Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kate Bloom - The Legend of the Dwarf - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

Ever Trollkiller is a young dwarf, twenty-three years old, who had lived her entire life in an isolated cave far away from the dwarven kingdom. She lives with twelve other dwarves who have raised her in complete isolation, keeping the surviving dwarves a secret from the rest of the word. They hide form Terrisino, the Great and Evil Sorcerer, who demolished their kingdom a quarter century ago. But when Ever accidentally meets an elf, she decides that she is no longer satisfied with the stories she hears from her clan. She decides to seek out the mysterious elf so that he might show her the world. But it isn’t long before she realizes that the freedom of the world and the future of the races of elves, men, and dragons will soon end like the dwarven race. Orcs run rampant in the land, killing innocents and plundering the villages. Strange creatures are given rise as they bring death to those who dare harbor the dwarf that they seek. Evil men lie in wait till they might strike. And each of them is allied under Terrisino himself. The stories of hope reach Ever. The stories of legends that all center around one strange dwarf who is destined to defeat Terrisino and ensure the freedom to the world. Convinced that she is the dwarf of legend, she unites with the unlikely company of men, sorcerers, elves, and dragons to save the races and discover who she is.




My Review

The question of race exists, even in an imaginary realm.

Dwarves, elves, dragons - none of them can seem to get along with each other. Until an unexpected quest unites a ragtag group of exiles and misfits into one, and an "adopted" member of the elven royal family befriends a lowly dwarf, trying to pass for human.

Why the sudden turnaround in race relations?

Maybe because what the big bad sorcerer fears the most is the blood of all three races running through the same veins, suggesting the emergence of a very important person.

But does this person already exist or is he or she yet to be born? We really don't know. Clues are dropped along the way when the dwarf, Ever, discovers she's also part dragon. But is she part elf too?

Or... is she pregnant with the chosen one? There are signs that she's battling through morning sickness, because before leaving her secluded mountain home, she did her duty as one of the only two surviving females of her imperiled race. But the man she slept with was a fellow dwarf - not an elf.

It's only later that she develops a crush on the handsome elven prince, Jesper. They are drawn to each other from the start, and he feels the need to protect her. In the eyes of the world she's nothing but a mere mortal, but to him, she's so much more.

When dragon markings unexpectedly begin to show up on Ever's face, it only makes Jesper even more enamored of her. Proving the message at the heart of the story: race does not define a person. In a world where mixed blood is looked down upon, he can't take his eyes off her.

Too bad they just don't fit into society together. However, they know that separately they will fall to the forces of evil if they try and go it alone. It's only by forming a united front, will they stand any chance against an enemy who's determined to pull them apart.

***

The Legend of the Dwarf can be purchased at:
Amazon

Prices/Formats: $15.00 ebook, $15.00 paperback
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 260
Release: December 18, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781540574176
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Kate Bloom is a tenacious and edgy millennial with a BS in English and history, giving her a knack for story-telling. As a fantasy writer, her mind is constantly running wild in fictional worlds, such as that of her first project, Alice in Dreamland (kindle2016). Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1994, and where she has lived her entire life, Kate found the dry dessert scenery to grow tiresome to look at. She found her escape in the fantastical worlds that played out in her head. She has fallen in love with the idea of putting those worlds in print so that everyone else might see those worlds as well.

Links to connect with Kate:
Web Site
Facebook
Blog
Blog Tour Site


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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A. Keith Carreiro - The Penitent - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

A baby is born and placed in his dead mother's arms. When the funeral shroud is cast over her, his father decides to name his son Pall. It will soon become a name that strikes a shiver into the hearts of those who hear it in combat. A lone survivor on a battlefield many years later, Pall dazedly recovers from the wounds of war. Despite the dead cast about him, everything he looks upon is unfamiliar to him. Wandering away from this scene of carnage, he encounters John Savage, a giant of a man who puts Pall within the sight of Savage's seven–foot, nocked longbow. What ensues from this deadly encounter is an elusive journey for truth. Yet, it is haunted not just by a ravening demon that is out to destroy Pall and John, but by the vision of a startling beautiful young woman protecting Pall from afar.




My Review

Upon reaching the end of this book, I was left scratching my head a little over the title. Why is Pall a penitent? In my mind, he's nothing but a force for good, singing a magical song that tames evil and battling evil with a sword earmarked to defend the defenseless. He doesn't commit any egregious crimes or heinous acts as far as I can see. Sure, he kills a bully of a brute in a bar fight, but sheerly out of self-defense. In fact, I'd label him more of a victim, than a perpetrator, when he's hogtied in an abandoned farmhouse by a roving group of sadistic men.

