Today we are excited to introduce you to The Going Back Portal by Connie Lacy.
The Going Back Portal
The past is a dangerous place in this fast-paced time travel novel…
Kathryn Spears is a skeptical producer for a TV investigative news team. So when her grandmother claims a Cherokee Indian woman is living on a neighboring farm, she dismisses it as early Alzheimer’s. Because, obviously, there is no farm nearby. Not in the present anyway. But when she follows Nana’s lead, Kathryn is transported back in time to the year 1840 where she finds a young Cherokee woman left behind when her family marched west on the Trail of Tears.
Forest Water is ensnared in a perilous struggle to keep her ancestral lands against a violent white man who claims the farm, and then claims her as well. Desperate to help her new friend, Kathryn becomes entangled in a battle between good and evil with much higher stakes than she imagines.
Each of these young women falls in love with a man from her own time, but there are threats, both seen and unseen, that could cost them their lives.
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The Going Back Portal Excerpt:
“Are you Forest Water?” I whispered.
She nodded, a hint of surprise in her expression.
“Was that your husband?” I said.
Her answer was a tired sigh.
“Were you visited by a white-haired woman a few minutes ago?”
“I warned Old Grandmother to stay away. You must also.”
She laid the baby on the blanket, got to her feet and pushed a narrow door open at the back of the hut where I’d first entered. She slipped outside, returning with a fig in her hand.
“You must eat this and travel through the doorway,” she said, placing it in my hand.
“I have so many questions.”
She locked eyes with me as though trying to look into my soul. Having apparently come to a decision, she squatted beside the blanket, folding it back to reveal a layer of pine straw. Scraping the pine straw aside exposed the lid of a large metal box. She lifted the heavy lid and pulled out a leather pouch. From the pouch, she withdrew a book, opened it and ripped a handful of blank pages from the back. She stuffed the loose pages back inside the pouch, returned it to the box, closed the lid and covered it with the pine straw and blanket. Then she handed me the book.
“You must go,” she whispered, eyes blazing.
She gestured for me to put the fig in my mouth as she tugged the shawl from my shoulders.
I reluctantly placed the fruit between my teeth and passed through the small doorway.
Dizziness overwhelmed me as the buzzing in my ears returned, momentarily blocking out all other sound. I found myself standing in the clearing, the fig half-chewed in my mouth. I whirled around to discover the hut no longer existed. My muscles felt as though I’d run a marathon. Not willing to trust my wobbly legs, I remained motionless, dazed by what had just happened.
There were two possibilities – the figs contained some kind of psychedelic substance, causing me to have the same hallucination Nana had, possibly by virtue of power of suggestion. Or I had traveled back in time. Which was so freaky that my skin tingled. In my business, skepticism was ingrained. I wasn’t easily taken in by a ruse. What I thought had happened could not possibly be the truth.
I looked all around the clearing for the young woman who called herself Forest Water. Then, to be sure the shack didn’t still exist, I walked back and forth over the spot where it had been. There was nothing there.
Then I remembered the book. It was solid in my hands, the brown leather smooth to the touch. The book was real. The place was real. And as much as the rational part of my brain rebelled against the idea, I knew I had somehow visited the past.
Suddenly impatient to know the story of the mysterious dark-haired beauty, I made my way to a large rock on the riverbank. I untied the strap holding the book closed and opened it with care. So many words, perhaps written with a fountain pen or a quill, the letters sometimes puddled with excess ink, sometimes as thin as a strand of hair. The ink was black, the paper a cream color and rough to the touch. But the words were not in English. I had no idea what language or alphabet I was looking at. Some of the letters were familiar, but many looked like Arabic or Greek.
Carefully flipping the pages, I discovered the entire book was written in this foreign language. Completely inaccessible to me. I had to talk with Nana.
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About the Author: Connie worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor, with a couple of brief forays into TV news along the way. Her experience as a journalist shows up in some of her novels. She also dabbled in acting in college and community theater. She uses those experiences in some of her books as well.
Her novels are fast-paced stories featuring young women facing serious challenges set against the backdrop of some thorny issues. She writes time travel, magical realism, historical fiction and climate fiction – all with a dollop of romance.
Growing up, she was a middle child and lived in Japan and Okinawa where her Army dad was stationed. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing.
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