• “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

Prequel TV Series Begins Production


The Outlander Prequel tv series, “Blood of My Blood” (aka “BOB” for short…) is underway!

Filming began on January 22nd (and I”m liking everything I’m seeing!), with Episode 101, and here is a quick look at four main characters:



Curious about Jamie’s parents? Click here to read “A Bird In The Hand,” the first excerpt I released from my prequel novel.

Recent Interview Podcast – Storycentric

dg3_origJust for general interest…(if you have any, I mean <g>)… here’s the an interview/podcast (in two parts) that I did with/for Andrew Buckley (The Storycentric Podcast):

Thanks, Andrew!


There are multiple ways to listen to podcasts, on different apps/services, so choose whichever you prefer below. Don”t subscribe to any of them? Well, some of these services apparently will allow you to listen to a podcast or two on a trial basis without signing up and paying for a new subscription.

Part 1 of Interview with Diana Gabaldon – Episode 24 of The Storycentric Podcast:

2024-01-interview-Andrew-BuckneyAndrew’s Description: “This week, I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming to the show Diana Gabaldon, bestselling author of the Outlander series! We talk about the Outlander prequel show, Diana’s origin story in Arizona, the art of voracious reading, Diana the scientist, non-linear writing, character driven storytelling, and more! Don your kilt, and join us for this glorious conversation!”

Click on your choice to listen to Part 1
of Andrew’s Storycentric interview podcast
(will open in a new browser window):

amazon-music-icon Listen to Part 1 via Amazon Music.
apple-podcasts-icon Listen to Part 1 via Apple Podcasts.
1200px-Google_Podcasts_icon.svg_-370x370-4061999907 Listen to Part 1 via Google Podcasts.
iheart-podcast-icon Listen to Part 1 via iHeart.
spotify-podcasts-icon Listen to Part 1 via Spotify

Part 2 of Interview with Diana Gabaldon – Episode 25 of The Storycentric Podcast:

2024-01-interview-Spotify-part2Andrew’s Description: “Is that bagpipes I hear? Part 2 of my conversation with the delightful Diana Gabaldon has us discussing (and shattering) the concept of thinking in straight lines, working with editors, her research process, the early days of the internet, landing an agent based on excerpts alone, working as a consultant on the Outlander TV show, and more!”

Click on your choice to listen to Part 2
of Andrew’s Storycentric interview podcast
(will open in a new browser window):

amazon-music-icon Listen to Part 2 via Amazon Music.
apple-podcasts-icon Listen to Part 2 via Apple Podcasts.
1200px-Google_Podcasts_icon.svg_-370x370-4061999907 Listen to Part 2 via Google Podcasts.
iheart-podcast-icon Listen to Part 2 via iHeart.
spotify-podcasts-icon Listen to Part 2 via Spotify.

February 2024 Events in Arizona!

heartsOooookay….moving right along here…



Well, February looks pretty interesting, event-wise. It has our 47th wedding anniversary, but beyond that….

Monday, Feb. 5th – The Poisoned Pen – 7:00-8:30 PM

fourteen-days-cover(Ticketed Event – $35 to $45, which includes a copy of FOURTEEN DAYS signed by myself and Doug Preston. See below for buy links.)

I’ll be doing a live (but also available online) event with Doug Preston (half of the Preston and Child team that produces the Very Entertaining (if slightly gruesome…) Pendergast suspense novels, among others, and the writer of the non-fiction LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD. We’ll be promoting (and signing) a Truly Weird Book called FOURTEEN DAYS, on February 5th at the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Click here to buy a $35 ticket for this event, which admits one person and includes one signed hardcover copy of FOURTEEN DAYS.

