Category Archives: Books

THE DAY SHE DIED audio book coming soon…

I’m excited to announce THE DAY SHE DIED will be released in audiobook form in a few weeks. The novel is read by A.W. Miller, and he has done a great job. I’m excited about the readers that will discover my novel in this high quality product. Mr. MilleraudiocoverTDSDlowres(1) is a professional that adds class and distinction to my words…almost making the book sound better than it is. (Not really, lol. It’s really good.)

I am excited about this because I love audio books, but that wasn’t always the case. My first experience with audio books was back in the late 1990s when my wife and I went on a road trip and listened to a couple of the LEFT BEHIND Series books on audio tape. The books were condensed into two cassettes and thought it was horrible how the reader would change his voice to imitate each character. Why couldn’t he just read the book as it was written!?Walkman

My life took a turn when I got a job with the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. This job required lot’s of driving…up to 8 hours a day in a car. How was I going to manage that. I loved to read and once again thought I’d give audio books a try. I picked up Ken Follett’s HORNET FLIGHT, and was immediately captured by the incredible story.

From there, I was hooked. I always had an audio book with me, and I made sure I had a Sony Walkman if the car didn’t have a cassette player.  One of the best part of audio books was listening to several books in a series and hearing the same reader over an

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d over.  A great reader of an audio book makes the characters real and the book comes alive. That’ s what A.W. Miller has done with my novel.

When I first started audio books, the selection was somewhat limited, and I found a few duds but usually came across some incredible finds. Dean Koontz’s THE FACE is an amazing story with a narration by actor Dylan Baker I still can hear in my head.

I hope you’ll check out the audio book of THE DAY SHE DIED when it comes out. It would be great for trip this summer and that long ride in the car.

Ebook on kindle for $3.99 and The Coffee Beast

THE DAY SHE DIED is great reviews and is available for Amazon Kindle for only $3.99. Now is a great time to pick up a copy or give it as a gift. When you pick up your copy, you’ll read about John Michaels and his love of coffee. John runs The Coffee Shop in north iron tree iron tree 1Oklahoma City by Quail Springs Mall.

The Coffee Beast was inspired by my brother Mike Garrison’s life long dream of opening a coffee shop, which came true two days ago when Iron Tree Coffee opened in El Reno, Oklahoma.

You can check out his Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/irontreellciron tree 2

I visited with my kids at the soft grand opening last Saturday, and since of course I don’t like coffee, I had some delicious hot chocolate. I’m proud of my brother for all of his hard work and determination that it took to make his dream a reality.

What would editor Marisa Deshaies change in her life?

It’s been a busy week, dealing with the Kansas City Royals losing the World Series and also planning and having my launch party for my novel THE DAY SHE DIED. But I also wanted to get back to my series featuring friends in Christian Fiction talk a little time travel. I’m thankful Marisa Deshaies took the time to answer my questions.marisa deshaies My comments are in italics.

1. If you could travel back in time to be a witness to any event in history, what event would you choose, and why?
Without a doubt, I would travel back in time to witness the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. When I was fourteen years old, I saw the movie Pearl Harbor for first time and instantly became obsessed with the story, the heroism, the romanticism, and the bravery of the Greatest Generation. To this day World War Two history is one of my favorite subjects to study and read about.

I agree nothing beats a great World War 2 novel. I love Sarah Sundin’s romance novels set in that era. But Pearl Harbor would really be depressing to witness. I’d want to do something to stop it.

2. Name one time period in history you would not want to be alive during. Why?
As much as I like to read about the Medieval time period—and really, all time periods before it—I would not want to have lived through any time period earlier than the Middle Ages. Castles, knights, and ladies-in-waiting are no substitutes for showers…

…showers, and air conditioning, and indoor plumbing.

3. If you could go back and time and do anything different in your writing career or journey, what would you do and why?

I am quite happy with the foundation of my writing and editing career. However, one subject I cannot emphasize enough—and one that I did not understand the significance of while in my undergraduate career—is the importance of internships while a student is in college. I hold a M.A. in professional writing and my B.A. education is strong, but I only held one internship in publishing while I studied at University of Delaware. Many companies are looking for entry-level applicants to have a lot of experience prior to beginning their professional careers. Students should have multiple internships, volunteering positions, and jobs (part-time or otherwise) before graduating from college because real-life experience is just as important as a quality education.

I too focused too much on education and not enough on real world experience.f

4. When you think of time travel, what is your favorite book, movie, or TV show on the subject?

Lost in Austen, a fun movie about a young Londoner obsessed with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is an excellent time-travel story that any woman who has dreamed of meeting Mr. Darcy will enjoy! I won’t say anything more than that on the plot of the movie, but if you’re an Austen fan, I highly recommend this movie!

