• “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
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  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

The Third Advent Candle

GAUDETE – The Third Sunday of Advent

The third Sunday of Advent is called “Gaudete Sunday,” from the Latin word meaning “rejoice”:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete. Modestia vestra nota sit omnibus hominibus: Dominus enim prope est. Nihil solliciti sitis: sed in omni oratione petitiones vestræ innotescant apud Deum. Benedixisti Domine terram tuam: avertisti captivitatem Jacob.

This may be translated as

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice. Let your forbearance be known to all, for the Lord is near at hand; have no anxiety about anything, but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Lord, you have blessed your land; you have turned away the captivity of Jacob.

— Philippians 4:4–6; Psalm 85 (84):1

A traditional Advent wreath has three purple candles and one pink one: on Gaudete Sunday, we light the pink one! We pause on our spiritual journey to lift up our eyes and see joy approaching—hence we rejoice (before settling back into penitence for the last haul toward Easter).

And the “candle” for today was chosen as an illustration of hope and the promise of joy, emerging from mourning. Hope you enjoy it!

Copyright 2012 Diana Gabaldon
[Please don’t repost or reproduce this, but you’re more than welcome to link to it if you like.]

[A conversation in the woods between Ian Murray and his (more or less) betrothed, Rachel Hunter.]

He squared his shoulders and gave a great sigh, then met her eyes directly.

“D’ye want to hear about every woman whose bed I’ve shared? Because I’ll tell ye, if so. I’ve never taken a woman unwilling—though they were mostly whores. I’m no poxed, though,” he assured her. “Ye should ken that.”

She considered that for a moment.

“I think I need not know the details,” she said finally. “But should we ever meet a woman thee has bedded, I wish to know it. Thee does not mean to continue fornicating with prostitutes once we are wed, though, does thee?”


“Good,” she said, but rocked back a little on the log, hands linked around her knees, holding his gaze. “I do wish to hear more about thy wife. Emily.”

He could feel the warmth of her leg, her body, close beside him. She hadn’t moved away from him when he’d said about sleeping with whores. The silence grew around them, and a jay called, somewhere in the wood beyond.

“We loved each other,” he said at last, softly, eyes on the ground. “And I wanted her. I—could talk to her. Then, at least.”

Rachel drew breath, but didn’t say anything. He took his courage in his hands and looked up. Her face was carefully expressionless, her eyes intent on his face.

“I dinna ken how to say it,” he said. “It wasna the same way I want you—but I dinna mean to make it sound as though…as though Emily didna matter to me. She did,” he added, very softly, and looked down again.

“And…she does?” Rachel asked quietly, after a long pause. After a longer one, he nodded, swallowing.

“But,” he said, and stopped, looking for the way to go on, because now they were coming to the most perilous part of his confession, the thing that might make Rachel stand up and walk away, dragging his heart behind her through the rocks and brush.

“But?” she said, and her voice was gentle.

“The Mohawk,” he began, and had to stop for a breath. “It’s the woman’s choice, about being married. If a woman should take against her husband for some reason—if he beats her, or he’s a lazy sot, or smells too bad when he farts…” he stole a glance, and saw the corner of her mouth twitch, which heartened him a little. “She puts his things out o’ the longhouse, and he has to go back to live wi’ the unmarried men—or find another woman who’ll have him at her fire. Or leave altogether.”

“And Emily put you out?” She sounded both startled and a little indignant. He gave her a wee smile in return.

“Aye, she did. Not because I beat her, though. Because…of the bairns.”

He felt the tears come to his eyes and clenched his hands in frustration on his knees. Damn, he’d sworn to himself that he wouldn’t weep. Either she’d think he made a show of his grief to win her sympathy…or she’d see too deep; he wasn’t ready…but he had to tell her, he’d started this on purpose to tell her, she had to know…

“I couldna give her children,” he blurted. “The first—we had a wee daughter, born too early, who died. I called her Iseabail.” He wiped the back of his hand viciously under his nose, swallowing his pain. “After that, she—Emily—she got wi’ child again. And again. And when she lost the third…her heart toward me died with it.”

Rachel made a small sound, but he didn’t look at her. Couldn’t. Just sat hunched on the log like a toadstool, shoulders drawn up around his ears and eyes blurred with the tears he couldn’t shed.

