Saturday, December 11, 2010

BLOODY MEN

Y'all have asked some good questions in the comments to the last post, but most of them will require a bit of time and thought to respond to properly. Since I'm working madly this weekend to fill up the remaining holes in the new website (which I _hope_ to reveal to public view sometime next week), I thought for today, I'd just give you a bit of Book Eight, which I notice a number of people had asked for, too. {g}

Book Eight

Copyright 2010 Diana Gabaldon

“Stay,” he said sternly to Rollo, turning back for an instant. The dog, who had not stirred from his comfortable spot at Rachel’s feet, twitched one ear.

William was standing by the roadside, looking hot, tired, disheveled, and thoroughly unhappy. As well he might, Ian thought with some sympathy. William was likely bound for England—if he was lucky—or for parole in some rough lodging somewhere far to the south. In either case, his active role as a soldier was over for some time.

His face changed abruptly at sight of Ian. Surprise, the beginnings of indignation, then a quick glance round, decision clamping down upon his features. Ian was surprised for a moment that he could read William’s face so easily, but then remembered why. Uncle Jamie guarded his own expression in company—but not with Ian. Ian’s own face didn’t show his knowledge, though, anymore than William’s now showed more than an irritable acknowledgement.

“Scout,” William said, with the briefest of nods. The officer to whom he had been talking gave Ian a brief, incurious look, then saluted William and plunged back into the trudging stream.

“What the bloody hell do you want?” William drew a grubby sleeve across his sweating face. Ian was mildly surprised at this evident hostility; they’d parted on good terms the last time they had seen each other—though there had been little conversation at the time, William having just put a pistol-ball through the brain of a madman trying to kill Rachel, Ian, or both, with an axe. Ian’s left arm had healed enough to dispense with a sling, but it was still stiff.

“There’s a lady who’d like to speak with ye,” he said, ignoring William’s narrowed eyes. The eyes relaxed a little.

“Miss Hunter?” A small gleam of pleasure lit William’s eyes, and Ian’s own narrowed slightly. Aye, well, he thought, let her tell him, then.

William waved to a corporal down the line, who waved back, then stepped off the road after Ian. A few soldiers glanced at Ian, but he was unremarkable, the double line of dotted tattooing on his cheeks, his buckskin breeches, and his sun-browned skin marking him as an Indian scout—a good many of these had deserted the British army, but there were still a good many left, mostly Loyalists like Joseph Brant who held land in Pennysylvania and New York, though there were still some ranging parties from the Iroquois nations who had come down to fight at Saratoga.

“William!” Rachel flew across the little clearing and clasped the tall captain’s hands, beaming up at him with such joy that he smiled back at her, all irritability vanished. Ian hung back a little, to give her time. There hadn’t been any, really, what with Rollo roaring and tearing at Arch Bug’s miserable auld carcass, Rachel sprawled on the floor, frozen with horror, himself lying on the floor pouring blood, and half the street outside screaming bloody murder.

William had pulled Rachel to her feet and thrust her into the arms of the first woman available, who as it happened, was Marsali.

“Get her out of here!” William had snapped. But Rachel, Ian’s nut-brown maiden—her brownness much splattered with blood—had pulled herself together in an instant, and gritting her teeth—he’d seen her do it, bemused by shock as he lay on the floor, watching things happen as though in a dream—as she stepped over auld Arch’s body, had fallen to her knees in the mess of brains and blood, wrapped her apron tight about his wounded arm and tied it with her kerchief, and then with Marsali, had dragged him bodily out of the print-shop and into the street, where he’d promptly passed out, waking only when Auntie Claire began stitching his arm.

Ian hadn’t had time to thank William, even had he been able to speak, and he meant to convey his own thanks as soon as he might. But clearly Rachel wanted to talk to him first, and he waited, thinking how beautiful she looked, her eyes the clouded hazel of thicket and green-brier, face clever and quick as flame.

