Monday, December 17, 2012

A book review for IN THE NICK OF TIME

Thank you Susan from her blog timetraveltimestwo where she wrote a review of my time travel novel. This was such a surprise and I was extremely flattered. Mahalo!

In The Nick of Time

in-nick-time-j-lee-graham-paperback-cover-artIn the Nick of Time, J. Lee Graham (2008, 99 pages), is a straightforward time travel tale in which three 13-year-old kids–Andy, Roger, and Miranda–go to a plantation in Georgia in 1858 where slaves are used. The story is given added drama because Roger is African-American, and the other two are white, and so only Roger finds himself a slave. As in a YA time travel book I admired, Trapped Between the Lash and the Gun by Arvella Whitmore, the stakes are very high as the kids are stuck in slave times until they can figure out how to return to their present.
Andy’s aunt, with whom he was very close, dies at the beginning of the story. She was a mystical personality and believed she could communicate with the dead. She had been a world traveler and picked up spiritual souvenirs from all over the world. The time travel starts when Andy’s family is cleaning out her house and Andy finds some mysterious incense that had been hers. He lights it and is transported back to the scene of the Boston Massacre of 1770. This foray into the past is brief and is not really connected to the main time travel in the story. I think the only reason for this trip in the narrative is to show what is needed to return to the present. Andy is able to return home when he relights the incense stick.
Not knowing where it will take them, Andy invites Roger to go on an adventure via another incense stick. He figures they can just relight the incense to return home. But this time he drops the incense stick just as they are leaving his bedroom. They have lost their return ticket! Miranda wasn’t invited, but happens upon the scene and inhales some of the incense smoke, so is also whisked away. The three find themselves on the plantation.
Roger finds he is part of a family of slaves living in a shack, while Andy and Miranda live in the fancy house of the owners of the plantation. Roger must do the back-breaking work of picking crops and is treated horribly by the white overseer of the plantation. Meanwhile, Andy and Miranda come to believe if they can find the herb that smells like the incense and they burn it, they will be able to return home. They begin a desperate search to find the mystery herb.
I admire the author for taking on such an important topic as slavery. The storyline would be easy enough for younger middle grade readers to follow, but because Graham does not shy away from the ugliest aspects of slavery, including whippings and even a hanging, a teacher or parent would have to decide if their children were ready to emotionally deal with this subject matter even if they were able to read the book. Once the kids arrived at  the plantation, I appreciated that the story kept a clear focus on how awful and unfair slavery was. I also liked how the story was not merely a time travel adventure, but also a tale of friendship, and how much can be forgiven in friendship.
In the Nick of Time is not to be confused with Nick of Time by Ted Bell which is also a  time travel story, or with the numerous other books of the same title!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Radio Interview with WRPI

Thanks to Dr. Ray Werking and the great folks at WRPI for my radio interview last Sunday, November 11. It felt like I was coming home. It was a great pleasure, and the guys there in the station had a terrific sense of camaraderie as we discussed my Young Adult novel THE PROMISE OF LIVING. Dr. Ray was so insightful and warm and it was if we were traveling on the same wavelength. He saw what I am trying to say with this particular novel, and he delighted in its refreshing themes. A big MAHALO to Dr. Ray and his WRPI team! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I had a blast at Charis Bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia on November 3, 2012. Thanks Elizabeth and all the staff there for supporting my books, especially my latest novel THE PROMISE OF LIVING. 

Friday, September 21, 2012


Exciting news! My new novel, THE PROMISE OF LIVING is out! All the e-versions are available on and the paperback version is on Amazon. I am proud of this one, three years in the making! 
It's a different genre than the time travel series. This is a Young Adult novel, the coming of age of Ryan Colton in Wilson's Ferry, a small town in rural New Hampshire. 

The Promise of Living is a heart-rending coming of age novel of sixteen-year-old Ryan Colton and his quest for his own authenticity. Ryan's mother died when he was young, and he and his father carve out a tenuous but trusting relationship. Ryan works on Lee Hemmer’s farm with his best friend Dave in Wilson's Ferry, New Hampshire, a stifling, small town where, in 1975, everyone, it seems, has something to hide. Ryan has a mysterious series of premonitions and visions that reveal the darker secrets of the townspeople. His gift becomes overwhelming when he visions a murky murder at the high school and cannot prevent its occurrence.

Ryan seeks the help of a Boston transfer student and a famous psychic to not only focus his gifts to solve the murder but to finally accept his own personal feelings for Dave. Ryan struggles with his own power of being different in the world and knows that the true resolution lies within him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cape May, Atlantic Bookstore

I'm here in Cape May for the summer where Tony, the manager of the Atlantic Bookstore right in downtown Cape May, set up a special display for my two time travel novels: IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE. I visited the store yesterday, and it was fun to see my work: my sweat and blood and tears (ha!), alive, on the shelf, and prominently displayed in a local bookstore. 

