By Barbara Bretton Editions: ebook Published: 2012 (first published 1992 – 1995) Genre: Adult Time Travel / Romance
It’s not every day a woman goes traveling through time. Dakota Wylie is a wisecracking, unemployed, overweight psychic librarian from Princeton. Patrick Devane is an angry, hard-headed spy with a six-year-old daughter who hears voices. The only thing they have in common is New Jersey. But when Dakota leaps from the basket of a hot air balloon to help his crying child, little does she know that she’s leaping into history . . . and love.
~ Destiny’s Child
Timeless Lovers . . .Different Worlds
Shannon Whitney didn’t believe she had a future until Andrew McVie crash-lands his time-traveling hot-air balloon in her backyard one summer afternoon and changes her life forever. He is a Revolutionary War patriot. She is an independent modern woman. Their paths should never have crossed but apparently fate has other plans.
~ Tomorrow and Always
Historian Emilie Crosse dreamed of a love that would last forever. Who knew she’d have to sail across two centuries to find it? When her ex-husband Zane Grey Rutledge showed up at her door with a Revolutionary War uniform that was part of his grandmother’s estate, neither one suspected that their lives were about to change in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. Swept back in time to 1776 where a nation is struggling to be born, Emilie finds herself torn between two men: Zane, her ex who still holds the key to her heart, and Andrew McVie, the Patriot hero of her long-ago dreams…
~ Somewhere in Time
~ Bewitching BT
On Writers & Superstition
by Barbara Bretton
Writers can be an eccentric bunch and I’m no exception. Athletes are known to be wildly superstitious but I’m convinced writers have them beat. We’ll go to great lengths to preserve rituals that have helped us get the words on the screen, no matter how silly they might seem to the rest of the world. (Meaning, of course, our families think we’re nuts!)
I’ll admit to having done everything from charging fairy stones on a sunny window to placing amethyst crystals atop my computer monitor to playing exactly twelve games (no more, no less) of Yahtzee before typing a single word.
It’s okay if you laugh. I’d probably laugh too if I hadn’t been doing all of the above for longer than I care to admit.
Superstitious? Not me. I like to call it “conditioning my environment,” and that conditioning extends toward the music and movies and food I enjoy when I’m deep into the throes of a new manuscript.
Here are some of the movies I used to put me in the Revolutionary War mood while writing my Crosse Harbor Time Travel trilogy.
1776 – both the movie and the soundtrack. I’ve seen it in the movies, enjoyed it on stage, and admit to watching the DVD so many times I can repeat the dialogue verbatim. If you’re looking for wonderful acting, great singing, gorgeous costumes, love and romance and the sweeping passion of history, this is the movie for you.
Sweet Liberty – I’m not ordinarily an Alan Alda fan but this movie captured my imagination years ago and held it. Alda plays a history professor whose book about the American Revolution becomes a surprise best-seller. When a movie crew comes to town to film his novel, he falls in love with his own heroine while his fiancee falls in love with his hero.
Drums Along the Mohawk – a gritty, heartbreaking look at the Revolutionary War and its effect on families in New York’s Mohawk Valley. I will never forget Edna Mae Oliver’s character and the courage she displayed under devastating circumstances. This isn’t an easy movie to watch. It doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to Indian raids or Tory attacks. Love, tragedy, and triumph in one unforgettable package.
Johnny Tremain – a 1957 Disney live-action feature that is surprisingly good. I’m instantly drawn into the world of the thirteen colonies as we follow the young Boston silversmith as he copes with war and life.
John Adams – no list would be complete without this masterpiece of storytelling and acting. It’s probably the most historically accurate of the movies I’ve listed and definitely the most emotionally moving . . . and disturbing. I can’t think of another film or book or television show that captured the devastating loneliness of wartime as well as this HBO miniseries did. It also brings home in vivid clarity what it’s like to fight a war literally on your own doorstep.
Writers might be quirky but we know good movies when we see them!
Excerpt from SOMEWHERE IN TIME
“ Near Philadelphia
Zane Grey Rutledge downshifted into second as he guided the black Porsche up the curving driveway toward Rutledge House. Gravel crunched beneath the tires, sending a fine spray across the lacquered surface of the hood and fenders. He swore softly as a pebble pinged against the windshield, leaving behind a spider-web crack in the glass. A pair of moving vans were angled in the driveway near the massive front door and he eased to a stop behind one of them and let out the clutch.
He didn’t want to be there. Rutledge House without his grandmother Sara Jane was nothing more than a haunted collection of faded bricks and stones.
“One day it will all matter to you,” Sara Jane had said to him not long before she died. “I have faith that you’ll see there’s nothing more important than family.”
