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[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 […]

A Second Advent Candle

Happy Second Sunday of Advent! This particular excerpt is one that some of you may recognize; it was published as an “extra” in THE SCOTTISH PRISONER. I wanted to use it here, though, because of the spiritual theme of reconciliation and forgiveness, which seemed very appropriate to the season. (Last Sunday, we had an excerpt dealing with mourning and contemplation. Next Sunday is Gaudete Sunday—“Rejoicing” Sunday [g]—and we’ll have an excerpt dealing with joyful anticipation.) A Blessed Christmas (or Chanukah/Winter Solstice/Kwanzaa, etc.) season to all of you, and I hope you enjoy this. William had left the house like a thunderclap, and the place looked as though it had been struck by lightning. I certainly felt like the survivor of a massive electrical storm; hairs and nerve endings all standing up straight on end, waving in agitation. Jenny Murray had entered the house on the heels of William’s departure, and while the sight of her was a lesser shock than any of the others so far, it still left me […]