The Mists of Time [NOOK Book]


Diana Dearborn knows all about romance, at least in the books she writes. But passion eludes her in real life—until she’s offered the chance to travel back in time to Camelot. The world of King Arthur and Guinevere is nothing like she pictured, neither is the knight she encounters on her return to San Francisco: Gawain, the hero of her current project. He’s complicated, mysterious, and sexier than anything her imagination could conjure. And he’s been waiting for her…

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The Mists of Time

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Diana Dearborn knows all about romance, at least in the books she writes. But passion eludes her in real life—until she’s offered the chance to travel back in time to Camelot. The world of King Arthur and Guinevere is nothing like she pictured, neither is the knight she encounters on her return to San Francisco: Gawain, the hero of her current project. He’s complicated, mysterious, and sexier than anything her imagination could conjure. And he’s been waiting for her…

Now, joined together in a desperate race, Diana and Gawain must prevent an ancient, evil force from wreaking mayhem in the all-too-real present. Diana must learn to trust Gawain—even while she encounters secrets about her own past. But even if their mission succeeds, does Diana’s destiny lie with this man from another time—and will their love alter history forever?

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“The heroine’s dual nature is exquisitely executed, and Squires’ lush writing skillfully entwines the dramatic story of an aristocratic smuggler’s resistance to corrupt revolution with the romantic tale of lovers drawn together across time.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A romance for all romance lovers, the novel eloquently combines time travel, vampirism, and a bygone era into a compelling and original tale…Squires has created on of the most mysterious and appealing vampires since Lestat.”—Romantic Times

One With the DARKNESS

“Superb writing, vivid narrative combined with complex plotting, and intricate characterization make each novel by Ms. Squires an absolute winner. Don’t miss this exciting chapter in this unique and captivating vampire series.”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews

One With the SHADOWS

“Full of colorful characters, romantic locales and vivid details of 1820s life, [One with the Shadows] has a delicious pace and plenty of thrills, and her vampire mythos is both mannered-almost Victorian-and intriguingly offbeat. Bound to net a wide audience of paranormal fans, this one may even convert devotees of traditional historicals.”—Publishers Weekly (a Best Book of the Year)

One With the Night

“Superb…captivatingWith her usual skill and creativity, Ms. Squires has crafted a novel that is passionate, heartbreaking, suspenseful, and completely riveting.”—Romance Reviews Today

“Few writers combine a sensual romance within a supernatural thriller as well as Susan Squires consistently does. Her latest is a terrific Regency vampire romantic suspense starring two courageous heroes battling one hell of a meanie.”—The Midwest Book Review

“This is an incredibly unusual take on historical vampire stories. Susan Squires delivers an exciting story.”—Fallen Angel Reviews

THE burning

“A terrific tale...the story line is action-packed.”—Midwest Book Review

“Blazingly hot and erotic.”—Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“Marvelously rich, emotionally charged, imaginative, and beautifully written.”—Bookloons

“A fantastic erotic vampire thriller.”—Fresh Fiction


“A darkly compelling vampire romance…the plot keeps the reader turning the pages long into the night.”—Affaire de Coeur

“Bestseller Squires charts a new direction with this exotic, extremely erotic, and darkly dangerous Regency-set paranormal tale. With her ability to create powerful and tormented characters, Squires has developed a novel that is graphic, gripping, and unforgettable.”—Romantic Times (4 ½ starred review)

“Travel through Egypt’s deserts and London’s society with two of the most intriguing characters you will ever read about. You will encounter a dark world that is intense, scary, and sexy, and a love that will brighten it…powerful and passionate…captivating…Squires has a wonderful ability to keep her readers glued to the edge of their seat.”—Romance Junkies

“A vibrant, riveting, and sometimes just plain scary novel that should satisfy anyone—including the man in your life—who enjoys paranormal tales…Squires’ saga is off to an intriguing start.”

