Category: Alternative History

+Book Review+ Moments in Millennia: A Fantasy Anthology edited by Penny Freeman

Posted Monday, 7 April, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Parajunkee Designs

Moments in Millenia edited by Penny Freeman
Artwork Credit: Dale Pease (of Walking Stick Books)

Published By: Xchyler Publishing () 11 February, 2014
Official Editor WebsitesSite | Facebook | Twitter
Converse via: #MomentsInMillennia
Genres: Time Travel | Alternative History | Dystopian
Available Formats: Trade Paperback and E-Book
Page Count: 234

Acquired Book By: I contacted Xchyler Publishing about receiving books in exchange for honest reviews and was asked to pick the two books I’d like to request. Moments in Millennia was my second choice, as my first choice was A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk. The main reason I selected this anthology is due to my continued appreciation for being introduced to new authors through their short story contributions. I received a complimentary copy of Moments in Millennia in exchange for an honest review direct from the publisher Xchyler Publishing. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

A note about Xchyler Publishing:

I have been quite impressed with my interactions on behalf of Indie Publisher: Xchyler! They have been quite forthcoming and open to suggestions, ideas, and for a book blogger to not only host their editor & author on my blog, but to be open to giving me press materials to incorporate into my posts. I have enjoyed getting to know Ms. Freeman through my interview with her about her editing, writing, and reading experiences as much as I had the honour in getting to know a bit more about the genre of steampunk through her brother fellow author Scott E. Tarbet.

I am hopeful I can continue to work with them in the future, as they are one of the Indie publishers who has a distinctive eye for creating books which give a reader a lift of spirits to read. The attention to detail in their books is quite bang-on from editing, copy-editing, cover-art design, and by giving some of their books a lovely book trailer presentation that borders on motion picture adaptation! I have enjoyed getting to learn a bit about their process as a publisher as much as learning key behind-the-scenes into the writing of the novels through one of their authors.

Editor Biography:

Penny Freeman

Author and editor, Penny brings to Xchyler thirty years of wordsmith experience, with emphasis on historical fiction, business writing, and journalism. She also serves as assistant public affairs director of a large organization, and has extensive experience in social media and Internet advertising. Literature, history, and storytelling are her great passions, although the technical aspects of the language arts satisfy her compulsion for order. 

Anthology Synopsis:

Travel with seven talented authors as they glimpse through time into Humanity’s future. Will mankind blossom and flourish, conquering the stars and time itself? Or, with selfishness, greed, and just plain bad luck send us all to the brink of destruction?

The Cartographer by Samuel A. Mayo: Destined to chart the stars throughout the aeons, a team of novice map makers are thrust into a conspiracy to control the universe and time itself.

Author Connections: Site | Twitter | Facebook

Fairykin by Ben Ireland: In a world where nature has ceased to exist, a tribe of fairies on the brink of extinction must fight for survival itself. But who will bear the ultimate cost?

Author Connections: Site | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Time out of Mind by Michael Cross: One young girl’s cosmic connection to her grandfather’s tragic past brings life and hope to the blackest days of the Holocaust.

Author Connections: Site | Twitter | Facebook

The Hawkweed by Candace J. Thomas: Consumed with guilt, one girl fights to solve the riddle of her friend’s murder and the disappearance of his brother—unaware of the price on her own head.

Author Connections: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Spaceman in Time by Fischer Willis: Victor seizes the chance to return to the past and right a terrible wrong. Will he have the strength to do what he must, or will history repeat itself?

Author Connections: Twitter | Facebook

Human Era by Neal Wooten: Two grad students hurl themselves into the past with their wormhole technology. Their modern skills make them heroes, but do they truly know where they are?

Author Connections: Site | Twitter | Facebook

Black Ice by S. P. Mount: Men have become mindless drones controlled by chip implants and a master satellite. Can one serial killer imprisoned for a thousand years give them the will to truly live?

Author Connections: Blog | Twitter | Facebook

{ full author biographies : on Xchyler Publishing }

My review of Moments in Millennia:

{ am electing to highlight the stories within the anthology which piqued my interest the most out of the seven offered inside }

| Time Out of Mind by Michael Cross |

From the moment I entered this short, I felt a direct pull into the story-line as Cross singularly chose to focus on the aspect of love and how bound we can become through love where time disintegrates from view. Love is an unlimited gift where time and distance do not affect its full measure of containment. By arching the story into a military dialogue of a grandfather’s selfless acts towards gaining the freedoms of others, whilst the granddaughter struggles to understand how her heart can entwine, through time was a very enchanting pull at the very jump-start of a story!

