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Re-release December 2012

A Love Through Time

The Clan MacKendimen

An archway in time...
A man in search of his future in the past...
A woman who holds the key...

Maggie Hobbs has had enough of controlling men in her life. Breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, she heads to Scotland for her summer vacation, hoping to put it all behind her—though she never dreams how far behind her it will go! During a stop at a clan ceilidh, Maggie meets the man who should be heir to the Clan MacKendimen—one whose father turned his back on his heritage for a new life in America. And then Fate steps in to throw her back to a time when men controlled everything!

Alex MacKendimen returns to his father’s lands and discovers a life that could have been his. With the emptiness of his life staring back at him, he wished for another chance to find happiness and finds himself catapulted to the past – as he and a beautiful stranger face dangers together in medieval Scotland.

Thrown together by Fate, Maggie and Alex face their greatest fears and struggle to find a way home while falling in love. Will they make it out of the past or be forced to survive far way from everyone and all they know?

"Alex and Maggie, both exceptionally well-drawn adult characters, make this appealing adventure special."

— Publishers Weekly

"Brisbin provides plenty of humor and entertainment in this romp through time, but she sees to it that medieval life is not presented as all fun and games."

— ALA Booklist

"An unusual and striking time travel that flows from page to page with lush, narrative, crisp dialogue and powerful descriptions. Medieval Scotland comes to life under the skillful storytelling of Terri Brisbin."

— Rendezvous

"Fans of time travel romance will welcome a fresh face who adds a unique twist to the sub-genre. In her first published novel, Terri Brisbin sends both her protagonists flying back through time. This approach brilliantly works as the pair struggles to surmount impossible odds to find a love that survives the centuries. The story line is a one sitting read, and the supporting characters add a genuine feel to the novel, especially the Medieval cast. Ms. Brisbin clearly is a talent and hopefully will provide sequels co-starring that mysterious mystic, Mairi."

— Writers’ Club Romance Group on AOL Reviewer Board by Harriet Klausner

"Ms. Brisbin in her first published work shows her talent for writing a beautiful and poignant story of SPLENDID dimensions."

— Bell, Book and Candle Romance Readers/Writers Newsletter

"Ms. Brisbin's debut novel is a tantalizing blend of history, fantasy and romance. This emotionally beautiful time-travel will capture your attention and your heart as the story of two destined lovers a courageous heroine, and a sexy, protective hero unfolds and they experience A LOVE THROUGH TIME."

— BookBug on the Web

"There is only one word for A LOVE THROUGH TIME - Delicious! This book is a is a must-have! Full of surprises. Terri Brisbin is a rising star. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next."

— Romance Industry Newsletter Writers’ Club

"Those of you who complain that your medieval romances are not real enough, this book is for you. . . There is always something happening. The action doesn't stop, whether it is of an emotional or physical nature, and it's this that keeps you reading. "

— All About Romance

"...an enjoyable read that will sweep readers away to the Scottish moors."

— Romantic Times Magazine

"A welcome new voice in time-travel romance...a mystical, magical adventure you won't want to miss."

— Susan Wiggs

"Classic time-travel! Terri Brisbin has created and evocative Scottish tale brimming with warmth, wit, and sensuality!"

— May McGoldrick

PROLOGUE

Dunnedin, Scotland

For generations, MacKendimen clan lore has it that the stone-cutter's simpleton son was to blame. Centuries ago, after stumbling off the path that led to the quarry, the boy got lost while looking for more stone to fit his father's requirements. Confused, weary and hungry, the boy wandered through the lush forest searching for the quarry or home.

Wending his way through the woods, he lurched into a small clearing where he found an ancient circle of stones. Not realizing the importance of such a ring, he decided that he would use some of the perfectly-sized and smoothed boulders to meet his father's demands. Shortly after, the boy found his way back to the path and used the stones as he had made up his mind to do.

