• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

“A Bomb In The Hand…” (Book Ten)

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #BookTen, #dontbotheraskingwhenitwillbedone #really #dont, #youllfindoutwhenIdo

[Excerpt from Book 10 [Untitled], Copyright © 2022 Diana Gabaldon]

2022-03-31-Diana-Gabaldon-chair“What are you thinking?” I asked. “I know it’s about William.”

“Oh, aye?” He glanced at me, mouth curled up at one side. “And what do I look like if I’m thinking of William?”

“Like someone’s handed you a wrapped package and you’re not sure whether it’s something wonderful, or a bomb.”

That made him laugh, and he put an arm around me and pulled me in close, kissing my temple. He smelled of day-old linen, ink and hay, and the dribble of honey that had dried down the front of his shirt, like tiny amber beads.

“Aye, well, one look at the lad and ye ken he’ll explode before too long,” he said. “I only hope he doesna damage himself doing it.”

“Or you.”

He shrugged comfortably.

“I’m no very breakable, Sassenach.”
“Says the man with four—no, five bullet holes in his hide, to say nothing of enough surgical stitching to make a whole crazy quilt. And if we start counting the bones you’ve cracked or broken…”

“Ach, away—I’ve never broken anything important; just the odd finger. Maybe a rib, here or there.”

“And your sternum and your left kneecap.”

He made a dismissive Scottish noise, but didn’t argue.

We stood for a bit, arms about each other, listening to the sounds outside. The younger children had fallen asleep under bushes or in their parents’ wagons, their happy screeching replaced by music and the laughter of the dancers, the clapping and calls of those watching.

“He came to me,” Jamie said quietly. He was trying to sound matter-of-fact, but he’d stopped trying to hide what he was feeling.

“He did,” I said softly, and squeezed his arm.

“I suppose there wasna really anyone else he could go to,” he said, off-handed. “If he canna find his grace, I mean, and he couldna very well talk to anyone in the army, could he? Given that….” He stopped, a thought having struck him, and turned to me.

“D’ye think he knows, Sassenach?”

“Knows what?”

“About—what he said. The… threat to Lord John. I mean—” he elaborated, seeing my blank look, “does he ken that it’s no just a canard.”

“A—oh.” I stopped to consider for a moment, then shook my head with decision. “No. Almost certainly not. You saw his face when he told us about what Richardson was threatening. He’d still have been scared—maybe more scared—if he knew it wasn’t an empty threat—but he wouldn’t have looked the way he did.”

“Anxious? Angry?”

“Both. But Anyone would be, wouldn’t they? Under the circumstances.”

“They would. And… determined, would ye say?”

“Stubborn,” I said promptly, and he laughed.

“A bomb for sure, then.”

This is excerpt is from Book Ten (as yet untitled) of my major Outlander series of novels, Copyright © Diana Gabaldon 2021. All rights reserved. Please do not copy and repost this excerpt elsewhere; instead please share the link to this blog post. Thank you.

This excerpt (aka “Daily Lines”) was also posted on my official Facebook page on Thursday, March 31, 2022.

34 Responses »

  1. Thank you for these delicious excerpts!

    I’m rather new to OL, having seen all the TV seasons and read all the books just last year. I love it all!

    I have a (maybe) silly question. It’s a small thing — did Claire bring the pearls with her to the future? What did she do with them when she got there? Later I know she has them and gives them to Bree. In the series, Fiona gives them back to Claire.

    Thanks for entertaining trivial OL questions!


    • Hi, Vicki,

      Yes, she did. The Outlander fandom wiki has written a nice history of Ellen Fraser’s pearls as written in my novels, which Jamie gave to Claire:


      Remember that Claire was known to sew them into the hem of her skirt for safekeeping. If she was wearing them or they were sewn into her clothes, they would travel with her through time.


    • Hi,
      Claire received the pearl necklace as a wedding present from Jamie as they had belonged to his mother.
      Claire traveled back to 1968 with the pearls, and left them for her daughter to wear at her future nuptials when she decided to go back 20 years later after hearing Jamie had survived Culloden.
      Briana took the pearls with her to the past when she traveled to alert Claire and Jamie about the death by fire notice in an old newspaper she and Roger had found separately

  2. Huge fan of the books. I Also purchase them in spanish. When will the spanish version of book nine be published?

    • Hi, Claudia,

      That is up to the publisher who is doing the Spanish-language edition. Usually it takes about a year after a book is released in the USA to be translated to most languages other than English.

