25 Apr

REVIEW FROM WWW.LONGANDSHORTREVIEWS.COM


http://www.longandshortreviews.com/book-reviews/the-photo-traveler-by-arthur-j-gonzales/

 

The Photo Traveler by Arthur J Gonzales

April 25, 2013 by  Leave a Comment

PHOTO
The Photo Traveler by Arthur J Gonzales
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (410 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Aloe

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

Time travel has always fascinated me. While it sounds totally fascinating and like it could be fun, I would view it with great trepidation if it were available. “Safe” is not word that is synonymous with time travel.

Gavin is seventeen years old before he even realizes why photography appeals to him so much. And his first photo travel on his own almost got him killed…

Mr. Gonzales does a nice job of creating a different world where photo travelers are scarce but still surviving. His main character, Gavin, has been living with an abusive stepfather and has no living relatives to his knowledge. When, in the heat of battle, he hears about his grandparents, he’s off to find them. This is the story of Gavin learning about his heritage and about the real circumstances of his parent’s “death”. Gavin is coming of age, but still has a lot to learn.

The author draws you in and makes you care about Gavin. I found myself sympathizing when he made mistakes. One thing I liked was that the author shows how little changes in the past can cause consequences in the future. Mr. Gonzales has created a large consequence for Gavin that totally surprised me, but makes perfect sense.

While Gavin is just trying to survive with his new knowledge, he finds he has enemies trying to kill him. How do you decide who your enemy is when you don’t know anyone where you live? There’s good tension from the worry of who might be after him. And I was even shocked over the death of one of the characters,

It reads well, kept my attention, and I enjoyed the story though sections of it made me feel sad. This would be good for both young adults and adults. The story ends with a cliff hanger and I’ll be watching for the next book in the series to read more. Have you ever imagined time travel? How about looking at a photo and being able to transfer yourself to that time and place? Open this book and you’ll be on your way.



18 Apr

NOOK & THE PHOTO TRAVELER GIVEAWAY ON TEEN.COM


http://www.teen.com/2013/04/18/freebies-and-sweepstakes/win-nook-signed-copy-the-photo-traveler/

 

Win a Nook and a Signed Copy of The Photo Traveler!

BY:  ON  | IN FREE STUFF | NO COMMENTS

 

the-photo-traveler-alh-041113

The Photo Traveler

There is a new YA author and series to be on the lookout for this month!

The Photo Traveler is about a teen that travels to find his grandparents and discovers that his family has the power to time travel through photography. 17-year-old Gavin Hillstone will soon learn that his family’s secret is more dangerous than he could’ve ever imagined.

One first place winner will receive a brand new Nook with The Photo Traveler pre-downloaded onto it already and two people will also get a copy of the book signed by author, Arthur J. Gonzalez.

Head to The Photo Traveler Website to learn more about Arthur J. Gonzalez and read a full description of his new book. Enter below for your chance to win!

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER:

STEP 1: LIKE Teen.com on Facebook

 

STEP 2: Fill out the entry form below and hit submit! In the email field, be sure to use the email address used on your Facebook so we can verify that you’re a fan of Teen.com on Facebook.

This sweepstakes ends May 18, 2013 at 11:59 PM ET. Good luck!

Awesome legal disclaimer: This Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

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Read more: http://www.teen.com/2013/04/18/freebies-and-sweepstakes/win-nook-signed-copy-the-photo-traveler/#ixzz2Qqrky2QJ



18 Apr

INTERVIEW on EXAMINER.COM


http://www.examiner.com/article/interview-arthur-j-gonzalez-author-of-the-photo-traveler

 

n an interview with Author J. Gonzalez, the author for “The Photo Traveler”, he answers questions about how he came to write the book and what has inspired him.

Who influenced you to become a writer?

Every movie I ever saw, or every book I ever read that made me really feel- that’s what inspired me. When I was able to read or watch something that completely switched my mood and demanded my attention- that’s what I knew I would be able to do for the rest of my life and never complain.

View slideshow: The Photo Traveler

Who’s your favorite author?

At the moment, I’m a big fan of John Green. He is one of the most intelligent YA authors. I’m obsessed with his style and lessons in his stories, everything about them to be so perfectly crafted.

How did you come up with the idea of“The Photo Traveler”?

