Category Archives: historical

Untimed by Andy Gavin

untimedCharlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, his own mother can’t remember his name. So when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously. Still, this isn’t all bad. Who needs school when you can learn about history first hand, like from Ben Franklin himself. And there’s this girl… Yvaine… another time traveler. All good. Except for the rules: boys only travel into the past and girls only into the future. And the baggage: Yvaine’s got a baby boy and more than her share of ex-boyfriends. Still, even if they screw up history — like accidentally let the founding father be killed — they can just time travel and fix it, right? But the future they return to is nothing like Charlie remembers. To set things right, he and his scrappy new girlfriend will have to race across the centuries, battling murderous machines from the future, jealous lovers, reluctant parents, and time itself.

~~~ The Review ~~~

Okay, I admit it…I’m a bit ADD. I squirm and shift. I have trouble sitting through an entire movie and, thanks to the fact that I write as well, I have little tolerance for watching movies that don’t immediately catch my interest. The same thing can be said about books.

What a delightful surprise when I sat down to read Untimed by Andy Gavin. I expected a good read. In my special way. Read a little, do something else, read a little more, start a new project, read more, and so forth until I make my way to the conclusion. That was not the case with this book. I finished Untimed in a little over a day and a half, reading it as I cooked dinner and my family patiently waited to be fed.

I am almost embarrassed to say that. With the amount of history the book contains (and all cleverly woven throughout the story) I know that Gavin worked long and hard searching for historical facts. And the sheer brilliance of the time travelling rules and screw-ups! He did a fabulous job and I ran through it like nobody’s business.

So to Andy I say, “I’m sorry.” But I could not put your book down. I practically devoured it, and in no way gave it the attention and thorough read it deserved . And to you, the readers, I say get  get a copy. It’s sassy, unorthodox, funny, suspenseful, and filled with Charlie’s snarky brand of humor.

I loved every minute of it and can’t wait for the next one!

~~~~Author Bio ~~~

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes.

~~~ Find Andy ~~~












~~~ Andy on Tour ~~~


The Way by Kristen Wolf ~ A Review

 ♥♥♥♥♥An Astounding Read ♥♥♥♥♥

Anna is a fiery tomboy living in ancient Palestine whose androgynous appearance provokes ridicule from the people around her and doubt within her own heart. When tragedy strikes her family, and Anna’s father—disguising her as a boy—sells her to a band of shepherds, she is captured by a mystical and secret society of women hiding in the desert. At first Anna is tempted to escape, but she soon finds that the sisterhood’s teachings and healing abilities, wrapped in an ancient philosophy they call “The Way,” have unleashed an unexpected power within her.

When danger befalls the caves in which the sisters have made their home, Anna embarks on a hazardous mission to preserve the wisdom of her mentors by proclaiming it among ordinary people. Her daring quest and newfound destiny reveal, at last, the full truth of her identity—a shocking revelation that will spark as much controversy as it does celebration.

Anna’s story is one of transformation, betrayal, love, loss, deception, and above all, redemption. Readers will cheer for this unforgettable protagonist—and for debut novelist Kristen Wolf, whose beautifully written book both provokes and inspires. A compelling mix of history, myth, and fantasy, The Way is a fascinating exploration of the foundations and possibilities of human spirituality.

~*~*~*~ The Review ~*~*~*~

I pride myself on being able to find some fine and good quality about each book I read, but it’s not often that I’m blow away. This was one of those rare times. Kristen Wolf takes a story that most of us knows by heart and puts a new spin on it–the story of Jesus. In the same vein as The Last Temptation of Christ and The DaVinci Code, Kristen weaves an amazing tale of what might have been. I say The Last Temptation because her book gives us a different look into the familiar stories and shows  us a  possibility that borders on speculative fiction. I mention The Da Vinci Code because there is much historical and Biblical fact woven throughout.

This book is effortless and easy to read despite the heavy content. The descriptions are near poetry and play out like a movie unfolding in the mind’s eye. The Way will suck you in and not let you go until the last page. Ever read a book, then hate when you get to the end, knowing it’s over? This is that book.

However, I’m sure this book will spur controversy to those who are steeped in the tales as told in the Good Book. I like to think that I’m opened minded for a Christian. Did the story of Jesus happen like in Kristen’s tale? I don’t know. Do  I believe it happened this way? Uhum…not sure about that either. But what The Way will do is make you stop and think. And I believe that just what Kristen wants for us.

So I  applaud her for the fabulous book and the success of making us stop and examine the truth as we know it. Hats off to you, Kristen Wolf.

