Tag Archive | time travel

Target Practice, by Mike Maihack (book review) – Cleopatra in Space! Talking cats! Alien war!

book cover of Target Practice: Cleopatra in Space #1 by Mike Maihack published by GraphixGood aim, quick reflexes,
sneaking out of class,
yes, Cleo is sure the rules don’t apply to her!

We all know about Cleopatra as queen of Egypt, but imagine her teen years – with time travel and intergalactic war and talking cats as teachers (yes, 15 year olds in the future have to go to school…)

Sample this action-packed graphic novel here free (thanks, Mike!), then head to your local library or independent bookstore for the rest of the tale.

Alas, we’ll have to wait until April 2015 for the second in this #diversebooks series: The Thief and the Story.

So, alternate history – thumbs up or thumbs down?


Book info: Target Practice (Cleopatra in Space #1)  / text and art by Mike Maihack. Graphix, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Curiosity sends Cleopatra from ancient Egypt to outer space where the teen is hailed as savior of the galaxy – if she survives training school!

If she hadn’t slipped away from boring algebra (does a queen really need math?) for slingshot practice with her pal Gozi, then 15-year-old Cleopatra wouldn’t have found the old temple or the glowing tablet there which transported her from the ancient Nile Valley to the future, where talking cats explain her prophesied arrival.

At Yasiro Academy, Cleo learns alien languages (yawn), algebra (snore), and target practice (ray guns!) as she prepares for intergalactic war against Xerx who is capturing all knowledge stored electronically – and their sector is next!

First graphic novel in the Cleopatra in Space series, Target Practice  shows the young queen-to-be facing danger from school dances, warring aliens, and her own impetuous nature.   (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Honor and betrayal in SYNC audiobooks this week

If you like stories filled with suspense, betrayal, and tension, then you’ll love this week’s free audiobooks from SYNC!

Free downloads of these complete audiobooks are only available through Wednesday June 11. However they’re yours to listen to as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

CD cover of  All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill read by Meredith Mitchell published by Tantor AudioAll Our Yesterdays
By Cristin Terrill
Read by Meredith Mitchell
Published by Tantor Audio
(US & Canada only)

Time travel, loyalty, deception, and love – this is a race with dire consequences for the loser.


Julius CaesarCD cpver of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare read by Richard Dreyfuss, Kelsey Grammer, Stacy Keach, JoBeth Williams and a Full Cast published by L.A. Theatre Works
By William Shakespeare
Read by Richard Dreyfuss, Kelsey Grammer, Stacy Keach, JoBeth Williams and a Full Cast
Published by L.A. Theatre Works

Betrayal, ambition, and murder in ancient Rome – the Shakespeare classic performed by an all-star cast.

Which perilous tale will you download first?


Here and Now, by Ann Brasheares (book review) – time travel to save humanity

book cover of The Here and Now by Ann Brashares published by Delacorte PressTravel back in time to stop disaster, but
Don’t stand out,
Don’t be discovered,
Don’t fall in love… easy, right?

Yes, it’s *that* Ann Brashares of Traveling Pants fame, but this is no summer friendship tale – the entire future of mankind is at stake!

This April 2014 release should be easily found at your favorite local library or independent bookstore; if not, just ask for it!


Book info:  The Here and Now / Ann Brasheares.  Delacorte Press, 2014. [author blog]  [publisher site]  [silly video interview] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Sent back in time to prevent ecological disaster, Prenna couldn’t imagine that the Travelers’ secrecy rules could endanger their mission or would be that difficult to follow – until she meets Ethan in 2012.

Just arriving the early 21st century might make their future worse, but the 200 youth and adults going undercover in their grandparents’ past to stop the blood plague must risk it.

Prenna tries to stay unnoticed at school, but Ethan recognizes her as the girl who fell from a strange storm cloud two years earlier, then walked away. His knowing comments to her plus subversive info from a homeless man show that the Travelers’ secret isn’t complete.

Why hasn’t Prenna’s father joined the group yet?
What do the numbers 51714 inked onto her arm mean?

