Sergeant James Alexander and his crew have cheated death. Where they landed when they abandoned their plane isn’t nearly as important as the century they landed in. Small things around them begin to add up very quickly as they try desperately to acclimate themselves to their surroundings only to find themselves left with more questions than answers. As they venture out, they begin to meet more and more people with weapons unlike their own who are not in any way fearful of the soldiers. One thing leads to another and Alexander’s crew begins to realize they have fallen into the past with no foreseeable escape.
The Last Mission of the Seventh Cavalry by Charley Brindley tells the tale of a group of soldiers bound for Afghanistan when fate intervenes with a plan none of them could have predicted. Brindley’s cast of characters is unique, and their banter, despite their extreme circumstances, is refreshing and engaging. The dynamic between characters feels true to life, and their exchanges mimic genuine relationships between coworkers.
There is no lack of action in Brindley’s work. From the first chapter, his characters are entrenched in a battle to understand their situation that moves quickly into a battle for their lives. Readers who appreciate well-drawn fight sequences and intricately described battle scenes, will appreciate Brindley’s work.
Cover to cover, the characters’ reactions to their surroundings and the people they encounter serve as a wonderful contrast to the time period in which they have found themselves. Brindley throws in the perfect number of references to modern technology in juxtaposition to the primitive weapons and lack of simple things we take for granted such as calendars and clocks. Consistency is key in books of this genre, and Brindley manages that with ease.
One of the most endearing aspects of Brindley’s cast of characters is the compassion shown by Alexander’s crew during a time of war. Characters one might expect to be brash and full of cold reactions in time of war are actually tenderhearted and loving. Their desire to tend to the injured and not only assist the wounded but provide genuine comfort is captivating. These traits add another layer to the already engaging characters.
History buffs will enjoy Brindley’s work. The author has gone to great lengths to include historically accurate information in his writing. Watching as the inhabitants of the past experience bits and pieces of the future is as fascinating as it is entertaining.
Rarely does one find a truly perfect blend of past and present, but Brindley has given just that to his readers. Memorable characters wrapped in a unique story line make for one fantastic read and lay the groundwork for what I hope are more books with Alexander’s crew.
Pages: 473 | ASIN: B07N6K1DRZ
Still reeling from the death of his mentor and friend, Rutt is taken aback once more when confronted by a young girl late one night in the lab. One question leads to another, and Rutt soon learns that she is not who he believes her to be, nor is she the person she appears to the naked eye. Like a bolt of lightning, Rutt is struck with the realization that the thing he has worked on, believed in, and hoped for is finally standing before him in the form of a young, lost girl.
Myth Agent, by L.A. MacFadden, features main characters experiencing time travel from both sides. MacFadden has managed to provide readers with a fantastic story of time travel while incorporating a bit of mystery. I actually loved that I needed to reread the first few pages of chapter one because MacFadden gives readers a story that could indeed be set in any time period. I found it incredibly appealing that I didn’t immediately picture the setting as far as century. This is a story that could be situated neatly in any decade, but the fact that it is tucked into the early 20th century makes it unique.
As the mother of two teens, I have spent my fair share of time watching science fiction movies and have read many science fiction novels. MacFadden’s techniques stand out among the many approaches to time travel I have seen. It’s practically ingrained in us as a part of pop culture that time travelers will somehow be beamed up or disappear as a pixelated image before our eyes. MacFadden, however, has chosen to have her characters travel in a manner much more befitting, and somehow more believable.
In addition to the uniqueness of MacFadden’s choice of time travel description, I am intrigued by the manner in which characters’ time travel begins. I love the idea that the fossilized bone is the kickstarter for the whole process. The divide between prehistoric times and the futuristic feel of time travel itself is immensely appealing in this story line.
Rutt’s story is both relatable and enjoyable while Odessa’s serves to give more depth to the story. I appreciate the break MacFaddengives readers from overly technical details, machines, and text riddled with terms specific to technology. There is, within the chapters of Myth Agent, a well-developed story line surrounding Rutt’s backstory and the way in which he comes to know and love Minnie.
I find MacFadden’s work to be much more a story of perseverance than a work of science fiction and thoroughly enjoyed both story lines, though I found Rutt’s story tugged at my heartstrings most. I would recommend this book to anyone who has yet to become fully invested in science fiction and is looking to dabble in this particular genre. This is a fabulous starter book for any reader more interested in character development than the typical elements of science fiction.
