Self-Published Saturday: The Ruby Brooch

Self-Published Saturday is my attempt to help self-published and independent authors with one of the many tasks they have to handle on their own–marketing. Today I’m looking at a review I did years ago, back in 2013, and it’s my actually my most popular review on Amazon. The Ruby Brooch is the first book in Katherine Lowry Logan’s extremely successful Celtic Brooch series. I must explain myself before I post my review. I love time travel books, but I prefer those that lean more towards the historical than romance/sex. This one is definitely heavier on romance, and the heroine is a little (a lot) over the top, so I poked some fun at it, still giving it 4 stars. Hopefully you all won’t mind my humor, because it’s a great series and has made Katherine Lowry Logan a very successful independent author. This post today is not necessary to help with marketing, because it’s made a lot of sales, but to show self-published/independent authors all the possibilities for success, plus hopefully give everyone a chuckle. There are what could be construed as spoilers, just as a warning. Again, although I poked a little fun at this book, it is very successful.

BOOK DESCRIPTION

As the sole survivor of the car crash that killed her parents, grief-stricken paramedic Kit MacKlenna is stunned to learn her life is built on lies. A legacy from her father includes a faded letter and a well-worn journal. The journal reveals she was abandoned as a baby 160 years ago. The only clues to her identity are a blood-splattered shawl, a locket with the portrait of a 19th-century man, and a Celtic brooch with magical powers. Kit decides to continue her father’s twenty-five-year search for her identity, and solve her birth parents’ murders.

Scotsman Cullen Montgomery, a San Francisco-bound lawyer who resembles the ghost who has haunted Kit since childhood, helps her join a wagon train heading West. More dangerous than the river crossings, bad water, and disease encountered on the trail, is Cullen’s determination to expose her lies and uncover the source of her unusual knowledge and life-saving powers.

Kit is convinced if she can survive the perilous journey and Cullen’s accusations, as well as thwart his attempts to seduce her, she might solve the mystery of her heritage and return home without leaving her heart on the other side of time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author Katherine Lowry Logan couples her psychology degree with lots of hands-on research when creating new settings and characters for her blockbuster Celtic Brooch series. 

These cross-genre stories have elements of time travel, sci-fi, fantasy adventure, mystery, suspense, historical, and romance and focus on events in American history. Katherine is the mother of two daughters and grandmother of five—Charlotte, Lincoln, James Cullen, Henry, and Meredith. She is also a marathoner and lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with her fluffy Goldendoodle, Maddie the Marauder.

BOOK REVIEW

See my four-star review below ****

SPOILERS: I love a good time travel novel. This one has a good premise and takes us to the Oregon Trail. The means of time travel is obviously a ruby brooch. Although the history of the brooch is not really explained in this first installment, there are other books in this series and we may learn more about it later. I enjoyed the overall story, although I am much more interested in the time travel and historical period than the sex. Now here’s to the criticism: I don’t mind a good romance but can do without the play-by-play description of the sex. You’ve seen one nipple, you’ve seen them all. Except for the heroine of course. I’m sure her nipples are the best! Because this heroine is not only a time traveler. She’s also an expert horsewoman and jockey, brown belt in karate, an expert in classical music and literature, a trained paramedic, AND she even performed vascular surgery even though she’s not a surgeon. Oh yeah and she’s a sketch artist too. And beautiful. And rich. So, in other words way over the top. She’s Super Woman. And thank goodness she brought a pregnancy test with her on the Oregon trail. Because of course she knew she would need that although her fiancé was dead and she had no romantic prospects to her knowledge.

Now with all that being said, I did enjoy the overall story and the look back at a fascinating time in American History. I will try the other books in the series and see where the brooch takes us next.

BUY LINKS

LINK TO BUY THE RUBY BROOCH

LINK TO ALL ELEVEN BOOKS IN THE SERIES

**Remember whenever you buy a book from a self-published author or any author, be sure to leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads. It is very important to the book’s success. It does not have to be a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines will do.

My Favorite Time Travel Reads

It’s rare that I find a Time Travel book I don’t like. It’s my go-to genre, and when combined with historical fiction, my absolute favorite thing to read. Here is a list of my favorites that I recommend you check out. You can click on any cover for the Amazon link. I also put a movie recommendation in at the end.

