DENNIS: Katya Sevnik is my main character from Katya and Cyrus Time Pilgrims, Almost Yesterday and my latest, (not yet released) Tomorrow’s Borrowed Trouble. Katya is a strong, independent young woman plagued with a condition known as temporal amnesia. She has no clue what year she is from and is trying desperately, to locate her family. Because of Katya’s time displacement and amnesia, she has not matured beyond the age of twenty, although it is revealed that she has lived for over ninety years. Her life experiences include dancing the Charleston as a 1920s flapper girl and experiencing the rock-and-roll era of the 1960s. She becomes a sponge in every time period she visits, soaking up the culture and instantly becoming one with the period. Katya and fellow Time Pilgrim Cyrus are lovers. Before Katya came into his life, Cyrus (the bosses' son) was all business. Katya enjoys showing him that time can sometimes be traveled just for the sheer fun of it.
Another fan favorite character is Hickory Dickory Doc (Doc), the most powerful canine Time Pilgrim of them all.
LAURA: I love the sound of your characters! Like Andrew and Drew in Time for Andrew, Shawn and Niall are identical, if cross-century, twins. There, however, the resemblance ends. Shawn and Niall have both had trauma and loss in their lives. Both, for instance, have lost their fathers to violence. However, they've reacted very differently to it. Shawn, living in modern America, drove himself. He worked hard and played harder. He became a gambler, a drinker, a lady's man, liar, and cheater. He has more confidence than ten men combined. He's generous, showering his girlfriend's young cousins with gifts, and throwing fantastic barbecues and parties on his twenty acres. He loves his mother, buys her a house, and gives her the Great Dane she loves. He lifts an orchestra to great heights with his drive, marketing, personality, and sheer will. He lives by the motto Life is about having fun!
Niall Campbell, by contrast, is a Highland warrior, raised in the tough world of Scotland's wars of independence, in a time and place where you may get whipped for kissing the Laird's daughter, where faith surrounds his life as powerfully as the walls of Glenmirril Castle, where if you want to eat, you may have to face the MacDougalls, who have once again stolen your cattle, where if you want those you love to live, you may have to stand between them and Longshanks' charging warhorses.
Surrounding Niall and Shawn are Allene, Niall's betrothed and later wife; Amy, Shawn's pregnant girlfriend who sees the good in Shawn, who believes he's more than the party-boy public persona he shows, until she finally has to face his bad side; Angus, the inspector assigned to Shawn's 'missing persons' case who falls in love with Amy; Christina, who helps Shawn and Niall in a daring rescue at great risk to herself and becomes part of life at Glenmirril; the Laird who rules Glenmirril and hides away in a secret dungeon to do the woodwork he finds soothing, but which is unseemly for a laird, and his giant of a brother, Hugh, and Brother David and the boy without a name, Red, whom Shawn and Niall find in Roman ruins that are ancient even by Niall's time.
DENNIS: Laura, I love the idea of cross century twins. I have twins in the Time Pilgrim stories as well. Cyrus and Cathy Callahan are very close twins but the twist is, Cathy decides to stay in 1906 when she falls in love with a man that helped her in the San Francisco earthquake. When he finally comes back to the present, it’s seventeen years later. Now Cyrus’s baby sister is old enough to be his mother.
LAURA: How strange to see your twin sister so much older than yourself! Niall and Shawn have a discussion about Niall being his elder, which exasperates Allene, as they're the same age. Although, of course, Niall is technically 700 years older than Shawn.
ANGELA: In my first time travel/romance, All Bottled Up, the heroine is jilted by her fiancée the day before her wedding. She actually wishes for the perfect man, and poof out comes a sexy highlander in a kilt.
LAURA: Yep, that sounds about right!
ANGELA: In my first full-length time travel/romance, Once Upon A Highlander my hero, Alec MacLean is tossed into the 21st century at the behest of his eccentric grandmother to retrieve a missing deed, and appears just as the heroine, Caroline Hughes is attacked by thugs. The pair is brought back to 17th century Scotland just in time to stop the Earl of Argyll and England’s king from taking his lands.
DENNIS: I own All Bottled Up on my Kindle. The genie is a hoot. I will have to check out your full length novel.
What era do they go to?
DENNIS: Too many to list them all, but here is a sampling:
Chicago Fire 1871
Kennedy assassination 1963
Great San Francisco Earthquake 1906
Gold Rush 1849
Summer of Love 1967
World Trade Center 2001
2001 theme party
Chicago World’s Fairs 1933, 1893, 2033
Many more in the upcoming book, including the American Civil and Revolutionary wars, Native American village, 62 B.C., The great Dust Bowl of Oklahoma, 1935, the horrific tornado in Moore, Oklahoma from way back in 2013…
LAURA: Very exciting! Lots of times to research! Maybe your characters will bump into Lisa Mason's characters in the Summer of Love! The Blue Bells Chronicles covers both the present time, and Scotland in the time from June 1314 up to May of 1318. The medieval half of the story is set against the backdrop of the Wars of Independence, in which Scotland fought for years against England's attempt to take over their country.
DENNIS: I was very surprised when I learned of Lisa’s book, Summer of Love. I had already written my segment. When I spoke to her, she thought it was cool that we had the same interest. 1314 to 1318 was of great historical importance in Scotland.