Or… if you’re coming with someone…

Click here to buy a $45 ticket for this event, which admits two persons and includes one signed hardcover copy of FOURTEEN DAYS.

poisoned-pen-logoFOURTEEN DAYS is the brainchild of someone (don’t ask me who, because I don’t know) connected with the Author’s Guild, who in the midst of the pandemic, conceived the notion that a number of professional authors should contribute stories that could be blended into a novel (of sorts) in which the residents of a New York apartment building, unable to go out in public, gather on the roof and exchange tales in the manner of the Decameron. (Just in case you’re not instantly familiar with the Decameron, (per Google) “The Decameron (c. 1351) is an entertaining series of one hundred stories written in the wake of the Black Death. The stories are told in a country villa outside the city of Florence by ten young noble men and women who are seeking to escape the ravages of the plague.”) If it’s been in print since 1351, it’s probably a good book; we’ll hope FOURTEEN DAYS is a worthy imitator… [Reviews below]*

Actually, I can’t yet tell you how the project turned out, because—while they did send me a copy of the final book—I haven’t had a free second to read it, between working on three (at a minimum) books at once (yes, Book Ten is on top!), plus two (count ‘em, TWO…) TV shows. (I’m a Consulting Producer and a screenwriter, for both BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (Season One)—which starts filming… um…. well, now—and the final (alas) season (Season Eight) of OUTLANDER, which starts a couple of months later.)

My guess is that it’s pretty readable, given the number of Excellent Authors involved. I gave them two stories, both true (i.e., not fiction); we’ll see how it all came out!

Publisher’s Description: Set in a Lower East Side tenement in the early days of the COVID-19 lockdowns, Fourteen Days is an irresistibly propulsive collaborative novel from the Authors Guild, with an unusual twist: each character in this diverse, eccentric cast of New York neighbors has been secretly written by a different, major literary voice—from Margaret Atwood and Celeste Ng to Tommy Orange and John Grisham.

*“These stories introduce a theme of diversity that’s one of the joys of the book. There are ghost stories, a war story, many tales of betrayal and revenge, and a report on Shakespeare’s plague experience by scholar James Shapiro…. A multicultural tribute to the New York lockdown experience…. moving and funny…” — Kirkus Reviews

“Putting a bold new twist on the plague novel, this bountiful, unpredictable, witty, and affecting tale-of-tales is made all the more intriguing by the fact that it’s a collaboration by 36 exceptional North American writers…. This enthralling novel of many voices and moods dramatizes the transformation of isolation into community via stories and explores a grand spectrum of human experiences.” — Booklist (starred review)

“beguiling…. fans of literary puzzles will find this worthwhile.” — Publishers Weekly

Annnd…. moving from art to science:

Saturday, Feb. 17th – Orpheum Theater, Flagstaff, 7:00 PM

“A Night of Discovery” at the I Heart Pluto Festival (Also a ticketed event. See below for buy links.)

OK. You may (possibly) know that the (dwarf) planet Pluto was discovered at Lowell Observatory, in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1930.

2024-I-heart-Pluto-logoProbably you don’t know that the dome of the Observatory’s main telescope was built by a pair of brothers, Godfrey and Stanley Sykes, who had immigrated from England and set up business in Flagstaff, with a shop whose front window bore a notice: “WE MAKE AND MEND ANYTHING.” As the story goes, Percival Lowell (founder of the observatory) walked past this window, and (presumably on impulse) went into the shop and said, “Can you build me a telescope dome?” To which the Sykes brothers replied, “Why not?” And they did. (The dome, still in use, rotates on motorcycle tires.)

So. Stanley Sykes was my great-grandfather, and his brother Godfrey my great-great-uncle. Which is why the Observatory has invited me to come and speak (about what, I have No Idea, but we’ll find out when we get there…) at the I Heart Pluto Festival this year. (The Festival itself will be held at the Observatory, over several days, I believe…)

night-of-discovery-bannerThe event “A Night of Discovery” at which I’ll be speaking (there are other people on the program, too) will be held at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Flagstaff (you won’t have any trouble finding it; it’s a small downtown). More details.

Doors open at 6 p.m. (general-admission seating, first-come, first-seated) at the Orpheum Theatre, and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Click here to buy general admission tickets to “A Night of Discovery” (which range from about $17 to $26 per person, including fees).