The stones, fashioned into an archway in a new wall around the MacKendimen keep, caused peculiar things to occur. Strange, unidentifiable noises emanated from the archway. Sometimes unusual lights and shadows filtered through from one side of the arch, but not the other. But, when people seemingly disappeared through it, the laird of the time reached his limit. He ordered the arch to be filled-in with stone and the rest of the construction left unfinished.

Generations later, Cormac, the MacKendimen at that time, commanded that a larger keep be erected a distance away from the original location and it was. Eventually, the walls of the deserted castle, robbed of stone for the new fortress, began to deteriorate. After many centuries, there were only ruins left behind to mark the spot...and one complete archway. By the late 1900's, the stones and mortar placed in the arch all those years before had crumbled. It was open again.

And, the magic waited.

***

Chapter 2 — Maggie and Alex meet. . .

Maggie picked her way through the tumbled and crumbled stones strewn across the field. These ruins were much older than the present castle built in the 1600’s. Several decaying archways stood silent watch over their surroundings but most lay in broken sections on the ground. Bits and pieces of a clan legend were talked about by the attendees at the festival but Maggie didn’t know the whole story.

She approached one of the structures, closed her eyes and placed her palm on the stones. The urge to touch history grew as she toured England and Scotland. Every time Maggie entered a building or walked through a hallway, she felt this compulsion to feel the history of the place. These ruins drew her to them like metal scrapings to a magnet.

Maggie jumped in surprise as a jolt traveled up her arms and through her body. It reminded her of an electric pulse but there were no power lines here. She moved her hand to a different place on the arch and still the unseen power surged. She stepped away from the arch and held her hand above her eyes so she could see the whole structure. Looking at the other arches, she realized that this was the only one still intact. Well, the frame was intact, but the stones and mortar inside its curve were gone but for a short pile that formed a wall.

Sitting back down, she kept her hand in contact with the arch. The sensation, warm and tingling, was almost pleasant once you got used to it. Almost as pleasant as watching the approaching Scot. Maggie gave him another once-over and stood to offer her own greetings and her hand.

"Hello," he said as he got closer, “and which of my lovely Scottish cousins are you?”

He stepped nearer and pressed her hand to his lips in a polite gesture. When she noticed his full Clan dress but that no Scottish accent enhanced his deep voice, she knew this must be the man so many spoke of at the festival. ‘The heir’. Her gaze moved from his well-muscled thighs below the kilt up to his face and then his eyes. Ah, this must be the color they called “MacKendimen Blue.” How charming, she thought. She jerked her hand from his as memories of Don’s charming mannerisms came back to her.

“I’m afraid you’re mistaken. I am not one of your lovely Scottish cousins, as you put it.” Maggie rubbed her hand on her skirt needing to remove the feel of his mouth from it. The last thing she needed or would allow was another charmer in her life.

"You don't sound Scottish." He sounded confused as he pointed out the obvious to her. His forehead creased and he tilted his head to one side, studying her closely as though she were different. His voice was deep and purely masculine. She resisted the almost instant physical reaction she was having to him.

"Neither do you." Maggie realized her voice bordered on offensive. “I mean, I don’t because I’m not, Scottish that is.” She forced a neutral tone into her words. He had not really done anything but reminded her momentarily of Don. She would wait before she condemned him completely.

He took a step back away from her and held out his hand in a more recognizable gesture. She hesitated for a moment and then shook it -- American-style.

"I am Scottish but, as you can tell, I'm not from here. I'm Alex MacKendimen, from the States."

"That answers my question of the day."

"What question?"

"What the real heir of the clan looks like. It's the topic of the gathering."

He blushed. She didn't remember seeing a man blush before but it looked so darn attractive she hoped to see it again. The blush made his blue eyes look a lighter shade than they were. Ruggedly handsome features stood out on his tanned face. He wore his hair, a shade of dark auburn with red highlights that flashed in the strong sunlight, in a conservative cut -- above his ears and short all around. And the blush spread to the tips of his ears.

"I'm sorry," she said, "I didn't mean to embarrass you."

"I really don't like being the center of conversation. But it's not your fault at all."

"Then whose is it?"

"Well, mine, I guess. I brought my aunt here for this reunion without knowing all the details."