I loved the Keira Knightly Pride and Prejudice movie, but that’s as far as my Jane Austen experience goes.
5. If you had a chance to relive your life and do something different or many things different, what would you do and why?

I actually do not like to entertain the idea of reliving moments or doing things different because I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that we can always learn from each experience we have, positive or negative. However, three years out of my undergraduate career, I still love the idea of going back to college again. The idea of spending more time in college classrooms for lectures on literature sounds lovely and quite enjoyable.

Marisa hits on one of the point my novel. We should not dwell on our past because we can’t change it. But it is fun to think about the good times and how we’d like to do them again. hmmm, but  college? Maybe the all you can eat cafeteria where everything was already cooked.

Be sure to check out Marisa’s website below where you can check out her writing services as well as book reviews.
Marisa Deshaies
Editor and professional writer
Book reviewing and promotions
A Way With Words (http://www.mdeshaies.wordpress.com)

What would author Eleanor Gustafson change in her life?

After watching the Royals win game 3 of the World Series, I thought I’d post an interview I did with author Eleanor Gustafson about time travel and writing.eleanor gustofson

1.       If you could travel back in time to be a witness to any event in
history, what event would you choose, and why?

 The coronation of King David, roughly 1000 BC. Not only was this an enormous event in biblical history and the high point of the Israelite monarchy, but it was an especially satisfying moment, David having endured 10 long years of dodging the anger and madness of King Saul. Also, David was the kingly precursor of Jesus, who was often referred to as the son of David. I cared enough about this man to write The Stones: A Novel of the Life of King David, an effort that took roughly 15 years. Excellent Amazon reviews on it.

2.       Name one time period in history you would not want to be alive
during. Why?

The Old Testament period of the Judges, a time when “every man did what was right in his own eyes;” Too close to what’s happening now.

 3.       If you could go back and time and do anything different in your
writing career or journey, what would you do and why?

 I would not do much differently, except to undo some of the stupidities of early adulthood that you imply in your premise.

4.       When you think of time travel, what is your favorite book, movie,
or TV show on the subject?

Again, a novel I wrote—Wild Harvest—in which a modern girl meets a boy of 1796 over a stone wall in Vermont. The two have very differing moral and spiritual values, but those values intersect and cross each other, leading to a dramatic climax. The ending, however, was a bit challenging, but I learned from this particular stupidity to craft more satisfying endings.  :  )

5.       If you had a chance to relive your life and do something different
or many things different, what would you do and why? (can be lighthearted or
serious?)

God has been gracious to me, and I have no complaints about even tough things along the way. The ability to laugh and love has carried me through an extraordinary array of adventures. This fall (October 4), my husband and I are hosting a tree-farm tour on our land in Vermont to celebrate our 50 years as tree farmers (logging, improving the forest, making firewood, maple syrup, etc.). Y’all come! Wild Harvest grew out of our own experiences.

Ellie Gustafson has written the below books. Be sure to check out her website.

Appalachian Spring

Wild Harvest

Middle Night (self-published and a little strong most readers)

The Stones

Dynamo—excellent reviews on that one, too.

www.eleanorgustafson.com and hit blog. i try to keep my blogs short and punchy. Contact information is also on the website.

Let me know if you need more input.

What would author Donn Taylor change in his life?

With THE DAY SHE DIED releasing on October 15, I took a little break from my series featuring Christian authors talking about time travel and writing (see links to the right to purchase my book). Donn is a great guy and we at one time were both clients of agent Terry Burns.donn taylor I want to thank Donn for his time. Be sure to check out his website and his novels.

1. If you could travel back in time to be a witness to any event in history, what event would you choose, and why?

Tough question because there are so many possible answers. Certainly nothing in biblical history, because actually seeing it happen would eliminate the higher experience of belief through faith. I am curious about what actually passed between Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, when the trusted traitor Alger Hiss was advising Roosevelt. But I think I’ll settle for something less ambitious: I’d like to know exactly how the British naval hero Horatio Hornblower won a group of European slaves away from their African masters without firing a shot or paying a shilling. His biography is silent on that.

I think Donn just pitched two novels I would like to read some day.
2. Name one time period in history you would not want to be alive during. Why?

The most obvious answer is any time before antibiotics, because my life would have been very short. (Antibiotics came in while I was in grammar school.) That said, I think it would be being draft age in World War I. That war saw the first use of heavy artillery, chemical weapons, and (worst of all) widespread employment of machine guns. None of the generals, not even Pershing, figured out what to do about the machine guns. Firepower too greatly exceeded mobility, and this resulted in mass casualties on all sides. I’ve seen the vast collection of unidentified bones in the charnel house at Verdun, and I’m happy not to be one of the featured attractions.

So much complaining about life today, yet medicine has made life longer and more fulfilling. An possibility not likely if you fought in WW1.

