Dear Readers, please welcome author Liesel K. Hill back to the blog. Today, she brings us a most entertaining guest post!
Of All the Perks of Time Travel, This Has Got to Be the Best
As a writer who tells stories across multiple genres—crime, historical, fantasy/sci-fi—I have some unique opportunities that writers who stick to only one genre don’t get.
There are plenty of readers out there that read in multiple genres—most, in fact—but not all will read the exact genres I write. This means that the number of people who read everything all write will be relatively small compared with my overall readership. As an author who loves, respects, and greatly appreciates her readers, I feel like I ought to reward that kind of loyalty in some way.
My newest book, The Botanist, is a contemporary crime fiction set in rural southern Utah. It’s not a story that has a single thing to do with time travel, even if clandestine history (my favorite kind) does play a major role.
And yet, one of my other stories (Interchron) takes place in a futuristic dystopian world. It’s a world that’s very different than our own, but it’s still supposed to be our world.
And…it includes time Travelers. Which creates a gateway for me to have all kinds of fun letting my characters invade one another’s worlds.
Even most authors who happen to write, say, both contemporary and historical would have trouble letting their characters cross paths. It’s general only done with characters in the same genre. Fantasy characters who all inhabit the same cosmos (I’m looking at you, Mr. Sanderson) or contemporary stories where characters wander into one another’s home towns (and you, Mr. King). But characters from completely different genres can’t realistically meet one another, right?
Right! Usually. But cranking out a character who can zap himself across space and time at will kind of puts a monkey wrench in the whole linear-chronology thing, doesn’t it?
My point is, The Botanist is serial killer novel with a bit of romance thrown in, and I hope all you crime aficionados enjoy it. But keep your brain peeled for a random character that might come out of nowhere to point our hero and/or heroine toward their destiny (read: true love) and then disappear again, with no other real bearing on the story.
He might just be visiting from a genre far, far away…
In the heat of the desert, Detective Cody Oliver inadvertently stumbles upon a strange garden adorned with exotic flowers. Upon closer inspection, he finds the garden is but a cover for the scores of bodies buried below. Soon, the small town of Mt. Dessicate plunges into chaos as journalists, reporters, and cameramen from across the nation descend upon the tiny, desert town to get a piece of the action.
Along with the media, a mysterious woman appears. She may be the only person who has come face to face with the killer, dubbed the Botanist, and lived to tell the tale. If Cody can’t piece together a timeline of the land the crime scene is located on, decipher how the woman’s mysterious past is connected to the killer, and bring the Botanist to justice, he may lose the people he values most.
In a world where danger hides in plain sight and no one aspires to more than what they were born to, Inga must find the courage to break the oppressive chains she’s been bound with since birth.
As a maid in the infamous Kremlin, life in 16th-century Russia is bleak and treacherous. That is, until Taras arrives. Convinced that his mother’s death when he was a boy was no mere accident, he returned from England to discover what really happened. While there, he gains favor from the Tsar later known as Ivan the Terrible, the most brutal and notorious ruler ever to sit upon the throne of Russia. Ivan allows him to take a servant, and to save Inga from a brutal boyar intent on raping her, Taras requests Inga to stay in his chambers.
Up against the social confines of the time, the shadowy conspiracies that cloak their history, and the sexual politics of the Russian Imperial court, Inga and Taras must discover their past, plan for their future, and survive the brutality that permeates life within the four walls that tower over them all, or they may end up like so many citizens of ancient Russia: nothing but flesh and bone mortar for the stones of the Kremlin wall.
In a world where collective hives are enslaving the population and individuals have been hunted to the verge of extinction, Maggie Harper, and independent 21st Century woman, must find the strength to preserve the freedom of the future, but without the aid of her memories.
After experiencing a traumatic time loss, Maggie is plagued by a barrage of images she can’t explain. When she’s attacked by a creep with a spider’s web tattoo, she is saved by Marcus, a man she’s never met, but somehow remembers. He tells her that both he and her creepy attacker are from a future in which individuals are being murdered by collectives, and Marcus is part of the rebellion. The collectives have acquired time travel and they plan to enslave the human race throughout all of history. The flashes Maggie has been seeing are echoes of lost memories, and the information buried deep within them is instrumental in defeating the collective hives.
In order to preserve the individuality of mankind, Maggie must try to re-discover stolen memories, re-kindle friendships she has no recollection of, and wade through her feelings for the mysterious Marcus, all while dodging the tattooed assassins the collectives keep sending her way.
If Maggie can’t fill the holes in her memory and find the answers to stop the collectives, the world both in her time and in all ages past and future will be doomed to enslavement in the grey, mediocre collectives. As the danger swirls around her and the collectives close in, Maggie realizes she must make a choice: stand out or fade away…
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