      Diana’s Webmistress

  3. I Just finished the ninth book and feel sad that i will have to wait for such a long time before part 10 will be published and translated. So please hurry as your books are so addictive. Love from the Netherlands, Willy

    • Hi, Willy,

      So glad you love my books!

      As to when book ten will be released, I addressed that in my social media hashtags:

      #BookTen #dontbotheraskingwhenitwillbedone #really #dont, #youllfindoutwhenIdo


    • If you haven’t done so already, and if I may be so bold, I highly recommend reading “The Outlandish Companion”. It really gives you a glimpse into the behind the scenes of the books, much like these exermpts do!!

  4. Wonderful books, I think every woman, from eighteen to eighty must be in love with Jamie Fraser. I have just finished book 9, and am going to to start book 1 again.

    Thank you so much Diana Gabaldon

  5. Hello Diana,
    We absolutely Loved Book # 9 . It was read in 3 days and passed to all family members.

    But we are very disappointed as we have been rewatching the Starz Outlander series from the beginning of Season 1 to Season 5 (the 2nd time through) and have noticed severe editing of the most wonderful love making and character history content in each and every sequence from Outlander Season 1 to Outlander Season 5. (Even more was edited out in our 2nd viewing of Season 1-Season 5.

    We are most disappointed that this harsh editing is taking away from the characters history and from
    your amazing books . As well as our viewing pleasure. We are seriously disappointed and it has disrupted our trust in Starz, Outlander Season sequences.

    Why is this being done???
    You’ll surely lose Starz viewers as a result. Anyone who subscribes to Starz, subscribes for Outlander and we all rewatch the Seasons multiple times.

    We love your incredibly well written, historically accurate novels and will
    patiently wait for Book #10.

    Kind Wishes,
    Rosanne LeSage

    • Hi, Rosanne,

      The Outlander TV series is created and produced by the Starz cable network and Tall Ship Productions.

      The Outlander television series is an ADAPTATION of my Outlander series of novels. I agreed to allow Starz and Tall Ship Productions to adapt my books into a multi-year cable television show by selling the rights to them. Once that paperwork was signed, they had the right to do as they wished in creating the series.

      Since the beginning, I have been fortunate because the producers and network have always considered my opinions and input as a co-producer, which I greatly appreciate. The final decisions, though, are up to them.

      Obviously, a tv show based on my nine huge novels (so far) cannot include each and every scene and story arcs from thousands of pages and stuff them into a television series which with the goal of portraying one novel per season.

      There is also the huge amount of work involved in converting the written word into video format, such as choosing actors, creating costumes, locating appropriate filming locations, and a million other details. Starz and Tall Ship personnel have worked very hard to do a great job in presenting a look and feel that is faithful as possible to my books.

      So screenwriters——myself included since I have written scripts for several episodes——have had to find a way to convey the essence of the characters and storylines from the books into a much more limited story time-frame and into a visual format, which is very different from a novel. Decisions have had to be made about how to portray important scenes, what to include, and what is not added.

      Adaptations of novels into feature films or television programs have always required editing and changing the source material. It is the nature of the beast. Some readers of my novels are unhappy that this series has cut material and changed some details around to fit the tv series format. Some don’t like this or that actor at all, and other aspects of the series.

      Many readers have written to me and said that they love the tv series.

      On the other hand, I have heard from people who first learned about my Outlander series by watching and enjoying the tv show, and that led them to read all of my books. Those viewers and readers have told me that they loved both.

      It all comes down to personal taste, and the fact that no interpretation and adaptation of a novel into video format can be exactly as portrayed in the written version.

      I am sorry that you don’t like the tv series but very happy that you enjoy my novels.


  6. Dear diana, my daughter and i are both fans of outlander and finished bees in no time so not concerned if it takes time to complete the next book. I wish to comment on diana’s portrayal of prince charles edward stuart. I have read the lyon in mourning by revd robert forbes covering the atrocities after culloden in scotland . I differ in dianas portrayal of this wonderful young man. Please read the aforementioned volumes to get the heart and soul of prince charles edward stuart. Zaynab

    • Dear Zaynab,

      Before weaving a real person from history into my fiction, I carefully do a large amount of research using multiple academic and historical sources. My background and training as a Ph.D.-level scientist helped develop skills in researching a topic which have also been invaluable in my work as an author.