“But thee is tired, William, and thin,” she was saying, drawing a finger disapprovingly down the side of his face. “Do they not feed thee? I’d thought it was only the Continentals who went short of rations.”

“Oh. I—I haven’t had time of late.” The happiness that had lit William’s face while he talked with Rachel faded noticeably. “We—well, you see.” He waved an arm toward the invisible road, where the hoarse chants of the sergeants rang like the calling of disgruntled crows above the shuffle of feet.

“I do see. Where is thee going?”

William rubbed the back of his hand across his mouth, and glanced at Ian.

“I suppose he oughtn’t to say,” Ian said, coming across and touching Rachel’s arm, smiling at William in apology. “We’re the enemy, a nighean donn.

William looked sharply at Ian, catching the tone of his voice, then back at Rachel, whose hand he was still holding.

“We are betrothed, William—Ian and I,” she said, gently pulling her hand out of his and putting it on Ian’s.

William’s face changed abruptly, losing its look of happiness altogether. He eyed Ian with something remarkably close to dislike.

“Are you,” he said flatly. “I suppose I must wish you every happiness, then. Good day.” He turned on his heel, and Ian, surprised, reached out to pull him back.

“Wait—“ he said, and then William turned and hit him in the mouth.

He was lying on his back in the leaves, blinking in disbelief, as Rollo hurtled over him and sank his teeth in some soft part of William, judging by the yelp and the brief cry of startlement from Rachel.

“Rollo! Bad dog—and thee is a bad dog, too, William Ransom! What the devil does thee mean by this?”

Ian sat up, tenderly fingering his lip, which was bleeding. Rollo had retreated a little under Rachel’s scolding, but kept a yellow eye fixed on William and a curled lip raised over bared teeth, the faintest rumble of a growl coming from his huge chest.

Sheas,” Ian said to him briefly, and got to his feet. William had sat down and was examining the calf of his leg, which was bleeding through his torn silk hose, though not badly. When he saw Ian, he scrambled to his feet. His face was bright red and he looked as though he meant either to do murder or burst into tears. Maybe both, Ian thought in surprise.

He was careful not to touch William again, but stood back a bit—in front of Rachel, just in case the man meant to go off again. He was armed, after all; there was a pistol and sword at his belt.

“Are ye all right, man?” he asked, in the same tone of mild concern he’d heard his Da use now and then on his Mam or Uncle Jamie. Evidently it was in fact the right tone to take with a Fraser about to go berserk, for William breathed like a grampus for a moment or two, then got himself under control.

“I ask your pardon, sir,” he said, back stiff as a stick of rock-maple. “That was unforgiveable. I shall…leave you. I—Miss Hunter…I--” He turned, stumbling a little, and that gave Rachel time to dart round in front of him.

“William!” Her face was full of distress. “What is it? Have I—“

He looked down at her, his face contorted, but shook his head.

“You haven’t done anything,” he said, with an obvious effort. “You…you could never do anything that…” He swung round toward Ian, fist clenched on his sword. “But you, you fucking bas— you son-of-a-bitch! Cousin!

“Oh,” said Ian, stupidly. “Ye know, then.”

“Yes, I bloody know! You could have fucking told me!”

“Know what?” Rachel stepped round Ian, looking from him to William and back again.

“Don’t you bloody tell her!” William snapped.

“Don’t be silly,” Rachel said reasonably. “Of course he’ll tell me, the minute we’re alone. Does thee not wish to tell me thyself? I think perhaps thee might not trust Ian to say it aright.” Her eye rested on Ian’s lip, and her own mouth twitched. Ian might have taken offense at this, save that William’s distress was so apparent.

“It isna really a disgrace…” he began, but then stepped hastily back as William’s clenched fist drew back.

“You think not?” William was so furious, his voice was nearly inaudible. “To discover that I am—am—the…the get of a Scottish criminal? That I am a fucking bastard?”

