• “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

SEVEN STONES In Trade Paperback!


Good News!

US-cover-SEVEN-STONES-tpbThe good news for today (every day has at least some…) is that SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL is now available in trade paperback format (that’s the large size paperback) in the U.S. and Canada! (It’s already out in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.) The yellow cover is U.S./Canada; the blue cover is U.K./Australia/N.Z.

If you haven’t come across this book yet—here’s a bit from the Introduction.

Introduction to SEVEN STONES (Excerpt):

If you picked this book up under the misapprehension that it’s the ninth novel in the main Outlander series, it’s not. I apologize.

So, if it’s not the ninth novel, what is it? Well, it’s a collection of seven…. er…. things, of varying length and content, but all having to do with the Outlander universe. As for the title… basically, it’s the result of my editor not liking my original title choice, Salmagundi. Not that I couldn’t see her point… Anyway, there was a polite request via my agent for something more in line with the “resonant, poetic” nature of the main titles.

Without going too much into the mental process that led to this (words like “sausage-making” and “rock-polishing” come to mind), I wanted a title that at least suggested that there were a number of elements in this book (hence the “Seven”) and “Seven Stones” just came naturally, and that was nice (“stone” is always a weighty word) and suitably alliterative, but not a complete poetic thought (or rhythm). So, a bit more thinkering (no, that’s not a typo), and I came up with “to Stand or Fall,” which sounded suitably portentous.

UK-Seven-Stones-tpbIt took a bit of ex post facto thought to figure out what the heck that meant, but things usually do mean something if you think long enough. In this instance, the “stand or fall” has to do with people’s response to grief and adversity: to wit, if you aren’t killed outright by whatever happened, you have a choice in how the rest of your life is lived—you keep standing, though battered and worn by time and elements, still a buttress and a signpost…. or you fall and return quietly to the earth from which you sprang, your elements giving succor to those who come after you.

So. This is (as the front cover suggests) a collection of seven novellas (fiction shorter than a novel but longer than a short story), though all of them are indeed part of the Outlander universe and do intersect with the main novels.

Five of the novellas included in this book were originally written for various anthologies over the last few years; two are brand-new and have never been published before: “A Fugitive Green” and “Besieged.”

Owing to differences among publishers in different countries, some of the previously published novellas may subsequently have been published in print form as a four-story collection (in the U.K. and Germany), or as separate ebooks (in the U.S.). Seven Stones provides a complete print collection for those readers who like tactile books, and includes the two new stories. (“A Fugitive Green” and “Besieged” will eventually be published separately as ebooks in the U.S., too, for those who prefer that mode of reading, but it might be awhile.)


Buy-Links:

If you’re interested, here are some buy-links for SEVEN STONES:

Or check out my SEVEN STONES webpage for more buy-links and information. Thanks!


This post also appeared on my official Facebook page on August 7, 2018.

August 10 Event – Poisoned Pen


Dear Readers,

If you’re in the Phoenix area, the Poisoned Pen Bookstore is hosting two upcoming events that I will be part of: 1) a “pop-up” signing event in a few days on August 10, and 2) a celebration for the release of the special 25th Anniversary Hardcover Edition of VOYAGER on October 28.

Below is more information about the August 10 event.

More details on the October VOYAGER celebration and all of my appearances are available on my official Appearances Webpage.

Thanks!

-Diana


Friday, August 10, 2018 – SCOTTSDALE, AZ

Mew! Susanna Kearsley signs BELLEWETHER, Hosted by Diana Gabaldon!

Event begins at 7:00 p.m.

Event Host and Event Webpage: The Poisoned Pen Bookstore

Ticket purchase is required. See below for details.

Venue:
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 North Goldwater Boulevard
Suite 101
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251
U.S.A.

From Barbara Peters of the Poisoned Pen Bookstore:

The Poisoned Pen Bookstore is hosting a “Pop-Up Event” With TWO New York Times Bestselling Authors on August 10!

Bellewether-coverDiana Gabaldon will host Susanna Kearsley on Friday, August 10, 2018 at the Pen. The event begins at 7:00 p.m. Both authors will discuss their works, and a book signing will follow.

