Read Blue Bells of Scotland: Blue Bells Trilogy One by Laura Vosika Online


Shawn Kleiner has it all, fame, money, beautiful women. Until the night his girlfriend has enough and abandons him in a Scottish castle tower. He wakes in medieval Scotland, mistaken for Niall Campbell, devout Highland warrior, with the fate of Scotland riding on his selfish, womanizing shoulders. Tasting Shawn’s modern luxuries, will Niall want to switch back?...

Title : Blue Bells of Scotland: Blue Bells Trilogy One
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780983226628
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 268 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Blue Bells of Scotland: Blue Bells Trilogy One Reviews

  • Abby
    2019-02-28 06:49

    You know how "polite" people will sometimes couch criticism by closing their statement with "Bless their hearts"? Well, bless her heart, Laura Vosika tried real hard with BLUE BELLS OF SCOTLAND. She really did try and while some moments were truly outstanding, much of the book was a hot, angry, confused mess.Brief plot summary: arrogant yet incredibly talented trombonist Shawn Kleiner and his orchestra are touring Scotland; while back in 1314, Niall Campbell, future Laird of Glemmirril, is preparing for a journey across the highlands to help raise an army against King Edward of England. Back to the future: after a rousing fight, Shawn's girlfriend Amy abandons him at the top of Glenmirril castle where he spends the night and wakes up in 1314, having traded places with Niall Campbell.The rest of the story switches back and forth between times as we follow each man on their journey of self-discovery and eventual understanding that they've gone backwards/forwards in time. At first, Niall thinks he's been kidnapped and it's an elaborate English ruse, while Shawn thinks he's stuck in an historic re-enactors camp.I loathed the main (contemporary) protagonist, Shawn. I haven't felt this much animosity towards a fictional character since Quoyle from THE SHIPPING NEWS. I disliked Quoyle because he was a dense, dumb push-over where as Shawn is the polar opposite. Arrogant, narcissistic, childish, petty and vain, it's impossible to see what his girlfriend Amy sees in him. He cheats on her non-stop, lies to her face and yet she hangs on. I found their relationship hard to believe because Vosika only ever showed the bad side of Shawn. We're told Amy sees a different side of him, the potential he could have, but as the reader, I didn't start to see any growth or development in Shawn until it was too late. I was ambivalent about Niall. He's your standard romance hero: cocky but charming, and far too sure of himself. His personal journey seemed weaker than Shawn's, perhaps because he didn't have as far to go in terms of self-improvement. It also didn't feel genuine when it was Niall making up for all the cruelties Shawn imposed on his orchestra mates, bed partners and girlfriend Amy. The apologies aren't Niall's responsibility and it felt like I, along with the rest of the characters, were STILL being lied to. I will admit that the ending had a surprising twist and I'm curious to see where Vosika takes the sequel. Without revealing too much of what happens, Niall and Shawn meet and I'm thinking the next book will explore the relationship of the two men after they've each walked in the other's shoes. I had a hard time getting this from a local library so I purchased it as an e-book. No issues with the e-book version, though I'm learning I do miss seeing the covers in color. But not to the extent that I'd switch from my Kindle to a Nook or an iPad. Those LCD screen are murder on my eyes! :)

  • Dorsi
    2019-03-11 08:54

    Loved it! Original & intelligently written. Towards the end, I could not turn the pages fast enough to find out what happened. The end was definitely not what I expected. I can't wait until the next in the series comes out! I will be the first in line to get it. Thanks Laura Vosika for sharing your engaging story. Keep tapping those keys on the keyboard...carry on!

