For twenty odd years these books have been my companion and every summer like clockwork, I re-read the whole series. At the present there are only seven books. Seven books in twenty years doesn’t sound a lot does it? But if you have read any of the books then you will know 1). Each book is like a thousand pages each and 2). The incredible historic details that goes into it.
This year, on March 25, 2014 a new book is released titled “Written in my own hearts blood”. I am very excited about this, as you could probably tell and those who know me well have probably been gifted with the book at one time or another.
Outlander is normally associated with being a woman’s romance novel. I don’t agree with that, so I forced my good friend Randall Melton to read the book and tell me what he thinks from a male perspective. This is what he has to say:
Normally, I must have some encouragement to pick up a popular piece of fiction. I am not one just to pick up and book and read it because everyone else is. I am choosy and very selective. In this case of Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, I picked the book to read because of its impending adaption to the small screen. That was my only motivation.
However, once I started reading, I was pleasantly surprised. I like stories that are told from the first person, from the main character of the story. And this story did not disappoint.
Claire’s character was fleshed out almost in the first ten pages of the story. I got a lot of insight on what made Clair tick and what motivation her. Funny that most men are attracted to strong female characters. Claire clearly spoke her mind from the beginning. And that character trait carried all the way through the book.
I did like that way the book transitioned from one time period to the next. No flashy technical gadgetry, flashing lights, wormholes, or any of the clichéd ways of time travel. I like how Claire was left to her own wits through the first several chapters. It was interesting to the way she finally came to the determination that she was no longer in the 20th century.
I love the style of writing that Diana uses to captive the feeling and the mood of the period. The characters really do seem to come alive off the page. I am encouraged by the freshness of the writing. I will definitely continue to read other books in the Outlander series. I hope that the screenplay adaption for television holds up to the same style as the book.
If you are still not convinced you should be reading this book, this is the official blurb:
Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century – and a lover in another.
In 1945, Claire Randall is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon in Scotland. Innocently she walks through a stone circle in the Highlands, and finds herself in a violent skirmish taking place in 1743. Suddenly she is a Sassenach, an outlander, in a country torn by war and by clan feuds.
A wartime nurse, Claire can deal with the bloody wounds that face her. But it is harder to deal with the knowledge that she is in Jacobite Scotland and the carnage of Culloden is looming. Marooned amid the passion and violence, the superstition, the shifting allegiances and the fervent loyalties, Claire is in danger from Jacobites and Redcoats – and from the shock of her own desire for James Fraser, a gallant and courageous young Scots warrior. Jamie shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire, and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.
Of course, I’d have had to have been well kitted out in the latest fashion, and have looked forward to the event with as much enthusiasm as my heroine, Adelaide, in my just released ‘The Maid of Milan’. Boy, she knew how to party! Well, that is until she made a terrible error of judgement which led to her awful mother shackling her to a lie to explain her ‘past’ which sucked the joy out of her.
War leaves no heart untouched
In the shadow of the Great War, grieving widow, Helen Morrow and her husband’s cousin, the wounded and reclusive Paul are haunted not only by the horrors of the trenches but ghosts from another time and another conflict.
As the desperate voice of the young woman reaches out to them from the pages of a coded diary, Paul and Helen are bound together in their search for answers, not only to the old mystery but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele in 1917.
As the two stories become entwined, Paul and Helen will not find peace until the mysteries are solved.
Another gret time travel/parallel universe book are the “Bright Empires” series by Stephen Lawhead.
Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.
One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code—a roadmap of symbols—that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.
But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.
The Bright Empires series—from acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead—is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.
“Anything but ordinary . . . Dynamic settings are mixed with unpredictable adventures [and] parallel worlds.” —BookPage
Please remember to visit the FaceBook page for more book recommendations, films, review, competitions and freebies. Here is another Scottish treat just for you to put you in an Outlander mood:
4 ounces caster sugar
8 ounces butter
extra caster sugar, for sprinkling
1 Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl, and then rub in the butter – as if you were making shortcrust pastry. Use the tips of your fingers and ensure that all the butter has been rubbed in — it should resemble sand!
2 Then start to knead the paste, pushing it together to form a smooth dough – the heat of your hands whilst kneading helps it form.
3 Petticoat Tails:.
4 Divide the shorbread dough into two equal parts and shape them into balls, then flatten them out into two rounds – using the heel of your hand, to about 7″ in diameter and 1/4″ thick.
5 Mark the top into equal portions – triangular in shape, and then prick the tops all over with a fork – making patterns if you wish! Crimp the edges as you would a pie crust to make a decorative edge and place them onto a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet.
6 (You can also use a greased and lined 7″ or 8″ fluted edged round sandwich/cake tin – preferably with a loose bottom for ease of taking the shortbread out. Press the dough into the tin and mark out as above).
7 Shortbread fingers:.
8 Roll out the shortbread dough, and shape into a rectangle, about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. Place onto a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet as before, and mark into “fingers” — prick over with a fork again. You can also press the dough into an 8″ square baking/sandwich/brownie tin – and then mark out the fingers as above.
9 (Please Note: The fingers are always thicker than the petticoat tails and shortbread rounds).
10 Shortbread Rounds:.
11 Roll out the shortbread dough and using a biscuit or cookie cutter, cut into rounds of about 2″ to 3″ in diameter, about 1/4″ in thickness. Place them on a well greased baking tray or cookie sheet.
12 Wooden Shortbread Mould:.
13 You can also place the dough into a decorative wooden shortbread mould, before turning it out on to a greased baking tray. Traditional Scottish wooden moulds can be bought online and usually have a Thistle design with heavily fluted edges.
14 Bake the any of the above shortbread biscuits in a pre-heated oven 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3 for between 20 to 30 minutes, or until they are pale and golden – but NOT brown!
15 Sprinkle extra caster sugar over the top as soon as they come out of the oven if you wish.
16 Allow the shorbread bicuits to cool slightly on a cooling rack, before cutting into fingers or “petticoat tails”.