TALES FROM ALTERNATE EARTHS

tales-from-alternate-earthsWriting a review for a short story anthology takes a little more effort than writing for a book with a single story and author. In most anthologies, there will be stories the reader loves and those s/he hates making it uncomfortable to review. Well, if you’re in this group, what’s not to like about Tales From Alternate Earths? Nothing, nothing at all!

This anthology ranks high among the best edited and exceptionally well-written story collections I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading and reviewing. History and the possibility of alternate realities and parallel universes have always fascinated me. These stories were right up my alley and I thoroughly enjoyed the read. I rated each story separately and none of them are less than four stars. Following are (for me) the individual five star stories:

One More Dawn by Terri Pray is a fascinating alternative for the lives of two of history’s most famous—Julius Caesar and Cleopatra.

All my life, I’ve been fascinated with the life and the conspiracies that revolve around the death of John F. Kennedy. I’ve always wondered what might have happened if the Cuban Missile Crises had gone down differently. Now, I know! One World by Cathbad Maponus will knock your socks off!

If you know of, or have actually heard the recording of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” you’ll love The Secret War by Leo McBride, especially the ending!

Time travel, alien invasion, and alternative history roll into one huge story that will rock your world. Tunguska, 1987 by Maria Haskins—what a great ending for this anthology.

Regardless of your interest in history, all these stories are superb examples of the imaginative powers of the human mind combined with extraordinary storytelling talent. I believe there’s something here for everyone and highly recommend Tales From Alternate Earths to everyone of all ages.

Reviewed 26 October 2016 for Books Go Social

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CIRCLE OF TIME

Five stars are not enough for Debra Shiveley Welch’s “Circle of Time.” An accident in the Bermuda Triangle throws Bridget (Bridge) Littleton through time. She awakens in the home of the Lyttleton family, her own ancestors, in the year 1532 near Bristol, England. circle-of-time

Thus begins a fascinating alternative history story of love, mystery, intrigue, life and death in the court of King Henry VIII. Ms Shiveley Welch deftly interweaves a handful of themes, from the ‘butterfly paradox effect’ of time travel to the life and loves of Henry, Anne Boleyn and Bridge to present an addictive read of epic proportions. Not since the “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon, have I read such an intoxicating story that grabbed me from page one and kept me reading almost without a break.

Alternative history stories… fiction, invariably require in-depth knowledge of the historical people, places and times illustrated in the story, and Ms. Shiveley Welch is unquestionably an expert on Tudor English history. Time and again, she surprised me with trinkets of information I would otherwise never have known. On two occasions, I went online to query what I thought to be inaccuracies or losses in verisimilitude. On both counts she proved to be correct. I won’t mention them here, I’m certain you’ll see them but you won’t have to chase them down… she’s right on the money.

With the skill of a plastic surgeon, rearranging the face of her patient, in this case historical fact, Ms. Shiveley Welch weaves the fictional Bridget into the historically accurate genealogical trees of the Tudor and Lyttleton families. Her ‘behind the scenes’ narratives and characterizations provide the reader with a unique look at these people, their times and travails, their victories and heart breaking destiny’s. I highly recommend “Circle of Time” for all readers of all ages.

Reviewed 2 October 2016 for Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards

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