#ThrowbackThursday ~ Shadows In Time ~ A #Highland time travel #romance novella by @AnnGimpel

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

I’ve chosen a Scottish time travel romance for this week’s Throwback Thursday, which I read in 2015.

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Living in the Past by @janelovering #ContemporaryFiction #TimeSlip set in Yorkshire @ChocLituk @rararesources #FridayReads

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for Living in the Past by Jane Lovering.

Living in the Past was published on February 14th by Choc Lit and is available from Amazon UK | Amazon US

It’s a contemporary story with a time slip/travel twist.

I chose to read and review an advance reader copy of Living In The Past, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources, NetGalley and the author/publisher.

Grace Nicholls lost her beloved husband two years ago and is still struggling to cope and come to terms with her loss. Her best friend, Tabitha, has been a huge support, even cajoling her to go on an archaeological dig in Yorkshire, believing it will do her good, where Grace is allocated the unenviable and very mucky task of wet sieving. 

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Shadows in Time ~ Time Travel #Romance @AnnGimpel #Novella #TuesdayBookBlog

  • ShadowsAuthor: Ann Gimpel
  • Published: December 2015 by Ann Gimpel
  • Category: Time Travel, Romance, Novella
  • four-stars

A disgruntled heiress and a sexy Scottish laird are drawn together by a determined ghost whose love—and magic—reach beyond the grave.

I’ve had a few of Ann Gimpel’s novels on my Kindle for a little while, and added this book earlier in December. I’m glad I got round to one of them eventually. I’m hoping it won’t be anywhere near as long before the next one.

Aidan MacTavish, a druid, is mourning the loss his fae wife, Moira. She didn’t survive childbirth and disappeared into the Dreaming, ceasing to exist in the earthly world. Moira can see the future and knows it’s time Aidan moved on with his life. She predicts he will meet a woman who he is destined to marry, so he must let her go and begin to live again.  Continue reading

The Haunted Heart of Rory O’Dannon ~ Cover Reveal & Giveaway

view of the Ballybunion links golf courseTHE HAUNTED HEART OF RORY O’DANNON

 BY DELIA COLVIN

Is the love of Megara’s life a hallucination — or a ghost? 

The Irish poet Rory O’Dannon came to Megara during a high fever, but she never forgot. Twenty years later she still mourns him. Her marriage to charismatic Ken Benedict was a pragmatic decision as she no longer believes in true love.

Until a car accident catapults her back to 19th century Ireland–and into Rory’s arms.

Finally united with the love of her dreams, and believing she has died, Megara commits her heart to him. But when she wakes from a coma, she is forced to accept that Rory was fictional–until she finds the wedding band he gave her. Continue reading

Times Change ~ Time and Again #2

 

  • TimesChangeAudiobook Review

  • Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: May 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Time Travel, Romance
  • four-stars

Cynical Jacob Hornblower has followed his brother, Caleb, back in time, hoping to convince him to return home. His mission is soon forgotten, however, when he finds himself captivated by Liberty’s spitfire sister, Sunny. But can a man who is down on love truly understand the unbounded strength of the human heart?

In the first book, Time Was, Caleb Hornblower inadvertently found him self transported back in time to the 20th Century. He fell in love with Libby Stone and, deciding he just couldn’t leave her, chose to stay in the past. Jacob Hornblower, an astrophysicist, has spent months, years working on plotting coordinates and building a spaceship that would stand up to the rigors of his intended time travel. Cal’s report, transported back by his unmanned ship, had been fairly precise. Jacob had every intention of taking his brother home. Continue reading

Time Was ~ Time and Again #1

AudiobookReview

  • TW2Author: Nora Roberts
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Published: April 2015 by Brilliance Audio
  • Category: Romance, Time Travel
  • four-stars

Stranded in the present, time traveler Caleb Hornblower’s biggest problem isn’t returning to the twenty-third century – but falling head over heels for the beguiling Liberty Stone, who shows him a love more powerful than time itself. Though Caleb knows he belongs in the future, how can he leave the past, and Liberty, behind?

As Liberty Stone stood on the cabin’s porch watching the storm rage overhead she had no regrets about being tucked away in the Oregon mountains. A cultural anthropologist, she was spending time at the place of her birth to write her dissertation on the last five years of extensive research. She was looking forward to the solitude. Then she saw the light shoot across the sky and the unmistakable sound of a crash.

