• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
    —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – A CANDLE FOR MEMORY AND HOPE

Advent x2 cross and chair full size

[This excerpt is from WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD (which will be published June 10th, 2014. Copyright 2013 Diana Gabaldon.]

She was shaking. Had been shaking ever since Lionel Menzies left. With a faint sense of abstraction, she held out her hand, fingers spread, and watched it vibrate like a tuning fork. Then, irritated, made a fist and smacked it hard into the palm of her other hand. Smacked it again and again, clenching her teeth in fury, until she had to stop, gasping for breath, her palm tingling.

“OK,” she said, under her breath, teeth still clenched. “_OK_.” The red haze had lifted like a cloud, leaving a pile of cold, icy little thoughts under it.

_We have to go.

Where?

And when_?

And the coldest of all:

_What about Roger?_

She was sitting in the study, the wood paneling glowing softly in the candlelight. There was a perfectly good reading-lamp, as well as the ceiling fixture, but she’d lit the big candle instead. Roger liked to use that when he wrote late at night, writing down the songs and poems he’d memorized, sometimes with a goose-quill. He said it helped him recall the words, bringing back an echo of the time where he’d learned them.

The candle’s smell of hot wax brought back an echo of _him_. If she closed her eyes, she could hear him, humming low in his throat as he worked, stopping now and then to cough or clear his damaged throat. Her fingers rubbed softly over the wooden desk, summoning the touch of the rope-scar on his throat, passing round to cup the back of his head, bury her fingers in the thick black warmth of his hair, bury her face in his chest…

She was shaking again, this time with silent sobs. She curled her fist again, but this time, just breathed until it stopped.

“This will _not_ do,” she said out loud, sniffed deeply, and clicking on the light, she blew out the candle and reached for a sheet of paper and a ballpoint pen.

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12 Responses »

  1. Thanks and maybe not thanks for the preview. I just want more. Or a lot more. Great writing!
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  2. I’m a new fan of your Outlander series. Just finished Echo In The Bone and have preordered the Kindle version of the next in series. I plan to reread the series to see what I glossed over while frantically reading to see ‘what next’. I must say this is a very satisfying story in so many ways. The love and humor between Jamie and Claire is so real. Of course I never want the series to end but realize you will discover more characters in yourself that need to tell a story. Thank you for this one and may your literary muse be ever present.

  3. Fantastic, cant wait for the whole novel!!!. I still feel it is Jamie looking up at Claire while she bushes her hair in cross stitch!!.

  4. OMG love the emotion of it as always! I’ve read every Outlander novel and will again. This one will be just as good. Feel like I know these characters as friends. Awesome writing, Dianna. Thank you

  5. I thought waiting for March was hard and now it is June. Please, oh PLEASE don’t push it back any further. I am so afraid I will not make it until June and will not be in my right faculties to read the book. Patience was never a strong point for me.
    I love the series. I have reread the entire series at least 6 times. I will start the next reread in mid May and hope that when I am near the end, POOF! the next book will be published and ready.
    Thank you Mrs. Galbadon for Outlander. Please, I beg you, make the publishers keep to that date or go back to March.

  6. Merry Christmas to you and your family! Thanks for the Advent gifts!

  7. Thank you for this short excerpt, now I am much more curious than before. Here in Germany it´s after 9 pm and my cat Adso wants to go out. So, good night and thanks a lot!
    Fröhliche Weihnachten!

  8. Just finished rereading all seven Outlander series. Have a friend who just recently bought all seven and I began rereading them too. I could not resist the lure of history and time travel again and the current discussions! Thank you for the well written narratives! Really looking forward to the next one in June.

  9. Thank you for the Advent reminders and excerpts of the book to come. Your work as always is poignant, beautiful, lifting, and often so gutsy reminding us of each precious moment in our lives not to waste anything.
    I understand the frustration for you as the author-just wanting it all to be done, and the frustration of the fans (myself included) for this next book. But as you know, just writing ‘anything’ won’t do to appease the real lovers of your work, and these are not cookies in the oven we are drooling for, but a work of literary art like the best and richest savory bread-to be devoured and loved. Congratulations on keeping us on our toes!

    Wishing you and yours beautiful and memorable holidays and a fantastic New Year of 2014 with many fulfilled dreams and wishes. Joyeux Noel et une Bonne Annee!

  10. Have finally, after such a long wait, received my copy of Dangerous Women which include’s Diana’s “Virgins.” It’s an excellent buy at $20.28 from either Amazon or B&N (online) (Cover price is $32.50 if shopping at a retail store). Highly recommended!

  11. I have been a HUGE fan of this series for years, and have recruited many friends, employees, and relatives to share my obsession. However, and this is a big one, I need to know the end of the story. I fought a two year battle with breast cancer, and had Echo in the Bone to help me through, and the thought of an eighth book was something to look forward to. But I want to know that I’ve read it all — that there won’t be something unfinished in the story! Cannot wait until the series, planning group gatherings with wine (or good scotch whiskey!)

  12. I am so glad this year is almost over the 13 is just as expected and more that I did not. I read your books the year before and I just started over, getting ready for the movie and the next book. I read all the “Reacher” books and saw the movie with T. C. as Reacher, my husband loved it but he never read the books. I had a hard time reading his last book, trying to get that guy out of my head. Nothing against T. C. just did not make a realistic Reacher. I do like the actor who is to play in your movie, he is refined, educated and handsome. Thank you for the journey.

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