A Rip in the Veil: Coffee Pot Book Club Blog Tour

On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on a Scottish moor.  Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew. 

Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time to land at the feet of escaped convict Matthew Graham. 

Matthew doesn’t know what to make of this strange woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies—what is she, a witch? 

Alex is convinced the tall, gaunt man is some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he. 

Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with her new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here—and not exactly to extend a helping hand. 

Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew, a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But Matthew comes with baggage of his own and on occasion his past threatens them both. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have. 

How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she really want to?

Excerpt – in which Alex and Matthew run like hares. . .

Matthew stopped halfway through the movement, turning in the direction of the small grove further down the slope. Alex narrowed her eyes; among the stunted trees she could make out horses, more than one, and she could hear the murmur of voices as well. 

“What?” she whispered, made nervous by how tense he’d gone. Two horses stepped into the open, the sun shot sparks off a breastplate, and when two more horses appeared Matthew wheeled, dragging Alex with him. 


She didn’t need a second telling. Soldiers—even she could see that. He rushed them through the undergrowth, and Alex had to wade through bracken and heather. From behind came the unmistakeable sounds of pursuit, loud voices telling them to stop. 

Gorse tore at her arms, her hands, the tender skin on her unhealed foot broke open, and still she ran, struggling to keep even pace with him. Which was bloody difficult, given the length of his legs. But not even Matthew Graham could outrun a horse, and how the hell would they get out of this one? The ground shook with the approaching horses, a dull throbbing that vibrated up her feet and legs to close like a fist of ice round an unidentifiable point in her belly.

A swift assessment of the terrain, and Matthew turned them sharply to the right. What, up there? He shoved her towards the scree slope, and she stumbled and fell flat on her face on the slippery, shifting rock face. She was up again, scrabbling on all fours. When a shot went off she squeaked, ducking for an instant before increasing her efforts up the steep incline. 

Agh! She hopped for a couple of steps, anything to keep weight off her foot. She had a stitch up her right side, she could taste iron in her mouth and her breath was coming in short gasps. Breathe normally! One, two, one, two. There, much better. Her foot – it was killing her, but she was too frightened to even consider stopping, dodging like a hare between boulders and shrubs. 

A long stretch of grass, a horse that came at them from the side, and Alex redoubled her efforts. Arms up, arms down. Feet, move your feet. Extend your stride, pretend you’re Michael Johnson or someone. Michael Johnson? He only did four hundred metres, the wimp, this was uphill and much longer. But she tried, pumping legs up and down. Useless; the ground dragged at her feet. 

The horse came closer and closer, and when she threw a look over her shoulder, she could see reflections dancing off a long blade. Bloody hell; she was going end up sliced to bits. She hiccupped, moved her arms faster —or tried to. The man cheered as he shrank the gap between them.

“It’s her, it’s her! See? She’s wearing those breeches!” Oh shit; not him again.

She tried to count them; two behind them, one on the far right, and then this enervating Smith character. Yet another shot, and Matthew yelped, limping for a couple of steps before regaining pace. 

“They got you?” A wheeze no more, but she had to know. He shook his head, but there was trickle of blood flowing down his calf. A ricochet of sorts; her brain grappled with this, happier to be solving this particular dilemma than the one of how to evade all these damned soldiers. 

Matthew pulled her along, plunging down one slope, up the other. It made Alex dizzy. She lost her footing, her hand slipped from his grip, a few decimetres became metres, and the horse was upon her. She tried to run, tripped and landed hard on hands and knees. 

Alex uttered an incoherent sound; it would kill her, those huge hooves would crush her back, her head, her everything. I’m going to die! No, I don’t want to, please, no, no, no, Pappa, help me, Pappa! No Magnus, but Matthew, leaping back towards her.

The sword flashed, Matthew twisted out of range, rose to strike the horse across its head with his roll. The animal reared and Matthew pounced, grabbing the soldier by his booted leg and pulling him off. The man landed with a dull thud, flopped and went still.

“Get up! Move,” Matthew gasped, heaving Alex back onto her feet. 

Yet another incline, more stones, more gorse, and Alex’s teeth ached with the effort, her lungs protested at every panicked breath, and still she could hear the soldiers behind them. She rushed up the last few metres, treading hard on Matthew’s heels. 

“Shit!” Alex came to a swaying halt, arms thrown wide to stop herself from falling down the sheer drop that yawned at her feet. She swallowed and looked at the small body of water, an uninviting black pool some ten metres below.

