Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blog Tour & Author Q And A: Shadow Of Time - Jen Minkman, Book Review (205).

Shadow of Time

Publication: 1st January 2013
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 400
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon  

All Hannah needs is a nice and quiet vacation after her first year of teaching French at a high school. She joins her brother Ben for the summer in their mom’s log cabin in Arizona. There, she meets Josh again, Ben’s childhood friend from the Navajo reservation. The little boy from the rez has grown up fast, and Hannah can’t help but feeling more for him than just friendship. 

But fate apparently has something else in store for her. And it’s not peace and quiet. Night after night, Hannah is plagued by strange nightmares about the past of Navajo Nation and terrifying shadows chasing her. They seem to come closer – and why is Josh always present in her dreams? 

Sometimes, the past has a way of catching up with you.
My Thoughts.
An absolute pleasure to read, this book had me flying through the pages to see what the conclusion to this fantastic story would be.
A truly original concept and storyline has me eager to see what Jen will release next.

Hannah and her brother Ben decide to spend their summer vacation at their Mother's log cabin in Arizona, after embarrasing herself at a gas station in front of a hot guy she's mortified when she discovers that he's Ben's best-friend from childhood Josh, what has her baffled is the intense attraction she feels for him which Josh also reciprocates.

After an encounter with three drunken men she starts to have nightmares that involve terrifying shadows with red eyes and always in her dreams is Josh a little older and they are set years ago in the past, but are they just dreams or is Hannah seeing past events that have occurred many lifetimes ago?

I loved the added storylines of the Navajo Nation it added a whole lot more to the story, more depth and the history and their customs I found to be extremely interesting, a great idea, that you don't really find in paranormal books.

This is an extremely well written, well researched book and I would love to see another book after this one, I loved the characters especially the brooding Josh and I want to read more.

I recommend any fans of paranormal romance or even romance books pick this one up it is well worth the time spent reading it.

I give this 4/5.

Q & A With Jen Minkman.

1) There is a lot of details about the Native Americans and the different tribes, how much research did you have to do to write this book?

I really had to delve deep and get a lot of books and movies about the Navajo in order to educate myself. They are quite different from tribes like the Lakota (who have been extensively portrayed in famous films like Dances With Wolves and Into The West) so good research was vital! I think out of the nine months I spent writing this book, at least three were solely dedicated to reading up on Navajo culture, mythology, language and history.

2) Have you always had an idea of featuring Native American's in your first book? 

No, not really... the first book I attempted to write was a high fantasy novel. What gave me the idea to write about them was reading New Moon by Stephenie Meyer - I liked the chemistry between Jacob and Bella in that book and was actually disappointed they didn't end up together, so I figured I should write a paranormal romance novel with Native Americans and a happy ending :)

3) If a film were to be made from this book, are there any actors in particular that you would like to be cast?

Oh, definitely! I would love to see Saoirse Ronan as Hannah and Kyerin Bennett as Josh. Not sure whether he can act, actually (he's a model)... another good one would be Michael Spears, but he's too old to play the part and Lakota, not Navajo, but I really admire his work in several projects he's done!

4) Were you inspired by any songs/music while writing this story?

First of all, I wrote my own music for the book (the songs that Hannah and Josh sing in the book really exist and can be listened to on my website). I also listened to tons of pow-wow CDs, most notably the Navajo Mountain Singers, and to punk-rock music from Navajo Nation made by the fantastic band Blackfire. I still want to see them live one day!

5) Do you plan on writing another book set in this world, maybe a sequel?

I wasn't planning any sequels, but some reviewers have complained they wanted to know more about Josh's background, so there might be a companion novella at some point.

6) Describe Shadow Of Time in five words

true love lasts beyond death.

7) What authors have inspired you over the years?

Too many to name, but a few notable ones are Ray Bradbury, Margaret Mahy, David Eddings, Tonke Dragt and Thea Beckman.

8) What are you currently reading? And what was your favourite book(s) of last year?

I thoroughly enjoyed The Hunger Games and Ultraviolet last year. Right now I am reading a book written by Ervin Laszlo about the zero point energy field and the way the world should change in order to avoid total breakdown of the current economic system. I can be very scientifically-oriented at times... but always mixed with a sense of spirituality and higher purpose.

9) And finally you're hosting a dinner party and you can only invite five people (dead or alive), who would you choose?

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, David Bowie, Jesus and my sister (because she likes all of my other guests a lot, too, and we tend to share all that makes us happy). 

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in Holland, in the town of Alphen aan den Rijn. When she was 19, she moved between The Hague, Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium) and Cambridge (UK) to complete her studies in intercultural communication. She is currently a teacher of English, career counsellor and teenage coach at a secondary school in Voorburg, Holland. She tries to read at least 100 books a year (and write a few, too!). She is a published author in her own country, and translates her own books from Dutch into English for self-publication.
In her spare time, she plays the piano, the guitar and the violin. For every novel she writes, she creates a soundtrack. 

'I have always been drawn to writing. My first book was a sci-fi novel at the age of eight, which I painstakingly typed out on my dad's typewriter and illustrated myself. Nowadays, I stick to poetry, paranormal romance, chicklit and/or fantasy. In my home country, I am the first-ever published writer of paranormal romance, and I will gradually make my books also available in English (seeing I have to re-write and translate the books myself, this will take some time!).

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