  • Pamelabyoung
    2019-03-24 08:29

    Time travel, music and faves!Gotta say, though, I really hate to get to the end of a book and find out it is the first of a series or a trilogy. Don't get me wrong, I love trilogies and series. I just prefer to know from the outset that I am at the beginning of a longer journey. Frankly, I hate being left hanging and would rather wait to buy a book until the entire trilogy is available so I can read them in quick succession. On the other hand, I can't really understand the whole current obsession of writing a book with a goal of a sequel. Doesn't anyone have the goal of writing a book that will stand alone anymore? That said,I am waiting patiently for the second in the series which, I am told, is to be out in September. Then I suppose we will have to wait for the third book. Still, time travel, music and Inverness? I'll be there waiting.

  • Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms)
    2019-02-24 07:49

    [ Upsate. I first read this book in 2010. I recently realized there were two more books out and bought them both. I read the second one without doing a re-read of this one - mistake but I just could not put it down to go back. But when I did finish, I decided to re-read Blue Bells of Scotland before I continued to the third book. I think I loved it even more than I did the first time! Highly recommend this series if you love Scotland, history, romance, and time travel. And no, it is nothing like Outlander - which I also love) My original review below:I have revised my rating on this book from four stars to five. Why? Because a month after I read it I am still thinking about it. That does not happen often and is worth an extra star! The first was kind of slow for me. After reading it, I realize why I wasn't crazy about the beginning, and why it was necessary. There are two main characters, Shawn and Niall. Shawn is a self centered jerk and getting to know him early in the book was very irritating. He is a famous musician in the present time and cares only for himself. Niall is a natural leader and honorable man - in the 13th century. Shawn and Niall look exactly alike, and one night in the tower of a castle in Scotland, somehow they are switched in time. Once they realize what has happened they do not dare to let those around them know they are not who everyone thinks they are. A head injury gives them each an excuse to not quite "be himself". Shawn soon realizes that if he reveals himself he probably would burn as a witch. Niall decides telling the truth would probably end up with him in a straight jacket. How they cope and what this experience does to them turns into a fascinating and thought provoking story. Shawn has a long time relationship with Amy in the present time where he has treated her badly. Niall is engaged to Allene in his own time, and they are part of a dangerous plan to bring more clans to fight with Robert the Bruce against King Edward of England. The story of how these two men deal with their feelings for the woman they love in "their time" and how they deal with the woman with them in the time they find themselves in is great reading. Shawn's coming to terms with who is is and who he has been is beautifully done. There are twists and turns in the end as Niall tries desperately to get back to his time and to change history, preventing his countrymen from being slaughtered is so well written I couldn't put it down until I finished. I had forgotten this is book #1 of a trilogy, and at the end I was very glad of that!

  • J.R. Tomlin
    2019-02-28 05:51

    This novel starts a trilogy story surrounding two identical men in Scotland who are separated by 700 years.I was a bit nervous in starting this novel because most novels, including some very popular ones, thoroughly muck up Scottish history. I hate that, particularly when it involves events as important as the Battle of Bannockburn. However, although I would nitpick the history somewhat, Vosika stuck close enough to the history that even I wasn't too bothered. Mind you, don't read it for history because there are some questionable events, but it's close enough for time-travel.The main characters are Shawn, living in current times and a celebrated, self-centered trombonist touring Scotland with a concert orchastra and Niall, from the 1314, recovering from a wound and preparing to set off for battle at Bannockburn against an overwhelming English army. Although the two men are identical in appearance, except for Niall's scars and wound, they are totally unalike in character.I thought it was interesting that the time travel was a switch. It wasn't explained how this happened, but I was involved enough in the characters to suspend disbelief. Niall quickly figures out what happened but Shawn takes quite a while to figure out that he is no longer in the time in which he fell asleep.I very much appreciated that the author gave a good background for how each man would manage to function in such a different environment, something many time-travel authors don't bother with. For example, the fact that Shawn is fluent in Gaelic from his childhood made his functioning in medieval Scotland where Scots Gaelic was spoken much more believable.The characterisation in this was very strong and the descriptive narrative well done. I can recommend it to people who enjoy time-travel novels and to people who enjoy Scottish novels with no worry that it insults Scottish history, as so many novels and movies do.