I believe the main reason this particular story held such a heart tug for me, is due to the fact I come from a very close-knit family. I oft talk (on Jorie Loves A Story & regular blogs I visit) about my adventures in uncovering my ancestral past as Mum and I resume the search after a bit of a long hiatus to uncover the missing gaps and links on both sides of our family. And, of how through these historical adventures the connections we find become stitched into our family’s tapestry is a bit like the discovery of the coin inside Time Out of Mind. You find a tethering to one moment nestled into the past which brings the past forward and the present backwards. We create connections due to our distinctive nature of not only wanting to belong but to become understood. To understand not only where we originated ancestrally but to understand who we are and what our purpose is whilst we journey through life.

The nexus of the portal which opens through the coin brought me startling back to Somewhere in Time, which is one of my favourite all-time romantic motion pictures despite the gutting ending and the reprieve that is bittersweet. The bending and yield of the fissure points held within the mechanisms of how time is wielded and kept is always an interesting theory to pursue.

As I read this story with a thirst and appetite of anticipation,  my heart willed me to press the pages apart and see what the author would reveal on the next page, the next paragraph, the next sentence. It held my attention longing to know as Chantel did the fullness of the story she was tipping herself into on behalf of her grandfather’s legacy. He gave her a unique gift at the turning point of his exit from life, and it’s how she’s meant to follow his guidance that gave my heart a pulse-jump.

Cross pursues the theory of history and time being of temporal constant travellers of each other, where in order for our present to be in our reality, the past which has already occurred is still on-going as it had once lived. The present therefore gives us a way into the future, but whilst in the present we can stumble into the past and the past into the present at junctions of arrival we might not be aware of crossing over. In this, he held my complete attention.

Shedding my own tears as I turnt the last pages on this lovely short story, I felt compelled to see if Cross has published other stories such as this one or on parallel themes. He is intuitive about a woman’s heart and mind, as much as he understands the fractures of our hearts when we are left without the connecting pieces to puzzles. Living histories and historical artifacts help us all engage in the conversation of our shared reality. We gain compassion and empathy simply through the acknowledgement of who traversed before us as much as giving proper honour to those who died for a cause greater than we can all fully contemplate in one sitting.

Michael Cross is a debut author getting his wings in the publishing world from what I can gather off his website! How splendidly wicked news is this?! To have alighted on his first published short story and its the very one within this anthology which held my breath and heart in equal eclipse!? I cannot wait to read more of his writings, and am hopeful he is in development of a novel or novella which will be released in print form so that I can partake of reading it! Dear hearts, if he continues to write on the breadth of what I’ve just completed reading in Moments in Millennia – I dare not emerge until the last page is consumed! He has a gentleness and soft grace in writing a story with this thematic and character point of view.

| Human Era by Neal Wooten |

When I was younger I was especially intrigued by the motion pictures “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “2010”. Stemming out of those initial stories of how futuristic reality and past reality can become altered or perceived differently given the chance to change the perception of how time is analysed and accepted. I garnished an interest in “Planet of the Apes” except to say I never had the proper chance to watch the Roddy McDowell editions opting inside for the Mark Wahlberg remake when it was available to see on the silver screen. Cautionary tales of how future societies and future living realities can become transformed by interference and by curiosity.

Within the short contributed by Wooten, I had a foreshadow knowledge that their adventure ‘through time’ would end in a shocking conclusion. Not the kind that would be overtly traumatic or psychological disruptive to their well-being, but the shock that comes from discovering the unexpected truth of their actions. And, how best to continue forward in their own ordinary lives after having lived through the experience. I was not disappointed as they jolted through their time machine crossing through their homemade wormhole straight into a medieval time period fraught with war and unimagined terror of epic scale.

The more they explored the less they understood, because everything they could observe, sense, and be aware of was telling them they hadn’t traversed very far at all. If anything, they appeared to have travelled to their own world yet a step out of time or place from any map which could guide them. I loved the layers Wooten added-in to the narrative and the heart of the character of Ash, who I wish could have been developed and explored further past this initial foray. Ash is the type of character you could rally behind and see grow in the role of a mentor for the young lads who recklessly pursued technology they had little understanding of past its conception.

