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Charlemagne Time-Travel

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Summary

On December 31, 1999, Gina is sent to make a last-minute repair to an old computer before the machine shuts down as the calendar turns to the year 2000. The next thing she knows, she’s falling through the air, watching mountains and forests go by and headed for a large stone building with a red tile roof.

She lands on a man who’s lying in a bed – and there is no hole in the roof. The very surprised man, who says he’s Lord Dominick, asks if she’s a spy sent by Queen Fastrada. Gina obviously has no idea what he’s talking about.

Dominick decides she’s lying or, possibly, she has been very sick, judging by the fact that her hair has been cut so short, most likely to save her strength.

She learns she’s at Feldbruck, Dominick’s estate in Bavaria, and the year is A.D. 792.

Soon she’s dressed in an ankle-length gown, helping the kindly chatelaine, Hedwiga, with household chores. Later, she sits on a stone bench in the garden, trying to figure out exactly what has happened to her. Dominick brings her a rose and begins questioning her, promising to protect her if she’s being forced to act against her will.

The next day a visitor arrives. He’s Pepin, called Hunchback because of his crooked shoulder, and he’s the son of Charles, king of the Franks (Charlemagne) by his first wife. That marriage wasn’t blessed by a priest, so Pepin has been declared illegitimate.

That evening Gina overhears Pepin telling Dominick about a plan by Bavarian nobles to remove Charles from the throne and elevate Pepin in his place. When Dominick says Charles will have to be killed to remove him, Pepin insists he will be sent to a monastery to live. He asks Dominick to join him. After Pepin leaves, Dominick says he is going to Regensburg to speak with Charles, and Gina must go, too.

The next day, Gina climbs onto Dominick’s bed and tries to locate the hole that let her into his room. He finds her and demands an explanation. At last Gina reveals the truth. To her amazement, Dominick is willing to consider her fantastic tale.

He suggests they search the attic, in case some sign of her entrance through the roof lingers there. They find nothing but a straw pallet on the bare floor, where Dominick makes love to her. It’s a revelation to Gina, whose past experiences were anything but tender.

A week later, in Regensburg, Gina and Dominick set out to learn whatever they can about the conspiracy. Charles, king of the Franks is blond, tall, handsome and quite friendly. Gina likes him at once. His fourth queen, Fastrada, is gorgeous, with honey-gold hair, a perfect complexion, and deep blue eyes. But there’s discontent in her expression and her eyes are icy-cold when she sees Dominick.

When Dominick leaves his house one night, Gina follows him to the cathedral. There the conspirators are meeting and the plot becomes clear. Gina and Dominick reveal the details to Charles, who orders all of the guilty nobles arrested – and Pepin, too. Those found guilty at the trial will be executed. Fastrada arranges to have Dominick implicated. Will Charles believe in his innocence? And will he order his own son killed?
Will Gina be able to remain in Francia with the man she now loves more than life itself?

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