Dark Passage

MJPutney_DarkPassage_800Dark Passage:

The Lackland Abbey Chronicles: The Second Adventure

by Mary Jo

While I've always written romance focused on one couple, but with connecting characters around them, this young adult series is different because it's about a small group of young people moving together through their world. 

The heart and soul of the stories, is Tory–sixteen year old Lady Victoria Mansfield.  In Book 1, Dark Mirror, she was exiled to Lackland Abbey to be "cured" of her magic. There she makes friends both at the Abbey and in WWII England, where all the young mages worked together to help save their country.

After surviving the terrors of time travel and of the Dunkirk evacuation, Tory and her friends are grateful to be back home in their own time, and none of them want to ever again make the shattering trip through Merlin's Mirror to the twentieth century again.

 

But that changes in Book 2, Dark Passage,when Nick Rainford, a friend from 1940, comes Dark Passagethrough the Mirror to ask for help on a desperate rescue mission into Nazi occupied France. A Jewish scientist is being held captive by the Nazis and forced to do scientific research, and Nick has a powerful compulsion to rescue the man for reasons he doesn't fully understand. But Nick can't do it alone.

Tory's sweetheart Allarde volunteers to go with Nick, and Tory gets pulled along with him.  The mission turns out to be much more complicated than expected because the scientist's lab is in the middle of a Nazi base. The the stakes are higher than any of them could have imagined, for Dr, Weiss is trying to develop a practical way to produce large quantities of penicillin, a drug that can potentially save untold lives.  Danger threatens from all sides as Tory and her friends try to find a way to complete their mission and return safely home.

As with all three books in this trilogy, the story is not only about dangerous adventures, but also the relationships and how the characters grow and change.  The research also took me down some interesting rabbit holes, from Christmas Christmas_pudding_(Heston_from_Waitrose)_flamingpuddings to secret castle tunnels, WWII service revolvers, and ugly horses.  (This flaming Christmas pudding picture is from Wikipedia and is by Ed g2s). Here's the attribution. 

Never fear, all turns out well, but there's a roller coaster of excitement before Tory & Company are safe at home again!

Here's a sample:

Chapter One

England, June 1940

Traveling through time was not for the faint of heart. Lady Victoria Mansfield wiped damp palms on her skirt as she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror, and dropped one hundred thirty- seven years in the past, exhausted and ravenous. But this was the only way home.

She surveyed her friends. “Everyone ready to brave Merlin’s mirror again?”

There was a mutter of assent, with Lady Cynthia Stanton’s edgy “I want to get this over with!” the clearest comment.

Elspeth, flaxen- haired and fey, said to Cynthia, “Since you had the most difficult time coming through the mirror to get here, take my hand and I’ll see if I can send you extra energy to make the trip easier.”

Cynthia nodded ungraciously— she was often ungracious— and took Elspeth’s hand on one side and Allarde’s on the other. Allarde, dark- haired heir to a dukedom and a powerful mage, gave Cynthia an encouraging smile. Though he was jaw-droppingly handsome, Tory loved his kindness even more than his looks.

He laced the fingers of his other hand through Tory’s. Energy sparked between them. She always felt calmer and stronger when they were together.

The last of her group, Jack Rainford, clasped Elspeth’s hand to complete the line of magelings. “Lead on, Tory!” He wiggled his blond brows at her. “But if you take us to the wrong century, I’m going to be very, very cross.”

She smiled innocently. “Do you want to lead us through the mirror, Jack? I’ll be happy to defer to you.”

He looked horrified. “I’ll stick to weather magic, thank you! You’re the expert on traveling through time.”

A wise choice on his part. Jack was surely the best weather mage in England in 1940, and quite possibly would be the best when they returned home to 1803. But Tory seemed to have the most talent for moving through the mirror portal to other times— and taking others with her.

Tory gave a last smile to the four twentieth- century friends who had come to see them off . “Good luck and stay safe.”

“If you ever come back, we’ll find beds for you,” Nick Rainford said with a grin. His family was descended in some way from Jack’s family, and he and Jack shared similar blond good looks. They could easily pass as brothers.

Tory smiled, but they all knew it unlikely they’d ever see each other again.

