Looking for a Freelance Audiobook Narrator to Hit a New Market? I have a suggestion….

Are you looking for a narrator to turn your book into an audio book?

Thinking about reaching another market with your book by tapping into those who listen to audio books?

Every once in awhile we like to showcase some other people offering services that authors might use that we don’t do. Today, meet Joe Hempel, freelance audiobook narrator and lover of books.

An avid reader of the written word, he’s been formerly known for his numerous book reviews; however, his everyday production experience in his regular job spurred him into recording audio books. And he’s quickly rising up as someone with a great tone and a knack for characters.

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Here are some samples that you can listen to for some of his latest books, as well as praise from people reading books from the Audible site which tout his ability. He’s not been at this long, but he’s already well-liked. These samples are in the horror/thriller genres, but he is willing to do all genres.

If you’re looking for someone to voice your work, Joe might be an option for quality work with a friendly attitude and at very reasonable prices. Get in with Joe while you can, as his prices are way below the going rate!

You can contact Joe via the email jhempel32@gmail.com. If that doesn’t float your boat, I’m happy to facilitate services with Joe for you as well. Just drop me a line.

Also if you’re a reader, if you’d like to review the below titles on Audible, you can get one from Joe in exchange for an honest review! Just let him know at the above email.

Samples~

Prologue from the book Hybrid by Lawrence W. Gold, MD

Chapter 7 from Under the Amoral Bridge by Gary Ballard

Coming soon, check back!

An excerpt from a short story in SLUSH collection by Glenn Rolfe


Praise for Joe as Narrator for Under the Amoral Bridge:

I.A. Clark:  “A racy, well-written tale that’s doesn’t lean too heavily on the frontal lobes – a kind of Bugs Bunny meets The Matrix. Confidently read by Joe Hempel, who brings the characters to life whilst reeling-off 2028 cyberpunk-talk as if he’s spoken it from childhood.”

Sines:  “The narration makes the story come alive. I could just close my eyes and see the seedy bars, the dark alleys, the guys who just wanna beat something to a pulp.”

Teresa:  “Joe Hempel did an awesome job narrating this story. He has great characterization skills and with multiple accents I could always tell who was speaking. He has super voice control with a nice tone. He also kept the story moving at a perfect pace with good, clean voice inflections. He made this audiobook an excellent listen.”

Praise for Joe as Narrator for Hybrid:

Carol P. Roman:  “Joe Hempel takes two dry subjects, history and science and reads with confidence and the ability to create visuals of each character.”

I.A. Clark:  “Joe has an attractive voice and delivered his lines clearly. I could listen to him all day (…and did).”

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Mayhem in Margaux is Another Great Cozy Winemaker Detective Mystery from French Duo

Mayhem-in-Margaux

Mayhem in Margaux, by Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, is another great episode from the television series airing in France, and in the line of novels based on the shows, featuring the winemaker detective Ben Cooker, his sidekick Virgile, and other members of his friends and family. I’ve not seen the episode of course, but I just read the book.

In this novel, which is number six, it’s even more personal for Ben. The book takes right off with the mystery without much delay other than for setting the scene. As always, it’s a cozy mystery full of beautiful scenery of France and mouth watering descriptions of delectable food and wine. An added plus in this edition is that we also visually tour several wine estates.

Action ensues when a car accident occurs, almost killing Ben’s daughter, Margaux, who has come from New York to visit her family in France. But someone in the car is murdered, and so Ben and Virgile set out to find why. In addition to this mystery, there is also the underlying issue with the vintners at the vineyards, which are having difficulty enduring the heat wave. The heat could cause them to lose their vines. Both of these issues within the book are related and you’ll have to enjoy the book to see how it all intertwines as I don’t want to give away any spoilers. These books are little pocket sized quick reads and perfect for an evening at home with a glass of your favorite wine.

The characterization of Ben is ever increasing, as we get to know him in more connective fashion, as well as with this book, his family members too. We meet Marguax for the first time, as well get to know his other immediate family on a more intimate level. I appreciate that. The authors filled this book well, for its size, with a well-rounded mystery plot and background character development that left me fulfilled and entertained. They kept me guessing until the later chapters and perked my interest in the mystery.

I’m interested to see where the next book takes us, especially in regards to his relationship with Virgile. I still think the wine detective series is a unique and fun idea and look forward to continuing on in reading the rest of the series.

Mayhem in Margaux

Release date: May 14, 2015
at Le French Book

153 pages

ISBN: 978-1939474384

Website | Goodreads

Mayhem in Margaux, Synopsis~

It’s summer in Bordeaux. There’s a heat wave, the vineyards are suffering, vintners are on edge, and wine expert Benjamin Cooker’s daughter is visiting. A tragic car accident draws the Winemaker Detective and his assistant Virgile into a case where the stakes are very personal, and they uncover the dirty secrets hiding behind some of Bordeaux’s finest grand cru classé wines from Margaux. [provided by the publisher]

An episode in a long successful French mysteries series that is a hit television series now in its fourth season
and attracting an audience of over 4 million. The series is a huge success in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, Biographies~

Alaux-Balen

Jean-Pierre Alaux and Noël Balen, wine lover and music lover respectively, came up with the idea for the Winemaker Detective series while sharing a meal, with a bottle of Château Gaudou 1996, a red wine from Cahors with smooth tannins and a balanced nose.

About the Translator~

Translator Sally Pane studied French at State University of New York Oswego and the Sorbonne before receiving her Masters Degree in French Literature from the University of Colorado. She has translated several titles in this series.
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You can enter the global giveaway by clicking on the entry form below or on any other book blogs participating in this tour. Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below too.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour and tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the tour will give you five (5) extra entries each time! (Just follow the directions on the entry-form)

Global giveaway open internationally:
Two (2) US residents will win a print copy of this book!
Three (3) residents of any country will receive a digital copy!

Follow along the tour by clicking the banner below:

Mayhem in Margaux Banner

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Interview with Gigi Pandian on her Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series + Review of Quicksand!

QUICKSAND-by-Gigi-Pandian-book-cover-medium

Today, I have a review of Gigi Pandian’s Quicksand, plus an exclusive, entertaining interview with Pandian and a link to a tour wide giveaway option below. Enjoy your weekend!