Despite his resolve to be patient, Ian felt his own dander start to rise.

“Criminal, forbye!” he snapped. “Any man might be proud to be the son of Jamie Fraser!”

“Oh,” said Rachel, forestalling William’s next heated remark. “That.”

“What?” He glared down at her. “What the devil do you mean, ‘that’?”

“We thought it must be the case, Denny and I.” She lifted one shoulder, though keeping a close watch on William, who looked as though he was about to go off like a twelve-pound mortar. “But we supposed that thee didn’t wish the matter talked about. I didn’t know that thee—how could thee not have known?” she asked curiously. “The resemblance—“

“Fuck the resemblance!”

119 comments:

  1. I can't WAIT until this book comes out!!

    Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Oh, that's good. Bloody men, indeed! Can't wait for the next book!

    Melanie

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  3. I feel sorry for William. Everyone else has had the privilege of knowing Jamie and what an amazing man he is. William may have vague memories of his beloved groom but that can in no way overshadow the way his world has seemingly come crashing around him. I hope he'll come to at least respect Jamie, if not love him.

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  4. love it, love it, love it!!!
    so, if we keep asking for a tidbit each week to tide us over 'til the book is published, would you consider it? {g} I PROMISE I'm buying the book!!!

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  5. Ooooh, I don't know why I read these. All it does is leave me wanting more. Thanks for sharing. Happy Holidays!

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  6. Thank you! I loved it! I can feel Willie's seething anger through the internet. I also love the way Ian and Rachel are reacting to Willie's tantrum. I am worried about how Willie is going to react to John when he sees him again. I keep thinking John is the one who is really going to get the brunt of Willie's anger, more than anyone.

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  7. I can't stop giggling.Is that bad?
    Oh Ican't wait for the next book!!!
    Thanks!

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  8. I am really dying for this next book. I have been a huge fan since 1998 when my sister-in-law gave me "Dragonfly in Amber", I devoured it, and discovered it was book 2. This is the first book of yours that has left me unsettled and unsolved after reading it. I've always known there would be yet another book, but none leaving me so "unfinished" in so many stories. Please finish it quickly so I can devour it too!

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  9. Dear Diana,

    Awesome! Merry Christmas to ME! Thank you, dear lady.

    Midge

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  10. OH! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait for number 8!

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  11. OMG... Love it! F*** the resemblance indeed. That one will keep me going for a while.

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  12. I really enjoy the tidbits that you post! I am starting the series again - currently in Dragonfly and am reading slowly so I do not miss anything! Love this series.
    Mary

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  13. I am so grateful for the tidbits from book 8. I've been re-reading my favorite Outlander books and awaiting the newest. I'm very much looking forward to seeing all of the outstanding threads explored: the Jaime-Claire-John triangle; what happens to Roger and William Buccleigh McKenzie...does William die trying to go through the stones; does Jem escape the tunnel; how does Brianna deal with that crafty scumbag who kidnapped her son; and what will Jenny do in America...will Jenny and Claire live under the same roof? This last thought promises fireworks, eh?

    I've thoroughly enjoyed William's character. If he and Jaime do connect as father in son in book 8, perhaps they will in book 9. Afterall, it's nearly impossible not to love Jaime once you get to know him.

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  14. Wow...just wow! Merry Christmas to US! (to you too, Diana!) lol

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  15. I guess it is hard to be the last to know, poor William. Oh this is wonderful Diana, an early Christmas present. Thanks Diana.

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  16. Haha! So true. Honestly, HOW could you not know you are Jamie Fraser's son?

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  17. Oh, Diana, THANK YOU!!! I feel like I'm opening a window on an Advent calendar. What treasures you give us!

    Now THERE's an idea...Outlander Advent calendars!

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  18. Echo gave me a whole new perspective on Ian and William. Two more great characters!

    Susan
    @the_bothy

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  19. Awesome way to end my night...more to to enjoy in the series. Thank you!!

