Book Review: KEIR by Pippa Jay

From the first scene I was hooked. I found myself rooting for Keir before I knew his story. The author weaves a sympathetic tale following tortured souls through a life-changing adventure. Her light touch keeps the characters easily relatable without ever dissolving into schmaltz.

Quin is an engaging heroine whose self-assurance, ingenuity and desire to help others immediately establishes her as a heroine of epic proportions. Keir is almost an anti-hero whose journey of self-discovery takes him to the darkest reaches of his own nature and eventually leads him to the hero within himself.

Together, they travel through time and space and save each other. This is a sweet love story woven through an epic adventure.

With shades of Doctor Who, Time Bandits, and LadyHawke, Keir is a different kind of SF romance that will leave you sighing long after you’ve closed the book.

Book Review: The Whispering Tombs

THE WHISPERING TOMBS
A Quality Times Novella
by Gayle Ramage

Love Quality Times! She’s a tongue-in-cheek time-traveling adventurer. Her sidekick, Tim, is a great foil for her jaded demeanor as she’s dragged into an ever-increasingly dangerous adventure with twists and turns to keep you turning the pages! Tim, an unapologetic Whovian, tries telling people he’s a Timelord from Gallifrey, much to Quality’s chagrin.

In their first adventure (of many, I hope) Quality Times and Tim are on a quest to see the universe. With a time machine/space ship that shrinks down to the size of a child’s toy, all of time and space are theirs for the exploring. So where do they go? Why to a resort, of course. That’s where they meet Bob, a self-styled archaeologist complete with safari outfit and pith helmet. Bob’s hunky assistant Qez, a.k.a. Bluey the “sexy police siren” catches Quality’s eye.

Joining forces with Bob and Qez, Quality and Tim try their hand at grave robbing, I mean archaeology, and end up taking on more than they’d anticipated.

The Whispering Tombs is a rollicking good romp complete with betrayal, greed, grave robbing, gunplay and extinct critters that keep popping up at the darnedest moments. It’s a quick and fun escape that ends all-too-quickly and leaves you turning the page looking for more. You’ll gasp with surprise, laugh out loud at some parts and groan at others. All-in-all, expect to be delighted and entertained.

***

Meet Quality Times, just your average 21st century woman who happens to own a shrinkable time machine. Along on her intergalactic adventures is Tim, a self-confessed sci-fi geek who takes everything in his stride.

In ‘The Whispering Tombs’, Quality and Tim are residing at the luxurious Baala Haven Resort, on an unpronounceable planet, when they’re invited on a quest to find ancient hidden treasure by a wealthy alien archaeologist. Reaching the caves of Azrokaran, however, loyalties are tested to the very limits as those within the group reveal their true colours.

A light-hearted mix of science fiction, adventure and humour.

Spending “Quality Times” With Author Gayle Ramage

Good news! It looks like the Author Spotlight is going to become a recurring feature here on GNMB! I’m excited because I’ve met so many wonderful writers on my journey and I’m happy to share these friends with the rest of my world.

Today’s featured author is Gayle Ramage, a talented writer with a quirky sense of humor and a fascination for Doctor Who. You know me, I can’t resist anyone who says they want to grow their own TARDIS (check out her Bio down towards the bottom)! I invited Gayle over to kick off her blog tour celebrating the launch of her new release THE WHISPERING TOMBS – A Quality Times Novella.

So, (settling in with some fish fingers and custard) Gayle, tell me about yourself.

I’m a life-long resident of Scotland, having been born in Edinburgh almost thirty-one years ago and have lived in various places in the lowlands since then. I’m “living in sin” with my partner, and we have two children – a girl and a boy – under ten. I’m currently a stay at home mum while writing, but during my working life I’ve been a shops assistant, admin assistant, and also a Reprographic Assistant for a large law firm.

In other words, typical writer with a diverse background… oddly enough, sounds like a typical background for a Doctor’s Companion, too… hmmm… (shaking myself back to the interview at hand)

Why Science Fiction? What is it about the genre that attracts you?

I think mainly for the time travel aspect, though it’s so much fun and freeing to create worlds and populate them with non-human beings. I think with science fiction, to a certain degree, you can make up the rules.

Where did the idea for Quality Times come from?

Two words. Doctor Who.

Of course (eye roll.) Why did I even bother to ask?

I’m such a huge fan and wanted to be able to write my own ‘space and time adventurer’ story, but obviously I couldn’t use the idea of the TARDIS (bigger on the inside) so I came up with a shrinkable time machine.

Which I think is a really cool twist, btw.

There are also elements of Doctor Who spin-off “Iris Wildthyme” in there, too. (Wildthyme is a mature lady timelord whose TARDIS is a red double-decker bus. Her companion is a talking toy panda, while Iris herself enjoys a drink or twelve. The stories are also very humorous.)

I got particular enjoyment out of the overt Doctor Who homage, and the influence certainly shows.

Like the Doctor Who series, you originally published QUALITY TIMES AND THE WHISPERING TOMBS as a serial. How did that work out for you?

It started well. Especially as I’d made the individual parts free to download. Unfortunately, there was a problem with Smashwords, and I had to unpublish the parts there. I did have them up on my own website for a while, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to tell how many people downloaded them.

Qez or Bluey, made quite an impression on me when I first read THE WHISPERING TOMBS. Love the “sexy police siren” description. How do you come up with Quality’s off-beat observations?

I suppose I tend not to overthink what she will say, in some situations. Just like real life, sometimes you just blurt out things without really thinking about what you’re saying. For the “sexy police siren”, it was the first thing that came to me when I was needing Quality to liken Qez to something.

The overall tone of the story really grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It’s all very tongue-in-cheek. Is this a departure for you from your other work?

I suppose, to a certain degree, it is a bit of a departure. The Quality Times series is a lot more humorous and, as you say, tongue-in-cheek than my other work. Cigs, Bolan and Strange Men With  Guns had a bit of humour in it, as did my christmas short story collection, Three French Hens, but they weren’t as quirky as Quality Times.

What comes next for Gayle and Quality Times?

Well, the second book in the series, The Grandparent Trap, is still in its first draft but I have the overall plot sorted out so I need to get that completed, edited, etc. However, with that story, it’s being written in third-person narrative instead of first. Also, we get to meet Quality’s granny, Necessity, who is mentioned in The Whispering Tombs. I also have a few plot lines for another couple of books, so that will keep me going, writing wise, for the foreseeable future.

Thanks, Gayle, for stopping by and best of luck with THE WHISPERING TOMBS.

***

If you haven’t had the pleasure yet of discovering the works of Gayle Ramage, I strongly recommend THE WHISPERING TOMBS. I’ve had the good fortune to read and enjoy the serialized version and I’m completely hooked! I can’t wait for the next installment in the QUALITY TIMES series! You can see my abbreviated review on Goodreads.

***

Meet Quality Times, just your average 21st century woman who happens to own a shrinkable time machine. Along on her intergalactic adventures is Tim, a self-confessed sci-fi geek who takes everything in his stride.

In ‘The Whispering Tombs’, Quality and Tim are residing at the luxurious Baala Haven Resort, on an unpronounceable planet, when they’re invited on a quest to find ancient hidden treasure by a wealthy alien archaeologist. Reaching the caves of Azrokaran, however, loyalties are tested to the very limits as those within the group reveal their true colours.

A light-hearted mix of science fiction, adventure and humour.

BIO
Gayle Ramage is a writer, living in the Scottish lowlands. She would love to grow her own TARDIS if only to go back in time to find out if her ancestors were as mad as she is.

LINKS