Review ~

I was entranced by the covers in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series, as soon as I first heard about Quicksand and realized it was the third book in the series. So that said, I haven’t read the first book, Artifact, or the second book, Pirate Vishnu yet, though their covers and blurbs entice me! I did read Quicksand for review, though, so let’s start there by saying that I didn’t feel too lost in reading only it, though as in any series with the same lead protagonist, I’m sure it’s always better to read them all for extra connectivity to character(s). Yet, the mysteries themselves in each book are standalone.

Jaya, the main female lead and historian, receives a letter from Lane, an old love interest she met previously and fell for hard, with a plane ticket to France enclosed and a request for her to meet him there. She goes against her better judgement and is talked into helping him steal something from the Louvre. There is a double mystery, one solved early on, in which Jaya put together clues to figure out the stolen item, and one later, in which witty, determined, and intelligent Jaya helps to stop one enormous archaeological theft. Of course, she’s helped by sidekick Lane and an old magician, Sébastien. Much of this story takes place on the island of Mont Saint Michel, which is an interesting fortress located off the coast of Normandy, France. I thought the setting was fun and ingenious.

Pandian writes well-researched historical mysteries that intertwine many cool places into a suspense mystery and an action-filled adventure. I have heard her described as being similar to Elizabeth Peters, one of my favorite authors, and yet, I feel that Pandian writes with even more flow, flair, magic, suspense, and the ability to hold a higher level of interest for modern readers of all ages. This book would appeal to teenage readers as well as adults for its clean romance and zippy action. It’s like Tomb Raider meets The Librarians or a female version of the Young Indiana Jones. Her magical elements make her story even more unique and on top of all that she plots in twists and turns to keep us on our toes.

Jaya and Lane are well-developed characters. Jaya is a very courageous lead and I could fully engage with her. However, I also enjoyed her characterization of the French magician in this story! He added an extra element to the story. As well, the villain in this story, North, was entertaining and balanced out the cast.

Overall, I can fondly say that Pandian’s Quicksand had some of all the major elements of a book to love. I can’t wait to go back and read the others, plus anything else that she writes in the future. This book was a captivating, energized ride to historical and cultural places ripe with mystery and suspense. Pandian’s characters seem like old friends more than just mere characters on a page.

Interview~

Hi Gigi, welcome to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! It’s a pleasure to have you here, in conjunction with the release of Quicksand, your third book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series. I see you’ve been busy promoting, attending conferences, and accepting awards. Congratulations on your success!

Gigi: Thank you! I was so surprised to be awarded the Rose Award at Left Coast Crime last month for Pirate Vishnu, the book in the series that comes before Quicksand. This coming week I’m headed to Malice Domestic, the big convention for traditional mysteries.

Erin: You’re a woman to be admired. I want to learn more about your commitment to writing and your books. You seem like someone who would love to get lost in travel and a good adventure, like me!

Let’s sit for a moment and relax in my cozy library. You can take your seat and I’ll put on some tea? What kind of tea is your favorite? Sugar and cream?

 I’ll also bring out some sweets. Can’t talk books without sweets!

Gigi: Unsweetened mint green tea is my favorite. It goes wonderfully with any type of chocolate!

Erin: Tea is poured and sweets are for the taking, don’t be shy. Let’s get started with some questions. You first started out pursuing a life in academics, but then realized you’d rather write. How and why so? What helped you come to that decision? Did growing up with cultural anthropologists as parents help mold your desire to write adventure/mystery stories?

Gigi: You guessed correctly. Traveling with my parents as a kid, I made up grand adventures while they conducted research. Those travels and their influence helped me a storyteller from a young age.

As an adult, academia wasn’t as satisfying as I imagined it would be. I should have realized it sooner, because all of my college electives were creative pursuits (writing, art, photography), but I never imagined I could have a creative career. I left a PhD program and began writing a novel while attending art school. I’m so glad I followed my heart, because now I make a living being creative.

Erin: Did you have the idea for the Jaya Jones series immediately and what was the inspiration you used when you began writing the first book, Artifact. How did you take off at the gate with construction of the plot? Did you have in mind a series from the start?

Gigi: I knew it would be a series, and that the books would be puzzle plot mysteries set all around the world with plenty of adventure a romance – the type of book I love to read. Beyond that, it took many years to figure out exactly what my own unique voice was.

Erin: You must have had some success with self-publishing Artifact, and I did see it was Suspense Magazine’s “Best of 2012,” because you then obtained a publishing deal for it, and the rest of your series, with Henery Press. How did that all come together? What kind of success does an author need to show on their own for a publisher to pick up on the book?

Gigi: Every writer’s journey is different, but if you follow your heart and don’t rush the process, I believe you’ll find the right bath for you. I was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant (a grant for unpublished mystery writers) for Artifact back when it was a work in progress. That’s what made me take my writing seriously – and then I had to learn how to write a good book! Two years later, I thought the book was in good shape, and I found an agent quickly. However, she had trouble selling the book; it doesn’t fit neatly into one sub-genre, so big presses were wary.

When my agent was getting ready to pitch the book to smaller presses, which are often more open to taking books that don’t fit genre lines, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was only 36, and I didn’t know what would happen, and I needed to be in control of something in my life. I decided to work with an editor (every writer needs one, and if you’re with a publisher, the publisher supplies an editor) and self-publish the book. I put a lot of work into it to do it professionally, including making Advance Reader Copies so I could get trade reviews, and it was worth it. As you mentioned, Artifact was well-received, leading Henery Press to become interested in the series.

I was getting ready to self-publish Pirate Vishnu, and Henery Press requested a copy of the new book. They said it was even better than Artifact, and that’s when they offered me a 3-book deal for the series. So the most important factor was still the quality of the book, but getting great reviews and putting myself out there professionally is what put me on Henery’s radar.

Erin: They must have been correct about your book series, because the next book after Artifact, which was Pirate Vishnu, won an award (Left Coast Crime Rose Award). What do professionals have to say about your series? What makes it similar but different from other books on the market? Who is your target audience?

Gigi: I’ve been thrilled to receive some wonderful reviews, including many that compare my stories to my favorite author, Elizabeth Peters (such a thrill!). Most professional reviewers call the book as a cozy mystery, but readers who aren’t in the industry characterize my books in many ways. The series is definitely cozy reader friendly (no violence or sex or bad language on the page, and no dark endings) but it’s also genre-bending. It’s a romantic multicultural adventure puzzle plot mystery.