  • Ambre
    2019-03-20 04:48

    An obvious "tribute" to the other popular time travel authors, with a few minor twists.I give it 3 for being fun to read. I subtracted 1 for major historical inaccuracy (clan tartans in 1300s? Really, you have to research EVERYTHING) and failure to discuss her historical research or variance from known fact. So as a pure fiction it gets a 3 (I thought the ending was confused and nonsensical) but as a historical fiction it gets a 2 for flubbing that major point, and underemphasizing the differences between the English language then and now (speaking English in the 14th century would not make one even remotely understandable today, even grammar was different in middle English).I am not sure why so many people misuse tartans in these books. Maybe they just assume it is an ancient practice, or maybe they think the book won't be "Scottish" without it and since there is no proof it WASN'T used then, they will let it slide. But then, it isn't history, is it? It's just guessing. Anyway, anyone seeking to write a Scottish historical novel had best do some research on tartans first!

  • Sandy
    2019-03-05 05:49

    A time-travel romance set in in Inverness...hmmm...what could that have possibly be inspired by? If you're looking for something like "Outlander" this is not it. I'm sorry I blew $2.00 on the Kindle version. I put it down after the opening two pages describing Shawn's seducing the engaged-to-someone-else receptionist by picking a rose from the vase on her desk and dragging it across her cheek. And then becoming the rock-star trombone player savior of the classical orchestra. Yes, this was the first two pages. I picked it up again a couple days later out of curiosity and read about another 100 pages and then gave up completely. His girlfriend was such a dope. Niall's story wasn't as irritating, because he wasn't the loathsome caricature that Shawn was.From other reviews, it looks like the story picks up, but slogging through a few hundred more pages isn't worth it when there are so many less horrible books out there to read.

  • Micki
    2019-03-21 01:38

    the slowest book on the planet!!!

  • Loretta
    2019-03-06 05:37

    This is a cracking book. There are some anachronisms, but the writing just picks you up and carries you away. I got lost in the story. Definitely worth a read. I'll be buying the rest in the series and saving them to read on my holiday. Except for book 2 which I'm allowing myself to read now.

  • Joan Szechtman
    2019-03-17 02:53

    In Blue Bells of Scotland, Laura Vosika spins a captivating tale that combines historical fiction with time travel and a bit of reverse alternate history cleverly woven in. Instead of changing the final outcome of an important historical event, Vosika changes the history at the start of the novel so that her time traveler changes it to what actually is. Although the grandfather paradox is mentioned, no consequences are shown for the changed history that the time travel generated such as people disappearing as if they never existed. The pacing flows from a measured cadence at the start of the tale and builds to a climatic crescendo reminiscent of Ravel’s Bolero.Just before the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn, the two main characters, Shawn Kleiner, a twenty-first century classical trombonist who has rock-star fame, switches places with Niall Campbell, a fourteenth century lord, soldier, and harpist. Niall and Shawn are effectively clones, and so are seen by their peers to be the persons they were expected to be. One thing that often bothers me in time travel tales is how the time traveler is able to understand radically different versions of the same language. For example, in addition to Gaelic, Niall knew Middle English, which is not readily intelligible to Modern English speakers. Here is a sample from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales:Heere bigynneth The Knyghtes TaleWHILOM, as olde stories tellen us, Ther was a duc that highte Theseus;Visually, this may be more understandable for us than if we heard it, because of the way pronunciations changed. In Monty Python and The Holy Grail, knight was pronounced ki-nig-it. This is probably the way knight was said then as one of the members of Monty Python, Terry Jones, is a medievalist. Vosika shows how Niall works through the language change in a believable way.Vosika created a plausible background for both characters that allowed them to function—albeit awkwardly—in the other's time. I was able to suspend my disbelief that these two men had these skills and were physically identical to each other. I particularly liked Shawn’s transformation from an arrogant womanizer who only thinks about himself and what people can do for him, to an unpretentious loyal friend—a man ready to lay down his life for a cause he believes in.Perhaps the most important aspect of a story to me is that I become invested in the characters. Blue Bells does not disappoint. Both Shawn and Niall are fully fleshed and I could imagine having a conversation with each. In addition to the two main characters, I feel I got to know and cared for Amy, Shawn’s lover. One negative in my mind is the author sprang a significant revelation about Amy where I did not see the behavior as consistent with her character. My apologies for being vague, but I do not want to introduce spoilers. One character that I would have like to have known better was Allene, a feisty, self-sufficient medieval noblewoman and Niall’s betrothed. I look forward to learning more about her in the second book.Of some minor concern was that I thought the prose could have been tighter and I found a few typos. I soon forgot these as I became absorbed by the story. This is one book that I found hard to put down.Even though this is only the first book, I found the ending sufficiently satisfying, giving me the patience to wait for the second of the trilogy. That said; write faster, Laura. I want to read more.

