Monday, May 6, 2013

Book Tour for Secrets In Time by Alison Stuart (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of time travel will find Alison Stuart's Secrets In Time an entertaining journey as a man from the past finds his HEA in an unexpected time and place.  Keep reading to get to know more about Ms. Stuart as well as my impressions of this story.  Make sure to comment before you leave for your chance to win more of Ms. Stuart's books........

TSP:  Knowing what you do now about the publishing business, would you have done anything different career-wise?
AS:  I have learned to have more faith in myself as a writer and I am now less inclined to jump at the first offer I get. This is a business, treat it as such. I have made some mistakes and misjudgments along the way but I’m not sure I regret them or would do anything differently. Without making mistakes we never learn!
TSP:  What does your writing space look like and do you surround yourself with any particularly inspirational items?
AS:  I have attached a photo of my writing space. As soon as my eldest son moved out of home I took over his room so I now have a room of my own. I felt I was the only person in the house who didn’t have have a personal space. I have owned this desk since I was 16 and it is an ergonomic disaster but I love it and wouldn’t work on anything else!
On the bookshelf above the desk is a little pewter statue of an English Civil War parliamentary soldier. He is my talisman and I was heartbroken when I thought I’d lost him.

TSP:  The majority of your books are historical/deal with time travel, what draws you to those themes?
AS:  SECRETS IN TIME is my first time travel story. My last book GATHER THE BONES was a ghost story set in 1923 and my previous two books “historical with romance”.
I am a history nut…I always have been. While I love the romance trope, I need a good meaty plot as well and those are the sort of books I write. In this early stage of my career I am still playing with different ideas to see what I like doing best – either that or I am very easily bored!
TSP:  Beyond its synopsis, what do you want us to know about Secrets In Time?
AS:  Like the American Civil War, the English Civil War (1642-1651) pitted brother against brother and divided the nation and yet from those bloodstained years and England’s brief flirtation with republicanism, arose our modern system of democracy as we know it today. It is a fascinating period and I absolutely adore it. So many stories of courage, tragedy, intrigue and romance arise from this story.
I had a lot of fun playing with the concept of time travel. It has to be credible – the characters motives, the portal through which you travel and the characters reactions to findingthemselves in a completely foreign country.
TSP:  Which of your books would you like to see made into a movie and who would play the main couple?
AS:  All of them!
I’ve been told my last novel, GATHER THE BONES, which is set in 1923, would film very well. It has World War One, ghosts, regency and of course the upper class of the 1920s. Downton Abbey…with ghosts.
There is an Australian actress, Jessica Marais, who would be perfect as Helen (who is an Australian in the book) and for PaulMorrow, a younger Nigel Havers. When I write, I don’t have particular people in mind because I prefer the readers to superimpose their own pictures on the characters.
TSP:  Of all the heroes you've written, who's the most heroic in your opinion?
AS:  They all are in their own different ways. In SECRETS IN TIME, Nat Preston is prepared to sacrifice his life to save that of someone he loves (no spoilers!). I don’t think it gets more heroic than that.
TSP:  How has the digital revolution affected your career and how you market yourself?  Do you have an eReader yourself?
AS:  I am an ebook convert! I love my Kindle and I have the Kindle app on my ipad and my iPhone. I love that I can pick up the book I am reading wherever I am and just start reading where I left off. I love that I can be on holiday in a foreign country and buy a new book with one click… Of course my “to be read” cyber pile is now out of control!
What it has done for me personally, as an author, is given me the opportunity to produce books that don’t quite fit the neat moulds of mainstream publishing. I market myself as an author of “historical with heart”, by which I mean that I write historical novels with a strong romantic element (hero/heroine and HEA) but they are not necessarily what is meant by a “historical romance”.
TSP:  My site's all about favorite things, so what are your favorite things/the things you can't live without?
AS:  (We’re talking things not people, because my husband is pretty awesome?) I love my home and for someone who travels as much as I do, I am a real homebody! I love my bed... (see reference to travel).
But the one “thing” that has lived me with me my whole life and I cannot be parted from is my teddy bear. She was my father’s gift to me on my birth and is now extremely ancient and bald but she has travelled the world with me, moved to Singapore when we moved there, was my comforter when I was a child and sits in my study, a quiet, patient solace while I write.
TSP:  Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
AS:  Thanks for having me…it’s been fun and I would love to know from your readers what their favourite “thing” is?

Can love endure across time?
When a seventeenth-century cavalier hurls himself over her garden wall, Doctor Jessica Shepherd is more angry than surprised. Although she ís no stranger to military re-enactors, there ís something different about Nathaniel Preston. If he ís to be believed, something…or someone…has sent him forward in time from the midst of a civil war to the quiet English countryside of the twentieth century.
With time working against them, Nathaniel has to convince Jessica why fate brought them together before he ís forced to return to his own era and certain death in battle.
Can the strength of love overcome all obstacles, even time itself?