Pages: 159 | ASIN: B07VMZ4NXJ
It’s 1945, soon after VJ Day. Odessa Shatto, an antiques dealer, is pierced in the side by a prehistoric bone. The next morning she awakens, horrified to see a hideous green slime creeping over her, hardening into a cocoon that quickly entombs her in darkness and leaves her fearing for her life. Each time it happens, she remembers feeling a sense of being thrown hard, as though from the hand of a giant. And the last time, she remembers her trajectory crossing with that of her fiancé, a soldier who has been injured in the Pacific in World War Two. They may think of their paths crossing as a gift, but in reality it will produce agonizing results.
Ruttledge Rosenbaugh, a professor of science devoted to his students at Hensley University, has spent years learning from his mentor, whose mantra was that time travelers are constantly around and unnoticed. But nothing Ruttledge has ever heard or read on time travel prepares him for what he witnesses in his secret laboratory in 1910. After recuperating from the ordeal, he spends years trying to prove the existence of time travel, while a jealous rogue from his past lies in wait, hoping to debunk any time travel theory the professor develops–no matter the cost.
Myth Agent is a time travel tale, woven of the fantastic, and interspersed with traces of historical fiction.
In her third book in the Community Chronicles series, Jenn Lees continues the adventures and perils of a world that is spinning into chaos after a major stock market crash. Set in the year 2061, Saving Time is the story of brave Scotsman and his companions who risk their lives to save Scotland from nuclear destruction. In a world where the government has deserted its people and bandits are always a threat, the story’s hero must take matters into his own hands even if that means risking a trip back in time to get the information he needs. Through her story of loyalty and betrayal, Lees shows readers the meaning of self-sacrifice for the betterment of all.
Although the book starts off a bit slow, I found the story line increasingly compelling as the book progressed. The topics of love, time travel, and impending worldly destruction that run throughout the book are ones that are likely to appeal to the reader and keep their interest. In terms of grammar, flow, and ease of reading, the book was well written and enjoyable.
I felt like the time travel part of the book was not as compelling as it could have been. It didn’t seem integral to the plot. The reasoning for traveling to the past seemed vague, especially when the information that the characters acquired from this journey was ultimately unnecessary in dealing with the nuclear threat. I thought that the surprise assistance that showed up for the ultimate resolution of the threat seemed coincidental and made the original plan seem unnecessary.
The characters were interesting and well developed. When they make their way through 21st century England, I enjoyed the outsiders perspective, but would have enjoyed a deeper contrast. Rory and Siobhan’s relationship reflects that kind of contrast and I savored the experience of watching the slow development of their characters.
Overall I thought the book was enjoyable, particularly after reaching the second half where the story really picks up speed. This would be well suited for anyone looking for post apocalyptic fiction with a time travel twist.
Pages: 255 | ASIN: B07PWYVYJC
High Flying follows stunt pilot Skylar when she’s flung back in time and has a chance to investigate her origins. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
I have always loved time travel stories and have been intrigued by the idea of changing our personal history if given the chance. Our parents have a great deal to do with who we are as individuals but sometimes we don’t understand them and knowing about their past lives become a true education and door to our future. In addition, my father worked for United Airlines for years and I remember sitting on his shoulders, watching planes take off from the tarmac at LAX. I’ve had the opportunity to virtually fly around the world and the idea of bringing my passions together seemed perfectly natural.
Skylar is a well developed and endearing character. What were some themes that were important for you to capture in her character?
I wanted to creating a troubled young woman who was damaged by the choices her parents made and negatively impacted by the people she’s lost in her life. By being forced to experience her parents’ lives first-hand, she has the opportunity to grow, let go her anger and self hatred, and ultimately discover the compassion she holds inside.
Skylar is orphaned when she was young and she tries to reconcile that throughout the book. What were some driving ideals that were important for you to explore?
I initially wanted to make readers aware of the thought process behind cutting—a troubling behavior that was introduced to me by a dear friend. It is more common that people would like to admit or believe and is becoming a common practice among young girls in our society. Bullying and isolation often leads to this method of dealing with anxiety, as well as physical or mental abuse. Skylar finds her release through martial arts and eventually flying. Her struggles with overcoming the neglect she’s known is what makes her a stronger person and a more endearing character in this story.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I’m currently working on a sci-fi thriller that involves reincarnation and stolen souls. So I guess I’m pushing myself to try genres outside of my comfort level, which has been great fun thus far. I typically write one book a year, so I would watch for this one in 2020!
Skylar Haines has struggled with personal demons most of her life, going to dark extremes to subdue anxieties rooted in her tragic past. On a perpetual hunt for the next adrenaline hit, she discovers a passion for flying and becomes a hard-edged stunt pilot, verging on obsession. In the sky, following her most daring airshow, she encounters a mysterious storm and almost collides with another aircraft, sending her into a perilous dive. Guided by a mysterious voice, she manages a safe landing but finds herself transported to another time.
Eight months before she was born. One week before her father was murdered.