  • Dianne Wilensky
    2019-03-20 08:51

    This is book 1 of a trilogy (Scottish history, romance, time travel). Book 2 is "The Minstral Boy" and there is a 3rd book on the way that I want to read as soon as it is published.I'm not good at explaining why I liked a book so I'll borrow a review from "What if you could swap your life with someone in years long past? It's one of those questions I ask myself a lot. This book explores the possibilities of time travel and changing personalities.Shawn Kleiner has it all, including a shallow, self serving personality to boot. Niall Campbell is Shawn's twin from the past - everything that makes a man a man - the complete opposite of Shawn. When circumstances cause them to trade places in time and history - we see one man remain loyal to himself and one man change dramatically.This book puts you right there, next to both men. Whether at the symphony or in battle, Ms. Vosika spins the web so well you are a part of all the action. If you love history, if you love romance, if you love music and if you like the believable unbelievable...this book is for you. I started it and couldn't put it down until I closed the cover on an ending I never expected."

  • Kat Yares
    2019-03-07 07:37

    What if you could swap your life with someone in years long past? It's one of those questions I ask myself a lot. This book explores the possibilities of time travel and changing personalities.Shawn Kleiner has it all, including a shallow, self serving personality to boot. Niall Campbell is Shawn's twin from the past - everything that makes a man a man - the complete opposite of Shawn. When circumstances cause them to trade places in time and history - we see one man remain loyal to himself and one man change dramatically.This book puts you right there, next to both men. Whether at the symphony or in battle, Ms. Vosika spins the web so well you are a part of all the action. If you love history, if you love romance, if you love music and if you like the believable unbelievable...this book is for you. I started it and couldn't put it down until I closed the cover on an ending I never expected. Three cheers for Blue Bells of Scotland. Cannot wait to read the next volume of this trilogy.

  • Kristen
    2019-02-22 06:56

    I was somewhat apprehensive when starting this book, thinking that it might be like any other book I've read involving time travel and historical events (specifically those that took place in Scotland). I was fortunate enough to have won an advance copy of the book, so I gave the book a full chance, and I was very pleasantly surprised.Pretty soon after starting the book, I found myself not wanting to put the book down, curious about what would be happening next, where the story was going to go, and how things would turn out in the end.Writing a review isn't something I often do with a book, since I much prefer reading to writing, but I felt this book deserved one. It was well worth the read, the scenery and descriptions of events were very well done, and I found myself still thinking about the characters and events after having finished the book. I honestly can't wait for the next book in the trilogy.I know a number of my friends would love this book, so I'm hoping they'll give it a chance, too.

  • Julia
    2019-03-12 03:55

    I thought I would enjoy this book as it has two of my favorite things - time travel and Scotland. It just didn't work for me. The character of Shawn was so annoying. He had no redeeming qualities and it was not at all convincing that Amy would stay with him with the way he treated her. Niall's character was the exact opposite, all honor and selflessness. He was a Mr Perfect and the fact that they were so completely opposite just made the whole scenario even more unbelievable. I wasn't convinced that they would fit into the other one's time without people being more suspicious it wasn't them. The ending didn't work for me either. Very disappointing.

