Tangled in Time by Pauline Baird Jones
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About Pauline Baird Jones:
Pauline Baird Jones is the award-winning author of nine novels of science fiction romance, action-adventure, suspense, romantic suspense and comedy-mystery. She's written two non-fiction books, Adapting Your Novel for Film and Made-up Mayhem, and she co-wrote Managing Your Book Writing Business with Jamie Engle. Her seventh novel, Out of Time, an action-adventure romance set in World War II, is an EPPIE 2007 winner. Her eighth novel, The Key won an Independent Book Award Bronze Medal (IPPY) for 2008 and is a 2007 Dream Realm Awards Winner. Originally from Wyoming, she and her family moved from New Orleans to Texas before Katrina. Here you will find out more than you’d ever want to know about Pauline and her books!
Tangled in Time Review:
When Pauline handed me her steam punk romance short, Tangled In Time, I must admit that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I have never dabbled into this genre before, but I’m so glad I did. Tangled In Time just oozes with a cool factor that you want to embody, and you get to embark on an adventure you would definitely not want to miss.
United States Air Force Colonel Braedon Carey, a man of the future, finds himself in an unfamiliar location, bruised, and with a buzzard sitting on his chest. Soon after ditching the buzzard, he meets the beautiful and sophisticated Miss Olivia Carstairs, a dead ringer for Mary Poppins, and equally stranded as her transmogrification machine seems to be just as damaged as his traveling device. Together they must find a way to stay alive and get out of the time period they have landed in.
I’m so excited about this review that I don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with the characters. Braedon is a strong military man. He is always thinking on his feet, but has a soft heart that is definitely capable of love. If your heart melts for a man in uniform, Braedon is your man! And Olivia… OMG! This woman just steals the show! She is everything I want to be and more. This late 19th century woman is the very definition of a bombshell. Strong, confident, makes her own decisions, thinks for herself despite what anyone says or thinks, yet is a lady with manners and high standards that she enforces at all times. When was the last time you walked with perfect posture, made unwavering eye contact, and demanded respect from everyone around you with body language alone? The characters were quite easy to fall in love with despite traveling from different time periods. Pauline has proven without a doubt that romance transcends time and space.
The plot and pacing were beyond perfect. It felt like time ceased while I was reading Tangled In Time. Nothing else existed. Nothing else mattered. Braedon and Olivia’s adventure was all I could think of, and I didn’t want to miss a beat of their journey. Tangled In Time has some of the coolest devices with the quirkiest names, like the Individual Discovery Velocipediator. I found that the gadgets and devices gave each character dimension, making their representation of a different time period that much more distinct. It was very easy to follow the science jargon that is sprinkled throughout the short, not once overshadowing the budding romance between Braedon and Olivia.
I can’t thank Pauline enough for exposing me to a new genre. I absolutely recommend reading Tangled In Time to science geeks and non-nerds alike. Pauline has the art of subtle romance down, which is something I can now say that I have been missing on my reading list. Tangled In Time is perfectly executed and an absolutely satisfying read!
10 Questions with Pauline Baird Jones:
1. What inspired you to write Tangled in Time?
I would like to say I was “inspired” to write the story, but it came from desperation, not inspiration. I was trying to write a short story for my writers groups’ anthology. It was supposed to be set around a Texas landmark. I chose Big Bend National Park, because I’d been there years ago and thought it was both cool and unique. I did some research and got zero inspiration (though I did become filled with a desire to visit it again). I had several false starts (very sad false starts) and then I read Soulless by Gail Carriger and thought, wow, steampunk is fun. I wonder if I could throw some steampunk into my short story? And maybe tie it into my other books by using one of the characters. So I guess desperation sort of turned into inspiration at this point. I picked Colonel Carey because I like him and he’s been lonely a long time. As soon as I decided on steampunk elements, Olivia marched into my office and arched a brow as if to say, “What took you so long? I’ve been waiting out there for a very long time.” I had my leads and my setting and I figured out how to get them together and started writing. And writing. And writing. The upper limit of the guidelines for the anthology was 7,000 words. When I blew past 14,000, I knew I wasn’t writing for the anthology. I emailed my editor and asked her if they ever published novella’s and the result is Tangled in Time. I’ve had some people tell me it is too short, but actually, it is too long. (grin)
2. What was your favorite scene in the book?
It is hard to pick just one, because it was such a fun story to write, but I think I’d have to choose their first meeting, when Olivia hopes she won’t have to shoot Carey with her derringer. (Being in Olivia’s head was both fun and challenging, as she had to think and act and talk within her time period. I can’t tell you how many times I had to stop and check when words came into general use! If you’re curious about my research, there are links and a bibliography on my website. I posted them because it amazed me how many books I used to write this short novella.)