Though baffled by her circumstances, Skylar soon arrives at a single certainty: Before her lies a remarkable chance to change her family’s destiny drastically for the better — or possibly even worse — depending on the choices she makes, before her window of opportunity closes.
High Flying, written by Kaylin McFarren tells the story of Skylar Haines, a talented young pilot. This is a complex story, filled with both suspense, drama and themes of love, the complexities of family, self-harm and sacrifice.
The main character, Skylar has been orphaned – her father died before she was born and her mother died when she was seven years old. She lives with her stern and seemingly uncaring Grandfather. This has left a huge and detrimental impact on her life. The reader is plunged into the pain Skylar is suffering on the very first page, as Skylar retreats into her bathroom with a box cutter. She proceeds to self-harm, sitting desperately alone on her bathroom floor.
Skylar has found some solace in her new passion – flying, in particular stunt planes. Her enthusiasm and passion for flying are evident; as is her feelings for Jake Brennan, describing him as “an artist” in the cockpit. This new-found happiness proves to be short lived, as she flies into a storm when performing with Jake at an air show. After colliding with another plane she is transported back in time, where she is able to witness the poor choices her parents made that have led to her current life.
High Flying switches between modern day Nevada (2013 and 2018) and back in time to before Skylar was born. The story is however, predominantly set back in time – eight months before she was born, twenty-one years ago. I enjoyed the description of the town, in both the past and present, it was vivid and convincing.
The plot is generally easy to follow and logical. The plot is otherwise grounded and believable, other than the time travel bit. But the ending makes up for this by being quite believable and realistic.
Most of the characters are well developed. Their body language and vocabulary help discriminate between characters. We meet many characters when Skylar travels back in time, the ones that link to her present life are easy to follow but the addition of many other characters can be difficult to follow. But I truly enjoyed the relationships between the main characters and found the tension between the two both engrossing and believable. But some of the minor characters and their relationships are not quite as well developed.
Overall the story is engaging and entertaining. I highly recommend it.
Pages: 277 | ASIN: B07QYH3CD4
Stolen Time is a thrilling time travel romance story following Caitlin and Scott who must survive the collapse of the world they knew. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
Inspiration for this story’s setting came from the questions ‘What if the stock market crashes but doesn’t recover? What kind of world would we have then?’ I imagined a stock market fall similar to 2008, only worse, because in this one, the world economies never recover. Jobs, wealth, businesses, homes etc are lost. Weak governments mishandle situations and the general populace revolt. Opportunists loot and terrorize. Goods are in short supply, services, such as medical care, become hard-pressed, infrastructure collapses, law and order are harder to maintain, power sources and supplies are fractured, and the world spirals down into further violence and anarchy, poverty, and disease. That is a very brief summary of world events as I imagine they may unfold. To survive, people either go underground, as some governments eventually do, or start self-sufficient communities, or roam in packs.
What if someone who had lived through this chaos came back to live it again, but this time, to mentor someone while navigating them through it?
I loved following Caitlin and Scott’s relationship and watching it develop. What were some themes you felt were important to capture in their characters?
I wanted to share the journey of a young woman who had no idea of her potential and the important influence she would eventually have on society.
We all are capable of great things but are often oblivious to the possibilities.
Caitlin was used to a life of ease, only suffering the usual ‘first-world problems’. Suddenly her comforts and securities are taken from her. How does she adapt and what inner strengths are drawn out and developed as Scott mentors her?
With the time travel element and Scott coming from a Caitlin of the future, I enjoyed (and I hope the readers do too) trying to answer the question of ‘who mentored whom?’.
I wanted to explore what true love is; to show how much one person can love another. What they would risk to be with them, even if the risk was that they didn’t fall in love with them this time. Is it possible to love someone in a different phase of their lives and, indeed, are they the same person? And how much do we really love the people we say we do? What would we do to keep them safe, even if that meant we were not?
Stolen Time is a genre-crossing novel with elements of a science fiction and romance. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?
I didn’t start with a particular genre in mind. I knew the questions I asked regarding a sudden, worldwide economic decline would place the story in a dystopian world, but not one of post nuclear annihilation. I was sure it would have romantic elements as the story itself started with a dream where someone was coming to take my character to safety because of the impending disaster. That sparked the question of a love interest.
But then, as happens in some stories, the characters took over and I found it hard to keep up. So yes, it was organic in its genre-crossing but most of my stories are. At present I’m working on an interworld fantasy series where the characters go back and forth from our world (present day) to a world of warriors, high kings and mages (not our world nor our history). So, it isn’t just contemporary or only fantasy. I find it difficult to write stories confined to just one genre.
This is book two in the Community Chronicles. What can readers expect in book three in the series, Saving Time?
