A time-traveling twelve-year-old lands in trouble while visiting the 17th century Scottish Highlands. The Acadian Secret, Tammy Lowe’s brand new Tween/YA Paranormal, promises tons of action and adventure, and why wouldn’t it? Tammy enjoys some exciting adventures herself.
Welcome to The Plain, Tammy. Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from?
Hi, Pat. Thanks for having me on your blog today. I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband of twenty years and our teenage son. From September to June, I am surrounded by preschoolers and covered in glitter and glue. Once school is out, I grab my hubby and our son and we are off on some grand adventure. We’ve explored pyramids in Egypt and sailed down a river in rural China on a tiny raft. We’ve slept in the tower of a 15th century Scottish castle, searched for the Loch Ness Monster and have even dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert. I love to explore this amazing world of ours.Your travels must inspire some wonderful stories. What sparked your interest in writing?
I think I was born with the spark. It’s been there for as long as I can remember.What components, in your opinion, make a great story?
I love a book with tension. When I am perched on the edge of my seat and must read the next page to find out what happens.How would you generally categorize the books/stories you write?
The tween/young adult genre is where my "voice" naturally fits in. The Acadian Secret is an action-adventure novel about a young girl who can time travel.What inspired you to write The Acadian Secret?
As a kid, I loved to read books and watch shows like Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables. I loved anything set in the "olden days". When I was about ten years old, I began to wonder about time travel. My biggest wish was that I’d end up back in the pioneer era. I wanted to go and hang out with spoiled Nellie Olsen. I don’t remember why I wished for Nellie over Laura Ingalls, but I think it had something to do with the fact that her parents owned the candy shop.And write it you did. What was the hardest part of the story to write?
I had it all figured out. I didn’t want to live in the 18th or 19th century; I’d miss my family too much. And I can’t live without modern comforts. I wanted the freedom to travel back and forth through time. My wish to time travel was so strong; I even dressed the part, as much as I could, without raising anyone’s suspicions. I wore dresses to school every day, when all my friends wore jeans and t-shirts. I had to be prepared just in case it worked and I was whisked through time. That summer, I even begged my mom to buy me a bonnet. She did. I wore that white bonnet everywhere. If I ended up in Walnut Grove or Avonlea, I was prepared.
By the sixth grade I was old enough to realize that time travel probably wasn’t going to be a reality for me, so I decided when I grew up, I’d write a story about a girl who could travel back and forth through time.
The hardest part to write was the excavation of the Oak Island Money Pit. It’s the longest running, the deadliest, and the most expensive treasure hunt in history. I wanted it to be as accurate as possible.Was there much research involved?
Since much of my novel is based on historic events that took place in both Nova Scotia and in Scotland, I did a LOT of research from beginning to end. I love that part though.I’ll bet you’ve picked up a book or two in the process. Name a few titles I’d find if I browsed through your personal home library.
You would find several editions of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. That’s probably my all-time favourite book. In the great "Mr. Darcy vs. Mr. Rochester" debate, I’m a Rochester girl, 100%.If you could go back in time, what author would you most like to invite to share a chat and a bottle of wine (or a cup of tea or coffee, if you don’t drink wine)?
Can I pick several? I would enjoy a spot of tea with the Bronte sisters. I’d share a bottle of wine with Jane Austen. And, with Lucy Maud Montgomery…a tumbler full of raspberry cordial, of course!You’re marooned on a desert island. What’s the one book you’d want with you, and why?
I’d have to go with Jane Eyre. We have the big mystery in the attic, the brooding hero, and a touch of the paranormal at the end. It’s the only book I’ve ever read that literally gave me goose bumps.What advice would you give an aspiring author?
When you "think" you are finished your novel, put it away for at least six weeks and forget about it. When the time comes to take it out again, sit back and re-read the entire manuscript. Take notes. You will see a million mistakes and plot holes. Everything that isn’t working will jump out at you. It will be a cringe-worthy read, but you’ll be glad you put it away instead of sending it out.Great advice, Tammy. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this interview and wish you happy travels and lots of new adventures. And now, let’s take a peek at The Acadian Secret.
Elisabeth London is keeping her new friends a secret from her parents. Not only do they live on the other side of the world in the Scottish Highlands, they lived more than three hundred and fifty years ago. Her mom and dad would never allow her to go gallivanting about seventeenth century Scotland. They won’t even let her go to the mall by herself yet.
