Amber Gifts Series
Kevin B Henry
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel
Publisher:Champagne Books, Burst
Date of Publication: November 03, 2015
Number of pages: 78
Word Count: 25,000
Cover Artist: Ellie Smith
Tag line: A simple research project goes horribly wrong once murder and time travel get involved.
Mitchell and Crystin are living on the west coast of Florida in the Seventies. He has the beginnings of a loving family and couldn't be happier. It’s remarkable how quickly things can change. Perhaps the fate of a Teithwyr Amser is to never be stable, never find love without defending it against the rest of the world, against evil and against the fabric of time itself.
A simple TV documentary will spin Mitchell out of control as he first attempts to prove the filmmakers wrong and then ultimately find and protect his new family from a monster of his own creating.
Available at Amazon
Part of me was like some detached, immature schoolboy. I was the hero, bound for adventure and looking for the infamous villain with hope of making all things right and returning to the hearth fires of my home, victorious. I was Robert Downey Jr. playing Sherlock Holmes. I was John Wayne playing almost any role. Hell, I was David Tennant playing The Doctor.
The problem was, I wasn’t playing, and if I wasn’t real damn careful I was going to end up playing John Wayne in The Cowboys or even worse, William Shatner in Generations. God, please make my death scene more interesting and meaningful than that. These thoughts poured through my brain as I walked across the street.
By the time I reached the opposite side I exuded cool, matter of fact demeanor and displayed no heroics. Simple confidence was my copilot. Caution was my mantra. I had an almost-wife and a beautiful baby girl to return to.
I took a winding path that led me to Commercial Road. The darkness was all engulfing. More than half the lampposts were not functioning. It cast every turn, every alleyway, every alcove in total blackness. I walked cautiously but without any appearance of trepidation. I did not want to appear an easy target.
Women of questionable morality approached and quickly departed. I was polite, but firm in my refusals. There was certainly no questioning their hygiene or their state of inebriation. A very high percentage of the female residents of Whitechapel turned to prostitution. Most began as a way to make a living, but as they turned more and more to alcohol to erase their memories, the act became more about the next drink and less about the money. Most could be had for the cost of a shot of gin, about fifty cents.
The first victim, Polly, went out one last time the evening of her death because she thought she looked exceptionally well. She had a new bonnet. She had no teeth, but the hat made all the difference, I’m sure.
I found the cut off that led south from Commercial Road and made the turn. Less than a block down this street was the Socialist Club and adjoining the club was a small open courtyard. As I walked toward the club entrance, I heard a sound I can only call a muffled gurgle. I sprinted the rest of the way to the courtyard opening. There, lying on the ground was Elizabeth Stride. Kneeling beside her was the one and only, Jack the Ripper. He was nothing I had ever expected.
The man stood as I came to a halt at the courtyard opening. He was much shorter than I would have expected. I had envisioned a mixture of Vincent Price, Frank Langella, in his early films and just a hint of Malcolm McDowell, again from his younger days. This Ripper was none of those.
As I mentioned, he was not tall, perhaps five foot six, no more than five foot seven. He was portly. That is the only word I can use to describe him. While his clothes fit well, they could not conceal his amble midsection, nor his arms and hands, which I can only describe as doughy.
His face surprised me the most. I had expected to see an angry, scared, possibly deformed individual. Jack’s face was almost angelic. It was round, and I would swear it appeared to have baby fat in the cheeks.
About the Author:
From an early age, Kevin B. Henry was a voracious reader. His collection of science fiction, fantasy and mystery books bring tears of envy to the eyes of many small community libraries.
Kevin has worked as an educator, technology specialist and day laborer most of his adult life. During all that time he lived the life of a frustrated author. That it took 30 years for him to piece together the series, Amber Gifts is a testament that the best meals need slow cooking to bring out the flavor.
The Amber Gifts Series begins with Amber Gifts. The second story, which is really the first, is Amber Prelude, and is available now. The third story, Amber Legacy continues where Amber Gifts left off. It will be available in November 2015. All are published by the wonderful folks at the Champagne Book Group. A fourth story is in the process of being written.