Caleb Hornblower, a freelance cargo pilot from the 23rd century, is on a routine flight home from Mars when he diverts to avoid a meteor shower and is catapulted through a time gateway. With instruments going wild, the cockpit in darkness and the pressure making him lose consciousness, his ship whirls towards the earth. As Libby races to where she believes a plane went down she finds Caleb injured by the side of the track and manages to get him back to the cabin. As she nurses Caleb back to health Libby attributes his sometimes strange behaviour as the result of the accident. Little does she know.

The cockpit lights went out, leaving only the whirl of kaleidoscopic colors from the instrument panel. His ship went into a spiral, tumbling end over end like a stone fired from a slingshot. Now the light was white, hot and brilliant. Instinctively he threw up an arm to shield his eyes. The sudden crushing pressure on his chest left him helpless to do more than gasp for breath.

I remember reading this book a long time ago. I think it was first published in the late 80’s or early 90’s as a Silhouette romance. I went for this newly released audio version because, well, it’s Luke Daniels and his narrations are always excellent, he always brings so much to his performance which enhances a story enormously.

Given the passage of years and the formula it followed, the story is a little dated. The dominant, could be seen as overpowering, male and the shy, virginal female, intelligent but naive, scenario could have been less than appealing but Nora Roberts handles it well. Her female characters and writing have evolved hugely since this was written but still, I like Libby and Cal and I’m glad Libby’s self assurance and nerve grows as the story progresses.

The time travel element gives the story an extra layer, even though the details are fairly vague. I imagine it was a precursor to the incredibly good In Death series which started around the same time, I think, and is written under Ms Roberts’ pseudonym, JD Robb. This series is also set in the future, although not so far, and is way more comprehensive. Caleb’s stunned and bemused reactions in finding himself transported back in time and faced with an antiquated lifestyle, including the cars and kitchen equipment, are credible and amusing. I like Libby’s parents and their interactions with Caleb. I’m giving the story a four star rating taking into account it’s twenty five or so years old. 

Book links ~ Amazon UK Amazon US

Red Moon/Sorcerer

Jake Stanton, FBI Agent and former member of the U.S. Army’s elite Omega force, is dispatched to Virginia to find the murderer known only as the Red Moon Killer. Together with Silvanus Merlin, a man with extraordinary talents, they track the elusive killer who attacks only on nights of the full moon. They must hurry, for soon the moon will be full once more, and the killer will strike again.

‘The moon is rising, and a killer prowls the night.’

After reading the wonderful Swan Loch I wanted to follow Jake Stanton’s story. Before Sorcerer comes a short story, Red Moon, in which we’re introduced to Silvanus Merlin and his daughter, Keira. Jake and Merlin solve a series of gruesome murders which only occur during nights of the full moon. Merlin has an uncanny capability and is able to solve seemingly impossible cases. He is sometimes brought in by the FBI and he and Jake are assigned to the Red Moon case. They are in a race against time to find the murderer before the effects of the next full moon have more horrific consequences. A really good lead in to Sorcerer.

 

  • SorcererAuthor: Randy Mixter
  • Published: April 2013 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Mystery/Suspense, Adventure, Fantasy
  • four-half-stars

FBI agent Jake Stanton is a wanted man. He is wanted by the same individuals who search for Keira’s father, Silvanus Merlin, his partner in a previous case, and the man who once saved his life. Together, Stanton and Keira will journey to a place dark and dangerous, a place where an amazing discovery awaits and a secret that may change the world as we know it.

Keira hasn’t seen her father since the Red Moon case but they communicate regularly through dreams. Merlin is in danger and wants Keira to find Jake and ask for his help. 

The danger involves an artefact Keira uncovered at a dig in Egypt. An artefact that could, and probably would, catastrophically change the world if it fell into the wrong hands. Even as Keira and Jake race to find Merlin, men with evil on their minds are on Merlin’s trail and they will stop at nothing to get what they want.

From a cave deep in the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina to the heat and dust of Egypt, a trip undertaken by extraordinarily unconventional means, a very descriptive tale of adventure, action and mystery, with a sci-fi twist, pulled me along on a tide of suspense. Whatever thought I had of what was about to happen was turned on it’s head as something completely different transpired.

Great character development, and especially interesting is getting a little more of Merlin’s backstory and a slight insight into his amazing powers. 

He leaned on the railing and closed his eyes. He set his mind free to see what it would find. When he oped his eyes an hour had passed and he had found things hidden in the dark, things born in fire, with sharp teeth and claws, crouched and ready to spring. He had been wrong, but there was still time to make the necessary changes. At least he hoped so.