  • Ben Anderson
    2019-03-09 03:44

    I was lucky enough to get an advance copy. The writing is solid, characters come to life and you find yourself right there with them-- as Niall struggles to understand what's going on, as Shawn waits in the cellar, fighting off rats, as Allene and Shawn crawl through the woods with the English soldiers beating the brush behind them. I especially liked the fair day scene, moreso after I went to the Blue Bells Trilogy site ( and listened to the music Shawn was playing. Being a history buff, I appreciated the research and historical detail that went into this work.

  • Melanie
    2019-03-16 01:56

    The writing was not the best, and one of the main characters was completely unlikeable - even after he started to "change." In the beginning, I had to force myself to continue reading, and it never really picked up. Towards the end I became a bit interested in how the story would play out, but not enough to make me care about the sequels.Definitely would recommend skipping this one.

  • Suzanne
    2019-03-09 01:53

    I just won this book! I am so exited, I cannot wait for it to come in so i can start reading! thank you Laura Vosika!

  • Cowcatt
    2019-02-28 01:53

    Absolutely fantastic book. I really well done time travel. Loved it!!

  • Patricia
    2019-02-23 02:29

    Maybe I am too hasty in giving this five stars--I finished it like 3:00 a.m, this morning, so maybe I am still not thinking straight. Haha. However, the reason I say maybe I am too hasty is that the beginning of the book was a bit tough going for me and I actually switched to a different book because I was just not feeling it. I think the problem lay in not connecting with the beginning of the medieval story when introduced and then disliking (of course) Shawn so much. However, I returned to this and I am glad I did. This story was great. I guess if this is not a solid five stars, it is a 4.5 rounded up and still deserves the five stars. I haven't rated anything five in a long time--well, months.This book just kept me reading, one interesting thing after another. Plus, it is a clean read--perhaps even to the point that some would consider it an inspirational read since Niall's Catholic faith was such a big part of him. I enjoyed the characters, the settings, and the conundrums. I love time travel fiction when it is this well done.I was surprised at the ending and am starting immediately on book 2 in the series.

  • Kat
    2019-03-10 05:54

    Great Story That Teaches & Inspire the HeartThis is a great story not only of gratitude, love lost, love found, and growing up; but it's a story of history, self sacrifice, and acceptance. The author weaves a simple fiction story for entertainment into a powerful lesson of being grateful for what you have, supporting something bigger than yourself, and learning to grow as a person in uncertain times.

  • Tej
    2019-03-07 00:42

    This is the first self-published novel I've read that I can gladly recommend to others. It has history, time travel, love, redemption, and the grammar doesn't suck! Big shout out to the Fox Cities Book Festival for introducing me to this author. I'll definitely be reading the next one in the trilogy.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-11 05:38

    Derivative. Characters one-dimensional. A Goodreads What to read next recommendation. My eyes rolled throughout the book; and when the clans were called to war, I almost gagged over two words: "Fraser. Mackenzie." Really?