What I appreciated the most is how thought-provoking the capsule of the tale is for generations who are pursuant towards science explorations and experimentation. There is always a nod towards knowing how to balance the joy of discovering a new ‘acting theory’ of science within the realms of what is plausible and safe to explore. When we tip the balance into pursuing elements of science which lead us down corridors of heightened danger – it’s best to pull back and reconsider what the consequences might incur for everyone rather than the few who are involved in the experiment. It would have served well to have an epilogue on this one to see what the lads had learnt from their wormhole trip through time and how effectively they forestalled the events yet lived.

Neal Wooten is a huge appreciator of The Walking Dead which I found unique on the level that it’s the very last television series I would even dare contemplate viewing! It is interesting then that it’s his short which drew my eye to mention in my review of Moments in Millennia as I drew a connection to both of these stories (his & Cross) moreso than the others! I would not have felt that possible had I known ahead of time he was into Zombies & Horror, as his short is such a far cry from both genre exploits! This story appears to run in a side vein of what he normally writes and for that I appreciate the chance to sample his writings! I wonder if he could expand on the theory he set forth in this short and encourage out a novel?

My closing thoughts are ones of gratitude to Xchyler Publishing for giving me the honour of reading two of their books and being in a position to ask for Interviews on behalf of those who create and/or oversee the creation of the stories they publish. I am going to seek out an Interview for the two writers who inspired me whilst I read “Moments in Millennia” and I hope to provide those for you to read in forthcoming weeks. I was swept away by the depth of the story Cross conceived as from the initial moment I started to read his contribution to the very closing paragraph I dare not lift my eyes for fear of not returning to the narrative and the journey in which Chantel embarked on to find the truth etched in the past.

Stories which stir our imaginations and our hearts yield the best reading pleasure and joy; hence why my reader’s heart is full of gratitude at having been given such an extraordinary introduction to the works in which Xchyler Publishing produces and gives to readers everywhere. Again, I hope that I will be able to work with them again, and I do hope you will re-visit me this Thursday as I give my thoughts and observations on behalf of Scott E. Tarbet’s Shakespearean Steampunk debut!

Moments in Millennia : A Fantasy Anthology Book Trailer by Xchyler Publishing

This book review is courtesy of:

Xchyler Publishing

check out my upcoming bookish events and mark your calendars!

And, be sure to drop back on Thursday, 10 April

when I review A MidSummer Night’s Steampunk!

Previously I lamented about my appreciation for anthologies!

Dear hearts, I extend the conversation now to you,… what do you appreciate about anthologies which feature upcoming OR established fantasy writers? Which thematic do you find yourself attracted to the most out of: time travel, alternative history, and dystopian? The two I featured fall under the first two categories! Have you stumbled across a new-to-you author by reading a fantasy anthology and then longed for new material by them to read next? What elements make a short story endear you the most? And, what do you think is the hardest part on behalf of a writer of a short story to convey to their readers!?

{NOTE: I am enjoying the “Just Write” edition of writing blog posts in WP! This is my first post to be completely written inside this new format of ‘white board’ free writing – where you can focus on composing your thoughts without the interference of the menus & columns of the regular view inside of a browser. Quite a bit more enjoyable for me!}

{SOURCES:  Moments in Millennia Book Cover, synopsis, Editor photograph & biography were provided by Xchyler Publishing and were used by permission. Book Review badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs.  The book trailer by Xchyler Publishing had either URL share links or coding which made it possible to embed this media portal to this post, and I thank them for the opportunity to share more about this novel and the author who penned it. Tweets are embedded due to codes provided by Twitter.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

Author Spotlight: Fisher Willis – (

Author Spotlight: Candace J. Thomas(

Conversation with Ben Ireland – Author Interview – (

#BookReview: Moments in Millennia – A Fantasy Anthology (

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Posted Monday, 7 April, 2014 by jorielov in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alternative History, Anthology Collection of Stories, Book Review (non-blog tour), Book Trailer, Bookish Discussions, Debut Author, Dystopian, Fantasy Fiction, Futuristic Fantasy, Good vs. Evil, High Fantasy, Indie Author, Indie Book Trade, Military Fiction, Somewhere in Time, Suspense, The World Wars, Time Travel, Xchyler Publishing

*SFN* | Feature: Diary of a Not-So-New Whovian

Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by readerlymusings 2 Comments

Shabby Blogs


Hello, everyone! This is Christine from Readerly Musings, and I thought today I’d do a little something to celebrate Sci-Fi November by guest-posting here at Jorie Loves a Story.

When Jorie first told me about SFN, I was both excited and dismayed. Excited because an abundance of Sci-Fi posts in the book blogosphere for the month of November is an awesome idea! Alas, the dismay quickly set in because I, as someone who is participating in NaNoWriMo for the 8th year in a row, knew I would not be able to take part. Until today, that is!

