• “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

“My father?” (BEES)


Given that it is Thanksgiving… what are y’all making for dinner?

Ours is pretty traditional – fruit-stuffed turkey (no bread stuffing, because I hate stuffing and I do the cooking) roasted on a bed of apples, carrots, grapes and small potatoes, with rosemary-suffused olive oil rubbed under the skin. Candied yams, because… Thanksgiving. Mashed potatoes (I don’t like those, either, but husband and younger daughter love them) with gravy (using the pan juices from the turkey, with broth from Penzey’s chicken soup base). Butternut squash soup, made with butternut squash (reasonably enough), roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic (I bought a thumb of ginger this morning; debating the wisdom of adding just a tinge to the soup). Devilled eggs. Fresh berries. Olives and sliced peppers with a small antipasto platter (ham, deli-sliced roast beef and provolone, because younger daughter and I love roast beef sandwiches). A dish of pickled green asparagus and lightly salted white asparagus.

Pumpkin or apple pie for dessert, with home-made whipped cream. Oh, and champagne, of course. <g>

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

-Diana


Please note that the excerpt below may contain SPOILERS…

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #BookNine, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #flashback, #Williamisseventeen, #WhataboutWilliamsThirdFather

2017-11-20-FB-Wm-3rd-dadThe upper gallery at Ellesmere. A broad, square open staircase led upward to the second floor. Here the roof soared high overhead, and a gallery surrounded the stairwell on three sides, with tall windows on one side and various portraits on the other three walls.

“Isobel told me this was painted soon after her marriage,” Lord John had said, nodding to the portrait of a very beautiful young woman. The painter hadn’t been particularly skilled—the woman’s hair was simply dark, some color between brown and black, and her gown clumsily rendered—but William recognized her face; the same face he’d seen every day for years, in a miniature he’d carried with him from home to London, to school, and now would take with him to the army.

He thought the painter had loved her, perhaps; the face was done with both care and feeling.

“Someone told me I have her mouth,” he said, softly, as though not to startle her.

“You have,” said Lord John, raising a brow. “Who told you that?”

“Mother Isobel.” He turned away from the portrait, feeling suddenly unsettled. “It seems strange to see her—Mother Geneva—here, alone.” There were several portraits of her at Helwater—but always portraits done with her younger sister, with her parents. Even the portraits of her by herself were always side by side with similar portraits of Isobel.

“So it does.” Lord John spoke softly, too. It was hushed as a church here on the landing, an illusion enhanced by the tall, quiet windows with their stained-glass borders. And by the fact that everybody in these pictures is dead…

He turned restlessly away, toward the opposite wall, across the open well of the staircase. The wall was dominated by a large portrait of an elderly man in a formal wig and the robes of an Earl. Not bad looking for his age, William thought. Bit of a tough, though, from his expression. The thought made William smile.

“That’s him, is it? My father?”


Selected Social Media Comments:

…about this excerpt from Book Nine, with my responses… <g>

Wait…didn’t William find out Jamie was his father in book 7 or 8? Editing to add that I was so excited to read the daily lines that I missed the hashtag.

#Thatllteachyalltoreadthehashtags!

Love the snippet. Can I ask what the yellow plant in the image is? A bottlebrush?

Beargrass!


Click here to visit my BEES (Book Nine) webpage.


These “Daily Lines” (or “excerpt”) and comments were first posted on my official Facebook page on November 20-21, 2017.

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“A Bit of Trouble?” (BEES excerpt)


First, the NY Times is Wrong About BEES…

A recent New York Times article about the Starz Outlander TV show, titled “‘Outlander’ Finally Unveiled Jamie’s Big Secret; Here’s How the Writers Did It.” by Jennifer Vineyard, implied that my next book, GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, might be finished soon. Vineyard stated that “Gabaldon is putting the finishing touches on Book 9.”

This is certainly not the case (see my hashtags, below). Ms. Vineyard should have checked with me first; I am not difficult to find. <g>


“A Bit of Trouble?” (Daily-Lines/Excerpt from BEES)

The following Daily Lines (or excerpt) are from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I HAVE GONE, book nine in my Outlander series of major novels. Note that Daily Lines (excerpts) may contain SPOILERS!

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #BookNine, #Noitsnotfinished, #nowherenear, #maybelate2018, #maybenot, #whoknows, #gowatchtheshow

AZ-bee-DGabaldon-crop.jpgI was startled from a solid sleep by Jamie exploding out of bed beside me. This wasn’t an uncommon occurrence, but as usual, it left me sitting bolt upright amid the quilts, dry-mouthed and completely dazed, heart hammering like a drill-press.

He was already down the stairs; I heard the thump of his bare feet on the last few treads—and above that sound, frenzied pounding on the front door. A ripple of unrest spread through the house: rustling bedclothes, sleepy voices, opening doors.