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  20. Wonderful - I am SO looking forward to the whole thing - thankyou for whetting the appetitie :)

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  21. Sigh.....Can not wait for the book....thank you Diana!

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  22. Oh... thank you! It was so nice to "see" Ian for a bit this evening!! And in this episode, William reminded me more of Brianna even than Jamie, but that is probably because I am listening to the books (I've read them through twice, but listening to Davina Porter narrate them is a true treat!!), and I recently "heard" the portion where Brianna combusts and breaks a window upon hearing who HER father really is! You are so kind to your fans to share your thoughts and these excerpts with us... thank you!!

    Shannon

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  23. That was a great way to end the excerpt - and a horrible way. It left me wanting more. Thank you so much for the excerpt! I loved it. It had me bouncing in my seat like a little kid.

    @Lisa: "so, if we keep asking for a tidbit each week to tide us over 'til the book is published, would you consider it?"

    Great question! :D

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  24. Ooh goodie! more Rollo, more Ian, more Rachel and MORE William!
    By the way, nobody else has commented on this, and I know it's not been proofed yet, but PennYsylvania? An old-fashioned spelling perhaps?

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  25. brilliant:D i love your books diana, cant wait for the next one to come out! i hope it will not be the last one:P

    from: amalie

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  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this excerpt. Brilliant.

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  27. Oh, this is wonderful!! Burst out laughing at "Evidently it was in fact the right tone to take with a Fraser about to go berserk..." What a nice surprise this morning! Maximas gratias tibi ago!!

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  28. What a treat! Thank you so much for posting this excerpt - LOVED it!!!

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  29. Thank you so much for sharing that! Now I'm so excited for the next book! Ahhhhhh I better go re-read the last one to keep myself occupied until the next one. I've bee waiting for William to find out for so long...

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  30. It was all quite simple when I was just in love with Jamie...but then Fergus came along...of course then we met Roger...and suddenly Ian came into the picture... now I have to deal with William too??? *exhausted*

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  31. Ooooh! Thanks for the peek. Can't wait to see what happens next.

    Happy Holidays!

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  32. Diana!
    you always leave us wanting more and i love it!!! you are such a gifted writer. you have a way with words and telling a story. AWESOME!!!I am anxiously waiting for book 8!! Merry Christmas!!!

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  33. Its obvious that Ian is going to have a larger role in book #8 as it pertains to William. I like the direction that this is going for both of them, Ian is the strong link to Jamie and I believe, or at least I hope, that William will be able to learn what kind of man Jamie is and respect and learn to love him. It would complete the circle for Jamie with his children.
    As always we all wait with great anticipation as to how you will weave the story...we have no choice but to be patient, but Diana...its hard!!!!

    Happy Christmas and Bright Blessings,
    lauren

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  34. This was a lovely surprise on a sunday morning. Just made french toast for my kids and topped it off with this wonderful excerpt. I am half way through reading the series again, and on the last few pages of Lord John and the Private Matter, which is excellent.

    I wait eagerly for book eight.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

    MIchelle K
    Virginia/England

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  35. When, oh when, is this book coming out???? I can hardly stand the waiting......

    Have a wonderful holiday season!

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  36. Oh poor William! He knows not the honor it is to be Jamie's son. I hope one day he does :) I can not WAIT for this book. I'm doing a re-read of the entire series and the graphic novel to tide me over for a while ;)

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  37. Dear Jenerator--

    No, that would be an old-fashioned typo. {g} Thanks for catching it!

    --Diana

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  38. I promised myself that I wouldn't read these excerpts and look where that's gotten me!! Love it...if you are planning on leaving more tidbits, could we see a little Fergus??

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  39. Oh does this leave me with a longing for the whole family-and what will happen. I will definately have to reread Echo just before the release (When when when???) of the new book to refresh everything. Thank you for this tantalizing tidbit Diana and have a great holiday!!