Diana admires the wonderful novels of Canadian author Kearsley whose gig it is to write time-jump novels, with some mystery at their heart, taking you from a story in the present to one in the past… and back. Kearsley is a New York Times best-selling Canadian novelist who writes historical fiction and mysteries, as well as thrillers (under the pen name Emma Cole). In 2014, her novel THE FIREBIRD received the Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best Paranormal Romance.

Diana has said, “I’ve loved every one of Susanna’s books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly’s delicate touch with characters—sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won’t let go!”

Event Tickets:

Tickets are required, at $20 per person, and seating is limited to 125 persons, so purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Tickets could very well sell out before the event.

Purchase your tickets by calling the Pen at (480) 947-2974 or toll-free at (888) 560-9919.

murieta-coverYour ticket includes entry to the event and your choice of one of these three paperbacks for signing:

  1. THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOAQUIN MURIETA, THE CELEBRATED CALIFORNIA BANDIT (Penguin Classics, $17 value). Diana has written a new foreword to this classic from the mid-1800s
  2. SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL ($18, paperback edition value), a collection of seven of Diana’s Outlander short stories and novellas, or
  3. Kearsley’s BELLWETHER ($16.95, paperback edition value).

Additional books by both authors will also be available for purchase and signing, including the three paperbacks listed above, Diana’s hardcover and paperback titles, and the hardcover edition of Kearsley’s novel, BELLEWETHER.

For more information or questions, please contact the friendly staff at the Poisoned Pen by phone at (480) 947-2974 or toll-free at (888) 560-9919


(Please do not contact my Webmistress for questions about this August 10 event by email. She does not have any further information.)


The Great American Read with PBS!


PBSGreatAmericanReadLogoPBS would like me to remind you about The Great American Read—which I’m delighted to do. The Great American Read is a “new television series, competition and nationwide campaign which explores the power of books and the joy of reading through the lens of America’s 100 best-loved novels, as voted on by the public.”

Outlander-cover-mediumThank you, PBS, and all the readers across the U.S.A. who chose OUTLANDER in the initial survey as one of the 100 most-loved American novels!

The Great American Read program series was launched on PBS on May 22, 2018 when the list of 100 favorite books was revealed in the first two-hour broadcast episode.

Over the summer and into the fall, you will have time to read all 100 books if you choose. Plus you are invited to vote daily and help choose America’s favorite novel from the list of 100! Online voting began on May 22, and will end on October 18, 2018 at midnight (Pacific Time).

Print a checklist of the 100 books.

I should mention—because I got it wrong last time I posted a reminder—that you may vote for any number of books from the list on any given day—you just can’t vote more than once per day for any single book.

Five one-hour ‘themed’ episodes will be aired in the fall which examine concepts common to the groups of books on the list.

During The Great American Read series finale—to be aired on PBS on October 22—results of the nationwide vote to choose America’s best-loved book (or book series) will be announced!



Vote Using The PBS Website:

So, should you feel moved to vote for your favorite book(s), one method is to visit the PBS voting webpage. With this method, you can vote for multiple favorite books each day! (Only one vote per day per favorite book…)

Vote-Outlander-PBS-nobutton

  1. Go to: https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/vote/

    At some point during the first time you vote, you will be asked to log in. You may use your email address, your Facebook or Google login, or your PBS member account. (Logins are required so that PBS may limit voting to only once per day pr person per book, and to readers in the U.S.A.) After this first login, voting using the website should be only a few clicks if using the same phone, tablet, or computer.

  2. Scroll down through the 100 books with images of their covers and click on your favorite(s) to vote. To vote for OUTLANDER, scroll down until you see it listed (with the exaple cover shown at right). Note that on this PBS voting webpage, the text on the icon for OUTLANDER says “Outlander (series)”.
  3. Click on the “Vote” button.

    Once you vote on a book on the PBS voting webpage, a confirmation window will appear.

  4. Click on the “Confirm” button to finish casting your vote for a book.

    If you don’t confirm, your vote won’t be counted!

  5. You may vote for multiple books each day, repeating the steps above.


Vote Using Facebook or Twitter:

Or you may vote for OUTLANDER using your Facebook or Twitter account using this special hashtag:

#VoteOUTLANDER

in a new entry you have created and posted.