I shook my head violently and flung off the covers. Him or me? was the first coherent thought that formed out of the fog drifting through my brain. Night alarms like this might be news of violence or misadventure, and sometimes of a nature that required all hands, like a house fire or someone having unexpectedly met with a hunting panther at a spring. More often, though…

I heard Jamie’s voice, and the panic left me. It was low, questioning, with a cadence that meant he was soothing someone. Someone else was talking, in high-pitched agitation, but it wasn’t the sound of disaster.

Me, then. Childbirth or accident? My mind had suddenly resurfaced and was working clearly, even while my body fumbled to and fro, trying to recall what I had done with my grubby stockings. Probably birth, in the middle of the night… But the uneasy thought of fire still lurked on the edge of my thoughts.

I had a clear picture in my mind of my emergency kit, and was grateful that I’d thought to refurbish it just before supper. It was sitting ready on the corner of my surgery table. My mind was less clear about other things; I’d put my stays on backward. I yanked them off, flung them on the bed, and went to splash water on my face, thinking a lot of things I couldn’t say out loud, as I could hear children’s feet now pattering across the landing.

I reached the bottom of the stairs belatedly, to find Fanny and Germaine with Jamie, who was talking with a very young girl no more than Fanny’s age, standing barefoot, distraught, and wearing nothing more than a threadbare shift. I didn’t recognize her.

“Ach, here’s Herself now,” Jamie said, glancing over his shoulder. He had a hand on the girl’s shoulder, as though to keep her from flying away. She looked as if she might: thin as a broomstraw, with baby-fine brown hair tangled by the wind, and eyes looking anxiously in every direction for possible help.

“This is Annie Cloudtree, Claire,” he said, nodding toward the girl. “Fanny, will ye find a shawl or something to lend the lass, so she doesna freeze?”

“I don’t n-need—” the girl began, but her arms were wrapped around herself and she was shivering so hard that her words shook.

“Her mother’s with child,” Jamie interrupted her, looking at me. “And maybe having a bit of trouble with the birth.”

“We c-can’t p-pay—”

“Don’t worry about that,” I said, and nodding to Jamie, took her in my arms. She was small and bony and very cold, like a half-feathered nestling fallen from a tree.

“It will be all right,” I said softly to her, and smoothed down her hair. “We’ll go to your mother at once. Where do you live?”

She gulped and wouldn’t look up, but was so cold she clung to me for warmth.

“I don’t know. I m-mean—I don’t know how to say. Just—if you can come with me, I can take you back?” She wasn’t Scottish.

I looked at Jamie for information—I’d not heard of the Cloudtrees; they must be recent settlers—but he shook his head, one brow raised. He didn’t know them, either.

“Did ye come afoot, lassie?” he asked, and when she nodded, asked, “Was the sun still up when ye left your home?”

She shook her head. “No, sir. ‘Twas well dark, we’d all gone to bed. Then my mother’s pains came on sudden, and…” She gulped again, tears welling in her eyes.

“And the moon?” Jamie asked, as though nothing were amiss. “Was it up when ye set out?”

His matter-of-fact tone eased her a little, and she took an audible breath, swallowed, and nodded.

“Well up, sir. Two hands-breadths above the edge of the earth.”

“What a very poetic turn of phrase,” I said, smiling at her. Fanny had come with my old gardening shawl—it was ratty and had holes, but had been made of thick new wool to start with. I took it from Fanny with a nod of thanks and wrapped it round the girl’s shoulders.

Jamie had stepped out on the porch, presumably to see where the moon now was. He stepped back in, and nodded to me.

“The brave wee lass has been abroad in the night alone for about three hours, Sassenach. Miss Annie—is there a decent trail that leads to your father’s place?”

Her soft brow scrunched in concern—she wasn’t sure what “decent” might mean in this context—but she nodded uncertainly.

“There’s a trail,” she said, looking from Jamie to me in hopes that this might be enough.

“We’ll ride, then,” he said to me, over her head. “The moon’s bright enough.” And I think we’d best hurry, his expression added. I rather thought he was right.

More information and excerpts (Daily Lines) are available on my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I HAVE GONE.


Selected Social Media Questions and Comments:

AZ-bee-DGabaldonDid you take the image of the bee in your garden?

Yes, a late-blooming weed of some kind. Bees all over it! (The full-sized version of the image above is at right. Click to view a larger version.)

I know it irritates you when people ask you for the last book. It is a loonngg time people wait between books. I find that waiting 6 months is a bit much in several of my favorite authors series. Your long term readers should be applauded as should the quality of writing that allows your fans to wait somewhat patiently. Just realize there are some of your readers that have chronic illnesses that truly fear they will miss the last of this incredible love story. So do not get angry at the impatient readers. It is an honor to your writing that there are some of us where time is not a given.

I’m never angry at them—just wonder why they think pestering me will make me write faster… I mean, I’m only capable of writing at a certain pace, if I’m going to make it a good book—and I do mean to. <smile>

Note from Diana’s Webmistress: BEES (Book Nine) is not the “last book” in Diana’s Outlander series of major novels. Diana has said there will be a Book Ten after BEES. And likely a prequel after that about Jamie’s parents.

Since you now have people and faces to your book characters [in the Outlander TV show,] have they made an impact on what your book characters are doing -or anything like that????