She turned to the end of the chalk tunnel and raised her right hand. Though the time travel portal called Merlin’s Mirror wasn’t yet visible, she could feel the burn of its magic. Summoning all her power, she visualized the time and place of their destination.

Take us back through time. Return us to Lackland Abbey in 1803. Take us to just a few minutes after we left. Take us home . . .

Magic was mostly a matter of will, and she had plenty of stubbornness as well as a talent for invoking the time portal. As she concentrated, a tall silver mirror shimmered into view. For an instant she saw the five of them reflected, somber and dressed in the clothing of their own time rather than the strange garments of 1940.

Stepping forward, she laid her palm against the mirror. The silver surface turned black— and she pitched into the abyss, dragging her friends behind her.

Passing through time was getting a little easier with practice, though not by much. Tory still felt as if she were being torn into small pieces and reassembled. But for the first time her mind was clear enough that she sensed other pathways through the dark screaming chaos. Other portals leading to . . . different places? Different times?

Allarde’s hand held hers in a death grip. Through him she felt the energy of the others, like notes of music.

Tory returned to normal space with wrenching abruptness. She collapsed on a cold chalk floor, the others crumpling down behind her. She almost passed out, but this time she managed to stay aware.

After a dozen gulping breaths, she sat up and surveyed her surroundings. Mage lights glowed on the ceiling. She may actually have succeeded in bringing them home the same night they’d left.

“That is a really terrible way to travel,” Jack groaned as he sat up.

“A massive understatement,” Elspeth said raggedly. “Are you all right, Cynthia?”

There was no reply. “Cynthia? Cynthia!” Elspeth rolled to her knees and laid her hands on the other girl’s forehead and midriff. “She’s not breathing!”

Terrified, Tory scrambled to her feet. She was still dizzy from the transit and lurched toward the wall. Allarde caught her before she crashed into it. She drew a steadying breath, then moved to Cynthia’s side.

For an instant, Tory had the horrible impression that Cynthia was melting, her features distorted by the difficult passage. But then she blinked and Cynthia was her normal beautiful self, except for her corpse-like pallor.

As Elspeth poured in her powerful healing energy, Jack grabbed hard on to Cynthia’s hand, resting his other hand on Elspeth’s arm. Tory and Allarde gripped Elspeth’s shoulders, each of them adding their power. Tory couldn’t see the magic, but she could feel its fierce potency, like a river of white fire.

Learning how to combine their powers was a vital part of what they learned down here in the secret underground school known as the Labyrinth. The aristocratic outcasts of Lackland Abbey studied as equals with talented locals like Jack. Collectively, they were Merlin’s Irregulars, sworn to use their magic to defend Britain.

Tory had a special gift for blending different magics, and she’d needed that as the five of them pooled their power and varied skills to control weather over the English Channel. They’d been aided by twentieth- century Rainfords who were descendants of Jack’s family. Together, they’d enabled the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops desperate to escape the Nazis.

This time, their combined power was channeled through Elspeth, the best healer. After an agonizing moment, Cynthia choked, gasped, and breathed again. Opening dazed eyes, she snarled, I. Am. Never. Going. Through. That. Horrible. Mirror. Again!

Tory laughed and sat back on her heels. “You don’t have to. None of us do. We’re heroes and heroines of Britain, even if we can’t tell anyone.” Nor would anyone believe them if they did speak. “Now we settle back into our normal lives.”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Needless to say, Tory and her friends won't have too long to enjoy normal life!  I loved the research required to create their adventures, I loved watching how the characters grew and changed through the stories–and I totally understand how Merlin's Irregulars fall in love with twentieth century fish and chips! 

Here are a couple of reviews of Dark Passage:

Romantic Times BookClub

4 1/2 stars!

 "The same delightful blend of love, magic, adventure and irresistible characters readers love to visit with.  Putney's sequel leaves nothing to be desired — except a third book!  I enjoy visiting this universe every time and I cannot wait for more."

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"The suspenseful story combined with paranormal romance works well, with the exciting history lesson as an added bonus,” – Kirkus on Dark Passage

MJPutney_DarkDestiny_800Dark Passage will also be available in print and audio (audio release date is a little uncertain, but the narration is complete and uploaded.)

