I’m very excited to have released the most recent book in the Highland Gardens time travel series—Just Wait For Me.
Readers often ask where I get ideas for my books. Well, just about anything might spark my imagination. With Just Wait For Me, one of the story germs was a twisted tree trunk. One afternoon, while on a camping/bicycling trip in West Virginia, I was sitting under a tarp, listening to rain patter overhead and staring at a tree trunk. The trunk had a gnarly indentation about the size of a person’s head. I imagined a face in the bark. A face that morphed and changed with the storm’s unpredictable light. I had been reading about changelings—lost children living in the woods—and thought what if Jillian went lost while on a bicycling trip and thanks to faerie magic traveled back in time to an unfamiliar woods in 16th century Scotland? What if she assumed the fancifully images of faces she saw in a distorted tree trunk were a figment of an overactive imagination? What if the faces were in reality something much different?
About Just Wait For Me
The third match in the Fae Queen’s challenge is in play. Will fae magic change Stephen and Jillian’s destiny?
In the chaotic aftermath of the battle of Flodden, an injured Highland warrior makes a vow to a twenty-first century lass cast back in time by a meddling, matchmaking faerie. Stephen MacEwen promises to find a way to send her forward to her own time. But is that an oath he’ll want to keep after finding love in Jillian O’Donnell’s arms? And after saving Stephen’s life, will Jillian want to go?
No matter what the lovers decide, Stephen’s wife—a woman who acquired the title through deceit—and an old enemy attempt to destroy the couple’s chance for happiness. Only with the help of Fae allies can Stephen and Jillian overcome and earn their reward—everlasting love.
A Sneak Peek
Thunder from a passing storm jolted her awake. The feeling someone watched skittered over raw nerves. She blinked, trying to adjust her vision to the dark. Hu…hu-hooooo an owl called from a distance. Other nighttime forest sounds heightened growing anxiety. She expected to see glowing animal eyes. Were there wolves in West Virginia? But no, it seemed she was alone.
Nervous and stiff, it took a while to fall asleep again only to startle awake before dawn. The storm had passed and a bright silver moon slid in and out of clouds creating shifting shadows. An odd disfiguration of bark on a nearby tree caught Jillian’s attention. The scarred wood appeared as a young boy’s face.
Staring hard at the tree, she smiled as the face changed in the moon’s unpredictable light. Two distinctly different faces appeared within the rough bark. The first, a boy with a pudgy nose and big sad eyes, and the second—
She must be dehydrated. Delusional. Imagining faces embedded in a perfectly normal tree. Jillian huddled deeper into the cocoon of warmth the space blanket provided and tried to fall back to sleep. The forest’s woodsy scent reminded her of how horribly lost she was, so sleep wouldn’t come. She stared at the tree again. A third face appeared in the texture of the old oak. This one had a scarred forehead and a crooked mouth.
Such fanciful thoughts. She snorted. Alone in the woods and she was killing time imagining faces in a tree trunk. Sleep was what she needed. One, two, three, she counted plants on a potting bench in the greenhouse at Foxgloves instead of counting sheep—one hundred thirty-two, thirty-three, thirty-four…
Finally, Jillian dozed again.
When she woke a third time, a chill had seeped into her bones. She sat up and pulled the space blanket more snug. The tree looked different in the misty light of morning and another image appeared. This tiny face had an elongated nose and wisps of blond hair dangled across its brow. Jillian covered her mouth to stifle a giggle. She’d recently read a book about faeries and changelings and stolen children. She imagined that the hobgoblins lived in this tree. That stolen boys—
The snap of a branch made her jump.
What would you do if you were lost in an unfamiliar woods just before nightfall?
In celebration of the release of Just Wait For Me, I’ll gift a Kindle edition copy of either Just Beyond the Garden Gate or Just Once in a Verra Blue Moon from the Highland Gardens series to one commenter. I’ll pick a winner at random the morning of Wednesday, August 24th.
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