I have been reading and enjoying books by Gwendolyn Womack for many years now so I was very excited to receive a copy of her latest, The Time Collector, from Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours at no charge for my honest review.
Excerpt from The Time Collector
If an historian could be compared to a mad scientist with a laboratory, this room would definitely fit the bill. Instead of beakers and vials it was words and relics. There was also something incredibly intimate about the space. There were no pin lights for the glass displays and the books all looked well-worn and used—like they’d been read too many times.
Melicent turned toward the desk, and a lone photograph on the shelf caught her eye. At first she thought it was a picture of Roan, but it was his father. Robert West had glasses on, his black hair was blowing in the wind, and his head was thrown back in laughter. The shot was a close-up, taken on a mountaintop with a ledge of rock and clouds visible on each side of the frame. Melicent studied his profile. The jawline, the aquiline nose—everything about him was Roan. She reached out and picked up the metal frame to study the photo more closely. The moment she held the picture in her hand she heard the music. The song sounded far-off, playing in the distance. Then it began to gain resonance, like a radio in the room, and she recognized it as “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers.
Oh, my love, my darling, I’ve hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time . . .
Images and thoughts cascaded over the music. They’d been woven into the melody. Roan’s parents had gotten married in New Orleans. It had been a boisterous celebration with a wedding parade down Bourbon Street and a second line brass band. The next day they’d flown to Mexico City for their honeymoon. Jocelyn had taken the photo of Robert right as the sun was rising on top of Popocatépetl, the most active volcano in Mexico and one of the highest mountains in North America. They’d camped overnight to catch the sunrise. Within the silence at the summit, they could feel the rumbling energy of the earth. There had not been an eruption since 1947, but they thought there might be another in their lifetime. They both agreed Roan was conceived that night.
The imprints within the frame poured into her. Melicent didn’t know how long she stood there until she turned to find Roan standing in the doorway with two wineglasses in hand. Embarrassment flooded her cheeks and she put the picture frame back down.
“Your father’s picture,” she said, stating the obvious and realizing she’d just witnessed some very personal memories. “Yes.” He came toward her to offer her the wine. She murmured her thanks and turned back toward the picture, still unbalanced from the deluge of information it had imparted. “Have you touched this?” Roan stared at the picture of his father and shook his head. “I don’t touch my parents’ things. It’d be infringing.”
He hadn’t meant to say it as a reprimand, but still she could feel a fresh flush on her face—she had infringed. It hadn’t been intentional, but she’d seen private moments. Every anniversary Jocelyn would play “Unchained Melody” to hear her wedding song. It’s why the photo was so full of the music. Melicent could feel the lingering emotions from the imprints squeezing her throat, taking away any words she might have said. Instead she took a sip of the wine. After reading the imprints, it felt like the lines of Jocelyn’s life and her own had momentarily blurred, and the wedding song was an echo in the room that would never fade.
Roan had a closed look on his face. “They were complicated. They divorced when I was thirteen.” It was obvious he didn’t like talking about it. “Some people aren’t meant to be together even if they want to be. Life gets in the way.” Melicent looked up at him and realized he wasn’t just talking about his parents. She set her wine down and took a step toward him. “I disagree.” His eyes darkened. “Melicent,” he said in warning. Ignoring the caution in his voice, she took the final step and kissed him, their mouths twisting in the dance that had begun on the plane and never stopped.
About the Time Collector:
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
eBook & Paperback; 368 Pages
Genre: Historical/Romantic Suspense
Travel through time with the touch of a hand.
Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.
The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?
The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller.
About the Author:
Originally from Houston, Texas, GWENDOLYN WOMACK studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. She is the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller and the RWA Prism Award-winning reincarnation thriller, The Memory Painter. She resides in Los Angeles with her family.
Imagine you pick up an item and suddenly you “see” it’s history through time. You feel the emotions that are tied to the people that have owned or even touched the item. Such is the gift – or curse – that Roan West has lived since he was very young. He has learned to live with the ability and copes by wearing gloves all the time, only taking them off when he wants to read an object or person. He knows several others with the same abilities and one of them joins him regularly to go rock climbing. When this friend fails to meet him after requesting a climb Roan becomes concerned. When another like him also goes missing he gets worried. As this is happening to his friends he learns of another young woman with the same ability and fears that she too may be targeted.
Roan flies to California to talk to the woman, Melicent and finds he is attracted to her. A disconcerting feeling for he swore he was not going to fall in love again. Melicent does not understand her skill, she only knows it has allowed her to find some valuable artifacts to help keep money in the bank after her mother died and she was left to care for her younger brother. She does not believe that she could be in danger. But then something happens and she and her brother are taken to safety by Roan as they then try to figure out what is going on.
Every now and then I love to get lost in a book that follows a traditional plot but leaves reality behind. Here we have a mysterious, uber-rich, handsome man who uses his talents and money to help people as the hero. He’s a little wounded but he meets a woman who shares his talent, is caring and anxious to help him find his missing friend. Add in the possibility of seeing the past, possibly changing time and an author that knows how to set the mood to keep the pages turning and you have a book that steals your heart and bends your mind.
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of The Time Collector! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.