All About Romance

“Squires does a fantastic job of taking an old tale of vampirism, and she spins it into a new and fresh tale with characters who intrigue and captivate.”—Fallen Angel Reviews

“An unforgettable, sensual, and erotic novel that take you places you’ve never gone before…will make you believe in the power of true love.”—Romance Reader at Heart

“[The Companion] delivers sensual love scenes, an intriguing plot fraught with danger, adventure, and the unexpected which will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next enthralling tale from this immensely talented author.”—Rendezvous

“Squires has just taken the traditional vampire novel to a whole new level with The Companion. With her riveting and compelling writing, she has woven a tale of love amidst the most desperate of circumstances and created unforgettable characters…fans of the genre will be fascinated… The Companion will capture your interest from the first scene until the last…readers who like a strong historical novel as well as one with a definite bite should add The Companion to their wish list. It will be a keeper for sure!”—

“Squires has demonstrated a talent that few can surpass. Her descriptions and historical details are flawless. Her characters exceed their potential and the plot keeps you quickly turning the pages. Squires has joined the company of authors whose books are classics. Look for this book to become a classic in its genre too. The Companion is a gem. Obviously, everyone needs it.”—Coffee Time Romance

“A totally absorbing novel…the characters are brilliantly conceived and perfect for the gripping plotline. The author gives the reader a unique twist on what vampires really are, a tortured hero to adore, the only heroine who could possibly be right for him, a truly horrific villain—and a fascinating story that carries the reader through one exciting adventure after another…Squires’ prose grabs you from the beginning and gives you a relentless ride through this complex, beautifully written book.”—New and Used Books

“A riveting story, the first of what I expect to become a fresh, unforgettable new vampire series.”


“A book to be savored, not torn through at breakneck speed…Squires is a talented author and The Companion offers the promise of more beautifully, dark vampire novels to follow.”

The Romance Reader


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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429928915
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 500,170
  • File size: 335 KB

