Tag Archives: time travel

The Dent in the Universe by E.W. Doc Parris Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An infamous Tech CEO accidentally discovers a means of sending back information into the past, but soon discovers the tech and financial gains pale in comparison to a far darker threat in author E.W. Doc Parris’s “The Dent in the Universe”.


The Synopsis

It turns out “Move fast and break things” is terrible advice when developing a time machine.

To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that Einstein was right once again— information can be sent backward in time.

Lucas sees a dream product for procrastinators. Want a pizza now? Send your order back in time 30 minutes. Forgot to make reservations at that chichi french restaurant two weeks ago? No worries. Buy that PowerBall ticket. Invest in that stock. Make a FaceTime call to a loved one that passed away a month ago.

It’s the time machine for the rest of us.

In a culture built on instant gratification, Lucas knows he has a hit that will seem like a dream come true on Wall Street. But when he rushes into beta testing before fully understanding the power he’s unleashing, he learns that the stuff dreams are made of can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

The road to Hell is paved with cool inventions.

The Review

The author does a fantastic job of crafting a unique and powerful world that brings a rich blend of sci-fi and mystery storytelling. The detail the author puts into the more tech and scientific nature of the “time travel” element was great to see, and the inclusion of more business, mainstream-style approaches to the technology itself feels very real to the story being told and our own world as a whole.

This was the perfect emphasis on world-building and mythos that any hard-core sci-fi thriller has ever taken. The depths of character development and the realities of how our own modern-day “tech-bros” are seen by the broader public were greatly felt in this fictional world. The unique twist on the time travel element and the shift in tone as the sci-fi element soon takes a back seat to some more mystery, thriller, and even horror elements as the dark realities of any and all tech, but in particular this one, make themselves known and take the reader to a depth of internet hell that few could have seen coming. 

The Verdict

Twisted, captivating, and thrilling, author E.W. Doc Parris’s “The Dent in the Universe” is a must-read sci-fi thriller you won’t be able to put down. The twists and turns in the narrative and the climactic finale will keep readers on the edge of their seats, and the atmospheric nature of the narrative will have readers invested in the author’s unique take on the sci-fi tech genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

The Dent in the Universe - E.W. Doc Parris

E.W. Doc Parris has a new sci-fi/horror book out: The Dent in the Universe. And there’s a giveaway – a $50 Amazon gift card.

To resuscitate his fading celebrity, tech CEO Stephen Lucas would sell his soul for one more hit. When the subspace network for his holographic gaming empire crashes, his hardware guru makes a discovery proving that, though the mechanics may differ a bit, Einstein was right once again— information can be sent backward in time.

Lucas sees a dream product for procrastinators. Want a pizza now? Send your order back in time 30 minutes. Forgot to make reservations at that chichi french restaurant two weeks ago? No worries. Buy that PowerBall ticket. Invest in that stock. Make a FaceTime call to a loved one that passed away a month ago.

In a culture built on instant gratification, Lucas knows he has a hit that will make Wall Street sit up and beg. But when he rushes into beta testing, he learns that the stuff dreams are made of can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.

Warnings: violence, torture, body horror, branding, implied cannibalism.

Universal Buy Link | Liminal Fiction | Goodreads


Doc is giving away a $50 Amazon gift card:

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47282/?


The Dent in the Universe meme

Stephen picked up the keyboard and typed, Watson, come here. I want to see you.

Before he hit enter, the display on his right blinked and displayed a log entry. The display directly in front of him showed the log of the interaction, a white line of text that showed what he’d typed, Watson, come here. I want to see you, and the time sent, 630231 milliseconds. The display on the right, the one that flashed before he hit enter, showed the same.

Walrus said, “Look at the timestamps. The sending input occurred at 630231 milliseconds. The receiving event happened at 629931 milliseconds.”

Stephen looked puzzled. “The clocks are off? That’s a 300…?” he checked his math, “300-millisecond difference.”

Walrus grinned. “Negative 300 milliseconds. The clocks aren’t off.”

“The time server is off?” Stephen knew that was the culprit in the outage.

Walrus shook his head. “Nope. These two chips are in perfect sync to FTL time.”

Stephen stopped and thought. The message appeared to be arriving 300 milliseconds before it was sent. “I’m not getting it,” he said.

Walrus laughed and did his little dance again. “Yes! You are! Tell me what you see.”

Stephen said slowly, “The message looks like it’s being received before it was sent, 300 milliseconds before.” Walrus grinned, and Stephen continued, “But that’s not possible. What’s causing the discrepancy? If the clocks aren’t wrong and the time server was working properly…?” He shook his head.

Walrus’s grin widened. “It’s a time machine.”

Stephen leaned back a bit from the desk. “Right.” Walrus let it sink in. “What do you mean?” He thought Walrus was speaking metaphorically.

Walrus laughed and said, “I mean, this is a time machine.”

Stephen looked at the set-up in front of him. It was a hacked sChip on a breadboard and a couple of displays strung together with cables and alligator clips. This wasn’t a time machine.

Walrus relented. “I’ve tweaked the power supply to dial in a tiny phase variance in the I/O to this sChip, like our customer did by accident. The tensor array interpreted this as an attribute, sending the signal to a point in time before it was sent. 300 milliseconds before. About a third of a second.”

Stephen recalled the chain of events. The right display refreshed a fraction of a second before he hit enter. Examining the log, what he had typed was there. Watson, come here. I want to see you.

He frowned and thought for a few seconds. “A third of a second? It’s the least impressive time machine imaginable,” he said. “This crashed the time servers?”

