• “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

The First Sunday of Advent – 2020

Advent candles for first Sunday. From Diana Gabaldon.Today is the First Sunday of Advent. Advent is a four-week space in time, during which we draw aside from the world in preparation for the light of Christmas.

Whatever we suffer in grief, illness, fear, anger, in longing for home, for love—Advent offers us respite, a refuge, a small place of rest, repentance, reconciliation and peace.

A time to be still and listen to our hearts.

[Excerpt from WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD, Copyright © 2014 by Diana Gabaldon.]

“Are ye all right, Sassenach? Is it bad, then?”

“No,” I said, and wiped my eyes hastily on a corner of the sheet. “No—it—it’s fine. I just&,dash;oh, Jamie, I love you!” I did give way to tears, then, snuffling and blubbering like an idiot.

“I’m sorry,” I said, trying to get hold of myself. “I’m all right, there’s nothing wrong, it’s just—”

“Aye, I ken fine what it’s just,” he said, and, setting the candle and pot on the floor, lay down on the bed beside me, balancing precariously on the edge.

“Ye’re hurt, a nighean,” he said softly, smoothing my hair off my wet cheeks. “And fevered and starved and worn to a shadow. There’s no much of ye left, is there, poor wee thing?”

I shook my head and clung to him. “There’s not much of you left, either,” I managed to say, mumbling wetly into the front of his shirt.

He made a small amused noise and rubbed my back, very gently. “Enough, Sassenach,” he said. “I’m enough. For now.”

I sighed and fumbled under the pillow for a hankie to blow my nose.

“Better?” he asked, sitting up.

“Yes. Don’t go, though.” I put a hand on his leg, hard and warm under my hand. “Can you lie with me a minute? I’m awfully cold.” I was, though I realized from the damp and salt on his skin that the room was quite hot. But loss of so much blood had left me chilled and gasping; I couldn’t get through a sentence without stopping to breathe, and my arms were permanently goose-pimpled.

“Aye. Dinna move; I’ll go round.” He came round the bed and edged carefully in behind me. It was a narrow bed, barely wide enough to hold us closely pressed together.

I exhaled gingerly and relaxed against him in slow motion, reveling in the feel of his warmth and the solid comfort of his body.

“Elephants,” I said, drawing the shallowest possible breath compatible with speaking. “When a female elephant is dying, sometimes a male will try to mate with her.”

There was a marked silence behind me, and then a big hand came round and rested assessingly on my forehead.

“Either ye’re fevered again, Sassenach,” he said in my ear, “or ye have verra perverse fancies. Ye dinna really want me to—”

“No,” I said hastily. “Not right this minute, no. And I’m not dying, either. The thought just came to me.”

He made an amused Scottish noise and, lifting the hair off my neck, kissed my nape.

“Since ye’re no dying,” he said, “maybe that will do for the moment?”

I took his hand and placed it on my breast. Slowly I grew warmer, and my chilly feet, pressed against his shins, relaxed. The window now was filled with stars, hazy with the moistness of the summer night, and I suddenly missed the cool, clear, black-velvet nights of the mountains, the stars blazing huge, close enough to touch from the highest ridge.

“Jamie?” I whispered. “Can we go home? Please?”

“Aye,” he said softly. He held my hand and the silence filled the room like moonlight, both of us wondering where home might be.

This blog entry was also posted on my my official Facebook page on November 29, 2020, the first Sunday of Advent.

Image of Advent candles by Diana Gabaldon © 2020.

5 Responses »

  1. Awwww, to be taken back albeit briefly to my favorite books and characters……such joy! Thank you Diana!
    Merry Christmas and Joyful New Year to you and yours!

  2. So, missing my friend Jamie, Claire and the whole lot of them. Read all books! Then Audio booked…not once but twice. My happy days are when I share them with the Fraser’s. Been very very patient…and patience isn’t my strong suit.

    Every person I recommend this amazing world, loves it and I’ve received many notes thanking me for introducing them to Jamie and Claire.

    I’m in awe of your talent Ms Gaboldon. Wishing you good health, a very merry Christmas and plenty of time to get the job done!

    God Bless You
    Belfast, Maine

  3. Hi Diana,

    I just finished your last book, “Written in my own heart’s blood”. It was long but I loved every moment of reading it. I was so very HAPPY that the ending was such a great one. It made me feel so good. I stayed up late reading it and when to bed very happy. It was so glorious to read the words of them running down the hill to meet the family in the wagon. I can’t wait to read the last one on the series.

    I know you are not done yet writing “Bees”. I probably don’t have any right to ask you this but I am hoping it will have a similar ending, I love Jaime and Claire so much along with everyone and would be so depressed if either of them died. I know we all have to but not them, I beg of you.

    Your books have sustained me through COVID and with the last book, I just want it to be a happy ending for Jaime and Claire and as many of the folks in the book as possible but especially Jaime and Claire.

    I will now start on the Lord John books until Bees comes out.

    All the best and thanks so much for writing those books and giving me something to take my mind off this horrific virus.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to y9u and your family.


  4. Your wonderful words have helped thousands of us weather the COVID storm, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

  5. Loved the look back. This is one of my favorite exchanges between Jamie and Claire. Your wonderful books have not only gotten me through covid, but also through my husband of 41 years being put on hospice.
    Thank you so much,
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

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