To vote for your other favorite books on social media, download a list of voting hashtags (PDF format) for all 100 books.


Need more information? Click here for full voting details from the PBS website, or see the links below.

Thanks for your attention! Happy reading!

-Diana



More Information on The Great American Read:

PBS-GreatAmericanRead-windowFrom the PBS website:

“THE GREAT AMERICAN READ is an eight-part series on the PBS network in the U.S.A. that explores and celebrates the power of reading, told through the prism of America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in an initial national survey). It investigates how and why writers create their fictional worlds, how we as readers are affected by these stories, and what these 100 different books have to say about our diverse nation and our shared human experience. The television series features entertaining and informative documentary segments, with compelling testimonials from celebrities, authors, notable Americans and book lovers across the country.

“The series is the centerpiece of an ambitious multi-platform digital, educational and community outreach campaign, designed to get the country reading and passionately talking about books.”



Links:


This post was last updated on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 3:20 a.m. (PT). by my Webmistress.

Season 3 Global Release Dates


Season 3 Release Dates In DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital Formats

Season3-Collector-EditionSony International, the distributor for the Starz Outlander TV series, has sent me the following release dates for Season 3 in DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital formats:

March 5, 2018: U.K. and Germany

March 7, 2018: Australia and New Zealand

April 9, 2018: Norway, Sweden, Finland, and South Africa

April 10, 2018: U.S.A. and Canada (Canada: English & French-speaking)

April 11, 2018:: France, Czech Republic, and Taiwan

April 12, 2018: Denmark

April 13, 2018: Spain

April 17, 2018: Hong Kong

April 18, 2018: Belgium (French-speaking)

May 7, 2018: Greece

May 30, 2018: Brazil

Release dates for other countries and areas are to be announced. Updates to this list will be added as soon as available.

For digital downloads and streaming of Season 3, please contact your favorite digital services after the release dates listed to determine availability in your area. See my Where and How To Watch page for more information.

The cover for the Blu-Ray Collector’s Edition of Season 3 (U.S.A. edition) is shown in the image above, which goes on sale on April 10, 2018.

Note that all release dates are decided upon and announced by Sony International, the distributor for the Starz Outlander TV series. Neither I nor my Webmistress have any say in—or control over—when the DVDs will be for sale in any country or region.

Enjoy!

Sneak Peek on April 3rd!


OK…. So, how many of y’all might be available April 3rd to join me and Toni in L.A. for a Sneak Peek of the Season Three DVD set? (Note that it’s free, but limited seating—RSVP!)

Click on the image below to view the invitation in higher resolution, or see event details below the image:

sneek-peek

Event details:

Tuesday, April 3, 2018 – CULVER CITY, CA (L.A. Area)

Sneak Peek Fan Event for Outlander Season Three Limited Collector’s Edition Blu-ray Set with Author Diana Gabaldon and Executive Producer Toni Graphia.

RSVP required! Limited seating!

To RSVP, send an email to: OutlanderRSVP@mprm.com

RSVP EARLY TO SECURE A SEAT! SEATING IS LIMITED!

After you send your RSVP by email, the organizers of the event will contact you by replying to your email.

Make sure the email account you use is in YOUR NAME! Or that you include your name in the body of the email. If you obtain a spot at the event, you will need a driver’s license or state picture ID with your name on it to be admitted. The name on your email and the name on your ID have to match for you to be admitted.

Check-in: 4:30 p.m.
Program starts: 5:00 p.m.

Event Host:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Event Venue:
Sony Pictures Studios
Jimmy Stewart Building
10202 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Special features screening with Q & A, followed by a light reception.

All attendees must be over 21 years old.

Note that the limited edition Blu-Ray set of Season 3 will be available for purchase in the U.S. on April 10, 2018.

For my other upcoming events, please see my appearances webpage.


In The Greenhouse (“A Fugitive Green”)


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLInes, #HappyVernalEquinox, #HalandMinnie, #AndMrBloomer, #inthePrinceofWalessgreenhouse, #springhassprung!, #AFugitiveGreen

[Excerpt from “A Fugitive Green” — in SEVEN STONES TO STAND OR FALL, Copyright © 2017 by Diana Gabaldon. And many thanks to Louise Hudson for the Scottish bees on thistle!]