Kevin is a natural story teller, so it’s logical that he lectures occasionally. Topics range from the implementation of cutting edge technology hardware to the creation, modification and use of e-books within education. He constantly pursues research to expand his range of possible topics. His most recent research revolved around the aerodynamic properties of reindeer. He’s also been known to include little known facts and trivia within his presentations. Did you know just 146 years ago today the Union Army marched into Atlanta. It took longer than anticipated. They were delayed by a traffic jam on I-75 and the toll booth on Ga. 400
He continues to live in the Mid-West without human or domesticated mammal companionship.
Where are you from?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. I spend some years in the Rockies and even more years on the east coast, mostly Florida and South Carolina. Now that I’ve moved to the Midwest I have officially lived in all four continental times zones. I may need to retire to Alaska or Hawaii to complete the set.
Tell us your latest news?
The latest literary news in the release of my third story, Amber Legacy. I’m very excited about this release. I enjoyed the creation of the story and hope people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed the writing.
Of course I’m working on a fourth story in the series. It seems the ideas never stop.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a story teller. Being such an avid reader it seemed logical to go from being a teller of stories to a writer of stories. There’s just something in a persons bones that makes the telling almost as natural as eating or breathing.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d written things for years but it wasn’t until Champagne offered to publish my stories that I started calling myself a writer. I guess there was some requirement for outside validation that kept me from using that label until then. Of course now I can’t stop using it.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My first story, Amber Gifts was just an idea I had sitting alone in a park at the beach one afternoon. The opening of the story was sort of a day dream I had sitting there. I marched myself home and wrote out what I had envisioned. From there the story took off in my head and I just tried to keep up with it.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think I have a specific style per se. What I have is a way of non-linear story telling that has confounded my editors and publisher. You have to pay attention to the plot. I may tell you something now that will be important six chapters from now. It’s not horribly complex, it’s not rocket science but I’m not going to talk down to my readers either. I want to respect their intelligence.
How did you come up with the title?
All the titles in this series contain the word Amber. Usually before I am finished with the first half of a story I have a title in mind. This title came to me as I was doing my research. I tried others but Amber Legacy was the only title that I kept coming back to. Sometimes I think these stories name themselves.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’m not big on messages. I’m not trying to write anything social or politically. I just want to entertain. Hopefully that is what people get from my stories, entertainment.
How much of the book is realistic?
I do a lot of research for my stories. I try to keep the history as realistic as possible, considering this is a work of fiction. I want people to feel like the story is part documentary, even when it’s not.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Yes. Once I invented time travel it was easy to incorporate events into my stories from past centuries.
Seriously, I think most writers use bits and pieces of their experiences. I’m no different. I just use camouflage to make them fit into the current story.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I read a lot when I was young, mostly growing up on Heinlein and Clarke. I remember the stories by Clarke often had a twist or something unexpected in them. I like thinking I could do that in my writing, if only to a minor degree.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It’s hard to pick one. In fact, I dedicated Amber Legacy to a list of living writers who have inspired me throughout the years. My next story will list writers who have passed away.
What book are you reading now?
The Aeronauts Windlass by Jim Butcher. It’s the first in a new series by Jim and I’m very excited about it. It’s always great to have things to look forward to.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m so old school, Jim Butcher and Dean Koontz seem like new kids to me. I try to read new short stories when I can but I’m cautious not to let them effect my own story telling.
What are your current projects?
The next Amber story in the series. I’ve spent three books setting up the rules for time travel. Now I think it’s time to break a few of those, don’t you?
What would you like my readers to know?
I deeply enjoy the stories that I tell and hope that your readers will enjoy them as well. Thank you.
Amber Gifts Series: www.ambergifts.blogspot.com
Champagne Books www.champagnebooks.com
Facebook (Amber Gifts) www.facebook.com/AmberGifts