“I was totally caught up in this story. Time travel is such an unbelievable concept and I often have trouble following it in a story. I thought Tricia McGill wove a colorful tapestry of time travel. One that makes the reader believe it is possible. The characters are so realistic and have such depth to their character. I was drawn to them and wanted to find out if Maddie could ever find Amber and what she would choose to do about Erik.
The romance that blooms between Erik and Maddie is pure and sweet. When they finally made love, I wept with joy. I wasn’t sure if Maddie would stay with Erik or return home with Amber if they found her. The waiting almost did me in. I can’t tell you what happens, but I laughed and cried to the final page.
A masterfully woven tale that transcends the boundaries of time.”
Robyn –Once Upon A Romance
Madeline (Maddie to her friends), an Australian history teacher, travels to York, England, to visit her friend Amber who is working there with a team of archaeologists unearthing Viking relics. They share a passion for the Viking Age, and both studied the Old Norse language.
About to take part in a re-enactment at the Viking village and wearing typical clothes worn by a Viking woman, they are swept back in time to the town of Jorvik, a thriving trading town, as York was in the year 879 AD. Maddie meets Norse trader Erik and is stunned by his uncanny resemblance to the Viking she has been dreaming of.
When Amber is kidnapped, Maddie persuades Erik to help her find her friend. Their journey takes them across to France and to Rouen, then further inland. They encounter misadventures on their perilous journey. Erik risks everything to aid Madeline in her quest. And the fear is always there; will she stay in the past to share her hero’s life, or be snatched back to her own time?
And here's an excerpt:
Ivar opened the door, and gestured for them to go before him. Maddie’s knees wobbled as she stepped forward. It was very dark, the moon obscured by clouds so that all she could make out was a rooftop about twenty feet away with a coil of smoke rising from its centre.
A cool gust of wind swept along the narrow street that was made up of slats of worn timber, and she shivered. “What season are we in?” she turned to ask Ivar as an owl hooted mournfully and a dog barked in the distance. The smell of wood-smoke, damp leaves, and cooked meat filled the crisp night air.
He shrugged, looking baffled by the question. “Winter is just over.”
“If we go out there,” she said to Amber, “we not only have nowhere to go, but we’ll freeze to death in these garments. I don’t know about you, but I reckon we’re far better off staying here, if Ivar’s willing to let us. I suggest we hang on—at least until we see what tomorrow brings.”
Amber clung to the wooden doorframe as if she feared they might float off into the night if she let go. “You’re right,” she whispered in a shaky little voice. She held onto Maddie's arm for dear life and Maddie felt her shivers. “He seems pretty trustworthy. I’m not so sure about his mate in there though.” She jerked her head in the direction of the other room.
“He’ll probably go soon.” Maddie turned to Ivar. “Could we stay here this night, please?” Whether it was her imagination or not she wasn’t sure, but he looked pleased with that question.
“I would not wish to see two females going out into a world they do not know amongst people who would be strange to them,” he said.
If only he knew. Strange didn’t come anywhere near that truth.
“Thank you.” In truth, now she’d had time to think logically, Maddie was terrified of venturing from the cocoon of safety Ivar’s small home presented. “We’ll see what the morning brings,” she said to Amber.
“I guess you’re right.” Amber rubbed her forehead. “Perhaps we’ll wake up back in my flat by then.”
Maddie suspected that wasn’t likely to happen, and certainly not while they didn’t have the necklaces in their possession. “We’ll have to try and get the necklets back. We could have done a lot worse. Think about it—supposing we’d landed in a den of thieves, or a brothel. Ivar seems a nice enough man. I’ll reserve judgment on the other one.”
Unexpectedly, Amber didn’t seem to be handling this whole thing at all well. Considering her love for the Vikings Maddie would have expected to see a whole lot more interest. So, they’d landed here in the past through some strange phenomenon: Maddie decided then and there to enjoy it while she could. Soon something would happen to propel them back to their world.
She wouldn’t admit it to Amber, but this was infinitely more exciting than anything that had happened to her in a long time. And to be so close to her dream man was exhilarating—even if he didn’t appear to be happy with their appearance here.
A sudden thought hit her. It was hypothesized that gay men were a known thing in the Viking world, or at least men who liked to wear women’s clothes. A lot of jewellery and similar artefacts found in graves were at first thought to belong to the female occupant, but later supposition led archaeologists to admit it could possibly belong to a male.
Could it be that they were unwelcome because Erik had come visiting his partner? That was not a happy thought.
A shout interrupted her speculation, then two men staggered out of the shadows, obviously drunk. One called out to Ivar, yelling obscenely about Ivar’s luck at having a couple of women to keep him warm. As they stumbled nearer, Ivar quickly gestured them all inside and closed, then barred, the door.
As he indicated they should go back to the other room Maddie felt immensely relieved that he’d agreed to let them stay. She had no idea if drunkenness was a part of Viking life in Jorvik but suspected it was. They’d certainly liked their ale and wine when they could afford it. The drunks looked filthy, their clothes ragged. Certainly not traders or wealthy men.
Erik stood with his arms folded across his chest, looking every inch the arrogant Viking warrior. Just what did he do for a living? An aura of power emanated from him and Maddie could envisage him raping and pillaging his way across Europe. Her earlier suspicion dissipated. No, he was definitely all male.
“So, your decision is made,” he said to Ivar.
Ivar scratched his head, looking from Maddie to Amber like a perplexed father who didn’t know what to do about his recalcitrant teenagers. Maddie’s heart went out to him as a feeling of relief swamped her. Yes, they were unquestionably fortunate to have landed in the home of such a sensitive man. “I could not throw them out into the night. Think about it, Erik, they have no home to go to. The gods sent them to me—so I must care for them.”
Please take a moment to visit these blogs for more
Sunday Snips & Stuff:
http://mizging.blogspot.com (Ginger Simpson)
http://connievines.blogspot.com.au/ Connie Vines
http://yesterrdayrevisitedhere.blogspot.com/ Juliet Waldron
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