No. The show really doesn’t affect anything I do writing-wise.

What makes up Clare’s emergency kit?

It’s a leather satchel with a cross-body strap, so she can carry it easily through woods or across battle-fields.

Dangling a carrot in front of us, are ye? Not nice!

Well, you can always choose not to read the excerpts… <she says sweetly>

-Diana


This excerpt was released on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, about 2 a.m. on my official Facebook page.

DRAGONFLY 25th Anniversary Edition!


This post was made by Diana’s Webmistress:

dragonfly-25thanniv-coverA new special hardcover edition of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER was released in the U.S.A. and select global markets on October 24, 2017, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its initial publication. It features a beautiful new cover, a new introduction by Diana and a reader’s group guide. DRAGONFLY is the second major novel in Diana’s best-selling OUTLANDER series. The popular Starz Outlander TV series is based on these novels.

An event with Diana to celebrate this new edition of DRAGONFLY will be held TODAY, Sunday, November 5, 2017, in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Doubletree Resort, beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Poisoned Pen Bookstore! Diana Gabaldon will give a talk for about 40 minutes, then answer reader’s questions from the audience. A book signing with Diana will follow the Q&A session. The event is open to the public, and tickets are not required. Note that it is FREE to attend Diana’s talk, which begins at 2 p.m., and the Q&A session afterward.

To join Diana’s book signing line after her talk and Q&A session, please note that a purchase of this new 25th anniversary edition of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER from the Poisoned Pen is required for each person in the signing line, and each person in the signing line may also bring up to 3 books from home for Diana to sign, too. Copies of DRAGONFLY 25th will be available for purchase at the event for the signing line. Purchases of this new book from other vendors or bookstores will NOT be allowed for entry into the signing line. A quick photo with Diana will be allowed at her discretion and as time allows, says the Pen.

Come and meet Diana as she signs your new book! All who stay for the signing line and purchase the new book will have their books signed in person by Diana, both those who live locally and those who have come from out of town!

Copies of this new edition of DRAGONFLY pre-signed by Diana are available ‘to go’ for those who can’t stay for the book signing line.

Free valet parking is provided for this event, as well as the usual do-it-yourself surface parking. Doors open at 1 p.m., and it will be open seating. Also, a cash bar will be provided by the resort.

Click for the latest details about today’s event from the Poisoned Pen’s event calendar!

For more information on all of Diana’s appearances, including this one, please see Diana’s official appearances page. And please check it often for updates and new events!


Signing Copies of DRAGONFLY 25th At The Pen!

Below is a fun “Where’s Waldo?” photo of Diana signing pre-ordered copies of the new 25th Anniversary edition of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER and some of her other titles at the Poisoned Pen in late October! Photo credit: Poisoned Pen bookstore.

2017-10-24-Diana-signing-crop


Copies Available By Mail, Too!

Can’t attend the event on November 5? But you want a signed copy for yourself? Or as a holiday gift for someone special? Not to worry…

Click here to buy a new copy of the 25th Anniversary Edition of DRAGONFLY IN AMBER from the Poisoned Pen, signed by Diana!

The Pen’s information and purchasing link above is for the edition published by Diana’s U.S. publisher, Random House (Delacorte).

There is no extra charge for Diana’s signature! And you may request a short line such as “To Jill,” also written by Diana. The book is sold at regular list price, and you will need to pay for shipping. The Pen ships anywhere in the world! Please allow extra time which may be needed for signing and personalizing your book.

New copies of all of Diana’s books, signed by her, in multiple editions are always available for purchase from the Pen both online and in person.

“Taking Leave” (BEES) & Happy News!


New Grandson!

The family is thrilled and delighted to announce the safe arrival of a lovely baby boy. 9 pounds, 2 ounces, a very solid citizen with extremely good lungs. His parents haven’t yet decided on a name and we won’t know for sure what color his hair is until he has his first bath tomorrow, but we love him dearly, and are so grateful to all of you for your thoughts, good wishes, prayers and sweet gifts. Moran taing!


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #BookNine, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #TakingLeave, #IdbewritingmoreifIwasntinSanDiegodoingComicCon, #Orwatchinggrandsonbeingborn, #orotherfunstuff, #ButIamsoImnot, #Ididpromiseyousomethingentertainingtonightthough

She sat, unobtrusive in the shadows. Head bent, the soft shush of her charcoal lost in the clearing of throats, the rustle of clothing. But she watched them, in ones and twos and threes, as they ducked under the open tent flap and came to the general’s side. There each man paused to look on his face, calm in the candlelight, and she caught what she could of the drifting currents that crossed their own faces: shadows of grief and sorrow, eyes sometimes dark with fear, or blank with shock and tiredness.

Often, they wept.

William and John Cinnamon flanked her, standing just behind on either side, silent and respectful. General [ ]‘s orderly had offered them stools, but they had courteously refused, and she found their buttressing presences oddly comforting.

The soldiers came by companies, the uniforms (in some cases, only militia badges) changing. John Cinnamon shifted his weight now and then, and occasionally took a deep breath or cleared his throat. William didn’t.

