“I did have such an odd Summer visitor,” remarked Branwen, as she rolled out pastry. She picked up a small container of dried lovage and sprinkled a small pinch on the plums in the pie dish, then drizzled honey over them.
“What happened, mother?” Quintus sneaked a plum meant for the pie, and sat back with a mug of watered wine. Gossip from the bath house at Pons Aelius was always worth a listen. He wasn’t due for guard duty on Hadrian’s Wall for a little while yet, so he relaxed, savouring the plum and his wine.
“Well, I was at the market, and took a shortcut up the alley, chatting to all the working girls. Then a dark tunnel opened in the sky, and right at my feet this man fell out. Dressed very strangely, and with an abundance of white hair. He seemed a bit lost, so I took him back to the bath house, and dressed him in some spare trousers and shirt, he didn’t want a toga.”
“Who was he?” Quintus raised an eyebrow. “A druid maybe? That sounds like druid magic to me.”
“Nay son. a scholar, he said, so a bit like Janet with her teaching ways. But curious! I’ve never seen a man poke his nose into so many things — and the questions!” Branwen put the pie in the oven part of the stone cooking area and poked the coals. “And eat, by Jupiter that man could eat — bigger appetite for the unusual than Trajan, and he can eat snails faster than any man I’ve met.”
Quintus nodded, looking a bit green. “Snails, the Romans are fond of some vile things. That fishy garum sauce they put on everything.”
“The Romans brought many good things too — dates, wine, oil, herbs and spices. Not to mention an army with money.” She glanced at her son, admiring how he looked in his Roman uniform. It had been a good choice, he and his brother joining the Roman legions.
“Yes, I had better be getting back to the fort. Where is your man now?” he frowned. “You’re not getting ideas?”
Branwen blushed. “Now son, I am an old woman of forty, and he tells me Mrs Clemens is a fine woman. I’ve seen him pat a few of the bath girls on the behind, but nothing more.” She shook the flour off her hands and wiped the wooden table. “No, after a month he returned, to wherever that was. He did leave some drawings behind, I’ll get them.”
She returned with a scroll, and they cleared the table and unrolled it. The scroll was covered with drawings of ships with wheels on the side, quite a few sketches of cats, and a detailed drawing of a raft, with two boys and a dark skinned man on it, poling down a wide river.
Quintus shook his head. “I guess we will never know the meaning of these, or who he really was.”
“A dreamer, son.” Branwen smiled and rolled up the scroll, placing it carefully away in a cupboard. “And a fine man.”
About Druid’s Portal
A portal closed for 2,000 years.
An ancient religion twisted by modern greed.
A love that crosses the centuries.
An ancient druid pendant shows archaeologist Janet visions of Roman soldier Trajan. The visions are of danger, death, and love — but are they a promise or a curse?
Her fiancé Daman hurts and abandons her before the wedding, her beloved museum is ransacked, and a robed man vanishes before her eyes. Haunted by visions of a time she knows long gone, Janet teeters on the edge of a breakdown.
In the shadow of Hadrian’s Wall and 2,000 years back in time, Janet’s past and present collide. Daman has vowed to drive the invaders from the shores of Britain, and march his barbarian hordes to Rome. Trajan swears vengeance against the man who threatens both his loves — Janet and the Empire.
Time is running out — for everyone.
Excerpt from “Druid’s Portal: The First Journey
In her dreams, she could sometimes drift across his face like mist, and she knew it well. A man she had conjured, one as familiar as if she had known him always. Strong featured and dark-haired, his bound body radiated muscular strength. She had seen his fight—he had not been easy to capture, and it made her heart ache to see him helpless, his grey eyes watching his captors prepare him for sacrifice. Even with no hope of rescue, he had emanated defiance, an indomitable will to survive.
He was a dream, a vision. But even if he was real, what could she do to save him?
Read a preview of Druid’s Portal here: https://goo.gl/ydf8qK
Meet Cindy Tomamichel
Cindy Tomamichel is a writer of action adventure novels, some with a touch of romance. The heroines don’t wait to be rescued, and the heroes earn that title the hard way.
Her first book Druid’s Portal: The First Journey — time travel romance in Roman Britain near Hadrian’s Wall — has been published with Soul Mate publishing.
Cindy’s other published work includes winning a fractured fairy tale competition with a twist on the Rapunzel story. The fundraising event Madwomen Monologues has presented two of her monologues on stage. This year she has had poetry and short stories in three anthologies by Rhetoric Askew, a scifi story in Quantum Soul, and an alternate history story in a forthcoming anthology. An Australian rural romance story was recently featured (June) in Uncaged Books magazine.
Her next book, Druid’s Portal: The Second Journey is in progress. An action adventure time travel with a touch of romance set in Roman Britain. Follow the series- as time travel, adventure and romance become impossibly tangled.
Readers can find a variety of short stories on her website, and a blog on practical world building, and lots of romance, scifi and fantasy author interviews.
Contact Cindy on
Druid’s Portal preview: https://goo.gl/ydf8qK
Amazon Author page: https://amazon.com/author/cindytomamichel