Monday, July 25, 2016

Michael J. Bowler - A Matter of Time - Review & Giveaway

About the Book

The world's greatest evil stalks the world's greatest ship, and the only one who can stop him hasn't been born yet. Jamie Collins is a junior at Santa Clara University in 1986. He has friends, a professor who mentors him, and a promising future as a writer. Then the dreams begin - nightmarish memories that transport him back to a time and place fifty years before he was born: Titanic's maiden voyage in 1912. When Jamie discovers a foreign cell in his blood that links him to the famous vessel, the two timelines begin to overlap and he realizes an unimaginable truth - something supernatural stalks the ill-fated ship, something that will kill him if he can't stop it first. And the only way to stop it may be to prevent Titanic from sinking. But even if he can figure out a way to do that, should he? What will be the effect on history if he succeeds? And what about the lady he wasn't supposed to fall in love with? As her destiny becomes entwined with his, Jamie discovers the value of friendship, the power of love, the impact of evil, and the vagaries of Fate.

My Review

Yes, this is a story about the Titanic and vampires and other mind-bending plot twists. But what got to me was the spirit of undying love, nestled in the book's pages. I admit I'm an unabashed romantic, and there was just something about the passages, featuring Jamie and Kate that really moved me.

You just have to go with the idea that Jamie is a college student from 1986 who somehow is able to board the Titanic on that fateful night in 1912. While trying to get his bearings, he bumps into Kate, a wealthy young widow, who's below deck, attempting to procure some chocolate ice cream for her son's bedtime treat. It turns out Kate's husband died eight years ago, and she's been on her own ever since she was eighteen, resisting the idea of getting involved with another man … when she locks eyes with Jamie.

The sheer emotion of that moment can be felt in the title line: "It was inevitable that he'd find her one day, it was only a matter of time."

Is it a case of insta-love? Sure, it is. But it's so beautifully written that it makes you want to look past it. Jamie feels like Kate is the one he's been waiting for his whole life. She doesn't do anything to stand out, besides be herself. Beneath her soft, gauzy dress is an inner strength that he can't help but be drawn to. And let me tell you, I've read almost every one of Bowler's novels and this has to be the most touching scene he's ever written.

She's someone he can't have. Jamie always believed that he'd never find someone like Kate, someone who'd love him for a lifetime. Yet they meet at the wrong time under a horrible set of circumstances. It wasn't supposed to happen this way, but it does, and it made my heart ache just reading about it.

I like it when Bowler gets, for lack of a better term, romantic. Although, he never lets us inside Kate's head, the thoughts running through Jamie's are heartbreakingly tender. It's painful to see how perfect they are for each other, only to see them torn apart due to the tragic events of that terrible evening.

But their unexpected reunion? That's when you'll need to keep a box of tissues handy. It's a tearjerker of a moment, reminiscent of "The Notebook," or for that matter, any great love story, grounded in sacrifice. Love is glorious, but it also brings a lot of hurt and pain along with it. But Jamie makes it clear that he's willing to endure whatever fate befalls them. The few precious moments he got to spend with her on the Titanic make it all worthwhile. While after getting separated from Jamie and ending up in a lifeboat, Kate vows to never give up hope at finding him again.

They make the choice to love each other, and it's moving to behold.


A Matter of Time can be purchased at:
Barnes and Noble

Formats/Prices: $2.99 ebook, $12.95 paperback, $14.95-$21.83 Audible
Genre: Historical Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 340
Release: March 2, 2012
Publisher: Outskirts Press
ISBN: 9781432787110
Click to add to your Goodreads list.

About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of nine novels—A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner – 2013 Wishing Shelf Book Awards; Reader Views Honorable mention; Runner-Up Rainbow Awards; Honorable Mention - Southern California Book Festival), Running Through A Dark Place (Bronze Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), There Is No Fear (Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards), And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America; Spinner (Winner Hollywood Book Festival; Honorable Mention San Francisco Book Festival; Bronze Medal from Reader’s Favorite; Literary Classics Seal of Approval; Runner-Up - Southern California Book Festival; Honorable Mention - Halloween Book Festival; Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards), and Warrior Kids: A Tale of New Camelot (Honorable Mention in the London Book Festival and The New England Book Festival; Finalist – 2015 Wishing Shelf Book Awards).

His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition.

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.

He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II.”

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles.

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He has finished writing a novel based on his screenplay, “Like A Hero,” and another book aimed at the teen market. He hopes to find a publisher or an agent for both.

His goal as an author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world. The most prevalent theme in his writing and his work with youth is this: as both a society, and as individuals, we’re better off when we do what’s right, rather than what’s easy.

Links to connect with Michael:
Web Site
Blog Tour Site

About the Giveaway

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