What was he doing? she wondered. Counting the soldiers? Assessing the condition of the American troops? They were shabby; dirty and unkempt, and in spite of their respectful demeanor, few of the companies seemed to have much notion of order.

For the first time, it occurred to her to wonder just what William’s motive in coming had been. She’d been so happy at meeting him that she’d accepted his statement that he wouldn’t let his sister go unaccompanied into a military camp at face value. Was it true, though? From the little Lord John had said, she knew that William had resigned his army commission—but that didn’t mean he’d changed sides. Or that he had no interest in the state of the American siege, or that he didn’t intend to pass on any information he gained during this visit. Clearly he still knew people in the British army.

The skin on her shoulders prickled at the thought, and she wanted to turn round and look up at him. A moment’s hesitation and she did just that. His face was grave, but he was looking at her.

“All right?” he asked in a whisper.

“Yes,” she said, comforted by his voice. “I just wondered whether you’d fallen asleep standing up.”

“Not yet.”

She smiled, and opened her mouth to say something, apologize for keeping him and his friend out all night. He stopped her with a small twitch of fingers.

“It’s all right,” he said softly. “You do what you came to do. We’ll stay with you, and take you home in the morning. I meant it; I won’t leave you alone.”

Visit my GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE (Book Nine) webpage….


The birth announcement was posted on my official Facebook page on July 19, 2017. “Taking Leave” was posted on same official Facebook page on July 23, 2017 at 12:08 a.m..

Denver Comic Con Fun


2017-Comic-Con-1Had a fabulous weekend at the Denver Comic Con (and got to zip up to Ft. Collins and visit daughter, son-in-law, and incipient grandchild, which was lovely)!

Click on an image to view a larger version.

2017-DenverComicCon-4I did a panel (so to speak) with the delightful Andrew Gower (or, as he modestly styled himself, “Shortbread-biscuit Man”—i.e., Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Outlander TV show), and had a great time. Did a few other panels on things like complex villains, the process of adapting a book to the screen, integrating love and sex into fantasy and sf (didn’t quite understand that one—I mean, either it’s there or it’s not; what integration?—etc.—and signed zillions of books, first for Del Rey (an arm of Penguin Random House, who are my publishers), and then twice for The Tattered Cover—the largest (I think) independent bookstore in the country (certainly in Colorado…), and a lovely establishment (they have two—or possibly three—stores in the Denver area, where I’ve done signings on many occasions). I signed all their leftover copies of SEVEN STONES as well, so there are at least a hundred signed copies of that book in stock—if you’re still looking for an autographed copy, I mean.

Many thanks to the Denver Comic Con for a great weekend, and to all the wonderful writers, artists, and Tyrannosauri I met there!

(The new [Facebook] profile picture [below] is of me getting ready to leave my hotel room for the first day of the con.)

2017-DenverComicCon-fbprofile


This blog was posted on my official Facebook page on July 4, 2017. Also, my Webmistress adjusted the lighting in my Denver Comic Con selfie pic. The original may be found here.

SEVEN STONES on June 27, 2017!


Seven-Stones-cover-lgAlrighty, then! Penguin Random House (U.S. and U.K.) and I are delighted to announce that SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL comes out June 27th!

(For those who’ve just stopped by…this is NOT (repeat NOTNOTNOT) Book Nine. SEVEN STONES is a collection of “Outlander short fiction”—i.e., novellas. (Not all that short, either, but these things are relative…. the individual novellas run from 30,000-50,000 words each, so this is a fairly substantial book.)

So, to introduce the book, every week we’ll have #DailyLines (excerpts) that feature a different novella, starting this week with THE CUSTOM OF THE ARMY. (Yes, we’ll have other #DailyLines, too. These snippets are special for the new book.)

Seven-Stones-cover-UKSocial Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #SevenStonesToStandOrFall, #TheCustomOfTheArmy, #LordJohnGrey, #Quebec, #TheFrenchArentTheOnlyThingToLookOutFor

Straightening up from the gunwale, the Indian caught Grey’s eye and smiled.

“You be careful, Englishman,” he said, in a voice with a noticeable French accent, and, reaching out, ran his fingers quite casually through Grey’s loose hair. “Your scalp would look good on a Huron’s belt.”

This made the soldiers from the boat all laugh, and the Indian, still smiling, turned to them.

“They are not so particular, the Abenaki who work for the French. A scalp is a scalp—and the French pay well for one, no matter what color.” He nodded genially to the grenadiers, who had stopped laughing. “You come with me.”

Click here to read more about the stories in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL.

Or click here for online buying links.


Also posted on my official facebook page.

Happy Outlander Day!


From Thursday, June 1, 2017

Diana-OutlanderDay-2017You know, if there’s something you want to do… I think you should just go ahead and start doing it, and see what happens.

That’s what I did, twenty-nine years ago. I thought I wanted to be a novelist, so I started writing a book…and here we all are, and what a long, strange trip it’s been, to be sure…

Thanks so much to all of you who’ve been my companions on the journey, and here’s to many miles before us!