The Photo Traveler Book Cover
The Photo Traveler Book Cover
Photo credit:
Arthur J. Gonzalez

One of the most important people in my life had just lost his grandmother. He was crying looking at an old, black and white photo of her in Havana Cuba. She was probably in her teens in the photos.
He put his hand over her and said, “I’d give anything to jump in this photo and be with her right now.” Something sparked inside, and I asked myself, “What if we could just do that?”
From there, the premise of The Photo Traveler was born.

Have you written anything else in the past that you’d be willing to share with your fans?

I have plenty of things I have written endless stories, poetry and songs. I just have never published anything until “The Photo Traveler”. Who knows- maybe one day I will.

What age did you start writing?

The first memory of writing I had when in elementary school. I drew five characters that were sort of superheroes that lived in space. Then I started writing the story for it. I actually found the drawings when I was moving a few years back and I thought, “Well, I’m glad I didn’t bank on being an illustrator.”

What made you really realize that you wanted to write?

I always knew from a very young age that I loved creating ideas. The best way to elaborate on them was to write them down and create these stories with them. I’d make stories in the form of poetry or songs, too. Then that transitioned to longer stories by default.
But really, after my father’s heart attack blind-sighted us (he was 48 years old) and it took his life (I was 22 and it was the last thing I expected). I decided life was too short. You hear it all the time, you know? “Life’s too short.” “Take advantage of it while it’s here.” And yes, we listen to it when it’s convenient. But sometimes – at least for me- it takes a trauma like this to wire your thoughts around it, and understand how very true that is.



03 Apr

5 STAR REVIEW by http://darkfaerietales.com


http://darkfaerietales.com/review-photo-traveler-arthur-gonzalez.html

Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez

March 30th, 2013
Posted in Review | No Comments »

Title: The Photo Traveler

Author: Arthur J. Gonzalez

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Series: N/A

Publication Date: February 20, 2013

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0988891611 (Arthur J. Gonzalez)

ISBN-13: 978-0988891616 (Arthur J. Gonzalez)

Reviewed by: Kiwi

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life.  Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His mother’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images.  But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters.  What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials.  Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

Quick & Dirty: “If you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted in one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?” -Eminem

Opening Sentence: What do you do when a sudden gust of wind forces your boat totally off course and into the unknown?

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

As far as the main character in this title, Gavin Hillstone is concerned, life pretty much sucks. He was put in the foster care system at a young age after the death of his parents. His adoptive father became an abusive drunk after the death of his wife — which he blames on Gavin, by the way. His adoptive sister is rather mean and his poor step-mom…  The seemingly singular bright light on an otherwise gloomy existence his love for photography, and how much of an escape and pleasure it is for him. One evening during a particularly bad fight with his father, Gavin discovers that he has real grandparents living across the country; he does not hesitate to buy a bus ticket out of there.

When he makes it to DC and finds his grandparents, they have yet another surprise for him. Gavin, and those of his family who came before him, are Photo Travelers. Members of only a few families, who can, with a small chant, travel back in time to any moment that has been drawn or photographed. And guess what?!? His parents might even be alive. Accompanying all these revelations is a gamut of emotions for Gavin to endure, and us along with him. All the anger and betrayal, the happiness and even wonder, the excitement of the knowledge of his power to travel into those same photos he once only loved to take. And the ability to finally meet his parents… utter heart melt.

But as it must, life goes on. Gavin enrolls in school, makes a new friend or two, life is good for one minute in time. He, as with any average teenaged male, even meets a girl. Though the circumstances surrounding that love affair are anything but average.  Just when life seems pleasant, the reality of the inherent dangers of photo travelling, and what it means to be the last of his line keep smacking him in the face. Just as he’s beginning to wrap his head around the all too real consequences of all of his actions, the people after him are using them to their advantage. Even Yogi, the “I’m gonna be your bestest friend ever” turned “I’m a criminal mastermind, I killed your family.” By the by, totally stellar idea on how to get rid of that issue, although *whoa!* on what he finds out afterwards. And the members of that group, The Peace Hunters, well they be just plain scary crazy.

