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Beloved Enemy joined Starquest and Children of the Mist to continue the Destiny Trilogy and I'm thrilled to announce was shortlisted for the prestigious R.N.A. RoNA Awards 2017

Monday, 12 January 2015

Amber Gifts - Review and book tour


Amber Gifts
Book One
Kevin B. Henry

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel

Publisher: Champagne Books

Date of Publication: February 2013

ISBN: 9781771550048
ASIN: B00BAKB8B4

Number of pages:  99 pages
Word Count: 25,000 words

Cover Artist: Ellie Smith

Book Description:

After a decades long downward spiral, Mitchell is at the bottom of life’s rungs. A stranger hands him a simple, amber vial and tells him to drink it. With that one act, he is now a time traveler and when asked to help some new acquaintances, he gladly agrees. A simple request to find some items left scattered throughout time. How hard could it be?

But someone wants to stop Mitchell’s efforts and it will take more than luck for Mitchell to find all the items and survive long enough to complete his mission.

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My Review

I found this an enjoyable and fastpaced read, with engaging characters and a fascinating storyline.

To start with, the non-chronological order of events were a little disconcerting, rather like  Audrey Niffenegger's  'The Time Traveller's Wife', which I personally found rather disjointed, although given the complexities and paradoxes involved if one were able to travel to any given time in the past, I understand why Mr Henry chose to record the narrative in this manner. However, after a  short while I got used to events skipping forward and then back again and became absorbed in the characters and especially Mitchell himself. I emphasise travelling back in time because Mitchell is warned at the start of his adventure that if he travels beyond the point of his own birth, it will mean instant oblivion!

There is mystery and suspense, as well as a healthy dose of romance and the occasional touch of humour in this story which kept me guessing until the dénouement which actually caught me by surprise, although the clues had been there all along. The tale moves along at a fair speed and is as much a thriller as a Fantasy/time travel tale, which should widen its appeal even to those who are not normally readers of the genre. Being Welsh myself, I was delighted to find several 'Welsh' references - from Crystin (the Welsh form of Christine) who is an important character, to the term 'Amser' or 'Teithwyr Amser' which is the term the time travelers use. (Amser being time, and teithwyr, travelers)

I was sorry when this short read ended and look forward to reading the other books in the series when they are released.
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Excerpt:
I spun in the chair. My flight instincts kicked in and I dove for the floor behind the desk. My hand grasped the vial before I escaped the target that was once a comfortable chair. I felt the second shot miss my head by inches. I gathered the package to me on my way to the floor.

“Wait. Stop!” I stammered on the way to the floor. I didn’t believe for a second that he would.

I uncapped the vial with a flip of my thumb while securing the package in my inner coat pocket. I recovered the rubber stopper in midair. My dexterity surprised me. What circus had I escaped from where I learned these tricks? I raised the vial to my waiting mouth. As I sipped, I took a quick look at my assailant. I wanted to be able to describe him to the Wilsons when next I saw them. He had bon vivant written all over him. He sparkled for the entire world like a fourth of July firework. I needed to ask about the meaning of that if I lived long enough. He dressed in a burgundy velvet smoking jacket, white tombstone shirt with a brown medallion ascot.

His face appeared cold and insensitive, if that’s possible. His blond, short-trimmed hair seemed not to move, despite his trying violently to get through the door and in a better location for the kill shot. When his mouth opened I would have sworn I saw his teeth gleam like one of those Crest toothpaste commercials. A scowl of bewilderment appeared on his face as he rushed through the threshold. Perhaps he felt as amazed at my continued existence as I. He must have taken his first shot from across the hall and through the office entryway. I didn’t understand how he managed to miss the second shot.

“Sorry, mate,” he said with an Australian accent.

He had a gun in his hand, aimed straight at my head. It appeared to be a Remington Model 95 Derringer. I tend to notice deadly items pointed at me with such professional accuracy. I wasn’t going to trust my life that it was only an authentic double shot model. He had the look of someone intent on firing again very soon. How fast could he pull the trigger? How fast could I dissolve? I hate life or death experiments.

“1643,” I spoke softly. Instantly, I lay on an empty, white, sand beach.

About the Author:

From an early age, Kevin B. Henry was a voracious reader. His collection of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books bring tears of envy to the eyes of many small community libraries.

Kevin has worked as an educator, technology specialist and day laborer most of his adult life. During all that time he lived the life of a frustrated author. That it took 30 years for him to piece together Amber Gifts is a testament that the best meals need slow cooking to bring out the flavor. He feels the best stories revolve around time travel and the problems that such ability could produce. It’s no surprise that his first published work revolves around that theme. All the classics have touched on the subject; Star Trek, Doctor Who, Babylon 5, The Big Bang Theory. He hopes Amber Gifts can be added to that list.

Kevin is a natural storyteller, so it’s logical that he lectures occasionally. Topics range from the implementation of cutting edge technology hardware to the creation, modification and use of e-books within education. He constantly pursues research to expand his range of possible topics. His most recent research revolved around the aerodynamic properties of reindeer. He’s been known to include little known facts and trivia into his presentations. Did you know just 146 years ago today the Union Army marched into Atlanta? It took longer than anticipated. They were delayed by a traffic jam on I-75 and the tollbooth on Ga. 400

During other times, he travels if he can, both in time and space, but mostly to any available amusement park. He is not as fond of roller coaster type rides as he used to be. He still loves a good parade.

He lives in the mid-west without human or domesticated mammal companionship.


Twitter:        @Kevin_Henry