So what does he have to be sorry for? Why is he the one who needs to beg forgiveness for his sins?

It turns out the answers to those questions are hidden somewhere inside Pall's faulty memory.

At present, he can only see but darkly into who he really is. Which begs the question: So what did Pall do in his past that was so very regrettable?

Well, I'm guessing it has something to do with the striking figure of a girl named Evangel. We get to meet her only briefly inside one of Pall's dreams, and the moment the two of them lock eyes with each other. Wow, what a moment! But right when things start getting good... Pall wakes up.

Thankfully, the author provides a tempting little sneak peek into book two with the opening chapters of Evangel's backstory, describing her God-given mystical abilities. Now, I really can't wait to find out what happened between her and Pall. Who is the true penitent? Him or her? I'm crossing my fingers that he didn't do anything to hurt her, anything he needs to confess.

***

The Penitent can be purchased at:
Amazon
Lulu

Prices/Formats: $3.99 ebook, $13.99 paperback
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 254
Release: November 1, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781365287077
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

A. Keith Carreiro earned his master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education, with the sequential help and guidance of three advisors, Dr. Vernon A. Howard, Dr. Donald Oliver and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Israel Scheffler. Keith’s academic focus, including his ongoing research agenda, centers upon philosophically examining how creativity and critical thinking are acquired, learned, utilized and practiced in the performing arts. He has taken his findings and applied them to the professional development of educational practitioners.

Earlier in his teaching career he was a professor of educational foundations, teaching graduate students of education at universities in Vermont, Florida, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. He currently teaches as an adjunct professor of English at Bridgewater State University, as well as teaching English, philosophy, humanities and public speaking courses at Bristol Community College.

He lives in Swansea, Massachusetts with his wife Carolyn. They have six children and 13 grandchildren. They belong to an eighty–five–pound golden retriever, an eight–pound Maltese, and an impish Calico cat.

Due to his love of family, he has seen his fervor for history, as well as his passion for wondering about the future, deepen dramatically.

Starting on May 23rd until October 9th of 2014, he sat down at his computer on a daily basis and began writing the first book of a science fiction/fantasy thriller in a beginning series about the quest for human immortality.

Links to connect with A. Ketih:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Bonnie M. Hennessy - Twisted - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

An old tale tells the story of how a little man named Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold and tricked a desperate girl into trading away her baby. But that’s not exactly how it happened. The real story began with a drunken father who kept throwing money away on alcohol and women, while his daughter, Aoife, ran the family farm on her own. When he gambled away everything they owned to the Duke, it was up to her to spin straw into gold to win it all back. With her wits and the help of a magical guardian, she outsmarted the Duke and saved the day. Well almost… Her guardian suddenly turned on Aoife and sent her on a quest to find his name, the clues to which were hidden deep in the woods, a moldy dungeon, and a dead woman’s chamber. This is not the tale of a damsel in distress, but a tenacious, young woman who solved a mystery so great that not even the enchanted man who spun straw into gold could figure it out. Not until Aoife came along.




My Review

How does growing up in a broken family affect the type of relationship you'll have with your future spouse?

It's not necessarily a theme one would expect from a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, but I, for one, appreciated the more mature "twist." It shows a layer of depth, not often associated with young adult novels. Mainly because it brings up an interesting point: How does witnessing the behavior of one's parents color the way a person views love later in life?

Simple cause and effect, yet fascinating nonetheless.

First, the female perspective. Aoife's father is a loaf of a drunk, who shrugs off his breadwinner duties by blowing what little gold he has in the village brothel. Unfaithful father, check. While at home, Aoife has to deal with a fault-finding critic of a mother, who refuses to lift a finger to help ease their precarious financial situation. Bitter, broken mother, check. Which means the task of providing for the family ultimately falls to Aoife, so much so that she cares little about how she presents herself to the world. She knows she doesn't act or dress like a young lady should, and I love how she doesn't care about appearances. Yet it's tragic at how determined she is not to give any man a chance. No one—and I mean, no one—is going to get through the walls she's built up around her heart. Sadly, she prefers the only thing she's ever known, taking care of her impossibly weak father and her unappreciative mother.

