Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Stitch in Time (Travel)

by Anna Campbell

Do you like time travel romance?

I do. But it's a genre that has been through its ups and downs in recent years, sadly, more downs than ups.

I'm currently reading an advance copy of a really good one (which has elements of another in-and-out-of-fashion genre, the pirate romance), SAPPHIRE DREAM by Pamela Montgomerie who also writes fantastic paranormal romance as Pamela Palmer. SAPPHIRE DREAM comes out in July - keep an eye out for it.

One of the things I love about time travel romance is that they're part of another subgenre that has always appealed to me, the fish out of water romance. The time traveler is by necessity outside their comfort zone and they have to show all their courage and ingenuity and spirit to survive. They also have to open their hearts to their new world and that usually means opening their heart to a new love. There's inbuilt conflict - will they stay in their new world forever or will they return to their old one? And if they do, what happens to their love?

Oh, and there's also the fact that usually time travel romance involves a good dollop of great comedy as the time traveler learns to cope with the customs of the time they've landed in.

I've got a number of favorite time travel romances. There are the books in Karen Marie Moning's wonderful Highlander series. Who could forget Dageus, the Dark Highlander?

Another favorite is Jude Deveraux's A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR. It's actually double the fun as at first the hero comes forward into our age and falls for the glories of 20th century technology and then the heroine heads back into the 16th century. So we get two fish out of two waters - hmm, need to work on that sentence. This book is a great example of both the emotional conflict and the comedy that the time travel romance invites. You'll laugh and you'll cry in this great story.

I think my all-time favorite time travel romance is Linda Howard's fantastic SON OF THE MORNING which out Da Vincis THE DA VINCI CODE. Actually there's not a lot of comedy in this one - just nail-biting suspense and sizzling passion. This book breaks so many 'rules' of romance. For example, the hero and heroine don't meet in the flesh until well into the story although they have a number of searing dream encounters that will make you sit up and pay attention. The heroine translates a Templar manuscript that reveals the existence of the Holy Grail. The hero is a Templar living in the 14th century who is sworn to protect the Holy Grail at all costs. When he meets her, he decides he has to kill her for the sake of the greater good. Talk about high stakes romance!

Oh, and make sure you check out the latest contest on my website. No time travel romances but some great historical romance up for grabs in my I Heart Historical Romance contest. The prize includes signed copies of UNMASKED by Nicola Cornick, THE TROUBLE WITH MOONLIGHT by Donna MacMeans, A NOTORIOUS WOMAN by Amanda McCabe and TEMPT THE DEVIL, my latest release.

So do you like time travel romance? Do you have a favorite? Are there any other genres you like that aren't always in fashion?


Annie West said...

Anna, great post. You're right, these stories do seem to be subject to trends, don't they? Have to say I haven't read many time travel romances but have seen a few such movies and they've always fascinated me.

Interestingly though, the ones I remember most had a definite tinge of sadness about them and not so much fish out of water comedy, unless you count 'The Visitors' a French movie. A knight and his servant move forward in time. So popular in France they used the same actors in an English language film.


Helen said...

Hi Anna

I haven't read any time travel romances that I can remember so I need to try some of them they sound really good. I have for many years pretty much stuck to historical romances (my favourites) but over the last year I have been reading lots of different genres and am loving them.
I really love westerns as well and for a while they were not very popular but seem to be making a come back and I also love romances set around the civil war between the north and the south in America and way back (I can't remember the name of them) I read some romance about the convicts sent to Australia and enjoyed them too.
I have just read a couple of Pamela Clare's books set in 17th century America involving the English and French fantastic books.

I do love trying new genres and I will be looking for some time travel.

Have Fun

Laurie said...

I like time travels!

I remember Nora Roberts'Time & Again... time traveling brothers from the future to the present, Susanne Elizabeth's Destined to Love go back to Medieval times, and Linda Lael Miller's books' Now & Then, Here & Now had a woman going back to the Wild West and then a man coming to the future.

Diane Gabaldon's Outlander... series 1700's Scotland is a favorite too!

Kara said...

I loved Karen Marie Moning's time travel series and also Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Oooh and even Sherrilyn Kenyon has one - Fantasy Lover - definitely a fish out of water.

The are great romances and I really enjoy them. I agree - it is the fish out of water that attracts me, struggling to survive, learning a new culture. Fantastic.

RachieG said...

YEA!! Anna Campbell! Anna Campbell! Happy to see ya! :)

I've never read anything that's time travel! I've just never come across it before, I guess I"ve been sequestered.

Excellent article, I enjoyed it!!

PJ said...

Hi Anna!

Love me some time travels! A Knight in Shining Armour is probably my all-time favorite (and dang if I don't cry my eyes out every time I read it) but there are many out there that I've enjoyed immensely and several that are sitting on my keeper shelves.

Some favorites are: Moning's Highlanders, Veronica Wolff's Highlanders, Sandy Blair's Highlanders, Janet Chapman's Highlanders (are you sensing a theme here?), Sandra Hill's Vikings (hilariously funny books), and Linda Lael Miller's Pirates and Knights.

I will definitely put Sapphire Dream on my list of books to watch for.

Pam said...

Hi, Anna! I loved this post, mainly because I'd forgotten how much I love time travels, too. There's (almost) always some element of history to them, so combined with a modern hero/heroine, it's a best-of-both-worlds scenario, like chocolate AND peanut butter!

