The Whirlpools of Time, Guest Post by Anna Belfrage

He hoped for a wife. He found a companion through time and beyond.

It is 1715 and for Duncan Melville something fundamental is missing from his life. Despite a flourishing legal practice and several close friends, he is lonely, even more so after the recent death of his father. He needs a wife—a companion through life, someone to hold and be held by. What he wasn’t expecting was to be torn away from everything he knew and find said woman in 2016…

Erin Barnes has a lot of stuff going on in her life. She doesn’t need the additional twist of a stranger in weird outdated clothes, but when he risks his life to save hers, she feels obligated to return the favour. Besides, whoever Duncan may be, she can’t exactly deny the immediate attraction.

The complications in Erin’s life explode. Events are set in motion and to Erin’s horror she and Duncan are thrown back to 1715. Not only does Erin have to cope with a different and intimidating world, soon enough she and Duncan are embroiled in a dangerous quest for Duncan’s uncle, a quest that may very well cost them their lives as they travel through a Scotland poised on the brink of rebellion. 

Will they find Duncans uncle in time? And is the door to the future permanently closed, or will Erin find a way back?

The Inspiration behind The Whirlpools of Time

“Well, that is easy,” Ms Inspiration says, tucking an escaped lock behind her ear. “That’s all on me.”

Okay, so this figment of my imagination is a crucial component in my creative process, but it’s not as if she has the ideas. I do. And yes, seeing as she’s make-believe and resides in my mind, it shouldn’t really matter who claims credit for the ideas, but it’s a matter of principle, peeps.

“My idea,” I tell her firmly. “ Duncan Melville has been a nagging presence in my mind since years back, and the moment Erin popped up, with a strange locket in one hand, I knew they went together.”

“What, like herring and whipped cream?”

“Eeuw! That does NOT go together!”

“But you always serve cream with your herring.”

“Sour cream,” I tell her. “And chives.” I go a bit dreamy here, because seriously, pickled herring with sour cream and new potatoes and chives is food for the gods.

“I wouldn’t know,” Ms Inspiration says. “I live off dreams and creativity, not food.” She twirls a bit, and those long, floaty skirts she’s so fond of swirl with her, making me think of Isadora Duncan.

“Isadora Duncan?” Ms Inspiration comes to an abrupt halt and levels a glare at me. “She died! Strangled to death by her scarf.”

“Well, that won’t happen to you, will it? First of all, no one is going to invite you to go for a drive in a Bugatti, secondly, you don’t exist, so you can’t die.” Well, unless I do, of course. But I’m not planning on doing that any time soon.

Back to The Whirlpools of Time and the inspiration behind it:

Duncan Melville needed someone in his corner. Badly. His mother never wanted him (understandable, given the circumstances, but sad) and while Duncan grew up loved by his adoptive father, he wanted more. So I decided that he deserved an opportunity to perhaps find that other half he so longed for.

At the same time, there was Erin. This young woman was obsessed with exacting some sort of revenge on the people she held responsible for her grandmother’s death. Problem was, Erin was born in 1990. Duncan saw the light of the day in 1686.

Oh dear, I thought rather smugly. Time for some more time travelling!

I love writing time travel—but I like having some sort of historical context on which to build my story.

I have now and then toyed with writing something set around the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715—mainly because I find it intriguing that the principal player. James Francis Edward Stuart, was actually offered the crown of England and Scotland on the condition that he convert to the Church of England, but refused. Intriguing: instead of accepting and planting his backside on the throne, he instead decided to take what was rightfully his by force, hence the rebellion.

Undoubtedly, James Francis Edward’s claim to the throne was much, much stronger than George of Hanover’s. But the English peerage would not tolerate a Catholic king, and so the crown went to a man who spoke little if any English, had locked up his wife for adultery, and swept into London accompanied by his two principal mistresses. Odd man, that George—and IMO rather unlikeable.

So, I had my final destination: Scotland late summer/early autumn 1715. Now to get Duncan—and Erin—there.

“You never told me there’d be time travelling involved,” Erin mutters, tugging at her very tight bodice. At present, she is not happy with me. Gone are her jeans and sneakers, her tech and other modern conveniences. Instead of a shower, she gets a pitcher of water. Instead of a car, she’s hoisted atop a horse.

“Well. You never told me you’d managed to so infuriate that Wilkes woman she’d try to burn you to death,” I retort. Horrible woman, that.

“Yeah, but still,” Erin says.

“Had you not been here, you’d been burned to a crisp,” Duncan puts in. “As would I, because I’d never have left you to die alone.”

Aww. I beam at this rather lovely young man. So does Erin, until she has to step back to avoid being run over by two burly men carrying a sedan chair.

“Out of the way, hussy!” one of the men calls, and Duncan’s hand tightens on the hilt of his sword.

“No,” Erin says, placing her hand over his, but she sounds defeated somehow.

It makes my guts twist, because I had not quite considered just how difficult it would be for a woman of mixed heritage to navigate the 18th century before I whisked her out of her time. In a world where it was self-evident that white people were the moral and intellectual superiors—however delusional that was—it was hard to not be white. In England and Scotland, Erin is subjected to stares and comments. But once they arrive in Maryland, things become much, much worse. In a colony where most of the plantations depended on slave labour, the immediate assumption is that Erin too, is a slave.

“Why can’t you somehow transport us back to her time?” Duncan says in an angry undertone.

Well, even a time travel story must have some logic to it, and according to the logic in this story, that is quite impossible. He scowls at me. “You’re the writer!”

I immediately point at Ms Inspiration. “Don’t blame me, blame her. It’s all her idea.”

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Meet Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England. 

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. Her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk, has her returning to medieval times. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. Her most recent release, The Whirlpools of Time, is a time travel romance set against the backdrop of brewing rebellion in the Scottish highlands.

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

Find out more about Anna, her books and her eclectic historical blog on her website, .

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