Entering the TARDIS…

On November 2, Jorie posted about the beginning of her journey to becoming a Whovian and her excitement reminded me of how I too came to love Doctor Who – about six years ago.

I had heard rumblings about it for months online. Friends were talking about it on LiveJournal, posting fan fics, making icons, and (much like the Doctor himself) trying to welcome Martha while getting over the loss of Rose.

It was June 2007 and, unbeknownst to me, the third series of ‘New’ Doctor Who was airing. Personally, I was much more interested in preparing for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and all that it would mean. One such way was in joining an online Harry Potter RolePlay in the vein of TV show Law & Order. One of my fellow RP-ers was a Whovian and using David Tennant to portray an original character. Upon finding out I had never watched Doctor Who and absolutely no inkling as to who David Tennant was, she quickly sent me a link to where I could watch episodes of Doctor Who online (it has since been taken down) and instructed me to watch the 2006 Christmas special, The Runaway Bride.

I know some Whovians might be shocked to discover that the first episode of Doctor Who I ever watched was The Runaway Bride. Especially because back then Donna Noble’s character was not synonymous with the word ‘awesome’ and there were Whovians who thought the character of Donna too loud-mouthed and brash, and would soon be debating the announcement that Catherine Tate would be reprising her role in series four.

I enjoyed The Runaway Bride immensely, and I fell in serious love with David Tennant’s portrayal of the Tenth Doctor, and the show itself. I mean, I’m posting this, aren’t I? *laughs* Alas, with everything going on in my life that year, I did not get a chance to watch another episode until months later in, coincidentally, November.

A Journey Through Time – And Space!

Drawn by Christine D. in 2008.
Artwork Credit: Tenth Doctor, drawn by Christine D. in 2008.

Once November came around, and I realized how long it had been since I had watched The Runaway Bride (with the last line haunting me – and still doing so to this day – due to the great deal of emotion tied to it), I made an agreement with another friend to use it as one of my word count incentives during my 2nd attempt at NaNoWriMo. December came soon after and I was already making icons from Doctor Who screen captures and owned the first series on DVD. A few days before Christmas, I wrote my first fan fiction (though it was very short, less than 500 words), and on Christmas morning my parents gave me the second series on DVD. I had quickly become rather… well, obsessed. And invested. I had not yet heard the term ‘Whovian,’ and I’ve no idea when I finally did, but looking back it had taken me about two weeks from the time I watched the Ninth Doctor’s first episode until I became one – though David Tennant was, and still is, my Doctor.

Alas, there was one problem with The Runaway Bride being my very first episode. I sort of knew what was happening in the series two finale (seriously, do you remember that line I mentioned in the last paragraph?!?!?) and, as such, I dreaded watching it unfold on-screen. And, because of how much I dreaded it, I waited almost three weeks before I finally watched Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel, if you will, because once I watched them, I changed my entire LiveJournal layout so it was dedicated to the Doctor and Rose and that beautifully heart-wrenching “wall” scene.

From there, I came across a little problem. A dreaded ‘what to watch?’ dilemma because I could not decide if I dared watch series 3 or check in with Torchwood’s first series to see what Captain Jack Harkness was up to. Ultimately, I decided on Torchwood. Why? Two words. John. Barrowman. That and the fact he returned to Doctor Who at the end of series three in Utopia, but mostly because I wanted to see more John Barrowman. And Captain Jack. Although I am not a big fan of violence and gore, I did somehow manage to get through the first series – do not ask me how, but my answer will probably be ‘the promise of more Captain Jack.’

Once I finished Torchwood’s first series, it was onto series three. Which I will unashamedly admit I finished in two days. TWO. DAYS! I finished it just in time too, because series four started airing four days later so I could watch along with everyone else! And, in between episodes, I could watch Torchwood’s second series, and the first series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

I cannot even begin to explain how much I loved Doctor Who’s fourth series, or how much it broke my heart. Actually, in a way, I can….

Full-Time Whovian

Drawn by Christine D. in 2011
Artwork Credit: Ninth Doctor, drawn by Christine D. in 2011

The fourth series was over, there was no new Doctor Who until Christmas and I was distraught. The kind of distraught that only happens after you spend a little over half a year getting caught up with a show that you have quickly fallen in love with only to find you have to wait almost as long for just one more episode. ONE. So I did something only dedicated fans would do – I delved further into the world of Doctor Who.

