The Acadian Secret
by Tammy Lowe
(The Acadian Secret, #1)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: August 10th 2022
Genres: Action, Adventure, Time-Travel, Young Adult
Nova Scotia has kept an incredible secret for centuries. In 1795, sixteen-year-old John Smith, convinced he’s found buried treasure, digs down into a mysterious pit on a small island.
In present day Nova Scotia, twelve-year-old Elisabeth London knows there’s no such thing as magic, but when she finds herself in 17th century Scotland, she no longer knows what to think. While under the guardianship of a kind-hearted Highlander, Elisabeth discovers his ancestral home holds a mystery of its own.
As John continues to dig the strange pit, he inadvertently begins the longest running, most expensive, and deadliest treasure hunt in history. Now, Elisabeth London and John Smith each try to unravel the secrets consuming them, unaware that a tormented young man holds the string weaving all of their lives together.
For Elisabeth, the adventure is just beginning. Unless her parents discover she’s time-travelling. Then…she is so grounded.
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As the evening sun wandered behind the mountains, it cast an emerald glow across a glen. The valley was dotted with boulders, rocks, and drifts of bright yellow flowering bushes that blanketed the rolling hills, perfuming the air with a coconut scent. A small river twisted its way toward a distant forest. Overhead, a hawk screeched while soaring across an endless blue sky, declaring its vast territory to other hawks.
A dog yelped, over and over and over again.
Awakened by the barking, Elisabeth’s eyes narrowed in confusion. Her chest tightened as she sat up. “What the—?”
A huge, hairy boar, with razor-sharp tusks, lunged into the nearby brambles.
With a gasp, Elisabeth scrambled behind a large rock. Her breath hitched as her mind raced to make sense of the surrounding scenery.
That’s when a hunter, with a short beard and wild black hair that gave him a crazed look, came galloping over the crest of a hill on horseback. “Good boy, Talbot,” he yelled when the dog lunged into the brambles after the wild pig. The angry grunts of the boar filtered through the thick shrub.
Elisabeth leaped back, ducking low to hide behind the boulder. One hand pressed tight across her mouth.
The clip-clop stomping of the horse’s hooves sounded closer. Then, the hunter’s voice rose in pitch as his piercing blue-green eyes stared down at her, crouched in the heather. “What the devil…?”
A cold chill ran up her spine when he dismounted. His head cocked slightly to the side, and she realized his hearing focused on the dog and the boar as he drew closer.
Bending to peer at her, the hunter scratched his cheek. “You all right, lass?”
Elisabeth’s muscles tightened and she drew her head back sharply. “Yep. Fine.”
“Then…what are ye doing out here?” he asked in an uncertain tone while helping her to her feet. “Dressed in naught but…that?”
Elisabeth’s mouth opened, but nothing came out.
“Well, you’re lucky I found you before—” The silence in the valley now broken, Talbot howled, the boar squealed, and Elisabeth backed away with quick, jerky steps.
“Dinnae move, lass,” he ordered in a steady, low-pitched voice while reaching for his dagger.
Elisabeth gasped for air, watching the enraged boar desert its hiding spot in the brambles and charge toward the dog, its lethal tusks ready to kill.
Talbot seemed well-trained so, instead of turning tail and running, he danced backward, facing the pig, luring it away from his master. With the boar now in pursuit of the dog, the hunter ran at the beast as if he were a wild animal himself. Jumping on the boar from behind, he grabbed its ear, yanked its head up, and slashed its throat.
Elisabeth’s heart pounded, and she gripped the sides of her head.
The hunter jumped off the boar as it fell limp at his feet and cleaned the blade on the carcass before putting it away. He then walked toward Elisabeth, his bloody hands held in front of him.
“You’ve got a knife.” Elisabeth whimpered as her gaze darted from the enormous man dressed in a skirt to the ragtag group of hunters who came cantering over the crest of the hill.
“Aye, and a sword.” He smirked while pointing at it. “I’m not going to harm you, though. I’m hunting.”
“Hunting what? Little girls?” Not waiting for an answer, she bolted, heading for the distant forest.
The hunter took a step back and chuckled as Elisabeth made her great escape in slow motion, hindered terribly by bare feet.
“You’re completely mad!” he shouted while mounting his horse, motioning to the arriving men to deal with the boar carcass.
The black warhorse was as large and intimidating as the hunter and the animal’s powerful legs kicked up tall grass and thistles as it galloped along. The sound of its hooves seemed amplified as it neared Elisabeth.
Without needing to slow his horse, he reached down, scooped Elisabeth into his arms, and placed her in the saddle in front of him. She let out a sharp scream.
“There. Now be a good lass. I promise I’m not going to hurt you. You’re on my land so I know you’re not from these parts. I cannot leave you alone out here. It’s not safe and will soon be dark.”
A wave of coldness caused Elisabeth to tremble. She had no idea where she was and no recollection of arriving. When the hunter wrapped her in his plaid and nudged his horse on, Elisabeth’s shoulders tightened. She remained silent, bringing a shaky hand to her forehead while trying to figure out what the heck was going on. This definitely wasn’t Mahone Bay anymore.
An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.
She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.
I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way.
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