But he didn’t have a family. Not anymore. With Sara Jane’s death he had moved closer to the edge of the cliff. The lone remaining Rutledge in a long and illustrious series of Rutledges who had made their mark on a country.
Lately he’d had the feeling that his grandmother was watching him from somewhere in the shadows, shaking her head the way she used to when he was a boy and had been caught drinking beer with his friends from the wrong side of town.
He leaned back in his contoured leather seat and watched as the treasures of a lifetime were carried from the house by a parade of moving men. Winterhalter portraits of long-dead Rutledges, books and mementoes that catalogued a nation’s history as well as a family’s.
His fingers drummed against the steering wheel. He’d done the right thing, the only thing he could have done, given the circumstances. Rutledge House would survive long after he was gone. Wasn’t that what his grandmother had wanted?
“Mr. Rutledge? Oh, Mr. Rutledge, it is you. I was so afraid I’d missed you.”
He started at the sound of the woman’s voice floating through the open window of the car.
“Olivia McRae,” she said, smiling coyly as she prompted his memory. “We met last week.”
He opened the car door and unfolded himself from the sleek sports car. “I remember,” he said, shaking the woman’s bird-like hand. “Eastern Pennsylvania Preservation Society.”
She dimpled and Zane was struck by the fact that in her day Olivia McRae had probably been a looker.
“We have much to thank you for. I must tell you we feel as if Christmas has come early this year!”
He shot her a quizzical look. She was thanking him? In the past few days he had come to think of her as his own personal savior for taking Rutledge House and its contents off his hands.
“A pleasure,” he said, relying on charm to cover his surprise.
“Oh, it’s a fine day for Rutledge House,” she said, her tone upbeat. “I know your dear departed grandmother Sara Jane would heartily approve of your decision.”
“Approve might be too strong a word,” he said with a wry grin. “Accept is more like it.” Bloodlines had been everything to Sara Jane Rutledge. No matter that the venerable old house had been tumbling down around her ears, in need of more help than even the family fortune could provide. So long as a Rutledge was in residence, all had been right with her world.
Although she never said it in so many words, he knew that in the end he had disappointed her. No wife, no children, no arrow shot into the future of the Rutledge family
“Just you wait,” Olivia McRae said, patting his arm in a decidedly maternal gesture. “Next time you see it this wonderful old house will be on the way to regaining its former glory.”
“It’s up to you now, Olivia.”
“We would welcome your input,” the older woman said. “And we would most certainly like to have a Rutledge on the board of directors at the museum.”
“Sorry,” he said, perhaps a beat too quickly. “I think a clean break is better all around.”
The woman’s warm brown eyes misted over. “How thoughtless of me! This must be dreadfully difficult, coming so soon after the loss of your beloved grandmother.”
Zane looked away. Little in life unnerved him. Talk of his late grandmother did. “I have a flight to catch,” he said. No matter that the plane didn’t take off until the next afternoon. As far as he was concerned, emotions were more dangerous than skydiving without a chute. “I’d better get moving.”
Olivia McRae peered into the car. “You do have the package, don’t you?”
“Package?” His brows knotted.
“Oh, Mr. Rutledge, you can’t leave without the package I set out for you.” She looked at him curiously. “The uniform.”
“Damn,” he muttered under his breath. The oldest male child in each generation is entrusted with the uniform, Sara Jane had told him on his twelfth birthday when she handed him the carefully wrapped package. Someday you’ll hand it down to your son.
He hadn’t forgotten about the uniform. He knew exactly where it was: in the attic under a thick layer of dust, as forgotten as the past.
“You wait right here,” said Mrs. McRae, turning back toward the house. “I’ll fetch it for you.”
He was tempted to get behind the wheel of the Porsche and be halfway to Manhattan before the woman crossed the threshold. For as long as he could remember that uniform had been at the heart of Rutledge family lore. His grandmother and her sisters had woven endless stories of derring-do and bravery and laid every single one of them at the feet of some long-dead Revolutionary War relative who’d probably never done anything more courageous than shoot himself a duck for dinner.
Moments later Olivia McRae was back by his side.
“Here you are,” she said, pressing a large, neatly-wrapped parcel into his arms with the same tenderness a mother would display toward her first-born. “To think you almost left without it.”
“Heavier than I remembered,” he said. “You’re sure there isn’t a musket in there with the uniform?”
Mrs. McRae’s lined cheeks dimpled. “Oh, you! You always were a tease. Why, you must have seen this uniform a million times.”
“Afraid I never paid much attention.”
“That can’t be true.”
“I’m not much for antiques.”