When the teens discover that the first Traveler to the past is planning to doom the future world to total collapse instead of just widespread disease and disaster, they have to act, regardless of the consequences to themselves in this time-travel romance thriller from the author of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Read with your ears! Free SYNC audiobooks this summer, starting now!

Summer approaches…
Relax and read with your ears with free audiobooks from SYNC! (yes, really – free!)

Each complete audiobook pair is only available for download from Thursday through Wednesday, then you have free use of them as long as you keep them on your computer or electronic device.

Click on each title’s hyperlink to open its download page in a new window.  And bookmark the SYNC site now so you can download great audiobooks all summer long: http://www.audiobooksync.com/ – I’ll remind you each Thursday, too.

CD cover of Warp Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer read by Maxwell Caulfield published by Listening LibraryWarp: The Reluctant Assassin
Written by Eoin Colfer
Narrated by Maxwell Caulfield
(Listening Library)



CD cover of The Time Machine by HG Wells read by Derek Jacobipublished by Listening LibraryThe Time Machine
Written by H.G. Wells
Narrated by Derek Jacobi
(Listening Library)


Have you read either of these time travel titles before?

Clockwork Scarab, by Colleen Gleason (book review) – the Misses Stoker and Holmes, on the case!

book cover of Clockwork Scarab by Colleen Gleason published by Chronicle BooksAncient Egypt is all the rage,
“Cognoggins” crave the newest steam-machines,
London society’s fairest maidens are being kidnapped…and worse!

It’s Evalina who inherited the Stoker family call to hunt vampires and the superhuman quickness needed to succeed. The logical mind and innate problem-solving skills shared by Sherlock and Mycroft also live on in gadget-loving Mina.

Only the personal request of Her Highness could make these rivals work together in this 1889 world powered by steam… and lies.

Add a handsome police detective, a young man of the streets who knows more than he should, and a stranger who claims to come from the future (where electricity is legal? Oh, who is he trying to fool?), and things get more complicated than either independent-minded miss had anticipated!

Check out the first Stoker & Holmes book today at your favorite local library or independent bookstore, and immerse yourself in a steampunk city with mystery and mayhem.

Or should modern writers not take classic tales beyond their original authors’ limits?

Book info: The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker & Holmes, book 1) / Colleen Gleason. Chronicle Books, 2013.  [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: When young London society heiresses go missing and leave scarab amulets behind, Stoker and Holmes must investigate – that’s Eva Stoker, vampire hunter, and Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock.

Summoned by the Princess of Wales to solve the deadly mystery, the two young ladies find another dead girl in the British Museum’s Egyptian room – and a young man in strange garb who claims to come from the future!

Inspector Luckworth of Scotland Yard suspects this Dylan fellow in the case, charming street urchin Pix knows more than he’s telling, and another young lady of quality disappears…

Can Eva’s defensive talents keep rational Mina from becoming the scarab cult’s next victim?

Can Mina solve the scarab mystery before Eva’s impulsive actions close off all clues or get them both killed?

Can they get Dylan back to his time in his own world?

Something much deadlier than illegal electricity is stalking the streets and levels of steampunk London in this first volume of the Stoker and Holmes series, even if these dedicated young ladies are underappreciated by the men in their noted families!  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick (book review) – time traveling back to Woodstock

book cover of Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick published by Fiewel and Friends3 days of peace and love,
Music too memorable to resist,

Time travel with Rich as he meets his own dad as a teenager, hears Jimi Hendrix play his “Star-Spangled Banner” for the crowd, and tries to discover what he got sent back in time to accomplish.

Are You Experienced? embraces those three magical days whose musical and cultural legacies influenced generations – and its book birthday is tomorrow!


Book info: Are You Experienced? / Jordan Sonnenblick. Feiwel & Friends, 2013. [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: One perfect chord on a classic electric guitar and Rich zooms from 2014 and world’s strictest parents to 1969 and Woodstock! Dad will never believe this, except he’s there, too, as his teenage self…

Why his mom and dad are so controlling, Rich will never know, especially since they were hippies and musicians back in the 70s. Dad still gets choked up about his big brother dying of an overdose at 18, but does he ever show Rich any affection? Of course not.