Then, there's the male point of view. The Duke, also known as Ronan, is a child born out of lies and betrayal. Unfortunately, his mother isn't the woman he thought she was. Over the course of his childhood, he felt the truth, but it was never spoken aloud. Illegitimate birth, check. Now as an adult, he can't begin to fathom the thought of ever being loved by anyone, much less his future wife.

The entire concept is completely foreign to him.

Until he lays eyes on Aoife … and tricks her father into getting her to marry him.

Simply put, he wants her because she doesn't want him, and he pursues her with the sole intent of getting the better of her. Sure, he's attracted to her—more like frustrated with her—since he sees how she treats everyone with kindness, and he wants her to be kind to him, too. It's sort of sweet that all he really desires is her love and affection. But it's also maddening that he's too afraid to show her his vulnerable side. Instead, he chooses to play the part of the big, strong man, hiding who he really is from her.

And with Aoife, love can't be forced, and I admire that about her. She's human, set in her ways just as much as Ronan's set in his, and at first she judges him harshly. The last thing she feels like doing is reforming a spoiled, pampered man. Yet despite herself, she starts to warm up to him when he tries to get to know her better. Her tender heart can't resist his pleading eyes and things begin to change between them. But just when she starts to lower her guard, he retreats back to his selfish, manipulative ways, scared of the hitherto unknown feelings she's bringing to life inside him.

This back and forth drama goes on for a while, until there comes a tipping point in their relationship when a dire set of circumstances winds up bringing them closer together. They realize that the only way forward is if they come together as a couple. And that made me smile because Aoife ends up falling in love with the man she was so determined to escape, and Ronan learns how to care about someone besides himself, someone he deeply and truly loves.

Their relationship is no longer about their hangups over their parents' failed marriages. From this point on, it's all about making a go of THEIR marriage, by protecting their unborn child from a certain "little man."

***

Twisted can be purchased at:
Amazon

Prices/Formats: $2.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Mythological, Fairy Tale
Pages: 306
Release: November 11, 2016
Publisher: self-published
ISBN: 9781539753421
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Bonnie grew up a shy, quiet girl who the teachers always seated next to the noisy boys because they knew she was too afraid to talk to anyone. She always had a lot she wanted to say but was too afraid to share it for fear she might die of embarrassment if people actually noticed her. Somewhere along the line, perhaps after she surprised her eighth grade class by standing up to a teacher who was belittling a fellow student, she realized that she had a voice and she didn’t burst into flames when her classmates stared at her in surprise.

Not long after that, she began spinning tales, some of which got her into trouble with her mom. Whether persuading her father to take her to the candy store as a little girl or convincing her parents to let her move from Los Angeles to Manhattan to pursue a career at eighteen as a ballet dancer with only $200 in her pocket, Bonnie has proven that she knows how to tell a compelling story.

Now she spends her time reading and making up stories for her two children at night. By day she is an English teacher who never puts the quiet girls next to the noisy boys and works hard to persuade her students that stories, whether they are the ones she teaches in class or the ones she tells to keep them from daydreaming, are better escapes than computers, phones, and social media.

Links to connect with Bonnie:
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nancy McCabe - Following Disasters - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

On her twenty-first birthday, Maggie Owen receives an unusual birthday gift: a house. That same day, the house’s owner, her aunt, dies. For three years, Maggie has been fleeing her childhood demons: the deaths of her parents, estrangement from her terminally-ill aunt, and a betrayal by her best friend. But now her career on the road, following natural disasters in temporary insurance claims offices, ends abruptly as Maggie returns home to face her past. But why does the house hold a mysterious spell over her? Why does she have the persistent feeling that her aunt is haunting her? Why did her aunt lie to her about the circumstances of her parents’ deaths? Who is the ghost child that may be hanging around the house? And what’s with the guy next door who seems so hostile toward her? FOLLOWING DISASTERS is tightly woven ghost story that raises questions about legacies and their influence on our choices.




My Review

The disasters in this book are mostly of the heart. The plot follows the underlying tension that builds between introverts and extroverts, and the fallout that results because of it. On the whole, the book presents a study in contradictions since neither group ends up the clear-cut winner in the grand scheme of things. The introverted remain paralyzed, wallowing in their mistakes and regrets, while the more extroverted characters tend to lead unsatisfying double lives, burying their problems beneath the surface, pretending they don't exist, only to discover that they do.

The bottom line is that no one gets through life unscathed. Yet does the pattern of jealousy and betrayal need to continue down through generations of a family? Can the cycle of following disaster after disaster ever be broken?

