• “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


Why, yes, actually I _have_ (in and amongst everything else) been working on Book Eight. [g] I think I showed you a brief snip of the pickup to the Jem-in-the-tunnel cliffhanger last month; here’s a likewise brief snip of the one between Jamie and Lord John:

Excerpt, Book Eight
Copyright 2010 Diana Gabaldon

He’d been quite resigned to dying. Had expected it from the moment that he’d blurted out, “I have had carnal knowledge of your wife.” The only question in his mind had been whether Fraser would shoot him, stab him, or eviscerate him with his bare hands.

To have the injured husband regard him calmly, and say merely, “Oh? Why?” was not merely unexpected, but…infamous. Absolutely infamous.

“Why?” John Grey repeated, incredulous. “Did you say ‘Why’?”

“I did. And I should appreciate an answer.”

Now that Grey had both eyes open, he could see that Fraser’s outward calm was not quite so impervious as he’d first supposed. There was a pulse beating in Fraser’s temple, and he’d shifted his weight a little, like a man might do in the vicinity of a tavern brawl, not quite ready to commit violence, but readying himself to meet it. Perversely, Grey found this sight steadying.

“What do you bloody mean, ‘why’?” he said, suddenly irritated. “And why aren’t you fucking dead?”

“I often wonder that myself,” Fraser replied politely. “I take it ye thought I was?”

“Yes, and so did your wife! Do you have the faintest idea what the knowledge of your death _did_ to her?”

The dark blue eyes narrowed just a trifle.

“Are ye implying that the news of my death deranged her to such an extent that she lost her reason and took ye to her bed by force? Because,” he went on, neatly cutting off Grey’s heated reply, “unless I’ve been seriously misled regarding your own nature, it would take substantial force to compel ye to any such action. Or am I wrong?”

The eyes stayed narrow. Grey stared back at them. Then he closed his eyes briefly and rubbed both hands hard over his face, like a man waking from nightmare. He dropped his hands and opened his eyes again.

“You are not misled,” he said, through clenched teeth. “And you _are_ wrong.”

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97 Responses »

  1. Dear Diana,

    I wish I could physically see the workings of your ingenius mind.

    It's really weird, but sometimes after reading a book with a cliffhanger I tend to dream about it that night and my subconscious spits out a continuation. In my dreams I always wake up at the most pivotal point and once again I'm left without closure. This scene has been one of those frustrating dreams. I cannot wait until the Claire-Jamie-John dilemma is solved!

    You're da bomb Diana! I can't wait to see how book 8 plays out :)

  2. Dear Diana,
    That's totally weird that you answer my comment with that precise quote. I've read that in the Outlandish Companion. I didn't read the whole book, (i'm waiting for the second one to have the whole story), but one day I did browse in a book store and I came about that particular quote, and I could picture you there, with your witt, sagacity and intelligence, looking at the people talking about BJR and hear your toughts so well!! I wont forget that ever!.
    What I admire most in your books is the deep knowlege that you have of the human soul and are not shy to express it on your writing.
    The story lines are very good an one cannot stop reading, but the little pearls are the ones that you trow there to be found
    And for that I tank you very much

  3. Dear dp–

    Tank you, too! [g]

  4. :) That took me right back! Oh, Jamie!

  5. Hello Diana,

    Brilliant and cruel. Does Jamie sock Lord John or not? Of course we'll have to wait until book…eight…sigh.

  6. oh I love it!

    I think Jaime will handle it ok. There will likely be tension..but that is always there anyway. The connection between Claire and John isn't physical in the sense that they want to get it on. It is a connection to another human being, physical yes but not necessarily sexual, mental, emotional, maybe even a little spiritual. John is an honorable man, as is Jamie. He would protect and take care of Claire. He offered to do that for Jamie and for Claire and for himself. His connection to Jamie. The sex wasn't wanted or even desired. I can't wait to hear the conversation between Claire and Jamie. I also venture to guess that John will grieve a little. The intimacy (again not sexual) between him and Claire will be altered.