BeesOnThistle-LHudsonA flash of red caught her eye through the trees, and for an instant, she thought he was an exotic bird, lured by the astonishing abundance of peculiar fruits. Then she heard voices, though, and a moment later he stepped out into the wide graveled patch where the pathways intersected. A soldier, in what must be full-dress uniform—a blaze of scarlet and gold, with shining black boots to the knee and a sword at his belt.

He wasn’t tall; in fact, he was rather slight, with a fine-boned face seen in profile as he turned to say something to his companion. He stood very straight, though, shoulders square and head up, and there was something about him that reminded her of a bantam cock—something deeply fierce, innately proud, and completely unaware of its relative size; quite ready to take on all comers, spurs first.

The thought entertained her so much that it was a moment before she noticed his interlocutor. The companion wasn’t dressed as a soldier, but was certainly very fine, too, in gold velvet, with a blue satin sash and some large medallion pinned to his chest—the Order of something-or-other, she supposed. He did, however, strongly resemble a frog, wide-lipped and pale, with rather big, staring eyes.

The sight of the two of them, rooster and frog, engaged in convivial conversation, made her smile behind her fan, and she didn’t notice the gentleman who had come up behind her until he spoke.

“Are you fond of opuntiod cacti… madame?”

“I might be, if I knew what they were,” she replied, swinging round to see a youngish gentleman in a plum-colored suit gazing at her intently.

“Um… Actually, I prefer succulents,” she said, giving the agreed-upon countersign. She cleared her throat, hoping she remembered the word. “Particularly the, um, Euphorbias.”

The question in his eyes vanished, replaced by amusement. He looked her up and down in a manner that might in other circumstances have been insulting. She flushed, but held his gaze and raised her brows.

“Mr. Bloomer, I presume?”

“If you like,” he said, smiling, and offered her his arm. “Do let me show you the Euphorbias, Miss…. ?”

sevenstones-cover1A moment of panic; who should she be, or admit to being?

“Houghton,” she said. “Lady Bedelia Houghton.”

“Of course you are,” he said, straight-faced. “Charmed to make your acquaintance, Lady Bedelia.”

He bowed slightly, she took his arm, and together they walked slowly into the wilderness.

There were several glasshouses, linked together, and they passed through minor jungles of philodendrons—but philodendrons that had never graced anything so plebeian as a morning room, with ragged leaves each half as large as Minnie herself, a thing with great veined leaves the color of green ink and the look of watered silk—

“They’re rather poisonous, philodendrons,” Mr. Bloomer said, with a casual nod. “All of them. Did you know?”

“I shall make a note of it.”

And then trees—ficus, Mr. Bloomer informed her (perhaps he hadn’t chosen his alias at random, after all)—with twisted stems and thick leaves and a sweet, musty smell, some of them with vines that climbed the ficus’s trunk with convulsive force, sturdy rootlike hairs clinging to the thin bark. And then, sure enough; the bloody Euphorbias, in person.

She hadn’t known things like that existed. Many of them didn’t even look like proper plants—and some that did were strange perversions of the plant kingdom, with thick bare stems studded with cruel thorns, things that resembled lettuce—but a ruffled white lettuce with dark red edgings that made it look as though someone had used it to mop up blood—

“They’re rather poisonous, too, the Euphorbias, but it’s more the sap. Won’t kill you, but you don’t want to get it in your eyes.”

“I’m sure I don’t.” Minnie took a better grip on her parasol, ready to unfurl it in case any of the plants should take it into mind to spit at her; several of them looked as though they’d like nothing better.

“They call that one ‘Crown of Thorns,’” Mr. Bloomer said, nodding at one particularly horrid thing with long black spikes sticking out in all directions. “Apt.” He noticed her expression at this point, and smiled, tilting his head toward the next house. “Come along; you’ll like the next collection better.”

“Oh,” she said, in a small voice. Then, “OH!” much louder. The new glasshouse was much bigger than the others, with a high, vaulted roof that filled the air with sun and lit the thousand—at least!—orchids that sprang from tables and spilled from trees in cascades of white and gold and purple and red, and…

“Oh, my.” She sighed in bliss, and Mr. Bloomer laughed.