Love many of the ones you mention, also have added a few to my next bookstore list, but one of my favorites (both movie and book) is Timeline by Michael Chrichton. I think I read or watch that at least once a year.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Annie! Actually you're right about the time travel movies having a touch of sadness. The books do too - because whoever chooses IS leaving behind a whole life and they can't go back. My favorite time travel movie is Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve. Oh, man, does that make me howl!

Helen, time travels haven't been around much in recent years - although all the ones I mention are great. I think you'd really enjoy the Karen Marie Monings! They were a whole linked series. I've got the first of the new Pamela Clare series on my bedside table. Think it might be next off the rank!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, you brought up an interesting issue with Western romances and Civil War Romances. While historicals never really go out of fashion (I never believed the historical was dead!), settings definitely do. I remember when I started reading historical romance that they could be set anywhere! Russia. Spain. Italy. Egypt. Turkey. The American West. Those days, sadly, are gone.

Anna Campbell said...

Laurie, what a great list and I haven't read any of those. Huzzah! More time travels for me to check out. I haven't read Outlander either - I know, I should be whipped ;-)

Kara, I think fish out of water is one of those perennial themes. Even something like Third Rock from the Sun works on that premise. I don't think we ever get sick of seeing people cope with environments that are completely outside their experience. It immediately gets us rooting for the hero or heroine, doesn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Rachie! Hey, a time travel newbie! My work is done. Some people find them hard to swallow because they can't believe the time travel aspects but if you can go with the flow of that, you should have fun. Thanks for the warm welcome!

Hey, PJ, a time travel fan! Somehow I thought you would be! Isn't a Knight in Shining Armor wonderful? I never read the re-written one that they released a few years ago. I felt she'd done it right first time around. Isn't Nicholas a lovely hero? Sigh. I've read Sandra Hill's Vikings, or at least quite a few of them - they're huge fun, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I think you're right about the element of history thing in time travels being part of the magic. I think it helps people to imagine coping with that historical setting if they are seeing it through a modern person's eyes. And of course, the ones where the person from the past comes forward to the future - actually Maggie Shayne wrote a great one with a Viking for Miranda, or at least I think that's the title - are huge fun. We get to see our world through fresh eyes then. So glad you like the post! Thank you! I was reading Pam's book and thoroughly enjoying it and wondering why I hadn't read another good time travel in a while. I'll check out the Crichton. I don't know it!

Fiona Lowe said...

Anna, I'm not sure I have ever read a time travel story so you've got me intrigued. Thank you :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Fiona, give it a go! Thanks for dropping by.

Kirralee Schmidt said...

Hi Anna, great topic!

I LOVE time travels. Not too long ago I read Nora Roberts' 'Time' books and I thoroughly enjoyed both. I also love any kind of paranormal (although not vampiers or shape shifters - for some reason I just can't get into those). I read Donna McMeans' 'The Trouble with Moonlight' and loved it! I sometimes like to weave in elements of mystery or paranormal into my stories, too.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anna and all,

I've only read a couple of time travel novels but I enjoyed them!
One of my favorite movies of all
time starred Jane Seymour and the late Christopher Reeves and had a
time travel theme. In fact, the
entire family loved "Somewhere In

Pat Cochran

dandan said...

hi anna great post i have read a few time travel books i think my favorite would be the time books by nora roberts. have a great day

Anna Campbell said...

Kirralee, great to see you. I'll have to get those books of Nora's. I didn't actually know she had written time travels. Perhaps that's why there's a bit of a resurgence in the genre.

Pat, another Somewhere in Time fan. Great to see! Isn't that the most gorgeous movie? Gosh, I cry whenever I watch that. So incredibly romantic!

Hi Danielle! Thanks for checking out the blog. Another Nora time travel fan. I'm definitely getting these books!

Michelle Douglas said...

Hmm, Ms Anna... I don't think I've read any time travel romances. I did always mean to get around to reading the Cross Stitch series by Diana Gabaldon. I did buy it for my Grandmother, but I'm guessing that doesn't count :-)

Shall have to set forth and rectify this as soon as possible.


Anna Campbell said...

Michelle, I've BOUGHT the first Diana Gabaldon. I've never actually read it - I really don't like books about the Jacobite Rebellion. Too sad. I've heard so many good things about it! Thanks for stopping by!

Virginia said...

Hi Anna, I am a little late posting but I do love a good time travel romance. One that comes to mind to me would be Sandy Blair's Highlander for Christmas. It was a great read. I have also read several by Constant O'Day Flannery that were really good.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Virginia! You're never too late, m'dear! We've had Sandy as our guest a couple of times in the lair and she's a hoot. I must check out her books and the other ones you mention. I was surprised that a number of people who had posted had NEVER read a time travel romance! Glad you're a fan of the genre.

kimmyl said...

Hi Anna!!! I love reading time travel too. Especially historicals ones.

purvi said...

Hey...can someone please help me I am trying to hunt down a time travel romance novel that I read long time back and seem to have misplaced it...
it was about a girl who fell into cave or something and met this guy lord nicholas and i think he had a nice sister but a disapproving mother..the susal story followed till he had to go for a war something and his mum comes and tell her that he died so she decides to go fight in the war as well....i dont remember any characters name except that it was really funny book..I also think there was either the word"dare" or "dream" in the title and that she at the end decides to live there back in the would be great if someone can help me track this book or atleast find the author or the name of the chachters..thanks