Sneaking into Dad’s always-locked den closet, the teen discovers a vintage electric guitar and a note about playing a special chord… Boom! Suddenly, Rich is on the road to the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, picked up by David, Michael, and Willow – his own dad, uncle, and uncle’s girlfriend! Claiming the name Gabriel, he hangs out with them for the whole weekend of peace and music.

Living through all the amazing music played live by bands who’d become legendary, wishing for a cellphone to record it, a long late-night talk with Jimi Hendrix – amazing. Getting to know Uncle Michael (whose name grown-up Dad never even says) and his cool girlfriend – awesome. Meeting beautiful Donna and seeing David/Dad so excited about the trip and the music – priceless.

Michael is really worried about something and is trying to hide it from David – but he might talk to Gabriel.

How many of these people at Woodstock will get drafted for the Vietnam War?
What did Jimi mean when they talked backstage?
Is Gabriel/Rich ever getting back to 2014?

Time travel, recreational pharmaceuticals, rock and roll, dysfunctional families, mud, mushrooms, and music – welcome to Woodstock… the Jimi Hendrix song as title says it all.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

R for Radiant Days, by Elizabeth Hand (book review) – words beyond time, art beyond sight

book cover of Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand published by VikingA rising sun centered with an eye,
A jawbone harp, a fishbone key,
Time-switching, century-crossing.

Who knows how a skinny white girl from rural West Virginia becomes the first urban tagger in D.C. in the late ’70s… Who knows why bitter winter and the colder bitterness of family discontent fuel a young poet during war

And should you ever be looking for a photo of  Arthur, the one on the cover of Radiant Days  will be what you almost always find, as Rimbaud flared and flamed out as a very young man, writing all his poems by age 20, then abandoning it for a vagabond life.

Early ripe, early rot” or my own phrase “a meteor in a world of candles” – which describes the young, soul-tortured artistic genius to you?

Book info: Radiant Days / Elizabeth Hand. Viking, 2012.  [author site]  [publisher site]

My recommendation: Merle’s art didn’t fit into any of the neat categories her instructors required; Arthur’s poetry wasn’t pretty or uplifting. This passion for expression brings them together, the girl of 1978 and the boy of 1870, crossing the boundaries of time like a spear of light.

That her unconventional art was her ticket out of rural Appalachia surprised Merle a bit, but the Corcoran School accepted her.  During their affair, elegant instructor Clea attempts to connect her with influential gallery owners and culture beyond her ‘white trash’ origins, but Merle chafes at assignments and deadlines. The act of creating her art to be seen by passing commuter trains is far more important than passing classes, and soon her iconic Radiant Days graffiti appears all over D.C.

As the war closes his school, Arthur is out of a home, out of classmates to get money from, out of paper and ink for his poems. The brash young man heads toward Belgium when all sensible people are fleeing ahead of the Prussian Army, goes after a Paris newspaper job as discharged soldiers flood the city seeking work after the armistice. The turmoil in his spirit erupts in poems reflecting brutal post-war realities, torn relationships, bitter lovers’ quarrels with his mentor Paul.

Somehow, Merle and Arthur (in their separate centuries) meet a gruff man fishing for carp along a canal, are directed by him to an abandoned lockhouse for shelter, awaken in the same century – together! Somehow, they hear the other speak in their language, understand the vibrant images of each other’s work, are separated and reunited in one century and in the other.

How can they both know the same fisherman in different cities, different centuries?
How have they summoned one another across time and distance?
How do they share the same blazing visions, shown in her art, chronicled in his words?

As message, as weapon, as mirror of the soul, their work pleased them even if it satisfied no one else. This tale of early talent recognized by the world only in later years brings French poet Arthur Rimbaud into the life of an unheralded American artist, threaded through with music and mystery.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette, by Bianca Turetsky (fiction) – glorious gowns in guillotine’s shadow

book cover of Time Traveling Fashionista in the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky published by PoppyIt’s a mysterious Monday, and fashion-lover Louise Lambert has received another invitation from the most exclusive vintage dress shop ever.