“This is more than an antique,” she said, obviously appalled. “This is a piece of American history . . . your history.” She patted the parcel. “Open it, Mr. Rutledge. I’d love to see your face when you –”
“I will,” he said, edging toward the Porsche, “but right now I’d better get on the road.”
“Of course,” she said, her smile fading. “I understand.”
She looked at him and in her eyes Zane saw disappointment. Why should Mrs. McRae be any different? Disappointing people was what he did best.
He tossed the package in the back seat and with a nod toward Olivia McRae, roared back down the drive and away from Rutledge House.
He was almost at the Ben Franklin Bridge when he noticed the needle on his gas gauge was hovering around E. He whipped into the first gas station he saw and couldn’t help grinning at the crowd of attendants who swarmed the sports car.
“Fill it,” he said. “And it’s okay if you want to check under the hood.”
He was thinking about where he’d stashed his passport after his weekend in London last month when out of nowhere he heard Sara Jane’s voice.
You didn’t think I was going to let you get away without a fight, did you?
He jumped, cracking his elbow against the gear stick. Sara Jane? Ridiculous. It was probably his guilty conscience speaking.
It’s not too late, Zane. Open your eyes to what’s around you and your heart will soon follow . . .
What the hell did that mean? It sounded like something he’d read in a fortune cookie.
He glanced toward the package resting on the seat next to him. Experience had taught him that the best way to handle anything from a hangover to a guilty conscience was the hair of the dog that bit you. He might as well get it over with while he waited.
“Okay,” he said out loud, unknotting the string then folding back the brown paper. There was nothing scary about a moth-eaten hunk of fabric, even if he was hearing voices.
He pushed aside the buff-colored breeches and inspected the navy blue coat. Dark beige cuffs and lapels. A line of tarnished metal buttons. The only unusual thing about the garment was the decorative stitching inside the left cuff and under the collar. It had to be twenty years since he’d last looked at the uniform and that had been a cursory glance. Still, he had to admit it was weathering the years pretty well. He looked again. He was surprised to note that the shoulders of the jacket seemed broad enough to fit him and he was a man of above average size. He didn’t know all that much about history, but he vividly remembered diving off the Florida coast around the wreck of the Atocha some years back and noting the almost Lilliputian scale.
So what are you going to do, Zane, toss it in your closet and forget it the way you forgot everything else? You owe my memory more than that. Do the right thing this time.
Okay, now it was getting weird. If he didn’t know better, he’d swear Sara Jane was sitting in the car with him. He wondered if he was getting high on dry-cleaning fumes or something. He didn’t have time for any of this..
Make time! Wasn’t I the only one who ever made time for you?
The truth hurt. Sara Jane was the one person he’d been able to count on when he was growing up, the only one who’d never let him down.
Maybe he was crazy. Maybe she really was contacting him from another plane of existence. Or maybe it was just that guilty conscience of his speaking up. Whatever it was, two hours and six phone calls later, he was on his way down the Jersey shore.
It wasn’t possible. He knew that as well as he knew his own name. The odds against it were just too overwhelming. But time and again he’d heard the same thing: “Emilie Crosse is the one you need to see.” From Professor Attleman at Rutgers to Deno Grandinetti at the Smithsonian, every historian he contacted all sang the praises of the woman with the old-fashioned name and outdated occupation who just happened to be his ex-wife.
The woman who had broken his heart when she walked out the door one soft spring evening and never looked back.
“You play dirty, Sara Jane,” he said as he raced south along the Garden State, “but it’s not going to work. I’m dropping off the uniform and then I’m leaving for Tahiti, understand?”
It’s a start, dear boy, the familiar voice said with a laugh. It’s a start. “
Somewhere in Time is currently free for download from iTunes, Amazon, Smashwords. It can be downloaded in all formats from this Smashwords link.
About the Author & Links:
Barbara Bretton is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than 40 books. She currently has over ten million copies in print around the world. Her works have been translated into twelve languages in over twenty countries.
Barbara has been featured in articles in The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Romantic Times, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Herald News, Home News, Somerset Gazette, among others, and has been interviewed by Independent Network News Television, appeared on the Susan Stamberg Show on NPR, and been featured in an interview with Charles Osgood of WCBS, among others.
Her awards include both Reviewer’s Choice and Career Achievement Awards from Romantic Times; Gold and Silver certificates from Affaire de Coeur; the RWA Region 1 Golden Leaf; and several sales awards from Bookrak. Ms. Bretton was included in a recent edition of Contemporary Authors.
Barbara loves to spend as much time as possible in Maine with her husband, walking the rocky beaches and dreaming up plots for upcoming books.