"Details such as you're the lost heir of the clan?"

"No, not lost. They knew where I was all along."

She let herself join his laughter at his words and Maggie realized she hadn't introduced herself.

"I'm Maggie Hobbs," she smiled as she said it, "also from the States."

"Nice to meet you, Maggie. From where in the States?"

"New Jersey."

"New Jersey? Really?"

"Yes, the good old Garden State."

"I don't believe it! Me too!"

"Really?" she asked, "Where?"

"I live in Haddonfield."

Maggie sat back down on the wall. "I live in Winslow. Can you believe it? We're almost neighbors and have to travel more than a thousand miles to meet." She shook her head at the irony of coming all the way to Scotland and meeting someone who lived close by.

"How did you turn up here?" Alex asked.

"I'm a teacher and this is the first summer I'm not going to school. So, I came here for the history. And," she added in a low, conspiring tone, “I’ve wanted to visit here ever since I read my first Scottish romance novel. And you?"

"As I mentioned, I brought my Aunt Jean back to attend the gathering. You know, she played on my sympathies to come with her but I think she had this 'rightful heir' thing planned all along."

"Are you?" Maggie raised her eyebrows in question.

"The rightful heir?" At her nod, he continued, "Apparently. My father was the eldest son and would have inherited. But, he refused his inheritance and moved to the States in search of the woman of his dreams."

"That sounds romantic. Did he find her?"

"Yes, he did. He married my mother a year after arriving. Anyway, I guess if he had stayed, I would be the heir of the clan. But... "

"Does the real, I mean, the proclaimed heir know that you're not going to challenge him?"

"I think Uncle Calum realizes I'm no threat to him. I am here to enjoy the gathering and meet the clan. But, I am definitely not enjoying the dress." He must have noticed her gaping at his legs, again. Gosh, he had great legs.

“Dress?” she asked, forcing her eyes back up to his face. “Don't you call it a plaid?"

"They can call it anything they want to, but I call it too short and too damned drafty." He twisted the kilt at his waist and re-settled his belt. He turned away from her and adjusted the long scabbard that hung from his belt and contained a sword. After another moment, he shifted again and pulled the sword from its cover. Alex placed it point-down along his leg, resting it on his boot and holding onto its jewel-encrusted hilt. Then he sat on the wall next to her. "So, how long are you going to be here in Scotland?"

Maggie pushed her hair over her shoulders and sighed. "I'm nearly done. I have three more days in the Trossachs and Glasgow, four days in England, and then home. How about you?"

"We leave here at the end of the week and are spending a few days in Inverness. After that Edinburgh, and then home. By the way, do you have plans for dinner?" He extended the invitation without a moment's hesitation.

"Well, actually I do. My tour bus will pick me up and I'll have dinner with the group." Not wanting to be rude and realizing that they would both be going back to the same area in New Jersey, she added, “Maybe we could get together when we're back home?"

"That sounds great. I just wish we had more time here." Sincere regret filled his voice. She heard it, felt it, and found herself hoping for the first time in their conversation that they would see each other again.

"Time?" A scratchy voice interrupted their conversation. Maggie never saw or heard Mairi's approach. Now, she stood directly in front of them. So close that they couldn't get up from the wall. Maggie felt the vibrations under and around her grow stronger. A buzzing sound, like a swarm of bees attacking a hive’s enemy, surrounded them.

"Mairi, you startled me." Looking at Alex, she said, "Do you feel that?" She placed his hand under hers on the stones between their bodies. Even the stone wall beneath them carried the vibrations now.

"Feel what?" He frowned, obviously not feeling or hearing what she could.

"That pulsing and heat coming from the stones."

"I don't feel anything, Maggie." Alex looked back at Mairi. “Who are you?"

Before the old woman answered him, Mairi placed one hand on each of them, on their shoulder.

"Time? Ye can have all the time ye need, lad. Remember, time will prove if a love be true."

Then, with a force completely at odds with the frailty of her figure, Mairi pushed them backwards, through the arch.

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