Support your indie writers! Support your local businesses! Thanks Atlantic Bookstore! 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Summer Writing on Cape May

Spending the summer on Cape May, NJ where I have the serene, unique chance to work on my novels. I have a new Young Adult novel coming out in Mid-September and I currently am working on the third in the series of the Andy Mackpeace time travel adventures. This is a terrific opportunity. 
Thanks to the Atlantic Bookstore in downtown Cape May for carrying both of my novels: IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE. Support local bookstores!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Indie Reader Discovery Winners!

Congratulations to all the IndieReader Discovery Winners ( 

There are many categories, but for the 'Kids' (their wording) Section: 
FUN IN THE YELLOW PAGES by Bobbi Groover and RED, RIGHT, RETURN by June Keating Sherwin were the tie winners. 

For YA: another tie: 
UNTRACEABLE by S. R. Johannes and PANDORA'S KEY by Nancy Fischer. 

OH, BEAUTIFUL by John Paul Godges is an historical account of his family and looks terrific. 

Enjoy the summer and enjoy the reading! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Burning Through Books

I found out about Burning Through Books and wanted to donate to their terrific Literacy Program. They are based in Denver and I emailed a contact person named Evin and mailed off both of my novels IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE. Another excellent agency that could always use our support. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

TIME TRAVEL MART and my novels

I contacted the Time Travel Mart in Los Angeles and donated my two novels to their Library. Both IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE are in the post and on their way. I love supporting Literacy!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guys Read!

I found a great website called It has lists of books that people recommend for young/teen guys to read. It is a great tool for some people to use for 'guidance' in finding books.

The website reads, "...founded by author and First National Ambassador o f Young People's Literature Jon Scieszka. Our mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers."

I went on and recommended IN THE NICK OF TIME. Perhaps you could do the same?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Peter and the Starcatchers

I was in NYC this weekend and saw the plays "Peter and the Starcatchers" and "War Horse" both based on children's novels. Both were wonderful and powerful and the magic of theater shone. I recommend them both. Maybe I'll be able to say the same for a future production of IN THE NICK OF TIME?

"Pity the child who lives in a fact-based world."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Time Travel Mart

Recently, I saw that children's author Mac Barnett is the founder of Time Travel Mart (1714 W. Sunset Blvd, Echo Park, Ca. 90026). It is part of 826 LA, a non-profit writing and tutoring center for Middle Grades and Young Adults.

I loved the idea: it's a convenience store for time travelers. Their slogan reads: "Whenever you are, we're already then."

I hope to be able to send the Center both copies of my novels: IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE to 'help' future time travelers with their journeys.

Mac Barnett, by the way, will be in Decatur, GA soon at The Little Shop of Stories.

Kudos to Mac!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Some nice comments

A 'fan' commented to me after reading THE TIME OF HIS LIFE saying how much she enjoyed the book (she had read the first book IN THE NICK OF TIME) and went on to say, and I quote:

"So this is my favorite part of the book: I absolutely loved the part where the father told about his past history and hitting the kid while driving drunk. Such a great story about second chances and a great dad/son moment."

Both of my novels are now available for e-readers on Smashwords and of course, the book forms can be found on Createspace. (The first novel is also available at

I am busy at work researching the third in my Andy Mackpeace time travel novels.

The creating is at times, the best part. Devising plot twists, wondering how Andy will work his way out of a new dilemma, and on and on.

Here's to creativity!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

More Wrinkles

The book, A WRINKLE IN TIME, written in 1962, seems very ahead of its time. Apparently, L'Engle had studied the quantum physics connected to Einstein, Max Planck and Werner Heisenberg while she lived in rural Connecticut after leaving a life on the Broadway Stage. The readings inspired the novel and all the others after it.

I found one quote from the book which I loved:

"We look not at the things which are what you would call seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal. but the things which are not seen are eternal."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Wrinkle in Time

I'm re-reading A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L'Engle; it's the 50th anniversary of the publication! In many ways the story still holds up and L'Engle, with their traveling to Orien's Belt and beyond, certainly was ahead of her time. It precedes Remote Viewing in many ways.

Her creation of the 'indigo' children of Meg and Calvin and Charles Wallace is delightful to watch develop. They are different from my characters (Andy, Roger, and Miranda) in their cultural setting, but their essence and their complete openness to new ideas are very similar.

Some of my favorite lines so far:
"I don't understand it any more than you do, but one thing I've learned is that you don't have to understand things for them to be."

"What's a megaparsec?" Calvin asked.
"One of father's nicknames for me," Meg said. "It's also 3.26 million light years."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

KUDOS to The Schoolhouse in Vermont!

I read in "Publishers Weekly" about Mark Stein, a teacher at The Schoolhouse in S. Burlington, Vermont. He was incorporating a local bookstore in with his Reading/English class, using the phone to talk to the owner about books and genre and classifying them and simply engaging his class in the interaction of a local business.
I was so impressed, I sent them a copy of IN THE NICK OF TIME. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

My New Kickstarter Project

I started a new project in the hopes of promoting literacy and awareness. Please give it a look!

Both of my novels IN THE NICK OF TIME and THE TIME OF HIS LIFE are now on for any type of Electronic device.