A small warm hand settled on his.

“And your heart?” she asked. “Yours died, too?”

He closed his hand on hers and nodded. And then just breathed for a bit, holding onto her hand, until he could speak again without his voice breaking.

“The Mohawk think that the man’s spirit fights wi’ the woman’s, when they…lie together. And she willna get with child, unless his spirit can conquer hers.”

“Oh, I see,” Rachel said softly. “So she blamed you.”

He shrugged.

“I canna say she was wrong.” He turned a little on the log, to look at her directly. “And I canna say that it would be different—with us. But I did ask Auntie Claire, and she told me about things in the blood…well, perhaps ye should ask her to explain it, I wouldna make a decent job of it. But the end of it was that she thought it might be different wi’ another woman. That I maybe could. Give ye bairns, I mean.”

He only realized that Rachel had been holding her breath when she let it out, a sigh that brushed his cheek.

“Do ye—“ he began, but she had risen a little, into him, and she kissed him softly on the mouth, then held his head against her breast and took the end of her kerchief and wiped his eyes and then her own.

“Oh, Ian,” she whispered. “I do love thee.”

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174 Responses »

  1. I am so happy that Ian has found love again!! My heart ached for him so badly :( Echo In The Bone is just as wonderfully written as all well as the previous books. It did leave me hanging, dying to know…will Jemmy find his parents…whar will become of Jaime and Claire…will Roger’s ancestor make it back alive through the stones??? Bless you Diana for characters that are alive in our hearts and minds!!!

  2. I’m holding my breath for the next book. Have reread the entire series in anticipation. Tried to buy Trail of Fir without success. I’m going to France in June with an airport stop in the UK. Hope to buy a copy then! Turning blue with waiting!!!!!

  3. I am so ready for more. Thank you for the peek!

  4. Diana -

    Your writing is filled with wonder and emotion…. I don’t know how you learned to put words together, but you are a MASTER!! Can’t wait for the next book!! Having read through the series twice, I only wonder how many times I can read through it without the volumes falling apart?? You are a blessing to us all!

    Connie Sue

  5. Diana,
    Prior to the release of each new edition to the Outlander Series, I begin at the first book (my first exposure to Outlander was through a paperback I bought in Bristol under the title, “Criss Cross”) and read straight through to the last page in anticipation of the new treat that awaits me. Thank you for this wonderful adventure!

  6. HI Diana,
    I adore the Outlander books! I began reading them in the fall 2012 and I just finished An Echo in the Bone last night. I am a great fan of long books and several writers in particular, Trollope and Dickens–I have read everything they’ve written. Your Outlander series is the first beside Trollop’s Barchester and Palliser series which are as engrossing as well as each book being of a wonderfully comfortable length. I am sorry the 8 th will not be out until the fall but very glad there will be an 8 th as there are so many characters whose fates remain to be known! I do plan to buy a copy of Trial of Fire. I am living in Paris and can get it from GB.
    My cousin was Sylvia Beech whose shop in Paris was such a literary Mecca, and I wish she were here today to appreciate your novels. Your characters are so vivid and their adventures so imaginative and well written I don’t think there is anyone, besides people who read agonizingly slowly, who would not be thrilled by your books. I am a nurse practitioner and am fascinated by Claire’s medical skills as well as every character’s spirit and special Talents. I have become so fond of each of them as you clearly have yourself. Brava, Brava!
    Thank you for changing so many careers and arriving at AUTHOR at last.
    Brooke Kaufman

  7. When I became infected with Lyme Disease I lost most of my memory and cognitive thinking skills. A horrible chronic condition that has knocked me off my feet and changed my life. Antibiotics clear things up for a while, then I relapse again, and again, and again. The only up side of all this is that I can reread the Outlander series after each bad episode, not remembering a single thing, and enjoy the whole adventure all over again!!!
    I am married to Scot, three generations removed from the motherland, who strongly reminds me of Jamie in every aspect. After reading a book or two, my husband, reaping the benefits, always asks me in his best Scottish brogue “Which book are ye on, Lass? Come tell me the tale, Sassenach.” And I do.