VIP Experience tickets are another option available for $125 per person, which include some exclusive events earlier in the day, a VIP goodie bag, and dinner with me and other VIP Experience ticketholders. And, of course, a ticket to “A Night of Discovery” is included. The VIP tickets must be ordered by February 10, and a limited number are available. Click here to purchase VIP Experience tickets for “A Night of Discovery” during the I Heart Pluto festival on February 17.

And a final Valentine—

Thursday, Feb. 22nd – Scottsdale United Methodist Church – 6:00 PM

hibridean-baker-coverBack to the Poisoned Pen, where I’ll be talking to Coinneach MacLeod, who is from the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and authors beautiful Scottish cookbooks that include stories of growing up in the Scottish Hebrides in between the recipes. (This is a ticketed event, but the $35 entry fee entitles you to one copy of Mr. MacLeod’s new book, THE HEBRIDEAN BAKER AT HOME—and you may also (if you like) bring one of my books to be signed. (If you want to buy books at the store, naturally that’s fine, too…)

Note that this event is hosted by the Poisoned Pen bookstore but the venue (where the event will take place) will be the Scottsdale United Methodist Church.

Click here to buy a $35 ticket for this Feb. 22 event, which includes a ticket for one persons to attend and one signed hardcover copy of THE HEBRIDES BAKER AT HOME.

Or… if you’re coming with someone…

Click here to buy a $40 ticket for this Feb. 22 event, which includes tickets for two persons to attend and one signed hardcover copy of THE HEBRIDES BAKER AT HOME.

See you there! (Whichever “there” it happens to be…)

Detailed information on all of my February events (and others as confirmed) are always available on my appearances webpage at:


CLANLANDS Sale, A Gift & Jeff Woodman Interview


Clanlands-NZ-Pen-SaleWell, here’s a nice offer from The Poisoned Pen…

Why not fall in love with New Zealand, home to Graham McTavish? There is many a Scot living there. He and Sam Heughan take you on a tour of this beautiful country. Kilts and Kiwis!

For Valentine’s Day, The Poisoned Pen offers a special: a first edition of CLANLANDS IN NEW ZEALAND: Kiwis, Kilts, and an Adventure Down Under. Signed by Sam, Graham, and (me, Diana ….) at a special price: $15 (USD). A sweetheart deal.

Here’s the description/order page from the store’s website:

Click here to buy CLANLANDS IN NEW ZEALAND from the Poisoned Pen.

You pay the special sale price of the book ($15) plus shipping.

The Pen ships anywhere in the world!

There is no charge for the signatures of Sam, Graham, and myself.

“Sex Toy For An Elephant?”

2024-01-14-Starz-mystery-bottle-cropSTARZ (and the nice people of whom it is composed) is a generous and imaginative patron of the Arts (that would be me, I suppose, in some small way), and they’re inclined to show their appreciation by sending a nice gift at Christmas.

For years, they sent me single-malt Scotch for Christmas, which was very welcome. Then a couple of years ago, the Christmas gifts started varying—last year, they sent me a purple silk Grandma-scarf from Saks Fifth Avenue. A lovely object, though I haven’t worn scarves as such for at least fifty years…

Anyway, this year they have returned to form (if one can apply such a term to corporate gifts), and a Very Large columnar box appeared on my kitchen island. My husband opened the door to the box, and said, “It looks like a sex-toy for an elephant.”

Which, to be honest, it kind of -did-…

So I wrote to the head of STARZ (whom I know), thanking him for the lovely present—and in passing, told him what my husband had said about it.

To which he replied, “Well, hello there…. A Happy New Year to you, too! ….so, you didn’t get the baby elephant that goes with…? Hmmm….”


Jeff Woodman Interview By Angela Hinkley

Haha! This is long, but fabulous! (And it’s recorded, so you can pause when you need to go to the bathroom…) Angela Hinkley has done a wonderful interview/montage with Jeff Woodman, the spectacularly good voice actor who does the Lord John books and novellas [for the audio editions]. It begins with a great montage of clips from said books, showing off all (well, most of them…) Jeff’s Most Excellent voices.