Excerpt From OUTLANDER

Outlander-cover-mediumAnd in honor of World Outlander Day (evidently that’s today—June 1st. Who knew…?) — here’s a bit of one scene that’s not in the TV show, but that the book readers know well…

Hashtags: #DailyLines, #OUTLANDER, #WaterWeed

I gasped as his groping hand found its way between my legs.

“Lord,” he said softly. “it’s slippery as waterweed.”

“Jamie! There are twenty men sleeping right next to us!” I shouted in a whisper.

“They wilna be sleeping long, if you keep talking.” He rolled on top of me, pinning me to the rock. His knee wedged between my thighs and began to work gently back and forth. Despite myself, my legs were beginning to loosen. Twenty-seven years of propriety were no match for several hundred thousand years of instinct. While my mind might object to being taken on a bare rock next to several sleeping soldiers, my body plainly considered itself the spoils of war and was eager to complete the formalities of surrender. He kissed me, long and deep, his tongue sweet and restless in my mouth.

Outlander-TV-cover“Jamie,” I panted.. He pushed his kilt out of the way and pressed my hand against him.

“Bloody Christ,” I said, impressed despite myself. My sense of propriety slipped another notch.

“Fighting gives ye a terrible cockstand, after. Ye want me, do ye no?” he said, pulling back a little to look at me. It seemed pointless to deny it, what with all the evidence to hand. He was hard as a brass rod against my bared thigh.

“Er… yes… but…”

He took a firm grip on my shoulders with both hands.

“Be quiet, Sassenach,” he said with authority. “It isna going to take verra long.”

Images above at right: cover art for the first edition hardcover of OUTLANDER in the U.S.A. (top), and the cover for the paperback reissue featuring the Starz Outlander TV series, with actors Sam Heughan and Catriona Balfe.


From Sam and Catriona

A nice greeting/wish for Happy Outlander Day from the South African contingent!

2017-OutlanderDay-SAfrica

The video above is located on the Starz Outlander TV series Facebook page. You will need to be logged into Facebook (if you have a Facebook account) or join Facebook (create a new account) to view the video. Those options should appear when you click on the image. And please keep in mind that this video may not be available in all viewing areas or countries.


Entries in this blog were first posted on my official Facebook page on June 1, 2017.


Season Three Returns in September, 2017!


NEWS!!! Released on Wednesday, February 15, 2017!

(It’s now 28 million copies, but who’s counting….? Thanks to all of you!!!)

Starz and Sony Pictures Television Announce ‘Outlander’ To Return in September, 2017

Production Transfers from Scotland to South Africa to Shoot Last Five Episodes; Co-stars Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan Say “Goodbye to Scotland” in Video for Fans

claire-jamie-close2Beverly Hills, Calif. – Today Starz, in association with Sony Pictures Television, announced that season three of the Golden Globe nominated series ‘Outlander’ will return in September 2017. The third season will include 13 episodes based upon VOYAGER, the third of eight books in Diana Gabaldon’s international best-selling Outlander series. In March, production and filming on the current season moves from its home base in Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa, to shoot pivotal sea voyage scenes on the former sets of the STARZ original series ‘Black Sails.’ Production on the season began in September 2016 and will wrap in June 2017. ‘Outlander’ will attend San Diego Comic Con again this summer, offering fans a chance to experience more of this beloved series in person.

The story picks up right after Claire (Caitriona Balfe) travels through the stones to return to her life in 1948. Now pregnant with Jamie’s (Sam Heughan) child, she struggles with the fallout of her sudden reappearance and its effect on her marriage to her first husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies). Meanwhile, in the 18th century, Jamie suffers from the aftermath of his doomed last stand at the historic battle of Culloden, as well as the loss of Claire. As the years pass, Jamie and Claire attempt to make a life apart from one another, each haunted by the memory of their lost love. The budding possibility that Claire can return to Jamie in the past breathes new hope into Claire’s heart… as well as new doubt. Separated by continents and centuries, Claire and Jamie must find their way back to each other. As always, adversity, mystery, and adventure await them on the path to reunion. And the question remains: When they find each other, will they be the same people who parted at the standing stones, all those years ago?

Carmi Zlotnik, President of Programming for Starz said “While ‘Droughtlander’ will last just a little longer, we feel it is important to allow the production the time and number of episodes needed to tell the story of the VOYAGER book in its entirety. The scale of this book is immense, and we owe the fans the very best show. Returning in September will make that possible.”

Steve Kent, Senior Executive Vice President, Programming, Sony Pictures Television said, “With the scope of the production and all of the intricate details that go into the Emmy-nominated sets and costumes, we had to make sure everything is kept to the high standard of the previous seasons and Diana Gabaldon’s beautiful story. We’re so proud of the incredible work that Ron and the Outlander team have done.”

Diana Gabaldon’s eight-book Outlander series has sold more than 26 million copies worldwide and all the books have graced the New York Times best-sellers list. The ‘Outlander’ series spans the genres of history, science fiction, romance and adventure in one grandiose tale. The second season of ‘Outlander’ won the Critics’ Choice Award for Most Bingeworthy Show, and four People’s Choice Awards, including Favorite TV Show.

