• “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

“Expedition” (from Book Nine)

Below is an excerpt from Book Nine of the OUTLANDER novels, which I am currently writing. Note that there are SPOILERS…

They were heading northwest. Roger had learned to steer by sun and stars, when he’d surveyed the boundary lines of Jamie’s land, years before, but it wasn’t a skill he’d needed much in Scotland. He thought they were near the edge of the land grant now; he thought he recalled this rocky outcropping. Granted, there were thousands of similar rock formations in western North Carolina, but something about this one rang a mental bell.

"It smells like grapes," Jemmy said, sniffing deep. "Smell ‘em, Dad?"

"Aye, I do." That was it; the whole hillside was a tumble of pale, huge boulders, unusual among the dark rock of the nearby ground—but more unusual for the vast tangle of wild grapevines that crawled over the boulders and climbed the sparse trees that sprouted among them. The grapes had long since ripened and gone, most of them scavenged by birds, insects, wolves, bears and anything else with a sweet tooth. Still, the faint perfume of raisins lay like a veil on the air and the bitter tang of the drying vines was sharp beneath it.

Jamie had pulled loose a length of the tough, woody vine, and was engaged in chopping it into several gnarled sticks, each about three feet long. He handed one to Jem and another to Roger, with the terse adjuration, "Snakes."

Click here for more excerpts on my Book Nine webpage.

This excerpt was also posted on my Facebook page on August 23, 2015.

19 Responses »

  1. Hope you get this. I’m your 8th book and thought you were finished the Outlander’s series but now you are writing a ninth book . I always enjoy the adventure. My mother was born in Scotland, and I wish I had known about it before you started writing, as you could have used some different words. God forbid, I never heard her use arse. Was that really a word back in the 18th century? It was your seat. Quite a few of the words you used would not be used back then, not in Scotland anyway. So when I read them they do not sound right. At first, I did not think I would not like your books, but found as I read them I enjoyed them. I really got hooked.
    By the way, I think your first job killing poor sea birds sucks. You could not pay me enough to do that job.

    • FYI- the word arse has been in existence for over 1000 years. The character, Claire is British and from the 1940s, so it would not be unusual for her to use the word arse. As meticulous as DG’s research is I have no doubt about the words used are accurate, and I am a librarian. :)

    • Did your mother live in the 18th century? I know Diana always does years of research for her books so I wouldn’t be the one telling her she is wrong.

    • Dear Eleta–

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the books. As for words…my mother always said “tinkle” instead of “pee” or “piss,” but that doesn’t mean the latter two aren’t common words. [g] (Yes, I’m sure about “arse.”)

      Best wishes,


  2. Just wanted to express my appreciation by letting you know your OUTLANDER series has proven a great tonic and companion in helping me through the grief journey with the loss of my husband.

  3. Thanks for the teasers. Love the continuing saga of Jamie & Claire and their family, and learning so much about the history of the Highlanders. Your anatomy rants are crazy and gross and fun. Love you and your imagination!

    • Dear Maggie–

      Anatomy rants? Um…do you mean “Outlander Anatomy”? That’s not me; that blog is the brainchild of a delightful retired anatomist from Portland, who likes to exercise her skill in the context of the Outlander TV show.
      I always post links to her stuff, but I don’t write it.



  4. I bought a first edition of Outlander at a used bookstore years ago. I have loved them, the whole series. I’m SO GLAD you are writing another book. Was very worried you were tired of Clair and Jamie. I have read all 8 books several times, it’s like visiting old friends. Thank you for….. well, all of it! LOL. Tamara

  5. Diana,

    I had never heard of your books until I happened upon the Starz pilot episode while I was looking for something to watch while I drank my wine. Needless to say I am not OBSESSED with your story. I have watched all of the episodes multiple times and read and re-read all of the Outlander series books. I can not wait until season 2 and am thoroughly looking forward to Book 9. In the meantime I am working hard at getting others as obsessed as I am.

    Thank you for writing such a captivating series.


  6. Hello,
    I just finished your eighth book and am looking forward to your ninth. I love the parts about Claire’s medical practices as I am a medical doctor in the states. How did you research your old and new medical stories? Do you have medical doctors advising you?

    Nancy Ott
    Minnesota, USA

  7. Dear Diana, Honestly, I had lost the love of reading fiction until I started reading Outlander in August. I fell upon the television series by accident but was only able to watch up to episode 7. I decided that I could not wait for the second part of season 1 to find out what happened. Between August and now I have read all 8 books. I am so
    enchanted by your characters and your gift of writing. Thank you for leaving “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood” with such a great and uplifting ending!

  8. Dear Diana, having read, and loved your eight books, I was at a loss as what to read next. Well, as much as I liked the John Grey character, wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the book. Anyway, I bought ‘ The Scottish prisoner,’ I’m now halfway through, and am pleasantly surprised! Can you tell me, other then Jamie, are there any other characters from Outlander, in the other Lord John books? Regardless, I will buy the others though! Please, let us know, if you decide to come to Italy, for book signing. Preferably, in the southern region (Ischia). Best wishes Karen x

  9. I’m new to a lot of social networking stuff, and I can’t routinely find daily lines anywhere–I go on Diana’s facebook and found some but couldn’t find them again. Help!

    • Dear Susan–

      Despite the name, I don’t really post them every day. [g] Need to save some suspense for the actual book, you know? The lines are still on Facebook, though; post scroll down, but I don’t think they go away unless the page’s owner deletes them.



      • I’ve loved your books since I bought the first one by accident-truly, this is inspired fiction!

        I cried for two days when Rollo died, it still makes my eyes sting to think of it.

        But, on to serious business! You once expressed a bit of puzzlement over the skean dubh knife, and how it was carried in the armpit. This being my first opportunity, I’d like to offer such poor knowledge as I may have.

        The skean dubh was carried in the inside of the coat sleeve-and it was sheathed. I owned several made in the twilight years of the Sheffield knife business, and the sheaths were made by wrapping leather around the knife and sewing it down the center. They were not ornate and few have survived.

        I’ve seen several skean dubh that looked like putty knives-Scottish bladesmithing was not highly regarded-and they were very flat slashing knives of thin steel, much like a modern paring knife.

        The Scots imported their blades from Germany
        Italy or Spain, though they often hilted them at home.

        The famous dirk was often fashioned from broken off foibles of backswords or broadswords.

        Waste not, want not.

        Your books are a great comfort to me, truly, works that defy description, works that will live for centuries.

        Thank you!

      • Thank you, Richard! That’s fascinating information; you’ve just trebled my knowledge of the sgian dubh!




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