• “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

Hula Hoop (Book Nine)


Below is an excerpt from Book Nine of my OUTLANDER novels. Note that there are SPOILERS…

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Madagascar-sapphire-wikipediaIt was a sapphire, a raw one. A misty, cloudy blue little thing, half the size of his little finger’s nail. He shook it free of its wrappings and it landed silently but solidly in the hollow of his hand.

"Ye said it maybe doesna matter whether it’s cut or not," Buck said, nodding at it.

"I think not. I hope not. I wish I could say I can’t take it." Roger closed his fingers gently on the little rock, as though it might burn him. "Thank you, a charaidh. Where did ye find it?"

"Ach…" Buck said vaguely, with a slight wave of his hand. "Just saw it and picked it up, ken?"

"Holy Lord," Roger said, squeezing the little pebble involuntarily. Too late, he remembered the castle in Strathpeffer, him talking with the factor about Jemmy and Rob Cameron—the earl being away from home—and Buck gone, disappeared with a handsome young housemaid. And the factor offering to show him Cromartie’s collection of agates and rare stones… he’d declined, thank God. But—"

"You didn’t," he said to Buck. "Tell me ye didn’t."

"Ye keep saying that," Buck said, frowning at him. "I will, if ye want me to, but I shouldna think a minister ought to be encouraging folk to tell lies. A poor example for the bairns, aye?"

He nodded toward the stable-yard, where Jem was playing with a boy who had a hoop, the two of them trying to drive it with sticks over the bumpy ground, with a marked lack of success. Mandy was throwing pebbles at something in the dry grass—probably some hapless toad trying its best to hibernate against the odds.

"Me, a poor example? And you their own great-great-great-great-grandfather!"

"And should I not be lookin’ out for their welfare, then? Is that what ye’re sayin’ to me?"

"I—" His throat closed suddenly and he cleared it, hard. The boys had left their hoop and were poking at whatever Mandy had found in the grass. "No. I’m not. But I didn’t ask ye to steal for them. To risk your bloody neck for us!" That’s my job, he wanted to say, but didn’t.

"May as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb." Buck gave him a direct stare. "Ye need it, aye? Take it, then." Something that wasn’t quite a smile touched the edge of his mouth. "With my blessing."

On the far side of the yard, Mandy had picked up the hoop and put it about her solid little waist. She waggled her bottom, in a vain attempt at getting it to spin.

"Look, Daddy!" she called. "Hula hoop!"

Jem froze for a moment, then looked at Roger, his eyes big with concern. Roger shook his head slightly — don’t say anything — and Jem swallowed visibly and turned his back to his sister, shoulders stiff.

"What’s a hula hoop, then?" Buck asked quietly, behind him.


Go to my Book Nine webpage for more excerpts (Daily Lines)!


Originally posted on my Facebook page on January 19, 2016. About the #SoreFootButOK hashtag: Had minor surgery recently to remove a bone spur. It’s doing fine; get the dressing off Wednesday! (So I can shower again….)

13 Responses »

  1. What a tiny, tiny taste of your new book. Not enough, I can’t wait for it to be in my hands.
    Diana Ropelewski
    Falling Waters, WV

  2. Why Roger might need a gemstone causes me some worry.

    • I have a feeling this is explaining how Bri, Roger and the kids manage to return to Jamie and Claire at Fraser Ridge.

    • Roger is looking for gems to get the family from 1739 to 1780 so they meet up with C and J on the ridge.

      • Ah, Casey and Penny Red, you are so right. I wasn’t thinking “backstory,” I was thinking this was past the point when they were already at the Ridge. Okay, so I can breathe easier now. :)

  3. Yup, big time spoilers there in a couple of paragraphs, if I remember the end of MOHB correctly.

  4. I am excited to read the book nine. I am reading the book seven but something I can not understand until now: in book 1, a Highlander (probably Jamie) notes Claire in the window (when she is combing her hair) … but Claire still not know Jamie at this point. How could he come back to see her then???

  5. I JUST finished reading MOBY last night so it was so nice to see this first thing the next day! Thanks and hope to see more soon!

  6. AHHHH, Waiting patiently for the next installment and for the finished product. I just love these books. Thank you Diana for sharing your stories with the world. They are truly magnificent works of art.

  7. HI DIANE, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE GOLDEN GLOBES! I SAW YOU PICKED A ROGER AND A GOOD CHOICE I THINK. I ALSO TWEETED ABOUT LESLIE ROSE WHO IS A PERFECT BRIANNA. SHE IS AN ANCESSTOR OF SIMON FRASER ON HER MOTHER’S SIDE. Rose Leslie – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3310211/ READ HER BIO. SHE PLAYED YGRETTE ON GAME OF THRONES TOUGH, PRETTY GREAT WITH A BOW AND ARROW AND A FRASER! WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR! OH AND A REDHEAD!

    CAN’T WAIT FOR #9. JUST FINISHED A PLAUGE OF ZOMBIES AND I’M ENJOYING THE LORD GREY BOOKS TOO! BUT ALMOST DONE WITH EVERYTHING…. THE SERIES WILL BE COMING JUST IN TIME! AND HOPEFULLY #9 WILL FOLLLOW SOON AFTER SEASON 3. THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFUL BOOKS!

    KIM
    STUART FLORIDA

  8. Been loving these stories for 25 years.

  9. Can’t wait for book 9. I live on a small island and my daughter sends your major ones to me as soon as they are in the new zealand bookstores.

    Love them you have given me a huge amount of reading pleasure. Llease keep it up.

    Saw the Outlander televised series when wAs last in NZ and looking forward to the second series of that. The actors fit the roles much to my liking.

  10. Diana , I have absolutely enjoyed the Outlander Series. I have read all 8 books 3 times,
    So I really can’t wait until #9 is done. Each time I read them it feels like the first time, I
    love telling people how wonderful and how descriptive the stories are. Just one question,
    in book 9 will Jenny Murray remember meeting Roger Mac in the past??? Now, I am going
    back for my 2nd Read of the Lord John Series. Thank you so much for the great stories.

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