GUEST BLOG: Of Time-Travel, Jacobites and Ungrateful Protagonists by Anna Belfrage Plus Giveaway!

Some people want to see the Chinese wall. Others dream about travelling to Mars. Some are pretty happy where they are and mostly dream about winning the lottery or waking up with fantastic abs and no excess body fat. Me, I dream about travelling through time. I have always done so, to the point that I used to hide in my closet and perform strange (and totally invented) rituals with the hope of ending up somewhere else. I had clearly not thought that through, as I seriously doubt a twelve-year-old kid would have done all that well yanked out of her context. It will come as no surprise to you, dear reader, that despite multiple candles and odd chanting in German (I do not speak German, but I felt it sounded adequately mysterious, so I read from my mother’s old German grammar books) it never worked.

Anyway, when I dream of time travel, it is always about travelling backward, not forward, which is probably due to me having some insight into the past and none into the future, so the latter sounds scarier. Sort of amusing if one considers the things one could have to face in the past: plague, smallpox, starvation, execution, public flogging—just to name a few.

And yet, if I could—and I was guaranteed a return ticket—I would absolutely volunteer to drop into a distant time to check things out. I think I would be shocked. By the smells, by the dirt, by the lack of education, by the standard of life for the majority.

“Tell me about it,” Erin Barnes, the female protagonist of The Whirlpools of Time,  grumbles, stretching awake inside my head. She gives me a baleful look. “And you haven’t exactly given me a return ticket, have you?”

Well, to be correct, I have—but being a stickler for some sort of logic when it comes to my time travel mechanisms, it didn’t help Erin much. And yes: when it comes to my invented time travellers, I like to leave them stranded in their new times. It helps build character to be obliged to adapt to entirely new circumstances, and…OOW! (Erin just delivered a kick to one of my more sensitive brain nodes).

“You should be grateful,” I tell her sternly. “I took you back to 1715. It could have been worse, you know: think cave dwellers or living in Bagdad when the Mongol horde invaded and plundered.”

“1715 is bad enough,” she retorts. And yes, it is—at least for a woman of mixed heritage who now has to build a life for herself in Colonial America. Let’s just say prejudice is rife: against women in general, strong women in particular and as to women with lovely, lovely caramel coloured skin, well the obvious conclusion is that she must be a slave.

“But I’m not,” Erin says.

Absolutely not. And just to help keep her safe in the 18th century, I have gifted her with quite the man. Duncan Melville is not only tall and handsome (yes, yes, I know: I have a fondness for tall, built men who somehow set my heart aquiver, even if they only exist in my head) he is also a lawyer and very, very protective of his Erin. And as to why Erin ended up in 1715, that is all Duncan’s fault.

“My fault?” Duncan pops up beside Erin, wrapping an arm round her shoulders to hold her close. “I didn’t write the storyline.”

“No, but you were born in 1686, hence, that now that you’ve become an adult, we’re stuck in the first few decades of the 18thcentury.”

This, dear reader, was something of a problem for me. You see, I was never going to write about the 18th century. Nope, not me. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with the century that went all wild and crazy over hair. Powdered hair, I might add. Hair that was arranged into impossible, towering creations that reasonably must have given the poor women balancing all that hair a crick in the neck.

Fortunately, The Whirlpools of Time is set in the early part of this rather eventful century—before hair became an issue. (Not entirely true. There were a lot of gigantic wigs around)  Leaving aside my dislike for all that hair, I have to admit there’s a LOT of stuff going on in the 18th century, starting with the Union of the Crowns very early on and going all the way to the execution of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in the wake of the French revolution. In between, we have the golden(?) age of piracy, several Jacobite rebellions, numerous wars in Europe, the War of Independence in America, thinkers like Rousseau and Montesquieu.

So there I was in 1715 with Duncan Melville (and Erin, but she wasn’t around initially, even if I don’t tell her that as it may hurt her feelings). Now, when I write a book, I like to build my narrative around real historical events. In The Whirlpools of Time, the obvious events to depict was the Jacobite Rebellion.

Say Jacobite rebellion and half the world goes “Ah, Jamie in Outlander.” And yes, the tragedy of Culloden is the final act in the Jacobite Rebellion(s), but the roots behind all this upheaval lie in 1688, when James II was ousted from the throne by his very Protestant peers and his son-in-law, William of Orange. This is a major simplification, but you do not want me to give you the long version as I can talk for hours and hours about William, his wife Mary—James II’s eldest daughter—and the events leading up to James being deposed, first among them the birth of his long-awaited son, James Francis Edward. A Catholic son born to a Catholic father…oh, woe, said the very anti-papist Englishmen, shivering at the thought of a Catholic dynasty.

James II retired to France there to lick his wounds and nurse his bitterness. I imagine little James Francis Edward grew up hearing over and over again that the English throne by right belonged to him—he was the rightful heir. By 1715, James II had been dead for over a decade and his son was recognised as James III & VIII by the Jacobites and Louis XIV and the pope. Not by the English, though. Or the Scots—well, with the exception of some of the Catholic Highlanders.

James Francis Edward could have become king of England peaceably if he’d been willing to renounce his Catholic faith and instead embrace the Anglican Church. He refused, being of the opinion that the throne belonged to him, and if the English were fools enough to deny it to him, then he’d take it anyway, supported by his loyal followers and God. Well, that didn’t happen, did it? The rebellion of 1715 was a major failure. Too bad memories are short, as thirty years later a new generation would once again attempt to replace the Hanover king with a Catholic Stuart. Wouldn’t work that time either—but the consequences for those that fought for Charles Edward Stuart would be dire.

So there you have it, the background to why Duncan Melville is in the Scottish Highlands just as the rebels are beginning to assemble under the banners of the Earl of Mar. But before Duncan makes it to Scotland in the autumn of 1715, I send him on an itty-bitty detour to the year 2016. You see, I felt there was something lacking in Duncan’s life, and Erin Barnes sure needed someone in her corner. What she didn’t need—or so she says—was to be dragged back to 1715. Methinks she protests too much: because seriously, if she has to choose between a life in her time sans Duncan or one in 1715 with Duncan it’s a dead easy choice.

“We could both be in 2016,” Erin protests, giving me the evil eye.

“Ah. Well, no, that would never work: after all, there are no Jacobites in 2016, are there? Besides, who has ever heard of a time travel romance without a time-traveller?”About The Book

The Locket: Book 1
Publication Date: June 11, 2021

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?

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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.

Whirlpools of Time

About The Author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveler. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time-traveling 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.

Find out more about Anna on her website or on her Amazon page. You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 23
Guest Post at Novels Alive

Tuesday, August 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Excerpt at Books & Benches

Thursday, August 26
Review at Reader_ceygo

Friday, August 27
Review at Novels Alive

Monday, August 30
Review at With A Book In Our Hands

Wednesday, September 1
Review at The Book Review Crew

Friday, September 3
Excerpt at Historical Fiction with Spirit

Monday, September 6
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals

Wednesday, September 8
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Friday, September 10
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews

Monday, September 13
Guest Post at Hoover Book Reviews

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Books, Writings, and More

Friday, September 17
Excerpt at Reading is My Remedy

Monday, September 20
Review at Amy’s Booket List

Tuesday, September 21
Review at Anna’s Book Blog

Wednesday, September 22
Excerpt at The Cozy Book Blog

Friday, September 24
Review at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 27
Excerpt at Cross My Heart Writing & Reviews

Wednesday, September 29
Review at Coffee and Ink

Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews



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