Historical Heartbeats welcomes Anastasia Abboud as a guest today. Anastasia is spotlighting her exciting new time travel novel, Tremors. Encourage Anastasia in her writing journey by leaving a comment about the book and/or its cover.
He could never lose her. In the infinite vastness of time – past, present, future, past – he wouldn’t lose her.
Love was eternal.
Lachlann had lost his entire family to the plague. He’d lost himself by falling through time. He had to go back, to return to the fourteenth century and try to save his family, save his son. But how could he leave Deidre? He needed her like he needed air. And she needed him.
Would she want him if he told her the truth about himself? Would she even believe him?
Deidre had never known a man could be as beautiful and tender as Lachlann. She wanted to erase the haunted look in his eyes, to make him as happy as he made her. She wished he would confide in her. But was she ready to confide in him? To explain how she’d lost everything – her life, her family, her self-respect – because of her own poor choices?
Why did she have the feeling she could lose it all again?
Scottish Highlands, 1351
Shrouded in mist, Loch Nis loomed, dark and foreboding, in the distance. Lachlann pulled the packhorse along swiftly, anxious to be home before nightfall. He needed to see his family, to hold his son. He checked his sporan. The wee leather ball and wooden horse figurine were there, safe. He could hardly wait to watch Iain’s little face light up when he gave him the toys.
Allasan should be pleased that he’d found everything on her list. He grinned. They had their differences, but if there was one thing about his wife, she knew what she wanted. She was the most stubborn Gael alive. Despite fever, nausea, and a sick three-year-old to care for, she’d almost pushed him out of the door.
“You have to go,” she’d urged, her brown eyes unnaturally bright. “I want the dye and you’ll find it in Inbhir Nis. You promised! I didn’t work day and night all summer to be disappointed because of a paltry ailment. I have my family and yours all around me if I need anything. Go! You’ll only be in my way here!”
He had to admit, she’d been right. The Lùnastal festival in Inbhir Nis was much larger than their local fairs, with a wide variety of merchants in attendance. Thanks to a bountiful harvest and the cloth that Allasan wove so skillfully, he’d had plenty with which to barter. He only wished that Allasan and Iain had been able to go with him as planned. He’d worried about them the whole week.
What was wrong with the horse? He tugged lightly on the rope. The beast stalled, its ears flat back.
He tugged harder, then smelled it, the foul stench of smoke.
“Come on,” he urged the animal. “Someone’s just burning something.”
But burning what? As he drew closer to the village, he saw black smoke billowing from the mountain. Something was wrong. He moved faster.
The packhorse resisted. He tied it to a tree and ran.
By the time he reached the outskirts of his village, his eyes were burning. Smoke was beginning to choke him.
Someone grasped his arms, swinging him to a halt.
“You’re going the wrong way! You need to get out of here!”
Dimly, through the smoke, he saw a stranger standing before him, his face shrouded by a hood.
“I’m going to my family!”
“They’re gone. You need to turn around and head back to Inbhir Nis.”
“What do you mean, they’re gone?” He pushed forward. He’d be able to help.
The stranger stopped him again.
“You’re the farmer, aren’t you? The Norseman they call ‘Ox’?”
“I’m sorry, friend. Your family is gone. Your entire village was wiped out.”
“Explain yourself!” Lachlann roared, his heart suddenly pounding in his ears.
“They’re all dead. The plague… It took your whole village in less than a week. They’ve been burning everything – bodies, houses, clothing, bedding. There’s nothing left.”
Lachlann began to run.
Now Available on Amazon.
Anastasia’s Bio: I started writing Tremors over four years ago, thinking of the struggles, fears, and yearnings we all have. I worked hard to weave those feelings through the story. I have to admit, it was a hard book to write — my first time travel story, loads of research involved, wanting to keep it both light and emotional. I wanted to relay what courage and hope look like under difficult circumstances, especially since we don’t always recognize those things in ourselves, don’t see that we’re moving forward.
Maybe we’re afraid. Maybe we’re exhausted, lonely, spent. But the human spirit is strong. We’ve survived so many things – in our own, personal lives and through history.
My husband and I have been married for 39 years. We reside near Houston, Texas and are very glad that our dear children do, too. We have a blast with our little grandchildren.
I thank God for this wonderful life.
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FaceBook: Anastasia Abboud, Author