Erin: I’ve just been able to read Quicksand, and am itching to go back and read the first two, but I’d like you to tell my readers, what makes it a treasure hunt and what makes it a mystery? Is it a true who-dun-it or more of a mission-based mystery?

Gigi: The combination of a quest and a whodunit is what creates my style of books. I’d say the series is an equal mix of adventure and mystery. They’re all treasure hunts that concern present-day crimes linked to historical treasures relating to India’s colonial history.

Erin: In all honestly, should you read the books in order from the start, or are they stand-alone? What might a reader miss if he/she doesn’t read the first book, Artifact?

Gigi: The plots stand alone completely, but the character relationships progress. So if a reader is drawn to a particular adventure, then it works just fine to read an individual book. But if you want to follow the love triangle, in particular, it’s best to read the series in order.

Erin: How did you construct your lead character? Did you outline her or did she have a voice of her own? What traits did you give her and why?

Gigi: In some ways Jaya Jones is based on my own life. I have one Indian parent and one American parent. It’s easiest to start writing when you writer what you know, but I also wanted to make sure Jaya didn’t become me. I’m tall (6 feet tall in heels), so as a jumping-off point to make sure I never wrote too much of myself into her, I made Jaya only 5 feet tall.

Erin: Besides your historian Jaya Jones, what other characters have been your favorites to write into your book? Why?

Gigi: In Quicksand, 90-year-old retired stage magician Sébastien was a blast to write! I love characters who surprise me.

Erin: Is this third book, Quicksand, the end of this series? Why or why not?

Gigi: The series is continuing! I’ve got so many adventures in mind for Jaya and friends. So far her adventures have taken her from San Francisco to Scotland, India, and France. I’m toying with an idea for Italy next…

Erin: You just published a new book, The Accidental Alchemist, in January 2015, with Midnight Ink. It sounds very inviting! Is this adult, YA, or both? What’s the book about? Will it be a series, too?

Quicksand Accidental-Alchemist-Gigi-Pandian-cover-w-text-WEB-mediumGigi: The Accidental Alchemist is a paranormal cozy series, but I’m hearing from lots of booksellers that it’s YA-friendly (so is the Jaya Jones treasure hunt series). The series is about a centuries-old female alchemist and her impish gargoyle sidekick who was accidentally brought to life by a French stage magician. It takes place in Portland, Oregon, and the gargoyle is a food-snob chef. Yup, it’s a humorous, lighthearted series.

Erin: Who does your amazing cover art and fun extras, like the cards and games? I love it all! And they are great attractions for the book. Even if they aren’t YA, you sure did grab my daughter’s attention too.

Gigi: Lovely! I went to art school, so I have a lot of fun designing my promotional materials. (Readers can win recipe postcards – my book covers on one side with recipes from each of the countries where the books take place on the other – as part of the grand prize of this blog tour.)

Erin: I understand that you also like to read and write “locked room mysteries.” Can you tell us what exactly ARE locked room mysteries, why you like them, and some of your favorites? Also, share with us any you’ve written that you think readers would be interested in. I’m curious!

Gigi: Locked-room mysteries are impossible crimes. The classic example is a dead man found in a room locked from the inside, but he’s alone and there’s no gun.

John Dickson Carr was the master of the genre. I was honored to have my locked-room story The Hindi Houdini nominated for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Erin: What has been your favorite place to travel and why? Where do you want to go that you haven’t yet?

Gigi: Scotland and India. My first trip abroad was a summer in Scotland with my mom when I was 10 years old, and it captured my imagination and will always hold a special place in my heart.

My dad is from India but has lived in the United States for most of his adult life, so it’s always special to travel to India with him.

I’d like to spend more time in Southeast Asia. I backpacked through Europe after college, but in Asia I’ve only traveled throughout India.

Quicksand 1985-Gigi-with-a-bagpiper-by-Loch-Ness-Scotland-webres-textQuicksand India-2010-Gigi-in-Mysore-webres-text

Erin: Oh, Gigi, you’re adorable! And by Loch Ness! One of the top places on my bucket list! Do you work in any of your own travels into your books? If so, where? If not (or in addition), how do you choose your locations?

Gigi: All my books are set in places I’ve been. Sometimes I’ve visited a place already when I have the idea for a book, and sometimes it’s a great excuse to take a trip. For Quicksand, I’d been to France before, but I hadn’t been to all of the locations where I wanted to set the book. It was a perfect excuse to take a research trip.

Quicksand-Mont-St-Michel-Quicksand-text-Gigi-Pandian

Erin: I’m a foodie, so I always ask, what have you eaten somewhere that you dream of eating again?

Gigi: There are so many restaurants in Paris I’d love to visit again, both for the food and the atmosphere.

Erin: I know you value life in a way that “each day counts.” How has this led you to write faster and publish more often? How does this help you in the creation of your goals?

Gigi: Most definitely! After surviving breast cancer, I’ve held onto the feeling of wanting to live life to the fullest. I love storytelling, so by doing it mainly for myself, rather than worrying about what other people think, I’ve been able to write more quickly because I don’t second-guess my gut instincts.

Erin: What advice do you have for other writers when it comes to make writing a priority? What tips did you use starting out that helped you create such success with your books?

Gigi: Set goals and stick to them. But I know that’s easier said than done. That’s why I recommend trying NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), challenging yourself to write a 50,000-word draft of a novel in 30 days. NaNoWriMo is what helped me finish a first draft of my first novel, because it allowed me to let go of thinking my writing had to be good. But nobody’s writing is good at first. The point is to get your ideas down on paper. You can edit the words later, but finishing a project is the first serious step in becoming a writer.

My other trick is to set a writing time and stick to it. I write three mornings a week, because that’s what fits into my schedule, and I make sure those chunks of time are sacred. Even if there’s no food in the house, or a big pile of laundry, writing comes first during those dedicated writing times.

Erin: Who were your favorite authors or favorite books growing up? Which ones inspired your writing? What types of mysteries do you read now for pleasure?

Gigi: Elizabeth Peters and Aaron Elkins were the mystery writers I read as a teenager that made me want to become a writer. Their books are full of mystery, history, and adventure in settings across the globe. I read mostly within the mystery genre, but all types of mysteries from cozies to thrillers. (You can see what I’m reading on Goodreads.)

