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Tour: A Rip in the Veil (The Graham Saga #1) by Anna Belfrage

Book details:

Book Title: A Rip in the Veil

Series: The Graham Saga

Author: Anna Belfrage

Publication Date: Originally, 2012, but the new, re-edited version January 2023

Publisher: Timelight Press

Page Length:370

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On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on a Scottish moor. Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew.

Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time to land at the feet of escaped convict Matthew Graham.

Matthew doesn’t know what to make of this strange woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies—what is she, a witch?

Alex is convinced the tall, gaunt man is some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he.

Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with her new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here—and not exactly to extend a helping hand.

Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew, a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But Matthew comes with baggage of his own and on occasion his past threatens them both. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have.

How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she really want to?

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Excerpt 6 – in which a spat with Matthew puts Alex in serious danger

After a long nap, Alex stood up and dressed, grimacing at the dampness of her jeans. She packed together her stuff, and as Matthew still lay dozing, she shook out his blanket before bending down to roll it back up around his things. The folded paper looked like a deed of some sort, and she spread it flat, trying to decipher the curling handwriting.

“What are you doing?” Matthew sounded very cold.

“Nothing.” She attempted a smile.

He took the paper from her, folding it back along the original creases before stuffing it inside his shirt, eyes never leaving hers.

“I’m sorry. It isn’t as if I could read it anyway.”

“It’s not for you to read my private matters.”

“I know, I just said I’m sorry. And as I also just said, I couldn’t read a word of it.” Except for the one word in the heading that had stuck out like a neon sign; divorce.

Matthew obviously didn’t believe her, throwing her angry looks as he rolled his blanket round his belongings and shoved his feet into his worn shoes. He didn’t even stop to make sure she was ready to go before he strode off along the stream, leaving her to make her way as best she could.

“You’re doing this on purpose,” she yelled an hour or so later. “You know it’s going to be hard going for me, barefoot as I am.” She rolled up her jeans and splashed into the stream instead.

He didn’t reply.

“Well fine! See if I care.” She came to a stubborn stop and limped over to sit on the bank, holding her breath as she pulled out an evil looking thorn from her big toe. The thin skin over her healing burns was irritated, and one of her ankles was covered in a nettle rash.

“Bloody sadist.” She threw a concerned look around her. The woods stood thick, and she had no idea in what direction she was heading. Well, she wasn’t going to follow him, that nasty brute, instead she’d walk back to the clearing. From there she could see the hills, and she much preferred sleeping up there, however bare, than here in this teeming, buzzing green. She paddled her feet in the water, hoping that he’d come back before it grew too dark. When she pulled her legs out of the water, three leeches hung like curling decorations on her calf and she regarded them with disgust.

“Okay; no fainting, no wimpy shrieks. Just get them off.” But that would mean touching them, and they looked very slimy. “Where are all the men when you need them,” she muttered, and then she did just as Magnus had taught her, she slid her nail in under the front end and felt the thing loosen its hold and drop to the ground. She was quite proud of herself a minute or so later, and turned to share her pride with Matthew, belatedly remembering that he was an insensitive jerk who had left her alone in this threatening environment.

She got to her feet, and in her gut fear bloomed. What was she to do? She trudged back the way she’d come, and for the first time since all this had happened to her, she realised just how alone she was. No one would miss her, not on this end of the time chute. No one even knew she existed, and she had no family, no friends, not one single person who cared if she lived or died. It almost made her cry, but she knuckled herself hard in the eyes and increased her pace. She didn’t want to get stuck here for the night.

Sheer instinct had her coming to a stop several metres away from the clearing. She crouched down and peered through the bushes. Someone had kicked life into the remains of their earlier fire, and she counted to a total of six men sitting round it, four in what looked like leather tunics topped by breastplates, two more at ease in only their shirts. Helmets had been lain aside, she could make out the outline of horses on the further side, and her gaze flew to locate the cameras and the rest of the film crew before she recalled that this was no movie, this was her new life—lucky her.

Alex’s calves were beginning to cramp, gnats settled on her uncovered neck and forearms, and still she didn’t dare to move. One of the soldiers—roundheads, real life roundheads, down to their cropped heads and rather dashing leather boots—poked at the fire.

“He said so,” he said in a loud voice, running a hand through his bristling ginger fuzz. “A woman, dressed just like him in those outlandish, blue breeches.”

“Oh come on, Smith,” one of his companions said. “The man’s a fugitive royalist. Why believe one word he says?”

“But he says he isn’t,” the first speaker said. “He insists he’s from somewhere in the Colonies, and he did say he had a female travelling companion, wearing breeches similar to his.”

“Pfff! A woman in breeches! Who’s ever heard of that?”

Alex wiped her palms up and down her jeans. It must be Sanderson they were referring to. Slowly, she began inching away, casting about for a better hiding place.

“But he said—”

“He said a lot of things, Smith, the sum of it being that he was innocent and should be set free.” The other men snickered, making Smith glower at them.

“Why would he invent something as far-fetched as that?”

“Well he would,” a rather fat man said. “Admitting to being an escaped convict would be stupid.”

“I’m just saying—” Smith began, but was interrupted by a lanky man with no hair at all.

“It’s your fault we’re here, Smith. It’s you and your big mouth that has us riding up and down these damned moors on the off chance that we’ll encounter a woman in breeches.”

“Because he said she ran off with a man, the real fugitive according to him. Besides, what’s a woman doing wearing breeches, hey? Right ungodly, and—”

“Smith,” the fat man groaned, “give it a rest. Do something about the fire instead, we need more wood.”

Still muttering, Smith heaved himself to his feet and made straight towards where Alex was hiding.

She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t dare to break and run, and the bushes were far too straggly to offer adequate protection should he come close. She crawled backwards, wincing at every snapped twig. The soldier came to a standstill, cocked his head in the direction of the sound. Alex muffled a whimper against her arm, tried to stop herself from breathing. She relaxed when the roundhead shrugged and veered off to her right. She slid even further back, aiming for the protective thickness of the woods. Almost there. . . More twigs breaking, yet another interminable minute holding her breath, and one more slithering movement. She took a relieved breath. A metre, no more, and then she’d be safe. A foot came down on her back, pressing her hard into the ground.

“And what might we have here?”

Rough hands turned her over, and in the fading light she couldn’t properly make out the features in the face staring down at her.

“My, my,” Smith crowed. “He was right, after all. A woman in breeches!”

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients.

Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!

Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode!

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

Find out more about Anna, her books and enjoy her eclectic historical blog on her website,

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Tour hosted by: The Coffee Pot Book Club

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