3. How is writing a novella different from a regular novel? Will you write more novellas in the future?
The main difference is that my novels come in at over 100,000 words and this novella is a “mere” 28,000. LOL! In some ways it was lovely to write something that only took about a week (after I went through all the false starts and hair pulling to find my plot). The hard part was finding the mini plot in my larger universe. I did toy with the idea of writing a full length novel, but neither character had the right skills, or the right drive, to solve the larger mystery of who is Dr/Professor Smith. I chose to resolve their main problem (how to get home and keep each other) and leave Smith to others to deal with.
4. Can you explain what "steam punk" means to our guests and let us know what attracts you to this genre?
At its most basic, steampunk is just the mixing of anachronistic technology into the Victorian time period, i.e. the mixing of science fiction with historical. Many believe Jules Verne and HG Wells wrote the first steampunk, though they were writing in their own eras. Already authors are out there pushing those boundaries. I mixed a lot of science fiction romance, with just a light lacing of steampunk, because I wanted to tie this story to my science fiction romance series. (I didn’t plan it when I wrote it, it just happened, which is one of the lovely things about writing. I love it when my characters surprise me.) I have a ton of links on the book page for Tangled in Time on my website, because I knew others would be as puzzled as I was about this thing called steampunk.
5. Are you working on a new novel? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I am! It’s called Steamrolled and it picks up not long after Tangled in Time. Robert Clementyne (the brother of Doc from Girl Gone Nova, who makes a brief appearance in Tangled in Time) is trying to learn more about the transmogrification machine and hopefully find out where it is before the mysterious Dr/Professor Smith. When he learns that the family of Professor Twitchet, who invented the machine in 1894, has a small museum dedicated to the Professor, it seems like a good place to start looking.
There he meets a girl (its science fiction romance, so of course there is a girl) and goes on a most amazing adventure with her, one that takes them through time and space. (A funny story, well mildly amusing story, about my research for this book. I went into a rather well known bookstore chain and asked at the help desk for some books on Roswell. She sent me to travel. I was dubious, but went. Of course, not the right books. Went back and said, “I’m looking for books on Roswell. You know, the alien crash.” I’ve never seen such a blank look. I pointed to her computer. “Look up Roswell, New Mexico. Trust me, there will be books.” She was only one surprised by how many.)
6. What are some of your writing quirks?
I’m not sure I’m the right person to ask that question, because of course I think everything I do is perfectly normal. I can’t imagine writing without a Diet Dr. Pepper at hand, for instance. Perfectly normal. Or chocolate (type varies). And a specially assembled playlist booming from my speakers. Ditto normal. (grin)
7. For the holidays, do you prefer to receive a wrapped gift or a gift card?
Gift card. Preferably from iTunes or Amazon. Love my books and my music/games/movies/apps.
8. What Apple App Game are you currently playing?
LOL! You just had to ask, didn’t you? I was playing Farm Frenzy (my husband thinks our neighbor bought a cow), but the recent OS update to my iPad is causing it to crash and hang up, so I’m back to zombie killing with Plants vs. Zombies.
9. What is you favorite holiday treat?
I actually have three that I love like hobbits love mushrooms. Fudge. Christmas Cake (our version uses gumdrops instead of candied fruit) and caramel apple dip. Yum! (I might have to go make at least one of them right now.)
10. What New Year resolution are you thinking about making for 2011?
“Thinking of making” is a good way to phrase this question. It relieves me from the mandate to ACTUALLY make it, in case I change my mind. LOL! Each year I resolve to exercise and each year, it’s the one that falls off as my days ramp up, and yet each year I think about resolving that one again. I even got the WiiFit so I could make it fun and I did pretty good until I fell behind and when I logged in and weighted, my Mii—well, it wasn’t pretty. I think it’s quite evil to make your Mii look bigger just because you’ve had some fudge or cake or something. It’s not the Mii’s fault. And the WiiFit voice always tells you how many days you haven’t exercised. Like it’s any of its business. So yeah, let’s go with thinking of resolving to exercise (without committing to do it via the WiiFit at this point).