Erin: I’ve gathered that you have an obsession for gargoyles? How did this start? What’s a favorite that you’ve spotted? What is one you hope to see but haven’t yet?

Gigi: I’ve been photographing gargoyles since I was a kid. (Seriously, I have some awful photos I took on a 110mm film camera from that first trip to Scotland when I was 10!) I love mysteries, as you may have gathered, and gargoyles are so mysterious. That’s why my new series features a stone gargoyle who was accidentally brought to life. It’s been a lot of fun to hear from readers who love the gargoyle, Dorian.

Here are a couple of my favorite gargoyle photos, and there are many more on my Gargoyle Girl blog.

Quicksand westminster gargoyle 1997 blue square - webres - by Gigi Pandian GARGOYLEQuicksand-Notre-Dame-gargoyle-Gigi-Pandian-webres

Erin: It has been so much fun chatting with you, Gigi! I look forward to reading many more of your books and following your writing! As a writer myself, you are very inspiring. Feel free to stop back anytime! I’ll make more tea, or maybe a smoothie next time!

Gigi: Thanks for inviting me to stop by! Your questions were a lot of fun.

Quicksand book coverQuicksand: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery

(cozy mystery)

Release date: March 10, 2015
at Henery Press
280 pages

ISBN: 9781941962275

Synopsis~

A thousand-year-old secret room. A sultan’s stolen treasure. A missing French priest. And an invitation to Paris to rekindle an old flame…

Historian Jaya Jones finds herself on the wrong side of the law during an art heist at the Louvre. To redeem herself, she follows clues from an illuminated manuscript that lead from the cobblestone streets of Paris to the quicksand-surrounded fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. With the help of enigmatic Lane Peters and a 90-year-old stage magician, Jaya delves into France’s colonial past in India to clear her name and catch a killer.

Gigi Pandian, Biography~

 Gigi PandianUSA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. After being dragged around the world during her childhood,
she tried to escape her fate when she left a PhD program for art school. But adventurous academics wouldn’t stay out of her head. Thus was born the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand).

Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine. Her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards, and she also writes the new Accidental Alchemist mystery series.

She takes photos of gargoyles wherever she goes, and posts them on her Gargoyle Girl blog.

Visit her website. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter

Subscribe to her newsletter

Visit her Gargoyle photography blog: http://www.gargoylegirl.com

Buy the book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Itunes | Google Play

Giveaway~

You can enter the global giveaway here at the link below or on any other book blogs participating in this tour.
Be sure to follow each participant on Twitter/Facebook, they are listed in the entry form below too.

Entry-Form

Visit each blogger on the tour: tweeting about the giveaway everyday of the Tour will give you five (5) extra entries each time [just follow the directions on the entry-form]!

Global giveaway open internationally:
1 winner will receive a print copy of the 3 books in the

Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries Series

plus a beautiful set of recipe cards matching the 3 books!

Yes, you got that right: 1 winner will win the 3 books + recipe cards!

______________________________________
Click on the tour graphic below to follow along with more information on the tour!

Quicksand banner

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Filed under Book Reviews, Q and A with Authors

Visiting with Historical Author Anna Belfrage About Her Eighth and Final Graham Saga Novel + What’s Next?

Today I have an interview with the one-of-a-kind Anna Belfrage. Her eighth book in The Graham Saga series has published, but as it’s the last, we’ve talked about the series as a whole and what’s next. If you missed my review of To Catch a Falling Star yesterday, you can view it HERE. Enjoy!

Hi Anna, welcome back to Oh, for the Hook of a Book! It’s always a pleasure to have you here for conversation, drink, and sweets…and  your characters…oh, how they like to try to come along for some fun too! Alas, though I’m sure this won’t be the last time I have you on my site, it does look like it is the end of the The Graham Saga series for now, with the publishing of the eighth book, To Catch a Falling Star. Let’s chat a bit today about it all. How has it all been going for you?

02_To Catch a Falling Star_Cover

Anna: Well, I’ve exceeded my normal annual consumption of Kleenex by now… I had no idea it would be so difficult to say goodbye to Alex and Matthew. My husband tries to comfort me by pointing out there’s nothing stopping me from writing some more about them, and he’s right, of course. But there are other characters calling for my attention, and so…I do think there will be a novella or two. Mainly to dull the edge of abstinence I am presently suffering.

Erin: I better go get my extra box of Kleenex then, I’m sure we’ll need them as we talk. Are we up for a spot of tea today? If so, I’ll put on the tea kettle and brew up whatever you’d like. It’s rainy and humid and chilly here right now. Or we can do iced tea, in fact, if you’d prefer. And I know that you haven’t been allowed sweets in your home lately either, but you do love good cake, so I baked up a celebratory pound cake with raspberries and cream. Name your pleasure and I’ll serve it up!

Anna: I love you. Love you! And your pound cake! (Eagerly extends her plate) And yes, tea would be nice – it’s sunny and freezing cold over here, so I prefer the kettle variety.

Erin: It’s all prepared, so I’m on my way back in to settle beside you in some of my comfy library chairs. Aw, *hugs* Anna, I so enjoy you too! I’m looking forward to chatting, and hopefully, laughing as well. I do think I love your laugh, even if I’ve never heard it in person! Let’s get started.

Anna: My grandmother (a dour person who spent most of her life in a housedress and rollers until my grandfather died when she suddenly lost 20 pounds, bought herself jeans, a leather jacket and let her hair grow long) always said my laugh reminded her of the sound a goat makes if it shits on a tea-tray. Did I mention she wasn’t very nice? Actually, I think both of us have contagious laughs – I can see it in your eyes.

Erin: Hahahaha!! I literally just spit out this nice tea I just made all over my lap. I should know better, you are so very funny. I’m going to have to compose myself to even begin again. I might need to wipe myself up a little as well.

Ah, ok, now that I’ve recovered, let’s see if I can ask some questions. The most general question would be, especially after I’ve had you on my site probably 10 or more times, how does it feel to have accomplished writing and publishing eight books in a successful series? Do you feel content and ready for something new? Will you miss it? Will you keep promoting it?

Anna: Will I miss it? Gah! Yes, of course I will. And yes, I will continue promoting the series – among other things by publishing the odd novella or two as mentioned above. But I have so much other stuff in my head, and for some months Alex and Matthew will have to cede center stage to other characters. (“You can’t be serious!” Alex scowls, arms akimbo. “After all we’ve done for you, and you’re just going to leave us like this? Like this?” She gestures at Matthew’s half-finished little cabin, their private retreat. “Just for some months,” I try. Besides, if we’re going to be honest I’ve already written a couple of chapter sin which the cabin is finished and furnished. “You have?” Alex softens. “Well then.”)

Erin: After reading this eighth book, Alexandra Lind and Matthew Graham certainly, to me, don’t seem like they are finished, or that they’re family is finished. Excuse me if you’ve mentioned anything like above already. Though I know you tease about making them immortal, truly, do they still prod your mind with things they want to say?

Anna: Constantly. That Alex is a chatter-box, let me tell you! (“I am not!” Alex says, glaring at me. Matthew just smiles, draws his wife close and kisses her head. “Aye you are. The miracle is that most of what you say actually makes sense.”)

Anyway, yes, there are some things that need clearing up: Samuel and his life among the Mohawk, for example. And there’s an infected situation between Daniel and that horrible toad Richard Campbell. Plus Jacob’s unknown daughter in London is dealt a very, very bad hand of cards.

Erin: When you first set out to write a time slip series, and wrote the first book, did you have in mind it would remain set in the past throughout the series and she might never come back to the present to live?

Anna: Yes. I had this terrible premonition that if I allowed Alex to return, she’d never get back to Matthew. There was this horrible line running in my head: “She died just as twilight tinged the skies with tones of purple dusk. It was the 7th of May and it was exactly twenty years since she’d lost him. Him. Her Matthew, the man she’d last seen as he ran towards her, arms open in a futile attempt to grab her as time sucked her back. Him. Twenty years of arid emptiness, of longing for his voice, his touch. Him.  Alex Lind turned her face to the wall and gave up breath.”

Well, as you can guess, that served as a pretty good motivator in never, ever, allowing Alex to slip back through time.

Erin: Oh my, yes. Why did you choose, as an author, to have her slip into the 17th century? Do you feel that only someone with Alex’s robust personality could really be strong enough to “get on with her new life and love?”

Anna: The 17th century was a given. I am fascinated by this period in time, by the people who were brave enough to traverse the oceans in small wooden ships to start up life in the New World, by men and women so committed to their faith they were willing to die for it. And yes, I do believe most of us, if yanked out of our context, would more or less curl up and die, so it takes a determined – and open-minded – person to sort of pull up her socks and get on with it. I also think it helped that Alex came with some deep personal scars, and in some ways being transported backwards in time gave her an opportunity to reinvent herself.

Erin: Obviously Alex falls in love with Matthew and they start a family, so in the course of the series, they travel many places and take on new things with each novel. Though they seem a simple, down-to-earth couple, they are also very revolutionary. How do you, as the author, feel that they, and their family, grew over the course of the series? What did they learn?

Anna: It was difficult for Matthew to recognize just how dependent he was on Alex – as he had to do when they immigrated to Maryland, with him more or less torn apart with the pain of leaving his beloved Scottish manor.

Over time, both Alex and Matthew have learnt to share their emotional burdens with each other, whether it be the painful secrets of their past, or the devastating loss of their children. Theirs is a relationship built on love, respect and trust, on the certainty that no matter what, they’ll be there for each other – and they pass this on to their children, all of whom have successful marriages with partners they respect as well as love.

Erin: Alex and Matthew both are very strong, passionate, and yet emotional. How did you capture their personalities for the page? How do you think they mirror each other and how do you feel they are similar?

Anna: Well, if you ask Alex, she’ll tell you she is nothing like her obstinate, old-fashioned man, and Matthew will let you know he has little in common with his stubborn, opinionated wife.

I think they are similar in their outlook on life – do the right things, speak up for those that can’t speak for themselves.

Matthew is far more devout than Alex is – and initially, his brand or religion has a whiff of intolerance – he is, after all, a man shaped by the events of the English Civil War. Alex may have her doubts about God being a Presbyterian, but over time she is influenced by Matthew’s deep-seated conviction that God exists, and by the end of the series she has regular little chats with God, mostly to make sure He’s doing His job and keeping her family safe.

Passion is something they definitely have in common – for each other, for life, for their children.

Erin: Of all the secondary characters, children, etc., who was your favorite to write? Who did you enjoy creating the most, who had a mind of their own, and who did you not like very much?

Anna: I’m ambivalent to Daniel and Ruth, both of them with a rather narrow-minded approach to things, where things are either black or white. In my experience, life is mostly a jumble of varied greys…

My favourite… Well, Ian is very close to my heart as is Samuel. Both of them go through the harrowing experience as children of being torn in two between people they love, having to choose one over the other, all the while knowing that the person they don’t choose will be very hurt. Children are very perceptive like that, aren’t they?

Erin: Over the course of the saga, as mentioned, many times and places were encountered. Which was your favorite setting and time period? Why? Was there one that was more of a challenge?

Anna: I am a sucker for American Colonial – the courage it must have taken to ride off into the wilds, stake a claim and then set about taming the wilderness into arable lands. So I am very fond of my version of Colonial Maryland, including Providence, this bustling little town that evolved into Annapolis. The time period is consistently 17th century, so I guess that shows this is my favourite time.

Erin: Yes, I agree. Colonial America is also one of my favorites in general, and about your series.

Beyond that, what lessons and values do you feel you’ve taught within your book as you went along? Alex and Matthew both seem whole-heartedly like fine examples in regards to love, friendship, loyalty, justice.

Anna: I think my books are about love – the enduring kind, the one that has you sitting up all night when your loved one is ill, just to be able to hold his hand, the one that makes you look at your partner after thirty odd years and still see the person you fell in love with. I also firmly believe that most people strive to be good. Yes, for some it doesn’t work out all that well, but deep down, most of us want to do the right thing. Matthew and Alex are such people, and at times their integrity places them at risk – but some things are worth fighting for. Finally, Alex makes a journey into the unknown and becomes an ambassador for tolerance in an era where people were suspicious of anyone different from them. Sadly, I think we still see that type of behavior in our world of today, and I agree with Alex, that ultimately there’s no difference – we are all creature blessed with a short but priceless span of life.

Erin: So, the question everyone is probably asking, will there be more to this series in some shape and form? Will we ever hear from any of these characters again?

