Snowflakes in Summer, by Elizabeth Preston

“Want to be in a movie?”

Not particularly. I might be the only person in Scotland that’s not fussed, one way or the other. But my friend, Lily, loves the idea. That’s how I wound up on the set, cast as an extra in a low budget movie set in a castle. I’m a freshly-trained history teacher about to begin my new career. History’s my passion and soon I’ll get to teach it all day long. There are so many other, more important things I should be doing right now, rather than standing in line waiting for a costume, then waiting for hair, then waiting for makeup.

When I agreed to this, to be part of the crowd scene, Lily was thrilled and promised me a special time. She delivered on that promise-rather too well. Sure, I love history, but that doesn’t mean I’m prepared to be thrust back in time, into our dark past. That’s what happens to me though. I suddenly find myself living the humble and horribly dangerous life of a Scottish lass in 1263. I was not ready for this. I’m a modern woman who likes modern things. I love the idea that there’s a doctor around the corner waiting to cure me. If I had to choose a place and time in history to stop for a while, it wouldn’t be medieval Scotland. That’s the end of the Viking era. It’s a tumultuous time in history when the Vikings still own small bits of Scotland, and are determined to hold on, no matter the cost. The Scots are equally as stubborn.

Nevertheless, this is where I end up, forced to deal with lawlessness, disease, lack of education, and an entirely foreign sort of man. In these wayward times, men are not like they are in my own century. Here, they’re wilder and a whole lot more frightening.

I need to find my way home before something really bad happens to me. I’m not blending in well in the past. Laird Bern is curious and itching to know more. He plans to keep me indefinitely, I think. But that’s not happening because I’m determined to get home again, back to my own time, to the place I belong.

Someone else has noticed me too—Storr, the Viking leader. It’s bad enough to be caught between warring Vikings and Scotsmen, but somehow I also find myself trapped in a tug of love. Do I want an ambitious Viking leader or a rugged, Scottish laird, one that is hellbent on getting his own way?

What I want is to go home.