Inspiration for THE DAY SHE DIED

As a novelist, I’ve always been inspired by books I’ve read. I’d read a great book and think “I want to write a book that will evoke these types of feelings in other readers. I want to be able to create a story like that author.”51UULPa99dL

Time travel has always been an interest to me, and it is obvious that society is obsessed with it as well. From movies like SOMEWHERE IN TIME, BACK TO THE FUTURE, and TIME BANDITS, to countless novels and TV shows, the subject of time travel always makes for a fascinating story.

I certainly haven’t read all of the fiction novels on the subject. My reading interests lean more towards mainstream fiction. In this post, I want to tell you about four books I’ve read and really enjoyed. Below this post, you will see reviews of SAVING ALICE by David Lewis and THE TIME LOTTERY series by Nancy Moser. time traveler wife

Two other books I enjoyed were REPLAY by Ken Grimwood, and THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE by Audrey Niffenegger. Both are classics in the genre and I recommend them to all fiction fans.

The Time Lottery / The Second Time Around by Nancy Moser

The time Lottery Series by Nancy Moser contains two books. Below, I reviewed THE SECOND TIME AROUND.

I was in the middle of reading an incredible book about time travel called Replay by Ken Grimwood when I ran across Second Time Around by Nancy Moser at Mardels. This book is a sequel to the award winning Time Lottery, which I haven’t read. The premise is this: A company called Time Lottery Incorporated has developed a method for you to mentally go into your past and make a different decision than one you originally made. Time travel is both incredibly interesting and completely unrealistic, so for a book like this to work, the author has to set reasonable ground rules and then not break them. Moser does this exceptionally well. The winners of the Time Lottery will get to go back in time to a specific moment where they made a wrong choice. They will be able to make a different choice, yet they will have no idea they are time traveling or have a totally different life in the future. After a certain amount of time living in the past, they will have to make the choice if they want to stay in their alternate time or come back to the present.
time lottery
There are three lucky winners to the lottery this time around. Vanessa Caldwell is fifty and not happy. She is in a loveless marriage and can’t communicate with her daughter. Her father has controlled her for her entire life and forbidden contact with her mother since she was a teenager. Her mother has recently died and Vanessa longs for a chance to find out what her mother was like.

Lane Holloway is a world famous actress who secretly despises all the trappings that go with the fame. She wonders what life would be like if she never went to that audition that made her famous.

David Stancowsky is a 74 year old architect who never married. In 1956, his fiance died in a car wreck after running away from him and an argument he caused. He’s never forgiven himself. What if he could prevent the car wreck and his fiance’s death?

Each person is able to go back and make a different choice. Of course, the new choice leads to a bunch of other consequences, some good, some bad. Friends and family from the present must face the possibility of their loved ones never returning.

I really enjoyed this book. There are plenty of twists and turns regarding the motivations and true character of the characters in this book. You don’t need to read Time Lottery to enjoy this novel, but I perhaps which I had because Second Time Around may contain a few spoilers. This book doesn’t pack the punch the the above mentioned Replay did for me, but it does make me wonder if there are any decisions I would like to change in my life. Like most people, I’m sure there are, but if I were to have the opportunity, then it might just ruin everything I have now. That’s Moser’s message, I think. We only have one life. Enjoy it. Make the most if it. Be thankful for everything God has given you.

I urge Christian fiction readers who may be turned off by the time travel element not to worry. The time travel is just a premise to examine real life and the choices we must make.

Review of Saving Alice by David Lewis

I read this wonderful novel back in 2010. It showed me how a Christian novel could include time travel and an amazing story. Below is my Amazon Review of Saving Alice.

I have to admit to being biased towards tsaving alicehis book. I love books with the themes of marriage and the way they are destroyed and then saved and redeemed. I’ve enjoyed books like the explicit and violent CRIMINAL CONVERSATION by Ed McBain/Evan Hunter, and the father trying to get custody of his child in James Scott Bell’s BREACH OF PROMISE. So, David Lewis’s story, SAVING ALICE, had me hooked from the beginning with a story of love that could have been and a marriage that actually was. As an aspiring novelist, 3 of the 4 novels I’ve written also have a similar theme. Judging from the number and type of reviews, this book wasn’t a best seller, but I loved it.

In college, Stephen, Alice and Donna were best friends. Stephen fell in love with Alice , but a tragic accident took her away from him. Stephen and Donna eventually married and had a daughter, Alycia. As the years went by, Stephen experienced business problems and his family grew distant. Stephen blamed the marriage problems on Alice . He and Donna blamed themselves for the loss of Alice , and in the midst of grief and loneliness, they married each other out of desparation.

When Stephen’s life begins to go downhill, things go bad fast. Business partners, friends, and family all have serious problems and Stephen is always one step behind in trying to salvage what he can.

The concept of the novel that had me hooked is the second chance, Stephen’s chance to save Alice and live the life he could have had. The possibility of this happening is raised by the back cover blurb, and I knew from a friend that this would eventually occur. It does, in the last quarter of the book, and it his handled with skill and ease.

Early on in the book, I knew how it would end, or at least how I hoped it would end, and I wasn’t disappointed. However, I wish the author had spent more time on the climax. For so much build-up, it deserved more than one or two pages.

I really liked this book. It had potential to be one of my all time favorites, but the subdued ending brought it down just a notch. However, its themes are timeless for anyone who lives in the past or regrets decisions they made.

I believe the book was mismarketed. The cover screams women’s fiction, but his book is by a man and from a man’s point of view. I guess since it isn’t a mystery, thriller, or suspense novel, it had to be marketed the way it was, but this is hard edged look at a man trying to hold his family together that also covers father son conflict, business responsibility and does with a bit of time travel thrown in.