3. If you could go back in time and do anything different in your writing career or journey, what would you do and why?

My development was slowed by my idea that I could do it all on my own. To live it again, I would aggressively seek the advice of knowledgeable persons and be more active in critique groups. In particular, I wish I had known about five years earlier that there was a market for Christian fiction.
4. When you think of time travel, what is your favorite book, movie, or TV show on the subject?

No contest on this one. It’s Robert Heinlein’s novel The Door into Summer. Many reasons here. First, the book itself is simply delightful in working things out ingeniously just the way you’d want them to come out. Second, Heinlein’s basic metaphor involves a tomcat who, on the first day of snow, refused to go outside until he’d seen that no door of the house opened into summer. When stationed in Verdun, we had a tomcat who actually did that whenever it snowed. So I re-read the book then and have enjoyed it again since then. It bears several re-readings, and it never fails to delight. I recommend it even for those who don’t like sci-fi.

A new book added to my “to-read” list.

5. If you had a chance to relive your life and do something different or many things different, what would you do and why?

The most serious answer is that I would give more serious consideration to my parents and much less to my own headstrong wishes. My father had lost a year to polio when he was nineteen, and he walked with special shoes, three braces, and a cane ever afterward. He’d planned to be a surgeon but settled for being a professor, and he adapted to whatever circumstance he faced without complaining. More than that, he insisted that his sons not be bothered by his physical limitations. I did not understand the courage his life required until I was an adult. (My poetry book is dedicated to him.)
However, there is one less serious thing I would change. In my freshman and sophomore years in college I ran middle distances—never lost a two-mile in either year, was undefeated in the mile my second year. In the last mile I ran, I slowed down in the third lap because I expected a close race in the two-mile to follow, yet I came within two seconds of my best time. If I could live it again, I would push that third lap and try for a record. It was the last college mile I ran: That summer the draft flushed me out of school and I never ran college track again. (That, however, I would not change.)

Regrets about sports can seem trivial to some, but really was the basis of how I began my novel. Any activity you have passion for and devote a lot of time to can result in regret.
Name: Donn Taylor
Website & blog, etc.: www.donntaylor.com, www.facebook.com/donntaylor.
Books:
Lightning on a Quiet Night (November 2014 Release)
Deadly Additive
Rhapsody in Red
The Lazarus File
Dust and Diamond: Poems of Earth and Beyond

Donn Taylor led an Infantry rifle platoon in the Korean War, served with Army aviation in Vietnam, and worked with air reconnaissance in Europe and Asia. Afterwards, he completed a PhD degree at The University of Texas and taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges.
Now retired from teaching, he lives near Houston, Texas, where he writes fiction, poetry, and articles on current topics.

 

The first review of THE DAY SHE DIED!!!!

The Day She Died--Front Cover(1)Check out the review from Midwest Book Review. I’m so humbled by their praise, and ready to buy a case of books!!!

D. Donovan

eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Reviews

Now, here’s a genre mystery with a twist: it’s also a time travel story. And if, by this, you’re anticipating a theme similar to Somewhere in Time, think again: it’s not a romance but a mystery plain and simple, and therefore carries with it all the intrigue and suspense applied to a tense thriller; but with the time travel factor adding more than a feel of divergence.

Yes, there’s romance – but there’s also a twenty-year-old unsolved crime and the rare opportunity to go back in time for clues to make things right on many levels.

And this is where The Day She Died gets delightfully complex and unique: as protagonist John comes to unearth these clues of the past, the fine line between dreams and reality begins to fade – and with them, important keys to resolution. New opportunities emerge under new realities and different rules of conduct when John finds himself in his old apartment reliving the worst day of his life: the day when Kim disappeared twenty years ago.

The past is now ‘today’ – yet, John holds memories of this strange old world, and with his encounter comes the unexpected hope that most time travelers harbor: an opportunity to change and correct past errors. But, at what cost?

As readers follow this unusual, winding plot of investigation and hope they become immersed in John’s thought processes as he investigates Kim’s circle further, probing clues he’d originally passed by…

And as his investigation continues, John finds himself mired in a deadly game that moves beyond Kim’s disappearance and is spiced by time travel’s enticing possibilities, which even include a wedding to the girl of his dreams…

Even when he finds what he’s looking for, the story doesn’t end there: the overall mystery still drives events and John feels compelled to see it through to the end – even if what he’s newly regained might once again vanish.

If it sounds like this description is tiptoeing, it’s only because The Day She Died is delightfully sinuous, packed with revelations and the unexpected. Although the time-travel piece may sound confusing, it’s not. Bill Garrison paints a believable, easily-followed story line that will immerse even the most seasoned of mystery readers and time travel enthusiasts, to surprise and delight right up to the end.

And in the mystery and time travel worlds, that’s no mean feat!

Mystery readers tired of predictable plots and singular dimensions will find The Day She Died offers a different tale designed to challenge and delight!

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.