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  40. Dear Diana,
    Thank you for this sharing. We were so hungry for a taste.
    Poor William is betrayed at every angle.
    Very emotionally wrought scene-loved it!
    Lynda

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  41. Fabulous as always...thank-you for the treat! :)

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  42. Why are we so eager to see the completion of Book Eight? That will only bring us much too close to the dreaded END OF OUTLANDER. These characters have become such an integral part of my own family that we dread THE END. Diana, please take your time and special care when you write Book Fourteen .

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  43. "F*** the resemblance!" Awesome line. Still giggling. Our poor William.

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  44. Hazel from ShropshireDecember 12, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Thankyou Diana
    That was a lovely surprise TREAT.

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  45. lol Love it! Thank you so much for another peek at book 8. Makes me so excited and looking forward to the next with each excerpt :-D I also agree with "please take your time and special care when you write Book Fourteen" I'm hoping the rule of 3 doesnt apply here~as in 3 groups of 3 books, making a final total of 9. Even though we have several more years to get to that point~as it takes 3 to 4 years between each books release~ Im hoping for Decades more material flowing from that fabulous mind of yours! :0) Thank you again ~Happy Holidays~ ♥

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  46. I can't wait until this comes out. I have soooo enjoyed all the other books in this series.

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  47. I totally agree with emeseis' post. I'm currently hung up on Roger but have loved all the men at one time or another. First Jamie, then Fergus, and now Roger and as Young Ian and Willaim grow up so to say their stories will be just as warming.
    Thank you for this bit of joy and I hope you have a Merry Christmas. By the way, when is book 8 due out? :o)

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  48. On the one hand, thank you for these excerpts...on the other hand, ugh!

    P.s. Thoroughly enjoy the William & Ian dynamic, always so good.

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  49. I am grinning hugely! Even more so after reading all the comments!
    I, too, cannot wait for book 8!!

    Merry Christmas, everyone!!

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  50. And how we love this men!!! Thank you for sharing this.

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  51. It just gets better and better!
    Thanks for the snippet.

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  52. Diana,
    I would really like to thank you for the Birthday Present (Dec. 13th when I read this excerpt). How did you know it was the perfect thing? ;-)

    I hope you & all your family (real & fictitious) have a very Merry Christmas!

    Jennifer G.

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  53. Well… since some people are claiming this excerpt as some sort of gift for themselves, I will do it too.
    Thanks Diana for a belated Chanukah gift! It’s a perfect match. Book eight and eight nights of Chanukah.
    Happy Holydays for you and your loved ones!
    While at it, Happy Holydays to all the wonderful community of women who’ve been exchanging their views through this fun blog!!!!

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  54. Just curious, at what point in your writing process do you come up with the title for a book, and does it have to be approved by your publisher?

    Malin

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  55. Dear Jennifer--

    Happy Birthday!

    --Diana

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  56. Dear Malin--

    Titles show up in their own good time {g}--sometimes I know them instantly (like VOYAGER and SCOTTISH PRISONER), and mostly they evolve slowly over time, as I work on the book.

    Editors would certainly tell me if they had doubts about a title--and I'd listen!--but no, they wouldn't insist I change it. Not these days, anyway.

    --Diana

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  57. Dear Diana - Thank you for yet another peek at the next, hopefully not last, book. Love these characters still, after many many re-reads, and hope to never see your blog announce the last book in the series! I imagine the characters have become a significant part of your life as well (you really are Claire, right?) and that it will be difficult for you to end their story. You keep writing them - we'll keep buying them!

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  58. oh thank you Diana!!!

    I as well can't stop giggling!!
    I just called my sister to let her know you gave us another snip of book 8!!!

    oh i cannot wait for it to come out!!!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family Diana as well to all the other readers out there!!

    We are so lucky to have you post on here for us to stay sane on what is going to happen!!!

    and if you would like i would love to see what happens with Claire and Jamie.

