Wednesday, February 15, 2023

A time-travel excerpt, Beyond the Fall, by Diane Scott Lewis


Tired of the gloomy winter? Enjoy a trip to the past as soon to be divorced, San Franciscan Tamara falls back
200 years to a gritty England caught up in grain riots.

Purchase HERE

Excerpt: Cornwall 1789

Tamara ran down the porch steps and across the yard to better see. Colum marched near the rear of the mob as if he were a herding collie. In a rumble of fury and feet, men were chanting, fists raised. Birds flew from the trees and scattered into the sky like confetti.

She hiked up her skirt and hurried to the end of their lane. A group of women swept up behind her. “Come along, an’ fight for our rights to have our bread.” One woman grabbed her arm and dragged Tamara with them. “An’ for our men to earn good wages.”

“I’m all for your rights.” Tamara skidded beside the scruffy woman who smelled of beer and bad breath, her teeth yellow, two missing. She tried to tug herself loose, then decided she needed to follow Colum and see what hazard he might encounter, or cause.

She finally pulled free of her escort and wended forward through the people, her long skirt slapping against her legs.

The marchers trudged on, up the main road that headed north, shouting, “Cheaper bread, fair wages!”

Dust clotted in Tamara’s nose as she squeezed through the crowd. She was used to long walks but not in awkward clothing. She tripped and rushed on, trying to catch up with Colum who had melted into the horde of men.

More people joined them. The mob closed in around her, poking and prodding, stinking of sweat. They followed the rocky coast gouged with inlets along Falmouth Bay. The salty breeze blew over her, teasing at tendrils of her hair.

She took an elbow to the ribs, a shoulder to her chin, but kept pushing through. Now she was glad for her sturdy hiking boots.

Her knees and ankles began to ache, a blister forming on one foot, as more time passed. She swiped perspiration from her face.

Louder shouts and curses erupted as they approached the outskirts of the larger town of Falmouth four miles to the north. In the distance, houses clustered on an incline, and a castle squatted on a peninsula that jutted out into the Carrick Roads she recalled from her map.

Elegant buildings sat among smaller cottages with thatched roofs. How beautiful it all looked, unmarred by modern intrusions. Yet here she was in the middle of an agitated throng. Her breath heaved. Where was Colum?

Gunshots pierced the air. The soldiers bore down on them. Terror coursed through her. She could be killed, forever stranded in the past.

Diane lives in Western Pennsylvania with her husband and one naughty dachshund. 

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