After having read Morgan O’Neill’s Roman Time-Travel Series, I knew I had to read their new Italian Time-Travel Series. I’m a sucker for time-travel novels and Morgan O’Neill is on my autobuy list, after all. So I was super excited to read it and happy to post my findings on this auspicious release day!
Title: The Other Side of Heaven
Series: Book 1 of The Italian Time Travel Series
Author: Morgan O’Neill
Genre: Historical Romance (Time-Travel)
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: May 13, 2013
Format: eBook (Paperback TBD)
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Back Cover Blurb:
Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forbearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time.
At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide.
Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?
The Other Side of Heaven is the first in another time-travel series, this time set in Italy, by the fabulous writing duo known as Morgan O’Neill. I eagerly awaited the series after reading the awesome Roman Time-Travel series and my only disappointment was that it ended too soon and I have to wait to read the next book! It was a quick read that kept me riveted to my seat and wanting to return to it (which is hard to do these days due to my busy schedule).
Our action-packed adventure begins when a witch’s curse causes an earthquake, sending spunky heroine Gwendolyn Godwyn and her newly found cousin Stefano into the past. Again, as with the Roman series, Morgan O’Neill’s attention to historic detail is impeccable as the reader is catapulted into ancient Italy and into the middle of a political struggle involving Queen Adelaide and Count Beranger. The story is crafted around real figures and events (Alberto, Adelaide, and Beranger and wresting control over Northern Italy) so well that you feel like you’re there with Gwen and sharing in this part of history even as she adapts to and takes charge of the harshness of her new reality. The romance is light since Gwen and Alberto are separated for much of the story as they each fight their back to each other. But their love blossoms during their separation, and I can’t wait to see it grow in the next book.
First-rate characterization, impeccable historical details interweaved with fictional events, heart-pulsing danger and an organic romance make The Other Side of Heaven another fantastic addition to the time-travel genre.
About the AuthorsSemifinalist win in the 2011 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for After the Fall (published as two novels, Love, Eternally and After the Fall)!
A chance meeting at a writers' conference brought Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O'Neill Cordes together, two award-winning authors who connected because of a mutual love of time travel fiction. Collaboration ensued, the search for a pen name the first step in their working relationship. Their maiden names provided the solution - and "Morgan O'Neill" was born.
Cary and Deborah's backgrounds are uniquely suited to writing stories steeped in atmosphere and history: Deborah has a Master's Degree in history and is a dedicated genealogist; Cary is a talented linguist in French and is currently a student of Latin. They've traveled to Europe's ancient and medieval sites many times, with Cary living on the Continent for five years.
The Morgan O'Neill time travel novels have received a number of literary awards, including two semifinalist wins in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, first, second and third place wins for the Mainstream Novel with Strong Romantic Elements category of the Golden Rose Contest, a top ten finalist award in the Pacific Northwest Writers' Conference Zola Awards Literary Contest, and a top ten finalist win in the Orange Rose Contest. (Bio and photo courtesy of Amazon)
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