  8. OMG,
    I just read today’s posting. Now the question is – How far back did he really go? I have to say that you, Diana Galbadon, have a wonderful mind. These books are amazingly complex and they are wonderful. I just hope I don’t get sick and die before this next book comes out.
    Decided not to go on and on about how wonderful this series is. I am only missing one book. I lent the first book to the lady who introduced me to the series and haven’t quite bought another one.
    Ian deserves happiness and I am so glad you gave him some.

  9. Diana, Thank you for this amazing story – I feel as if Claire and her family are part of my own.
    I can hardly wait for more. have read series three times already. Its my feel good
    read. picks me right up. Please continue… xxx

  10. Hello Diana,

    I just wanted to give you my experience with this series. I initially bought Outlander mostly for how thick the book was (I read so much that I have to usually have more than 300 pages to really fall in love) and then the description on the back caught my attention. I immediately fell in love with the story. The descriptions were rich and vibrant and it was everything a historical fiction book was supposed to be. Ever since then, I have fervently read the books and cannot get them out of my head. This really is one of my favorite series and I just can’t get enough. I am an aspiring writer. That is my goal in life to to write stories. I hope that whatever I write in the future will be just as amazing as what you have given us. I am inspired by you and I want to thank you for the life of Claire and Jamie Fraser. I hope that some day I will be able to pick your brain about your writing process. I can’t wait for the next book!


  11. Thank you, Diana, for the glimpses into the next book in the Outlander series! I, along with a lot of readers, are wishing 2013 to pass quickly so that we can read Written In My Own Heart’s Blood in its entirety! I have read through the series several times and guess my summer reading list will include them again so I can be “up to speed” when it is published. I love these books and am so glad that you have shared your gift of storytelling with us through them! What a treat your books are to read! I am so looking forward to the next one!


  12. Like everyone else, I am waiting with great anticipation for book 8. I have been reading this series for many years, reading and re-reading them. I actually ordered your Four Outlander Tales, A Trail of Fire, from Amazon in UK, since I could not get it here in Canada yet. It was interesting to find out that little tidbit about Roger’s father. I also have a Scottish husband, Ian and I am lucky enough that we go back to Scotland about every 3 years. It is absolutely beautiful and it is fun to imagine all the characters in those beautiful places. We rent a car and drive for a month. Thank for all the years of great reading. Can’t wait for the next one and can’t wait to go back to Scotland!!

  13. Ian and the lost babies: I understood that the last child/her first born, a boy that Ian named was his…he can’t have forgotten.

    • Dear CarI–

      [g] Sorry! The small “i” in your name looked like a lower-case “l”. Blame it on aging eyes.


    • C Taylor—I wondered about that, too. Then I decided he, Lizard, was the child of Ian’s spirit as referenced. I also decided we are meant to ponder that. Wily author!

  14. well if they are moderating…there is a TYPO.
    the name is Carol Taylor, sorry.

  15. Your books are much anticipated. This one sounds like it will be a good one. Frankly, I have been disappointed in some of your latter books, but I keep buying and reading them.

    I have read all of them (and kept them). However, I have a question. Where is the explanation given of the man she sees out her window mentioned in the first book, while she is in Scotland with her husband??? Would appreciate someone cluing me in.

  16. I am in agony waiting here! An acquaintance introduced me to Outlander about 3 1/2 years ago and I am so addicted! I have read them all at least 3 times. I have loaned them to my mother in law and my own mother, and we are all waiting with bated breath. Hurry, please!

  17. Thank you for this piece of the next book! I am eagerly waiting its release :) I am re reading the series… again!!! I love your characters and I recently had a little boy, and called him… Jamie :) xo

  18. Do us audio listeners a favor and release the audio version at the same time as the book version. Thanks… love the books and the lady who reads it brings it to life.

    • Dear Debbie–

      The audio versions always _are_ released at the same time as the hardcover print version–or as close as they can get (occasionally, a manuscript will be delivered so close to the pub date that the recording people need an addition few weeks to finish their own production, since they need to schedule both studio time and the time of the appropriate actor/actress).


  19. I can’t wait for the new book also. I am re-reading the series. That was a nice excerpt. I am dying to know what happened with Loaghaire though! What did Jenny see?? It has been killing me forever!


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