Enjoy! (I certainly did!)


Description from Queen Bee’s Hive Podcast :

“In Conversation” With Jeff Woodman, Voice of the Lord John Series

What a true joy to welcome narrator, Jeff Woodman, to the Hive to immerse in all of the things we love about the Lord John Series by Diana Gabaldon and to celebrate Jeff’s incredible range of vocal and performing talent. Retired and virtually “off the grid”, Jeff gave us an immense and rare gift of his time and presence on a Sunday afternoon in a first ever live broadcast interview. IT WAS FABULOUS and everyone (including Jeff) had a fantastic time! To celebrate, we packed in several unique surprises.

These posts and news items were also released on my official Facebook page from January 13-17, 2024.

If you like, please share your thoughts about this blog post by submitting a public web comment in the “Leave a Response” form below. Note that due to ever-present robotic web spam clogging up the works, my Webmistress or I have to go through and approve each comment individually to make sure it’s written by a human being. Spam filters don’t catch everything. So it will take time, sometimes a few few minutes, sometimes a few days, for your comment to appear, unlike the immediacy of social media.

Outlander Cocktails, Arby’s Ears, & Excerpt

Outlander-Cocktails-CoverHAPPY 11th of January!

Aside from the (no doubt) universal rejoicing at the fact that it’s my birthday <cough>—Penguin Random House would like to announce a couple of Really Entertaining new items. To wit:

THE OUTLANDER COCKTAILS BOOK – I wasn’t sure what this would be like, but it’s really gorgeous; the photography is fabulous! (The editor emailed me in great excitement, saying, “The cover looks so great I want a drink, and it’s only 9 AM!!”)

I agree, and I really only drink wine…. well, and the occasional wee snort of whisky, for medicinal purposes…

Whether you enjoy cocktails yourself, entertain a lot, or just know people who might enjoy a drink called “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” before dinner—this is the perfect followup to a Dry January.*


outlander-trivia-gameAnd what is the perfect thing to accompany a great cocktail? <think, think, think…> Why, OUTLANDER TRIVIA, of course! (I’m not saying you can’t play this game sober, but it might be even more entertaining after a round of inventive drinks, whether alcoholic or not (I believe OUTLANDER COCKTAILS does include some non-alcoholic treats, as well).)


 * This is not (repeat NOT) messing with or insulting people who choose not to imbibe alcoholic beverages, for whatever reason. (I personally didn’t drink At All until I was forty. As it was, I started drinking because of Outlander, but that’s another story (which you’ll find in the Foreword to OUTLANDER COCKTAILS).)

Bliadhna mhath ùr! (“HAPPY NEW YEAR!” in Gaelic)

Arby’s Ears

2024-01-11-Arbys-ears-VLAA number of people have commented on Arby’s ears (as well they might…). My husband refers to them as the Very Large Array—this being a U.S. government installation of a quantity of linked radio telescopes (gigantic radio telescopes) that we pass whenever we go to New Mexico by the northern route, through Socorro.

If you don’t live in that neck of the woods, I figured y’all might not ever have heard of the VLA, and might be interested. It’s Deeply Surreal to come across on that deserted desert plain….


“My shield and buckler…”

Today I also released a new excerpt for Book Ten, “My shield and buckler…”

These posts also appeared on my official Facebook page on Thursday, January 11, 2024.

If you like, please share your thoughts about this blog post by submitting a public web comment in the “Leave a Response” form below. Note that due to ever-present robotic web spam clogging up the works, my Webmistress or I have to go through and approve each comment individually to make sure it’s written by a human being. Spam filters don’t catch everything. So it will take time, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few days, for your comment to appear, unlike social media.

“Frog-legs … and a lot of beer.”

