Authors: Bess McBride
I froze in place for a moment. It was definitely a man under the tree though I couldn’t see his face...and he knew my name.
“Do I know you?” I called in an unsteady voice. It seemed, though, as if my words were taken by the wind. Who was this man? And how did he know my name?
He moved away from the tree with a tentative step. His clothing was formal—a dark suit and white shirt—as if he had just been to a funeral. I hadn’t remembered seeing a canopy for a funeral on the grounds, but I wasn’t about to take my eyes off the stranger for one instant to confirm that suspicion.
I thought I saw a flash of white teeth from under his dark mustache, but he was still some distance away. Golden highlights in his chestnut hair caught the sunlight, and my mouth dropped open. He was undoubtedly one of the most handsome men I had ever seen in my life. My stomach rolled over at the sight of him, though not exclusively with admiration of his good looks. Cold sweat broke out on my forehead, and I put my hand to my mouth as if to hold back the morning’s breakfast...if I’d had any.
For here—in the flesh—was the man of my dreams. Not just any dreams. More specifically, my dreams of the previous evening. Yet I couldn’t for the life of me remember ever seeing him before until this moment.
“Be careful what you wish for,” I muttered behind the hand that covered my convulsing mouth.
“Molly, do not be frightened. I can see that you are. I do not want to scare you.” He took another step forward and held his hands up palms out...as if to show me he wasn’t armed, I thought hysterically, or to calm me down. Either way, it wasn’t working.
What They’re Saying About
Across the Winds in Time
“I have to say that Ms. McBride has outdone herself yet again. I love her creative storylines and her well-developed characters. She created such an engrossing story that I found myself hanging onto her every word and I eagerly couldn’t wait to see what happened next for Molly, Sara and Darius. The author knows what readers look for in a great story and she surely delivers it each and every time.
~Diana, Night Owl Reviews
“Across The Winds of Time is an exciting, amazing time travel that kept me on the edge of my seat. Ms. McBride does a wonderful job at solving the many mysteries, and subplots in this impressive story. The characters are vibrant and kept me anxious to see what would happen next. There is also humor hidden in the pages that made me smile. It is a charming story and one I would definitely suggest you read. I am looking forward to many more stories from this author.”
~Mariah, The Romance Studio
“Ms. McBride writes with her usual flair and unique spin on time travel. The reader is genuinely satisfied with the quirks and awkwardness expected with the 100 year age time difference and varied customs and clothing. The scenes range from comedic to romantic to frantic and back again. The attention to detail when the author describes the Victorian home, the surrounding land and the scenery in both time periods is phenomenal.”
~Laura, You Gotta Read Reviews
Across the Winds of Time
Across the Winds of Time
Copyright 2011, 2013 by Bess McBride
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Amazon.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.
Cover Art by
Published in the United States of America
For Les, who patiently wandered cemeteries with me in search of my ancestor’s tombstones on my genealogical odyssey through the Midwest.
For Cinnamon, Mike and Lily, as always.
And for all my relations...
Thank you for purchasing
Across the Winds in Time.
This edition of
Across the Winds in Time
is a re-release of the book previously published in September 2011. I acquired the rights back to the book and have republished the book. New cover! Same story! If you have already purchased
Across the Winds of Time
, you don’t need to purchase the new version unless you just like the cover! The story hasn’t changed.
Across the Winds in Time
was inspired by my love for genealogy and the joy—and frustrations—often inherent in searching for my ancestors.
I recently spent several years working and living in Lincoln, Nebraska, where I had an opportunity to search for the final resting place of my great-great grandparents somewhere across the state line in Iowa. During that search, I found a wonderful cemetery on a hill in a lovely little town, and I hoped an ancestor of mine was buried there. Any ancestor! I loved that cemetery so much. The wind... I also came across a delightful little rundown Victorian house in the same town, and a time travel romance was born. I didn’t find my ancestors there, but I did find a story!
Thanks for reading!
Table of Contents
I never believed in time travel...or in ghosts, for that matter. Until I fell in love, that is.
I first heard the voice that would haunt my dreams late in the afternoon on one of those dog days of August in the Midwest when cicadas sang and warm winds blew across the prairies.