They weren’t alone in their appreciation. All of the glasshouses were popular; there had been a fair number of people exclaiming at the spiny, the grotesque, and the poisonous—but the orchid house was packed with guests and the air was filled with a hum of amazement and delight.

Minnie inhaled as much as she could, sniffing. The air was scented, with a variety of fragrances, enough to make her head swim.

“You don’t want to smell that one.” Mr. Bloomer, guiding her from one delight to the next, put out a shielding hand toward a large pot of rather dull green orchids with thick petals. “Rotting meat.”

She took a cautious sniff and recoiled.

“And why on earth would an orchid want to smell like rotting meat?” she demanded.

He gave her a slightly queer look, but smiled.

“Flowers put on the color and scent they require to attract the insects who pollinate them. Our friend the Bulbophyllum there—” he nodded at the green things, “—depends upon the services of carrion flies. Come, this one smells of coconut—have you ever smelt a coconut?”


This excerpt was also posted on my official Facebook page on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

Four Days in Paris!


Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018-03-18-Diana-ParisBkFest1Had a wonderful four days with fans in Le Paris! (Or is it La Paris? I learned to read French in graduate school—lo, these many years ago… and can still read newspapers, signs and the descriptive cards next to Museum exhibits. After several days listening to French, I can understand about half of what people are saying. Unfortunately, I have NO grammar, so can’t talk back to them, save for things like “C’est fini!” and “C’est mon plaisir.”)

Paris-Book-Fair-logoSigned books at the Paris Book Fair for five and a half hours straight today, with minor interruptions for interviews with bloggers. (And before you ask, en masse (see, that’s French!), no, thanks for asking but I don’t have carpal tunnnel—you don’t move your wrist at all when signing your name (try it and see). My index and middle finger are stiff, (I did four hours at the PBF on Friday, then signed at two local bookstores yesterday—FNAC and the fabulous La Griffe Noir), but it’s actually your forearm tendons that take the brunt of heavy-duty signing. After three or four hundred books, if you placed your hands on my forearms, you’d notice that the right one is about four degrees warmer than the left!

Met wonderful people from everywhere: Mumbai, Goa, Lisbon, the Netherlands, Normandy, Lorraine,Spain (was pleased to be able to speak Spanish in front of my hosts from J’ai Lu (French publisher)—not a monoglot American!), who loaded me with wonderful gifts that I can’t possibly cram in my suitcase; will have to ship most things home, but plan to take ALLLLLL the chocolate and wine with me… (Merci beaucoup!)

Tomorrow, I have the morning off, so Doug and I can go see a museum or stroll the Champs Élysées (in the falling snow and sub-freezing temperatures)—I managed a quick dart into L’Orangerie Friday morning, to see Monet’s beautiful elliptical rooms of water lilies (and several more fantastic Impressionists and slightly post-Impressionists downstairs), but Paris has a LOT of great museums.

Then in the afternoon, we catch a train to Nancy, where we’ll do a signing at (I think) 5:00 p.m., and come home late. Tuesday, though, is completely free, so planning what to do with our time…

And to answer all the eager questions about when is the next book coming out… as I said to the thousands of people I’ve seen this week: “You know, you’ve got a choice: You can have the next book faster, or you can look at me. <pause> Are you looking at me?”

In other words, it’s great fun to come and talk to people, see great cities and eat wonderful food (even if you don’t get any of it until supper…. I highly recommend the Plume restaurant, btw; fantastic Beef Wok tonight! And Mipi (Neapolitan Mini-Pizzas, last night))—but that’s why I DON’T accept most of the zillion (not exaggerating; it’s definitely at least that many) lovely invitations I get. Tonight is the first night in five days that I’ve been able to get up in the middle of the night and do a little work. So now I’m going to go do that…. Á bientot!

P.S. Check out my new essay: “One Word Speaks Volumes (Themes of the Books)” which discusses one-word descriptions of the novels in my OUTLANDER series.


This blog was posted on my official Facebook Page on Sunday, March 18, 2018.