Walrus nodded, finished his cola, tossed its crushed container in the recycling bin, and peeled open another. “Essentially. I’ve cleaned up the effect, and I’m not messaging the time server. The timeserver would have ignored an invalid time sync transaction. It’s programmed to dump garbage bits. This wasn’t garbage, it was a perfectly normal sync transaction, but the handshake was out of order. The time server software questioned its own reality. It wobbled, tried to regain its equilibrium, and tipped into cascade failure.”

“It’s fascinating, but…” Hard-wired by the last six years to search for a new product, Stephen’s mind was searching for a use for what he was seeing. “I mean, it is cool, but it’s useless—a weird trick of physics. What can we do with it?” He thought for a little more. “This is IP data?”

Walrus shrugged, “It’s a packet like any other packet.”

“So, if it’s packets, then it’s IP, then it’s anything. Form data, text, jpegs, audio, video, holo.”

Walrus nodded and grinned, “Sure. You could surf the web of 300 milliseconds ago…”

Stephen interrupted him, “Can we extend that? Could we rig these in series? Go back further?”

“We could do it more elegantly than that—How much further?”

“You tell me, what’s the theoretical limit?”

“Well, you’d need a receiver. So whatever we end up making would only go back to the first chips that go online. We make a chip today, turn it on, in a week, we could go back to that moment but not before, right? The longer we’re online, the further back we can send things.”

Stephen shook his head. “We couldn’t go back further than tonight?”

Walrus nodded. “There would be nothing to send it to. As soon as we flip the switch on our time machine, we’d be establishing a time horizon. But say we turned on a receiving device tonight. In a year, you could send a message back to tonight. That would be a year in your past. In two years, you could send a message back two years, on and on, until the end of the world.” He laughed and said, “You know that old site, The Way Back Machine? The internet archive? This would be like that but live. You could actually surf the web of the past. Leaving comments on a video from a year earlier.”

Stephen frowned dismissively and said, “What good would that do? I can leave a comment on that same video today. The entire internet is available back to the 90s.”

Walrus smiled, “But it’d be radical!” Radical was not the goal. Stephen needed a killer application, a product everyone would want. Walrus’s stomach growled loudly. “Man,” he said, “I’m starving. Wanna order a pizza? Hey man, that’s what we could do!” he said jokingly, “We could use it to order pizza a half hour ago, so it arrives…” and he snapped his fingers.

Stephen froze. His pupils widened. Instant Pizza. Instant delivery. Instant gratification.

The entire computer industry of the last forty years was built around delivering everything as quickly as possible. Meeting the desires of the customer. Right. Fucking. Now. If no one ever went broke underestimating the American people’s intelligence, as Mencken might have said, it would follow: no one ever went broke catering to their impatience.

Author Bio

E.W. Doc Parris

E.W. Doc Parris is an American writer known for matter-of-fact, hard science fiction grounded in the current scientific weltanschauung, leavened with wit, and kindled by the warmth of human relationships.

Born within the nation’s capital Beltway, Doc makes his home in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. A self-taught software developer and solutions architect, he’s made a decent living over the years as a set designer, graphic designer, animator, 3D modeler, iOS developer, puppeteer, and educator.

In addition to his centuries-spanning WalrusTech Reality series, Doc is currently working on his next novel, Land of Nod, an exploration of A.I., nanotech, and the human brain’s neural network.

Author Website: https://www.ewdocparris.com

Author Mastadon: @ewdocparris@writing.exchange

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ewdocparris/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ewdocparris

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Interview with Author Thomas More

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I’ve written all my life. Little stories when I was a kid, bigger stories as an adult. It has always been my dream to live the life of a writer and I’ve always imagined my books on shelves and tables in every bookstore I’ve ever entered.


What inspired you to write your book?

It was literally a moment of inspiration while riding the subway. It came to me in bits and pieces and once I started to write the book, it kept getting bigger and bigger and more detailed. But honestly, it felt as if someone was dictating the story to me. The words just flowed.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Believe in yourself! No matter what other people say. The only way to live a good life is to pursue your dreams.

What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve been a science fiction fan from birth, practically. I loved sci-fi television shows, movies, and books. Every sf book I’ve read pulled me in and had me imagine a different world as if it were real. I loved it!

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If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Well, of course it would be the protagonist, Sakima. I’d ask her what she was thinking in her darkest moments, her moments of sadness and defeat. And then I’d ask her how she moved past it to secure her future and live her dream life.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m not that good at social media, but Instagram has been mildly successful. I’ve been told, however, that TikTok #BookTok is the way to go.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Never give up! Never stop believing in yourself. Just keep writing. And don’t wait for inspiration to hit (although it does sometimes). Just write and the Muses will join you there.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

City At My Feet is the first book in the Manahatta Series. Book 2 comes out this Fall (fingers crossed). And I’ve done initial work on Book 3 in terms of new characters, plot outline, and more. So hopefully Book 3 will be out in a year or so after Book 2!


About the Author

Thomas More holds an advanced degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. Although college-educated in the art, craft, and labor of writing novels, he is self-taught when it comes to science fiction and its associated tropes, its readers, and the best of its writers. His favorite pastime is going for long motorcycle rides on city streets, country roads, and beaches (where allowed, of course!).






Preview of City At My Feet:


Einstein in the Attic by Dana Dargos & Said Al Bizri Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Bookbaby.com helps independent authors bring their creative vision to the marketplace. Sell eBooks online in the biggest retail stores.

A man who fled war-torn Lebanon questions God’s existence and searches for answers from history’s greatest minds after developing a nano hadron collider in authors Dana Dargos & Said Al Bizri’s “Einstein in the Attic”. 


The Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of the war between science and God, reason and faith, Einstein in the Attic is the story of one scientist’s search for truth and meaning when faced with the ultimate question: Is there a God? Fleeing war-torn Lebanon, Adam Reemi’s faith is shaken by the hardships he has endured, but when he and a colleague successfully construct a nano hadron collider, and using sound waves, Adam finds unheard-of power at his fingertips. To help him answer the greatest question mankind has ever posed, he zaps the best philosophical minds of all time–namely Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Soren Kierkegaard, and Baruch Spinoza–from the past and into his attic. Not all goes according to plan, however, and Adam finds himself in a race against time to formulate an answer to the question of intelligent design… or risk losing everything.

The Review

This was such a fun and thought-provoking read. The balance the author found with the sci-fi, witty conversational aspects of the narrative with the more grounded, heartbreaking, and thoughtful storytelling of the main character’s arc was amazing to see come to life on the page. The world-building and scientific nature of the narrative was gripping, and powerful imagery felt very cinematic in the writing itself. 

The heart of this narrative rested in the character development and the philosophical discussion that happens both in the book and within the reader’s mind as a result. The way the authors take the time to really delve into Adam’s backstory and the childhood experiences that shaped his life was heartfelt and truly emotional, keeping a sense of relatability for the reader as the more sci-fi elements of the story came to life. The attention to detail the science aspect of the narrative brought to life was enlightening and thoughtful, and the impact of these historical figures on Adam’s journey was thrilling to read.

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The Verdict

Memorable, engaging, and thought-provoking, authors Dana Dargos and Said Al Bizri’s “Einstein in the Attic” is a must-read sci-fi novel. The adventure and science behind the tech that brings these figures into the modern day and the rich and emotional backstory that shapes Adam’s philosophical and intellectual dilemmas will keep readers glued to the pages of this book as the narrative takes shape. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Authors

Dana Dargos is an award-winning Lebanese-American writer born and raised in the Bay Area. From the moment she created adventurous, crayon-scribbled tales in kindergarten, she knew writing would forever be a part of her life. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English Literature. Einstein in the Attic is her debut novel.

Said Al Bizri is an award-winning writer, existentialist thinker, and avid researcher with a BA from the American University of Beirut. He works as a business development director in a number of countries. Together, Said and Dana conducted five years of research to ensure plausible and accurate scientific and historical information. Einstein in the Attic is also his debut novel.

Suspension (Time Binder) by Andrea Faye Christians Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange or a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young woman finds herself stuck between two worlds as a time travel adventure introduces historical figures, a shocking murder, and a startling discovery about her destiny in author Andrea Faye Christians’s “Suspension”, a Time Binder series novel.


The Synopsis

An unexpected time travel tale. When Carla Thompson falls asleep and doesn’t wake up, she is shocked to discover what destiny has in store for her. Suspended between two worlds, she meets Isambard Brunel, the legendary eighteenth-century civil engineer, who built the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England, and who now serves as guardian of its secrets. Historical events intertwine with Carla’s current reality and along the way she discovers a murder, encounters a host of characters including Jamaican psychic, Matilda, and engages in verbal banter with literary legend, Ernest Hemingway. Her adventures lead her to a startling revelation about why she was chosen for her strange new role. In death Carla realises she has never felt more alive.

The Review

This is such a unique and imaginative read. The author does an incredible job of capturing the curiosity, the surreal, and almost magical concept of how life after death works and how the concept of destiny doesn’t always end or even start in life. The imagery and atmosphere the author creates are so mesmerizing, and the layered mythos that the author creates is so engaging for the reader to delve into.

Yet it was the richness of the characters and their backstories that really drew me into the narrative. The shock of the protagonist’s new reality and the explorative nature of her journey as she learns and discovers herself in this world within our own world was amazing to read. It put an all-new spin on the time-travel elements of the story, as well as the more philosophical and spiritual themes the author explored in this read.

The Verdict

Engaging, thought-provoking, and highly creative, author Andrea Faye Christians’ “Suspension (Time Binder)” is a must-read novel for Summer 2022! The surreal reality that Carla finds herself in and the amazing cast of characters she meets along the way showcase the connectivity of our world and those within it, and made for such an intriguing story. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Andrea Faye Christians was born and raised in Swansea, South Wales. Following a successful career in British radio including the BBC, she moved to the southern Mediterranean island of Malta to pursue her dream of becoming a freelance writer. A decade later she bought a farm in the Madonie Mountains of Sicily where a menagerie of rescue animals found their way to her. With a son in Malta and a daughter in Sicily, Andrea has a home and her heart in both places, and she now divides her time between the neighbouring islands. Suspension is her debut novel. She is working on the second book in the Time Binder Series as well as a novel entitled Chemo Club.


Breaking Time by Sasha Alsberg Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young woman finds her world turned upside down when a handsome stranger enters her life from another time, and together they discover fate’s plans for them when a rogue threat targets her for a power she never knew she had in author Sasha Alsberg’s “Breaking Time”.


The Synopsis

Romance, Celtic mythology, and adventure swirl together in this time travel fantasy by #1 New York Times bestselling author, booktuber, and popular Outlander social media influencer Sasha Alsberg.

Fate brought them together. Time will tear them apart.

When a mysterious Scotsman suddenly appears in the middle of the road, Klara thinks the biggest problem is whether she hit him with her car. But, as impossible as it sounds, Callum has stepped out of another time, and his arrival marks the beginning of a deadly adventure.