    I know he will be forgiving but still a snip in there would be wonderful!!!!

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  59. I love this so much! The Fraser temper...reminds me of my own family! I cannot wait to find out more about William...and Lord John, and Jamie, and Claire...and Briana and all the rest of these wonderful characters.

    You have a gift. Thank you so much for sharing!!

    Merry Christmas!
    ~Sarah :-)

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  60. I was a junior in college in 1995 when I couldn't walk away from this crazy book in the book store. I was totally NOT into time travel or adultery and not knowing the story - just the horrible snippet on the back - I tried to pass on Outlander. Fortunately for me (and the 20 or so people to whom I have given Outlander) that book wouldn't let me leave without it in hand. Fifteen years later, I am still obsessed with these novels, the characters, their stories. I wait with baited breath for every book, every excerpt. I have probably read Outlander 20 plus times and the other six at least 5 times a piece. I am in awe of your talent, Diana, and I am grateful that you are sharing it with us. 2013 is a very long time away.

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  61. ahhhh, thanks Ms. Diana! Merry Christmas!

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  62. I am sooo excited! I get giddy each time I read an excerpt. Thank you for sharing.

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  63. Thanks so much! I second the person who asked for an exerpt each week until Christmas!!!! I have had severe withdrawal symptoms for months now. Have re-read all of the books, re-listened to all of the audiobooks, came all the way from Alabama to Phoenix to see you at the Poisoned Pen conference, bought "Exile" and "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows" and I JUST CANNOT WAIT until you get the next book done. :) Help! Put us out of our misery! Hugs, Cassie from Alabama

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  64. Meitaki Atupaka all the way from Aitutaki, Cook Islands. That would be, Thanks A Bunch, for the tantalising titbit. A tight 'bunch' of Gabaldon and Fraser supporters on our tiny island of 1200 is keenly anticipating book #8!! Best wishes & Kia Manuia.

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  65. Oh man! I can't handle this...It drives me nuts having to wait for the next book!!!

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  66. Guys...

    A) I don't write that fast, and

    B) if I gave you an excerpt every week, you'd have read the whole book (though wildly out of order) before it was published. {g}

    C) less importantly, but still worth noting--my publishing contract says I won't put up more than 10,000 words of a book in progress online.

    You'll just have to bide your time, and when I have something I can appropriately share with you, I will.

    -Diana

    P.S. Fwiw, there are _three_ new snippets from SCOTTISH PRISONER up on the Compuserve Books and Writers site this week. See here:

    http://community.compuserve.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?tsn=1&nav=messages&webtag=ws-books&tid=69543

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  67. oh boo!! guess I should hurry and finish 3-7, huh???

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  68. Thank you for the excerpts! I read the entire series this year (after books 1 - 5 sat on my bookshelf unopened for 8 years...what was I thinking!!??). I absolutely love them and will re-read them, along with the Lord John novels and the Exile (autographed copy on its way from The Poisoned Pen!).
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

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  69. Diana, you tease! I don't know what's worse...the anticipation of reading your next book or finishing them.

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  70. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the lovely excerpts. What a wonderful Christmas gift!

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  71. Upon seeing that there was an excerpt to be read, I grabbed a cup of coffee and have now read through it three times-each time hoping that there will magically be more than there was the first time. Thank-you for the excerpts, but they are killing me! Is it too early to pre-order book 8?

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  72. PERFECT.. just bloody perfect { HUGE GRIN }
    Jo-Anne
    Australia

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  73. Diana!! For the life of me I cannot find the third snippet at the compuserve link. I have now checked 7 times :( Am I being totally blind. I found cocked hat and judy punch one...is there a third and where?

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  74. Character, character, character.
    Wonderful excerpts from the Scottish Prisoner.
    Thank you, Diana. It’s a pleasure to read great writing!