Roger Wakes In A New Old Place (BEES)


On March 6th, 1988, I started writing a book for practice. That turned out to be OUTLANDER, and now look where we are….! So in honor of the occasion <cough>, here is (what I think will be) Roger’s first scene from BEES…

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGone, #BookNine, #Nopenopenopitynopenopenope, #Illtellyouwhenitsdone, #InHonorOf30YEARSDoingThisStuff, #RogerWakesUpInANewOldPlace, #MinorSpoilers

2018-03-bee-SueGraftonSheer exhaustion made Roger sleep like the dead, in spite of the fact that the MacKenzies’ bed consisted of two ragged quilts that Amy Higgins had hastily dragged out of her piecework bag, these laid over a week’s worth of the Higginses’ dirty laundry, and the MacKenzies’ outer clothing as blankets. It was a warm bed, though, with the heat of the smoored fire on one side, and the body heat of two children and a snuggly wife on the other, and he fell into sleep like a man falling down a well, with time for no more than the briefest prayer—though a profound one-—of gratitude.

We made it. Thanks.

He woke to darkness and the smell of burnt wood and a freshly-used chamber-pot, feeling a sudden chill behind him. He had lain down with his back to the fire, but had rolled over during the night, and now saw the sullen glow of the last embers a couple of feet from his face, faint crimson veins in a bank of charcoal and gray ash. He put a hand behind him; Brianna was gone. There was a vague heap that must be Jem and Mandy at the far side of the quilt and the rest of the cabin was still somnolent, the air thick with heavy breathing.

“Bree?” he whispered, raising himself on one elbow. She was close—a solid shadow with her bottom braced against the wall by the hearth, one foot raised as she pulled on a stocking.

She put down the foot and crouched beside him, fingers brushing his face.

“I’m going hunting with Da,” she whispered, bending close. “Mama will watch the kids, if you have things to do today.”

“Aye. Where did ye get—” he ran a hand down the side of her hip; she was wearing a thick hunting shirt and loose breeches, much patched; he could feel the roughness of the stitching under his palm.

“They’re Da’s,” she said, and kissed him, the tinge of ember-light glisking in her hair. “Go back to sleep. It won’t be dawn for another hour.”

He watched her step lightly through the bodies on the floor, boots in her hand, and a cold draft snaked through the room as the door opened and closed soundlessly behind her. Bobby Higgins said something in a sleep-slurred voice, and one of the little boys sat up, said “What?” in a clear, startled voice and then flopped back into his quilt, dormant once more.

The fresh air vanished into the comfortable fug and the cabin slept. Roger didn’t. He lay on his back, feeling peace, relief, excitement and trepidation in roughly equal proportions.

They really had made it.

All of them. He kept counting them, compulsively. All four of them. Here, and safe.

Fragmented memories and sensations jostled through his mind; he let them flow through him, not trying to stay them or catch more than an image here and there: The feel of a small gold bar in his sweaty hand, the lurch of his stomach when he’d dropped it and it slid out of his reach across the tilting deck. The warm steam of parritch with whisky on it, fortification against a freezing Scottish morning. Brianna hopping carefully down a flight of stairs on one foot, the bandaged one lifted and the words of “My Dame Hath a Lame, Tame Crane” coming irresistibly to his mind. The smell of Buck’s hair, acrid and unwashed, as they embraced each other on the edge of a dock and a final farewell. Cold, endless days and nights in the lurching hold of the Constance on their way to Charles Town, the four of them huddled in a corner, deafened by the smash of water against the hull, too seasick to be hungry, too exhausted anymore even to be terrified, hypnotized instead by the rising water in the hold, watching it inch higher, splashing them with each sickening roll, trying to share their pitiful store of body heat to keep the kids alive…

He let out the breath he hadn’t realized he was holding, put his hands on the solid wooden floor to either side, closed his eyes and let it all drain away.

No looking back. They’d made their decision, and they’d made it here. To sanctuary.

So now, what?

He’d lived in this cabin once, for a long time. Now he supposed he’d build a new one; Jamie had told him last night that the land Jamie had given him was still his, registered in his name.

A small glow of anticipation rose in his heart. The day lay before him; what should he do first?

“Daddy!” a voice with a lot of spit whispered loudly in his ear. “Daddy, I haveta go potty!”

He sat up smiling, pushing tangled cloaks and shirts out of the way. Mandy was hopping from foot to foot in agitation, a small black chickadee, solid against the shadows.

