HISTORICAL BOOK FAIR – A Shadow in the Past

a shadow in the past cover 500x773A Shadow in the Past
Nineteen-year-old Sarah Shand finds herself thrust back into the past. There she struggles to keep her real identity from a society that finds her comments and ideas strange and her speech and actions forward, unlike Victorian women. When Sarah verbally confronts confining social practices, including arranged marriages; powerful enemies commit her to a lunatic asylum. After falling in love with the handsome Laird of Weetshill, Robert Robertson, she must decide whether to find her way back to her own time or to remain in the past with him.


Sarah blinked and stared at one of the ghostly trees lining the roadway. The trunk expanded and contracted before her eyes as if it were breathing. A gust of wind rasped through the branches and a sudden cry of a long-eared owl made her jump. Shivering, Sarah crossed her arms and rubbed, but pain shot all the way down to her fingertips, forcing her to stop.

At the narrow stone bridge, she stopped and rested. As she stood there trying to catch her breath, the bridge began to vibrate and black smoke filled the air. A shrill whistle pierced the silence, drowning out the ringing in her ears. Sarah wheeled around and gasped. Off in the distance she saw the tiny speck of a headlight. It grew larger and brighter as the train drew closer and thundered beneath the bridge. Sarah watched the disappearing train and tried to understand what she had seen. There was no railway line near her house, only a flat dirt trail leading to the village.

Soon the smell of freshly cut hay, manure, and farm animals replaced the lingering aroma of the train’s oily coal smoke. If the barn was this close, she was almost home. Drawing closer, she heard the sounds of hooves pawing at stall floors and horses snorting. Her parents did not own horses. Beef cattle, sheep, and a few barn cats were the only livestock on their farm.

Confused, Sarah stumbled away from the barn and turned to face a sprawling three-storey building. It looked like Weetshill but it couldn’t be. The Weetshill mansion Sarah knew had no roof, and trees grew within the confines of its crumbling walls. The slate roof of this building shone in the moonlight as if it had been installed yesterday, and glass sparkled in enormous windows that should have been gaping, dark holes.

Sarah touched the heavy oak door and jerked her hand back as though she’d burnt it. She reached for a thick cord hanging from a bell by the door, but her head began to spin and she lost consciousness.

20 thoughts on “HISTORICAL BOOK FAIR – A Shadow in the Past”

  1. Thank you for taking part, Melanie.

    Whoa, what a dilemma! To fall through time and then fall in love out of one’s own time and an exit portal there before us: yes a tough moment out of time. 🙂 Though I guess we do that all the time when writing about heroes from the past. Sounds like a wonderful read.


  2. Very nice Melanie !! Its good to see your book in Historical Book Fair. There are some other books to that I liked the cover page of. We hope to see more books coming from you in near future !! Good Luck !!

  3. You’ll be happy to hear, Grace, that I’m shooting for the book I’m currently working on to be finished and submission ready before the end of this year… September/October time frame.

  4. Aha! Another time travel lover! I guess all of us who write historical fiction experience moments when we wished we could swish back through time, right? Me, I’d want to have a guaranteed return ticket. I think. Well, maybe… After all, if HE turns up.. Sigh. Sounds like a great book.

  5. Your descriptive writing in this excerpt really drew me in … sounds like a fascinating book! Look forward to reading more. Best of luck!

  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed the premise of the book Kiru and am glad it’s going onto your TBR pile. It’s hard to choose an excerpt that teases but doesn’t give too much away.

  7. There’s something about time travel that just draws you into a story. I think I’d be like you, Anna, want a return ticket. Nothing says it has to be used. It’s just the security of knowing you have it.

  8. Thanks Deborah! Not so sure I’d like to get thrust into the past like that, but the time travel aspect, yes. I’d like a wee bit more prep time and know when I’d be going to.

  9. Very intriguing excerpt. I’ve walked places that have felt so out of time, like I was being watched. This scene certainly feels like it’s stepped back in time. No wnder she passed out.

  10. I know what you mean, Janet. I’ve visited what used to be the orphanage in Scotland where my father was raised and as soon as you go through the gates, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time.

  11. There’s something about a time travel that draws you in. I love them, too, and not just because I wrote one, although that likely has a lot to do with me writing it. The story wouldn’t have been nearly as engaging without the time-slip element.

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