The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein

This is actually my favorite time travel book ever. I have a couple of paperbacks plus the Kindle version, and even a copy on Ibooks just to make sure it’s always available. Does anyone else do that? This is the story of a man who loses everything and the way he goes about getting it back–and it features the greatest cat ever, Petronius the Arbiter, or Pete.

The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Series by Jodi Taylor (First Book: Just One Damned Thing After Another)

I am a serious Jodi Taylor fangirl and will drop everything when she has a new book out. The book above is the first in a series of 13 books so far, and there are also several short stories. This a combination of time travel and historical fiction about a group of time traveling historians. You will learn something new with every book. If you enjoy time travel fiction, you will adore these books as much as I do.

The Time Police Series by Jodi Taylor

Again, I’m a Jodi Taylor fangirl, and this is the spinoff series from Chronicles of St. Mary’s. Doing Time is Book 1, and there are three books total so far. The main characters in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s Series have a son, Matthew, and Matthew is one of three main characters in The Time Police Series. Matthew goes off to join the hated Time Police, much to the dismay of his mother, Max, head historian at St. Mary’s. He finds himself on Team Weird with Jane, who has run away from her nasty grandmother after accidentally destroying her stuffed seagull, and Luke, a rich playboy who is forced into the Time Police by his father. Their adventures will keep you laughing.

No Ordinary Thing by GZ Schmidt

This is a delightful YA Time Travel Fantasy about a young boy, Adam, living in 1999, who finds a magical snow globe that will take him through time. This is a fantastical read, and I love the snow globe idea!

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Although there is one uncomfortable scene in the book, I really enjoyed it, and the movie starring Rachel McAdams. Librarian Henry DeTamble, inadvertently and against his will, travels through time, usually without his clothes. In his travels, he meets Claire Abshire, and a heartbreaking love story begins.

A Can’t Miss Time Travel Movie You May Not Have Seen

Surprisingly enough, Rachel McAdams has actually done TWO really good time travel movies–The Time Traveler’s Wife and About Time. If you haven’t heard of About Time, I recommend you check it out. Tim (played by Domhnall Gleeson of Harry Potter fame) is told by his father (played in an outstanding performance by Bill Nighe) that the men of their family have always been able to travel in time. They can only travel back to events in their own lives. Once Tim has confirmed this is true, his father advises him to decide how he is going to use this ability. After some thought, he decides he’s going to use it to find a girlfriend. This is so heartwarming and fantastic. It’s not science fiction or history this time. It’s all about family, and it’s funny, sad, and so, so good.

If you enjoy time travel fiction, comment below and let me know which books are your favorite!

Self Published Saturday: The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. The next book I’m recommending is The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, a clever and compelling time travel adventure. See the review, author bio, and cover rating below. Please be sure and share this review with your social media followers. Even if a particular book is not your cup of tea, it might be theirs, and the authors will appreciate it so much!

BOOK REVIEW

When William Wells buys a watch for his girlfriend in 1984 London, he has no idea he is setting off a set of circumstances that will have him running for his life as a murder suspect. The watch is not what it seems, and those who are searching for it will do anything to possess it.

This is a compelling time travel adventure set in London in 1984 and various other time periods. The characters are well written and the action grabs you on the first page and does not let go. As a fan of time travel fiction, the method of time travel is extremely important to me, and the method used here is both creative and fascinating. The rules and nuances of all the time shifts and their repercussions bend the mind a bit, but not so much that I couldn’t keep up. I was entertained throughout, and I’m a pretty demanding reader when it comes to time travel fiction. 

To address something readers may notice, the dates of some events may not exactly match up to reality. For example, the main character went to Blockbuster in London in 1984 although in reality Blockbuster wasn’t founded until 1985 and didn’t spread outside the US until the 1990s. However, this is TIME TRAVEL fiction, not historical fiction. The time travel in this book had been going on for many years and many circumstances were changed. So it’s entirely possible that in this time-manipulated universe, Blockbuster was already in England in 1984. I loved the explanation in this book of how merely bumping into someone on the street could cause a catastrophic event for the whole world. Therefore, a business being founded early in a book about the manipulation of time doesn’t raise any eyebrows for me. 