Anna: Well, I think I’ve replied to that question further up. So how about you go up and read it while I serve myself another slice of this fantastic pound cake? :)

raspberry-pound-cake

Erin: Yes, when you sat down you did say you might write a novella or two! I can’t wait to hear more about them. I’ll ponder it while I pour you more tea to have with your cake. :)

In all of the heartache, turmoil, heartbreak, and yet also joy, in your epic familial saga, do you feel that you’ve wrapped up most of the character arcs in this final book, at least especially with the children? Why or why not?

Anna: Not all of them. Samuel tugs at my heart – a lot. Daniel remains unexplored, and little Adam is growing into a young man of character.

Erin: Samuel is one of my favorites. I’d love to read a book about him. HINT!!!

Have you ever thought of going all the way in the opposite direction and writing a novel or novella that is a prequel? You know, one that tells us about Alex’s upbringing and normal everyday life in modern America before she slips? Something about that intrigues me!

Anna: Oh, I have started a prequel – but it starts much, much earlier than that! “She was born just as a bolt of lightning struck the Giralda, causing the heavy bell to boom out a greeting. That, at least, was what her grandfather said, laughing at the thought of a Catholic bell ringing in the birth of a little Jewish girl.” Welcome to 15th century Seville, and the story of Mercedes.

Erin: Oh, THAT’S exciting, I want to read that already!

I saw an excerpt at the back of To Catch of Falling Star, from a new project you’re working on which is set in 14th century England. I’m excited and want to know more about it! What can you tell us?

Anna: Adam de Guirande is a man who has more than one reason to love his lord, the enigmatic and ambitious Roger Mortimer. In 1321, Adam marries Kit Coucy – except he thinks he’s marrying Katherine de Monmouth, and doesn’t take it all that well when he realises he’s been played the fool. Not that Kit had any choice, but Adam has a hard time believing that.

When the conflict between Baron Mortimer and Edward II explodes into armed conflict, Adam has no choice but to ride with his lord, no matter that treason comes with dishonourable death. With Mortimer in chains, and Adam’s at death’s door, only one person cares enough to come looking – Kit.

This is but a brief introduction to a story that will require at least three novels to tell in full. A story where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

We first meet Adam as he stands waiting for his bride:

Adam de Guirande approached his impending nuptials with as much enthusiasm as a lamb about to be led to the slaughter. Had it not been for the dowry, further enlarged by the baron’s generous gift, he would have refused the honour, all too aware of the fact that most men viewed his intended wife as used goods. He’d only met Katherine briefly, but rumour had her spending a lot of time alone with the baron – especially during the past winter, when the baron had spent several consecutive weeks at Wigmore – and Adam knew better than most just how carnal a man the baron could be. Not for him the refined love of troubadours and chansons, no, Sir Roger Mortimer preferred his pleasures in the flesh, so to speak.

The first instalment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, is planned for later this year. I rather like the title – what do you think, Erin? 

Erin: I like the title and the book premise. Again, excited! I look forward to it!

I love the subtle humor in your books, within Alex but in many of your other characters as well. I feel like you are like this in real life. I think this makes your books fun to read. Do you always wish to carry an element of humor into your characters or does it just “happen?”

Anna: It mostly happens – I do believe my characters take after their creator. But I think it is important with humour – it serves to save a scene from too much sentimentality.

Erin: What is one of the funniest things that have happened to you while in the course of researching or writing your books? If not when writing, then in general, because I know you have some of those stories!

Anna: Funniest? Hmm. I was in Cumnock – I felt I had to see this center of the universe in Matthew Graham’s Scottish life – and I must admit to being a tad disappointed. It wasn’t quite as picturesque as I had hoped. It did, however, have a hotel smack bang in the middle, and this hotel offered afternoon teas. The place was deserted. It was my BFF, me, and the waiter. At some point he asked what we’re doing there. I told him and he just blinked. “Write about Cumnock? Whatever for?” He gestured at the window. “There must be thousands of Scottish towns prettier than this.” Absolutely. But only Cumnock had Sandy Peden, that endearing fanatical preacher who livened up the nearby area in the 17th century.

Erin: I know you already live overseas, and you travel some, what is your favorite place nearby where you live? What is your favorite place abroad?

Anna: I suppose whether it is overseas or not depends on perspective. From where I’m standing, it is you who is overseas, while I have my feet firmly planted in Swedish soil. My favourite place here in Sweden is our country house. Situated in the middle of nowhere, it sits on a lake, and there are no sounds other than those of the wind in the trees, the birds, the bees… Like balm or my soul. My favourite place abroad has to be London. Or Istanbul. Yes, Istanbul, historical highway between east and west, between old and new.

Erin: Oh, Anna, I know! I meant overseas from myself, silly. I still sat I was born overseas (England), you know, not that I live overseas now. It’s all relative, you’re right. J  I’d love to go to Istanbul too!

If you could time slip yourself, where would it be? Who would you meet? What would you wear? What would you eat? (I’m sounding like Dr. Suess…)

Anna: There are so many events in history I’d like to peek in on, but if I have to choose one moment, I think I’d have liked to be on the Santa Maria when Columbus saw land – well, when the look-out screeched that he saw land. As this was an all-male venture, I’d be appropriately dressed in scratchy hose, breeches, a short – and too warm – doublet over a long linen shirt. Food would have been boring: fortunately, I’d have brought along a lime or two to ward off scurvy.

Erin: Ha! Somehow, I can see you doing that! My dearest Anna, I hope we meet your characters from The Graham Saga again in some shape or form, but if not, I look forward to your creation of new ones. Thank you for sharing the Graham’s story with the rest of us; the books will be forever treasured and I’ll pass them down to my daughters. I am excited for you to keep writing, as I know you have many more stories to tell. You’re still welcome here anytime!

Anna: Sheesh! Now look what you’ve done – pass me the Kleenex, will you? It’s been my pleasure to visit with you, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so many more times over the coming years. After all, I haven’t even begun telling you about Jason and Helle, have I?

Erin: Big teaser!!!

