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:
Barnes and Noble

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
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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