(Click here for more information about the ‘Outlander’ series from the Starz network’s website.)


Birthday Retrospective


My Addictive Birthday Dish

Posted on January 9, 2017

Diana-n-birthday-wineSomeone asked what I planned to do for my birthday on Wednesday, January 11: to which I replied, “I’m going to make garlic pinenut chicken and eat ALL of it!”

A few people wanted the recipe for that, so… here you go! (Personally, I find this addictive, but not everybody likes garlic and pinenuts as much as I do.)

GARLIC PINENUT CHICKEN

WARNINGS:

1) you need to really like both garlic and pinenuts, and

2) it’s spicy (not hot, but spicy)—though the level of spiciness is easily adjustable.

Ingredients:

2-3 skinless chicken breasts
One head of garlic
1-2 bags of pine nuts
Olive oil/coconut oil/peanut oil/canola oil, etc.
Szechuan sauce w/ ginger and honey (made or bottled)

OK, this is really easy, aside from peeling all that garlic…

Put 2-3 tablespoons of oil (of your choice—I like coconut for this) in a heavy sauce-pan or saute-pan—enough oil to cover bottom of the pan.

Peel all the cloves from one head of garlic. Mince (in a mini-food-processor is easiest). Add to oil in pan.

Dice chicken breasts. Take a heavy chef’s knife and…I don’t know if there’s word for this, but you essentially rapidly pound the meat with the sharp side of the blade, but you’re not trying to cut through it. You’re macerating it, with the intent of emerging with something that looks like it would be popcorn chicken if you fried it.

Saute the garlic on med-low heat until it begins to turn brown (don’t let it burn!). Add the chicken and stir until chicken is cooked through.

At this point, add the Szechuan sauce (see Sauce Note below), stir in and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Then add pinenuts, stir in, heat for another 2-3 minutes, and serve over rice.

SAUCE NOTES:

1. I love Wild Thymes’s Chili-Ginger Marinade, with a large dollop of Dynasty Hot Szechwan Sauce. If you can get these, use about half a bottle of the Wild Thymes and a couple of tablespoons of the Szechuan sauce. (Leave out the hot sauce if you want a more delicate dish.)

If these aren’t easily obtainable, you can make a decent version yourself. To do that, you need:

Any kind of sweet-chili sauce or chili-garlic hot sauce (there are dozens of ‘em in the Asian aisle at the grocery story) as the basis of your sauce, depending on the level of spice you want.

Crystallized ginger. (You can use fresh ginger, which is great, but Really Powerful, and hot. Crystallized ginger isn’t. If you use the fresh kind, shred or grate it and don’t use more than half a teaspoon unless you’re a huge fan.)

A couple of tablespoons of honey.

Saute the ginger with the garlic. Stir the chili sauce and honey into the browned chicken (you don’t need to combine them). Taste and adjust with more chili or honey.

2. Personally, I like this with hot soy sauce—which I make by combining a cup or so of regular soy sauce with 2-3 tablespoons of spicy stir-fry sauce.

Disclaimer: I didn’t invent this dish. I ate it about ten years ago at a Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto, and as I don’t get there very often (now that Eldest Daughter has graduated from Stanford), I figured it was simple enough that I could cook a version of it myself, and I could.


New BEES excerpt: “John and Hal and William and Amaranthus”

January 14, 2017

2017-01-14-flowers2MANY, many thanks to everyone for all the lovely birthday wishes, wonderful presents, and kind thoughts! Having enjoyed my birthday to the max (though I still have three or four servings of garlic pinenut chicken left…), I’ve spent the last couple of days engaged in shoveling my office, correcting the final ms. of A FUGITIVE GREEN, and doing a ton of necessary non-fiction writing (book reviews, answers to questions from a couple of auction winners—no, I haven’t forgotten you! (I’m just long-winded…)— and bits of A Comprehensive Survey of How Publishing Works These Days). But now I return to Real Work…

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #Book9, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGone, #noitisntfiished, #butitsgoingfine, #thanksforasking, #Illtellyouwhenitsdone, #dontworry, #JohnAndHalAndWilliamAndAmaranthus

“The boy needs help,” Hal observed.

“True,” John said, and sighed. “But he’s a man, if you hadn’t noticed.”

“Actually, I had, but I wasn’t sure you had—you being his father, I mean. One tends not to see that about one’s sons.”

“Or one’s daughters, I suppose,” John said, not taking any pains to remove the edges of the remark. He wasn’t in a mood to consider Hal’s feelings.

Hal made a grimace that ended as a pained half-smile. “Did I tell you that Hunter writes to me, once or twice a month?”

“No.” John was mildly startled by this. “He’s a Continental army captain, isn’t he?”

“Yes, he is—though against his will. They don’t believe in rank. Friends, I mean.”

This was said very casually, and John gave his brother a look, which Hal avoided by picking up a sheaf of orders and flicking through it.