Klara soon learns she is the last Pillar of Time—an anchor point in the timeline of the world. After being unable to protect the previous Pillar, Callum believes he’s fated to protect her. But now a dark force is hunting the Pillars—and Klara and Callum are the only two standing in the way. They’ll have to learn to trust each other and work together…but they’ll need to protect their hearts from one another if they’re going to survive

The Review

This was such a powerful and entertaining new read! The author did such an incredible job of world-building in this narrative. Each scene felt vibrant and alive on the page, thanks to the author’s incredible handle on imagery in her writing and the atmosphere she builds as the narrative progresses. The striking balance the author struck between the rich mythology of the world she created and the intimate and emotional character growth was superb. As a huge fan of mythology in general, I was immediately drawn into this narrative, but what was really fun was being introduced to new mythological figures and stories, and the intricacies of Celtic mythology definitely drew me into the story so much that I’ll be researching the mythos myself, really adding to the author’s ability to draw readers in. 

Yet it was the rich character development that really drew me in further and further into the story. The multiple POVs were great to have, as they added depth to both Callum’s and Klara’s stories. Their backstories and the eras from which they hail and the instant chemistry and discoveries they make about themselves along the way were truly inviting to behold on the page. Even the antagonist, who emerges from the shadows and strikes into the heart of these two protagonists, was chilling and haunting to behold and did a great job of becoming the hero’s foil in the narrative. 

The Verdict

Captivating, engaging, and brilliantly written, author Sasha Alsberg’s “Breaking Time” is a must-read YA Historical Fantasy meets Time Travel story and one of my top picks for best reads of 2022. The author does a great job of traversing the influences of other series such as Outlander and The Mortal Instruments, and yet feels so original and authentic on its own at the same time, bringing magic back into the Historical Fantasy meets Highland genre. With a twist ending that left this reader eager to read more, you guys won’t want to miss out on this spectacular story. Be sure to pick up your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Sasha Alsberg is the #1 New York Times bestselling coauthor of Zenith, the first book in The Androma Saga. When Sasha is not writing or obsessing over Scotland, she is galavanting across social media with her two dogs, Fraser & Fiona. Sasha lives in London, England.

Social Links:

Author website: https://www.sashaalsberg.com/ 

Twitter: @sashaalsberg

Instagram: @sashaalsberg

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sasha.alsberg 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15100575.Sasha_Alsberg 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Time-Sasha-Alsberg/dp/1335284893 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/breaking-


IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335284891 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Breaking-Time/Sasha-Alsberg/9781335284891 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/ch/audiobook/breaking-time/id1591477301 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Sasha_Alsberg_Breaking_Time?id=5TlHEAAAQBAJ 

Please enjoy this excerpt from Author Sasha Alsberg’s “Breaking Time”

Excerpted from BREAKING TIME by Sasha Alsberg, © 2022 by Sasha Alsberg, used with permission from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins.



“Thomas!” Callum yelled as he left the pub. The wall of crisp night air dizzied him, causing him to stumble over cobblestones that seemed to shift beneath his feet. Drunken laughter muff led as the door slammed shut behind him. 

“Where the hell are ye?” he shouted. His voice echoed through the deserted streets. 

No answer came. 

Lanterns flickered along the main road, setting the heavy fog aglow. In a wee town like Rosemere, the slightest whispers could be heard a mile away. They carried farther than that, Callum knew; the windows around him were shuttered, but candles burned low just inside. How many prying eyes watched from behind the slats? How many would speak of his friend, the disgraced fighter, in hushed voices at tomorrow’s market, over bread bought with the coin they’d won betting on him mere weeks earlier?

Callum clenched his fists. The whole pub had shouted and jeered while Thomas got pummeled that night. Sounds still rang in Callum’s ears: the thud of fist and flesh, the sickening crunch of bone. It was the third time this month that Thomas had lost—only the third time, in two years of fighting.

Brice would be angry.

Master, keeper, devil, father. Brice MacDonald was all of these things to Callum and Thomas. Whatever Brice’s wrath tonight, Callum could not let Thomas face it alone. Not when Thomas had looked after Callum for so long, raised him up from a nipper as well as a real older brother would.

But he would not abandon Thomas like his mother had abandoned him.

The thought sobered Callum. He called again, lowering his voice to a taunt.

“Thomas! You owe me three shillings!” Thomas could usually be drawn out with a jab.

Callum paused, straining his ears for a response but was met with unease instead. An owl watched from its perch atop the baker’s roof, golden eyes unblinking against the dark night sky. The shining orbs fixed on him.

He tore his gaze from the bird and walked on, moving away from the firelight and into shadow.

Even more worrisome than Brice was the fact that Thomas had given Callum his most treasured item earlier that night: his notebook, small sheaths of vellum bound in leather. When he first began carrying it around, Thomas claimed to have stolen it from the apothecary when he went in for a poultice. 

He had kept it on him, always, and had never let Callum lay eyes on what was inside. Yet he had pressed it into Callum’s hand, just before the match tonight. He said something to Callum when he did, but his words were inaudible within the roar of the pub. Then after, he disappeared from the pub without even a goodbye.

Now Callum was wandering the streets, alone.

