Category Archives: The Day She Died

New Blog Series: What would you change in your life?

October is the release month of THE DAY SHE DIED! I’m so excited, and part of promoting my novel is this series of blogs. In my novel, John Michaels gets to relive his life and make new choices and do things differently.  So over the next several weeks I will be posting answers to the questions below from many authors and agents. And to get things kicked off, I thought I would start.20140618_191517_resized

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

 Every period in history has events I would love to see. How advanced was the Roman empire exactly? What was it like to walk with Jesus? How dark was the dark ages? World War One fascinates me because I’ve seen grainy black and white pictures, but the reality of it was no doubt horrible.  For some reason, my mind goes to wars or battles or assassinations, but that wouldn’t be fun to see in real life.

So I think the choice is easy. The birth of Jesus. My son just turned 13 and we spent a few minutes watching videos of when he was a new born. A screaming crying helpless baby. I imagine Jesus was just like that when he was born.

The birth of Jesus is one of the most reproduced stories in history, but what was it really like. I’d love to know.

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

 Hmm, how about during the black plague in Europe, a time when medical thinking was backwards at best. It would be horrible to see so much death and not know why and not know how to prevent it.

 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 definitely get rid of that foolish idea that I can do it all on my own, without the need of critique partners or editors. I think much of that came from my introverted nature. I perhaps thought seeking help was too difficult. But my writing improved so much once I allowed and sought the input of so many willing authors and agents editors.

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

 I’ve blogged about this before. REPLAY by Ken Grimwood is amazing. Written in the 1980s, it tells a story of Jeff Winston, a man who dies but wakes up in 1960s as a teenager. He lives his life with all the knowledge of his previous life, so he knows how history will play out. As the novel goes on, Jeff keeps dying and reliving his life. He keeps trying out different ways in finding happiness. He’s good in one life, a family man in another, a total party animal in another. A great thought provoking novel.

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?)

 I wish I could have prevented the pain and misery that my brother and his wife suffered when their son Jack was born early and lived only four short years.

I’d totally make tons of different financial decisions. Where was Dave Ramsey when I needed him?

And when you read my novel, you’ll see perhaps some of my own regrets played out in John Michaels’ life. Let’s just say that at my 6’2″ height, I should have been a guard in high school basketball instead of a post player. I always wondered how my high school basketball career would have turned out if I had realized this sooner.

Check back often for many well known best selling authors answering these same questions.

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.

Does everything matter? Girls?

A few weeks ago my 6th grade son called from church camp asking if he should talk to a girl.

“Sure,” I said. “Don’t be shy.”

But I missed the point. He wanted to know if he should talk to this girl at camp because he already had a “girlfriend” back home. My wife and I both said “Yes!” talk to her.

I don’t know if he did talk to that girl, and it probably doesn’t matter. But, what if it does matter. What if this was the girl he will eventually marry. But it will never happen if he didn’t talk to her. I know people, even in my own family, who knew their spouses at a very young age.

I don’t think people should treat every decision as one that will have potential life changing affects. But neither should we live life in a way that leaves us scared to take chances, and open to regret that we didn’t take advantage of opportunities when we had a chance.

In my novel, THE DAY SHE DIED, John Michaels made a lot of mistakes in life. But he actually gets a chance to make up for those mistakes when he wakes up as a high school student back in 1986. What will he do different? Will his life turn out better? Or worse.

Real actual copy of “THE DAY SHE DIED” in my hands

Yes, it’s true! On Monday I received an advanced reader’s copy of THE DAY SHE DIED. When the book is released it will look like this. It is an incredibly humbling feeling to see my name on the cover of a novel. While I’ve worked hard, there are so many great writers out their that write Christian fiction, and so many that have offered their time and support.20140618_191517_resized Castle Gate Press has done a great job!

Take a look at some details below, and be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the top left of the page.

Summary:

In this clean time-travel whodunit, a middle-aged coffee-shop owner always wondered what his life would have been like if he’d stayed in town the day his college fiancee disappeared, the victim of an unsolved crime.

One morning he wakes up 20 years earlier and finds himself a student at OU in Norman again on the day she died. In a journey that takes months, he stumbles over people connected to Kim’s disappearance and puzzles over connecting the dots. He plays on a baseball team, something he’d dropped out of the first time, and discovers what it’s like to be a Christian pastor.

Selfie with my bok
Selfie with my book

Can he find some answers about Kim and about his own life? Or prevent Kim’s death? And if he succeeds in changing history, what happens to his beloved wife and kids?

ISBN: 978-0-9904399-0-5 paperback

ISBN: 978-0-9904399-1-2 electronic

Library of Congress PCN Control Number: 2014942009

Title: The Day She Died

Subtitle: A Time-Travel Mystery

Author: Bill Garrison

407 pages, $14.95

e-book $4.99

Welcome to the official webiste of Bill Garrison, Author

That’s me. Bill Garrison. I write suspense/thriller/mysteries for the inspirational Market. THE DAY SHE DIED is my latest novel, a suspense novel about a man who travels back in time to relive his life in order to find out who murdered his girlfriend 15 years ago.

THE DAY SHE DIED is being published by Castle Gate Press. I’m so excited. Be sure to visit Castle Gate Press’s site by clicking on the links to the left.