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  75. love it! can't wait for more :)

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  76. Love it! I have so enjoyed getting to know these new characters, and can't wait to learn more about William specifically in the next book. Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Maybe I'm totally dense (I didn't see anyone else ask about this - perhaps I need to go back and reread Echo). But why is William being paroled/shipped off back to England?? Because he killed Arch Bug? Or because he discovered (and others discovered too) that he's Jamie's son? Did I miss something important?

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  77. Hey Shellley
    William is being paroled because the english surrendered to the rebels :)

    so that was part of the terms is that all the soliders under that command are to be shipped back to England :)


    Diana I hope I got this right.... I finished reading the book about a month or so ago so I may have not pinpointed it to the T.....

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  78. Thank you for the early Christmas present!!!

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  79. Dear Rhonda/Shelley--

    That's right; Burgoyne's troops surrendered at Saratoga, and were paroled _en masse_, so they could march out, but weren't to fight any more (unless they got exchanged).

    --Diana

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  80. Thank you...can't for the next book.

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  81. Thanks Diana! Happy Christmas!

    Stephanie

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  82. Awesome! Your books are scrumptious! A 10 course meal! I devoured and enjoyed every word...

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  83. A lot of 'F' words....

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  84. Thanks for the wee peak of book eight!!!!

    Have a great Holiday Season

    BrandyC

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  85. Dear Anonymous--

    Yes, indeedy. William is a) young, b) a soldier, and c) Seriously Upset. Bad language is common to the first two conditions, and quite necessary to the third.

    --Diana

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  86. This just made my day Diana.
    Thank you very much for posting this, I can only imagine Ian and William getting into a bit of an argument. *sigh* Made me laugh. So funny.

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  87. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm so excited for this book to come out!

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  88. I am sooooo excited to read this book! I have read and reread them all and I have most on audio as well! Some times I feel like a crazy obsessed fan until I read how much others love these books as well. I read a lot but nothing seems to compare, although many websites and store owns will try to convince you other wise. Wonderful!

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  89. Thanks for the Christmas present! I have loved your books since I first picked up Outlander & then devoured Dragonfly in Amber in under a week (on a cruise no less!). Your excerpts keep us coming back, looking for more until the miracle of the next book arrives. Have had to satisfy myself with some shorter books lately, but will try to be patient as we all wait for the announcement of a publishing date for book 8. Then I can start at the beginning & pace myself to finsh Echo just as I get my hands on the newest treat from you!

    Hope you had a good Christmas & have a busy & productive 2011!

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  90. i can't wait to see Jamie and William have an actual conversation, with (somewhat) even tempers...
    that's bound to be fascinating.
    as for poor Lord John, i have a feeling William is going to be hopping mad at him for some time!
    but who could hate him...
    : ]

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  91. Ok - I know it is off topic BUT what happen to Red Ant's Head???? This would help hold me over until the next Jamie book is here....

    Happy Holidays

    Kim

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  92. William has just GOT to love Jamie one day. I think my heart will break a bit if he doesn't.

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  93. Dear Diana, I read all the seven books this year and have my sister-in-law and mother now totally addicted as well. :) We are choppin' at the bit for the next book. I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year.

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  94. Thank you for the tidbit. It is like a tease. I am a huge fan of yours and now no books I read compare to yours. I can't wait for the next book to be released....will it be soon?

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  95. Dear Diana,
    Thank you very much for the enjoyment your wonderful books bring! Just before Christmas I talked my very cynical and pragmatic 64 year old Taurian husband into giving 'Cross Stitch' a go. Needless to say he is in the process of devouring 'Dragonfly in Amber' at present. It is wonderful to be able to share your books with him, despite the fact that he is vaguely affronted that Claire is two timing Frank. We love the 'genre' you have created, and often find ourselves undertaking our own historical research inspired by the rich and detailed backdrops you use to support your fabulous fiction.
    Wishing you, and your inspiring family and furry friends a Happy, Healthy New Year.
    From Janet in Brisbane Australia.