“I hate heights,” she said, and then irrationally began to laugh. He took her hand, motioning back to where the soldiers were urging the horses up yet another shifting scree slope.

“We have to jump.” 

“I know.” Without further thought she closed her eyes and leapt straight out. She landed with a splash, thrilled to discover she was still alive, her limbs intact. 

“Can you swim?” Matthew’s head popped up beside hers. 

“A bit late in the day to ask!” A shot whizzed by and from above came angry shouts. Another shot, this one uncomfortably close and Alex squawked, her mouth filling with water.

“Dive, swim for the willow.” And just like that he was gone. 

The willow? She was in a state of panic and he expected her to recognise a bloody tree? Well, wasn’t she the lucky one to have a botanist for a father. She submerged herself and swam for the further shore and the large tree that leaned out over the water. 

“Matthew?” She surfaced under the trailing branches, gulped down air. “Matthew?” Oh God, oh God. They’d shot him and he was by now floating dead in the middle of the pool, and then what was she to do? 

“Here, Alex, I’m here.” He boosted her up the tree, urging her to climb higher. “We stay here until it’s dark,” he whispered once they were safely astride a branch that hung out over the water, his body like a protective layer round her. Alex nodded and unclenched her hand from around her little wooden doll. 

“They must be here somewhere!” There was an irritated tone to the voice Alex recognised as Smith’s. Persevering bastard.

“Where do you think they’re hiding, under the gorse?” Smith’s companion asked.

“No, but perhaps up a tree.” 

“A tree?” 

Alex bit her hand to stop herself from whimpering. And if they came looking, then what? Behind her Matthew had stopped breathing. Well, she hoped not, but it felt that way. His mouth came down to her ear. 

“Your feet. Pull up your feet.” So she did, and he whispered that she should stand, press herself against the trunk. With the agility of a monkey he clambered over to another branch, rose and flattened himself against the gnarly bark. Alex wanted to giggle—alternatively pee. Her toes, her calves, her thighs— all of her cramped with the effort of holding herself upright and still. She didn’t dare to look down. She didn’t dare to move her head, keeping her cheek and ear squished against the tree. She could hear her own pulse, loud but surprisingly steady. From below came sounds. Someone was shaking the lower branches, banging at the trunk. There was a loud curse. 

“Now what?” 

“I slipped. This tree grows more in the water than out of it.” 

“Afraid of water, Smith?” 

“I can’t swim, can I?” Smith did some more branch shaking. “Not here.” Her moved off. “Best keep on looking.”

It was probably no more than five minutes before Matthew decided they could sit back down. It felt like half a century. Besides, there was no way she could sit down. Her limbs had gone rigid, shivers of tension rippling through the muscles of legs and arms. She’d sunk her fingers so hard into the bark the joints hurt. If she moved she’d overbalance and plunge to her death. She peeked down, swayed. Well; perhaps not death, but close—unless she landed in the water. 

“I’ve got you, aye?” A large hand grabbed hold of her arm. Slowly, she slid down the trunk. Something tore at her cheek. With a little sob she resumed her previous sitting position. The branch swayed when he moved over to sit behind her.

Buy Links: 

This title is available to read on #KindleUnlimited.

Universal Link: http://myBook.to/ARIV1

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071VP9V5F

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071VP9V5F

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B071VP9V5F

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B071VP9V5F

Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  

Anna has also published The Wanderer, a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense trilogy with paranormal and time-slip ingredients. 

Her Castilian Heart is the third in her “Castilian” series, a stand-alone sequel to her September 2020 release, His Castilian Hawk. Set against the complications of Edward I’s invasion of Wales, His Castilian Hawk is a story of loyalty, integrity—and love. In the second instalment, The Castilian Pomegranate, we travel with the protagonists to the complex political world of medieval Spain. This latest release finds our protagonists back in England—not necessarily any safer than the wilds of Spain!

Anna has also authored The Whirlpools of Time in which she returns to the world of time travel. Join Duncan and the somewhat reluctant time-traveller Erin on their adventures through the Scottish Highlands just as the first Jacobite rebellion is about to explode! 

All of Anna’s books have been awarded the IndieBRAG Medallion, she has several Historical Novel Society Editor’s Choices, and one of her books won the HNS Indie Award in 2015. She is also the proud recipient of various Reader’s Favorite medals as well as having won various Gold, Silver and Bronze Coffee Pot Book Club awards.

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