader, does not mean he won’t—just that I won’t tell him. Yet.) “But seriously: what was it you found the most difficult?”
He considers this in silence for a while. We’re sitting in a rather bare room, heavy, well-scrubbed floorboards under our feet, some chairs and a large table. In the hearth, a pot of something simmers over the fire. Sunbeams filter through the half-closed shutters, spreading light over the worn table top and Duncan’s clasped hands. He’s in his shirtsleeves and breeches, having divested himself of stockings and shoes. It is a hot summer day here in the past.
“Most aspects of life in 2016 were frightening—at least initially,” he finally says. “But having running water and electricity cannot be considered difficult. The same applies to the internet and Wikipedia.” He shines up. “Marvellous invention that! So much information at your fingertips, and—”
“Stop, stop. You do know that not everything you read online is true, right?”
He sighs. “Ah yes: alternate facts.” He gives me a crooked smile. “Not, I might add, a modern invention. Those with insight and knowledge have always attempted to manipulate others into perceiving the world and in the way that most benefits them.” He sips at his cider. “I think the most daunting aspect of life in 2016 was speed.”
“Speed? But I thought you liked the cars.”
“Aye, I did. But it isn’t only the cars, is it? It’s how you can pick up a phone and call someone on the other side of the world and get an immediate reply. It is how you no longer write letters, you send e-mails, expecting an answer within the day. It’s how you can sit at your laptop and order clothes, shoes, books—anything, really—and have it delivered in less than a week. You fly from London to Boston. It takes you seven hours. It takes us, in this time, anything between six and eight weeks.” He frowns. “You have shrunk the world and warped time. I fear it makes you feel quite invincible at times. Patience is no longer a virtue, reflection is nothing you spend time on. No, you want immediate reaction, and somewhere along the line you’ve forgotten that life is not about achieving a growing lists of goals: it is about the journey required to reach the goals. Only when you have spent six weeks aboard a barrel of a ship do you fully appreciate how huge the ocean is, how precarious our hold on life is and how marvellous the sight of new land, a new place, is. When you measure your life in instalments of 15 minutes, by definition every unfilled slot is a failure. When instead, like we do, life is measured in days, there is room to think, to just be.”
I blink at my character: quite the budding philosopher is Duncan Melville. He doesn’t notice my reaction, still sunk in his reflections. “In 2016, man is what he does, not what he thinks. Cogito ergo sum no longer applies. Had Descartes lived in 2016 he’d likely have coined Facio ergo sum instead,” he says.
Huh. I do, therefore I am, I translate. Not that my Latin is anywhere close to Duncan’s, but that much I can manage. “But surely that applies in your time as well,” I protest.
Duncan turns those beautiful blue eyes my way. “Of course,” he says. “It’s just that it takes much, much longer for us to do all those things, allowing time for introspection and—I hope—wonder at the miracle that is life.”
Our conversation is interrupted by Erin, Duncan’s modern-born wife. She’s in long skirts in a mild green cotton and a matching bodice. “You done yet?” she asks, nodding at me before settling herself on Duncan’s lap. “We have things to do, you know. I have a long, long list.”
Duncan meets my eyes and we burst out laughing.
“What?” Erin asks.
“Nothing, honey.” Duncan draws her close enough to plant a kiss on her cheek. “But maybe we can do some of those things tomorrow instead and just be today.”
“Just be?” Erin wrinkles her brow and gives me a suspicious look. “What exactly are you planning?”
“Nothing,” I reply, widening my eyes into my best innocent expression. Besides, just because I’m plotting the next book in the series, that doesn’t mean I can’t give them today to just be. Come to think of it, I may actually do the same. There’s a hammock under the rustling birches that is calling my name, and some hours spent staring up at the summer sky while considering the purpose of life doesn’t sound bad at all!
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