The book offers a glimmer of hope that with knowledge comes power. For Maggie, the main character, her parents are dead, but not for the reasons she was led to believe. She comes to the painful revelation that she's been living with a false set of facts. When she finally finds out the truth about what happened, it completely changes the outlook of her life.

Now she doesn't view herself as such a screw-up. She comes to the realization that there's no set standard she has to live up to anymore. When it comes to living her life, she's the one making the rules in defining what success means to her and what constitutes her own personal happiness.

It's an affirming finish to a book that works through two generations of a family's pain, covering everything from health problems to untimely loss to infidelity. In the end, the silence is broken. Secrets are revealed, and true healing can finally begin.

***

Following Disasters can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $9.99 ebook, $16.00 paperback
Genre: Gothic, Horror, Ghosts
Pages: 234
Release: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Outpost19
ISBN: 9781944853037
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Following Disasters is Nancy McCabe's first novel. She has also published four books of creative nonfiction, including Meeting Sophie: A Memoir or Adoption; Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge: A Journey to My Daughter's Birthplace in China; and From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood. She is a regular blogger for Ploughshares and has published work in Newsweek, Writers' Digest, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, and other magazines and anthologies. Her work has received a Pushcart and six times made notable lists in Houghton Mifflin Best American anthologies.

Links to connect with Nancy:
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Facebook
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Goodreads
Blog


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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tricia Dower - Stony River - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

It wasn’t all poodle skirts and rock ‘n’ roll. From its deceptively innocent beginning—two young teens exploring the riverbank and spying on “Crazy Haggerty’s” dilapidated house—through the intertwining story lines of paganism, murder and sexual violence, Stony River shows how perilous life was for some girls in the 1950s. Absent mothers, controlling fathers, biblical injunctions, teenage longing and small-town pretense abound. The threat of violence is all around: angry fathers at home, dirty boys in the neighborhood, strange men in strange cars, a dead girl and another gone missing.

The central mystery, inspired by the crimes of Robert Zarinsky as documented by Robin Gaby Fisher and Judith Lucas in Deadly Secrets (Newark Star–Ledger 2008), keeps the reader guessing until almost the very end, when the frightening truth is revealed. In this coming-of-age mystery, three girls learn who they are and what they’re capable of surviving—and forgiving.




My Review

This is a thought-provoking book. It's dark, disturbing at times, but the way it's crafted is a marvel to behold. The author knows what she's doing. She paints a picture with words, instead of jamming a bunch of random, meaningless details down a reader's throat. In essence, she shows what it was like to be a female adolescent in the late 1950s.

The social rules of engagement are implied, but never fully spelled out. A girl is to supposed to somehow intuit them as she goes along. For example, a popular girl only befriends a chubby classmate, so that all the boys will look at her, and not at her friend. While it's expected for a girl to always say yes when a boy asks her to dance, whether she wants to or not.

But these little courtesies and schoolyard dramas, quickly cross into dangerous territory when these young, impressionable girls come to believe they need to bend over backward—and do whatever it takes—to look good in a man's eyes. Forget common sense. Throw gut instinct out the window. As one by one they start to go missing, before one eventually turns up dead.

The adults in the novel always seem to avert their eyes to tragedy, until it's too late. A young girl is molested and gives birth to her father's baby, and no one wants to talk about it. Another is beaten with the belt of her stepfather, but everyone pretends not to notice. No one wants to get involved in anyone else's problems. As far as "the grown-ups" are concerned, what happens behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors.

But there comes a tipping point when the voices of these girls won't be silenced any longer. When their supposed innocence gives way to the disturbing realities of life, their ideas, about what the world is really like, begin to change. They realize they've been fed a line of bull. And maybe, just maybe, that's a good thing. After battling through a whole host of issues, they become survivors, no longer ignorant to the truth and the harshness of life, and how poorly they've been protected from it.

***

Stony River can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes

Prices/Formats: $10.99 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Crime, Historical, Coming of Age
Pages: 320
Release: October 6, 2016
Publisher: Leapfrog Press
ISBN: 9781935248866
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Tricia Dower confesses to smoking a river punk or two in Rahway, New Jersey, where she was born and raised by perfectly fine parents who did not keep her hidden in a spooky house. A graduate of Gettysburg College and a Phi Mu, she built a career in business before reinventing herself as a writer in 2002. Her literary work has crossed borders and won awards. She expanded a story from her Shakespeare-inspired collection, Silent Girl (Inanna 2008) into Stony River, which was first published in Canada (Penguin, 2012). Her novel, Becoming Lin (Caitlin Press), was released in Canada in 2016. A dual citizen of Canada and the United States, Dower lives and writes in Brentwood Bay, BC.

