26 April 2015

Sunday Snippet from Travis--Wild Heather Book 2

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My snippet this week is taken from Travis—Wild Heather Book 2

Beth Anderson travels to Scotland to help her Australian friends, Liz and Andrew, renovate the dilapidated castle he inherited from his uncle. Beth shares Liz’s passion for all things Celtic and knows the ancient language well. Liz tells her an unbelievable story of how she and Andrew were swept back in time to 1050, to a hostile world, where Andrew saved the life of Travis, his ancestor, a lovable rogue.
Beth decides to explore the castle attics and unwittingly discovers their method of time-travel. But the Travis she meets is a changed man, now driven by revenge and set on annihilating all his enemies. He has too much violence and bloodshed to contend with and has no time in his life for another woman from the future. Despite this a great love grows, a love that must overcome many obstacles before reaching its conclusion. In Book 1, The Laird, we met Travis, his family, and his clansmen, in Book 2 Travis, we are reunited with them.

And here’s the snippet

She sat up, massaging her thighs. At least her legs felt normal now, although her muscles still ached as if she’d run a mile. The dizziness had subsided and the ringing in her ears was gone. Rubbing her face she glanced around. Everything seemed normal and the few cattle grazing about a hundred meters away added to that normalcy.

Beth tried to remember the lie of the land on their drive back from the airport but couldn’t recall seeing any cattle near the McAlistair’s castle. But that didn’t prove anything. She could have wandered aimlessly on the far side of the estate while in this stupor, or whatever ailed her. It certainly looked wild and rugged—but perhaps the countryside was like this over most of Scotland. In Australia you only traveled a short distance from some towns to find oneself in the outback.

She must have passed out. This was the only feasible answer to the feeling of flying helplessly through that vortex. Between the hurtling sensation and the blackness, all she could recall was the cold. And it had been freezing when that strange wind blew up.

“Come on, be practical.” She stood and slapped at her sides. She’d always been level-headed. Boring and unimaginative, that was Beth Anderson. She steered away from the answer that was emerging, crying out to be heard
“No. I’m still near Liz and Andrew’s estate. As soon as someone comes by I’ll prove it.”

With a definite nod of the head Beth looked about, trying to get her bearings from the position of the sun. What time could it be? It was just after ten when she left her room after donning the thick sweater. So, depending on how long she’d been in this strange state, it could be anywhere between ten thirty and eleven. The sun wasn’t quite at its height, which proved she was more or less right. It was streaming in her window this morning, which meant the castle had to be...

Beth turned about. This was so stupid. How on earth could she work out which direction to take? A city girl didn’t have to worry about such things. There were street signs in the city and always someone to ask for directions. Here she was surrounded by trees, the few cattle, and bracken. As she pondered which way to walk, the thundering of hooves disturbed the tranquility. Thank the lord. Beth breathed a sigh of relief—now she’d find out where she was.

A hand shielding her eyes, she faced the rider.

A giant of a man rode one of the biggest horses she’d ever seen. Black flowing hair streamed out behind him, and he rode as if all the devils from hell were on his heels.
As he neared Beth saw that he had a beard as black as his hair. He wore some sort of strange garment, like a philabeg, the old Gaelic version of a kilt. A claymore hung at his side, and leather strapping bound his calves.

It was Andrew.

Relief flooded her. Why hadn’t Liz told her he was taking part in a highland pageant? She laughed out loud as he saw her, and lifted her hand to wave.
He skidded the horse to a standstill. It was then, as the man controlled the wild, panting beast, Beth recalled something Liz told her last night. Andrew wasn’t a good rider. Her throat dried up, and she couldn’t swallow. The rider stared at her as if she was a ghost just risen from the earth. His mouth worked but no words came out
Some sixth sense told her exactly who this stranger was.

“Travis.” A hand covering her mouth, Beth whispered the name hoarsely. Dizziness swamped her, and vaguely she heard him use a Gaelic curse before she toppled into oblivion.

“This is a terrific story. Ms. McGill has created two dynamic characters whose stubborn passions cause them many problems. Throw in the fact that they come from two different time periods and you have a delightful read full of the violence of the time, intrigue, passion, and heartache. Beth is a quiet but feisty woman of the twenty-first century. Travis is the Laird of all he surveys and rules his people with a fair but firm hand, putting the protection of his people above all else, including himself. I really enjoyed this story. Beth and Travis are a team; forging a bond that even time cannot break. In a time of extreme violence and danger, they create their own oasis of peace in each other’s arms.  If you need an escape, travel to Scotland in the year 1051 with Beth and put reality aside for a while.    Patricia Oshier Bruening  TRS

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