Thursday, November 14, 2013

Gratitude Hop

gratitude 2013

Welcome to the Fourth Annual Gratitude Giveaway!  I'll be offering a $15 gift card to

Scroll to the bottom for the linky to jump to other blogs with lots of great prizes, and to enter.  Or, if you like Scotland, time travel, medieval historical novels, and on!

For those who are new to my Blue Bells Chronicles, welcome!  The Blue Bells Chronicles started as  Blue Bells of Scotland, the stand alone story of Shawn Kleiner, a gambling, drinking, self-centered modern American musician, who takes his orchestra on tour to Scotland.  There, his girlfriend Amy finally has enough and deserts him in a medieval tower.  That night, the mist rises....
Fellow Time Traveler and children's author, Robert Townsend, aka, Michael Goudket reads the original Blue Bells of Scotland
Shawn wakes, hung over, to find the castle alive with re-eanctors who insist on calling him Niall Campbell.  Only slowly does Shawn come to understand that these are not re-enactors, that their swords and knives are real, they're only too willing to use them, and they expect him to save their country.  He is sent down a windswept tower wall and out onto a stormy loch on a mission to raise troops for the great Robert the Bruce, waiting for the English at Bannockburn.  He's sent with Niall's beautiful and tempting fiancĂ©e. 
And where is Niall?  Trapped in Shawn's modern life with Shawn's angry girlfriend, angry mistresses, the angry gambler whom Shawn paid off with counterfeit money...desperately trying to figure out how to jump back across time to save his people.
The Blue Bells Chronicles weaves through the stories of Shawn, his fourteenth century twin, Niall Campbell, who is Shawn's polar opposite in all but looks, Shawn's girlfriend Amy, and Angus, the inspector assigned to find the missing musician, who has fallen in love with her, as they seek the secret of bringing Shawn back to his own time.

The books have earned many excellent reviews.  Many readers have made favorable comparisons to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  Several authors have placed it as one of their top books of the year.  Robert Matos, a reviewer, said it is a book that belongs on the shelf of every serious reader.
When is Book Three coming?
Book Three, The Water is Wide, takes us on a modern path through ruins and abbeys, mysterious monks, and an ancient prophecy, and through the historical battles and parliaments of Robert and Edward Bruce, Angus Og, and the great James Douglas.  A strange discovery is made in the abandoned lockers at a modern hospital.  Amy meets a tongue-pierced young professor of medieval history and a mysterious historian who is not all he claims to be.  Shawn and Niall meet a boy left alone, through the ugliness of war, and hiding in an ancient ruin of a Roman fort, as they're sent to spy on Carlisle.  At Carlisle, their nemesis appears, and there's only one, very unpleasant way out of the locked and guarded town of Carlisle.
The Water is Wide is due out very soon.  I have long planned on releasing it at Christmastime this year.  I still have hopes this will happen, but do not want to set a date in stone until I know that deadline can be met.  In the time I've been writing, a major character has been added, which has required going through the remaining two books to weave him in--a great deal of re-writing covering three books, not just one.
What is taking so long?  I wish that I could write a book as fast as some people do.  I spend time writing and editing almost every day.  I devote a great deal of time to research, to finding historical maps and sources, and detailed accounts of the battles and events of the time.  This sometimes can take a day or two to track down a historical detail for just one scene.  I also teach about 45 to 50 students a week, and occasionally perform on flute or harp.  I have nine children.  Life sometimes simply has other plans, such as a family member's medical emergency that had to take precedence one month.  But I assure you, the book is on its way!
I am currently in consultation with a videographer for a book trailer, and working with a design artist on the cover.  The hard copy of what I hope is the final draft is in a box fresh from the printer, waiting for its review, and then, if all is well, formatting for print and e-books will begin.
If you love time travel, castles, knights, battles, and music, please join me in the world of the Blue Bells Chronicles, a story of adventure, history, and romance, and a story of character, choices, and forgiveness.  Above all, it is the story of one man's redemption. 
Currently, my facebook page is the best place to keep up to date regarding upcoming books.  I try to keep the page interesting and pertinent with items relating to the story:
  • music (trombone, violin, harp, medieval music and instruments, the orchestral pieces Shawn and Amy know and love, the jazz Shawn loves to play)
  • history (medieval and Scottish, the great battles and people of the time, an irregular but continuing feature Eating Medieval in which my friend and fellow author prepares medieval recipes and shares her experience and thoughts in words and pictures)
  • anything Scottish (Irish wolfhounds, Scottish recipes, kilts, castles, and more.
  • time travel (theories, science, stories, movies, other authors of time travel
To enter for the $15 gift card:  you may follow the blog in any way you like--facebook, twitter, bloglovin, tumblr, e-mail subscription, blogger, homing pigeons, or any other method you use online.  I hope you'll LIKE my facebook page to stay current, but I know not everyone does facebook.
Please leave a comment below so I know you're out there and you'll be entered!  Please leave me some contact information somehow, some way, so I can contact you if you win.
Now...jump on to the other great blogs with other great prizes!
Several authors have placed it as one of their top books of the year. Robert Matos, a reviewer, said it is a book that belongs on the shelf of every serious reader.