I'll be giving away a copy of Dark Passage to one person who comments between tomorrow and tomorrow midnight. (Ebook or print, but US only, sorry!)

Book 3, Dark Destiny, will be released on September 23rd, and can be preordered here.

Happy reading!

Mary Jo

80 thoughts on “Dark Passage”

  1. Best wishes, Mary Jo, as you re-release this series. I’ve always had a fondness for time travel stories, so this series sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  2. Best wishes, Mary Jo, as you re-release this series. I’ve always had a fondness for time travel stories, so this series sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  3. Best wishes, Mary Jo, as you re-release this series. I’ve always had a fondness for time travel stories, so this series sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  4. Best wishes, Mary Jo, as you re-release this series. I’ve always had a fondness for time travel stories, so this series sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  5. Best wishes, Mary Jo, as you re-release this series. I’ve always had a fondness for time travel stories, so this series sounds intriguing.

    Reply
  6. I just read the entire series from the library…I loved it! In fact, I ended up reading it through 2 times as I galloped through the first time and then went more slowly to savor it. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it before but dove right in after an excerpt I’d read earlier either in August or late July. So yes, yes…I’d love a copy of any of the3 books in the series!

    Reply
  7. I just read the entire series from the library…I loved it! In fact, I ended up reading it through 2 times as I galloped through the first time and then went more slowly to savor it. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it before but dove right in after an excerpt I’d read earlier either in August or late July. So yes, yes…I’d love a copy of any of the3 books in the series!

    Reply
  8. I just read the entire series from the library…I loved it! In fact, I ended up reading it through 2 times as I galloped through the first time and then went more slowly to savor it. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it before but dove right in after an excerpt I’d read earlier either in August or late July. So yes, yes…I’d love a copy of any of the3 books in the series!

    Reply
  9. I just read the entire series from the library…I loved it! In fact, I ended up reading it through 2 times as I galloped through the first time and then went more slowly to savor it. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it before but dove right in after an excerpt I’d read earlier either in August or late July. So yes, yes…I’d love a copy of any of the3 books in the series!

    Reply
  10. I just read the entire series from the library…I loved it! In fact, I ended up reading it through 2 times as I galloped through the first time and then went more slowly to savor it. I’m not sure why I’ve never read it before but dove right in after an excerpt I’d read earlier either in August or late July. So yes, yes…I’d love a copy of any of the3 books in the series!

    Reply
  11. I love this excerpt. These are just my kind of stories! The first book is in my Kindle as my next read. I think I’ll get this 2nd book right away so I can just keep reading. Well… I better pre-order the 3rd too. LOL.

    Reply
  12. I love this excerpt. These are just my kind of stories! The first book is in my Kindle as my next read. I think I’ll get this 2nd book right away so I can just keep reading. Well… I better pre-order the 3rd too. LOL.

    Reply
  13. I love this excerpt. These are just my kind of stories! The first book is in my Kindle as my next read. I think I’ll get this 2nd book right away so I can just keep reading. Well… I better pre-order the 3rd too. LOL.

    Reply
  14. I love this excerpt. These are just my kind of stories! The first book is in my Kindle as my next read. I think I’ll get this 2nd book right away so I can just keep reading. Well… I better pre-order the 3rd too. LOL.

    Reply
  15. I love this excerpt. These are just my kind of stories! The first book is in my Kindle as my next read. I think I’ll get this 2nd book right away so I can just keep reading. Well… I better pre-order the 3rd too. LOL.

    Reply
  16. Sounds wonderful! I enjoy listening to YA novels based in a historical setting (and those with a bit of the supernatural) interspersed among the historical romance novels I listen to. In truth, it’s refreshing not having to listen to sex scenes. 😉
    📚 🤗

    Reply
  17. Sounds wonderful! I enjoy listening to YA novels based in a historical setting (and those with a bit of the supernatural) interspersed among the historical romance novels I listen to. In truth, it’s refreshing not having to listen to sex scenes. 😉
    📚 🤗

    Reply
  18. Sounds wonderful! I enjoy listening to YA novels based in a historical setting (and those with a bit of the supernatural) interspersed among the historical romance novels I listen to. In truth, it’s refreshing not having to listen to sex scenes. 😉
    📚 🤗