Meet the Author

SUSAN SQUIRES is a third-generation Northern Californian whose father almost disowned her for moving south of the Tehachapi Mountains to get her Master’s Degree in English Literature from UCLA. Now she lives a short walk from the Southern California beach with her husband, Harry, a writer of paranormal mysteries and her biggest supporter. She owns three Belgian sheepdogs and rides a warmblood mare. She has traveled extensively in England and the Continent doing research for her historical novels.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
The machine that lowered the casket into the ground made a grinding noise. They really ought to oil the mechanism. Fog rolled in as the light faded. Diana pulled her black wool cape tighter around her shoulders. Spring in San Francisco still seemed far away in March. A guy waited in a small tractor-thing to scoop dirt back into the fresh grave over by the huge camellia bush, maybe fifty feet away from her parents’ grave. Indoor-outdoor carpet was draped over the excavated pile, as if that would camouflage the finality of dirt.
She looked down at her parents’ brass plaque, now three years old. They were together finally, but she was entirely alone. Would she ever find for herself the love they’d shared? The fact that you adopted me is the reason I can write romances. I knew two people who found love.
Diana heaved in a breath and pulled her eyes away from the simple plaque. She turned and sloshed down the slope. Her car looked lonely in the visitors’ parking lot. Fitting. She’d always felt … separate. Maybe it was because she didn’t know where she really belonged, since she didn’t remember anything before she was thirteen. Or maybe it was because she had … well, to be kind she’d call them quirks. Like being able to find things that were lost and Susan Squires hearing what people would say just before they said it—not what they were thinking, just what they would say. What use was that? It was like living inside a constant round-robin song. And she couldn’t reveal it or people would think she was crazy. She’d never told anyone, not even her parents. The secret as much as the noise built a wall between her and the rest of the world.
Sliding into the driver’s seat, she closed her eyes, hugging her shoulder bag. Her life was getting beyond her control. She couldn’t even write anymore. She had only twenty-five pages done on the novel that was due next month. The whole thing made her want to rip her hair out. Much as she loved the setting of Camelot and her hero, Gawain, the romance just wouldn’t come to life. She’d give back the advance and call it a day, but the money was already gone. She was still paying off the last year of nursing-home care for her father. Happy endings seemed to be in short supply right now, fictional or not.
She put her shoulder bag on the passenger’s seat beside her. The priceless book inside had been taking up more and more of her thoughts. It was by Leonardo da Vinci.
Yeah. That da Vinci. She’d be set her for life if she sold it, but her horror at even the thought of selling the book made the word “obsession” seem inadequate. She carried it around constantly, unable to bear even leaving it at the apartment. Okay. As long as she was admitting things, she slept with it. But sometimes it seemed that book was the only thing that was real to her anymore.
Whoa. Obsession over a book, writer’s block. She had to admit she’d been depressed. All on top of her little natural proclivities … she needed a therapist. As if she could afford one. Unless she sold the book. But she probably couldn’t sell the book without some serious therapy. Well, that was circular.
She took two deep breaths and started the car. Okay. Time to go home to her little apartment just east of the Mission District. Unable to help herself, she reached over to touch the book. The way it had come into her life was a little surreal. …
Diana had been coming out of the office at the Exploratorium, the children’s science museum where she supervised docents, when she practically ran into the family. The woman had very green eyes and very red hair and that translucent, perfect skin that goes with them. Her baby bump was just beginning to show. The little girl was a paler version of her mother. The father was a looker. Anything in range with a female hormone was casting surreptitious looks at him. He ought to be standing at the prow of a Viking ship, preferably stripped to the waist.
“Closing time,” Diana announced.
The Viking’s next words echoed in her mind: “We’ll just stop at the restrooms before I take my two girls home.” He gathered the little girl into one big arm and took his wife’s elbow protectively.
The woman took one look at Diana, gasped, and slumped against her husband.
“Lucy, are you all right?” The Viking hauled her in against his free hip.
Diana guided them to a bench beside the door marked with a large sign that read: Danger. Keep out.
The little girl was worried. “What’s wrong with Mommy?” she asked in a small voice.
“Nothing, honey,” the woman called Lucy managed as she eased down on the bench. “Mommy didn’t eat enough at lunchtime.” She clutched a large shoulder bag to her chest.
The Viking’s gaze swept the area. “Can you look after Pony?” he asked Diana, setting the little girl on her feet. “I’ll buy a mug at the gift shop and bring some water.”
Diana grabbed Pony’s hand, and the Viking strode away. Pony. Odd name, but cute.
The woman examined Diana’s face. “Have … have you been a docent long?”
A connection sparked between them. Did Diana know her? “I’m actually a supervisor. It pays the bills while I wait for my ship to come in.”
“And what exactly would your ship look like?”
Diana mustered a smile “Well … I write books.” She looked up to see the woman’s expression of sympathy. Everybody and their brother was a failed writer these days. “Oh, I’m published,” she assured the woman. “But it doesn’t come with health insurance or a four-oh-one (k). City of San Francisco provides those.”