02_To Catch a Falling Star_CoverTo Catch a Falling Star, Synopsis~

Publication Date: March 1, 2015
SilverWood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Book Eight, The Graham Saga
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip

GoodReads

To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Some gifts are double-edged swords …

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.
Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

Buy To Catch a Falling Star~

Amazon 
Barnes & Noble

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

About the Author, Anna Belfrage~

03_Anna BelfrageI was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive …

Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/tocatchafallingstarblogtour/

Hashtags: #ToCatchaFallingStarBlogTour #HistoricalFiction #GrahamSaga

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @Anna_Belfrage

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To Catch a Falling Star Wraps Up Anna Belfrage’s The Graham Saga Time Slip Historical Series in Grand Style

02_To Catch a Falling Star_CoverReview~

I thought about just not writing this review and begging forgiveness. The reason for that being that it’s for the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s The Graham Saga series, which is also the last. Yes, To Catch a Falling Star is the last. Crying ensues from everyone, everywhere (cue Kleenex!). This really is a best-loved series by so many, and I am included in both the crying and the loving. However, since Anna told me recently (and you’ll see in our interview tomorrow) that she may re-visit some of the characters, I’ll choose to keep hope alive. Also, I’ll leave links below to all my previous 10+ posts with Anna during this series. There is also an excerpt below so you can get a glimpse into this final book.

What might I think of this final book To Catch a Falling Star, this epic tale of Matthew Graham and Alexandra Lind and family, you ask? As always, Anna has great characterization. The proof of this is our connection to her characters over the series. I know I’m not the only one who fell in love with the Graham family. In this final book, we still see the enduring love and support of Matthew and Alex, both for each other, as well as their grown children.

We also see a great amount of adventure, action, and trauma. I mean, Anna can’t write a book that doesn’t make us all cry and tug at our heart strings. Poor Alex is always heavy in heart over one of her children. The situations as each go their separate ways is sometimes sad, as well of course, the fact that Anna doesn’t shy away from the hard emotional scenes that include death and grieving. She writes with real authenticity and pours everything out onto the page.

In the plot of this particular novel, Matthew receives a note from Luke, his brother that he hasn’t spoken to in many years, informing him that he now owns the family manor in Scotland. Of course, I know why Alex would be wary, she isn’t keen on seeing Luke and she isn’t thrilled about going to Scotland. It’s 1688 and there is religious and political upheaval. Matthew seems surprised at how much Scotland has changed, once he arrives with Alex and a few of their children. As always, it can’t be easy and some tragedy ensues, leaving Alex wondering when they’ll be able, and if they’ll be able, to return to their home in Maryland.

I know Alex wasn’t happy to be going to Scotland, but I did think it was great for Anna, as the author, to let her character of Matthew return to his roots, as well as enjoyable that we, as readers, are returned to the start of it all in Scotland. It does seem fitting also, the return, as she writes in a way to wrap things up and come full circle, just as their lives have come around to older age. They need to be able to make amends and face things from their past. Matthew and Luke also having an understanding, so her story is a little about brothers too. Matthew making resolution with his brother, as well as the relationships between the sons of Alex and Matthew as grown brothers. We see love, remorse, sadness, healing, forgiveness, redemption, loss, and joy.

I think that the main plot, which is really the love story of Matthew and Alex, all comes around and ties up nicely. Their love endures throughout the saga and we are left feeling that Alex’s time slip was the best thing that ever happened to her. We are left feeling good by the end, though I don’t want to give it all away, so I’ll just say that I felt it was a very fitting ending.

One of the side stories I found interesting was with Alex’s son Issac, who is a gifted painter. When he falls through a painting he time slips 300 years into the future! This is something I’ve always wanted to do, might I add! However, he does have a bit of a struggle as he tries to paint his way back. I thought it was so fitting to find that Alex’s son, like herself and his grandmother Mercedes, is also a time traveler! He also has a bit of her personality! I always felt like one of the children should have the gift as well.

Of course, there are several other stories and issues occurring throughout the book in regards to historical situations that Alex and Matthew’s children and family find themselves in that make for excellent reading. The action propelled me through the pages, the dialogue kept my eyes moving. I should choose favorites, but my favorite side story of one of their children is Samuel. I enjoy his story. I’d be sad to not hear of him again.

Thinking back throughout the series, I do feel that the books have gotten so much better with ever increasing quality of writing and story telling, even with adding more and more historical information with each new time and place. I especially enjoyed the last few books. Anna’s writing is quick-witted, focused, interesting, and engaging. I like how Anna writes of Matthew and Alex in terms of religious and political situations as well; both characters always seem to be the peace makers or at least are very good at making each side see the other side’s story. They are able to get out of some very sticky situations. I think they teach readers strength, courage, and compassion. This final book is a true testament to a wonderful couple, one that balances out each other with fine precision, though not always with ease.

Anna has created a beautifully written series that should adorn anyone’s bookshelf. I know they’ll urge to be read many times again (I don’t think these characters will rest!). The notion of time slipping is captivating, but what is truly spellbinding is Anna’s writing–her characters, her life humor, her long-abiding love story. It’s an unforgettable saga that is to be passed among generations, as time has no boundaries in regards to it.

My previous reviews/spots with Anna:

Book One: A Rip in the Veil (missed this one!)
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind

Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land

Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star (today)

Guest article on Creating her Series
Guest article on Creating Dialogue with Characters
Guest article on History of Sugar Production
Interview with Anna 1
Interview with Anna 2 (tomorrow!)

Excerpt from To Catch a Falling Star!

Matthew and Alex talk about Luke, Matthew’s perfidious brother~

“He looked old,” Matthew said some hours later, unable to keep a satisfied tone out of his voice.

“Who?” Alex said, sinking deeper into the hip bath. The room they’d taken was full of sleeping lads on pallets, but she had insisted on taking a bath, curtly informing Matthew that as far as she knew, all her sons had seen her naked before and weren’t about to die of shock.

“Luke.”

“Yes, he did, didn’t he?” she said, lathering her hair. “He does, however, look very wealthy.”

“Let me,” Matthew said, sinking his fingers into her scalp. “He is wealthy, and for all that he spent a year in house arrest, it hasn’t damaged his standing in court over much.”

“How do you know?” Alex asked.

“I’m not entirely without contacts, even if quite a few of my erstwhile companions are dead by now.” Matthew rinsed her hair, handed her a couple of towels, and sat on the bed to watch her step out of the tub, pink and glowing. “The King was right in placing him under house arrest.” This was information he had pieced together from several letters arriving not only from London but also from Edinburgh and even from Amsterdam. It would seem Luke had very much on purpose sent Charlie to Amsterdam, hoping the lad would become a well-known face at the court of William of Orange. Unfortunately, he had been dazzled by the Duke of Monmouth instead, thereby becoming an enthusiastic participant in the rebellion three years hence that nearly cost Charlie his life.