ANGELA: Personally, I’m a medieval girl. However, I love my highlanders in kilts….so I have no choice to go beyond the 16th century in order to be historically correct!
DENNIS: Ah yes, the kilts. Being a man, I always wondered what appeals to woman so much about them.
What do they learn about those times that might surprise a modern reader?
DENNIS: Many things here too, but I will talk about one event because it seemed huge, yet I had never heard of it. The city of Boston has had its share of disasters, even in our own time. But a little known disaster hit the city back on January 15, 1919. When a storage tank full of molasses burst open and flooded the area with the sticky substance at 35 miles per hour. At first it sounds humorous, but it was far from funny. People and animals drowned because moving in the substance became impossible. 21 souls lost their lives and 150 were injured. Katya had experienced this as she tried to rescue a child.
LAURA: Wow, yes, that's quite a story! And one I've certainly never heard! I'm so deep in my medieval research, that I've probably lost sight of what would or wouldn't commonly be known to most modern readers. But I sometimes think that we I modern times tend to brush previous eras with broad strokes. Medieval times were 'religious,' or 'un-hygienic' or 'superstitious.' Well, yes and no. There were good and bad people in every time. There are those of great faith and those who are skeptical in every time; those who fully believe the prevailing culture's attitudes and those who don't.
I think James Douglas's life might be a wonderful surprise to modern readers as it was to me. He's a man of contrasts--The Black Douglas and The Good Sir James. He's a man who is said to have been gentle and soft-spoken, good and kind, yet was a demon on the battlefield, regularly taking on armies two, three, even eight times, the size of his own, and completely routing them. He went down in history in a song sung to English children for centuries afterward: Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye, the Black Douglas will not get ye. And yet, if we judge him not by the standards of our time, but by his own, if we contrast him with what he was fighting against, he was a man of mercy. When the English attacked Scotland, there was mass slaughter. Scottish priests were nailed to their own church doors, and the church was then burned around them. A pregnant woman was hacked to death by an English soldier in the slaughter at Berwick even as she gave birth. James Douglas, by all accounts, may have terrified the English populace with his night raids, and he undoubtedly committed some brutal acts against other soldiers, but he stuck to business. He took the money and hostages that would fund the fight against England's aggression, but did not engage in gratuitous brutality and cruelty against civilians, by any account I've ever seen.
DENNIS: Terrible persecutions. I can’t even imagine seeing the good priests in my church nailed to the door. The pregnant woman description gave me chills.
LAURA: As it does to Amy, who is pregnant herself when she first hears the story. I think those times are romanticized by some and demonized by others, and I hope to have given a balanced portrayal. Like any era, there was good and bad, and yes, the bad was pretty hideous.
ANGELA: I always love to add magical or folklore elements to my stories, as well as architectural details of castles or tower houses! I love castles.
DENNIS: I love fantasies with magic and folklore. I started a story like that when I was in Malaysia once, but I never finished it. Perhaps, one day I will.
Any last thoughts?
DENNIS: I hate to leave this Q&A session with negativity. Despite the seriousness of the situations the Time Pilgrims find themselves in, there is always an element of fun, romance and realism in my stories. My readers are brought into a world where time travel is completely plausible. As we transport with the pilgrims, we are able to share the experiences and get a glimpse of how life truly was in past time.
LAURA: We think alike! One of the things I've tried to show in my series is that people can and do find joy, humor, and fun even when times seem dark. I have had a great deal of fun with Shawn and Niall's reactions to one another's ways and beliefs, in their mutual joy in music and learning from one another, and in the situations in which they find themselves--such as Shawn's reaction to Niall's plan for escape from Carlisle in The Water is Wide.
Her first children’s book is due to release June 2013 through Mountain Springs House Publishing. It is her plans to write about “Life Lessons Through Literature” through The Adventures of Happy Valley Glen series. The first book will be titled The Raccoon Family Moves in.
Amazon and Nook Buy Links: US Link: http://amzn.to/1cferWV
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Once Upon A Highlander
by Angela Rose Once Upon A Highlander 5.0 of 5 stars 5.00 Desperate to save his clan and holdings, Alec MacLean seeks the assistance of a fae priestess who gives him an enchanted tome that will help him find the answers he seeks. Now, visions of a young woman crying haunt his dreams, and he becomes overwrought with fear for her. With the guidance of his eccentric grandmother, Alec is thrust in the 21st century, but will he be in...more Desperate to save his clan and holdings, Alec MacLean seeks the assistance of a fae priestess who gives him an enchanted tome that will help him find the answers he seeks. Now, visions of a young woman crying haunt his dreams, and he becomes overwrought with fear for her. With the guidance of his eccentric grandmother, Alec is thrust in the 21st century, but will he be in time to save the mysterious woman of his dreams, his estate, and his clan?
Caroline Hughes is the sole survivor of a horrific car accident that claimed the lives of her parents. As a young orphan, she moves to Harper Cove, Maine to live with her grandmother—her only living relative. Now, even as an adult, darkness haunts Caroline, and she avoids the night, even when it means not living life to the fullest. When strangers jeopardize Caroline’s life, she realizes that her fears have kept her from truly living. Will she escape her captors, and learn to trust again, or will darkness win?