I truly enjoyed this book and hope to see the characters again in a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. I also downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

O.R. Simmonds

Oliver R. Simmonds is a Writer, Director and Artist working in the Games Industry and author of The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray.

Before working in the games industry, he spent nearly a decade dreaming up deep, detailed worlds with weaving narratives only for them to be ‘value engineered’ by clients. It was during this time that he decided he no longer wanted to be a frustrated writer and to try to be an actual writer instead.

He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of his first novel, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, which is now due for release in 2021. His second book is currently being edited and slated for release sometime in 2022.

Oliver lives in surrey with his wife and two young boys. His eldest son is named after Doc Emmett Brown and the youngest’s middle name is Adventure (yes, really). It’s not all that surprising that his debut is a time travel adventure then. 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

COVER RATING

I think it’s a very effective cover. The title and author’s name are extremely visible. I am always intrigued by clocks, and they work well on this cover. The bit of added gold is very eye-catching.

LINKS TO BUY

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self-published Saturday: May 22, 2021

Self-published Saturday is my weekly feature where I showcase a self-published author, provide a review, and include links to buy the book. As I’ve said before, self-published authors have to write, edit, and market their book, arrange for cover design, and more. They have to do it all, and they appreciate reviews so much. If you decide to read this book today, be sure to put up a review. They are so important to authors. My selection for Self-Published Saturday this week is a Young Adult Time Travel novel Arriving Through Time by Heather L. Barksdale.

Lizzie has been through a family tragedy and is having a tough time, but she is supported by her two best friends, Sam and Jeremy. They are currently navigating high school life and dealing with bullies Gary and Tiffany. Then a class project has Lizzie wondering about her ancestors, and a school trip ends with the three friends hurtling through time, along with their bullies and Lizzie’s secret crush. Although at first it appears to be a freak occurrence, the time travel seems very designed, as all of the teens begin to meet long dead ancestors.

What I loved about this story is that it combined time travel fiction and genealogy, two of my favorite pastimes, and it did this in a clever way. A class project and a DNA test have brought questions about Lizzie’s ancestors to the surface, and unexpected time travel gives her a chance to get answers. This book reminds us that our ancestors were living, breathing, people, not just names on a family tree. They blazed the way for us, good and bad, and everything they did enabled us to be alive today. We also learn something along the way as we visit people and places that are important to American history.

I loved the way time took the six travelers to locations that were pertinent to all of them and their ancestors and gave them both answers and surprises. I have found those kinds of surprises in my own genealogy research. 

If you are a fan of young adult novels, time travel, genealogical research, and/or historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. I received a free copy of this book from the author. I also picked up a copy on Amazon, where Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free. My review is voluntary. 

BUY ARRIVING THROUGH TIME ON AMAZON

Remember if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read this book for free. Just click the link above. Remember to leave a review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather L. Barksdale

Heather L. Barksdale has been a physical therapist, a researcher, a military brat, and now a novelist. She has also traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia seeking adventure. She is an avid fan of historical fiction and calls upon her adventures as inspiration for her stories. She and her husband share their home in Jacksonville, Florida where she enjoys snuggling with her cats and rooting for the Jaguars.

Heather’s Website

My Amazon Review (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

#Book Review: Man on the Isle of Jura

I reviewed Man on the Isle of Jura for the May edition of Historical Novels Review magazine, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. As the final part of the process, reviewers are given a list of books (with descriptions) to choose from. This one jumped out at me because: √Time Travel, √Historical Fiction √Magical Realism. Those who have been following this blog know that historical fiction with a time travel sub-genre is my favorite thing to read. Throw in magical realism and I am definitely hooked. My review is below. There is also a link at the bottom of the page to an interview (Q&A) of me on Tom Maremaa’s website. Check it out! This time he was the one asking the questions. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Christopher Reed is with his family in an SUV in California when a devastating earthquake hits. His wife and daughter are killed and Christopher plunges into the Pacific Ocean. However, before he knows it, he is drowning in the Atlantic ocean on the Isle of Jura outside of Scotland, 1948. The village Christopher arrives in on the Isle of Jura is like many villages may have been in 1948–except some of its inhabitants are telepathic and some can see the future. Jack Wilson, who rescues Christopher from the ocean, can do both. Jack soon joins Christopher on an important mission to make sure a world-changing book (George Orwell’s 1984) is published, despite operatives from another timeline trying to erase it from existence. This is the second book in the “Of Gods, Royals, and Superman” series. It can be read as a standalone.

