Sandy Blair’s Synopsis

The Blackstone Diaries

The Blackstone Diaries addresses the question — can destiny be changed?

Estate executor Tom Silverstein has found the new heir to Castle Blackstone. He hopes, for his son’s sake, this heir can break the curse that binds his family to the castle’s ghost.

Ghost Laird Duncan MacDougall died in 1408, never having known love, and with the blood of three wives on his hands. For six centuries he has walked the halls of Castle Blackstone trapped in a netherworld thanks to the curse levied by his third wife’s mother. He has found a loophole in the curse, but must wait for “the one” mentioned to come. When a single, NY City hotel executive inherits his highland castle, he stalks her hoping she has the metal, the moral courage, to break the curse.

Plain of face and raised within the NY City foster system, Beth Pudding has hidden the pain of lifelong rejection behind a workaholic exterior. Having given up on being loved, she craves
one thing, a home. Brought to Scotland by the estate’s executor, she finds the dilapidated Castle Blackstone a dream come true. Spying her ghost, she’s enthralled and works toward establishing communication. The estate’s executor, the 23 d in his line to serve Duncan, harbors hope Beth is “the one” but only cautions her about the ghost’s temper. Beth finds Duncan’s diaries. Her ghost was Catholic by law and superstitious by culture. She has no use for organized religion. He has killed without compunction. She can’t abide violence.

Duncan is convinced his new heir is “the one” when he finds Beth performing CPR on a castle repairman. Hoping to comfort her after the ordeal, Duncan speaks to her for the first time, but still hesitates to materialize. She hasn’t finished the diaries, doesn’t know about the

Beth is knocked unconscious during a gale. Duncan rescues her. Fearing she’ll die, he fulfills prophecy and places the MacDougall wedding ring on her finger.

Beth wakes in 1408 surrounded by carnage, faints, and recovers to find herself before a priest and being married to Duncan the Black, who believes her to be the King’s cousin, sent to him to secure her dowered lands. Explaining her dilemma, Beth’s fears turn into frustration as Duncan, furious, declares her mad and tries to force her into their religious lifestyle. Upset the real man is nothing like her compassionate ghost, Beth hunts for a way back to her time.

Duncan succumbs to an infected stab wound inflicted by his last wife. Enamored by past memories and deciding she’s been transported because Duncan may have died before his time, Beth nurses him to health. Duncan tries to learn if Beth is totally mad or merely addled. He must consummate the marriage to insure his holding, but doesn’t want a child
if Beth’s malady is inherited. He woos her in awkward fashion.

They wake very content. Duncan is convinced Beth is merely addled, most probably from a head injury. His contentment shatters when he finds Beth shaving her underarms with a blade and thinks she’s trying to commit suicide as his second wife had her wedding night. Furious and disillusioned, he orders a prison apartment built for Beth. He’ll lose all if she manages to kill herself.

Their misunderstanding is no sooner resolved when Beth finds Duncan in the arms of a beautiful woman, the sister of his first wife. Beth’s pain over his duplicity quickly converts to anger. Blackstone is, after all, hers, both in her time and now. Falling back on her shield– work– she throws herself into the running of the castle until she can make good her escape. She lets Duncan know in no uncertain terms-–often with obscene hand gestures—-what she thinks of him. The Bruce plots to destroy Duncan.

Innocent of dallying, Duncan labors to correct Beth’s misunderstanding while trying to prepare for battle. When the sister-in-law chokes at a banquet, Beth reluctantly rescues the woman she has come to think of as Miss “I’m Too Sexy for My Clothes”. Duncan tells Beth he believes her tale about the twenty-first century, when, in truth, he believes Beth’s delusional but he’s willing to live with it. Beth, not realizing this, willingly reconciles.

Beth discovers her wedding ring is the key to her time-travel and shows Duncan. He’s forced to believe her tale and is horrified by his fate. Beth holds out hope. She now thinks she might be here to provide an heir. To Beth’s dismay Duncan becomes obsessed with making one.

The sister-in-law extends the hand of friendship to Beth, and Beth accepts. The woman leads Beth into a trap where the Bruce kidnaps her. He intends to kill her.

Learning of Beth’s disappearance, Duncan’s fury turns to fear realizing his lust for Beth is, in actuality, love. Duncan interrogates his sister-in-law, suspecting she’s in league with his enemy. He places her in the dungeon and sets out to find Beth. He hopes she’ll use the ring to escape rather than suffer at his enemy’s hand.

Beth, trussed in the enemy’s dungeon and terrified she might die, realizes she’s pregnant and struggles over whether or not she should slip her wedding ring off and return to her own time. She decides to trust in Duncan.

Duncan rescues Beth. They declare their love and she tells him about the baby. To please Beth, Duncan ships his sister-in-law back to her powerful chieftain father, the Campbell, rather than punish her himself. Unbeknownst to Beth, however, Duncan sets out to destroy his enemy. First financially, by kidnapping the man’s son for ransom. Second by planning to kill the man before Beth and his countrymen at the tournament. When given the opportunity, Duncan has to choose between killing the man as his clansmen cheer and seeing respect in Beth’s eyes. With difficulty he offers a restrictive truce to the Bruce, an end to their century old feud. When the Bruce agrees, Duncan drops his sword.

Duncan regrets ever agreeing to Beth’s barbaric birthing custom–to the father being present during the ordeal–until his son is placed in his arms. He thanks Beth for saving his soul and she tells him he did it himself when he spared John the Bruce.

Present day. Fearful, the worried executor opens the Blackstone Diary and discovers the last page has changed. In tears, he reads Beth’s entry telling of the babe’s birth and of Duncan’s love. His relief knows no bounds. His newborn son is now free of the family’s obligation to Duncan. The ghost is at rest.