Alan and I went through his clothing but found nothing that gave any indication of his identity, either in this century or the seventeenth. The only hint was the finely wrought initials NP in the guard of his sword.
“NP, Nathaniel Preston,” Alan said.
“It doesn’t prove anything. He has a sword with initials that match the name he gave us.” I traced the intricate fretwork on the hilt of the sword with my finger. “What do you know about the seventeenth century Nathaniel Preston?”
“He’s dead,” Alan replied with a wry smile. I pulled a face at him and Alan shrugged. “At the start of the war he formed his own local regiment and declared for the king. He fought at Edgehill but spent most of the rest of the war in local defense of this area. A few days before Naseby, he was instrumental in deflecting the parliamentary advance at the battle of Chesham Bridge.” He stopped. “I am not sure going to Heatherhill Hall is such a great idea.”
“Because he may not like what he finds out.” Alan looked into the depths of his coffee mug.
“Like what? That he’s dead? I think even he may have worked that out.”
Alan looked up at me. “That he died at the battle of Chesham Bridge.”
“Oh.” A cold shiver ran down my spine. Even I knew the date of the battle of Chesham Bridge--12 June, 1645--its anniversary would be in nine days time. I tried not to think what it would be like to know the exact date of your death.

BUY here.


Secrets In Time isn't your typical time travel story in that both protagonists get to experience each other's time period in a cleverly plotted storyline where there's a specific reason behind the travel.  One man's desire to save his son has him looking to the future and willing to give up all he knows to get him the medical help he needs.  Through the use of witchcraft, and a crafty old woman, Nathaniel sets forth a plan that has him landing in Doctor Jessica Shepherd's backyard.  His charm and old school gallantry soon has them forming a strong bond that has her doing all in her power to see BOTH him and his son safe in a story that's a bit slow moving in parts but one that you can't put down.

Jessica is a strong-willed woman with an ex-boyfriend who won't go away.  Her ex has left her doubting that love exists and believing in only what science has taught her.  So an unexpected visitor in historical garb falling over her garden wall immediately puts her defenses up.  With help from her brother who's a history professor she soon has to accept the truth of time travel and the fear of death that history says will befall Nathaniel.  The attraction between them built quickly but believably as his charm and intense nature drew her in.  The sexual encounters between them were of a more sweet nature, not at all graphic, but no less satisfying.  Her time in the past was fraught with danger as she desperately tried to change fate and save Nat but she faced it with strength and bravery.  Once back in our time her fight wasn't over as her ex again decided to cause problems as she continued to show her bravery which made her HEA all the more satisfying.

Nat too doesn't disappoint as he shows great bravery in adjusting to modern times.  He has an insatiable desire for knowledge so all the new discoveries excited him and made his adjustment fun to watch. His romance with Jess was full of sexual tension from the moment their eyes met and his old world ways of romancing were right out of a romance novel, and though she subtly mocked it, he completely won her heart.  Nat always seemed in control, always calm, never showing anger and it made me feel confident that his plan would succeed even when things looked at their bleakest.  Nat is a heroes hero and I was completely drawn to him and rooted for his HEA every moment.

This story was cleverly written with moments of the paranormal seamlessly inserted into the storyline.  This resulted in a bit of head hopping as Nat communicated with his Grandmother who kept him focused on what needed to be done.  Some readers might be turned off by this but I enjoyed seeing these extra insights and thought it added to the overall storyline.  Likable characters, a sensually satisfying romance, realistic scenes of battle, and a clever mish-mash of paranormal elements and time travel all combine to create a memorable and intriguing story.  Add this to another feather in Alison Stuart's writing cap.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.


Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of historicals with heart.  Whether duelling with dashing cavaliers or waywards ghosts, her books provide a reader with a meaty plot and characters who have to strive against adversity, always with the promise of happiness together. Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes.  She lives with her own personal hero and two needy cats and likes nothing more than a stiff gin and tonic and a walk along the sea front of her home town.  She loves to hear from her readers and can be found at her website, facebook, twitter and Goodreads.

Twitter:  @AlisonStuart14


Alison will be awarding ecopies of her two previously published books THE KING’S MAN and the award winning BY THE SWORD, which are set in the same period as this story, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

-To be entered, leave a comment, along with your email addy.
-Winners will be chosen randomly from all comments made throughout the tour, so the more you comment the greater your chances of winning.  A list of all participating blogs can be found here.
-Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM CST on 6/10.


  1. History, romance and time travel. It sounds like my type of book. rcoope23(at)

  2. Thanks, Rachel. You sound like my kind of reader :-) and thank you to my hostess with the mostest for her lovely review too :-)