A Shape on the Air (Dr DuLac Book 1)
A haunting Anglo-Saxon time-slip of mystery and romance.
Can echoes of the past threaten the present? They are 1500 years apart, but can they reach out to each other across the centuries? One woman faces a traumatic truth in the present day. The other is
forced to marry the man she hates as the ‘dark ages’ unfold.
How can Dr Viv DuLac, medievalist and academic, unlock the secrets of the past? Traumatised by betrayal, she slips into 499 AD and into the body of Lady Vivianne, who is also battling treachery. Viv must uncover the mystery of the key that she unwittingly brings back with her to the present day, as echoes of the past resonate through time. But little does Viv realise just how much both their lives across the centuries will become so intertwined. And in the end, how can they help each other
across the ages without changing the course of history?
For fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, Christina Courtenay.
“In the best Barbara Erskine tradition …I would highly recommend this novel” -Historical Novel Society
“Amazing …a really great book …I just couldn’t put it down” -Hazel Morgan
“Well-rounded characters and a wealth of historical research make this a real page-turner” – Amazon review
“Enthralling” -Amazon review
“Julia does an incredible job of setting up the idea of time-shift so that it’s believable and makes sense” – Amazon review
“Viv/Lady Vivianne … lovely identifiable heroine in both time periods….I love her strength and vulnerability. And Rory/Roland is simply gorgeous!” – Melissa Morgan
“gripping … a very real sense of threat and danger, an enthralling mystery … a wholly convincing romance, across both timelines” – Anne Williams
Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and the concept of time. She sees her author brand as a historical fiction writer of romantic mysteries that are evocative of time and place, well-
researched and uplifting page-turners. Her current series focuses on early medieval time-slip/dual-time mysteries. Julia read English at Keele University, England, specialising in medieval language/literature/ history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. After a turbulent time in Ghana, West Africa, she became a school teacher, then a university academic and researcher. Her break as an author came soon after she joined the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme in 2015, with a three-book deal from Lume Books (Endeavour) for a trilogy (Drumbeats) set in Ghana in the 1960s. She has published five other books, including A Shape on the Air, an Anglo-Saxon timeslip mystery, and its two sequels The Dragon Tree and The Rune Stone. Her work in progress is the first of a new series of Anglo-Saxon mysteries (Daughter of Mercia) where echoes of the past resonate across the centuries. Her books will appeal to fans of Barbara Erskine, Pamela Hartshorne, Susanna Kearsley, and Christina Courtenay. Her readers say: ‘Julia’s books captured my imagination’, ‘beautiful story-telling’,
‘evocative and well-paced storylines’, ‘brilliant and fascinating’ and ‘I just couldn’t put it down’.
Amazon Author page Author website & blog Facebook Twitter Instagram
My thoughts: if you’ve been loitering around here long enough you’ll know by now that I am a massive history nerd, I love historical fiction and have a particular passion for the period between the end of Roman occupation and the medieval period (I will not be using the term that rhymes with fark fages) as well as the medieval period itself. While there isn’t a huge wealth of recorded detail of the period, writing being very primitive, mostly done by priests (the Romans however kept very detailed records) and paper expensive. So we have to use our imaginations a fair bit.
Which is why we get such fun books, like this and Christina Courtney’s books (although they’re set a bit later when the Vikings were settling in Britain) complete with time travel and mythical figures who may or may not have been real to some extent (yes, I’m talking about King Arthur, especially as Viv in this book is related very distantly to Nimue, the Lady of the Lake, who gave him Excalibur).
Viv has just had her heart broken by a horrible little man, when she first starts to time slip, finding herself in the body of Lady Vivianne, a Briton, herself hostage to another horrid man, who plans to forcibly marry her and cement his theft of her lands, titles and people, after her parents’ brutal deaths. But both modern Viv and historic Vivianne are tough women, smart and capable and surrounded by good friends who want to help them get back what’s theirs.
Thankfully Viv’s friends don’t immediately think she’s lost it, although they’re a little sceptical, but less so once hunky vicar (a thing I have never seen despite a lifetime of involvement in various bits of the church, including working for it and being educated by it – supposedly) Rory steps into the frame. Turns out he’s a fellow time traveller, who’s own equivalent avatar is Sir Roland, Lady Vivienne’s handsome friend (convenient that!).
Look, I loved this book, it’s a lot of fun, there’s lots of history, some romance, the women aren’t soppy but strong and stand on their own two feet, with excellent pals around them (even if, like Tilly, they’re a bit nuts) and I can’t wait to share the rest of the series with you – book 2 tomorrow!
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.