~*~*~*~ Meet Kristen ~*~*~*~

Kristen Wolf, 43, is a mother and writer living in the Rocky Mountains. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Georgetown University and holds an M.A. in creative writing and film from Hollins College where she was awarded a full scholarship.
As a child, Wolf grew up in a heavily forested suburb outside New York City with her parents, a younger brother, and an ever-changing menagerie of pet animals.
Both Wolf’s parents and grandparents passed onto her an avid love and respect for nature which explains the photos of Wolf posing with an ever-widening array of pets, including cats, dogs, guinea pigs, mice, quail, two raccoons, chickens, even a squirrel that lived in her bedroom! Needless to say, hers wasn’t the average American family.
Later, Wolf’s family purchased land in upstate New York and on weekends and summers lived like a regular Swiss Family Robinson, clearing the land, building fences, barns and, eventually, raising and tending cattle, horses, pigs, goats, chickens etc. This led to a very unique life for Wolf and her brother as they lived like farmers on the weekends and students in a suburban public school during the week.
Wolf credits her unique childhood for providing her with keen powers of observation, a passion for living things, unlimited curiosity, and a strong independent streak.
As an adult, Wolf has worked primarily as filmmaker and writer.
THE WAY is her first novel.

~*~*~*~  Connect with Kristen ~*~*~*~

Please visit CLP Blog Tours for all the tour stops! **Everyone who leaves a comment on Kristen’s tour page will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of The Way before August 20 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

A Heart in Sun and Shadow by Annie Bellet


In an ancient Wales that never was… The twin brothers Emyr and Idrys are cursed to live as hounds; Emyr by night, and Idrys by day. The twins believe they will be trapped this way forever until they meet the fierce and curious Áine, a changeling woman born with fey blood and gifts struggling to fit into a suspicious human world. Áine unravels the fate of Emyr and his twin as all three of them fall in love. To free her lovers from the curse, she embarks on a journey to the realm of the fey where she confronts her own unique gifts and heritage. Ultimately, she must decide where her heart truly lies and what she’s willing to risk to get what she desires most.

Wow. And since that’s not enough I have to say it again…wow.

A Heart in Sun and Shadow is captivating. Here’s a woman, Áine, a healer who was almost killed at her birth, fostered (my word not Bellet’s) to a wise woman, and destined to save the kings of a land she doesn’t know. And you have the twins–cursed, pretending to be only one twin while saying the other is dead. For years, they have done this until they meet Áine. It’s safe to say that the twins need Áine. She is their salvation. She brings passion and light back into their lives. She breaks the curse that has changed and haunted them for years. But I would chance to say that Áine needs them just as much, if not more. Emyr and Idrys give her an acceptance and understanding that Áine has not been afforded much in her life. Perhaps that’s the reason she goes to such lengths to break their curse. Or maybe it’s simply for love.

Bellet handled the triangle between the twins and Áine with a delicate hand that made it not only believable, but acceptable as well. This is a land where Other things happen. There are feys and raven kings, and months that can pass like days. Yet every word is as believable as the history book I read in the fourth grade. That is the mark of a great fantasy. The language–though most the time I didn’t know how to pronounce any of the words–drew me in and submerged me into a different time/place/world, making it as real to me as where I truly live.

I LOVED this book. I can’t wait to read the next one. Check out Annie Bellet. She’s on her way to the top!

Facebook Author Page:

Recompromising Amanda by Barbara Burke

♥You Gotta Read This Book!♥

I’ve been reading romance long that I’ve gotten myself into a rut. It’s a happy rut, I know what I like to read, I seek it out, and I read it. But every now and then I get pushed out of my happy little rut and most always I’m glad that I did. Like when Barbara Burke sent out a cry for help for quotes and reviews for her novella, Recompromising Amanda. I answered, because I like to help people. I was pushed from my happy rut because I normally read light-hearted contemporary romance, and this is a regency short. But what a good choice I made.

I thought I’d do something a little different this time. This must read is a novella, so in lieu of a traditional review, I interviewed the author. But first a peek at Recompromising Amanda

How has beautiful, popular Amanda Smythe-Kincaid managed to reach the ripe old age of twenty-five without getting married? Could she possibly still be carrying a torch for Jason, her brother’s best friend? It’s been years since they were caught kissing in the conservatory.

Jason, the third Viscount Greyshott, has been in love with Amanda for ages. Too bad he can’t convince her of that fact, and too bad she repeatedly turns down his marriage proposals.

When Amanda asks Jason for a shocking favor, he realizes this may just be the opportunity he needs. And when fate, in the form of an exasperated older brother and some inadvertent eavesdropping, finally steps in to bring this charming Regency couple into each other’s arms—where everyone around them knows they’ve always belonged—Amanda doesn’t stand a chance.

Not enough?Here’s a little excerpt…

“Jason!” she said as, at the same time, “Amanda!” burst from his lips.

They looked at each other fully for the first time and might have smiled if not for the gravity of the situation.

“Ladies first,” Jason commanded.

His eyes were warm, and Amanda took comfort in the sight even as her heartbeat quickened at the memory of the molten heat reflected in them the night before. She drew a resolute breath, but turned her head away, refusing to meet his eyes.

“Jason, the other day you told me if there was ever anything I needed that Charles could not provide I was to come to you, and you would help me.” She dared a peep up at him. “Did you mean it?”

“How can you doubt it?” he asked, a frown crossing his features.

“Then I want you to promise me you will do something for me without asking any questions.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“No questions,” she reminded him with a brief smile. “You must trust me.”