  • Books
    2019-02-22 04:35

    I was hesitant to read this book as I don’t entertain the notion of time-travelling. But Laura Vosika made it so believable, I caught myself from time to time actually reconsidering such a concept.On the very first page of this book, I was already bent over laughing so hard. The author brilliantly portrays the arrogance and selfishness of the main character in a delightfully humorous way. You know guys like him. He swaggers into a room, women’s knees buckle and men’s blood boils. The world seems to hold its breath for a minute just for him. That’s Shawn Kleine, one of the two main characters at the start of this book.Shawn is the epitome of self-indulgence, self-importance and self-centeredness. To him, life is all about him. A master trombone player, he can turn a tin whistle into stardom! On the flipside of the coin and almost 700 years in the past, there is Niall Campbell, a mirror image of Shawn in the looks department. A proud Scottish warrior on the verge of fighting a war to save Scotland, his betrothed, and the lives of everyone dear to him, he is the exact opposite of Shawn Kleine in that he is noble, humble and a man of faith. The only other similarity between these two men is their stubbornness. Oh, and of course the little issue of them switching places in time.The lyrical wordplay in this book is amazing! I couldn’t help but savor every word; every sentence, every page, as it invoked vivid pictures in my mind of Scotland in the fourteenth century and present day. The atmosphere of each scene, whether in a present-day concert hall or fourteenth century wilderness or battlefield, is so well described that not only can you visualize the surroundings, you can feel it, you can hear it and you can smell it…..heck, you can almost touch it! The author’s love for, and sound knowledge of music and musical instruments is also evident as the story is filled with traditional and folk music to accompany and accentuate the different moods and emotions of the characters.A good balance was maintained between the contrasts and similarities of Shawn and Niall. These were some of the most genuine and real characters, with elegantly written depth and dimension, I’ve come across in a long time. Shawn’s naïve arrogance in stark contrast to Niall’s unassuming nature added a lighthearted ambience to this book, yet at the same time seriousness was lent to the story with a subtle religious undertone. Niall’s struggles with his unwavering faith when he questions why he was placed in a situation over which he has no control, and Shawn’s character’s growth as understanding of his past dawns on him through life-threatening events and while fighting his own personal demons, is a personal journey which compels the reader to do some soul-searching of one’s own.The unusual plot told from Shawn and Niall’s different points of view, and an open ending which would leave you eager to get the next book in this trilogy makes “Blue Bells of Scotland” unadulterated magical indulgence. I guess I have to stop gushing about this magnificent book at some point, so I’ll just give it to you straight - this really is a one-of-a-kind book deserving of much more than merely 5 stars!

  • Crazycatladyslibrary
    2019-03-08 08:33

    Did you know that everyone’s name has a meaning? For example, Shawn Kleiner’s name means self centered. And he certainly lived up to his name. As the critically-acclaimed virtuoso of the orchestra and an unabashed ladies man with an undeniable gift for blarney, Shawn didn’t care who he took advantage of or who got hurt as long as everything always went his way. But eventually the day came when his disenchanted girlfriend Amy, weary of his selfish ways, had finally had enough and left him high and dry in the tower of a ruined Scottish castle. Surprised by Amy’s behavior and totally defensive of his narcissistic motives, Shawn decided to remain where he was, enjoy the picnic he had brought with them, and worry about finding his way back to their hotel and the orchestra in the morning. Except when morning arrived, his entire world was changed…Fourteenth-century bard Niall Campbell of the Clan MacDonald was as talented with the harp and song as he was with the sword. Well known as a mischief maker as well as warrior, Niall was the clan chief’s future son-in-law and most trusted champion. When Niall suffered an injury on the day before he was to embark on an extremely dangerous mission for the clan, his fiancée Allene, fearing for his health and safety, tried to talk him in to letting her accompany him. They argued about it in the castle tower, and Niall, having imbibed too freely of the ale that evening in the hopes of easing some of his physical discomfort, ends up falling asleep on the top of the parapet. As the mist swirled around him and he drew his cloak close around his body, his last thoughts were for the mission he was to embark upon in the morning. But when he awoke the next day, he found himself in much more dangerous territory than he could have ever imagined…This is how Blue Bells of Scotland by Laura Vosika begins. What follows is an amazing adventure in two different lifetimes, as Niall and Shawn find themselves somehow switched into each other’s existences. Filled with humor, intrigue, and tumult, I found this to be an entertaining beginning to what I hope will be a compelling trilogy. I give Blue Bells of Scotland 4 stars.