“What do you write?”
Now she’d see the flash of derision or the uneasy shifting of the eyes. “Romances.” Did she sound defensive? “I write historicals.”
Not even a hint of eye rolling. Emboldened, Diana continued. “Right now I’m researching Camelot. I think it was the origin of courtly love.” She sighed. “That was the time to live.” She couldn’t help the longing that drenched her voice.
Lucy gave a sharp intake of breath. She looked as though she’d just had a revelation. The Viking strode toward them with his cup of water, a worried frown creasing his brow. The woman smiled, first at him, and then at Diana. A look Diana could only describe as sureness suffused her expression. “I have a gift for you.” She hauled a very large leather-bound book from her bag and handed it to Diana.
“This … this is old. I … I couldn’t take this.” The tooled leather binding was beautiful.
“Of course you can. I’m giving it to you just as it was given to me.” The woman glanced to her husband and stilled what Diana was sure was an incipient protest with a look.
Diana opened the book gingerly, scanning the pages. “It’s written backward.”
“Yes. It’s in archaic Italian and Latin.”
Diana frowned. “I have some Latin, but I’m afraid I don’t read Italian.”
“You can get a translation from Dr. Dent over at Berkeley. He’ll authenticate it.” The woman rose, looking strangely serene. “I’m feeling fine. We can go.” Diana caught her husband’s pointed look at the Danger door. “I’ve done what I came to do,” his wife assured him. The woman pressed Diana’s hands. “Use the book. It will change your life. And when you’re ready …” She leaned forward to whisper in Diana’s ear. “Look behind the door.”
Diana drew back in shock, then glanced to the door marked: Danger.
“Yes. That one.” The woman smiled. And then she and her family strolled out into the San Francisco fog. The whole scene looked like the fade-out happy ending to a movie.
Diana jerked her head around as a car honked and sped by on her left. Once she’d read Dr. Dent’s translation, Diana knew what Lucy thought was behind that door. The very fact that Diana could half-believe it must be a sign that she was going around the bend. The book was a hoax, even if it was a hoax by Leonardo da Vinci.
The manuscript recorded Leonardo’s effort to build a time machine. It said he succeeded.
There was a picture on the last pages, after all the diagrams and calculations and all the scientific stuff she didn’t have any hope of understanding. In the illustration the machine seemed to be just a bunch of gears. Susan Squires Appropriate for 1508 when the book was written, but not exactly the kind of thing that could manipulate the time/space continuum.
It would be easy to check it out. As a supervisor of the docents she had a set of master keys. But in the five months she’d had the book she’d never used them on the door. Opening it, thinking there might be a time machine behind it, seemed like crossing some line toward insanity.
Like it wasn’t crazy to carry the book around all the time. Or to sleep with it.
Okay. A little crazy. But it was like the book was shouting at her now, where before it had only whispered. That made it harder to think clearly. Still she wouldn’t believe a time machine was hidden in a children’s museum.
Oh, hell. If she didn’t believe there might be a time machine might behind that door, why had she brushed up on Latin? Because that was what they spoke in Camelot as a second language to Brythonic Proto-Celtic? Because she wanted there to be a time machine behind that door and she wanted it to take her back to Camelot, to a time when things were simpler, when anything could happen and people believed in love and magic and honor. As she researched her newest novel she’d grown to feel like she belonged there, and she, who had no childhood, wanted so much to know where she belonged.
Her chest heaved and she couldn’t seem to get air. She glanced over at the book. It exuded hope. It seemed to push at her, like maybe it could make her happy, like the redhaired Lucy said it could, like maybe deadlines and obsession and loneliness were what was unreal and there was some new and wonderful reality just waiting for her.
That was dangerous. Sanity was knowing reality for what it was, no matter how stark, and learning to cope with it. If there were no machine that could change your life behind that door, then she’d be able to go home to her empty apartment, make an appointment with a therapist at some free clinic, and face her future.
So she knew what she had to do.
She was going to the Exploratorium tonight and look behind that door marked: Danger.
Diana parked in the front lot, close to the museum entrance. The fog was a blanket down here near the bay. The ornate colonnades that lined the path to the Rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts loomed to her left, the angels on the capitals looking more like gargoyles in the mist. The Palace had been restored a couple of years ago for the umpteenth time, on this occasion to make it earthquake proof. Originally built for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition of 1915 as a temporary building, it had never been meant to stand the test of time. Excavations to install the reinforcing struts had revealed a basement of sorts, a secret room now buried again to protect the earthquake infrastructure. Diana pulled out her keys and unlocked one of the front doors. The beam of Clancy’s flashlight caromed over the cavernous ceiling. He was about to call out to her.
“Hey!” he called. “You’re here late.”
She managed a nervous grin. “Forgot to post this week’s docent schedule.”
Clancy had a gut on him, but his perpetual frown, lurking among his jowls, hid a kind heart. “Can’t have that.” He grinned. “But, Ms. Dearborn, you got to get a life.”
