In the wake of her divorce, Maggie Livingstone leaves her native Glasgow to rent a holiday cottage at the foot of Dunadd, an ancient Pictish hill fort in the Scottish highlands, where the kings of Scotland were once crowned. There she is hoping to find time to herself to finish a post-graduate thesis on the witch burnings she started before her marriage.
But there is too much in Maggie’s past to allow for much peace and quiet: There’s her epilepsy for which a scheduled surgery might be her only chance of “normality;” there’s the recent death of her eleven year-old daughter, Ellie; there’s her teenage son, who left for boarding school when tensions at home became intolerable.
But most of all, there are those vivid dreams Maggie has in the deep sleep after seizures which make her draw only a fuzzy line between waking and sleeping. Dunadd, with its own vibrant history, starts to cross that line, and soon Maggie isn’t sure if she is only dreaming about her forays back to 735AD.
Fergus, the king of Dunadd’s recently widowed brother, certainly seems real enough to be more than a passing interest to Maggie. Sula the druidess paints quite a different picture of the pagan religion than Maggie had understood from her research. And then there is Fergus’s young daughter, who is so like her own daughter, Maggie can’t decide which world she belongs in.
Back in her own time, Maggie discovers in an ancient census that 735 AD was the year of a devastating earthquake at Dunadd. With the date of her surgery fast approaching, Maggie knows she has to get back to warn Fergus to take his daughter and leave the fort, that the era of his family’s rule at Dunadd is about to come to an abrupt end.
For more information on the real Dunadd, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunadd
Veil of Time
In this sequel to Veil Of Time, a seizure-free Maggie has come to accept that her visits to the 8th century world of Prince Fergus have come to an end. More than five years have elapsed, her son is now studying at Oxford, and she has finally entered into a new marriage. Everything feels settled in her world. But while she and her new husband are driving past the ancient village of Scone in Perthshire, she has a sudden flashback. During a late-night visit to the ancient graveyard behind the village, Maggie once again steps out of her own time and back into the arms of Fergus. Far from his native Dunadd, Fergus now lives in Scone with his brother Murdoch and his mother under the aegis of Pictish King Oengus. When the church promises to crown Murdoch king in return for his help in overthrowing Oengus, Maggie and Fergus are forced to flee.
In this final book in the Veil Of Time trilogy, the conflict between the Christians and the Picts culminates in a battle fought on the sacred Isle of the Druids. In an effort to overthrow the pagan religion, the monks have been trying to establish a monastery here on ground where Fergus’s ancestors are buried. Maggie’s travels through time have her not only back in the 8th century with Fergus and his now teenage daughter, but also forward into a future in which the patriarchal Christians did not win their historical fight to eliminate the pagan religion of Scotland. In this alternate future, Maggie lives among Fergus’s descendents at the foot of Dunadd Hill in a technologically advanced community run by women.
Boston Artist Hazel Crichton inherits from her colorful grandmother a croft on the west coast of Scotland, where she once spent a glorious summer. But Hazel is a mother now to five-year old Aengus and living with her school teacher boyfriend, so she takes her family’s advice to put the croft on the market. Looking to rekindle old memories on a final visit, Hazel arrives at the croft, only to find Scottish Poet Andrew Logan with a lease, he claims, from her grandmother. Martialing a lawyer, Hazel hunkers down with Aengus in the adjacent farm hoping to outmaneuver Logan, but is slowly drawn in by this radical poet and his crazy scheme to steal back the Lewis Chessmen from the British Museum.