Links to connect with Tricia:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rich Zahradnik - A Black Sail - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

On the eve of the U.S. Bicentennial, newsman Coleridge Taylor is covering Operation Sail. New York Harbor is teeming with tall ships from all over the world. While enjoying the spectacle, Taylor is still a police reporter. He wants to cover real stories, not fluff, and gritty New York City still has plenty of those in July of 1976. One surfaces right in front of him when a housewife is fished out of the harbor wearing bricks of heroin, inferior stuff users have been rejecting for China White, peddled by the Chinatown gangs.

Convinced he’s stumbled upon a drug war between the Italian Mafia and a Chinese tong, Taylor is on fire once more. But as he blazes forward, flanked by his new girlfriend, ex-cop Samantha Callahan, his precious story grows ever more twisted and deadly. In his reckless search for the truth, he rattles New York’s major drug cartels. If he solves the mystery, he may end up like his victim—in a watery grave.




My Review

Do the biggest crimes occur when the biggest events are happening? This story certainly gives merit to the idea. It's summer 1976 and preparations are in full swing for the Fourth of July Bicentennial celebration. Tall-mast ships from all over the world are descending upon New York City for this once-in-a-lifetime event. From a PR standpoint, the cops, the media, they all know they need to make the city look like a fun and happy place. But what if the underground criminal element doesn't agree?

A few days before it's all set to go down, a body is found beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. Almost immediately, the murder is hushed up since a whole lot of drugs are taped to the woman's corpse. The NYPD assumes it's likely the Chinese sending a message to the Mafia (since the mob supposedly doesn't kill women and children), as they battle for control of the city's narcotics trade. No one in charge wants word of this getting out until after the festivities are over. They can't afford for a drug war to erupt in the middle of everything, compromising the safety of the millions, attending the event.

The book lays out one cardinal rule when it comes to crime in New York City—it usually occurs when the sun goes down. So things get even crazier when hundreds of thousands of dollars in jewelry is stolen right out of the Empire State Building—in broad daylight. A flock of reporters literally run to the scene, giving the cops no chance to cover it up. And just when things can't get any hairier, the situation almost spirals out of control when the Coast Guard is forced to intervene after gunshots are fired and a boat explodes on the water across the harbor in Newark. Yet strangely enough, the next day, nothing manages to make it into the papers about it.

I liked the parallels that were drawn to the present day. In 1976, there are bombings in Boston. There's discord with Russia. There's a strong racist element among those in power. And there's a presidential election, looming in the fall. When you look back, in some ways, the United States wasn't so different than it is today, which is alternately scary and comforting, depending on how you look at it.

In the current age of terrorism and gun violence (by and against) police, it's interesting to compare 1976 with 2016 and wonder just how much is going on that we don't know about. The only thing is that now camera phones are beginning to change the story, shining a light on things that authority figures would much rather keep us in the dark about.

And that's what great storytelling, like this book, gets us to do—think, look beyond the surface and question the status quo.

***

A Black Sail can be pre-ordered at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Prices/Formats: $4.95 ebook, $15.95 paperback
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
Pages: 264
Release: October 1, 2016
Publisher: Camel Press
ISBN: 9781603812115
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

***

About the Author

Rich Zahradnik is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed Coleridge Taylor Mystery series (A Black Sail, Drop Dead Punk, Last Words).



The second installment, Drop Dead Punk, won the gold medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs). It was also named a finalist in the mystery category of the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Last Words won the bronze medal for mystery/thriller ebook in the 2015 IPPYs and honorable mention for mystery in the 2015 Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Awards.



"Taylor, who lives for the big story, makes an appealingly single-minded hero," Publishers Weekly wrote of Drop Dead Punk.



Zahradnik was a journalist for 30-plus years, working as a reporter and editor in all major news media, including online, newspaper, broadcast, magazine and wire services. He held editorial positions at CNN, Bloomberg News, Fox Business Network, AOL and The Hollywood Reporter.



In January 2012, he was one of 20 writers selected for the inaugural class of the Crime Fiction Academy, a first-of-its-kind program run by New York's Center for Fiction.