2024-01-04-Leon-by-Sam-SykesHappy New Year! Good wishes in abundance toward everyone, all the time, everywhere. <g>

And here is a small New Year’s treat:

EXCERPT FROM BOOK TEN (UNTITLED), Copyright © 2024 Diana Gabaldon

[NB to readers unfamiliar with copyright notices; your material is copyrighted by you the moment you put it into a concrete form (i.e., words on page or screen), and unless you’re quoting from an already-published book (in which case, it has a fixed copyright; the year of publication), the copyright notice bears the current year. Some people in the past have leapt to the conclusion that the year date in the copyright notice is the year of publication, and then get very bent when they see the year change when I post a new excerpt and go around Chicken-Littling about “OMG the book’s been DELAYED!!”. I assure y’all, it hasn’t.]

[YES, THERE ARE SPOILERS IN HERE!! If you wish to proceed anyway, scroll down to read…]

They reached Savannah mid-morning, having ridden through swales of greening rice paddies and patches of sprouting farmland, dotted with men and women working, now and then with the assistance of a mule. The horses were eager, sensing the imminence of food, and Jamie felt much the same. There was urgent work to be done, of course, but they’d finished what food they had the day before yesterday.

“What d’you want to eat first?” William asked. The boy was almost standing in his stirrups with anticipation. “Shrimp and grits? Redfish fried in cornmeal?”

“Frog-legs,” Jamie said, smiling. “And fried oysters. Though I wouldna mind a good thick Brunswick stew to go along. And beer. A lot of beer.”

Conversation devolved into a desultory argument over the merits of alligator as an ingredient of stew, but the boom of a nearby cannon both interrupted the talk and made the horses curvet and dance.

“[steh – Gaelic]!” Jamie said, jerking his horse’s head right round until it was almost in his lap. “Settle, ye gomerel. Surely ye’ve heard guns before?”

“Possibly not cannon,” William observed, having brought Trajan—who had heard cannon before—to a proper sense of his duty with little difficulty. “That’s the noon gun, though,” he said, leaning forward to speak into the horse’s pricked ears. “It won’t happen again. Until tonight, at least,” he added, straightening in the saddle. “Commander Archibald decided to use a single gun at sunset, rather than have drummers marching through the streets to sound the evening retreat; perhaps they may still be doing it.”

William spoke casually, but Jamie saw the lad’s shoulders tighten under his coat.

“D’ye ken whether Archibald is still here?” he asked, keeping his voice as neutral as he could. The day was warm, but a sudden chill raised the hairs on his neck, with the memory of a lovely girl dead by her own hand in the middle of the night, in a dark room reeking of her blood and spilt beer—because of Commander Archibald.

William shot him a quick glance.

“No,” he said. “But I hope he is.”

The lad’s color was high, and his hands clenched on the reins. Jamie leaned over and took hold of Trajan’s bridle, drawing them both to a momentary halt.

“I ken what ye mean,” he said evenly, “and I’ll help ye do it. But we canna risk drawing that kind o’ notice until we’ve done what we came to do. We were too late for Frances’s sister; we willna be too late for Lord John.”

William gave him back a level look, but he saw the lad’s pulse, hammering at the side of his throat.

“We will not,” William said, and drawing up his reins, nudged Trajan into motion.

[end section]

[Many thanks to my younger grandson, León (he has an accent mark over the “o”, but Facebook doesn’t do such things), for the use of the art for his first album cover—and to my son, Sam Sykes, León’s uncle, who took the photo as a symbol of New Year cheer.]

Visit my Book Ten webpage for more excerpts from—and information about—this new book.

This excerpt (“Daily Lines”) was also released on my official Facebook page on January 4, 2024.

If you like, please share your thoughts about this excerpt and Book Ten by submitting a public web comment in the “Leave a Response” form below. Note that due to ever-present robotic web spam clogging up the works, my Webmistress or I have to go through and approve each comment individually to make sure it’s written by a human being. Spam filters don’t catch everything. So it will take time, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes a few days, for your comment to appear, unlike social media.

Happy New Year – 2024!

2024-01-01-Happy-New-YearHappy New Year to one and all!

