Wednesday 17 May 2017

Author’s Inspiration ~ Anna Belfrage #timetraveller #IARTG @abelfrageauthor

Please give a warm Coffee Pot welcome to author, Anna Belfrage. Anna is going to tell us about her inspirations behinds her fabulous series ~ The Graham Saga. But first, let's take a look at Anna's latest book...

A Rip in the Veil

On a muggy August day in 2002 Alex Lind disappears without a trace. On an equally stifling August day in 1658, Matthew Graham finds her on an empty Scottish moor.  Life will never be the same for Alex – or for Matthew.

Due to a series of rare occurrences, Alexandra Lind is thrown three centuries backwards in time. She lands at the feet of Matthew Graham – an escaped convict making his way home to Scotland in this the year of our Lord, 1658.

Matthew doesn’t quite know what to make of this concussed and injured woman who has seemingly fallen from the skies- what is she, a witch?

Alex gawks at this tall, gaunt man with hazel eyes, dressed in what to her mostly looks like rags. At first she thinks he might be some sort of hermit, an oddball, but she quickly realises the odd one out is she, not he.

Catapulted from a life of modern comfort, Alex grapples with this new existence, further complicated by the dawning realization that someone from her time has followed her here – and not exactly to extend a helping hand.

Potential compensation for this brutal shift in fate comes in the shape of Matthew – a man she should never have met, not when she was born three centuries after him. But for all that Matthew quickly proves himself a willing and most capable protector he comes with baggage of his own, and on occasion it seems his past will see him killed. At times Alex finds it all excessively exciting, longing for the structured life she used to have.

How will she ever get back? And more importantly, does she want to?

A Rip in the Veil is the first in Anna Belfrage’s time slip series featuring time traveller Alexandra Lind and her seventeenth century husband, Matthew Graham.

Author’s Inspiration

He came to me in a dream. No, that’s a lie, however poetic it sounds. My 17th century dreamboat grew out of the darker recesses of my brain, bit by bit, inspired by my husband. Now, while hubby is my dreamboat, I don’t think he qualifies as a dreamboat. Neither is he a 17th Century Scotsman willing to die for his religious convictions, nor has he ever been plus six feet tall and gifted with magical hazel eyes. So how, one wonders, can hubby have inspired Matthew Graham, protagonist of my 17th century timeslip series called…taa-daa…The Graham Saga?

The secret lies in hubby’s past – or rather in his ancestors. You see, once upon a time the Belfrage family was as Scottish as they came, holding land in Lowland Scotland. In the early 17th century, Henry Belfrage married Joneta Balram—a distant relative to the royal Stuarts. In 1612, the happy couple welcomed a son, John, to the world in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. What happened afterwards is all a bit murky, but come 1624 Joneta landed in Gothenburg, accompanied by her son. The original plan was for Henry to join his little family in Sweden, but that never happened—and no one knows why. What we do know is that Joneta felt obliged to flee her homeland to keep her son safe. We also know she never attempted to return home, so whatever caused her to run must have been serious enough to keep her away. As per what records we have, she fled due to religious persecution—not so uncommon in the 17th century.

I was totally fascinated by hubby’s family history. I imagined little John clad in kilt and sporran but hubby rolled his eyes and said that as far as he knew, his ancestors stuck to breeches. Turns out they did, because they were Lowland Scots, and at the time it was only Highland Scots who wore the plaid—generally not as a kilt which was not quite invented yet, but more like a cloak.
I wanted to know more and started reading up on the 17th century. To be honest, until then I’d been more of a medieval gal, but the more I read, the more fascinated I became, and so Matthew Graham began to take shape in my head. At first, this was a somewhat dour gentleman, much burdened by questions of faith and politics. Born in 1630, he grew up during the feverish years of the National Covenant, when the fiery Scots banded together to tell Charles I to back off when it came to their religion, or else…Well, as most of us know, Charles did not back off. Instead, he plunged his kingdoms into a bloody Civil War and ended up dead as a doornail. (Yes; very simplified, I know)

Matthew Graham somehow ended up in the New Model Army. Young and ardent, he quickly realised war was a dirty, bloody business, very far from the lofty ideals he held so dear. Adolescent fervour crashed with crass reality, and along the way Matthew lost his innocence. It didn’t exactly help when his royalist brother not only cuckolded him but also falsely accused him as a traitor to the Commonwealth authorities to save his own skin. Even worse, the men with whom Matthew had fought believed in these trumped-up accusations, and Matthew was imprisoned under dire circumstances.

He almost gave up. The flame of life was on the verge of guttering, and I had no idea what to do to make him regain some sort of hope in the future. Fortunately, this was when Alex Lind popped up. Okay, okay; she didn’t just spring forth out of nowhere. In fact, she’d been loitering in the darker corners of my brain for some time, a modern woman with a LOT of baggage and a very odd mother. Like extremely odd. But when life was at its darkest for Matthew, he happened to glance across the vast expanses of my mental landscape and caught sight of Alex in her bright red jacket and short mop of curls. He froze. He sat up. Those previously so dull hazel eyes lit up. 

“Her,” he said, looking at me. “I want her.”
“Impossible,” I told him. “She’s like three hundred years younger than you.”
“Fix it. Fix it now or I’ll just roll over and die.” His long mouth set in a firm line, and seeing as I know just how stubborn Matthew Graham can be (That Scottish gene is very much alive and kicking in hubby), I realised it was either throw him a time traveller or have him expire.

And so, dear reader, I tore the thin veil of time apart and flung poor, unprepared Alex three hundred years backwards in time. Falling through time is a painful business which is why she landed concussed and burnt at Matthew’s feet. Now and then, she tells me she still hasn’t forgiven me for putting her through that – or at least asking her opinion first. There was no time for stuff like that—after all, I had a dying Matthew on my hands. “You saved him,” I tell her, knowing full well that will soften the look on her face. After all, had it not been for me, she’d never have met the man she was fated for long before she was born. Not that I can take the full credit: after all, it was Matthew who saw her and realised that she was the one. The rest, as they say, is history.

Links for Purchase

About the author

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing.
Presently, Anna is hard at work with The King’s Greatest Enemy, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. 
When Anna is not stuck in the 14th century, chances are she’ll be visiting in the 17th century, more specifically with Alex and Matthew Graham, the protagonists of the acclaimed The Graham Saga. This series is the story of two people who should never have met – not when she was born three centuries after him. A ninth instalment is on its way, despite Anna having thought eight books were enough. Turns out her 17th century dreamboat and his time travelling wife didn’t agree…
Anna can be found on her website, on Facebook and on her blog. Or on twitter and Amazon.


  1. Thank you so much for having me! And I do love those 17th century hunks...

    1. LOL! It is a real pleasure to have you on the blog. Thank you for sharing your 'inspirations' with us!

  2. Thank you so much for having me over!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx