"A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Another Candle" - Father James Keller

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

From Newbie to Friend

Mary Ricksen and I were Florida Romance Writer newbies. I can clearly remember when I met her for the first time; she told me her name and gave me a CD that held the first draft of her manuscript, Tripping Through Time. A little bewildered as no one had bothered to inform me, we’d been paired as critique partners, I took the CD.

The following day, a Sunday, when my husband attends church on the golf course, I slid the CD into my PC. The DH came home after I had read the first paragraph.

“What’s up?” he asked.

“I can see the movie credits rolling,” I answered.

It took half an hour to explain that one line.

Tripping Through Time is a poignant, wonderful tale of an unloved child, Keealyn McCalley, who’s told relentlessly she is useless, but discovers confidence, harmony, and love in the past.

Keealyn is a child of the sixties. Lost, abused, with little self-confidence, she runs away from nursing school and finds a refuge in a log cabin on a lake with friends. A teetotaler, she’s persuaded to have a drink and ends up having one too many. Wandering away from the cabin, she attempts suicide and plunges into the comforting waters of the lake. Just before she passes out, Keealyn sees a ring lying on the lakebed and picks it up.

When Keealyn awakes the first thing person she meets is hunky Ryan Wolf.

Ryan is at first suspicious because Keealyn's wearing his mother’s Celtic ring. His mother’s told him stories of future times, of marvelous machines not yet invented in 1869, so it’s easy for him to believe Keealyn is from the future.

Keealyn is stunned to realize she’s travelled through time and soon realizes her gentle soul is suited to the social mores and graciousness of 1869. She falls in love with Ryan and his two daughters, Alyssa and the autistic, Kelsey. Having had an autistic sister in the future, Keealyn helps Kelsey cope with life. Keealyn's nursing skills come in handy when a neighbor has a breach baby. Ryan and Keealyn fall in love and he asks her to marry him. Afraid to trust any man, Keealyn asks for time to get to know him better.

Ryan leaves on a hunting trip. While he’s away, Keealyn decided to accept his proposal. But a head injury Ryan’s suffers on his trip erases his memory of Keealyn. Despondent and depressed Keealyn copes but happiness evaded her. When she saves Alyssa from a terminal fever with a bottle of penicillin that traveled through time with her, Ryan is grateful. Gradually, they become friends again and Ryan regains his memory.

Many more trials and tribulations occur in this wonderful story. Woven throughout the book is the concept of healing, both physical and mental. Having her own children heals Kaleen’s horrible childhood memories and with Ryan’s love, she comes to believe she is a vital, wonderful human being.

Here’s one of my favorite parts of Tripping Through Time:

“Okay, shoot,” she said.
“O K? Shoot who?”
“I don’t mean shoot someone. Let me explain. It’s slang, or rather colloquial speech. Okay means all right and by shoot, I mean start talking,” she informed him.
He chuckled and shook his head, spattering her with water droplets. She squealed at his antics.” We need to talk with my sister, Peggy. Hopefully she can answer some questions about the ring that I cannot remember. In addition, we’ll need to come up with a good story to explain your presence to everyone else and then we’ll try to get to know each other. What do you think? Would you like to get to know me better?
She smiled at him, hoping he would understand. No matter how nice he appeared, he was still a man and men wanted to domineer, no matter how nice they acted.
Keealyn reverted to her old nail biting habit, chewing on her thumbnail as she contemplated her answer.
“I don’t know what to think. I want to live my life as it comes. I want to see if all this magic is real. I need to find out why I am here. And I have to find a plane to live, a job.”
Ryan took her hand and helped her to her feet. Turning her face to him, he lifted her chin and gazed into her eyes. “What ever you need to do is fine with me. Let’s establish a friendship that might have a chance to evolve into something unique. You could stay here and be my daughter’s governess.” There was so much to consider in all this. “Two children are a great responsibility and a lot of things will have to change for it to work out. But if you are willing…”
“I can’t explain it but I know that this place, this time is right for me. Ryan, I’d like to give it a try. At least until something else comes along.”


  1. Thanks for the great review. Sounds like something I might like to read. (grin)

  2. Oh, that is a sweeeet excerpt. Thanks for sharing. And how funny that you didn't know you were paired off with Mary as a critique partner! LOL. You would have been even worse off with me! *snicker* Be thankful you weren't in my RWA chapter. LOLLLLLLLL

  3. Jianne, that is a wonderful review of Mary's book. I can see why the two of you make such great critique partners, it's wonderful having someone totally get your work and appreciate your talent. Very nice!

  4. What happened was that the president asked if anyone was looking for a crit partner, (I had asked her to do so), and Jianne raised her hand.
    Little did she know it was moi.
    Thank God she didn't toss the CD away! :0)

  5. Tripping Through Time is a sweet romance full of emotion. I like it a lot. Jianne presented a nice synopsis.

  6. Jianne great review! You made me want to keep reading!


  7. Blogger hates me tonight! Lost my comment three times before it posted! Great job girls!


  8. What a wonderful review of Mary's book!

    Bess McBride

  9. I love Mary's skill with description and I will never, never forget the accident scene. What a great job of drawing the reader in.


In accordance with the new FTC Guidelines for blogging and endorsements, Kiki Howell of An Author's Musings, would like to advise that in addition to purchasing my own books to review, I also receive books, and/or promotional materials, free of charge in return for an honest review, as do any guest reviewers.