“Aye, sweetheart,” he whispered back, and took her hand, warm and sticky. “I’ll take ye to the privy. Try not to step on anybody.”

[end section]

[And many thanks to Sue Gunston for the lovely bee photo!]

Click to visit my official webpage for GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE for links to information and more Daily Lines (excerpts).


I first posted this excerpt (Daily Lines) on my official Facebook page and my official Twitter feed on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. You may share the URL (link above) to this excerpt, but please do not copy and paste the entire text and post it elsewhere. Thank you. -Diana

This text is copyright © 2018 by Diana Gabaldon. All Rights Reserved. This blog post was last updated on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, at 7:10 a.m. (PT) by Diana’s Webmistress.

“Bear” (BEES)


Below is a new excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, which will be book nine in my OUTLANDER series of novels.

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThatIAmGONE, #BookNine, #goingnicelythankyou, #NOitsnotdone, #Illtellyouwhenitis, #readthenovellas

Egyptian-thingieJamie and Brianna came back in mid-afternoon, with two brace of squirrels, fourteen doves, and a large piece of stained and tattered canvas which, unwrapped, revealed something that looked like the remnants of a particularly grisly murder.

“Supper?” I asked, gingerly poking at a shattered bone sticking out of the mass of hair and slick flesh. The smell was iron-raw and butcherous, with a rank note that seemed familiar, but decay hadn’t yet set in to any noticeable degree.

“Aye, if ye can manage, Sassenach.” Jamie came and peered down at the bloody shambles, frowning a little. “I’ll tidy it up for ye. I need a bit o’whisky first, though.”

Given the blood-stains on his shirt and breeks, I hadn’t noticed the equally stained rag tied round his leg, but now saw that he was limping. Raising a brow, I went to the large basket of food, small tools, and minor medical supplies that I lugged up to the house site every morning.

“From what’s left of it, I presume that is—or was—a deer. Did you actually tear it apart with your bare hands?”

Brianna snickered.

“No, but the bear did.” She exchanged complicit glances with her father, who hummed in his throat.

“Bear,” I said, and took a deep breath. I gestured at his shirt. “Right. How much of that blood is yours?”

“No much,” he said tranquilly, and sat down on the big log. “Whisky?”

I looked sharply at Brianna, but she seemed to be intact. Filthy, and with green-gray bird-droppings streaked down her shirt, but intact. Her face glowed with sun and happiness, and I smiled.

“There’s whisky in the tin canteen hanging over there,” I said, nodding toward the big spruce at the far side of the clearing. “Do you want to fetch it for your father while I see what’s left of his leg?”

“Sure. Where are Mandy and Jem?”

“When last seen, they were playing by the creek with Aidan and his brothers. Don’t worry,” I added, seeing her lower lip suck suddenly in. “It’s very shallow there and Fanny said she’d go and keep an eye on Mandy while she’s collecting leeches. Fanny’s very dependable.”

“Mm-hm.” Bree still looked dubious, but I could see her fighting down her maternal impulse to go scoop Mandy out of the creek immediately. “I know I met her last night, but I’m not sure I remember Fanny. Where does she live?”

“With us,” Jamie said, matter-of-factly. “Ow!”

“Hold still,” I said, holding the puncture wound below his knee open with two fingers while I poured saline solution into it. “You don’t want to die of tetanus, do you?”

“And what would ye do if I said yes, Sassenach?”

“The same thing I’m doing right now. I don’t care if you want to or not; I’m not having it.”


Click to visit my BEES webpage which has information and links to more excerpts from this new book.


This excerpt was also posted on my official Facebook page on January 19, 2018.

“A Small Gift In Honor of My Birthday” (BEES)


Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #GoTELLTheBEESThaIAmGONE, #BookNine, #ASmallGiftInHonorofMyBirthday, #ThankYouAll #VERYMuch

2018-01-11-DG-flowers“Lie down,” I said firmly, and pointed to my lap.

“Nay, I’ll be f—”

“I don’t care whether you’re fine or not,” I said. “I said, lie down.”

“I’ve work to—”

“You’ll be flat on your face in another minute,” I said. “Lie. Down.”