This interesting book combines historical fiction with time travel and magical realism in a most unique way. The extrasensory abilities of the villagers, time portals in 1948, and mythical creatures all make sense in this extraordinary novel that reminds us of the importance of great literary works and the magnitude of their impact on history. The characters are well developed and the action flows from one fantastical event to another. Fans of literature, time travel and magical realism will enjoy this historical nod to an important novel.

I received a free copy of this book via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read the book for free on Amazon.

As always be sure and post a review if you decide to read this book. Reviews are so important to authors.

BUY MAN ON THE ISLE OF JURA

BUY OF GODS, ROYALS, AND SUPERMAN (BOOK 1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Maremaa

Tom Maremaa is the author of twelve novels, most recently Man on the Isle of Jura and Reynkaviik. His novel METAL HEADS from Kunati Books was nominated by the American Library Association (ALA) as one of the Notable Books of 2009. He has also authored short fiction, plays, and works of non-fiction. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he studied languages, literature and philosophy at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and worked on his Ph.D in comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives with his wife in Silicon Valley, California, and works as a software engineer in the Valley. He travels widely to learn about and understand as many cultures and languages as he can.

AN INTERVIEW OF ME ON TOM MAREMAA’S BLOG (Title is Gambler’s Luck)

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)

#Book Review and #Blog Tour: Time Ripper

*Book Review at the bottom of the page.

HTML

TimeRipper

Welcome to the book tour for time-travelling, sci-fi, TimeRipper by D.E. McCluskey! Read on for more details and a chance to win an amazing giveaway– A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

516jOXX7aqLTimeRipper

Publication Date: February 25th, 2021

Genre: Time Travel/ Thriller/ Historical Fiction/ Sci-Fi

Publisher: Dammaged Productions

It is the year 2288, and Earth is reeling from the most horrific terrorist attack it has ever endured.The Quest, a pseudo-religious splinter group, have taken a stance against the Earth Alliance’s authority of the planet.It is down to Youssef Haseem, now the highest-ranking official left in the EA, to build a team to face the threat of total inhalation if he doesn’t stand down and bow to The Quest’s demands. Then the leaders of The Quest disappear, and a legend emerges in the year 1888. But just who is the mysterious stranger stalking and viciously killing women on the streets of Whitechapel, London?A mission is launched! A battle of wits against time itself. A fight to be played out in the present and the past, with the fate of humanity at stake.Legends can happen anytime…

Add to Goodreads

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Author Photo

My name is David McCluskey, I am an author from Liverpool in the UK. I have written seven novels so far. TimeRipper is my latest. I started writing about 15 years ago, beginning with short horror stories for children that were written in rhyme. I enlisted the services of an artist and created my very first comic from them. Interesting Tymes is a great seller at comic conventions around the UK, as it offered something that a lot of comics these days don’t, something for the children to get their teeth into (so to speak).

I then began to create more comics, some for children, some for adults, before creating my own graphic novels. Doppelgänger is a dark psychological horror, Olf is a children’s graphic novel about Father Christmas and his reindeer, A Christmas Carol is a rewriting of the original tale, but in rhyme, and DeathDay Presents is an adult comedy based in Hell.

From there I moved on to writing novels. My debut novel The Twelve is still my best seller on Amazon.

I write under the name of D E McCluskey for my adult fiction, and I will be launching a children’s range of novels this year under the name Dave McCluskey (I don’t want children buying some of the other horror based stuff by accident).

I still live in Liverpool with my partner, Lauren, and our children, Grace and Sian. We have a sausage dog called Ted, who likes to leave little sausages around the house, just to remind us why he is a sausage dog.

Dammaged | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Giveaway: A copy of the book AND a $20 or £20 Amazon gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Book Tours

BOOK REVIEW

This is a time traveling thriller that fans of science fiction will enjoy. Time travel novels are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve read a lot of them. The means of travel is very important in time travel fiction and to me as a reader. This book leans heavily on the scientific rather than fantasy approach to time travel, and the author makes it work. The Higgs Boson particle plays a big part. The timeline splits between 2288 and 1888 in Whitechapel, East London, as Jack the Ripper make an appearance. There is a completely new theory as to who Jack might be, but that is just part of the story, as there is a battle for the future of Earth between the Earth Alliance in 2288 and a strange movement called The Quest, who are in Whitechapel 1888 trying to change the future.

