• Risky Book Talk,  TV and Film

    Re-releases and Time Travel

    While I don’t have a new release out, I’m happy to announce the re-release of my 2013 Christmas novella, Christmas Past, with a brand new cover as part of Entangled’s Scandalous line.

    Christmas Past cover

    Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.

    I’ve always loved a good time travel story–I think the idea of getting to actually visit the past is just so seductive to me as a history geek. Christmas Past is my first attempt at the genre, but it won’t be my last. I’ve started work on a story I’ll talk more about in my December post that takes a magical approach to time travel rather than a scientific one. But for this week I thought I’d talk about some of my favorite time travel stories as a reader and viewer. In no particular order…

    Outlander

    Outlander. (Though despite that lovely illustration, due to the lack of Starz in my cable package I’m far more familiar with the books.) It’s big and epic, satisfying that part of me that loves a decades-spanning saga. It’s romantic and sexy. And I appreciate how in the later books when most of the action moves to colonial and Revolutionary America, Gabaldon gives a much more nuanced portrayal of both sides of the conflict than your typical Plucky Liberty-Minded Colonists vs. Tyrannical Royalists.

    Tempus Fugit

    Sleepy Hollow, my current TV obsession, on the other hand, will never win prizes for its nuanced examination of the Revolutionary era–the British in many cases are literal demons. And technically it’s not even a true time travel show, since its man-out-of-time hero Ichabod Crane gets to the future by dying (or close enough to it) in 1781 and getting resurrected in 2013 rather than your traditional time machine or time travel spell. But in the Season 2 finale, Abbie Mills, his 21st-century cop partner in apocalypse-fighting, goes back to the 18th century to save Crane’s life, not to mention all the American history yet to come. Along the way she gets to meet Benjamin Franklin and her own ancestress who first got her family involved in the secret war against evil. (The show is 100% as crazy as it sounds, but at its best, as with this episode, it’s crazy-awesome. And frankly, I’m nervous about including it on this list, since I’m writing this post Thursday evening before the Season 3 mid-season finale airs, so I have no idea if I’ll be giddy and squeeing over crazy-awesome or grumbling, “Why, show, why?” over plain old crazy tomorrow morning when you’re reading this!)

    First Contact

    The Star Trek universe goes to the time travel well a lot, but I’m listing First Contact as my example because I have such fond memories of watching it in the theater when it first came out. It was everything I loved about Next Gen Trek, made big-screen and epic.

    Everybody lives!

    Doctor Who, of course, is all about time travel…so I’m just listing what remains my favorite two-part pair of episodes, The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, wherein the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler, and Jack Harkness end up in the London Blitz…and just this once, everybody lives!

    A Swiftly Tilting Planet

    A Swiftly Tilting Planet was always my favorite of Madeleine L’Engle’s time quintet, probably because of the high stakes (stopping a nuclear war!) and dizzying leaps through multiple times.

    What about you? Are you a fan of time travel in fiction? What are some of your favorites?

  • Regency,  Risky Book Talk,  Writing

    Christmas Past (and yet to come!)

    I’m normally the type who keeps all Christmas activities strictly confined to the six weeks or so between Thanksgiving and Epiphany. I never Christmas shop before Black Friday. I wouldn’t dream of putting decorations up before the first Sunday in Advent. But this year I spent a good chunk of February and June with Christmas on the brain–I was writing Christmas novellas!

    My February project will be a Carina release in 2014. Since that’s so far away, and it doesn’t have a release date or title yet, all I’ll say about it for now is that it’s the story of star-crossed lovers reunited after a five-year separation at a Regency house party…with wassailing and mistletoe and a thick coat of snow on the ground.

    But my June project, Christmas Past, releases in less than two weeks, on November 25!

    Christmas Past cover

    As the title hints, it’s a time travel story. The heroine is from my own adopted hometown of Seattle in 2013–only in her version of the present, time travel has been invented and is largely used for medical and other scientific research. Sydney is a PhD student in historical epidemiology, making her first trip to the past to collect blood samples from soldiers in Wellington’s army for her mentor’s study on the epidemiological impacts of the Napoleonic Wars.

    Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.

    Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.

    I had a lot of fun writing this story, particularly going back and forth between Sydney’s contemporary voice and Miles’s Regency voice–and I’m so used to shifting into Regency vocabulary and diction the instant I open a manuscript file that Sydney’s was far more challenging to achieve!

    When writing my Christmas novellas, I found myself imagining reader busy with everything that makes November and December such a joyous yet challenging time of year. Maybe she’s flying home to her family and wants a good story to take her mind off a crowded, turbulent flight. Maybe she just put her pies in the oven and wants to put her feet up and read while her house warms with the aromas of pumpkin and spice. Maybe she’s snowed in, unable to make it to work or school, and is elated to finally have time to escape into fiction.

    What about you? When do you read holiday novellas? What are some of your favorites? And when do you put up and take down your decorations?

    Christmas Past is now available for preorder from multiple sources, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play.

  • Former Riskies,  Frivolity,  Reading

    Resolved: Stuff. You?

    I have resolved stuff because I am all 2013 that way.

    Here’s a few of my resolutions for 2013

    1. Less refined sugar in my diet. I feel I am now well-positioned for this step as my diet over the last 2-3 weeks has been primarily sugar-based. Protein…proootein…..
    2. Have the first sequel to Lord Ruin on sale by June 30th
    3. Read more books by authors I know I’ll love but haven’t yet read.
    4. Less complaining about certain things and more actually doing something to remove the things I complain about.
    5. Invite some bloggers whose work I adore to guest blog here.
    6. More polls. They’re like cowbells. We just need more.
    7. When I read a really crappy eBook, I will return it THEN I will write scornful things about it.
    8. Ponder the role of zombies in literature.
    9. Write more.
    10. Write more risky stuff.

    What am I missing? What are some of your resolutions?

    Oh Hey! It’s the first poll of the New Year

    You push the wrong button on some electronic device and end up swept back in time to 1815 and the bedroom of the notorious rake, the duke of Rhynoldensward. What do you do?

    View Results

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