In the spring of 1685, Lord Hugo Everly, ardent supporter of the Protestant upstart the Duke of Monmouth, vanishes without a trace just before the Monmouth Rebellion, leaving future generations forever baffled as to what might have become of him.
In 2013, while visiting Everly Manor as part of her job as a location scout for a film production company, Neve Ashley stumbles onto a secret passage that leads her into the seventeenth century and straight into the path of the ill-fated lord. Neve is able to return safely to her own time, but she can’t forget the man she met or the fate that’s about to befall him. Against her better judgment, Neve decides to go back and warn Hugo of impending danger, not realizing that she’s walking into danger herself, for history is never straightforward, and people’s motives not always what they appear to be. Taken hostage by the very man she was trying to save, Neve is trapped in the seventeenth century, her fate now intertwined with that of her captor, and the future something that neither one of them could have envisioned.
Welcome back everyone. Today, Irina Shapiro has returned, and brought along … Neve?
- [Yes.] Neve Ashley
Welcome Ms. Ashley. Do you have a name you preferred to be called?
- Neve will do.
Neve, it will be then. Forgive me if this seems a bit nosey, I talk to many different people, some of whom are not native to Earth. Do you mind telling us what species you are, or if you have any special gifts?
- Sadly, I am only human, but I’ve recently discovered that I have the ability to time travel.
Being human isn’t a bad thing, even if at times it does seem rather boring.
Will you get us started by sharing a little about where you were born, and your family?
- I was born in London in 1988.
- I grew up in twentieth century London. My childhood was traumatic, so I spent my adolescent years searching for love and security, which led me to Evan, who took advantage of my need for stability.
- I can barely remember my parents. My father left when I was very small and never bothered to stay in touch. And my mother turned to drink after my father’s desertion, eventually forgetting that she had a child to take care of. I was taken away from her by the age of ten.
- No, I am an only child, but I wish I had a sister.
Sounds like you’ve proven yourself to be a survivor. Do you have any friends or allies you can turn to when you need help?
- At the moment, I have no allies.
If you did have friends, what would you do if one of them insulted you?
- I have no friends in this strange world I find myself in.
What about enemies?
- A man I’d come to the seventeenth century to save has taken me hostage and is using me as pawn in his own scheme, which involves planning a rebellion which will dethrone Catholic King James II. Lord Hugo Everly is flirting with treason, and now I am guilty by association.
What do you do if your enemies complemented you?
- Take it with a grain of salt, and try to win his trust.
Sounds like you’re in a perilous position. Are you afraid you’ll break under the pressure?
- I’ve spent years in the foster care system after my father ran off and mother drank herself to death, so yes, I think I can handle a bit of pressure.
Forgive me for doubting you. I’m sure your freedom is something you’d like to see in the near future. Do you have any plans?
- I would like to get away from my captor and return back to my own time, but he’s taken me far away from the secret passage in the crypt of St. Nicolas’ church, so I must bide my time until we get back to Surrey.
Waiting is always hard. Often the experience can set people’s minds into planning avenues that don’t always agree with who they really are.
What type of person would you call yourself?
- I’ve always thought of myself as being a fairly good person, although an ordinary one.
- I am inquisitive, kind, and perhaps a little guarded due to my childhood experiences.
You mentioned “guarded,” does this mean you have trouble getting along with others?
- I play well with others.
Since you are biding your time, do you ever let your thoughts wander off into “let’s pretend I am something else” to help the time pass? If so, what do you pretend yourself to be?
- At this point, I’d like to become a shape-shifter, so that I can escape undetected and make my way back, but I am only a human woman, and not one equipped to deal with the ever shifting political sands of seventeenth-century England.
Do you ever wish you could change something about yourself?
- I would learn to mind my own business and leave bloody Hugo Everly to his fate. He disappeared without a trace in the spring of 1685, and I should not have interfered with his destiny, and left his to his fate instead of trying to warn him of impending danger.
What do you do in your own time line that pays the bills?
- I work as a location scout for Legendary Films, and double as a production assistant on the set. I love my job, but it was my job that landed me in this predicament. I was evaluating the crypt at St. Nicolas’ church for a scene that was to be filmed down there when I stumbled upon the passage which led me to the seventeenth century and Hugo. And now I am trapped in the past with a man who has his own agenda and is beginning to suspect that I am not quite what I appear to be.
That sounds interesting. Not the being trapped with someone scary, but working with a production company. I’ve heard that this kind of work can have you traveling quite a bit, which I’m sure makes keeping a steady relationship with someone hard. Do you have anyone at home waiting for you?
- I’ve just ended a long-term relationship with a man who is too selfish to care for me or his child.
Those are the worst. Is there someone who’s caught your eye, or that you’ve dreamt of, now that you’re single again?
- I’d dreamed of marrying Evan ever since I met him while at University, but Evan is more interested in becoming a judge than making a family with me.
I’m sorry if I stirred up any painful memories. It sounds like fate hasn’t been nice to you. But, it also sounds like you’re showing your mettle by continuing to live your life. Do you have any fears you can share with us, that won’t make your life even harder?
- My worst fear is being accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake, which is all too possible in my current situation.
Why is that?
- I am a twenty-first century woman masquerading as a Seer in seventeenth-century England, and I am terrified that the very man I’d tried to help will discover that I am a fraud and force the truth from me.
Do you have any achievements you can lean back on to help keep your fears at bay?
- I have managed to keep my wits about me and navigate this unfamiliar world, but deep down I’m terrified.
That is definitely an achievement worth being proud of. Not everyone can do so.
Neve, thank you for letting Irina bring you with her today. It was a pleasure talking with you. Irina, thank you for coming back.
If you would like to read more of Neve’s story, feel free to head over to Amazon and pick up Irina’s Wonderland series for yourself. (book one is linked HERE)
If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host an author interview for you, please stop by my Offered Services page and fill out the simple submission form. I will get back to you soonest to discuss details.