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04 December 2009

Blue Bells of Scotland: A Book Review

Title: Blue Bells of Scotland
Author: Laura Vosika
Publisher: Gabriel's Horn Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2009
Paperback: 372 pages
ISBN: 978-0984215102
Genre: Historical Fiction


About the book

Shawn Kleiner has it all: money, fame, a skyrocketing career as an international musical phenomenon, his beautiful girlfriend Amy, and all the women he wants-- until the night Amy has enough and leaves him stranded in a Scottish castle tower.

He wakes up to find himself mistaken for Niall Campbell, medieval Highland warrior. Soon after, he is sent shimmying down a wind-torn castle wall into a dangerous cross country trek with Niall's tempting, but knife-wielding fiancee. They are pursued by English soldiers and a Scottish traitor who want Niall dead.

Thrown forward in time, Niall learns history’s horrifying account of his own death, and of the Scots’ slaughter at Bannockburn. Undaunted, he navigates the roiled waters of Shawn’s life-- pregnant girlfriend, amorous fans, enemies, and gambling debts--- seeking a way to leap back across time to save his people, especially his beloved Allene. His growing fondness for Shawn’s life brings him face to face with his own weakness and teaches him the true meaning of faith.

Blue Bells of Scotland is both a historical adventure and a tale of redemption that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned.

My Review:

Blue Bells of Scotland is the first in the Blue Bells Trilogy and when asked if I would review this book I immediately accepted. The story line sounded promising and Laura Vosika does not disappoint, as she had be completely hooked by page 64, which was a delightful surprise.
Blue Bells of Scotland is a delightfully intricate tale of time travel, life lessons, challenges of faith, and redemption, alternating between present day Scotland and 1314 Scotland, where the lives of Shawn Kleiner and Niall Campbell become intertwined. In a superb twist, Vosika has Shawn, an arrogant, self-centered, brilliant trombone player travel back in time to 1314 Scotland where the MacDonald clan is preparing for the Battle of the Pools. Meanwhile Niall, the next Laird in the MacDonald clan travels forward in time to take the place of Shawn. The results of this fantastically seamless time travel bring about a rather exciting first novel in Vosika's Blue Bell Trilogy. Shawn must learn to live as a warrior, while Niall must learn to live 700 years in the future, both determined to find a way back to their own time. I found myself more drawn to Niall, who not only appeared to handle the thought of hurdling 700 years into the future better than Shawn did traveling back in time, but Niall also appeared to care more of those lives he was affecting as well as worrying about those he left behind and the duties and honor his had sworn to uphold. Rather than stare in wonderment at a future Niall could never dream of he gets to work, trying to fit in as well as to repair relationships and deep wounds Shawn afflicted on too many by his careless and self-centered deeds. I found the story moving, witty, and captivating. This was indeed a page-turner and I look forward to finishing the trilogy. I highly recommend this novel to anyone. It makes for a fantastic read and would make an excellent gift.

About the Author

Laura Vosika is the author of the Blue Bells Trilogy. In addition to the Trilogy, she is working on several other novels and a non-fiction book on raising a large family.
Laura grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America's east coast, and living in climates ranging from Mississippi's heat to the subzero temperatures of Duluth, Minnesota.
She earned a bachelor's degree in music, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, playing trombone for pit orchestras, ballets, and symphonies, and flute and harp for other venues. She spent three years as a member of the Buz Whiteley Big Band and Farragut Brass Band in Bremerton, WA.
After earning a masters degree in education, she took a job as a music teacher and band director. She has also taught private lessons on wind instruments, piano, and harp, for twenty years.
In her spare time, Laura likes to play piano, harp, and flute, do sudokus, and learn Gaelic.
She currently lives in Minnesota with her husband, nine children, and assorted menagerie.

I received a free copy of Blue Bells of Scotland by Laura Vosika from the author. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



~Jennifer~ said...

I have an award for you here!

CelticLady said...

This is the second review I have read of the Blue Bells of Scotland and it sounds so good I have to find it!!! Great review.

Teddyree said...

Sounds awesome, loved your review and I think I'd love this one too. Going straight on my wishlist!