I love how Randy Mixter stretches the bounds of possibility, in different ways in each novel, and compels the reader to consider unimagined concepts. The quote in the front of the book is very apt.

‘The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious’ ~ Albert Einstein

The epilogue is bittersweet. Will Jake and Emma meet again? I hope so.

Spell or High Water (Magic 2.0, Book 2)

AudiobookReview

  • SpellorHighWaterAuthor: Scott Meyer
  • Performed by Luke Daniels
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Audible Release Date: June 2014
  • Category: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  • five-stars

The adventures of an American hacker in Medieval England continue as Martin Banks takes his next step on the journey toward mastering his reality-altering powers and fulfilling his destiny.

A month has passed since Martin helped to defeat the evil programmer Jimmy, and things couldn’t be going better. Except for his love life, that is. Feeling distant and lost, Gwen has journeyed to Atlantis, a tolerant and benevolent kingdom governed by the Sorceresses, and a place known to be a safe haven to all female time-travelers.

Following on from Off To Be The Wizard, this second book in the series takes our protagonists away from their home turf in Leadchurch, Medieval England, to Atlantis in a few hundred years BC,  for a summit of time travellers on the use of magic powers. Very clear and detailed descriptions of Atlantis and the premise was fascinating. The city was created as a refuge and sanctuary for female time travellers as women were not treated well in most historical times. And a very intricate time travelling story line is centred around Brit the Elder and Brit the Younger from Atlantis.

The story carries on seamlessly, Martin is still rather naive and Philip is his usual testy and caustic self. Martin sees this visit to Atlantis as an opportunity to further his cause with Gwen but Martin’s luck in that department has not improved.

Anything in the world of wizards is possible and probable though, and strange and wonderful events occur with regularity. Really good and humorous interaction and drama between the characters. 

The two interwoven storylines, the time travellers in Atlantis and the events unfolding in the ‘real world.’ Agents Miller and Murphy from the US Treasury Department play a big part in the real world scenario and add to the comedic impact of a very enjoyable narrative.

As with the first book, I love the humour and there were lots of laugh out loud moments and witty banter and, as always, Luke Daniels gives his own inimitable and distinctive performance, differentiating between, and individualizing, each character.

tt10407952flttAmazon US Amazon UK

Scott Meyer grew up in the small town of Sunnyside, Washington. He began his career in humor by working as a standup comedian and radio personality, a highlight of which was participating as the opening act in Weird Al Yankovic’s “Running with Scissors” tour. Following a long stint touring the United States and Canada, Scott settled down in Orlando, Florida, where he works on his ongoing comic strip, Basic Instructions. Spell or High Water is his second novel.

Off To Be The Wizard (Magic 2.0, Book 1) ~ The Audiobook

 

It’s a simple story. Boy finds proof that reality is a computer program. Boy uses program to manipulate time and space. Boy gets in trouble. Boy flees back in time to Medieval England to live as a wizard while he tries to think of a way to fix things. Boy gets in more trouble.

Oh, and boy meets girl at some point.

Off to Be the Wizard is a light, comedic novel about computers, time travel, and human stupidity, written by Scott Meyer, the creator of the internationally known comic strip Basic Instructions.

Magic will be made! Legends will be created! Stew will be eaten!

 

Martin Banks, a total computer nerd, finds a hidden text file and, as he dives deeper he discovers the world and people are all computer simulated. He realises he can modify the file and change his reality. What he doesn’t realise is he’ll get caught out sooner rather than later. The lure of being able to do, and have, anything he wants is too strong and Martin gets himself into all kinds of trouble and has to execute his escape plan. Having already decided Medieval England is a good option that’s where he finds himself, unaware that many more before him thought the same thing.

Suspend all credibility regarding time travel, teleporting and various other forms of magic, if you have trouble with these concepts, and you have a highly entertaining and fun adventure with amusing dialogue and humorous interactions. The characters are engaging, likeable and, in the main, decent. I did wonder how computers and smart phones would work in those days but then why worry about that small point when there’s so much more incredible stuff going on, just roll with the what ifs.

It was interesting to have some of the fantasy world built around legends and the different slant was cleverly integrated. The story moves quickly and creatively, Martin gets himself into some outrageous and amusing situations and I like how his character develops. The concept of creating a reality is explored with lots of imagination and humour and is refreshingly different.

Luke Daniels really shines voicing off the wall and unusual characters and he has quite a few to play with here. A very enjoyable and impressive listening experience.

 

tt10407952fltt      Amazon US Amazon UK