By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel’s Horn Press
In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.
Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.
Niall Meets Joan
Creagsmalan, Southwest Scotland, January 1318
Niall waited in the hills outside Creagsmalan as Conal, Lachlan, and Owen rode in. He and Hugh sat on a pair of boulders, watching sunrise spill light over the water beyond the town.
“Are ye sure she’ll believe it?” Hugh’s eyebrows suddenly furrowed. “Surely she knows the Bruce will not return his lands until he swears fealty.”
“Hope,” Niall said. “She wishes to believe it. Moreover, Bruce is known for mercy. She will count on that, for she does not wish to leave Scotland.”
They fell silent, watching the town below.
“How long do we wait?” Hugh finally asked.
Niall shrugged. “There are three…”
A shriek erupted from the trees around them. Niall and Hugh leapt to their feet, spinning to confront the intruder. Joan stood under the nearest tree, her hands to her mouth, staring at Niall. A basket lay at her feet, with firewood, mushrooms, and bunches of herbs splayed around it.
Niall stared in shock, as Joan emitted a second high-pitched squeal and pelted across the frosty meadow, crying, “Fionn, you’re back, you’re back! I knew you’d never leave me, Fionn!” and barreled into him, gripping him in a fierce embrace of fleshy arms and attempted kisses. He floundered in her enthusiasm, trying to extricate himself from the drowning sea of her affection, above which sounded a roar like the surf.
He stumbled backward, tripping on the boulder behind him. Joan landed atop of him, her face aglow, as Hugh bellowed in laughter.
Niall glared at him. “As much help as you were with the boar,” he snapped, scrambling out from under Joan, and to his feet. He swatted at the dirt and frost covering his tunic, even as he reached a hand to help Joan up. Words tumbled from her mouth, rushing faster than the trains of Shawn’s time. He put his finger to his lips, with a desperate glance down the hill. “Aye, I’m back,” he reassured her. “Stop, just stop a moment! Please, ye dinna want MacDougall to find me, aye?”
Joan, steadying herself with a firm grip on Niall’s arm, shook her head fiercely. “Oh, no, no, Fionn, no, he’s gone away! ’Tis but milady left, and….”
“Where has he gone?” Niall broke in.
“…there’s none but me up in the hills, I was gathering mushrooms and….”
“Where has MacDougall gone?” Niall repeated.
“…winter burnet….” Joan stopped momentarily, as if suddenly aware he’d spoken. She glanced at Hugh, and gave a start, saying, “Och! I dinna see ye!”
“’Tis my wee stature,” Hugh said with a grin. “Sure an’ you’re no the first to overlook me!”
About the Author
Bri’s Book Nook
Among the Reads
Two Points of Interest
Hearts & Scribbles
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Andi’s Book Reviews
Becky on Books
Stacking My Book Shelves!
Teatime and Books
– l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
– 1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)