  • Amanda
    2019-03-10 03:56

    "You don't know what you've got till it's gone." Joni Mitchell sang these lines in her song "Big Yellow Taxi". The Counting Crows created their own version, but kept these ever so poignant words. Some of us have learned the effects of these words in our very own lives. For Shawn Kleiner in Laura Vosika's novel Blue Bells of Scotland, these words become a reality.Shawn Kleiner is a famous twenty-first century trombone player. He has, fame, talent, a loyal girlfriend, and women swooning over his every step. Niall Campbell is a Highland warrior from the 1300's. A loyal, brave, honest man who is willing to die for his people and their liberty. Within the walls of a Scottish castle tower, these men trade places in time and history. Shawn finds himself back in time, fleeing for his life, pursued by English soldiers. Niall finds himself in the future, with a pregnant girlfriend and scantily clad women throwing themselves at him. One of these men stays true to himself, and the other finds himself on a journey that will change his life forever.Writers are always being told to "write about what you know". Well, Laura does just that in this historical read. She takes her knowledge of music and weaves a tale of redemption, love and self-discovery. A great deal of research and historical detail add to the believability of the story. I was so entranced with the characters that I felt like I could reach out and touch them. I found myself holding my breath as Shawn hid in the cellar from the English soldiers who sought to kill him; I found myself yelling at Niall to keep searching, don't give up; I found myself reaching out to Shawn at the final fair day, wanting so badly to just grab hold of him and tug him back to the future. I admire the way that Laura Vosika led Shawn down the path of self-discovery, one where he finally comes to be the man I feel he was meant to be. This is a captivating story that you will truly enjoy. I am eagerly awaiting the second installment in this trilogy.

  • Susan
    2019-03-14 07:31

    I really debated my rating. If I could do a 3 1/2 I would. Its an enjoyable easy read; its clean and one I'd not be embarrassed for my teenaged daughter to find on my nightstand. This is a book that starts like a harlequin. The old sweet ones; which is okay and nostalgic for me. I used to read my grandmothers books all the time...and I was sitting in a nice hot bath anyways so I kept on reading. I think it was the 4th chapter (of 21 chapters so still early in) that I started to get into the book. A rock star trombonist? lol. I was concerned in the first chapter I must admit.But before I knew it the author had made me start to care about the characters without being overtly obvious in the sympathy train. I think this author has some real talent which should be encouraged. I was impressed with the deft way the author used some religion in it without coming across as too heavy.(or fanatical) I appreciate it when an author uses faith in books when fitting. Its also nice to not have to flip thru pages of inappropriate scenes that I don't care to read. I was not happy to see that the 'trilogy' has not actually been published past this book. I think I saw it was 2009 so I had assumed that all the books were done. I usually avoid buying new trilogy's because I detest waiting.I'll probably get the 2nd one however. I want to know more...*I was amused but also annoyed by the publishers warning in the book not to share your ebook with anyone? Because people don't share 'real' books either? Seemed a bit overboard. I understand the warning about books with covers ripped off as authors don't get money from 'unsold' books but this is a bit much. Can't blame the author but wanted to note this as an irritant.

  • P.T.L. Perrin
    2019-03-15 01:45

    Shawn is a character you love to hate. His only redeeming factor is an astounding musical talent that has brought him fame and fortune. It’s a wonder that Amy, the girlfriend he constantly cheats on, remains faithful to him because she sees potential that no one else can imagine. I was beginning to think I didn’t like the story until the author introduced Niall.Seven hundred years earlier, Niall Campbell, who looks exactly like Shawn, prepares for war with England. He’s promised to Allene, the Laird’s daughter, and is as loyal as they come. When the unthinkable happens, and they switch places in time, both men are confronted with a new reality. Will it change them? Will Shawn’s selfishness ruin Niall’s chances with Allene? Will Niall’s faith and integrity spoil everything for Shawn when he returns to Amy?Laura Vosika gives the reader an entirely new perspective of the times we live in through Niall’s eyes, and brings 1300’s Scotland to vibrant, colorful life. Traditional Scottish music permeates both worlds. Shawn’s trombone and Niall’s harp weave history together in rousing, lovely melodies.The author’s ability to seamlessly move from Shawn’s adventures to Niall’s is, in itself, like listening to two movements woven throughout one musical composition. Caught in unimaginably difficult circumstances, Niall actively pursues returning to his own time to change the course of history. Shawn’s acting skills help him survive as he comes to grip with the truth about himself. Do they manage to switch places again? This is a well-written, well-researched story with a surprise ending that left me eager for the next book in the Blue Bells trilogy.