“And his purpose in writing to you is…?” He couldn’t think Denzell Hunter had any hopes of appealing to Hal’s better nature.

“To inform me that Dottie is well.” Hal laid down the papers and gave John back the look. “Nothing more. That’s all he says—’Dorothea is in good health, though somewhat tired.’ Or ‘Your daughter is well, Yours in Christ, Denzell Hunter.’”

There was a silence, during which the shouts of a drill sergeant echoed like the distant calls of some large bird of hysterical temperament.

“Why do you suppose he does it?” John asked finally. “Religious conviction on his part, persuasion by Dottie—does she ever write, herself, by the way?—or an attempt at reconciliation by the water-dropping-on-stone method?”

“She’s written once.” Hal’s face softened a little at the thought. “Though she didn’t say a great deal more than he has. As for Hunter… I honestly don’t think he has unscrupulous designs upon my fortune, or anything of that kind.”

“I shouldn’t think so,” John said dryly. He hadn’t known many Friends personally, but the whole experience of Dottie’s wedding had convinced him that they tended to mean what they said about avoiding the vanities of the world. As for Denzell Hunter, beyond his own brief observations of the man—all favorable—his bona fides were vouched for by three of the few people in the world whom John trusted: Dottie, Claire, and Jamie Fraser.

Thought of Jamie Fraser necessarily recalled his attention to William.

“You’re right about his needing help,” he said, trusting in his brother’s ability always to know what he was talking about. “How, though? He understands the nature of his dilemma as well as we do—possibly better, as it’s his. And knowing his nature as well as I do, I’m sure that any attempt to convince him that his responsibility lies in taking up the duties of his title would be worse than futile.”

“Well,” Hal said thoughtfully, “any attempt by us, yes.”

John raised a brow.

“Who else did you have in mind? Dottie? He might listen to her, but she wouldn’t try to persuade him to go back to England. Under her pernicious influence—and Denzell’s—he’d probably end up as King of America.”

“Hmph. No, though you’re on the right track,” Hal said. “I was rather thinking of my daughter-in-law.”

“Amaranthus?” John was surprised, but couldn’t help smiling at thought of that very frank young woman. “Well, she’s certainly a Loyalist, and thus presumably disposed toward tradition…”

“She’s also disposed toward William,” Hal said bluntly. “Has he ever spoken to you about her?”

(End of Excerpt.)

Social Media Comment:

Barbara B. said: Diana, one thing I love is from all your pictures of your home is that it and you are so normal, it looks like a place I would stop by, sit and have coffee with a friend. (Unless you really live in a mansion and you keep your servants hid in a closet somewhere.)

My answer: Nah, we keep it real. <g>

Go to official BEES webpage for more excerpts and news…


SEVEN STONES in 2017


Book Nine—aka GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE—is coming along nicely, and thank you for your kind inquiries! I think it’s gonna be good.

You may, however, have noticed that the main books of the OUTLANDER series are Rather Large, Somewhat Complex, and Lavishly Furnished with detail, context and other research-dependent appurtenances. All of which take time. So does running around the world talking to people and signing their books…

Now, I mean no moral reproach, but will never understand why people are so insistent on WHEN will this (or any) book be out? Mostly because I’m not like that myself, at all — I have a couple of dozen authors whose work I buy on sight and with joyous anticipation of reading, but never once has it occurred to me to even think about when a new book will be published, let alone go and pester the author about it.

I mean, It’s like standing over the site of a tulip bulb, shouting “When?” at the barren ground. What the heck difference does it make? A book and a flower each bloom in their proper time. That’s just how it works.

Still, I’m sure y’all have your reasons, and far be it from me to denigrate the operations of y’all’s separate and collective minds. People are just wired up differently.

HOWEVER, A) you’re not getting BEES in 2017 because it’s not done yet, but B) you are, in fact, getting a nice, solid book in the coming year.

On June 27th, 2017.

To wit:

SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL

sevenstones-cover1What this is, is a “Collection of Outlander Fiction,” as the cover states. SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL contains seven novellas, all written by me, and all dealing with the interesting side-stories and lacunae of the Outlander universe.

Five of these novellas were originally published in various anthologies, and in the US/Canada, have then been published singly as ebooks. (Not, however, in the UK/Australia/NewZealand, Germany, etc.)

The final two novellas of SEVEN STONES, though, are brand-new, never published before. <g>

In order, these are the novellas included in this collection, with a brief description of each:

1. “The Custom of the Army”

All things considered, it was probably the fault of the electric eel.

Warriors-cover-hbIn which, Lord John Grey’s encounter with said eel (to say nothing of a belligerent poet and Dr. John Hunter (a real surgeon, known for his great contributions to medicine, but known more colloquially in his own time as “the body-snatcher”) leads to him being sent to the wilds of Canada (pretty wild at the time), where he joins General James Wolfe, has sex on a sandbar (though not with General Wolfe), repels Indian attacks (though not necessarily all Indians…) and (among other things) climbs a sheer cliff at night with a number of Scottish Highlanders, in order to attack the Citadel of Quebec.