Fans of science fiction, murder mysteries, and thrillers should check out this gripping, time-traveling mashup.

I received a free copy of this book via R&R Book Tours. My review is voluntary.

#Book Review – Another Time, Another Place by #Jodi Taylor

Whenever Jodi Taylor, my favorite author, publishes a book, I drop everything and read it. I also listen to the audiobook version. I currently have the Kindle version and the audiobook version of this new book already. A signed paperback is also winging its way to me right now. I’m a bit of a Jodi Taylor fangirl. However, I love her books, and historical fiction with a time travel subgenre is my favorite thing to read. She also writes in other genres and I love those series too. Check out my review below.

BOOK REVIEW

St. Mary’s is back, but in turmoil, and even more than usual. Max finds herself sacked (again), and her new job may be just what she needs. Markham has gone into the wind, fleeing shadowy government figures, and his replacement is not the sharpest pencil in the box. Clive Ronan is gone, but newer, maybe even deadlier, foes are waiting in the wings. More tumultuous changes occur, and it is uncertain if St. Mary’s will survive. 

As always, the characters are well developed and interesting. The story is engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat. Max is outraged in this one, and an outraged Max cannot be missed. The history of the time periods visited is well researched and I always learn something new. I always drop everything to read the latest Jodi Taylor book, and I am never disappointed. 

This is book 12 in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. It is important to read them in order. It is not a standalone. The St. Mary’s crew is a madcap, crazy group of time-traveling historians (don’t call it time travel) who “investigate historical events in contemporary time.” Anyone who is just starting this series needs to begin with the first book, “Just One Damned Thing After Another.” I envy you the experience of reading this series for the first time.

In addition to reading the Kindle edition, I also listened to the Audiobook, narrated by Zara Ramm. Zara does an outstanding job, as usual. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jodi Taylor is the author of the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

JODI”S WEBSITE: You can buy signed books and merchandise here.

JODI TAYLOR”S FACEBOOK PAGES

JODI TAYLOR BOOKS

FANS OF THE CHRONICLES OF ST. MARY’S SERIES (This is run by Jodi’s agent and is a really great site. Jodi also comments on here)

JODI TAYLOR BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP

THE SPOILER GROUP – JODI TAYLOR’S LATEST BOOK This group is for those who love spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

BUY ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

BUY THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ST. MARY’S SERIES (Happy Reading, You Will Love It!) (Ignore the first two reviews that say there’s a lot of sex. There is one scene, and it’s very mild.)

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Treehouse Graphic Novel 1)

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Magic Treehouse Book 1) has been made into the first Magic Treehouse graphic novel! I was fortunate to get a chance to read it before publication.

The Magic Treehouse is a fantastic children’s series about a book-filled treehouse that will take readers on adventures to other lands. All they have to do is open a book and make a wish! Below is my review of Dinosaurs Before Dark.

BOOK REVIEW – BONNIE READS AND WRITES

Dinosaurs Before Dark is the first book in the Magic Treehouse graphic novel series. Jack and Annie find a treehouse in the woods, and climb inside. It is filled with books. When Jack picks up a dinosaur book and wishes he could see them, the treehouse begins to spin and they are whisked into the past, where they meet and learn about dinosaurs of different kinds.

This is a fantastic Children’s graphic novel with cute and colorful illustrations that any child will love. Children will learn about dinosaurs while also experiencing a time travel adventure with Jack and Annie. The story is interesting and even as an adult, I loved it. I plan to purchase this series for my grandson. You can’t get any higher praise than that.

I received a free temporary digital copy of this book from Random House. My review is voluntary. 

Dinosaurs Before Dark (Graphic Novel) will be released May 4, 2021.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ADAPTOR/ILLUSTRATORS

There are many facets to this graphic novel. It has been adapted by Jenny Laird from the best selling children’s books by Mary Pope Osborne. The graphic artists are the twin sister team of Kelly Matthews and Nicole Matthews. Check out an article about the new graphic novels here.