    Reply
  19. Sounds wonderful! I enjoy listening to YA novels based in a historical setting (and those with a bit of the supernatural) interspersed among the historical romance novels I listen to. In truth, it’s refreshing not having to listen to sex scenes. 😉
    📚 🤗

    Reply
  20. Sounds wonderful! I enjoy listening to YA novels based in a historical setting (and those with a bit of the supernatural) interspersed among the historical romance novels I listen to. In truth, it’s refreshing not having to listen to sex scenes. 😉
    📚 🤗

    Reply
  21. “she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror”
    Sounds painful …. but interesting!
    “I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to write YA is so that I didn’t have to do sex scenes. *G* ”
    No YA flirting? …. Humph!
    Really looking forward to listening to these. 😊

    Reply
  22. “she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror”
    Sounds painful …. but interesting!
    “I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to write YA is so that I didn’t have to do sex scenes. *G* ”
    No YA flirting? …. Humph!
    Really looking forward to listening to these. 😊

    Reply
  23. “she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror”
    Sounds painful …. but interesting!
    “I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to write YA is so that I didn’t have to do sex scenes. *G* ”
    No YA flirting? …. Humph!
    Really looking forward to listening to these. 😊

    Reply
  24. “she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror”
    Sounds painful …. but interesting!
    “I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to write YA is so that I didn’t have to do sex scenes. *G* ”
    No YA flirting? …. Humph!
    Really looking forward to listening to these. 😊

    Reply
  25. “she contemplated being torn into screaming pieces, dragged through a magic mirror”
    Sounds painful …. but interesting!
    “I admit that one of the reasons I wanted to write YA is so that I didn’t have to do sex scenes. *G* ”
    No YA flirting? …. Humph!
    Really looking forward to listening to these. 😊

    Reply
  26. Quantum, OF COURSE flirting! Powerful emotional longing, hidden crushes, hand holding, some hugs, and even a sweet kiss or two. But these characters are kid of 16 or 17 and from a much more culturally conservative era. Plus–pre Pill and the girls aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  27. Quantum, OF COURSE flirting! Powerful emotional longing, hidden crushes, hand holding, some hugs, and even a sweet kiss or two. But these characters are kid of 16 or 17 and from a much more culturally conservative era. Plus–pre Pill and the girls aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  28. Quantum, OF COURSE flirting! Powerful emotional longing, hidden crushes, hand holding, some hugs, and even a sweet kiss or two. But these characters are kid of 16 or 17 and from a much more culturally conservative era. Plus–pre Pill and the girls aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  29. Quantum, OF COURSE flirting! Powerful emotional longing, hidden crushes, hand holding, some hugs, and even a sweet kiss or two. But these characters are kid of 16 or 17 and from a much more culturally conservative era. Plus–pre Pill and the girls aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  30. Quantum, OF COURSE flirting! Powerful emotional longing, hidden crushes, hand holding, some hugs, and even a sweet kiss or two. But these characters are kid of 16 or 17 and from a much more culturally conservative era. Plus–pre Pill and the girls aren’t stupid!

    Reply
  31. MJ, I haven’t read much time travel but it seems unusual and therefore interesting to have 19th century characters travelling forward to the 20th century and not to our future. I have no real concept of life for ordinary teenagers back then so this could be educational as well as entertaining. Emotional complexity is a feature I look for in your books and am delighted and excited to check these out in due course. The winking emoticon after my earlier comment seems to have gone … through a majic mirror perhaps!

    Reply
  32. MJ, I haven’t read much time travel but it seems unusual and therefore interesting to have 19th century characters travelling forward to the 20th century and not to our future. I have no real concept of life for ordinary teenagers back then so this could be educational as well as entertaining. Emotional complexity is a feature I look for in your books and am delighted and excited to check these out in due course. The winking emoticon after my earlier comment seems to have gone … through a majic mirror perhaps!

