Today, author Paula Berinstein is guesting. She’s here to talk about her latest release Indigo, a time travel historical romance. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.
Why I Wrote Indigo:
Love, fear, and curiosity. That’s the simple explanation for why I’m writing my Indigo series, but I suppose you want to know more.
I said love but that isn’t really the right word. Passion captures the feeling more accurately. Indigo was born out of my passion for Outlander, starting with the books and graduating to the TV series. From the moment I picked up the first book . . . but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Outlander is my passion:
I almost didn’t read the series at all. Years ago when I was browsing in a used bookstore the proprietor looked over my shoulder, selected a battered copy of the first Outlander book, and gushed, “You have to read this. You’ll never be the same.”
I appreciated her enthusiasm (she’s a really nice lady) but I wasn’t impressed. My tastes just aren’t the same as anyone else’s, no matter how much I love or respect them, and I barely knew her. The cover and blurb didn’t do anything for me either but I thought, “Fifty cents—okay. It’s not as though it’s a huge gamble.” So I took the book home where it sat on my shelf for a verrrrry long time until one day, I don’t remember why, I picked it up and started reading.
OMG, fireworks! The love story, the villains, the courage, the angst, the history! I couldn’t put it down. I barreled through it and came up gasping
How I felt when I first read Outlander:
Needless to say I devoured the entire series, or at least as much as has been released so far. (We’re all still waiting to see how it turns out.) I talked about it with friends, became fascinated with the whole field of history (not just Scottish, but everything), and thought and thought about the stories until one day I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to write my own Outlander. Which brings us to reason number two for Indigo: the great motivator, fear.
I was so afraid I couldn’t do it!
If a writer ever tells you she’s never experienced fear during the course of her career don’t believe her. At that point in mine I’d published quite a few novels in my Amanda Lester, Detective series and was confident about my ability to continue in that vein. But a historical novel? The idea of that scared me to death, as well it should. Could I even do it? I didn’t think so. I’m not a historian, and although I know a fair amount about American and English history I don’t know nearly enough to write a book, or I didn’t then. How authors do that I couldn’t imagine. It seemed that it would take a lifetime just to get the background you’d need
Paula the historian?
The more I thought about the task the more daunted I felt until in the end it was pure stubbornness that kept me going. I was scared to death that I couldn’t do it, and that pushed me forward. I’d be damned if I’d fail.
Here’s where the third reason comes in. I am a voraciously curious person and I desperately wanted to try out some ideas. The main question I wanted to answer was, “What if a modern character were thrown back to another time where everything was different?” How would she adapt? Could she adapt? It’s one thing for Claire Randall to make a go of it in the Outlander stories. She grew up with an intrepid uncle who taught her to be tough. But what if a character were just an ordinary person with average coping skills? Would they be able to rise to the challenge?
Furthermore, what if that person was used to a society in which all people were entitled to basic rights and freedoms but ended up in one based on slavery? Would she try to change things, and if she did what would happen?
I had to know the answers to these questions. Even more than passion and fear, my curiosity was what kept me going. I hope I don’t end up like Pandora, but I just have to know. It’s my fatal flaw.
Author: Paula Berinstein
Genre: Time Travel Romance, Adventure
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself mistress of an 18th-century plantation?
Blurb: Esther Rubens is looking forward to getting to know her new community in South Carolina and repairing her troubled marriage. But as soon as she arrives in Charleston her life begins to diverge from the idyllic picture in her mind. Her physicist husband, Melvin, is arrested for driving while black, she inherits a strange English property from a cousin she didn’t know existed, and she learns that her great-grandmother Sophie, a brilliant scientist kidnapped by the Nazis, discovered the secret of time travel of all things.
Intrigued by Sophie’s cryptic journal Melvin begins to experiment with time travel, but his anger at the police makes him careless. The process backfires, killing him and throwing Esther back to 1750. Attacked by an unknown assailant the moment she arrives, she seeks protection at an indigo plantation belonging to a dashing planter with a dangerous secret, negotiating a deal that guarantees her safety. But she soon realizes she’s made a terrible mistake. What she discovers on the plantation is far more horrific than anything she could have imagined.
Overwhelmed, she attempts to flee just as the planter’s mysterious, handsome brother arrives from England seeking refuge-and offering an opportunity that’s too compelling to turn down. But can he be trusted? And are the two of them strong enough to vanquish the evil that’s pervading the lowlands? Only time will tell.
Note: The first title in the Indigo series.
I was getting dressed for my wedding and Pixy was brushing my hair when I heard a commotion downstairs. Several people were yelling and wailing—ululating is the word that comes to mind—and I rushed down to see what was happening, leaving her to follow after me. As I descended the stairs I saw two female slaves, both of them in tears, screaming at Daniel hysterically. It took me a moment to figure out what they were trying to say, and just as I did I saw Jesse run out the door with the two of them following him. It gradually emerged that a young girl had fallen down our well and one of the male slaves had tried to go down after her, but the rope had broken and he had fallen in too. The rest of the men were out in the fields or away on other tasks and the women who were left on the scene didn’t know what to do. Hence they had rushed to the house.
Pixy began to cry herself, obviously wanting to run after Jesse and the women but worried that she wasn’t supposed to leave me. “Come on,” I yelled, and pulled her by the hand.
In less than a minute we had reached the well, which stood in the yard a ways off from the house. Several of the slave women were looking down into it, wailing and crying. Jesse was lowering himself down, one foot braced on each side for traction. If his legs hadn’t been as long as they were I don’t think he could have managed, but as it was he seemed to be getting a pretty good grip.
“Esther, tie a bucket to a good strong rope and lower it down,” he yelled to me as he descended into the darkness. “Throw a second rope down too.”
“We need a bucket,” I said to the women at the well. “And two ropes.”
One of the women started running and I followed her to the dairy. She made a beeline for a corner where some rope was stashed.
“Don’t got no bucket,” she said.
“There has to be one,” I said.
“They supposed to be here,” she said frantically. “I don’t see none.”
“Where else could they be?” I said.
“By de well,” she said. “But dey ain’t there.”
“Where else?” I said.
“In de shed,” she said, taking off like the Flash.
I ran after her and in another few seconds we had attracted the attention of some of the field hands.
“Bucket!” she screamed as a man stared. He looked confused, then realizing what must have happened he ran to the icehouse next to the river, lifted a bucket full of ice, tipped out the contents, and came running. The three of us ran all the way back to the well and tied the bucket to the rope the other slave had found. The male slave lowered the bucket into the well and threw another rope down, holding tightly onto the end.
“I’ve got her,” I heard Jesse yell up. “But she’s hurt badly. I need to get her up now.”
“What about the man?” I yelled down.
“Broken legs,” Jesse yelled up. “I’m trying to keep his head above water. Hurry or it will be too late!”
Paula Berinstein (Paula B) is the author of the Amanda Lester, Detective middle-grade/YA series, which features a descendant of the Sherlock Holmes character Inspector Lestrade and is set in the English Lake District.
She is also the author of a new time travel series for adults, Indigo.
From 2005 to 2012, Paula produced and hosted the popular podcast The Writing Show (http://www.writingshow.com). She holds degrees in English literature and librarianship from UCLA.
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