When Louise tries on an delicate blue gown for Brooke’s fancy dress birthday party, she is suddenly sent back to young Marie Antoinette’s court!

Weren’t they just talking about the French Revolution in history class this morning? If Louise could just remember those important dates from her homework… but can she change what happens to the princess?

While you’re getting this September 2012 release at your local library or independent bookstore, ask about book one, The Time-Traveling Fashionista  (my review here) so you can start Louise’s adventures at the beginning and join her aboard the Titanic!

Hmmm… what other fantastic history-imbued frocks do mysterious shopkeepers Marla and Glenda have in their Traveling Fashionista Shop inventory?

Book info: The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette (Time Traveling Fashionista, book 2) / Bianca Turetsky. Poppy, 2012  [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk: Oh, no! Louise’s trip to Paris with her French class is cancelled when her dad loses his job, and history homework is building up. What she needs is some time with vintage fashion to take her mind off things. But trying on an antique gown sweeps her away from the tiny shop to the court of a French princess!

It’s a bit odd to speak old French with no effort and have courtiers calling her Mademoiselle Gabrielle, but Louise does pretty well at playing along. Soon she realizes that she’s part of the entourage of young Marie Antoinette – and that she might not be the only person at Versailles with a false identity…

The princess is never seen in the same ensemble twice and demands that her ladies-in-waiting follow that fashion as well. Somehow, Louise must keep her original gown hidden so that she can wear it and return to modern Connecticut safely.

So many different experiences – beautiful palace gardens and boring waits for royal arrivals, splendid gilded ballrooms and bitterly critical letters from Marie’s mother, stunning Paris-designed dresses and the stench of Parisian streets. As time passes, Louise remembers more details from history class and wonders if she should warn the princess about the perils ahead.

Who is spying for Marie’s mother, sending detailed reports back to the Empress? Can Louise make the princess understand the suffering outside the palace walls, before it’s too late? Most importantly, can she get back to her own time before France’s nobility start losing their heads in the Revolution?

The second book of the series puts this Time-Traveling Fashionista in as much danger as she faced on board the Titanic in book one. Where will Louise’s passion for vintage fashion take her next? (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

In High Places, by Harry Turtledove (book review) – alternative history, time travel, danger

book cover of In High Places by Harry Turtledove published by Tom Doherty TorWhat if the Black Death had lasted decades and decades?
What if scientific knowledge was scourged from Arabic thought?
What if you could visit timelines where history had changed?

Welcome back to the world of Crosstime Traders, where technology makes it possible – and profitable – to travel to the many timelines where historical events large and small caused different time-streams to branch off from the Home Timeline.

Crosstime Traffic isn’t some science experiment, but a vital business enterprise that brings in food and energy resources from low-population alternates to support the high-technology Home Timeline.

So in this alternate, educated Annette from California must disguise herself as a quiet, modest Muslim daughter of olive oil merchants from southern France and make sure that she never says or does anything that would make locals question that identity.

Of course, profit is the slave traders’ motive, too, but there’s something truly strange here. Could this particular group of slavers be in cahoots with someone from the Home Timeline?

Other Turtledove adventures in the Crosstime Traffic series include The Valley-Westside War, set in an alternate where The Bomb fell worldwide in the 1960s, and The Disunited States of America, where the US Constitution was never ratified. Alternative history brings intriguing answers to “What if?”

Book info: In High Places (Crosstime Traffic, book 3) / Harry Turtledove. Tom Doherty Associates/ Tor Science Fiction, 2007. [author’s website] [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My Book Talk:  Almost time to leave muddy Paris and go back to school – on an alternate timeline. Annette’s family is returning to their Crosstime transfer station when slavers attack their caravan and take the teen far from her destination, far from her parents, far from her only way to get Home.