Wasn’t that the truth? Her face fell. If only she knew how.
She heard his words, of course, before he said them. How kind he was about to be.
“Well, you don’t have to get one right this minute. You Susan Squires take your time.” He must have seen her expression. “I’m due to take a turn around the outside. I’ll escort you to your car when I get back.”
“Thanks, Clancy.”
He turned out toward the rank of double glass doors. “Don’t you open these doors until I get back,” he warned.
She gave a little nod. Clancy would be gone for half an hour at least. She checked her watch. Three minutes past seven. Standing in the entryway to the exhibits, she watched him push through the doors and cast his flashlight through the wall of fog. She spun on her heel. The exhibits were silent now. The machine that mimicked waves was still. The simulated geysers were cold. Work lights in the back cast a harsh glow that barely illuminated the shapes of the exhibits that marched off into the darkness. The mezzanine that housed the aural and biology exhibits loomed over her.
Best get this over with. She made her step purposeful as she strode past the gift shop, its dark recesses crammed with souvenirs. She clutched her bag with the book in it to her chest. She didn’t have to read the personal instructions to someone named Donnatella in the front pages. She knew the translation by heart. The note said … that time was a vortex. That you could think of another time and the machine would … would take you there. O h, right, and how was that? And that the machine couldn’t stay in the new time forever. It would slip back to its point of origin. There was the little slip of paper, almost like a bookmark, that gave the sequence of the switches to flip on the power source. There was a dire note from someone named “Frankie” that said you shouldn’t ever meet a former version of yourself because you couldn’t both exist at once. Both of these were recent and in English.
The door loomed before her. Danger. Keep out.
Danger, all right. She took a breath. Best get it over with. She glanced back to the entrance. Clancy was nowhere in sight. This door was on the side of the museum next to the Palace of Fine Arts. Maybe something to do with the construction?
She pulled out her key ring and sorted through the keys. Damn. Her hands were shaking. She held up her ring by the master key, the rest of the keys clinking for attention. Then she descended on the lock. The book almost hummed with excitement inside her bag. The very air around her seemed to vibrate with expectation.
The door was heavy but silent on its hinges. Diana peered into the dark passage that sloped slightly downward. She flicked on the little LED light attached to her key chain. The corridor was lined with unfinished dry-wall. The floor turned from cement to rough boards. She stepped inside, her steps echoing. The boards gave way almost immediately to packed earth.
The door behind her slammed shut. She swallowed, trying to push her heart out of her throat and back down where it belonged. That door better have a handle on the inside. But she wasn’t going back to check now. If she stopped now, she might lose her nerve.
Her eyes got used to the illumination cast from her tiny light. A black gap yawned at the end of the corridor. She stood on the edge of that gap and held her light out. Several metal girders set at angles loomed out of the darkness.
Earthquake reinforcements for the Rotunda. She must be directly below it in that basement they’d discovered. She cast her light around. Other struts jutted at crazy angles out of concrete roots. She ducked under one and around another. It was like a maze, smelling of metal and damp from the lake beyond the Rotunda. She was so absorbed in making her way through the forest of metal girders she was surprised when she emerged into an open space.
Something gleamed dully in the darkness. She held her little light above her head.
Her lungs grabbed for air.
The gears were bronze or brass or something, a thousand of them, big and smaller and really tiny. And they were set with jewels. Some were really, really big jewels. Red and blue and green and … and diamonds. They coruscated under her tiny light. The machine must be fourteen, sixteen feet tall. It disappeared in the darkness above her. Stabbing out from the center was the control lever she’d seen in the illustrations, ending in a diamond bigger than her fist.
Leonardo’s machine was real.
And she just knew. She knew that the Viking-looking guy was really a Viking from long ago and the woman, Lucy, had gone back to get him and changed her life with this machine. You could make these gears and jewels take you through the vortex of time just by thinking about a destination. The book inside her shoulder bag seemed almost jubilant.
Diana put out a hand to the nearest girder to steady herself and took some deep breaths. Then she examined the machine more carefully. A modern steel box about the size of a lunch box sat at the bottom with several switches and lights on it and a big steel button like the kind you pushed with your palm at traffic lights. That hadn’t been in the illustration. But the instructions on the bookmark mentioned switches. She hauled the book out of her bag and took the slip of paper out, shining her light on the spidery handwriting: “Blue, then the two whites from left to right, twice, and then the red. Push the big button. Then pull the lever down.”
This was the moment. She could see Arthur and Guinevere. She could see Gawain, the hero who wouldn’t come to life in her current work in progress. She could be infused with that “one brief shining moment” and come back with a tale to tell. She might be renewed.
Excerpted from The Mists Of Time by Susan Squires.
Copyright © 2010 by Susan Squires.
Published in September 2010 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 1, 2011