Saving Time is mostly set in this possible-future Scotland, eight months after the future section of the Stolen Time story. Caitlin and Scott Campbell’s son, Rory (who we met in Stolen Time), is now a leader of the Invercharing Community’s Militia. We see more of the community system lifestyle. Siobhan, who has grown up in the Scottish Government’s under-ground Bunker since the crash, is a nuclear physicist who heads a team to find a solution to the problem of a radiation leak coming from a submarine in a sea loch in the far north of Scotland, near to Rory’s community. These two survivor-groups have to co-operate to save Scotland. There’s a lot more action, time travel is involved and, of course, a romance between two gutsy heroes.
Restoring Time Community Chronicles Book 4 is on the way.
When the stock market crashes, banks close, homes are repossessed, and jobs are lost as the world descends into a dystopian chaos, young Scottish nurse, Caitlin Murray cannot escape the madness. Her future had been bright, but now survival is her number-one priority.
During the ensuing violence a military-type stranger, Scott Campbell, rescues her. Caitlin is perturbed because he knows so much about her… and her apparent destiny.
Can Caitlin trust Scott who seems to be the only safe option in the violent turmoil? Should she stay with him and believe his outlandish claims of time travel and her fate as a leader in a very different world?
But is Scott telling Caitlin the whole truth?
If only she knew the future.
Time Framed follows two family members battling across generations to avoid the consequences of a family curse. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing novel?
In 2002 I published the novel Mean Spirits which introduced the Pennfield family curse. The story follows the curse from the Mayflower through several generations and then ends with the downfall of Prof. Christopher Pennfield, once a highly respected professor of Philosophy, but now shamed for causing the suicide of his research assistant, a student with whom he was having an affair (and was the contemporary agent of the curse). The Epilogue of the book, takes place in 2052 when another descendant of the Pennfield family, Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield, an industrialist-genius, is contemplating how he, himself, can avoid the curse. He figures that if he can change the past a bit, he can throw off the timing of the curse so that he avoids it in the 2050s. So, in effect, Time Framed begins where Mean Spirits left off (but don’t worry, you don’t have to read Mean Spirits before Time Framed; the back story is thoroughly covered!)
Your characters are compelling and well developed. What were some themes you wanted to capture while creating them?
Certainly, one of the main themes is about greed and privilege. On the surface, The Pennfields are a well-respected American family; however, their accomplishments have a dark underbelly of deception, cheating and cruelty. Some of the characters in the book, specifically Christopher, Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield and Izan Bonne-Saari, a world renowned financier who uses his control of world financial markets to reshape the world’s governmental order into a caste system heavily favoring the wealthy elite, represent humankind’s proclivity to ego-centrism and narcissism. In fact, Jimmy Mashimoto-Pennfield creates a holographic clone of himself, aptly named Narc, so he can have someone of equal intelligence to converse with. Despite these characters self-centered and greedy natures, Christopher Pennfield realizes he has done wrong is looking to redeem himself which, I think makes him an interesting character. Some of the other characters in the book, Shippy Pennfield, Ed Swann (ghost hunter), Julian Weisman (theoretical physicist) and Dr. Brenda Altieri (nun turned psychiatrist), Derek Fane and Robyn Viega represent the better aspects of humanity.
I thought you handled the use of time travel deftly in this book. Time travel usually comes with its own paradoxes. How did you avoid these in your book?
Yes, indeed, any story about time travel has to deal with what’s called the “grandfather paradox” — suppose you went back in time and killed your grandfather; then you would never exist in the future to be able to go back in time to commit that very act. The only resolution to that paradox is for the universe to split into two parallel universes, one where you exist in the present and the other where you do not. So, in effect, Time Framed becomes the story of two separate universes, one where a certain event happened and one where it didn’t and then how they finally resolve into one universe again. Interestingly, there is no physical time travel in Time Framed. It all centers around the Pennfields using their pre-existing psychic sensitivities to communicate psychically across time and influence the other time period, convincing someone in the past or future to perform an act which appears trivial to them in their time frame but one which causes a major disruption of history.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
It’s not nearly as daunting as writing a book about two parallel universes across space and time, but currently my daughter and I are working on a screenplay that explores the relationship between fame and true talent.
Two periods of time clash with an alternative universe in Time Framed, a story that pits family members against each other across generations as they attempt to evade the dire consequences of a menacing family curse. Dating back to the Mayflower, the curse had its origin as family patriarch, Charles Pennfield, threatened a poor servant girl, causing her to leap to her death off the Cape Cod coast. Now, her unsettled spirit ebbs and flows, surfacing every sixty to eighty years to exact justice as she inhabits a living agent and forces them to crush the greatest ambitions of whatever unlucky Pennfield crosses her path.