Blog Tour and Book Review: A Catalogue of Catastrophe by Jodi Taylor–Historical Fiction Meets Science Fiction

BOOK DESCRIPTION


BOOK 13 IN THE INTERNATIONALLY BESTSELLING CHRONICLES OF ST MARY’S SERIES

For fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, Jasper Fforde and Doctor Who.

Finally – finally! – Max has that nice office job she’s always wanted. The one with no heavy lifting and no one tries to kill her. Well, one out of two’s not bad…

Punching well above their weight, Max and Markham set out to bring down a sinister organisation founded in the future – with a suspicious focus on the past.

Max’s focus is staying alive long enough to reunite with Leon and Matthew, alternately helped and hindered by St Mary’s. Who aren’t always the blessing they like to think they are.

But non-stop leaping around the timeline – from witnessing Magna Carta to disturbing a certain young man with a penchant for gunpowder – is beginning to take its toll. Is Max going mad? Or are the ghosts of the past finally catching up with her?

What people are saying about Jodi Taylor:

Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything… Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine “Max” Maxwell have seduced me’

‘This amazing series is anything but formulaic. Just when you think you’ve got to grips with everything, out comes the rug from under your feet’

‘Addictive. I wish St Mary’s was real and I was a part of it’

‘St Mary’s stories are the much-anticipated highlight of my year’

‘Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked’

BOOK REVIEW

Another wonderful, action-packed trip through history with the crew of St. Mary’s, a group of historians who “investigate major historical events in contemporary time. DO NOT call it time travel.” This is Book 13, and Max, while still working as a “recovery agent” along with Markham, finds herself with a new office job. She is also fighting strange symptoms that have started to happen whenever she does a time jump. This is not a standalone and the reader will benefit from beginning with Book 1, Just One Damned Thing After Another, and reading the series in order.

Whenever another St. Mary’s book is available, I drop everything to read it. The cast of characters is fun-loving, witty, and smart, and they go through events that are sometimes hilarious, often dangerous, and occasionally tragic. And there are always fascinating history lessons. In this installment, we learn about the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The past comes to vivid life, and our historians throw themselves right in the middle of it. Filled with humor, heartache, and history, this is a series that will leave you craving more. Fans will rejoice at this newest installment that heavily features Markham, a fan favorite. New readers of this series are advised to take a time jump to book one and start an adventure they will never forget. I envy those who get to read it for the first time. Whether it’s a laugh, a learning moment, or a punch in the gut, this series has everything.

I happily received a free print copy of this book from Headline via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jodi Taylor

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), Jodi 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.

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BUY LINKS

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Self-Published Saturday: Free Books!

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help self-published and indie authors market their books. Marketing is possibly the most daunting effort that self-published authors face, and if I can help with that in even a small way, I am happy to do it.

Below are three books that you can pick up free today and they are all the beginnings of wonderful series’.

The Demon of Yodok by Adria Carmichael is the first book in a thrilling YA dystopian series, Juche, set in a concentration camp in North Korea. It is free today and tomorrow on Amazon, and you can pick it up here. My previous review of The Demon of Yodok is here.

PICK UP THE DEMON OF YODOK FREE TODAY

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

Just a reminder that Songbird by Gail Meath, the first book in the Jax Diamond Mysteries series, is free on ebook until March 14th. My review of Songbird is here.

PICK UP SONGBIRD FREE TODAY

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Daughter of Time by Sarah Woodbury is the first book in the After Climeri series, about a woman who goes back in time to medieval Wales. There are 20 books in the series. Sarah Woodbury is an amazing success story among self-published authors, having sold over a million books. She has written 40 novels, all independently published.

PICK UP DAUGHTER OF TIME FOR FREE

Amazon US

Amazon UK

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.

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)

Spotlight: Kindle Unlimited

Every Saturday starting today I will turn my spotlight on great books that Kindle Unlimited members can get at no additional charge. My first spotlight is on Arriving Through Time by Heather L. Barksdale. This is a young adult Time Travel adventure. This book can be picked up at no additional charge by Kindle Unlimited members.

Arriving through Time by Heather L. Barksdale is a Young Adult time travel novel. 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 find that in my own genealogy research. 

If you are a fan of young adult novels, time travel, genealogy, 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. 

Link to the book on Amazon:  

Link to Heather L. Barksdale’s website:  

Link to my review on Goodreads (Like and follow if you are so inclined)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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.  It was one such adventure that inspired her to write Arriving Through Time. She and her husband share their home in Jacksonville, Florida where she is currently writing the sequel to continue the story of Lizzie and her friends.