‘Tis the season for new resolutions and perhaps the odd spot of bibulousness….

So it’s New Year’s Eve— a time to sit down and breathe, sip something to aid contemplation (be that hot tea or cold gin…) and let the peaceful night surround you. (Unless you’re a party animal, in which case I don’t need to suggest anything to you…) Do you look to the past and see what the last year has held—and what you did or thought about it? Or to the future, with hopes and dreams—and possibly a few more concrete plans?

My own list for the New Year is fairly short:

Take care of husband, family, dogs, friends, etc.

Prune deadwood from the four citrus trees that didn’t get done last winter. Fertilize ALL the citrus, as well as the ancient pomegranate tree out back (I did manage to saw all the dead limbs off that one over the last two or three months. Vide previous replies to questions about why we have an Enormous Dumpster (from a conversation on my official Facebook page)… we can’t burn outdoors inside the city limits, and only rarely indoors).

Pull out the big California laurel tree and VERY thorny ex-rose-bush that perished during the Hotspell from Hell last summer. (It stayed over 115 degrees EVERY DAY for nearly two months.) Contemplate what the heck to do with the ex-grapevines, which have grown through and pulled over the chunk of iron fence they’d been using to climb on before they became ex (died of old age, aided by heat-stroke). (I need either an ax or a small, maneuverable chain-saw… I’d just dig up the stumps, but I can’t get near enough to do so, as the collapsed/entangled fence is in the way.)

Work on Book Ten. (NO, it’s not going to be finished this coming year (let us not be ridiculous…), but I think we’ll get a good deal further. It’s in a good place.)

Finish writing first Prequel Novel. (These will be about the size of one of the Lord John novels; those, I can finish within 9-10 months, so we hope for the best.)

Consult on Prequel show.

Consult on Season Eight.

(Consulting basically means reading all the iterations (average 6-8) of each script, plus—when filming starts—watching the dailies.)

Write script for Prequel show.

Write script for Season Eight.

(FYI – writing a script takes me roughly three weeks (not counting revisions, which tend to be quick). Writing one of the Big Books takes a minimum of three years.)

Do public appearances (VERY limited this year!).

Make curtain (FINALLY) for kitchen in old family house (I’ve had the fabric for the last fifteen years… a print of tiny Highlanders and Redcoats on a white background).

So that’s me in 2024. <g> How about you?

(If you like, please share your plans and thoughts in a web comment below. Note that due to ever-present robotic web spam clogging up the works, my Webmistress or I have to go through and approve each comment to make sure it’s written by a human being. Spam filters don’t catch everything. So it takes time, sometimes a few few minutes, sometimes a few days, for your comment to appear, unlike Social Media.)

Merry Christmas!

2023-12-25-Christmas-4th-Advent-cropIt’s just after midnight, which means that it’s Christmas! Merry Christmas to everyone, whether for you it’s a religious celebration, a time of seasonal contemplation and renewal, or just a few days off work!

It’s a slightly anomalous Christmas, in that an hour ago, it was both the Fourth Sunday of Advent… and Christmas Eve! (Well, this is the sort of thing that will happen now and then when you go setting dates according to a lunar calendar…)

However, this holy trinity of dates does in fact have a common root: Love.

The fourth candle in an Advent calendar is often called the “Love” candle (following Hope, Peace and Joy), and for those of us who celebrate Christ;s Mass (i.e., Christians), what we’re celebrating is the advent of Love into a world of darkness.

My family has always gone to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, which means that (since it’s at midnight), it is in fact CHRISTMAS! I’ve always loved the dark and cold and mystery, snow falling through the street lights on the walk to church—and then the blaze of lights and candles in the church, with the smell and drifting smoke of frankincense, a memory of the distant land where the story began. (Loved going home at 1:30 AM to eat brownies with milk, and open ONE present before going to bed, too.)

Whether this story is your story, or only a story, we all share the deep need of Love, and I hope you will all join me in that moment where the peace of the night flowers into the joyful light of Love, and hope fulfilled.