    Reply
  33. MJ, I haven’t read much time travel but it seems unusual and therefore interesting to have 19th century characters travelling forward to the 20th century and not to our future. I have no real concept of life for ordinary teenagers back then so this could be educational as well as entertaining. Emotional complexity is a feature I look for in your books and am delighted and excited to check these out in due course. The winking emoticon after my earlier comment seems to have gone … through a majic mirror perhaps!

    Reply
  34. MJ, I haven’t read much time travel but it seems unusual and therefore interesting to have 19th century characters travelling forward to the 20th century and not to our future. I have no real concept of life for ordinary teenagers back then so this could be educational as well as entertaining. Emotional complexity is a feature I look for in your books and am delighted and excited to check these out in due course. The winking emoticon after my earlier comment seems to have gone … through a majic mirror perhaps!

    Reply
  35. MJ, I haven’t read much time travel but it seems unusual and therefore interesting to have 19th century characters travelling forward to the 20th century and not to our future. I have no real concept of life for ordinary teenagers back then so this could be educational as well as entertaining. Emotional complexity is a feature I look for in your books and am delighted and excited to check these out in due course. The winking emoticon after my earlier comment seems to have gone … through a majic mirror perhaps!

    Reply
  36. Quantum, you just can’t trust these magic mirrors. *G* Though in fact there was a little emoticon at the end of your earlier comment.
    You’re right that a time travel book where characters go from one historical era to a different historical era is pretty weird. That’s one reason these books have been a hard sell, I believe.
    As for ordinary teenagers in the past–I think the very concept of teenagers is a modern construct. In earlier days, kids were usually put to work as soon as they were capable of doing so. Some went into service, or factories, or worked around their homes. Well born boys would be more likely to been studying or training for a profession. Well born girls were getting fluffed and prepared for the husband hunt. *G* We have a lot more choices now!

    Reply
  37. Quantum, you just can’t trust these magic mirrors. *G* Though in fact there was a little emoticon at the end of your earlier comment.
    You’re right that a time travel book where characters go from one historical era to a different historical era is pretty weird. That’s one reason these books have been a hard sell, I believe.
    As for ordinary teenagers in the past–I think the very concept of teenagers is a modern construct. In earlier days, kids were usually put to work as soon as they were capable of doing so. Some went into service, or factories, or worked around their homes. Well born boys would be more likely to been studying or training for a profession. Well born girls were getting fluffed and prepared for the husband hunt. *G* We have a lot more choices now!

    Reply
  38. Quantum, you just can’t trust these magic mirrors. *G* Though in fact there was a little emoticon at the end of your earlier comment.
    You’re right that a time travel book where characters go from one historical era to a different historical era is pretty weird. That’s one reason these books have been a hard sell, I believe.
    As for ordinary teenagers in the past–I think the very concept of teenagers is a modern construct. In earlier days, kids were usually put to work as soon as they were capable of doing so. Some went into service, or factories, or worked around their homes. Well born boys would be more likely to been studying or training for a profession. Well born girls were getting fluffed and prepared for the husband hunt. *G* We have a lot more choices now!

    Reply
  39. Quantum, you just can’t trust these magic mirrors. *G* Though in fact there was a little emoticon at the end of your earlier comment.
    You’re right that a time travel book where characters go from one historical era to a different historical era is pretty weird. That’s one reason these books have been a hard sell, I believe.
    As for ordinary teenagers in the past–I think the very concept of teenagers is a modern construct. In earlier days, kids were usually put to work as soon as they were capable of doing so. Some went into service, or factories, or worked around their homes. Well born boys would be more likely to been studying or training for a profession. Well born girls were getting fluffed and prepared for the husband hunt. *G* We have a lot more choices now!

    Reply
  40. Quantum, you just can’t trust these magic mirrors. *G* Though in fact there was a little emoticon at the end of your earlier comment.
    You’re right that a time travel book where characters go from one historical era to a different historical era is pretty weird. That’s one reason these books have been a hard sell, I believe.
    As for ordinary teenagers in the past–I think the very concept of teenagers is a modern construct. In earlier days, kids were usually put to work as soon as they were capable of doing so. Some went into service, or factories, or worked around their homes. Well born boys would be more likely to been studying or training for a profession. Well born girls were getting fluffed and prepared for the husband hunt. *G* We have a lot more choices now!

    Reply

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