Friday, July 29, 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

It's no secret that author, Michael J. Bowler believes in a higher power. You can read as much in his bio. But the way he works faith into a science fiction novel about time travel and the Titanic is what makes this book more than just a fun read.

Bowler explores some pretty deep topics under the guise of what Hollywood considers to be the supernatural, i.e. vampires. Of course, there's the usual play on light and dark imagery associated with good versus evil, but the novel goes a step further by focusing on the causes of spiritual blindness.

It turns out sight is the predominant theme. In fact, Bowler often returns to a quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's THE LITTLE PRINCE to bring it to the forefront: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye." Whenever characters are tempted to make a bad decision, it's no coincidence that their vision starts to dim.

For Bowler, the eyes are the window to the soul, and he uses that particular metaphor to good effect. The gaze of the vampire is cold, empty, heartless, while the look of a young mother is full of life, warmth and understanding. Despite everything that's going on around him, Jamie is so taken with her goodness that, "All he could see with his eyes and his heart, was her." For him, her ethereal glow pierces through all the gloom surrounding them. Light fosters life, while darkness becomes the harbinger of death.

The crew members don't see the iceberg in the blackness of the eerily calm Atlantic, even though the ship's lights are illuminating the dark for miles. After the impact, they send flares up into the night sky, but it's too late for anyone to cheat death. Once the Titanic begins its final descent, the lights flicker, trying to stay on, echoing the heartbeat of those clinging to the rails, hoping to survive. Yet the tragedy circles back to how Jamie first encountered the ship as it churned out of the darkness toward him, in all reality denoting that the souls onboard were already dead. There was really nothing Jamie could do to save them, no matter how much he wanted to.

Biblical references abound from David and Goliath to the Good Samaritan to the holy water of Lourdes, but it's the struggle of God granting man free will that the novel pivots around. Bowler claims that the choices an individual makes ultimately result in making the world better or worse for the rest of humanity. It's pretty heady stuff to think about, but it's an issue worth examining, both inside the context of the story, and outside of it.

***

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

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
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog
Tumblr
Pinterest
Instagram
Blog Tour Site


About the Giveaway

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3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review, Nicole, and a successful tour. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This was a captivating story, told very well. Ultimately, it was a great romantic love story, showing how true love could endure for decades.

    ReplyDelete