Merry Christmas!

[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright © 1991 Diana Gabaldon]

And if there was eternity, or even the idea of it, then perhaps Anselm was right; all things were possible. And all love? I wondered. I had loved Frank; I still did. And I loved Jamie, more than my own life. But bound in the limits of time and flesh, I could not keep them both. Beyond, perhaps? Was there a place where time no longer existed, or where it stopped? Anselm thought so. A place where all things were possible. And none were necessary.

And was there love there? Beyond the limits of flesh and time, was all love possible? Was it necessary?

The voice of my thoughts seemed to be Uncle Lamb’s. My family, and all I knew of love as a child. A man who had never spoken love to me, who had never needed to, for I knew he loved me, as surely as I knew I lived. For where all love is, the speaking is unnecessary. It is all. It is undying. And it is enough.


Gabaldon, Diana. Outlander: A Novel (OUTLANDER, Book 1) (p. 580). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

First Sunday of Advent – A Journey

2023-12-03-DGabaldon-First-Sunday-AdventToday is the First Sunday of Advent. Like Lent, which comes before Easter, Advent is a time of preparation. But while Lent is a time for penance and reconciliation, Advent is a time of contemplation and growth. By prayer and good works, we make ready—ourselves and others—for the birth of Jesus and the renewal of the world. Like most religions, our feast of birth and new growth coincides with the physical turning of the world and the coming of light into the dark of winter. Happy Advent!

Like Lent, Advent is a journey—and when you set out on an important journey… you make preparations.

[Excerpt from Book Ten (Untitled); Copyright © 2023 Diana Gabaldon]

Rather to William’s surprise, Fraser appeared for departure clad in a faded plaid with a ragged edge, this worn with a hunting shirt shadowed with ancient bloodstains, and a belt from which depended an assortment of weaponry and a small goatskin bag whose purpose was a mystery. Homespun stockings and a cartridge box hung from a strap over his shoulder completed the ensemble.

“Camouflage,” Fraser said with a shrug, answering William’s look.


“Oh.” Fraser was evidently taken aback for a moment, and his face reflected an extraordinarily rapid series of uninterpretable thoughts. “It’s, ah… from the French, I think. Camouflet, ye ken that one?”

“I don’t, no. What does it mean?”

“Aye, well—camouflet is a whiff of smoke that ye blow in someone’s face. Camouflage just means ye want folk not to notice what ye are or ask what ye’re up to.”

“And…that is camouflage, is it?” William asked skeptically, gesturing at Fraser’s kilt. “You look like a bandit.”

Fraser smiled.

“Aye. And what would ye do, if ye met a bandit on the road? Stop and ask him his business?”

“I take your point.”

As he spoke the words, he had a sudden odd qualm and a coldness down his jaw.

Fraser’s smile changed to a look of mild concern.

“What is it, lad, are ye taken queer?”

“I—no,” William said abruptly. “I”m fine. And what, may I ask, am I meant to be, if you’re taken for a bandit? Your accomplice?”

“If necessary,” Fraser said, “but I suppose ye could be my prisoner, in case of need. There’s a bit o’ rope in my saddlebags.”

“Jesus,” William muttered, and Fraser laughed. The man was in bloody high spirits, for someone snatched away from hearth and home to go off on what anyone might legitimately call a crackbrained venture.

On the other hand, he reflected, maybe he’s glad to get away from his tenants…

Mother Claire appeared at this point, with several packages in her arms, and Frances behind her, similarly burdened.

“Food for the day,” Mother Claire said, handing her husband a cloth bag that smelled pleasantly of cheese, cold meat and dried fruit. “Food for tomorrow,” and she handed William a similar bag. “And after that, you’re on your own for nourishment.”

“What’s this?” William asked, as she handed him a cloth-wrapped bundle that didn’t smell of food.

“Bandages,” she replied succinctly, and handed him a small wooden box. “And medicines for diarrhea and constipation.”

