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Time travel student Isabella Gillman is about to embark on her most challenging assignment–leaping back to 1941 to observe World War II. The rules are simple: don’t get emotionally involved, and don’t interfere.
She breaks the first rule when she falls in love with rear-gunner Davy Porteous. The second is on its way out as well, when she realizes history says he won’t survive the war. Torn between the fundamental laws of her society, and the man she loves, Isabella faces a harsh reality: does she risk both their lives for a future that may not happen?
She can’t predict the results if she corrupts the timelines, but without her actions, Davy is out of time.
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing
Published 4 June 2015
Genre: Dark time-travel romantic suspense
Word Count: 47k
My quiet words hung between us. Inside, I cringed. There was no reason ever to tell the natives why we were there or to hint at future tech. Nothing would corrupt the timelines quicker than a peek at the future, and I felt cold at the secret I almost revealed.
Davy replaced his cup in its saucer, and then reached across the table and touched the back of my hand. My gaze leaped to meet his. “Maybe when I go on leave next time, you might come with me? I could take you to Hadrian’s Wall and to sample my mum’s baking.”
Shame flooded me at the deception I was creating. I couldn’t look at him. I tucked both hands in my lap and stared down at the table. The tea left a bitter taste in my mouth, or maybe that was guilt? This was so unfair.
I didn’t even realize I was trembling until Davy spoke in a low, pained voice. “I’m sorry, Isabella. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”
Looking up, I saw the hurt in his eyes and the way his jaw tightened. “I’m sorry,” I blurted. “I can’t do that.”
His mouth twisted, but he didn’t look away. “I’ve only known you a couple of days, and I know it’s too soon to be making plans, so don’t say no. Not yet.” He hesitated. I wondered if he could hear how loud my heart was pounding. “Let’s just take it as it comes. One day at a time.” His lips curved in a ghost of a smile. “Can we do that?”
I longed to say yes. This was supposed to be a fact-finding exercise and a step toward an excellent grade for the field trip. Over a pot of tea in a bustling café, it had grown into something I didn’t recognize.
“Isabella?” His voice was soft, coaxing me to speak. I remembered when he said my name that first night. The gentle lilt, the way it rolled off his tongue like an endearment. I swallowed. I was in way over my head already.
Still he watched me. Tension vibrated in the air. I couldn’t say yes, but it would kill me to say no. The paper I’d written was meaningless. Their chances of survival—this man’s chance—was dependent on more than proximity to home. He wanted someone to come back to.
There was a lump in my throat the size of a rock. “One day at a time.”
His smile was real this time. “That’s all right, then.” He slid the plate of forgotten carrot cake toward me. “We start with cake.”
The author explains what’s happening in the scene.
This scene is set in a busy tea shop close to the airfield where Davy is based. They’ve taken a walk there, to spend some time together – a normal pursuit for Davy, but something quite alien for Isabella.
She comes from a supposedly enlightened society, one that doesn’t believe in emotions any more. In reality, it means that when she falls in love with Davy, she has no defences against it at all. She falls hard. She knows from the research work she’s done, that Davy doesn’t survive the war, and this knowledge is crippling her.
Davy, meanwhile, is a typical young man from this period in time. He knows he might only have days or weeks to live, and is determined to enjoy every last moment he has. Meeting Isabella has given him something stronger to focus on – a possible future for them both.
The author sets her story to music.
I have an entire playlist for this book, and you can find it on Spotify. For this scene though, Come Away With Me by Norah Jones, sums up the emotions beautifully. Check out the video on YouTube:
Find my playlist on Spotify: https://play.spotify.com/user/12165779057/playlist/5HEuuKNhMlcpfUywOL8e1e
The author explains what she really loved about the scene.
This scene represents a turning point for Isabella. She can no longer ignore the growing feelings she has for Davy. He also acknowledges that Isabella is important to him.
It took me many hours of searching through image libraries to find pictures that represented Isabella and Davy. Isabella, in particular, has an innocent quality that was hard to pin down.
What periods of history do you find exciting? Leave a comment, and you’ll go into a draw to win an ecopy of Lila’s Wolf (Out of Time #1) and a swag bundle.
Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.
Music is interwoven so tightly into my writing that I can’t untangle the two. Either I’m listening to a playlist on my iPod, have music seeping from my laptop speakers, or there’s a song playing in my head – sometimes on auto-repeat.
Trailer link: https://youtu.be/81eQC1WmBks
Author links: www.SofiaGrey.com