    Camelot with a fresh twist

    I got into Susan Squires's time travel series after reading 'A Twist in Time.' Her latest, 'The Mists of Time' brings alive familiar characters from the Camelot legend and makes them believable as historical characters. She also seamlessly blends our own twenty-first century and the fifth-century Britain through time travel. Diana Dearborn, an aspiring romantic novelist, receives Leonardo da Vinci's time travel machine from Lucy, our heroine from 'The Mists of Time'. When she uses it and saves a man from the fifth century Britain, she unwittingly changes the course of history that only she and a man who calls himself 'Gawain' can set right. A wonderful romantic adventure with strong hero and heroine whose happily-ever-after is well-deserved.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    An Amazing story of Time Travel of Camelot and Knights of old!

    THE MISTS OF TIME by Susan Squires is a time travel romance set in modern day San Francisco and goes back to the days of Camelot.A Davinci Time Travel novel. It is well written with details, depth, adventure, page turner and fast paced. It has adventure,magic, Merlin, romance, intrigue,knights, mystery, time travel, secrets, betrayal, danger,a race to prevent an ancient evil force from wreaking havocand mayham on the presen, .the unexpected and passion. The heroine, Diana is beautiful, a romance writer, doesn't remember her past, complicated, sexy and will travel back in time to Camelot and King Arthur and Guinevere's court.The hero, Gawain, is a knight of old,is Diana's protector, takes him twelve years to find her, and finds her intriguing. Together they must try to save the present by going back to the past,and not meet their past shelves. Diana must face her past, where she will meet her mother and learn of her true birth and who her father really his. They will together face danger, adventure, passion and learn true love. This is a wonderful story of Camelot refreshed, betrayal, trust, magic,facing the past and the future.I would recommend this book if you enjoy time travel, Camelot, magic, Merlin, knights of old. and a love that spans the ages of time you will enjoy this one. This book was received for review and details can be found at St. Martin's Press and My Book Addiction and More.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    complex time travel Camelot romance

    San Francisco romance writer Diana Dearborn meets a stranger who gives her an ancient tome. Somehow the old book propels her to Dark Ages Camelot. She returns to the present with no time elapsing, but has brought forward with her severely injured Medraught of Orkney.

    Diana feels no desire towards the hunk she brought into his future. Instead she feels an attraction to a stranger who she has noticed in the shadows seemingly stalking her or her guest. His father ordered Gawain to keep Diana safe, but he arrived in San Francisco a few years later than he needed to be there; as he learns her trip in time periled her. To begin correcting the scenario they must return Medraught to the past, but he refuses to go willingly as he loves the modern world.

    The Mists of Time is a well written complex time travel Camelot romance that grips the audience from the moment a feral teen Diana is in lock up and never slows down as the readers learn what happened to her. The story line is fast-paced with intriguing paradoxes and a wonderful link between San Francisco and Camelot while the lead pairing and the knight they need to send home seem real though their flaws are reiterated too frequently. Fans will admire Susan Squires as she refreshes the Camelot legend.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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