      Even among academic historians, there are many differences of opinion about historical figures and their true personalities. This is because human beings with different points of view, prejudices, and beliefs produced the records and accounts that survive. The viewpoint and motivation of the author(s) of historical sources must always be taken into account when possible. I stand behind my portrayal of Bonnie Prince Charlie.

      Glad you and your daughter are fans of Outlander!


      • I love your reply and that is pretty much what I thought also “perspective” and who’s will always be somewhat if not vastly different. Love these books!

  7. I have read the entire series up to volume 9 and look forward to the 10th. I am currently reading the Lord John series and must admit the relationship between Percy and Lord John is not my favorite thing to read about. However, I really like your style of telling a story, the historical topics are great, The relationship between the family and friends are good and believable. Keep up the good work and stay true to your success in writing. Thank you.

    • Hi, Lissi,

      Percy Wainwright and Lord John Grey had a complicated off-and-on relationship throughout my books, beginning as friends and lovers.

      Lord John was born a homosexual and living in a time when he would have been executed if it was openly known or he was caught with a male lover. Being forced to have a secret, dangerous life to express who you really are is a burden that many people like Lord John have experienced and had to cope with throughout time.

      Seeing life through Lord John’s experiences may not be easy for some readers due to their prior beliefs about homosexuality. I hope people can learn from him.

      Thank you for your comments.


  8. I’m equally excited and scared to death in anticipation of Book 10….my biggest fear? That Diana actually writes out the death of either Jamie, Claire or both.

    I truly do. not. know. HOW I’d cope with that.

    I am honestly praying that we are left with them sitting on a porch or standing on a ridge somewhere, the proverbial riding off into the sunset. Their deaths are inevitable, unless they can figure out a way to bounce back and forth through time cheating death? I just don’t want to read the words….

    They have been a part of my life for so many years…there aren’t enough boxes of Kleenex.

    • Hi, Jamie,

      I am glad that you enjoy my books and love my characters so much.

      As to ‘bouncing back and forth through time’ to cheat death… Remember that Claire still aged naturally no matter what time period she was living in at different times in her life. Each of us has only so many seconds and minutes on Earth after we draw our first breath at birth. Even time travellers.

      As to what happens to Jamie and Claire in Book Ten, which (for now, anyway) is the last book featuring Jamie and Claire, of course I can’t reveal that now. <g> I WILL be posting excerpts from this new book occasionally.


  9. Since I do not do social media thought this would be the best place to ask this. In the last books there has been a connection between Fergus, the Beauchamp family, and Saint Germain. Claire comes from the Beauchamp family and in one of the smaller books the story works around le Comte Saint Germain’s ability to travel through time. It is also mentioned about the Comte
    disappearing for period of times. It is also described when Comte Saint Germain created the child.
    Could it be possible that Fergus could travel?

    This is a correction for the Comte’s name. The auto correct put in competition instead Comte.


    • Hi, Celeste,

      There are lots of fan theories out there—many of them posted on fan websites—about lineages and who might be a time traveller, and who is descended from whom.

      Being able to time travel in my books does have a genetic link. As to whether a character was born with and can use the ability, you’ll have to read my books. <g>

      I am planning a major novel about Master Raymond in the future, after book ten is complete. And probably after I write the prequel novel about Jamie’s parents.



      • I am a huge fan of your books and the TV series. I was a late comer to the series, but have read books many times since discovering them.
        I love the amount of detail you include in the stories, and rereading the books I find something I had not seen before, making new connections between the characters and theirs lives. The quantity of research you do for each book allows such a sensory experience it seems I am really there living it. I do not experience this in many books.
        I can hardly wait for the tenth book of the Outlander series, but at the same time dreading it. I know it must end at some point.
        I look forward to your story about Master Raymond and the prequel concerning Jamie’s parents. They will be worth the wait.
        I also look forward to seeing if my theory about Fergus might have some meat on it. I feel there was some reason the Comte created the child who might be Fergus.
        Thank you for your response. I know you must be very busy.
        Please take care and be safe. Thank you for your creation.
        Celeste Service

  10. Hi Diana
    Y am a french woman of 67 years old.
    I read the 9 books of Outlanders in english and it was a huge pleasure.
    Thanks you for this gift.
    I can t wait to read the tenth.
    Please inform me, if it is possible, when i could buy it.
    Thanks thanks thanks Diana

    • Hi,

      Lovely to hear from you.