PREORDER ON AMAZON

No Ordinary Thing

Diamond Level Read

No Ordinary Thing was #1 on my list of my Top 7 Books of 2020. At the time I made that post, I couldn’t post the review because I was required to wait for it to be published on the Historical Novel Society website. The time has finally come when I can post my review, which is below. The Historical Novel Society must have agreed with me on this one, because they made this book one of their Editor’s Choices. For this blog, I gave it my extra “diamond” rating because I think it’s over and above 5 stars. It’s historical fiction with a time travel twist, which is my absolutely favorite thing to read.

REVIEW

No Ordinary Thing by G.Z Schmidt is a delightful middle grade time travel fantasy. It is 1999 and Adam lives at his uncle’s bakery, the Biscuit Basket, in New York City. Adam is missing his parents, who passed away years earlier in a plane crash. Then a mysterious stranger visits, holding a snow globe. He tells Adam that adventures await him, and that he should go up to the attic. When he does, Adam finds the snow globe, which immediately takes him back in time to Times Square in 1935 and then later a candle factory in 1967. Adam soon realizes the people and places he is visiting are all connected, more magical objects exist, and a dark presence wants to control it all.

I adored this wonderful, enchanting time travel adventure. The characters are so well developed and the plot is very engaging. The author’s ability to connect characters from different backgrounds and time periods will leave you spellbound. Every time travel story has to have a means of or explanation for the time travel, and this one does it so well. The snow globe is sometimes curiously blank, but then the traveler’s destination will appear without warning and the holder will be whisked away to another time. This book is everything that fans of fantasy and time travel could wish for. It is a magical journey that will appeal to people of all ages. It is one of those books that I will read over and over again, and I will remember fondly the first time I read it. I can’t wait to share it with others and I sincerely hope I see this world and these characters again.

I received a free hardcover copy of this book from Holiday House via Historical Novels Review Magazine. My opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

G.Z. Schmidt

Gail Zhuang Schmidt was born in China and immigrated to the U.S. when she was six. She grew up in the Midwest and the South, where she chased fireflies at night and listened occasionally for tornado/hurricane warnings. She received her BA in Economics from Wellesley College in New England. After working for four years as an analyst, she began her new chapter in life by moving to Europe. She currently lives in Switzerland with her husband and their tuxedo cat.

She fell in love with reading after discovering the Arthur books by Marc Brown. Her first stories were written in a spiral-bound notebook in third grade.

When she’s not writing, she enjoys going to museums, playing the violin, biking, and eating pizza.

Buy No Ordinary Thing on Amazon

Link to My Goodreads Review

The Top 7 Books I Read in 2020

Here are my favorite books of this year. Everyone else is doing a Top 5 or a Top 10. I’m doing a Top 7, mostly because I couldn’t narrow it down to five. Although I have them numbered, those numbers could change on any given day and I just couldn’t leave any of them out. These are all books I read in 2020. Since I’ve been doing reviews for the Historical Novel Society, I’ve found some great historical fiction. I also found an Indie book that I really loved. Below is a list of my favorites with their Amazon links and Amazon book descriptions. Three of them were read for the February issue of Historical Novels Review, so I can’t post my reviews for them until they are published in the magazine. Look for my reviews of those three books in February.

7. Set the Stars Alight

This is riveting dual timeline historical fiction. My Review

6. Doing Time

Jodi Taylor is probably my favorite author. She writes the Chronicles of St. Mary’s, a popular time travel series, and Doing Time is the first in a new spinoff series, The Time Police. My Review

5. The Milk Wagon

This is a great book from an Indie author who wrote a fantastic 80’s thriller, mostly revolving around a group of high school boys. This book has not gotten the attention it deserves and is a hidden gem, in my opinion. My review

4. The Wonder Boy of Whistle Stop

I can’t post my review for this title until it is published in Historical Novels Review magazine. For a book description on Amazon, click on the cover.

3. The Edge of Belonging

This is a moving story about adoption and family.

My Review

2. Things We Didn’t Say

I cannot post my review until February, but I will say this is an epistolary historical novel, done solely in letters and written communication. You can check out a description on Amazon by clicking on the cover.

  1. No Ordinary Thing

Again I cannot post my review until February, but this is a Middle Grade Time Travel Fantasy revolving around a snow globe! Click on the cover for the Amazon link and description.