Zahradnik was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1960 and received his B.A. in journalism and political science from George Washington University. He lives with his wife Sheri and son Patrick in Pelham, New York, where writes fiction and teaches kids how to publish newspapers.

Links to connect with Rich:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog


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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Michael J. Bowler - A Matter of Time - Review & Giveaway



About the Book

The world's greatest evil stalks the world's greatest ship, and the only one who can stop him hasn't been born yet. Jamie Collins is a junior at Santa Clara University in 1986. He has friends, a professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer. Then the dreams begin - nightmarish memories that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912. When Jamie discovers a foreign cell in his blood that links him to the famous vessel, the two timelines begin to overlap and he realizes an unimaginable truth - something supernatural stalks the ill-fated ship, something that will kill him if he can't stop it first. And the only way to stop it may be to prevent Titanic from sinking. But even if he can figure out a way to do that, should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? And what about the lady he wasn't supposed to fall in love with? As her destiny becomes entwined with his, Jamie discovers the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.



My Review

What I like about a Michael J. Bowler novel are the sub-plots within the main plot. And the standout in this one has to be the main character's calling to be a writer.

Jamie has always been a bookish kid. Even now that he's in college, he still lives in his head, instead of the real world. To his friends, he's known for having a vivid imagination, which is why no one believes him when he says he has to hire a boat to take him to the middle of the North Atlantic on the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. According to him, he's slowly turning into a vampire, thanks to a series of troubling dreams he's been having about being onboard the doomed ocean liner. (On a side note, I love how he makes it all happen simply by handing over the MasterCard his parents gave him for any "emergencies" that might come up.)

He doesn't understand what's happening to him, but deep down he feels he has to do this. He's out to find his destiny, but what he doesn't understand is that sometimes it finds us whether we're ready for it or not. He believes in what he's doing because he feels it. He's positive he's right about this, even though his insistence on following through on this hunch is bordering on obsession.

Jamie doesn't think the way other people do. He's not afraid to delve into his inner self to see what's there. But there's a danger in that when he withdraws further into himself, and starts acting like one of his characters. It's sad that his exceptional mind makes him feel very much alone.

And really that's where Jamie's identity crisis stems from. His father is a hard man. He doesn't accept his son for who he is. He's displeased with him because he's not the kind of man he wanted him to be. It's the classic case of the husband blaming the wife for babying a grown son.

But when Jamie steps foot on the fishing vessel that's going to take him to the Titanic's last known coordinates, he meets someone who gets him, the captain of the ship. They have a lively discussion about "Moby Dick" and the dangers of excessive pride. And the literary allusions keep coming, most notably in the Hamlet-like decision Jamie's going to have to make, if indeed, he's able to journey back through time. If he chooses to alter the past, is he ready to accept the consequences of changing the future ... and possibly making things worse than they are now?

And the kicker is, that the ship's captain used to be like Jamie's father. He didn't understand his bookish son either. It's not until after he died, that he bothered to read any of the books that are now lining the walls of his cabin. In Jamie, he sees the man his son could've become. And he'll stop at nothing to do whatever he can to help him.

Even if it means, setting him adrift at sea, to write the next chapter in his life.

***

A Matter of Time can be purchased at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
iTunes

Formats/Prices: $2.99 ebook, $12.95 paperback, $14.95-$21.83 Audible
Genre: Historical Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 340
Release: March 2, 2012
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 9781432787110
Click to add to your Goodreads list.


About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of nine novels—A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner – 2013 Wishing Shelf Book Awards; Reader Views Honorable mention; Runner-Up Rainbow Awards; Honorable Mention - Southern California Book Festival), Running Through A Dark Place (Bronze Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), There Is No Fear (Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards), And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America; Spinner (Winner Hollywood Book Festival; Honorable Mention San Francisco Book Festival; Bronze Medal from Reader’s Favorite; Literary Classics Seal of Approval; Runner-Up - Southern California Book Festival; Honorable Mention - Halloween Book Festival; Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards), and Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot (Honorable Mention in the London Book Festival and The New England Book Festival; Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards).

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II.”

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He has finished writing a novel based on his screenplay, “Like A Hero,” and another book aimed at the teen market. He hopes to find a publisher or an agent for both.

His goal as an author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world. The most prevalent theme in his writing and his work with youth is this: as both a society, and as individuals, we’re better off when we do what’s right, rather than what’s easy.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog
Tumblr
Pinterest
Instagram
Blog Tour Site


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