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  96. Other than just being absolutely thrilled with this snippet, what I really loved was how Young Ian channeled his father when addressing William!

    Thank you!!!!!

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  97. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Happy New Year and good writing during the year to come.

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  98. I Love Love this series..read through the whole series in 6 months and cannot wait for the next book and hopefully one to follow...Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing the sneak peek! :)

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  99. I am so happy to read something of the next book! I am so patiently waiting,.... in my wait, I've been grabbing other 'highlander' books....NOTHING compares. When will #8 be ready? It's hard to be patient! Vicki in NE

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  100. THANK YOU!!! I ready cannot wait much longer for book 8.lol. I have read everything, watched every youtube video, every website related to the history in your books, Guess Obession is the right word.

    Cannot believe it took me so many years to find this series. Have read all seven in about 4 weeks and am having withdrawal. Your help with the excerpts are much appreciated.

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  101. My husband died 5 years ago. He & I had read & re-read all of the books in this series several times. The last book & this upcoming one were done after he died & are lovingly read & re-read by me for both of us. Thank you for this!

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  102. I'm half-way through Echo right now, at first I really didn't care to read so much about William, but as always, Diana has a method and I believe a long-term plan for the story and the characters, so I am just going with it. As I've read these books over the years and more recently, I've always wondered what would happen should Claire and Jamie somehow get transported TOGETHER to the present day and how awesome it would be to see Jamie dealing with the 21st Century and his grandchildren here.

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  103. I am almost finish with book 7 an echo in the bone. Some really surprising developments. When is book 8 coming out.

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  104. everytime I read any ,ANY tiny bit of it, old or new... I fall in love again...

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  105. I have read all seven and absolutely loved them. My daughter-in-law is now reading them. I need to know when is number eight going to be available? I ask at my book store every time I go in there, but so far no one knows. Do I have time to read all seven again? Please give me a date! Donna

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  106. Please, please, please!!!!!!!!! They are the most incredible books I have ever read, and I have read ALOT. Now my daughter is hooked, I have told her to slow down and maybe Bloody Men will be available so she can just continue on.

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  107. thank goodness you're working on this! book 7 felt so incomplete. i can't believe you left us hanging without letting us know you were leaving us hanging! it really felt like a few chapters were left out. like the printer stopped printing too early. i've been dying for years for that part of the story to be tied up. please hurry!!!

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  108. Arrggg! I can't WAIT for this book!! Thank you so much for the excerpt but I think it might have made it harder to wait! :D

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  109. You are an amazing storyteller! The maxim of "leave them wanting more" was certainly never more true than at the end of "Echo in the Bone"! I was honestly sad that I had come to the end of it and now want MORE! (giggle!) Thank you so much for your talent and willingness to share it with your (and Jamie's and Clair's) fans!

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  110. I have read all of the books a total so far 15 times and I am now reading them all again. I love the excerpt and I am looking forward to the new book. I do not mind waiting for a really wonderful book. Thank you Diana for sharing your wonderful imagination with all of us.

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  111. I have been ignorant of the 8th book being written...silly of me not to check the internet. I just finished book 7, and was depressed in finishing it, that it was all over with. like all others who commented way before I, the news has lifted my spirits considerably. thank you. Cat

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  112. I would love William Ransom to find a good woman to love. Rachel would have been great, but .... knowing Diana's penchant for coincidence and a bit of shock ... Phaedre? He would really need someone absolutely rock-solid, given all he has, and will have to , cope with ...

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  113. When will we get to read more of this?

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  114. Diana, Thank you so much for ALL of your books, they are incredible and I truly love to escape into their pages. I cannot wait to read the next book, and I'm sure it's coming out soon? ?? You are amazing! Oh, and so is Devina Porter! I am listening to them now, and I think I've fallen in love with Jamie all over again!!

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