I was not yet interested in attempting to watch Classic Who because the sheer amount of episodes, not to mention the amount of missing episodes, was incredibly daunting), so instead I dived into the fandom. I made icons, I wrote another short fan fiction, I read fan fiction, I looked at fan art, I drew fan art (two of which I’ve included in this post)…. And then I did something crazy. I’m not even kidding, ‘crazy’ is the only word I can use to describe it. Don’t believe me? I made a website. A completely fan-run website. Dedicated not only to Doctor Who, but also Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. All pretty much on my own, to boot.

A Side Note: Before I go on, I have to say that while this Whoniverse website of mine does still exist and you may be able to guess what it is, I have had to largely abandon it. This is due not to my no longer being a fan (because oh my god, am I still a dedicated Whovian!), but the fact that I spent so much time on it, keeping it updated on every aspect of the Whoniverse, and had to do so all on my own even when others promised to help, that it became more of a job than the hobby that it once was, and every time I try to update it I feel this overwhelming pressure to ‘get it right’ and it just shouldn’t be that way. Neither can I update it to say that it is closed or on an indefinite hiatus, because it literally pains me to do so. This website was “my baby” for so long that I cannot imagine giving it up and so I leave it up as it is, with the promise of updates to come, in the hopes that one day I can sit down in front of my computer and just fall back right into it, experiencing once again the joy that updating it (or simply finding something to update it with) brought me.

Now that series four was over, and I was caught up with the Doctor Who spinoffs until The Sarah Jane Adventures’ second series started airing in the fall, I continued my exploration of the fandom, and experienced a great deal of dread and sadness during 2009 due to David Tennant’s announcement he was leaving the role and the lack of episodes until 2010. During that time, there was a glimmer of hope. It wasn’t Matt Smith, whom I fell in love with from the first time I watched his interview following the announcement he was taking over the role from David Tennant, but the fact that I was able to watch the majority of the second series with my best friend in celebration of my 21st birthday (May 29, 2009) and see her enjoy most of those episodes for the very first time. Though I can’t say I introduced her to the show, as she had previously seen a few episodes, I can say that I played a major role in her own journey to becoming a Whovian. I have tried to do the same with my father, but he only saw David Tennant’s farewell story a month or so ago and has yet to watch any of Matt Smith’s tenure – which is a shame, given Peter Capaldi is taking over the role at the end of this year’s upcoming Christmas special.

Today, and Awaiting the 50th

Now its November 2013, almost a full six years since I watched the episode Rose (alas I don’t know the exact date), and I am still very much a proud, somewhat crazy, Whovian. I have a DVD tower next to my desk with the two top shelves dedicated entirely to Doctor Who, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures. I own all the soundtracks, along with quite a few Doctor Who (new series only) novels and audiobooks, along with a bunch of other memorabilia (including some fan-made ones), and my brother recently sent me a collectible bust of my Doctor he bought me as a gift when he went to Comic-Con which I am still trying to find a place of honor for. I’ve also watched some Classic Who, including the majority of Jon Pertwee’s tenure as the Doctor whom I fell in love with simply from watching clips featured in Doctor Who Confidential – a show which I still miss greatly.

As I await the airing of the 50th anniversary special on the 23rd, I have fallen in love with a fan fiction a friend wrote that features the… well, to avoid spoilers, mystery character seen at the end of The Name of the Doctor and am planning on writing a few “deleted scenes” and a sort of “spin-off” to go along with it after NaNoWriMo is over and I have taken a short reprieve from writing. I also purchased tickets to see the 50th anniversary special in 3D at a movie theater in the area on November 25th with the same best friend I had the series two marathon with in 2009. I’m also looking forward to the next 50 years of the show, as I do agree that it is a show that can go on forever, but as far as the near future goes, I am looking forward to Peter Capaldi taking over the controls of the TARDIS.

I fear I do not have the words to properly end this post,
so instead I will leave you with this, because I find it fitting:

“I always rip out the last page of a book. Then it doesn’t have to end. I hate endings!”
~The Eleventh Doctor, Angels in Manhattan

Are you a Whovian? (akin to Christine)

OR a Nu-Whovian? (akin to Jorie)

{CONTRIBUTOR POST: by Christine for Jorie Loves A Story}

{SOURCE: Badge post lovely provided by Shabby Blogs, with edits by Jorie in Fotoflexer.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2013.


Posted Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 by readerlymusings in Alternative History, Contributor Feature or Post, Doctor Who, Fan Artwork of TV | Film | Book, Sci-Fi November, Science Fiction, TARDIS, Time Travel, Transportation Devices, TV Serials & Motion Pictures