He opened his mouth, but a spasm of pain made him shut his eyes, and he couldn’t locate any words with which to argue. He swallowed, opened his eyes, and sat down beside me, very gingerly. He was breathing slowly and shallowly, as though drawing a deep breath might make things worse.

I stood up, took his shoulders and turned him gently so I could reach his plait. I undid his ribbon and unraveled the thick strands of auburn hair. It still was mostly red, though soft white threads caught the light here and there.

“Down,” I said again, sitting and pulling his shoulders toward me. He moaned a little, but stopped resisting and lowered himself very slowly, ’til his head rested heavy in my lap. I touched his face, my fingers feather-light on his skin, tracing the bones and hollows, temples and orbits, cheekbones and jaw. Then I slid my fingers into the soft mass of his hair, warm in my hands, and did the same to his scalp. He let out his breath, carefully, and I felt his body loosen, growing heavier as he relaxed.

“Where does it hurt?” I murmured, making very light circles round his temples with my thumbs. “Here?”

“Aye… but…” He put up a hand, blindly, and cupped it over his right eye. “It feels like an arrow—straight through into my brain.”

“Mmm.” I pressed my thumb gently round the bony orbit of the eye, and slid my other hand under his head, probing the base of his skull. I could feel the muscles knotted there, hard as walnuts under the skin. “Well, then.”

I took my hands away and he let his breath out.

“It won’t hurt,” I reassured him, reaching for the jar of blue ointment.

“It does hurt,” he said, and squinched his eyelids as a fresh spasm seized him.

“I know.” I unlidded the jar, but let it stand, the sharp fragrance of peppermint, camphor and green peppercorns scenting the air. “I’ll make it better.”

He didn’t make any reply, but settled himself as I began to massage the ointment gently into his neck, the base of his skull, the skin of his forehead and temples. I couldn’t use the ointment so close to his eye, but put a dab under his nose, and he took a slow, deep breath. I’d make a cool poultice for the eye when I’d finished. For now, though…

“Do you remember,” I said, my voice low and quiet. “Telling me once about visiting Bird Who Sings in the Morning? And how his mother came and combed your hair?”

“Aye,” he said, after a moment’s hesitation. “She said… she would comb the snakes from my hair.” Another hesitation. “She… did.”

Clearly he did remember—and so did I recall what he’d told me about it. How she’d gently combed his hair, over and over, while he told her—in a language she didn’t speak—the trouble in his heart. Guilt, distress… and the forgotten faces of the men he’d killed.

There is a spot, just where the zygomatic arch joins the maxilla, where the nerves are often inflamed and sensitive….yes, just there. I pressed my thumb gently up into the spot and he gasped and stiffened a little. I put my other hand on his shoulder.

“Shh. Breathe.”

His breath came with a small moan, but he did. I held the spot, pressing harder, moving my thumb just a little, and after a long moment, felt the spot warm and seem to melt under my touch. He felt it too, and his body relaxed again.

“Let me do that for you,” I said softly. The wooden comb he’d made me sat on the little table beside the jar of ointment. With one hand still on his shoulder, I picked it up.

“I… no, I dinna want…” But I was drawing the comb softly through his hair, the wooden teeth gentle against his skin. Over and over, very slowly.

I didn’t say anything for quite some time. He breathed. The light came in low now, the color of wildflower honey, and he was warm in my hands, the weight of him heavy in my lap.

“Tell me,” I said to him at last, in a whisper no louder than the breeze through the open window. “I don’t need to know, but you need to tell me. Say it in Gaelic, or Italian or German—some language I don’t understand, if that’s better. But say it.”

His breath came a little faster and he tightened, but I went on combing, in long, even strokes that swept over his head and laid his hair untangled in a soft, gleaming mass over my thigh. After a moment, he opened his eyes, dark and half-focused.

“Sassenach?” he said softly.

“Mm?”

“I dinna ken any language that I think ye wouldna understand.”

He breathed once more, closed his eyes, and began haltingly to speak, his voice soft as the beating of my heart.

Click here to visit my BEES webpage.


I also posted this excerpt (“Daily Lines”) from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Book Nine of my OUTLANDER series of novels, on my official Facebook page on January 11, 2018.