“It’s not something illegal is it?” he teased. “I’ll have to calculate the probability of being sent to jail and consult my lawyers on how long the sentence is likely to be before agreeing to anything truly reprehensible.”

“No, it’s not illegal,” she answered seriously. “At least, I don’t think it’s illegal,” she added with a trace of doubt.

“‘Don’t think it’s illegal’ will have to do, I suppose. Tell me what you want, and if it lies within my power I will do it.”

Amanda took a deep breath before replying, and then spoke all in a rush. “I want you to make love to me.”

Still want more…well now, it’s Barbara’s turn…

In her other life regency writer Barbara Burke is an award-winning freelance journalist. Too scatterbrained to concentrate on one specialty she might be writing about oil development in Greenland for a business magazine one week and laundry practises for a hoteliers’ magazine the week after. Despite her inability to concentrate on one thing for any length of time she gets cranky if she goes too long without writing any fiction.

She’s lived in four Canadian provinces and three countries and currently resides in a leaky cedar house on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, which she shares with her husband, daughter, two cats, a dog and a snake. The horse lives down the road. She drinks wine and watches whales from her upstairs balcony and wishes the sun would come out occasionally.

My turn *in a sing-song voice*…

Have you always written regency romances?

No, this is my first shot at it. I’ve always read regencies, though. I was a fan of Jane Austen back when she was still trying to get her first novel published 😉

Ah, that Jane…what is your favorite aspect of the regencies?

I think it’s the polite world they inhabit. They speak a certain way and dress a certain way and they have so many rules for what one can and cannot do is society. Once you figure out what those rules are you can have so much fun breaking them.

I also like the way it was practically invented as a genre by Georgette Heyer. As far as I can tell no one else even considered writing about that period until she began using it as her setting. I’d like to invent a genre, but everytime I think of something I look online and find 50,000,621 hits for my so-called original idea. Damn Google.

Yep, been there a time or two myself! Recompromising Amanda is a novella, what do you consider the benefits of writing short?

Not writing long!

Okay, maybe I asked for that one! LOL Have you written novel length and what do you consider the challenges of writing long/short to be?

I’ve started a few novels but I always run out of steam at about 30,000 words. They’re still sitting on my computer and I hear them calling to me in the night,  but the task seems so daunting – even though I know exactly what’s going to happen. I suppose I’m a sprinter rather than a long distance runner. I love the satisfaction of getting things wrapped up in a few thousand words even if I dream of greater character development.

I’ve often said give me 100,000 words and I’ll write you something, give me 25,000 and I’ll make out my grocery list! Now, I love love love your hero. What’s your favorite thing about him?

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I guess I like his urbanity. He’d never do anything vulgar, but at the same time he’s got this very passionate side to him. I also really like his voice, but no one else can hear that, naturally.

Oh, I wouldn’t say that! He certainly spoke to me a time or two! Your heroine is also spunky and headstrong, what is your favorite thing about her?

Spunky and headstrong? Oh dear, that’s not how I would have described her. She has a mind of her own, for sure, but she would never hurt the people she loves. In fact, she’s always very considerate of other people’s feelings – look how careful she is to ensure that Jason doesn’t know how she feels about him. She doesn’t want to embarrass him. I guess that’s what I like best about her. She’s my opposite – I’m always putting my foot in my mouth.

Can I say spunky and headstrong, but in a totally regency way? Now the dreaded questions–

Where did the idea for Recompromising Amanda come from?

Virginity is such a non-issue in the modern world, but that’s a very recent thing. I remember when the most important thing about Lady Diana was that she was a virgin and, therefore, eligible to marry the heir to the British throne. I think they even had her examined. Thirty years later Kate Middleton can marry the next in line without the question even being raised, without anyone even thinking it is a question. So I started thinking about all those women in times past who never got the opportunity to even find out what they were missing and then I created a heroine who decided to do something about it.

You’re so right, Now I write sexy and enjoy a hot book, but sometimes I’m a little shocked.Recompromising Amanda is very sexy, what do you consider is the secret to making such a short novella so hot?

There is no secret. Just sit at your laptop and write until you’re blushing from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. Then breathe a sigh of relief that it’s done and end up with an editor who tells you she wants you to ramp it up. Yikes! I have a hard time with chaste kissing scenes, writing a sex scene nearly killed me. (I’d like to say, like a good regency heroine, that I was almost completely undone, but that could be taken the wrong way.)

LOL! Now tell us what you have for us next…

Well, in an ideal world I write a bestseller so popular that JK Rowling would end up wishing she could afford my lavish lifestyle. However, I’m pretty sure that’s not going to happen if I keep writing novellas. Maybe I’ll see if I can sell a regency without the sex – I don’t want to blow my blush gasket.

Hey, that’s my life of luxury you’re talking about! 🙂

Barbara, thanks so much for coming by today and for allowing me to read Recompromising Amanda. It’s a wonderful story, y’all. Go get and see what I mean…you’ll love Jason on sight! ❤ Amie