I paused at the top of the cemetery hill with my arms outstretched, willing the wild wind to catch me and send me soaring into the air. The brisk breeze coming in off the valley below blew my hair from my face, and I reveled in the feel of it streaming behind me. Rolling fields of corn in the valley below the hill swayed gently, seemingly escaping the strong current by virtue of their seclusion amongst the small hills and knolls.
I turned my head slightly to focus on the unrelenting sound of the rustling leaves in the huge oak trees dotting the old burial grounds behind me. Warm sunshine beamed down around me, chasing away any notions of doom and gloom one might otherwise have in the old cemetery. Although I’d never been to that particular cemetery before and knew nothing of the lives of the people laid to rest on the grounds, the old burial grounds felt like a happy place—its residents well cared for and loved.
Words could not express the joy I felt in that moment, and I could not understand the bliss which literally seemed to warm my heart. There I stood in an unfamiliar cemetery on a windy hilltop in a small town in the Midwestern farming state of Iowa, far from where I’d ever lived, and yet an inexplicable “connection” to my surroundings seemed to embrace me—to welcome me, as if I’d “come home.” Yet, I’d never been to Iowa before...at least not to my knowledge. My lungs expanded as I widened my arms, and I drew in deep breaths.
With a fervent desire to share my strange sense of elation, I looked around for my sister. Where was she? I squinted and searched the length of the cemetery for the small figure in a white blouse and blue jeans, and spotted Sara on the other side of the cemetery, intently studying the rows of tombstones as she walked. She was too far away to hear my call—especially over the loud hum of the trees in the steady wind.
I cupped my hands to my mouth and tried calling her anyway.
She didn’t look up.
“Yoooohooooo!!! Saaarrraaa! Come here and feel this wind! It’s great!”
The wind carried my voice away, and Sara moseyed on among the tombstones, head bent, her back to me.
I dropped my hands and shrugged. With an apologetic glance toward the nearest dearly departed residents for my inappropriate screeching in their final resting place, I turned to face the valley of crops below once again.
It was just as well. I wasn’t certain I wanted to share this experience with anyone else. How could I explain the vibrancy I felt as the wind simultaneously pushed and pulled at me, whipping around my body, encircling me in its warm embrace? How could I explain the connection I felt to this place? I wasn’t sure Sara would understand my reactions to the wind...to the cemetery. I felt suddenly...
—an ironic sensation in the middle of a cemetery.
How long had the wind blown like this here on the hill? Days? Weeks? Centuries? I wished I knew more about geology and meteorology than I did.
And what a strange place for a cemetery! A beautiful place no doubt, but the unruly wind must certainly have forced the ladies to clutch their hats during graveside funeral services over the years. I stifled a chuckle at the image and pressed my lips together in proper reverential form.
Perhaps the town had selected this site as a cemetery because the top of the hill was least likely to sustain crops given wind and erosion? I shrugged. I had no idea. As a city girl, I knew nothing about farming except that I liked vegetables.
Guilt nudged me, albeit gently, and I sighed and glanced over my shoulder once again to survey nearby tombstones. I was supposed to be looking for the names of ancestors who might not even be buried here...as Sara was so diligently doing on my behalf. But this cemetery had been a long shot...just a small patch of ground in a small town in mid America.
I had convinced Sara to stop at this quaint little cemetery for a quick “run” through the stones in the seemingly fruitless search for the final resting place of our dearly departed great-great-grandparents. Sara and I had driven through the small town of Lilium in a roundabout fashion on our way back to Council Bluffs, Iowa from visiting our great-grandparents’ graves in Missouri Valley.
And here I stood, not even participating in the search, but merely pretending to be a bird who wanted nothing more than to soar in the exhilarating wind, while my sister dutifully trudged up and down the rows of tombstones looking for any familiar names.
“Molly, my love.”
I turned, expecting to see Sara close behind me. But no one was there. I could see the back of Sara’s small form still far away on the opposite side of the cemetery. At any rate, the voice had a distinctive baritone to it. Was someone else here?
A quick visual sweep of my surroundings revealed I was alone. And in a cemetery with no other living people about, alone was a good thing. I cupped my hands and tried yelling over the wind once again in Sara’s direction.
“Did you call me?”
She didn’t look up. I couldn’t face another shout. Bellowing over the sleepy stones seemed so disrespectful.