In this 21st century, the “City of Light” is a filthy small town in the rough Kingdom of Versailles. The Black Death killed 80% of Europe in this timeline, allowing the Muslim Kingdoms to spread far beyond the Middle East – no voyages of exploration, no Scientific Revolution, no Industrial Revolution. Here, a second son of God is credited with finally stopping the plague, basic sanitation is unknown, and bad water kills more people than marauders’ arrows.

Masquerading as olive oil traders from Marseilles, Annette’s parents observe local politics in Paris as they gather fine fruits and olives to be sold on the Home timeline, which requires food and energy from many alternate timelines to support its technologically advanced population.

Duke Raoul of Paris feels that something is too-different about these oil merchants, but is more worried about reports of slave traders attacking closer and closer to his realm. By sending young Arabic-speaking Jacques as a caravan guard on the long journey over the mountains, perhaps he can learn more about both problems.

The attack on their caravan was expected; being captured for sale as slaves in far-off Madrid was not! Far from the safety of Marseilles, Annette and Jacques are sold to a large household with some mysterious buildings where large groups of slave disappear for a whole day before returning.

How will Annette’s parents know where she’s been taken?
How can she escape to Marseilles and the only transfer station to Home?
Why does Jacques’ description of a metal room sound so much like that advanced technology?

Take a trip through time to a country that might exist somewhere, some-time, with another exciting adventure of the Crosstime Traders from the master of alternative history, Harry Turtledove.  (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

Circle of Gold, by Guillaume Prevost (fiction) – kidnapping, time-travel, treachery

book cover of Circle of Gold by Guillaume Prevost published by Arthur A Levine Books

A treatise on magic,
Seven special coins,
Stone statues as time-travel portals,
One villain intent using them to loot the world’s treasures.

For World Wednesday, this concluding adventure in the Book of Time trilogy pits fourteen-year-old Sam against the shadowy Archos man in a final battle for control of the time-travel gateways that only a few can travel.

Sam always seems to be putting the safety of others first, from his cousin Lucy to the lovely Alicia to his grandparents and his father. Now he’s determined to learn enough of  time travel’s secrets to stop his mother’s car before her fatal crash three years ago. Can the avenues of Time stand the strain of this potential paradox?

Whether visiting the vast tomb of an ancient Chinese emperor or walking through an Egyptian pyramid’s secret passageways, author Guillaume Prevost‘s background as a history teacher brings fascinating perspectives to Sam’s many journeys through Time.

Get the whole story at your local library or independent bookstore, starting with The Book of Time (book 1- my recommendation) and The Gate of Days (book 2 – my recommendation), then join Sam on his search for The Circle of Gold.

Book info: The Circle of Gold  / Guillaume Prevost; translated by William Rodarmor. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009. (Book of Time trilogy #3).    [author interview]    [publisher site]

My Recommendation:

The time-traveling talent shared by Sam and his father may be their undoing, as the Archos man tries to wipe them out and plunder all of Time’s riches for himself. But he underestimates Sam’s desire to make the world’s time-stream right again, even if the teen loses himself in the process!
Alicia, the girl that Sam adores, has been kidnapped from their Quebec hometown by the mysterious Archos man. Of course, the ancient book that the villain demands as her ransom is located far, far away in Renaissance Rome. Rescuing Dad from Vlad the Impaler’s dungeon and surviving the eruption of Vesuvius seemed difficult at the time, but this time, Sam will have to travel back in time alone, as his cousin Lucy is away at summer camp; her great problem-solving skills would help so much!
So Sam must use the ancient stone statue in the basement of his father’s bookstore to open the Gate of Days again, using a certain combination of special coins to land in Rome – just as a battle begins. The book is inside the city walls, and Alicia is being held prisoner by attacking forces who offer Sam a different option for redeeming her life.
Will her captors really try to double-cross the Archos man?
Could Sam’s collection of time-travel coins help him find another way to rescue her?
Does the gold bracelet really allow time-travel without having to use the stone statues?
Will he have to travel to future time to defeat the Archos man’s greed once and for all?

All of the time-journeys and trials which Sam experienced in The Book of Time (book 1) and The Gate of Days (book 2) lead him to this final race for The Circle of Gold. (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.