      You’ll be able to read book ten of my Outlander series when I’ve finished it and it’s gone through the publishing process.

      I don’t know when that will be. My Outlander novels are large, typically over 600 pages, and require a lot of work as well as background historical research. They take anywhere from four to seven years for me to write.

      Book Ten, as yet untitled, will (probably) be the last novel which focuses on the story of Claire and Jamie.

      If you’re interested in my writing process, this blog on my webpages may be of interest:


      Other articles I wrote about how I create my novels are available under my Writer’s Corner (What I Do) webpage, which is accessible under the Resources tab on my webpages:


      Translations into other languages, including French, take up to a year after the English-language version is first released in the U.S.A.


      A 70-year-old American from Arizona. <g>

  11. Looking forward to book ten. I have read just about everything and I really like your detailed writings about the characters.

  12. Diana,

    I have been a fan of Outlander for almost exactly 20 years. I know that because my discovery of the book series (through a friend at the time) coincided with huge, life turning events. Your series has seen me through a separation, divorce, graduating from college at the age of 36, the beginning of a new career, the birth of an unexpected (but very miraculous) child, and all the stuff in between.

    I tend to revisit each of the previous books before a new one comes out–so there are several of the books in the series that I’ve read multiple times. I’ve only recently watched the television series (which I had to accept as a work of art on its own value, and NOT compare to the book series–they are different but the same and each set of work is a stand alone and I genuinely appreciate each).

    I view Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, Fergus, Marsali and all the others as old friends. I learn something new from each of them every time I read (or, more recently, listen) to all of them. Sometimes the troubles of one speak to me much more that at other times.

    Thank you for your work. I continue to follow their stories and love the world you have created.

  13. Have read all your books, big and little, multiple times. Just curious as to whether we will ever “get to know” Ellen Fraser?

    • Hi, Rebecca,

      I can answer this. Once the Outlander series of major novels that focus on Jamie and Claire is completed (“probably” with Book Ten), Diana is planning to write a prequel novel about Jamie’s parents, Ellen and Brian Fraser. So when she writes that book, yes, we’ll know more about Ellen. :-)


      Diana’s Webmistress

  14. Diana–Have been a fan since 1996, when I borrowed the first four.

    I will be 78 in January, 2023.

    Will book number 10 be out BEFORE I am “called home” ?

    Here’s hoping,

    Lady Judith Claymore

  15. Thank you so much for these lovely gems, Diana.
    I am very much, like many others, looking forward to Book 10 as well as the release of Season 7.

  16. Hello I’m a huge fans of all your books there amazing every detail I am wondering if you plan on including other outlander character in the tenth book like perhaps Joan I”m still questioning her ability and what that introduces. Another question is I”m curious about Jenny and her blooming relationship. Also the prophecy that was for told about grazers by hellos and mentioned by frank will this be answered in book ten? The kids Jim and Mandy hear each other their like gifted but it’s mention at the end of book nine that the newest son David Ian”t like Jim and Mandy they say he’s like grandpa water what does this mean?

  17. Well hello!

    I have just finished listening to “bees” on audible. It is the end of a very long listening session. I have read all the books myself, but thought I would listen to them all when I’m driving (spending lots of time in a car, having something good to listen to helps keep me sane). I have been listening for about 10 weeks, almost a book a week. I’m feeling a bit bereft now, having come to the end, for now! What shall I listen to while I wait for more?

    Looking forward to more…

  18. Hi Diana,
    I am so happy that I discovered your books, novella’s and
    I do love the TV show. Yes, we’d all love everything to
    be put in the show, but know that’s not possible.
    Your storytelling has so many storylines waiting
    to be told. Looking forward to more of your writing.
    Thank you so much, truly

  19. All I can say is that I have been an avid reader for nearly 45 years and no other book series has ever gripped me so much or stirred up so much response from me. I beg you not to let the story end in book 10. Turning 50 myself, 70s do not seam very old. If you feel the need to retire, is there any way to pass the torch? This story needs to continue!!!! There is so much more to tell. I cannot possibly imagine it ending satisfactorily with one last book. And this has been too big, too great of a series to not end it well. There need to be several more books!!!!

Leave a Response

Cancel Reply

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.