  7. It brought me right back and now I can't wait for book 8!

  8. After initially finding him a bit of a nuisance, I've become extremely fond of LJG, love his sense of humour and the way he articulates – have read all his novellas. Particularly admire the way all the characters keep evolving, especially young Ian. Would like to see you soften up Brianna and make her less self absorbed – even if just for Roger's sake as he always seems to get it in the neck. All my extended family and friends have now read the series and likewise cannot wait for book 8. Happy writing Diana, take your time, it's worth the wait……

  9. K-i-l-l-i-n-g Me s-o-o-o slowly! God I love you but this is just mean. Oh, and thank-you.

  10. Thanks for this little taste, Diana. It's interesting to have the tables turned on Jamie. After all, he married the dreaded Leghair, I mean Loaghaire, when he thought Claire was gone forever. It will be fun to see this play out.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the Decatur book festival today.

    Lady Grey

  11. My heart is pooouuwwnding! I'm so happy! thank you so much Diana! My life (and marriage:)) are so much better with Jamie and Claire in it. I'm a younger generation reader, and I can only hope that I can be privileged with 17+ years of loving the series and being tortured for the next book like so many others. My Jamie and Claire obsession runs bone deep and I hope he shows her just who her daddy really is! I love it! I love you, and I can wait as long as it takes!

    Ps… not too long though!

  12. When can I hope to buy book 8? Do you have an eta?

    C Allen Graham, WA

  13. Jamie will ultimately understand. I think not before he runs Lord John through the ringer. I think somehow Jamie needs to be made to realize how at the end of her rope she was having lost the other part of her…. she was after all heavily drugged (she did take some laundenum, which she never did, and was contemplating using a blade on her wrist… very unClaire-like, yet without Jamie, what was her reason for being – she was barely drifting throug life.

  14. Really, Jamie & Claire are the best characters ever written – Lord John is in his own right a fascinating character and I think this is a righteous twist to the story! I feel as I said, Claire was under the influence, considering ending it all for hours – and not sure she should (thank God!) How Romeo and Juliet would that have been, for Jamie to have come back to find his Claire dead???!! Anyway, they were making love to Jamie – but Diana will not let this smooth over simply…. She loves to kill us with anticipation! AND Claire loves to say much less than the situation warrants and Jamie more! Claire NEVER tells Jamie I love you very much and regardless of her personality, her reserve – I think SOMETIME (Please Diana!) she needs to break out of her shell for 5 minutes and GUSH to him! Anyway,I think Jamie will get through it – whether he and Lord John will be able to spend much time in near proximity again is another thing… We'll definitely see how "progressive" Jamie is in the next book. As I've said before tho..Diana has given us this wonderful gift of 2 people who are not whole apart, who are totally part of each other – one flesh they really exist for each other and are much better people because of the other…I know she will not let us down. I am trusting in her 100% to give us a glorious reunion and many great conversations and just a great life for these two. Diana has managed to spin a dream that we all hope for and won't let us down now.

  15. A great excerpt! I carnt wait for your next installment, DG so I spose the excerpts will have to tide me over. Keep them coming!
    Just a quick question for MS Gabaldon. Will your 8th installment of the Frasers, friends and family be available in audio? If not, I don't know how I will read it as I carn't read print.
    Keep up the wonderful work, and we all carnt wait to see what happens!

  16. Dear Diana,
    I have read the Scottish Prisoner so many times, and BOTB and HS because I must know how that scene in
    Echo will end!!!
    OMG, how is john feeling right now, being held like that by the man he has always wanted but never dared touch? I know he is calm about dying, and is expecting death, but his Jamie is so close to him that all he can see are his eyes (bezerk)
    Diana, you are killing me with suspense!
    Poor john, he sees Jamie alive, is so happy about it, but all he dares to do is breifly touch Jamie’s arm, while claire runs to him and receives a hug &kiss…

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