It was unlike Thomas to behave so strangely, to lose so badly. The Thomas he knew—boyish and rowdy, tough as leather but never mean—had fallen away with the autumn leaves these past months. Instead of spending evenings at The Black Hart Inn, weaving stories he’d learned as a child of selkies and sailors for red-cheeked barmaids until the sun rose, Thomas began to disappear for days, weeks at a time—stretches too long for Callum to explain to Brice. He took a beating or two for it, too. When Thomas returned, he was sullen, sometimes violent, and consumed by a strangeness Callum had no words to describe. His eyes stared but did not see, as distant as stars burning in his skull. If he spoke at all, he told tales of the demons that terrified them as children: like the Sluagh, spirits of the dead who wandered in flocks, flying around the sky like soaring reapers and stealing souls, flesh hanging off them like blackened rags. Or the bean-nighe, banshees, messengers from the Otherworld and omens of death, who lingered in lonely streams, washing the clothes of doomed men. Normally Callum heard of such dark creatures within the stories of heroes, but Thomas’s stories didn’t end in life…but death. He fixated on that fact, as if it were coming for him.

I saw her, he’d said of the bean-nighe. I refuse to die. 

It worried Callum, but just as his worry morphed into confrontation, Thomas would come back to himself. This was enough to comfort Callum as he watched Thomas return to tales of ancient heroes and kings. Maybe he accepted his relief too soon since the nights of those stories were fewer these days, and more often Thomas’s speech would turn dark again. He would speak of strange visions, of men who leaped from one world to the next.

They’re coming, Cal, you’ll see. It’s as simple as stepping through a veil.

Who’s coming, Thomas? What veil? Callum asked, and Thomas would laugh.

It was no tale that Callum knew. He’d warned Thomas not to tell it. He didn’t like the wary looks it earned him. It was one thing to be a bard who told these stories for a living, but it was another thing to speak like a madman of evil spirits and fairies as if they were tangible things away from the lyrics of a song or the pages of a book.

Callum reached the end of the main road—the turn for Kelpie’s Close. If you wanted trouble, you found it in Kelpie’s. The narrow backstreet edged Rosemere like a blade pressed against the town’s throat.

A chill clung to his skin. Here, there were no lanterns to light the way, his only guide sparse slivers of moonlight. The wind picked up suddenly, lifting his hair and reaching under his woolen cloak. He tried to shake off visions of the Sluagh hovering above him, raking their cold fingers down his neck.

“It’s as dark as the Earl of Hell’s waistcoat,” he mumbled.

Callum reached for the dirk tucked under his arm and found the carved handle concealed under layers of wool, feeling a sting of guilt. It was Thomas’s knife. Callum had slipped it away from him before the match, worried about what his friend might do in the crowded pub if he got enough drink in him. He tapped it, drawing enough strength to plunge into the darkness.

“Scunner!” he cursed, meaning it. “Where are you?”

A cry pierced the quiet.

Callum’s heart pounded as he followed the sound farther down the alley. He pulled the dirk from under his arm, certain now that he’d need to use it.


Unease, cold and metallic, crept up his spine. The alley appeared empty—strange, for this time of night—but the silence was thick, alive with a feeling Callum couldn’t name. He pushed on, deeper into the gloom. “Thomas?”

Another strangled cry, ahead.

Callum broke into a run.

A single lantern flickered a short distance away, casting a wan glow over a lone figure slumped against the wall. A sweep of red hair, bright even in the dim alley.

“Thomas, ye bastard, do ye ken what—”

The insult lodged in his throat. Thomas lay on the ground, his legs splayed at sickening angles. Blood seeped through his shirt, blooming like ink on paper. Callum rushed to his friend and knelt beside him. He dropped the dirk and pressed his hands against the deep slice that marred his friend’s torso. A knife wound.

“Dinnae fash, Thomas, dinnae fash,” Callum repeated, voice tight and panicked. He glanced up, searching for friend or foe, and found no one. “We’ll be back to the pub before Anderson kens we havna paid our tab.” 

Thomas stared up at him with glassy blue eyes. With each shuddering breath, more blood spilled through Callum’s fingers. He ripped the cloth stock from his neck and pressed the fabric onto the wound. It did little to stem the flow of blood. Within a few heartbeats, the cloth was soaked through, red and dripping.

If he pressed any harder, would it be doing more harm than good? Should he call for help, though it might draw the attacker? Callum hadn’t a clue. He wished suddenly, ferociously, that he’d had a proper mother, one whose wisdom he could call upon to calmly guide his hands. However, Thomas was the only family he had.

His only family was dying.

Thomas opened his mouth, but instead of words, a wet cough came out, splattering red across his pale face.

“Dinnae move, Thomas,” Callum shushed him. His uncertainty gave way to desperation, burst from his throat. “Help! Help us!”

His words dissolved into the night air, leaving behind only a tightness at the center of his chest. If he hadn’t taken Thomas’s dirk, he would have been able to defend himself, he wouldn’t be dying in Callum’s arms—

Thomas gasped, but it seemed as if no air reached his lungs.

Lowering his head, Callum gripped Thomas’s hands, though his own were shaking. “I will find the man who did this, I swear—”

Then the world flipped sideways. A blow had hit Callum like a runaway carriage, throwing him against the alley wall opposite Thomas.

Pain exploded along his ribs. Grasping the mossy wall for purchase, he struggled to his feet and wiped blood from his eyes, scouring the darkness for his attacker—and found no one.

“Show your face,” he growled.

A cruel whisper cut through the quiet. “Are you certain?”

The man emerged from the shadows as if he had been one with them. He wore a dark black cloak, in stark contrast to his unkempt, pale hair. Deep set in his face, a pair of amber eyes seemed to emit their own light. Callum’s gaze was drawn to a glinting shape in the man’s hand.

A dagger, dripping with blood.

Thomas’s blood.

Callum’s heart pounded like a war drum in his ears.

The man sighed. “Move along. Unless you’d like to meet the same fate as your compani—”

Callum lunged forward, cutting off the man’s speech with a guttural cry, striking with the speed of a viper.

The man ducked. He whirled around as Callum charged again. He overreached with the arc of his knife, and Callum used the moment to surge upward with a punch. His fist took the assailant in the chin—

And the force knocked Callum back.

He stared. A blow like that would have laid out the toughest fighter, yet the man stood and smiled, rubbing his chin with a gloved hand.

“I’m going to have fun with you,” the stranger whispered. “I like a man with a bit of fight in him. It’s more fun to play with your prey, don’t you think?”

Callum didn’t see the blow coming, only felt the pain searing across his temple as he was thrown to the ground again. 

He lifted his head, vision blurring. He blinked it clear, took in his friend’s ashen face. The sight flooded Callum with rage.

Whoever said to never fight with anger fueling your fists was a fool. Thomas’s best fights had been powered by emotion. Callum wasn’t fighting for money now. Or for Brice. He was fighting for Thomas. Because Thomas was—

“Stay down, little man,” the attacker’s voice hissed.

Callum dragged himself to his feet. His body, corded with muscle from a lifetime of training, screamed for him to stop. Instead he stood, swaying.

“I dinnae believe I’m going to Heaven,” Callum said, raising his fists once more, drawing strength from the familiar ache that radiated through his arms. “But I cannae wait to bring you to Hell with me.”

Lunging forward again, Callum poured everything he had into a single strike. He swung, landing the punch more out of luck than skill, half blinded by blood and dirt.

The man merely flinched, then caught Callum easily by the throat. A grin curled over his face.

How could that be possible?

“My, my, you are a feisty one,” he hissed.

The man lashed out, and pain flared along Callum’s torso. He released Callum and stepped back, red-tinged silver shining in his fist.

Callum touched his side, and his fingers came away wet with blood. He watched as crimson spread across his shirt. He tried to take a step, only to crumple to the ground beside Thomas, whose head rested limp against his chest.

Callum had never feared death, but now as he looked into its eyes, terror seized him. 

“Many thanks for the entertainment,” the man said.

To Callum’s horror, he bent low, holding a vial to the spreading pool of Thomas’s blood. He was gathering it.

“If you’ll excuse me, there’s one last Pillar I must find.”


The unearthly amber eyes melted into darkness as his opponent backed away and turned, disappearing into the shadows once more. Softly hissed words echoed in the alley. Àiteachan dìomhair, fosgailte dhomh, Àiteachan dìomhair, fosgailte dhomh…

The words the man spoke were Gaelic, but Callum’s fading mind couldn’t make out their meaning. A dark, mist-like substance rose from the ground and curled around the man’s feet, nearly indistinguishable from the dim of night. Like a sudden fog had rolled in.

Callum sputtered a curse, lacking the strength to spit. He tried to lift himself, but with each breath, pain flared in his side like a web of fire.

“I’m sorry, Thomas,” he croaked. Tears fell freely down his face, mingling with blood and sweat. He pressed his forehead against his friend’s. Grief washed over him at the still-warm press of his skin.

Thomas was gone, and Callum would soon follow.

A shiver raked his body. His eyes drifted shut.

Take me already, he pleaded to the darkness.

And the darkness answered.

No, not the darkness—Thomas’s voice, a memory now, though it was solid as stone.

“Get up, scunner.”

The warmth of the words turned electric, spreading through Callum’s body like wildfire. His eyes shot open and he gasped, breathing in a shock of cold air still sharp with the smell of blood. His fingers found the dirk he’d dropped earlier.

Grief and agony and pain and rage lifted Callum onto his feet, thrumming in him as he charged after Thomas’s murderer, knife raised and eager for flesh. He grabbed blindly, finally grasping a handful of fabric—the man’s cloak. Turning, the man’s eyes widened, making two white rings of surprise in the dark. Callum’s hand grabbed the man’s neck and aimed his dirk at the pale slash of his throat.

Suddenly, they froze. Callum could not move. His hand remained around the man’s neck, the tip of the dirk pressed against his vein. Light flowed around them. It’s not time for sunrise, he thought. Dimly, he noticed markings along the man’s collarbone. Knots carved into his skin.

The man cried out—not in pain, but in anger—but then, the cry was stifled by a rush of silence, so thick Callum thought he might drown in it. His stomach turned violently as the ground seemed to drop out from under him, forcing him to squeeze his eyes shut. He was falling, flying, falling.

I must be dead in the alley. The man must have killed me. This must be death.

A bright glow burned against his lids. He closed his eyes tighter and welcomed whatever might follow, only hoping he’d find Thomas there. A wall of light had formed above, descending as if the sun were pulling him through the sky. His body rose into its searing embrace.

He waited for the long drop to the ground, but it never came.

Callum kept soaring.

Not just through the street.

Not to death’s embrace. 

But somewhere else.

Leaping to another world, like the man in Thomas’s story, Callum thought.

So he leaped. 

Interview with Author Sea Gudinski

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

     I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a means of expression, storytelling has always far surpassed any other creative outlet I’ve encountered and has allowed me to explore both myself and the world around me. I first became enamored with the idea of being an writer at ten years old and began seriously pursuing my career as an author at that time. During the intervening years I have considerably refined my craft, dedicating my focus to historical fiction and examination of the human condition—the forces that make us who and what we are, those tenants of experience that are perennial, and the merits and follies that shape our species’ journey toward self-actualization.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

     Both of my parents lived through the 1960s, and I grew up listening to both the music and the stories of the era. My father was a musician as well as a soldier in the Vietnam War and his accounts of the decade and the counterculture always deeply fascinated me as a child. While researching for an earlier novel set in the same period, I read a book called The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. In addition to defining the genre we now called ‘new journalism’ Wolfe’s work recounted the escapades of Ken Kesey, a major figure in the counterculture of the 1960s. I was completely captivated by the book, both stylistically and comprehensively—and read it twice before I realized that the author had not actually been present for any of the events he recorded. The level of immersion that Wolfe provided to readers in his work inspired me to write a novel in which I could transport readers back into time and present to them an objective examination of the era with both the wisdom of hindsight and the intensity of firsthand experience.