“The Custom of the Army” was first published in WARRIORS, an anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, released in the U.S.A. on March 16, 2010.

2. “The Space Between”

He still didn’t know why the frog hadn’t killed him.

mad-scientistIn which, the Comte St. Germain explores the mysteries of the universe. Meanwhile, a grief-stricken Michael Murray (middle son of Jenny and Ian Murray) returns to his wine business in Paris, following the death of his father (and the earlier death of his young wife). Given into his charge on the journey is Joan MacKimmie (younger sister of Marsali, younger daughter of Laoghaire), a young woman on her way to join a French convent, in hopes of shutting up the voices in her head. And then there’s Master Raymond…

“The Space Between” was first published on February 19, 2013 in the anthology titled THE MAD SCIENTIST’S GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION, edited by John Joseph Adams.

3. “A Plague of Zombies”

There was a snake on the drawing-room table. A small snake, but still. Lord John Grey wondered whether to say anything about it.

Cover art for Down These Strange StreetsIn which, Lord John is sent to Jamaica, charged with putting down a slave rebellion. Snakes and slaves are the least of it, and when the Governor of the island is found in his bedroom, dead and partially gnawed, Lord John finds himself the temporary military governor of Jamaica. He also finds himself in the midst of something much more frightening than a slave revolt—something to be faced alone, barefoot and weaponless, in a lightless cave where the dripping of water hides the sussurus of scales.

“A Plague of Zombies” was first released on October 4, 2011 in DOWN THESE STRANGE STREETS, an anthology of urban fantasy stories edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. This novella was nominated for an Edgar award by the Mystery Writers of America for “Best Short Mystery Story” in 2011.

4. “A Leaf On The Wind of All Hallows”

It was two weeks yet to Hallowe’en, but the gremlins were already at work.

songs-love-deathIn which, the gremlins in the engine of his Spitfire temporarily ground Captain Jerry MacKenzie, but mechanical difficulties and German machine guns are nothing to what awaits him in a circle of standing stones in Northumbria. This is the story of Roger MacKenzie’s parents, Jerry and Dolly; a story Roger never knew.

This novella was first published in November, 2010, in the anthology SONGS OF LOVE AND DEATH: ALL-ORIGINAL TALES OF STAR-CROSSED LOVE, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

5. “Virgins”

Ian Murray knew from the moment he saw his best friend’s face that something terrible had happened. The fact that he was seeing Jamie Fraser’s face at all was evidence enough of that, never mind the look of the man.

Cover for U.S.A. hardcover editionIn which we follow the adventures of Jamie Fraser (aged 19) and his best friend Ian Murray (aged 20), as young mercenaries in France in 1740. Neither young man has yet killed a man nor bedded a woman, and they’re both rather worried about going to hell. The possibilities for all three rise abruptly when they’re hired to see a young Jewish bride and the priceless Torah that is her dowry from Bordeaux to Paris, and find much more along the road than they bargained for.

“Virgins” was first published on December 3, 2013, in DANGEROUS WOMEN, an anthology of original stories about dangerous women, heroines and villains alike, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

6. “A Fugitive Green”

New! Minnie Rennie had secrets. Some were for sale and some were strictly her own. She touched the bosom of her dress and glanced toward the lattice-work door at the rear of the shop. Still closed, the blue curtains behind it drawn firmly shut.

In which, a 17-year-old apprentice dealer in rare books is sent from Paris to England by her father, to obtain incunabula and medieval books of devotion—and whatever secrets of political intrigue or finance may come to hand in the process. In the course of her business, though, Minnie meets Harold Grey (Lord John’s elder brother), the newly-widowed (and alarmingly deranged) Duke of Pardloe, and things Fall Out.

7. “Besieged”

New! Lord John Gray dipped a finger gingerly into the little stone pot, withdrew it, glistening, and sniffed cautiously.

“Jesus!”

“Yes, me lord. That’s what I said.” His valet, Tom Byrd, face carefully averted, put the lid back on the pot. “Was you to rub yourself with that stuff, you’d be drawing flies in their hundreds, same as if you were summat that was dead. Long dead,” he added, and muffled the pot in a napkin for additional protection.

“Well, in justice,” Grey said dubiously, “I suppose the whale is long dead.” He looked at the far wall of his office. There were a number of flies resting along the wainscoting, as usual, fat and black as currants against the white plaster. Sure enough, a couple of them had already risen into the air, circling lazily toward the pot of whale oil. “Where did you get that stuff?”

In which Lord John, anticipating a voyage home to England after his brief stint as military Governor of Jamaica, instead finds himself on his way to Cuba, where the British navy is preparing to lay siege to Havana-—and where the Dowager Duchess of Pardloe (aka John’s mother) is a guest (and potential hostage) of Governor Juan de Prado.

So, those of you with a calendar obsession can circle JUNE 27th, 2017. The rest of you can just enjoy it whenever you happen to find it. <g>

Click here to visit my webpage for SEVEN STONES, which lists news and current information about this collection of my short fiction.

-Diana

This information was initially posted by Diana on her official Facebook page on November 22, 2016.