Today's special guest author is
Today is also a day of firsts for Sandy's Spotlight. I'm honored to tell you that my review of Story Time was done as an invited Guest Reviewer for the Paranormal Romance Guild.
I have also started a Book Discussion blog to run simultaneously with Linell Jeppsen's Story Time feature. This will be an ongoing event to include all future books featured on Sandy's Spotlight. For a calendar of upcoming authors and novels, please take a look here.
If you have read Story Time, we would love to have you join the discussion, ask Linell questions and leave her feedback about the book. If you have not read Story Time, the Book Discussion blog will run for two weeks. You still have time to read it and join in on this fun interaction with the author. Everyone is invited!
Linell has some exciting news. Besides being a gifted author, she has recently opened a small bookstore called New Voices Books and Gifts in Republic, Washington.
More about this wonderful bookstore in Linell's own words: It was named New Voices because of all the fine, new authors I have met since having my first book published in March. We sell mostly good quality used books, but also carry the New York Times top twenty bestsellers. We also make custom perfumes and a bath and body line, home-made candles, assorted gift items and antiques. Once a month I feature Indy or small pubbed authors and have as many book signings as possible.
This review of Linell Jeppsen's novel, Story Time, was completed by Sandy Wolters, as a guest PRG Reviewer, for The Paranormal Romance Guild. All rights reserved.
I must start this review by stating the fact that I have never in my life read a science fiction book. I must admit, I was a little nervous to pick this book up, knowing full well that I would be reviewing it and the only experience I have with Sci-Fi is in the form of the original TV show, Star Trek.
Given my obvious lack of familiarity with this genre, I must say that Story Time by Linell Jeppsen was probably the very best book I could have picked to cut my teeth on this genre with. I LOVED IT. I was concerned that I, as a reader, would start out on a planet that I was unfamiliar with and have unlikeable little green men/women as lead characters. That could not be farther from the truth. I want to warn you that I have tried to generalize my review so I would not give too much away, but there are spoilers if you continue.
Story time starts present day in the United States. Events start happening in the novel, that I have actually read and worried about in the papers within the last year. By starting Story Time out in this fashion, the author sucked me right into the story. The events escalate from birds falling out of the sky, to earthquakes, to a cataclysmic caldera eruption.
People are trying to survive these events as well as they can, and then suddenly, aliens appear on the scene. There are two types of aliens, "bad aliens" and "good aliens". I thought the parallel that Linell Jeppsen drew between the aliens and humans was absolutely brilliant.
The "bad aliens" moved in and started raping the earth of its natural resources prior to the earth's apocalyptic end. They did not care who or what they killed while mining these precious resources. Humans were insignificant to them. The "bad people" killed, raped and pillaged others to get what they needed to survive, turning their backs on those that did not belong to their group and never giving a thought to the heinous crimes they were committing. Needless to say, the "bad aliens" and "bad people" far outnumbered the good.
Ms. Jeppsen gives the reader hope with the "good aliens" that are here to help a select few humans be a part of the Harmony continuum to maintain the balance over the extinction of the human race as we know it. These aliens would only harm humans in the event that they were killing and destroying other humans. The "good humans" feel compassion for others, protect what is theirs, but will not kill another human unless it is absolutely necessary.
Story Time is told beautifully through Naomi, the leader of the people at Harmony ranch. You learn of the different character's journeys, hopes, fears and compassion. The final attack scene is so horrifying, that Naomi is willing to give her life to make it stop. Linell Jeppsen made you feel Naomi's pain, her sorrow, and her deep rage at what the human race had sunk to. While the subject matter is difficult and violent, you are left with a sense of peace at the end of the book.
This is absolutely a must read. Even if, like me, you've shied away from science fiction, you will love this story about human weakness, human suffering, and human strength.
Excerpt from Story Time:
The old woman was helped onto the stage by two young men. They guided her to a wrap chair, fussed with its cushions, adjusted the foot-stool, and positioned the speak globe, so it hovered approximately eight inches away from her mouth. She smiled at them, when they bowed slightly, and stepped to the back of the stage. The lights on the stage dimmed, until only one light remained; a spotlight that bathed her in a cocoon of gold.
She cleared her throat, and grinned out at the audience. “I have never gotten used to these things,” she said. There was a stir of laughter, as the speak globe shuddered, and moved another four inches to the left. She clasped her hands together and announced, “Welcome to Story Time!”
The applause started slowly, rising in volume, until it thundered through the amphitheatre. The purr-grass, sensing the emotions of the beings within the theatre, hummed and undulated in shades of pink and purple… the colors of love and joy.
The woman held her hands up. “Please, sit down children!” she laughed. “We don’t want to upset the grass, do we?”
There was more laughter, but after a few moments, the teachers settled their students down and they waited for the old woman to speak. There were almost as many adults in attendance as children for today’s story, as it had been many years since the story was told.
A hush fell over the crowd. For a moment, the speaker looked up at the emerald sky and its three attendant moons, and she was overwhelmed with emotion. One tear fell from her eye, and one of the young men rushed to her side, with a glass of water in his hands and a question in his eyes. She waved him away, with a smile. She glared briefly at the speak globe and said, “Shall we begin?”
Linell and I look forward to seeing everyone at the Book Discussion! Please share this blog on Facebook with your friends and family and don't forget to tweet your peeps!