“You think?” Alex tugged a clean shift over her head and came to join him on the bed.

“Aye, he’s politically astute, my wee brother, and just like you, he doesn’t see the English taking to a line of Catholic kings.”

“Well, to be entirely honest, I know, don’t I? I know James will be out on his ear shortly.” She hunted about for her comb. “It’s just that I can’t recall exactly when. I should have paid more attention in history class.

“When do we leave for Hillview?” she asked some while later, wrenching Matthew out of private musings as to how close to the fire his brother might be flying.

“In some days. I have deeds to notarise, and then we must find ourselves horses and such.”

“Some days?” Alex gave him a penetrating look.

He averted his face from her, muttered something about having the maid empty the hip bath and cart it away, and escaped the room to yell down the stairs. Alex retreated behind the bed hangings when the door swung open to let in the harried maid and the yard lad.

“You’re scared,” she said once they were alone again.

“Nay, not afraid precisely, more…I’ve never been away this long from it before, and it may have changed.” He twitched the bed hangings closed, enveloping them in a musky, deep red glow, the candle on the headboard flaring in the resulting waft of air before settling down to burn steadily again.

“I seem to remember having had this conversation with you before,” she said, curling up against his chest.

“But that time it was only three years. This time, it’s twenty.” He closed his eyes, imagining all kinds of destruction. Mayhap someone had moved the barn, or torn down the stables, and where the dovecote had stood since time immemorial he might come home to find a pigsty.

“A pigsty?” Alex laughed and shook her head.

“Or a privy.”

“The ground’s too rocky for a privy there, and pigs like mud, not stones. Besides, you can always change it back.” She nestled into him. “You don’t think they’ll have touched the graveyard, do you?” Despite her casual tone, he knew this was her secret fear, that they’d return to find the headstones gone, the rowan tree cut down, and they’d have no idea where their wee daughter lay at rest.

“Of course not, that would be desecration. And Magnus said, didn’t he, how the rowan was still there when he visited Hillview last.” It made him smile – albeit crookedly. His father-in-law had been to Hillview before his longing for Alex drove him to attempt some time travelling of his own – successfully, as it happened, even if the mere thought of those accursed painted time portals had Matthew breaking out in a cold sweat. Magic: black magic, even.

As always when they touched upon the sheer improbability of his dear wife’s life – born in 1976, fallen back to land in the seventeenth century with him – he felt her tense, her hands gripping his shirt.

He tightened his hold on her shoulders. “I won’t let time take you back, lass. You’re staying with me ’til the end of our days and well beyond.” He threw her a teasing look down the length of his nose. “Although I fear that means I must join you in hell.”

“Not if God is fair and unprejudiced. I do as well as I can.”

“But we all know that God is selective as to who gets in to heaven. Most of us are not accorded grace.”

“Not my God. He has plenty of room up there in His rolling meadows for all the truly good and kind souls.” She propped herself up on an elbow to smile down at him. “And I bet you He has tea and cake as well.”

“Tea and cake?” Matthew laughed out loud. “What will a soul want with tea and cake?”

“Let me tell you I have no intention spending an eternity just wafting about and looking adequately spiritual.” Alex grinned. “I’m planning on eating and drinking and having lots and lots of sex.”

“Sex, hmm?” Matthew rolled her over, lowering his voice to a seductive rumble.

“As much as I can get,” she said, tugging his shirt out of the way. Her hand found his balls, she ran a nail up his member, and he dipped his head to nibble her ear, smiling at the responding gooseflesh that flew up her thighs. “Although I think we can manage that in hell as well,” she went on, “it will just be that much hotter.”

”You shouldn’t jest about it,” he said with attempted severity.

Her eyes stared up at him, mostly black in the night. “I don’t care where I go after death, as long as it’s with you.”

It still made his heart flutter when she said things like that, a heartfelt, silent thank you buzzing through his brain. For my life and my bairns, for my health, but most of all for my wife, my miraculous Alex, I thank you, Lord, every day, I thank you.

To Catch a Falling Star, Synopsis~

02_To Catch a Falling Star_CoverPublication Date: March 1, 2015
SilverWood Books
Formats: eBook, Paperback

Series: Book Eight, The Graham Saga
Genre: Historical Fiction/Time-Slip

GoodReads

To Catch a Falling Star is the eighth book in Anna Belfrage’s series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Some gifts are double-edged swords …

For Matthew Graham, being given the gift of his former Scottish manor is a dream come true. For his wife, Alex, this gift will force her to undertake a perilous sea journey, leaving most of their extensive family in the Colony of Maryland. Alex is torn apart by this, but staying behind while her husband travels to Scotland is no option.
Scotland in 1688 is a divided country, torn between the papist Stuart king and the foreign but Protestant William of Orange. In the Lowlands, popular opinion is with Dutch William, and Matthew’s reluctance to openly support him does not endear him to his former friends and neighbours.

While Matthew struggles to come to terms with the fact that Scotland of 1688 bears little resemblance to his lovingly conserved memories, Alex is forced to confront unresolved issues from her past, including her overly curious brother-in-law, Luke Graham. And then there’s the further complication of the dashing, flamboyant Viscount Dundee, a man who knocks Alex completely off her feet.

All the turmoil that accompanies their return to Scotland pales into insignificance when a letter arrives, detailing the calamities threatening their youngest daughter in Maryland – at the hand of that most obnoxious minister, Richard Campbell. Matthew and Alex have no choice but to hasten back, no matter the heartache this causes.

Will they make it back in time? And what will Richard Campbell do?

Buy To Catch a Falling Star~

Amazon 
Barnes & Noble

Graham Saga Titles

Book One: A Rip in the Veil
Book Two: Like Chaff in the Wind
Book Three: The Prodigal Son
Book Four: A Newfound Land
Book Five: Serpents in the Garden
Book Six: Revenge & Retribution
Book Seven: Whither Thou Goest
Book Eight: To Catch a Falling Star

About the Author, Anna Belfrage~

03_Anna BelfrageI was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive …

Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

For more information, please visit Anna Belfrage’s website and blog. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

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