Blog Tour Spotlight | Celebrating the time bending realities within the creative tomes of Gwendolyn Womack (esp her latest release “The Time Collector”)

Posted Saturday, 4 May, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. It has been a wicked fantastical journey into the heart of the historic past, wherein I’ve been blessed truly by discovering new timescapes, new living realities of the persons who once lived (ie. Biographical Historical Fiction) inasmuch as itched my healthy appetite for Cosy Historical Mysteries! If there is a #HistRom out there it is generally a beloved favourite and I love soaking into a wicked wonderful work of Historical Fiction where you feel the beauty of the historic world, the depth of the characters and the joyfulness in which the historical novelists brought everything to light in such a lovingly diverse palette of portraiture of the eras we become time travellers through their stories.

I received a complimentary copy of “The Time Collector” direct from the author Gwendolyn Womack in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why this story appealled to me:

In truth, the trifecta of ‘time’ narratives (ie. time shift, time slip and time travel) are three of my favourite ways in which genre can become bent towards the will of a novelists pen. It never fails to ensnare a wicked curiosity about what I shall find if I were to dip into a narrative set in a duality of focus between the past and the present whilst what motivates me to seek out these stories is the fact I love being a time traveller of History. There is a benefit to reading Historical Fiction – as the writers who are curating their worlds for us to read are the ones who are re-illuminating the past in such strong strokes of colours and lives to give us a building of the past in our imaginations which befits the real persons who once lived.

It is through this exploration of the human condition, of humanity’s progress and the journeys we venture forth into embracing through this portal of interest where we seek out the most hope for the future because we have a better foundational understanding of whence we’ve previously have travelled.

Although, I previously shared this sentiment about The Girl from Oto, my feelings on the subject are unaltered. I have a penchant for time narratives – everything from Susan Meissner’s A Fall of Marigolds to the previous releases by Ms Womack to the forementioned The Girl from Oto – and all the lovelies I’ve felt ruminatively enchanted by over the years (a fuller list is mentioned on my review on behalf of Ms Womack’s debut novel) – what I love most is how we can see how time can become bent, manipulated at times and either provide forgiveness, redemption or a second chance – when of course, the ways in which time was altered did not have a more cautionary reason against why such measures ought to be weighed carefully against the risk. There is something wondrously interesting about how these stories play out – how the writers have chosen to craft their tales and how we, as readers are being led through a needling of time.

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Blog Tour Spotlight | Celebrating the time bending realities within the creative tomes of Gwendolyn Womack (esp her latest release “The Time Collector”)The Time Collector (Spotlight)
by Gwendolyn Womack
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Travel through time with the touch of a hand.

Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.

The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?

The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller.

Genres: Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Time Slip and/or Time Shift

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781250169235

Also by this author: The Memory Painter, The Fortune Teller

on 16th April, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 368

Published By: Picador (@PicadorUSA) via St. Martin’s Press
imprints of St. Martin’s Publishing Group,
which is now a part of MacMillian Publishers

The stories through time by Ms Womack:

The Memory Painter by Gwendolyn WomackThe Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn WomackThe Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack

The Memory Painter (debut novel) | see also review

The Fortune Teller (sophomore release) | see also review

The Time Collector (third novel)

I have become blessed by the beauty of watching Ms Womack grow her style of time narratives throughout each of these releases – she truly has a gift!

Converse via: ##TheTimeCollector + #HistFic or #HistNov
as well as #TimeShift and #HistoricalFiction

Available Formats: Trade Paperback, Audiobook and Ebook

About Gwendolyn Womack

Gwendolyn Womack Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

Originally from Houston, Texas, Gwendolyn Womack began writing theater plays in college at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She went on to receive an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Directing Theatre, Video & Cinema.

Currently she resides in Los Angeles with her husband and son where she can be found at the keyboard working on her next novel. The Memory Painter is her first novel.

Photo Credit: Copyright JennKL Photography

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about why i love the time bending narratives by ms womack:

Time travelling mysteries such as the one Womanck has assembled for us to read, is in part a mystery told in pieces – you have to re-arrange the pieces back together as you would a jigsaw puzzle! Each piece might seem like it interlocks to another, but how and why do those pieces behave in the way they do if they are only meant to paint one portrait of interest? This mystery has hidden layers and duality of meaning for each revelation Bryan and Linz feel they are on the cusp of understanding. You hunger to turn the pages – Womack has writ such an eloquent story, her words easily leap off the pages as your reading whilst endeavouring to keep your rapt attention until the very last chapter is consumed!

