WELCOME TO THE BLOG ALISON!!!
Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart. Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes. She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town. She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, facebook, twitter and Goodreads.
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Welcome to SECRETS IN TIME, my first venture into a time travel romance. I have always wanted to travel through time, ever since I was a little girl and I would go to sleep and will myself to wake up in a different historical period. Knowing what I do now about history, I’m not sure the reality would have been much fun! It is much easier, and far more comfortable, to travel through time in my imagination.
For a time travel to work successfully there are several key elements you need to make it credible for your readers and this is my take on what those key elements are. Hope my readers agree.
A strong motivation for the time travel. There has to be a reason for the hero/heroine to go forward or backward in time. Some mystery to solve, an injustice to right etc. Even if the time travel is apparently accidental, there still has to be a reason for it, not just a pleasant meander in the garden of a different time. In this book my time traveler is Nat, a seventeenth century cavalier who lands in the garden of a twentieth century doctor. I’m not going to disclose Nat’s reasons for time travel but it is a strong motivation that goes to the love of a father for a child…
A credible portal and a method of transportation. In Diana Gabaldon, her heroine is transported after stepping through standing stones and I think the portal needs to be something physical. In SECRETS IN TIME, I chose garden walls and the method I decided to use was a bit of old fashioned witchcraft. Fear of witchcraft reached its zenith in the seventeenth century. American readers need only remember the Salem witch trials. During the period I am writing about, witch hunting was rife throughout England so it felt right to involve a real witch in the time travel.
Influence on history. This was the fun part, the bit I really enjoyed playing with. Invested in the knowledge he has gleaned in the twentieth century, could Nat return to his own time and influence the outcome of a battle…a war…our whole modern system of government? The “What if…” question. Likewise, what effect could Jess have on the seventeenth century, particularly if she accidently leaves something behind?
Credible reactions to changes in society? Jess, my heroine, remarks that although Nat is a cultured and educated man in his own century, in the twentieth century he may as well be a Neanderthal. Everything he sees and touches is new to him…from light switches, flushing toilets, running water, motor vehicles. The time traveller’s reactions to all these new sights and sounds has to be credible. He can’t just slip into the twentieth century and start behaving like a modern man. The famous line from LP Hartley’s “The Go Between” is so true…the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there…
I would be interested in hearing from readers as to what they see are the key elements of a good time travel?
“If you could lend me your horse, I would be grateful. It is a long ride home. You have my word that I will return it anon.”
“My horse? I don’t own a horse. Look, Nathaniel, you’ve lost a bit of blood, if you like I can give you a ride home.”
“But you said you had no horse?”
“In the car.” I could not help the exasperation that crept into my voice. His continuing delusion had really begun to concern me. “Nathaniel, look at me. What year do you think this is?”
“The year of our lord 1645.”
“1645?” I stared at him. “Nathaniel, it is 1995.”
He narrowed his eyes. “No, you jest.” He sank onto the kitchen chair, his eyes glassy.
“I do not jest. Now stay there. I’m going to ring my brother. Perhaps he can talk some sense into you.”
Keeping a wary eye on my visitor, I reached for the phone and carried it into the living room while I waited for Alan to pick up.
“Hey, Jess.” Alan greeted me cheerfully.
“Alan, are you busy?”
“I’m correcting papers, nothing I can’t put off. Is this important?”
“I have a man in my kitchen who thinks he is living in 1645,” I whispered.
“Sounds like a case for the psychs, not me.”
“Please come over, Alan. There is something about him...sorry I can’t explain--”
“Is he threatening you?” Alan’s tone was alarmed.
“No, not at all. He’s just a little...confused.”
Excerpt from Secrets In Time ©2013 by Alison Stuart. All rights reserved.
Can love endure across time?Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | Lyrical Press
When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she ís no stranger to military re-enactors, there ís something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he ís to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.
With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he ís forced to return to his own era and certain death in battle.
Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?
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