3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

     My intent behind 1969 was to recapture the spirit of that time half a century ago and preserve for history a record of the message, meaning, and legacy of the era, as well as to provide an entertaining, accurate, and objective perspective of the decade that could be enjoyed by those who lived through it as well as those who learned about it in school.     

     To a great degree, the passion and intensity with which I researched and wrote 1969 was due to the fact that I felt that there was something extremely important to be learned from that era of human history—something deep and instinctive that eludes most academic accounts and can quite possibly be swallowed by the gaping maw of time. The spiritual values that were embraced by so many during that time prompted a resurgence of raw humanity that was unprecedented in our recent history and so greatly impacted those who experienced it and the future they thus created that it is criminal to let its influence be lost. I wanted to capture and convey that to readers so that they have the opportunity to be enriched by those values and experiences that have sharped our world today in a more personal and firsthand way.
     Most importantly, I wanted all readers to be able to take something away from the story that stays with them long after they’ve closed the covers. Books have shaped my perspective immensely, and some of the most influential pearls of knowledge in my life have been conveyed to me through literature. Whether it’s simply a fact about the time that they hadn’t known before, or a quote they find inspirational, I’d be greatly humbled if everyone who reads it can say that they learned something from it—either about the time or about themselves.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I have always loved history—and as the old cliché says, truth is certainly stranger than fiction, so there is no shortage of inspiration. Many times when I tell people that I write historical fiction, I am greeted with an interesting reaction. “Boy, that’s a lot of work, why don’t you leave the historical bit to the biographers and textbook writers and just write pure fiction,” is a response that I receive quite often. However, I continue to pursue this genre because I believe there is a great deal of value inherent in it. As every history teacher always urges at the beginning of the school year, history is extremely important. Our time and every single one us living in it are the latest products of millions of years of history. Each new day is carved under the shadow of yesterday in the light of our hope for tomorrow. Our environment, society, and culture are forged and shaped by memories, some more recent than others. I feel that by understanding the struggles and triumphs that defined the lifetimes of our predecessors, we can understand more about ourselves and in turn better our own lives and the lives of future generations.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I really enjoyed thinking about and answering this question. As is the case with most authors, when I develop characters, their backstories are fully fleshed out—even more so than is delved into within the context of the storyline. In this way they become real. It makes their actions, their dialogue, and their expressions far more consistent. Therefore, there really isn’t really anything that I would need to ask one of my characters in terms of their past that I am not already abreast of as the author. However, because 1969 does not have a definite ‘ending’ per sae, I would be quite interested in sitting down with my narrator, Rhiannon, after the novel ends and discovering what happens. I always ask readers their take on how they think the story develops following the final page, but in all honesty, even as the author, I do not know myself. And as several years have passed since I’ve concluded writing 1969, I wonder how Rhiannon’s life decisions would have stacked up against mine and how the profundity and self-discovery that she underwent as a youth transformed her life as she continued on her journey to adulthood and beyond.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook has been by far the most instrumental in gaining traction and exposure. Due to the fact that my novel is set in the recent past and delves into Woodstock and other defining events as well as the music of the late 1960s, I was able to introduce my work to a number of groups of likeminded individuals dedicated to sharing and discussing this era. I feel it is the most accessible social media site, especially for the older generations who are the target audience for my work, and offers the most opportunities for advertising and networking.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

There are two pieces of advice that I would offer an aspiring author. The first would be never give up. The process of publication is extremely daunting. There are likely more scams and frauds aimed at authors than there are in just about any other field—so be cautious, be attentive. Do not let the excitement of future success detract from your vigilance. Secondly, stick to it. There are many disappointments in publication, and if you are looking to become an indie or self-published author, you must realize that writing the book is the easiest part of the process. During and after publication, not only will you be an author, you’ll be your own publisher, agent, marketing team, receptionist, accountant, etc. Your hobby WILL quickly become work—it will constantly lead you out of your comfort zone and at times it will be frustrating and exhausting. If you do not have the time or the energy to dedicate to marketing your work after it is published, do not self publish; instead, pursue traditional publication—it may take longer and result in more rejection, but you will not be saddled with all the procedural work that goes on behind the scenes in the life of an author. Self-publishing is a fantastic alternative that allows you a great deal of creative freedom, but it is not the best option for everyone, so choose your method wisely!


8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Due to the fact that I have been writing prolifically for over a decade but only became a published author last year, I have an imposing backlog of work that will keep me busy for several years to come. I recently created my own publishing imprint, Art Of Telling Publications, and in due time will be releasing a second edition of 1969 as well as all five of my previously written novels. More immediately, I have a book of poetry and short prose, A Collection of Words that will be published in the fall of 2020 and a new historical fiction novel that is in the works!

For updates on new releases, deals, and giveaways follow me on social media!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SeaGud/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seagudinski
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sea_gudinski/

Escape From Yesterday by Frederic Petrovsky Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

The fantasy genre blends with the science-fiction genre when a young boy in a far-off kingdom must stop himself from pursuing the love of a young princess by traveling back in time in author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday”. 