  • Corey
    2019-03-23 07:53

    This captivating story sets up the trilogy story that surrounds two identical men separated by 700 years. Shawn, whom is living in current times, is a celebrated trombonist touring the world and causing havoc everywhere he goes. Every hotel they leave is in ruins thanks to him and many hearts are broken in his wake. He has a steadfast girlfriend who wants to believe the good in him but even her patience is wearing thin.Niall, whom is from the 1300's, is recovering from a wound and preparing to set off for battle against the English. He is known for being an honest and good person. He is betrothed to be married if he returns unscathed from battle. Somehow (this hasn't been explained quite yet) the two men switch places while they were both asleep in the same room in the castle and wake up being assumed by everyone else to be the other person. Niall quickly figures out what happened, thanks to some fairy tales from his time but Shawn takes a bit longer to figure out that he is not in the century in which he fell asleep in. The story follows both men as they try to figure out what is going on and how best to play the role they've been thrust into while all the while trying to get back to where they belong and the women they love. I was immediately swept up into this novel and found it very hard to put down when I began reading it. I think that any fan of time travel novels and/or Scotland will enjoy this book. It is very well written and the characters are believable which is intricate when writing about a premise which is so far fetched. I am greatly looking forward to the next in the series!

  • Phoebe
    2019-03-22 06:44

    This was alright. Also, if you don't know your Scottish history, brush up on it a little bit because all the names are confusing at times (e.g., Edwards everywhere--not until Shawn clarifies---almost 3/4 of the way through!!--do we know clearly who they all are).I thought there was a great deal of redundancy in terms of the thoughts (particularly of Shawn) that were reflected; that, and often it read as if it were something I'd read in middle school (I like her! No, I like her!). Not very believable, as Amy is supposedly 'strong' but she stands by an idiot for way too long. Also, the English language bit was wrong-- 1314 English is so very different from today's English. The book was also very obvious & predictable-- until the very, very end. I probably would have stopped reading it if it hadn't been for my mother telling me it was really good. I think it picked up a little at the midway point, and it went swiftly forward at that time-- but then the ending was a bit convoluted (it would have been better done on a movie screen than the way it read). Ultimately, however, the very ending was a little surprising (and yet on later reflection also very predictable, otherwise it would have been TOO middle-school-aged) and so I'll probably read the next one in the series. There have been rare occasions where I've preferred the second book to the first in a series (e.g. Gabaldon's Outlander series) so perhaps this will be the same.

  • Katya
    2019-02-24 02:56

    "Actually this was pretty good piece of historical fiction/fantasy-It centers around the character development of a man who starts off very shallow and self centered and grows into a decent human being. It is the story of two men who live seven hundred years apart and switch places-I know, I know...but it kinda works. The book title is a song title-a Scottish folk song that is often performed by a trombone-which is an instrument played by one of the lead characters. FYI-the author is a professional musician and I enjoyed the way music was woven into the story. I have to say I rather enjoyed it."I hope the second in this trilogy is as interesting as this one was.Addition to review: I wrote to the author to ask her when the second in this trilogy will be out and she responded on 8/22/11:Hi, Katya,Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed it!I have been planning on writing a blog post about the release. I had hoped for September, and although I still think I can have it ready by then, I think I will have a better book if I take just a little more time, so I'm going to plan for next spring. I am currently trying to cut the wordcount, as it covers a year of Amy's life and two years of Shawn's and Niall's and has ended up very long.I'm also in the process of planning some book signings on the East coast.Thanks for asking!Here is news on book two: The minstrel boy: