Category: The Sci-Fi Experience

Book Review | “Time and Again” (Book 1: History #Mystery series) by Deborah Heal #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Saturday, 24 January, 2015 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Time and Again by Deborah Heal

{ Book One in the History Mystery Trilogy }

{ Unclaimed Legacy (Book 2) + Every Hill & Mountain (Book 3) round out the trilogy }

Published By: Write Brain Activity
Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook and Audiobook

Converse via: #HistoryMysterySeries & #TimeAndAgain

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Acquired Book By:

My path originally crossed with Ms. Heal during her blog tour last year (2013), when her third novel in the History Mystery series was making it’s way through the book blogosphere whilst stopping on Inspirational fiction blogs I frequently visit. It was on one of these tour stops I had the happy joy in winning a copy of “Every Hill & Mountain” and ever since then, I had had it in mind to blog about this beautiful time travel series for Sci Fi November! I contacted the author about this particular idea and she offered to send me the first two novels in the series with matching cover-art to the third novel, as I have the original cover-art designs for the History Mystery series – where the house is featured but is not prominent as there is a girl featured as well on “Time and Again”.

Therefore, I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Deborah Heal, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Inspired to Read the Series:

What originally drew me into the folds of this particular time travel series is the overall premise, of how an old house can become a portal of a window into time travel! The idea of having the thread of a time travel narrative worked through the Inspirational side of literature was also an appeal, as I was quite curious how the science behind travelling in time might be explored and explained inasmuch as how the story would alter or change from traditional science fiction roots which are published through mainstream markets. As a hybrid reader whose mind is always open and seeking out new inventive ways of telling stories, I was most curious on how an INSPY writer would treat the scope of the story as much as the science behind it.

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Book Review | “Time and Again” (Book 1: History #Mystery series) by Deborah Heal #RRSciFiMonthTime and Again
by Deborah Heal
Source: Direct from Author

An old house + A new computer program =

The travel opportunity of a lifetime…

…to another century.

Abby Thomas is spending the summer in a run-down old house with a bratty pre-teen named Merrideth she is supposed to tutor. Not a dream job. But it does come with perks.

There’s John Roberts, a devastatingly attractive neighbor who is almost too wonderful to be real.

And there’s the new computer program Beautiful Houses—also too amazing to be real. No one knows how it works, but with it she can rewind and fast-forward the lives of all the people who ever lived in the house, including Charlotte Miles.

In 1858, the house is a train stop on the Alton & Chicago Line. And Charlotte is stuck there serving meals to the passengers, wondering if she’ll ever get to have any fun. And then she meets two travelers who change her life forever.

There’s James McGuire with whom she falls in love. And there’s his boss, a young Springfield lawyer named Abraham Lincoln. His debate with political opponent Stephen Douglas catapults him onto the national stage. And it inspires Charlotte to take up the cause of abolition.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781613466698

Series: History Mystery,


Genres: Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Science Fiction, Time Travel Fiction


Published by Write Brain Activity

on 25th February, 2013

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 252

Time and Again Book Trailer via Deborah Heal

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About Deborah Heal

Deborah Heal

Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again "history mystery" trilogy, which has been described as "Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in," was born not far from the setting of her novel Every Hill and Mountain and grew up just down the road from the settings of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy.

Today she lives with her husband in Monroe County, Illinois, not far from the setting of Once Again: an inspirational novel of history, mystery & romance. She enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, five grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout, a.k.a. Dr. Bob in Unclaimed Legacy.

She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and her Facebook author page.

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Time travelling within the walls of an older home:

Heal has a good way of giving small details out about the condition of the old house, where you become delighted in finding out about how the wood and/or the fixtures are represented now verse how they would have been viewed when the house was originally built. There are certain passages that elude to the craftsmanship of the care put into it’s structure, as much as a curiosity about certain staircases and what could be found outside in the barn. It has this rambling appeal to it, as if you think you know everything there is to be known about the house itself, yet it is within that moment of certainty that another mystery presents itself that is not as easily explained!

I liked the pace of how Abby encouraged Merrideth to seek out the charm of her new dwelling as much as to find how educational lessons of life and study can become if you ‘think outside the routine’ and ‘structure’ of traditional learning! Abby starts to seek a way to have the ‘house’ transform learning in a way that Merrideth can find tangible connections between what she’s learning and what she can see through experience. Read More

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Posted Saturday, 24 January, 2015 by jorielov in 19th Century, Abraham Lincoln, African-American History, African-American Literature, Astral Projection, Author Blog Tour, Balance of Faith whilst Living, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Bookish Films, Bullies and the Bullied, Civil Rights, Coming-Of Age, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Divorce & Martial Strife, Drugs & Alcohol, Fathers and Daughters, Fly in the Ointment, Historical Fiction, Historical Mystery, History, Indie Author, Inspirational Fiction & Non-Fiction, Lessons from Scripture, Parapsychological Gifts, Sci-Fi November, Single Mothers, Small Towne USA, Sweet Romance, Teacher & Student Relationships, The Deep South, The Sci-Fi Experience, Time Travel, Time Travel Adventure, Underground Railroad

Blog Book Tour | “An Uncommon Blue” by debut #Dystopian novelist R.C. Hancock

Posted Monday, 22 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

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An Uncommon Blue by R.C. Hancock

Published By: Bonneville Books (@BonnevilleBooks),
an imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc (@CedarFortBooks)

Available Formats: Paperback, Ebook

Converse on Twitter via: #AnUncommonBlue

Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “An Uncommon Blue” direct from the publisher Sweetwater Books (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Interested in Reading:

Initially when I saw An Uncommon Blue come available for book bloggers to host on it’s blog tour, I had a few thoughts on the subject float through my mind. As this isn’t my first dance at the rodeo so to speak for either YA or Adult Dystopian Lit — the more infamous attempt I made to dig inside Dystopian worlds is when I took on a Seventh Star Press debut novelist in 2013 whilst reading The Boxcar Baby. In both Sci Fi November 2013 + 2014 I included a Dystopian category of literary focus, and both years I unfortunately was not able to read the titles I had selected.

They included the following:

  • All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
  • Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis

There were other selections made, but these were my top three choices I wanted to focus on for a second year in a row; and technically speaking, I am still posting the remaining contributions I have for SFN 2014 between the end of December and the early bits of January, before shifting fully into my showcases for Sci Fi Experience 2015! I am not a stranger to science fiction but I am a bit of a conservative reader when it comes to attempting to read Dystopian Lit, as this is what I had to express when I joined the blog tour for An Uncommon Blue:

This one is a step outside my comfort zone as although I love reading YA Fantasy, this one has a plot and a story thread that I generally have not read exclusively. I am always attempting to sort out stand-alones and series that dip in/out of Dystopian narratives as well as the elements found inside this story. I am not even sure the proper thematic to mention, but what convinced me was not only the enthused note by the author but the information I found about this novel on his website. I like to read novels that challenge me and this one at its core has a strong message I think warrants being read.

I pitched a curious idea to Asti (a wicked awesome host of this year’s SFN!), where I told her as I start to read more science fiction over the course of the next year leading up into the 2015 Sci Fi November month of lovelies, I’m going to hold back the reviews I feel would best be shared with the collective of who has become the foundation of the event’s month long sci-fi fest! Therefore, I am not sure if as I read the three books I mentioned I will blog about them in January (as a cross-post between SFN + SFE) or if I will hold off until revealing my thoughts until November 2015!

One thing is for certain, I do share one common thread with Mr. Hancock (as I read his new website and portions of his old blog before he received his contract to publish this novel) which is simply to say, I am seeking out wicked quality stories fit for children and teens. I have the tendency to avoid most of the hyper popular novels (including a few I saw he had blogged about or referenced himself) as they do not align with my own reading tendencies and habits, but the fact that we both have an eye on Children’s Lit with the intention to bring out the best of the pack, in this, I can relate to him directly! This is one reason my Children’s Lit page will start to carry with it a lot more selections from 2015 – forward! I’ve only just begun so to speak, as I’m currently a 2nd Year Book Blogger whose found her wings! Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • Go Indie
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Posted Monday, 22 December, 2014 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bullies and the Bullied, Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, Coming-Of Age, Crime Fiction, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Debut Author, Debut Novel, Dystopian, Good vs. Evil, Indie Author, Mother-Son Relationships, Prejudicial Bullying & Non-Tolerance, School Life & Situations, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Teenage Relationships & Friendships, The Sci-Fi Experience, Trauma | Abuse & Recovery, Young Adult Fiction

Reading Challenge | Sci-Fi Experience 2015 A celebration of #sciencefiction on #JLASblog! (#SciFiExperience)

Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

2015 Sci Fi Experience hosted by SteelDroppings
(“Space” by Stephan Martiniere,
used with the artist’s permission)
THIS is still true: Finding a renewed joy in reading science fiction stories during SFN, and having my hours to enjoy the stories grow a bit limited as November shifted into December, I was most delighted to find: the Sci-Fi Experience! (Review Site of the Experience!) As 2014/5 continues to move forward, science fiction & fantasy will both play a larger role on my blog as I am a member of The Classics Club, whereupon one of my focuses is specifically on: classic science fiction, classic fantasy, and classic/modern Magical Realism. (I tend to include the latter under this umbrella due to the elements which attach the sub-genre to the creativity of the former!)

*note: although I kept the paragraph intact from last year, I updated the links to reflect 2015!

To fully understand why I was so wicked happy last January during my 1st attempt to participate in the Sci Fi Experience, please direct your attention to my participation log from 2014! There is one component that I hadn’t realised was similar between 2014 & 2015’s #SciFiExperience, which is the fact I had the lovely pleasure of tweeting Ms. Elliott just ahead of embarking on my science fiction journey! Last year, I had the direct intention to read her Jaran series but this year, methinks as the boxes in which I have stored her High Fantasy series Crown of Stars is located somewhere out of sight and mind, I’ve decided to see if I can ILL the series which perked my interest originally for it’s uniqueness! I may or may not have mentioned this previously during Sci Fi November 2013 (although I’m sure I must have remembered to include on my essay about “From Seventeen to Seven”), I first picked up King’s Dragon when I was seventeen years old. I remember this quite well as it served as a turning point in my life; not just my reading adventures but my writing adventures. Up until that particular point, for whichever reason I hadn’t yet put the pieces together and realised I was a bonefide sci fi geek and a high fantasy appreciator!

The evidence was quite strong, I had begun writing my science fiction based on science fact novel three years earlier, and my dedicated passion for Star Trek (Gene Roddenberry’s vision of it), Star Wars (George Lucas’s vision of it) and Battlestar Galactica (the original series) were a good indication I had strong roots in the genre. However, reading science fiction & fantasy novels was a slower progression of mine, as I was always keeping my eyes peeled for a new motion picture and/or tv serial which would whet an interest for the fantastical as much as the science-based elemental explorations! I adore Space Opera the most because I love the interconnected elements it provides but truly, I’m still mapping together my wanderings within the Speculative Fiction genres!

This year, during the Sci Fi Experience I am going to keep a running list of books I am reading a few chapters at a time, as I want to see if I can discover new authors and stories to explore as the year progresses forward. I thought for the large batch of what I had borrowed from my local library (my dear librarians are used to me carting off more books than I can carry in a soft grocery bag that has become my ‘library book bag’!) whilst Sci Fi November was in-progress I will be reading 50 pages per novel to see if the style, the voice, and the tone of the writer’s vision sits well with me. Some of the novels were ones I picked up off the shelf based on visits within the book blogosphere either this year or last year during Sci Fi November and/or the in-between months leading up to this year’s events for Sci Fi November & the Sci Fi Experience! Read More

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Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov in Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Dystopian, Fantasy Fiction, High Fantasy, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Steampunk, The Sci-Fi Experience, Time Travel

Book Review | “Category 5” (Book 1: Science Thrillers Trilogy) by Paul Mark Tag a technothriller involving catastrophic weather conditions and storms

Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov , , 1 Comment

Parajunkee Designs

Category 5 by Paul Mark Tag

{ Book 1 of the Science Thrillers Trilogy }

{ Book 2 : Prophecy }

{ Book 3 : White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy }

Published By: iUniverse (@iUniverse)

Available Formats: Hardback, Trade Paperback, & Ebook

Genre(s): Fiction | Science Technothriller | Espionage & Intrigue | Science Fact

Converse via: #ScienceThrillersTrilogy, #technothriller#PaulMarkTag

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Acquired Book By: Whilst my path crossed originally with Mr. Tag through my participation of his blog tour via Cedar Fort Publishing & Media (on behalf of “How Much Do You Love Me?”), we have continued to stay in touch since the tour ended. What I found most fascinating about his historical fiction debut is how soul stirring the narrative was depicted against the backdrop of war and the timelessness of his approach to etch a story out of our collective emotional hearts. I was very moved by his multi-cultural characters and of a story taken straight out of history and World War II. Thus, when I was approached to receive his Science Thrillers Trilogy in exchange for an honest review, I was most delighted indeed! To be honoured with the chance to read his science fiction based on science fact thrillers would enable me to see a new dimension of his writing style and voice!

I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Paul Mark Tag, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Book Review | “Category 5” (Book 1: Science Thrillers Trilogy) by Paul Mark Tag a technothriller involving catastrophic weather conditions and stormsCategory 5
by Paul Mark Tag
Source: Direct from Author

Dr. Victor Mark Silverstein is a Jewish African-American whose background is as unusual as his personality. He lives a privileged life as the Naval Research Laboratory's preeminent meteorologist and scientist. But beneath the facade of a self-centered, arrogant personality lies a seething, vulnerable man whose secrets have plagued his sleep since 1982. That's when he discovered the truth about what happened to his girlfriend, Sylvia.

In the year 2007, his nightmares become a reality when weather satellites detect an environmental aberration. Memories from college at Penn State -- and their accompanying heartbreak -- push their way back into Silverstein's life. Only he knows the root cause of the phenomenon and its scientific basis -- and the mastermind behind it all.

This fast-paced thriller spans the globe: from the Suez Canal and Christmas Island to Istanbul, Turkey; to Monterey, California and Washington, DC; and finally to Bermuda. Silverstein and his feisty female assistant, Dr. Linda Kipling, begin a desparate and harrowing pursuit for the truth and for those responsible. With time running out and the environmental catastrophe unfolding, they must survive a terrifying ride through the eyewall of a hurricane. The final showdown pits good against evil and intellect against loyalty. Along the way, Silverstein finds peace and becomes reacquainted with a faith he abandoned long ago.

Places to find the book:

Also by this author: How Much Do You Love Me?, Author Interview : Paul Mark Tag (on "How Much Do You Love Me?")

Series: Science Thrillers Trilogy,


Genres: Action & Adventure Fiction, Science Fiction, Thriller


Published by iUniverse

on 31st April, 2005

Format: Paperback

Pages: 324

About Paul Mark Tag

How Much Do You Love Me? by Paul Mark Tag

Paul Mark Tag graduated with degrees in meteorology from Pennsylvania State University and worked for the Naval Research Laboratory as a research scientist for over thirty years before retiring to write fiction. For years prior to retirement, and the following year exclusively, he honed his skills writing short stories. These have been published in StoryBytes, Potpourri, Green’s Magazine, and The Storyteller, as well as The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy.

In 2005, Tag published his first thriller, Category 5, which took advantage of his knowledge of meteorology and weather modification. Prophecy and White Thaw: The Helheim Conspiracy followed Category 5, with White Thaw tackling global climate change, a topical subject these days. With his historical novel How Much Do You Love Me? Tag has switched genres. He lives with his wife, Becky, in Monterey, California.

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The science within Category 5:

I have oft wondered why there isn’t more talk about modifications and protocols to augment the severity of natural disasters as we have seen played in science fiction modules. Weather modification has been a hearty subject for a long time, but I was always drawn to the natural disaster films which attempted to either clarify the issue in layman’s terms or give a plausible example of what could happen if we start to monk about with natural systems we have no business altering by artificial means. The theory within the novel Category 5 is hugged close to my own thoughts and musings on the topic at large; if you could find a way to interject a change of severity and course of a storm whilst it is already in-progress and growing in strength. It is plausible because anyone who has stood outside during a severe weather occurrence starts to denote a few things in the atmosphere; the least of which is the changing colours of the sky itself, but moreso, the change of ambiance of the time of the occurrence itself.

I have observed there is a stillness when your outside observing weather as it occurs; hurricanes by far have the worst calm within the eye whereas the calm center of a tornado is daunting on a different level completely. Both the eye and the center of both storms do have one particular thing in common: they are fair warning of what is coming next. If we start to use science to control what is naturally occurring and thereby has it’s own cycle of influence on the natural world, are we then able to justify the results if the outcome is less than equal to the projected end results? Sometimes what you beg trouble for is far worse than living through what has already arrived.

Part of me is curious of what is not understood and cannot be explained; climate and meteorology have always held strong influences on me (where I live notwithstanding) and a part of this might stem from my great-grandfather whose fascination with electricity was directly linked to his curiosity about lightning. If only I could travel back in time to speak to him about his own observations and what he gleamed by staring down the bolts of pure electricity as they lit up the evening skies and gave a shuddering start to the extreme weather of his era.

When they started to talk about ocean temperatures I nearly chuckled to myself — I still remember flying over the Gulf for the first time and noticing the differences in both density and colourations of the ocean’s surface. Part of me mused if the variations had anything to do with temperatures as much as the depth of the particular portions I was flying over; as that is one observation you cannot gleam standing on the ground. Flying reveals a lot about our world as the juxtaposition increases the mind to accept the larger view more to scale than when we are looking down rather than sideways or up. The ocean sciences (from oceanography to geophysics to geothermal plate tectonics) were a keen interest of mine whilst growing up. Naturally I would evolve into appreciating every sub-field inter-related to Environmental Science, Climatology, Meteorology and Natural Weather or Disasters such as Snow Science, Vulcanology, and Glaciology. Tag has written a novel a science geek like me is overjoyed to have found existing in science fiction! It is a thread of theory combined with real-life plausible scenarios which have the most direct impact on mass causality and aftermath; a warning of a tale about the temptations of where science can lead man to technology that can offset the balance of order and chaos.

There is a point in the story where Silverstein is mentioned as studying forensic meteorologist – giving me a bit of pause as I was most intrigued at that designation. (the forensic sciences are another thread of interest of mine) I was curious if this is what Paleoclimatology was originally called or if the forensic side of meteorology is a sub-field exploring a completely different branch of data. Considering climate and weather are generally studied separately, I found it quite fascinating to see this inside the novel. Read More

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, #SciFiReadathon, 21st Century, Action & Adventure Fiction, African-American Literature, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Review (non-blog tour), Debut Author, Debut Novel, Environmental Science, Equality In Literature, Espionage, Go Indie, Hard Science Fiction, Indie Author, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Meteorology, Methodology of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy, Military Fiction, Modern Day, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Post-911 (11th September 2001), RALs | Thons via Blogs, Reading Challenges, Sci-Fi November, Science, Science Fiction, SFN Bingo, Sociological Behavior, Space Science, The Sci-Fi Experience, Uncategorized, Vulgarity in Literature