The Synopsis

The ultimate time travel adventure! ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW follows Den, a seventeen-year-old who has been a servant in Castle Kuthalds all his life. Den struggles with sexual awakening, and finds himself drawn to Oshana, the Vizier’s strong and alluring daughter. When this forbidden love is discovered by the cruel and obsessive Vizier, he becomes enraged. The Vizier incarcerates Den in the notorious Zakaz prison, and begins a campaign of murdering a generation of his subjects. To set things right, Den is brought to an ancient underground civilization of monstrous shape-shifters that sends him back in time. The plan fails, and Den is transported to an even earlier time. But during both visits to the past, Den inadvertently interacts with himself. This sets in motion a series of perilous escapes in three separate time periods—three different Dens, Oshanas, Umbras, and Viziers.

The Review

A wonderful fusion of the romance of Disney’s Aladdin with the time-travel insanity of Back to the Future and the high-stakes political and family drama of Game of Thrones, Escape From Yesterday is a smash hit of the sci-fi and fantasy genres. 

The author is able to establish unique mythology in this fictional kingdom and showcase the struggles of being under the harsh thumb of a ruler like the Vizier, while also introducing a forbidden romance between a young house servant and the Vizier’s daughter, the Princess. The character-driven narrative takes center stage alongside the setting, as each plays a pivotal role in the plot that sees the protagonist forced to travel back in time several times to stop the kingdom from collapsing from within. 

The Verdict

A strong, entertaining, and evenly-paced fantasy read, author Frederic Petrovsky’s “Escape From Yesterday” is a must-read novel of the summer for fantasy/sci-fi fans. Filled with adventure, fast-paced action, and complex mythology build-up, this is a fun read that many readers will be able to sink their teeth into. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Fred Petrovsky’s first novel, Frank, was published by Time Warner in 2001. His other novels include Don’t be Cruel and The Clinton Diaries. His work has also appeared in Midstream, Arrive, and The Ritz-Carlton Magazine. He holds an MFA from the University of Arizona.

Traveller – Inceptio by Rob Shackleford Review

A historical science fiction tale like no other, author Rob Shackleford brings to life a tale of ancient Viking invaders, Saxon villagers and a time travel experiment that puts real lives in serious danger. What would the affect of time travel have not only on the past, but the future as well? Here is a synopsis:

If you were sent 1000 years into the past, would you survive?

Traveller – Inceptio describes how the Transporter is accidentally invented and becomes public knowledge when it sends a subject 1000 years into the past.

A Special Forces team of Travellers is then selected and trained with the intent to send them to Saxon England to explore what could be a very dangerous period of history.

From the beaches of Australia to the forests of Saxon England, Traveller – Inceptio reveals how Travellers discover they need a lot more than technology to survive the trials of early Eleventh Century life.

A realistic look into the lives of our ancient ancestors from around the world, this incredible story takes an in-depth look into the scientific study of time-travel and the ramifications our interference in the past can have. It also does a fantastic job of showing the hardships, struggles and way ancient Saxons viewed the world and life, and the twist of ancient beliefs and the introduction of religion into the region.

The attention to detail and use of great historical context made this such an engaging read. Taking a twist on time-travel science fiction stories and incorporating a detailed look into this time of conflict and bloodshed was thrilling to read, and put into context the struggles of the 21st century. The characters felt personal and did an excellent job of highlighting the way we would view that time period, as well as how they would view us.

Overall this was a phenomenal read, full of twists and turns and a fresh approach to the time travel genre. Filled with great historical references and characters you’ll love instantly, this story reads like an HBO drama, and would translate perfectly onto the screen. If you haven’t yet, be sure to pick up your copy of Traveller – Inceptio by Rob Shackleford today!

Rating: 10/10

11/22/63 by Stephen King Review:

The master of horror and suspense has done it again, bringing a unique and epic look back at American history in his novel, 11/22/63. The story
follows Jake Epping, a high-school English teacher who is thrust into a world-changing adventure when his friend and local diner owner Al shows
him a ripple in time residing in his diner’s pantry. Al, who a day ago was living and thriving, is now much older and dying, and wants Jake’s
help in stopping Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating John F. Kennedy. When he learns that each time he steps into the past, he goes back to
the exact same day, in 1958, he first goes back in time to help another friend of his, Harry Dunning, whom was brain damaged after his father
murdered his family and left him for dead. After a mildly successful trip to the past and stopping the murder, he realizes he has the power to
rewrite history, but will face life and death situations when the timeline tries to stop him from meddling. Soon he returns to the past, and
spends years there, investigating and following the life of Lee Oswald in order to determine if he was the sole assassin. However life gets
complicated when he meets Sadie, and falls in love. Juggling a desire to stay in the past and continue his mission to save Kennedy, Jake must
face the complications of living a double life, fighting the timeline’s attempts to stop him and saving the woman he loves from the dangers of
her past.

The book is a phenomenal read, and showcases that Stephen King is still at the top of his game. Getting a very real sense of what life was like
back in the late 50’s and early 60’s, this novel showcases the vast difference in societal views, exploring themes of racial tensions, religious
over-saturation and the global political scene as a whole. It actual has a lot of bearing on the current political landscape in our world, and
manages to bridge the gap between the past and the present. It also is a thrilling adventure, that explores the age old question, are things
meant to happen the way they do, or can they be changed? 11/22/63 is a must read novel that demonstrates to new readers why Stephen King is still
a master of his craft, while longtime fans will enjoy the nods to Stephen King’s established universe and the larger than life questions he always
asks through the themes of his novels. If you haven’t yet, you should read this book today!