Time-traveling PhD student Sydney Dahlquist’s first mission sounded simple enough—spend two weeks in December 1810 collecting blood samples from the sick and wounded of Wellington’s army, then go home to modern-day Seattle and Christmas with her family. But when her time machine breaks, stranding her in the past, she must decide whether to sacrifice herself to protect the timeline or to build a new life—and embrace a new love—two centuries before her time.
Rifle captain Miles Griffin has been fascinated by the tall, beautiful “Mrs. Sydney” from the day he met her caring for wounded soldiers. When he stumbles upon her time travel secret on Christmas Eve, he vows to do whatever it takes to seduce her into making her home in his present—by his side.
I had fun writing this story because as a historical author I rarely get the chance to write about anything to do with my everyday life. My home city of Seattle wasn't even founded until 40 years or so after the time period my stories are set in. But for Christmas Past I was able to write a heroine from Seattle who'd desperately love to go back to my cloudy city and a 21st-century life not entirely unlike my own. Also, she's a PhD student in a world where time travel exists and is primarily used for academic research. My day job is in research administration, so I enjoyed the world building of figuring out how universities and research institute would manage and regulate time travel--though I promise that the inner workings of the temporal review board and the fierce competition for limited grant dollars in historical epidemiology are only hinted at on the page!
Christmas Past is a short work, only 13,000 words, which Wikipedia informs me is sometimes termed a novelette. In other words, it's bite-sized, designed to be read in one sitting--perfect for this busy season while you're waiting for your pies to bake or on a quick flight home for the holidays. (Though if your flight takes you across a continent or an ocean, I do have longer books available!) In any case, I hope you enjoy my first venture out of the strictly historical!