The deeper you entreat into the story, the more you see how intricate the plot is tethered, not only are Bryan and Linz connected but so too, are the scientists who originally created the drug that altered the state of everyone’s living realities; it was meant to help people with debilitating dementia but somewhere became an arc into sorting out how to re-live past lives whilst attaching oneself to memories of people they used to be whilst understanding the past lives of everyone else they encountered. This took being psychic to a new heightened horizon as it wasn’t simply ‘seeing people’ as the person they were in the past, but understanding the whole living history of that individual! To put it a different way, it was similar to how Dr. Beckett stepped into each new life whilst he was ‘quantum leaping’ through history.

-as quoted from my review of The Memory Painter

Ms Womack has a definitive style and approach to writing her time narratives – you become ruminative about their plots as soon as you begin to read their stories. It is how she pulls you through the thread she has envisioned for her characters to follow through time which enables you to feel grounded in the realities she is creating – it is a sophisticated approached to altering time and thereby, giving you a measure of realism you were hoping to discover and aptly have found is thriving against the pages she’s created.

The Memory Painter was my introduction to her collective works and out of my reading this is what I was able to intuit of her personal evocative styling of Historical Suspense:

Womack writes with a subtle accuracy of giving you just enough information per each scene or character visit to allow you to tie everything together in the larger scope of things. It’s an interesting told narrative, from the point-of-view of shifting perceptions and how you are augmented through different portals of how the story-line is moving forward. The main focus is centred on Bryan and Linz, but you have other influences moving the timeline as well as how each cross-section pertains to the two protagonists who hold the key to the whole story! You can simply let your mind alight through Womack’s graceful narrative and let yourself wander as you wonder how the author knitted the story out of the ethers!

How Womack was able to intervene on History to such a level of intriguing juxtapositions, I am uncertain! As she even brought back to life the compelling argument of how sometimes not everything is fully resolved before or after death! She interwove Egyptology in such a fascinating and inventive way as to cross their Ancient History with our current timeline! It was wonderful to watch her pull her layers together, explore the details further and to watch how even her characters were a bit startled by how everything was inter-connecting straight through to the finish! Her mind truly has captured the intricacies of a plot that is told not only through multiple perspectives but through a threading of counter current lives who are affectingly drawn to each other due to how their past lives originally affected their soul’s journey. Now that’s beyond impressive for a debut novel!

She raises the bar on how you can paint a narrative alive with realism, narrative depth and the ways in which time can become bent to the will of your pen! I love her instincts but I truly appreciate her dedication of synthesizing the harmony between the arc of her character’s journeying towards an ending you can authentically believe is plausible and the boundaries of where shifting in time can lend its own kind of dramatic revelations.

It was how she used the layers and the worked in the dimensionalism of her debut novel which truly intrigued me to read her sophomore release The Fortune Teller. I had this to say about reading the second novel she released as I had a few footnotes I wanted to critique:

Despite my ardent love of her first novel – there were a few things I had hoped might be refined in her next release. There were moments where I felt the conception and delivery of the book’s wider world-building suffered a bit but the heart of what she had wanted to explore and deliver was still visible. I wanted to see how she could re-address the bridge between the Ancient World and the trajectory of a modern day thriller whilst encompassing the fullness of a mystery straight out the back-story of where we find her lead character hunting down clues to uncover what time has lost.

To which i had a lovely response to share with the author:

This novel eclipsed my hopeful expectations of where I knew Ms Womack could transcend her own muse and unite her imagination into the throes of historical mysteries where truth and fiction walk together through the ages to give the best impression of how man and time determine our truer destinies. As a reader, I sometimes catch a glimpse of an author in the process of understanding their own writerly talent; I felt a connection with Ms Womack’s writing style within the pages of The Memory Painter but it’s how she’s mastered the art of her own soulful style of augmenting truth into fiction which warmed my heart the most. Like Semele, she’s found her wings to own her own truth.

You see, it is how she uses the breadth and the depth of her world-building and character development to paint her stories alive I love the most! She gives us this entangled web of lives – where each person might be the singular key to another person’s resolution – there is always a conflict in her stories and there is always the feeling that time itself could become extinguished before something will resolve – it is this fervent rush against the odds and of time – the finite reminder of what we are capable of and what is working against us at the same time is what gives you the most joy in reading her novels.

