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THE WHIRLPOOLS OF TIME BY ANNA BELFRAGE
Publication Date: June 11, 2021
Series: The Locket, Book One
Genre: Historical Romance/Scottish/Time Travel
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 She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour.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?
Obsessed with the Happily Ever After
Some day, I hope to write a book that leaves every single reader in tears with not a Happily Ever After in sight. Truth be told, The Whirlpools of Time almost became that book, because originally, Erin and Duncan ended up on separate sides of the great divide of time. I even wrote a heart wrenching scene with Erin on her deathbed, still yearning for the man she’d known and loved for such a short time.
Thing is, while I aspire to write such a book, once I get to know my characters, I simply can’t put them through such pain. Nope, my lead men and women may have to fight their way through a series of obstacles to get to that sunset ending, but at least they do get there at the end. Somewhat marked by life, in some cases a tad damaged, but still alive, still together.
Should I write realistic books, my heroines would die in childbirth, my heroes of septicaemia. They’d end up hanged at the fickle say-so of a disgruntled king, perish in smallpox or the plague. After all, life is rarely rosy, is it? It sure isn’t now, and it deffo wasn’t in the past. And while I love the concept of time travel—hence books featuring time travellers—I don’t think I’d like it much if I were to be thrown three centuries backwards in time. Plus, I seriously doubt I’d survive all that long in a world so lacking when it comes to the basics we take for granted—things like indoor plumbing and effective medicine. And I am not entirely sure meeting the man of my life would fully compensate for everything I lost, but I choose not to voice that out loud, as at present my heroine Erin is very, very angry with me for having a) transported her to 1715 b) left her there, albeit with the handsome and protective Duncan at her side.
The above begs the question: does Erin really get a Happily Ever After when she’s stranded in another time? I would argue that she does—in the sense that she’s still alive as is Duncan, and that it is them against the world as they ride off into the sunset.
“Hmph!” Erin studies me while struggling with the laces of her bodice. “I should be satisfied with that, is that what you’re saying?”
“The alternative would be to wrench you apart—permanently,” I tell her calmly.
“The alternative would be to have us happy in my time,” she protests.
“Yeh, that would really work out with badass Josephine Wilkes breathing down your neck.”
Erin sighs. “Couldn’t you just kill her off?”
I scowl. No, I can’t just kill peeps off! There has to be some logic and structure to a novel, thank you very much. Besides, Josephine Wilkes is pretty scary—even as a figment of my imagination—so I prefer to keep my interaction with her down to a minimum.
Back to the compulsion to write books with a Happily Ever After: Like most writers, I write to please myself. Yes, obviously I want readers to love my books, but ultimately, writing is a lonely pursuit where there is only one taskmaster to please—me. When I write, I step into a bubble of make-believe, a world where, to some extent, I am in charge. While any good book relies on plenty of conflict and tension to hook the reader, while all good reads must have characters that are somehow relatable—no matter when they lived, you have to highlight the characteristics that make them universally human—I can treat myself to adding the odd piece of pink and fluffy love. I need pink and fluffy love. I think most people do, actually, even if not everyone subscribes to the view that love is either pink or fluffy. I don’t either: my protagonists experience the thorny and darker aspects of love as well, but IMO some pink has never hurt anyone.
I write to escape from the world around us. I enjoy submerging myself in the fantasy of a simpler world, one where I can somehow dictate how things will turn out. Mind you, quite often things don’t turn out as I planned. Seriously, some characters have major, major problems with authority, which is why my original plotline never holds. But so far, I have managed to keep my protagonists alive until the end of my books. I have maimed them, imprisoned them, abducted them, almost drowned them, enslaved them—but I’ve not killed them.
“And that’s supposed to be a comfort?” Erin asks from where she’s pilfered some of my tea and chocolate (Poor woman, stuck in a time where Hershey kisses have as yet to be invented, and tea is a luxury. I therefore pretend not to notice…)
“Would you rather be dead? Or would you have wanted Duncan to die from the injuries he sustained fighting those French Jacobites?”
She blinks. “No,” she says. “No,” she repeats and gets to her feet. “And if you ever—ever—put him through something like that again, I’ll…”
I grin. I knew she loved him more than chocolate and tea, more than TV and cell phones!
“Huh.” She crosses her arms over her chest. “Of course I do,” she concedes after a while. “After all, he’s my other half.”
And there, dear readers, you have it: while I yank Erin out of her context, while I dump her in an utterly unfamiliar world, put her through I don’t know how many harrowing moments, I give her a companion through life to help her handle all that. IMO, not a bad trade off.
In real life, very few of us are fortunate enough to meet that other half and form a bond that lasts a lifetime. But hey, The Whirlpools of Time is fiction. More precisely, it is romantic fiction, and so….taa-daa…you are always, always guaranteed a Happily Ever After and a love that transcends just about everything. Awww.
As I wrote to begin with, I have the ambition to one day write a book that will leave my readers in tears. When I do, that book will be labelled Historical Fiction, pure and simple. Until then, am quite, quite happy to keep on writing my historical fiction in the sub-genre Historical Romance—and Time Travel Romance! After all, as long as there is Romance involved I can keep on indulging in those little swirls of pink and fluffy. Because seriously, what would life be without a dollop or two of love?
About the Author
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.
More recently, Anna has published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. While she loved stepping out of her comfort zone (and will likely do so again ) she is delighted to be back in medieval times in her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love.
Enter to win a copy of The Whirlpools of Time by Anna Belfrage! Two copies are up for grabs!
The giveaway is open internationally and ends on September 29th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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