Twelve-year-old Elisabeth is old enough to know there is no such thing as magic, but when her quartz crystal necklace has the power to transport her back and forth in time, she no longer knows what to think. The only thing she is certain of is that she loves spending carefree days with Quinton, the mischievous nephew of a highland warrior, and sassy little Fiona, a farmer’s daughter.
However, Elisabeth’s adventures take a deadly turn when she is charged with witchcraft. At a time and place in history when witch-hunts were common, those found guilty were executed, children included. Elisabeth must race to find her way back home, while trying to stay one step ahead of the witch-hunter determined to see her burned at the stake.
As the afternoon sun began to travel behind the mountains, it cast an emerald glow across the glen. The valley was littered with boulders, while a small river twisted its way toward a distant forest.
Malcolm Craig was stalking his prey. He was a tall, strong man with piercing blue-green eyes, a short beard, and wild black hair that gave him a crazed look. He smelled the boar before he saw it. Talbot, his hunting dog, lunged into the brambles after the wild pig which began to grunt in anger. That was when something to the right caught his eye. A young girl lay motionless in the heather.
"What the devil?" Malcolm said as he jumped down from his horse. While still keeping his hearing attuned to Talbot and the boar, he walked over and bent to peer at her. He breathed a sigh of relief to find she was fast asleep. Malcolm scooped the sleeping girl into his arms. "You’re lucky I found you, lassie, before that beast did."
With a sigh, she rested her head against his chest and put her arms around his neck. "Daddy…" she said in her sleep.
Malcolm laughed. "Daddy? I’m nae your daddy. No daughter of mine would be dressed like this, wandering around barefoot in the middle of…"
Elisabeth’s eyes popped open and she let out an ear-piercing scream. She bit Malcolm’s shoulder and he dropped her.
"Och, child! You bit me!"
The silence in the valley broke as Talbot howled, the boar squealed and Elisabeth jumped to her feet and wailed in horror.
"Dinnae move, lass!" Malcolm yelled to be heard over the pandemonium. He reached for his dagger. It was almost time for the kill.
The enraged boar deserted his hiding spot in the brambles and charged toward the dog, its lethal tusks ready to kill. Talbot was well-trained so, instead of turning tail and running, he danced backward, facing the pig, luring it away from his master. With the boar now in pursuit of the dog, Malcolm did what was natural to any man born and bred in the Highlands: he ran at the beast as if he were a wild animal himself. Jumping on the boar from behind, he grabbed its ear, yanked its head up and slashed its throat.
Elisabeth continued to scream. Malcolm jumped off the boar as it fell limp at his feet and cleaned the blade on the carcass before putting it away. He walked toward Elisabeth, his bloody hands held in front of him.
"Enough, lass. It's all right now."
Her wide eyes fixed on the enormous man dressed in a skirt. "You’ve got a knife!"
"Aye. And a sword." He smirked as he pointed to it.
"I’m nae going to harm you, though. I was hunting."
"Hunting what? Little girls? Where am I?"
Not waiting for an answer, she ran from Malcolm and toward the forest, her bare feet slowing her great escape.
"That lass is completely mad," Malcolm grumbled while rubbing the shoulder she had bitten.
Malcolm mounted his horse; he couldn’t leave the terrified girl alone out here. It wasn’t safe and would soon be dark. She would be easy enough for a blind man to find again because she hadn’t stopped screaming. For some reason, he hadn’t stopped smiling.
His black warhorse was as large and intimidating as Malcolm was, and the animal’s powerful legs kicked up tall grass and thistles as it barreled along. The sound of its hooves seemed amplified as it raced toward Elisabeth. Malcolm caught up to her. Without needing to slow his horse, he reached down, scooped her up into his arms, and placed her in the saddle in front of him.
"There. Now be a good lass. I promise, I’m nae going to hurt you."
And with that, Elisabeth fainted.
"Well now, that certainly makes things easier," Malcolm muttered under his breath as he wrapped her in his plaid and nudged his horse on.
* * * * *About Tammy Lowe:
When she isn't writing, you will either find Tammy Lowe surrounded by little children and covered in glitter and glue, or on some grand adventure: inside an Egyptian pyramid, twirling on an Alp or climbing the Great Wall of China. She's part Mary Poppins, part Indiana Jones.
Tammy lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband and their teenage son.
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The Acadian Secret / E-book Available from