It is how she is going to weave us backwards and forwards through time – signalling shifts and changes inside her characters’ lives but also, it is her attention to detail and to deepening the back-stories on her characters I am wicked thrilled over finding inclusive of her novels. There is so much to contemplate as you navigate through her novels, you will find yourself musefully in blissitude whenever you pick one of them up to read! At least, this is what I hope you will find as I for one never felt lost for inspiration nor for introspective theorising.

why i am wicked thrilled to be involved on this blog tour:

To best understand my affection and appreciation for Ms Womack’s writing style and voice, you can look no further than how I closed my review for The Fortune Teller:

When you pick up Ms Womack’s novels, you feel a part of the adventure – she has a very engaging narrative, wherein you feel as if you’ve started walking alongside her characters straight from the moment you begin reading her stories. I love the thrill of the chase – of sorting out what is hidden from time and history and of what could be of such great importance it is absolutely necessary to have certain ‘guardians’ take up the protection of certain artifacts (herein: books!) which are not meant for ordinary eyes.

Time slip narratives are amongst my favourites and Womack has started to master the way in which you can bend time and narrative around a slippage of focus between two strong female heroines! As I was truly captured by how Semele was her own person in the present and how Ionna defied convention in Ancient Alexandria. Both women were not tethered to the constrictions of her era nor would they cower to convention or social etiquette of how they were meant to behave or perform their duties. I even liked how Ionna was most concerned about her appearance in a way Semele never would be; Semele liked the more subdued approach to personal style whereas Ionna liked the bold and fierce compliments make-up and fragrance can provide contrasted against bold colours in cloth.

There is a fluidity to this second novel I missed in the first novel; all the components were within The Memory Painter but within the chapters of The Fortune Teller, Womack heightened the joy of soaking inside the high octane world of where antiquity meets a modern-day thrilling chase to unlock the untold secrets of the Ancient Past. You are pulled so wholly into the narrative – your eyes cannot devour the pages quick enough to see how taut the suspense will become and how daringly close Ionna and Semele each become to the dangers lurking just outside the shadows of their footsteps.

This is the novel I knew Womack was capable of writing – it’s the culmination of everything I hoped it would become but even moreso; it’s the realisation of how compelling she makes Ancient History feel when in direct contrast to the sinister heart of a select few whose hearts are blackened by greed & the darker arts. Most definitely one of my #unputdownable reads of 2017!

When I first read the premise behind The Time Collector, I must admit, I was immediately smitten with curiosity! Here was a story built upon the concept of I previously had experienced through the film Somewhere in Time – where an object can become a touching stone of shifting through time? I still feel haunted by the film – it was done in such a way to eclipse your heart and your soul; the gutting reality of how it concludes and the soul lift in how it began cannot compare to many films before or after it. I always felt it was in a case by itself.

Where Womack picks up the concept is how two intrepid psychometrist’s find themselves in a unique pickle when it comes to bending time and how what they seek out to find in their lives (the special artifacts) might be potentially causing them the most harm of all! I like how this feels wholly original even if I feel I have a point of reference to where the plot is automatically believable and conceivable – I have no idea how it shall pan out or how it will become explained.

And, that dear hearts – is the beauty of delving into one of her novels!

You simply do not know what to expect but whatever you find inside one of her story’s is going to be a wicked brilliant reading! I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you on this blog tour – as much as I am overly excited I had the chance to interview Ms Womack! Here’s to celebrating innovative thinking, wicked world-building and the curiously tug we all have to contemplate the abilities we can plausibly accept as being authentically real even if they are just slightly out of touch from our own individual lives! Here’s to the story crafters who are redefining where fiction can take us and enveloping us in their own vision of what is realistically authentic.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

Time Collector blog tour via HFVBTs
 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Return on the 9th of May to read my ruminative thoughts & to see where the conversation led the author and I as we happily discussed this novel!

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{SOURCES: Book covers for “The Memory Painter” and “The Time Collector”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Gwendolyn Womack, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. The book cover for “The Fortune Teller” was provided by the author and is used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2019.

I’m a social reader | I tweet my reading life

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Saturday, 4 May, 2019 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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2 responses to “Blog Tour Spotlight | Celebrating the time bending realities within the creative tomes of Gwendolyn Womack (esp her latest release “The Time Collector”)

    • Hallo, Hallo Lynn,

      What a wonderfully lovely comment to wake up to finding on my blog! :) Thank you for blessing me with such a heap of joy this Saturday morning! I had a lot of fun writing this post as it is always lovely when you can talk about the components of a writer’s style you love to be reading. I went to check my followers – I couldn’t find your name listed or your email; I think you might have forgotten? If you go to my footer you’ll find the box to subscribe and there is a pop-up (red box) in the lower right corner of every page you visit where you can subscribe as well. I’ll let you know when I see it come through – it would be lovely having you as a follower as I am blessed knowing how much you are enjoying my content!

      Have a bookishly lovely weekend!

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