“Ah. I’m sure those will be helpful,” he said, gingerly stuffing the medical items in his haversack.

“I really hope not,” she said, giving him a bleak look. “But I’ve known your father far too long to have illusions.”

“What about drink?” Fraser interrupted, with what even William could see was mock innocence.

“Just here,” Frances said, with modest triumph, and handed over two similar bags, these clinking and sloshing as they moved. She met William’s eye with a tranquil face—no trace of what had happened in the stable half an hour before.

The qualm fluttered through him once again, but this time he knew what it was. Jane. Standing just behind his shoulder.

“I take your point,” he’d said to her, once.

“Well, that’s a novelty,” she’d replied. “It’s usually the other way round.”

“Goodbye, Frances,” he said abruptly, and turned to mount his horse, consciously not looking as Fraser took farewell of his wife.

[end section]

Click to visit my Book Ten webpage for information on this book, and to read more excerpts from it.

Photo is by me, Diana.

This excerpt and introduction was also posted on Sunday, December 3, 2023 on my official Facebook page.

This excerpt was also posted with the temporary title “Camouflage” on Monday, September 20, 2023. And also on my official Facebook page.

New! Outlander Coloring Book, Vol. 2!


A brand-new Outlander coloring book is available now. The Outlander Coloring Book, Volume 2 features forty-five all-new illustrations. The thrilling world of Outlander awaits! (Publisher’s hyperbole, you know…?)

ANYway…The Outlander Coloring Book, Volume 2 is indeed out today, and available pretty much everywhere. ALL the buy-links from various retailers are available on the publisher’s page for this book:


Publisher’s Description (Volume 2):

outlander-coloring-book-vol-2Diana Gabaldon’s acclaimed series is brought to life in this spectacular coloring book featuring forty-five all-new illustrations. The thrilling world of Outlander awaits!

From the bustling market streets of Paris to the resplendent court of Versailles, through secret passageways into forbidden apothecaries and onto battlefields to fight for freedom, the colorful world of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser is now yours to explore. Featuring gorgeous natural landscapes of Scotland and France, detailed drawings of royal court fashion, and heartwarming scenes from Jamie and Claire’s epic love story from renowned illustrators Ana Jaren, Ben Perini, Cat Willett, Matthew Land, Mélanie Delon, and Monika Roe, this official Outlander coloring book will welcome you back into the beloved series with open arms and plenty to drink.

The Official Outlander Coloring Book, Volume 1

The beautiful first volume of the Official Outlander Coloring Book was first published on October 27, 2015, and features forty-five illustrations to color. It is still available for purchase.

ALL the buy-links from various retailers are available on the publisher’s page for the original coloring book, also:


Publisher’s description (Volume 1):

outlander-coloring-book-vol-1The world of Outlander awaits!

From the lush green of the Scottish Highlands to the military red of a British soldier’s coat or the vibrant hues of a tartan kilt, the colorful world of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser is now yours to explore. Featuring gorgeous natural landscapes, detailed drawings of Claire’s medicinal herbs, depictions of the books’ most beloved scenes and characters, and intricately rendered clothing, weapons, and armor straight out of eighteenth-century Scotland, these exquisite black-and-white images—from renowned illustrators Juan Alarc&oacute:n, Yvonne Gilbert, Craig Phillips, Jon Proctor, Tomislav Tominć, and Rebecca Zomchek—are designed to dazzle and inspire. Fans of the series, as well as lovers of history and art, can party like it’s 1743.

Pull out your colored pencils, markers or watercolor paints! My webmistress, Loretta, loves these. She was introduced to coloring books for adults over a decade ago. Both creative and good stress reliever, she says, plus “you get to choose your own colors for everything in the Outlander universe.” <g>

Enjoy! And drop me a line in the web comments below. Remember that web comments are public and are moderated.


P.S. Should you happen to want a signed copy, either of #1 or #2, I was just by the Poisoned Pen a couple of days ago, and signed at least a hundred copies of Volume 2, plus a few of Volume 1 they had on hand.