A warm welcome to Anna Belfrage with spotlight and an excerpt from the new edition of her novel, A Rip in the Veil (Book 1 of The Graham Saga).
Published January 2023 / 370 pages.
@abelfrageauthor @cathiedunn @annabelfrageauthor @thecoffeepotbookclub #HistoricalFiction #TimeTravelRomance #BlogTour #TheCoffeePotBookClub
This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited / Universal Buy Link
On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on a Scottish moor. Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew.
Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time to land at the feet of escaped convict Matthew Graham.
Matthew doesn’t know what to make of this strange woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies—what is she, a witch?
Alex is convinced the tall, gaunt man is some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he.
Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with her new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here—and not exactly to extend a helping hand.
Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew, a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But Matthew comes with baggage of his own and on occasion his past threatens them both. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have.
How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she really want to?
Here’s an Excerpt:
They made very little progress that day. After their third near encounter with a troop of southbound soldiers, Matthew decided it was best to lie low for the remainder of the day. Only once the sun had set, did they venture out of their hiding place.
“He’s dead then,” Matthew said out of nowhere. “The Protector,” he clarified, “the soldiers, they said he was dead.” He sighed and used a branch to dig at the small fire, sending sparks flying in all directions. “He was a good man—harsh, mayhap, but good—but he leaves an unsteady legacy behind.”
Alex looked up from where she was scrubbing at the bloodied knee of her breeches.
“They’ll invite the king to come back, you know.”
Matthew looked at her in surprise. “They will?” He laughed at himself. “Well, he’s been the King of Scotland for some years already, quite the spectacle that was, with his royal person being fought over by the Covenanters and the Engagers.” He grew serious. “So the Commonwealth will die then?”
“Yes. The British have a thing about their kings; you’re stuck with them.” She spread the djeens to dry, and wound her shawl round her bare legs before coming over to join him by the fire. She leaned her head against his shoulder.
“They’ll dig Oliver Cromwell up and cut his head off,” she said. “Seems a bit overboard to do that to someone who’s already dead, don’t you think?”
Matthew didn’t reply, but inclined his head in agreement. They’d do far worse than that, he reckoned, to the Commonwealth leaders left alive.
“Is it important to you?” Alex asked, startling him out of his thoughts.
Matthew looked down at her. ”What?”
“The not having a king, being part of a republic.”
“Aye. But the republic has been dead for some years. These last few years. . . ” He broke off to shake his head. “. . . it has been one man, and one man alone, at the helm.”
“Like a dictator.”
“Aye—a good dictator.”
“A contradiction in terms if you ask me,” Alex said.
“It doesn’t greatly matter now, does it? He’s dead, and as you say it, things will revert to how they were before men like Cromwell and Fairfax. A kingdom, not a commonwealth.”
“And you don’t care?”
“I do,” he said, “of course I do. But . . . ”
“I’ve lost so many years of my life to this conflict already, and now I just want to live in peace, tend to my lands, my beasts.”
“Oh.” Her blue eyes were very close to his, and there was something in them that made him flush, an insinuation that he was going back on his beliefs.
“Maybe that’s what happens when for one thousand, one hundred and thirty-nine days you’ve lived like an animal in a cage.” He shoved her aside and stood up, his back to her.
They hadn’t believed in him when he’d protested his innocence. Men who’d known him, fought with him, had chosen to listen to Luke instead. It tore like a canker at his gut, even now, three years on.
“You counted?” She placed a hand on his back.
“I counted every hour, every day.” He wheeled to face her, and she backed away from him. “I never want to live through something like that again, it near on killed me. I just couldn’t bend, and instead I was broken, and the pieces don’t fit together as they used to.”
He rubbed at his wrists. “Of the men I was locked up with, more than half died the first year. We were all beaten and underfed, cold and constantly ill of one thing or the other, but the ones who died were the ones whose inner light failed them, who woke one day to a hollow chest and the despairing knowledge that there was nothing worth the effort to keep on living for.”
He was silent for a while, overwhelmed by memories of long, endless days. “My light still burns, but at times it gutters on the brink of extinction. I wouldn’t survive another time in prison, I’d just curl up and die. And so . . . ” He shrugged, giving her a crooked smile. “I still hold to my beliefs, but I’ll be far more selective as to what battles to fight. It’s called adapting to your circumstances.”
“Adapting is good, that’s what all of us have to do to survive.” She cleared her throat, hugged herself. “And if you don’t, you die.”
“Aye,” he said, realising she was talking just as much about her own situation as his. “I’m here, I’ll be here for you, lass.” She stepped up close enough that her breath tickled his face.
“And I’ll be here for you, and two lights burn much, much brighter than one, right?”
“They do,” he agreed hoarsely. When she rose on her toes to kiss him, he kissed her back. When her arms came round his neck, his arms wrapped themselves around her waist. No more talking; not tonight. He lifted her into his arms and carried her over to their makeshift bed.
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 Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to 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. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!
Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode! 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.
Social Media Links:
Website: www.annabelfrage.com – Twitter: https://twitter.com/abelfrageauthor – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabelfrageauthor – Instagram: https://instagram.com/annabelfrageauthor – Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/anna-belfrage – Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/ABG – Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6449528.Anna_Belfrage
Hope you have a great Blog Tour, Anna. Thanks for a fascinating excerpt.