And about that ending.  This book’s end is heart stopping for Gavin and those closest to him, as well as for those of us who are reading about them. If any of you have read my previous reviews, you know that I hate hanging off those cliffs that appear on the last pages of any book. The anticipation, the long days waiting, the re-reading the book over and over as not to forget one single paragraph. I’m kidding. Maybe. So, next book please and thank you.

As I was perusing the other reviews for this book, I came across one that states how realistic sounding Gavin really is. It’s true. I don’t traditionally read a ton of YA, but it did strike me that Gavin actually feels 17. Sometimes, as adults we forget exactly what 17 felt like, or we put in ideas and sayings that were current for us back then. This is one YA book that I will be recommending to my teenager. It is nice to find books in this genre that aren’t all love-sick and whiny. And bonus, the lead in this series is male, with flaws and a life that doesn’t magically all go his way. Who knows about pain and sorrow, learns about happiness and joy. And even what happens when you give that same happiness and joy to someone else without first taking the necessary precautions …*ahem*

When all is said and done, I have to say I quite liked it. This is this author’s debut and I for one would like to see more from him.

Notable Scene:

I had such a hard time choosing the notable scene for this review. I kept waffling between the love, loss, pain, heartache, action and drama. Eventually, I just closed my eyes, flipped through the book and put my finger on a page. Dramatic action it is.

__________________

Bud shouts and I hear a loud thud. I finally jump to my feet. He’s on the ground in the middle of the mob. I can’t see if he’s moving.

“Leave him alone!” I yell, but I’m helpless. I’m too far away, and they’re closing in on him like greedy vultures.

Magistrate Howland grabs Bud’s rifle and aims it at me. “To your knees, demon!” he shouts.

My hearts stops.

“We are not demons! Please! Spare us!” I beg, but something slams into the back of my head. Hard. And everything goes black.

***

When I come to, I’m enveloped in a cloud of smoke that’s growing thicker by the second. The back of my head is throbbing and as I start to choke, I realize that Bud and I are slumped on the platform—tied together back to back with the same rope that would have snapped my neck.

Below us the crowd is still jeering and chanting, “Burn! Burn, demons! Burn!”

They’re burning us alive.

FTC Advisory: Arthur J. Gonzalez provided me with a copy of The Photo Traveler. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.



03 Apr

Interview on http://best-of-ya.blogspot.com


http://best-of-ya.blogspot.com/2013/03/author-interview-with-arthur-j-gonzalez.html

 

Author Interview with Arthur J. Gonzalez

Title: The Photo Traveler

Author: Arthur J. Gonzalez
Release Date: Feb 13, 2013
Seventeen-year-old Gavin learns that he is one of the last descendents of a small group of Photo Travelers–people who can time travel through photos and images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!
Goodreads |
| Amazon Kindle / Paperback |
Smashwords |

Hi Arthur! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about your new book! First off, describe The Photo Traveler in 3 words for us?
Adventurous, Intriguing, Unpredictable.

What inspired you to write The Photo Traveler?
One of the most important people in my life life was facing a difficult time when their grandmother passed away. It affected him in such a deep way that it consequently affected me. I remember him crying, starting at an old black and white photo of his grandmother in Havana, Cuba. He held it, starting at it like she was talking back to him.
He said, “I’d give anything to travel into this picture right now and hug her.”
I jumped off the couch my mind spinning in every direction. “What if you could?”

And from that moment…The Photo Traveler was born. It was perfect. It was as if she and my father plotted in the Heavens to gift me this story.
What is different about The Photo Traveler?
Okay…so let me be honest–we all know time travel has been done over and over again. But I wanted an idea that everyone would hear and think, “Oh my God.  I wish I could do that!” or “Hm…that sounds awesome.” And what better way than to time travel back and relive memories?
We live in a particular age where we document and photograph nearly everything we do. It’s a huge piece of this younger generation’s culture. I wanted to make sure whatever I did was relatable. There are no time travel machines, but there are millions of photos that anyone can pick up and travel to.
Are any of your characters based on yourself or someone you know? 
Some are. The character Yogi is loosely based on one of my best friends. And besides the more intense, dramatic storylines to Gavin, I see a lot of me in him.
Have you always been interested in becoming a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. I began with writing poetry and music, but I progressed to imagining these stories I had to share. In some form or another, I have always wanted to be a writer.
What book are you currently reading? Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks, or hardcover?
I just wrapped up the Beautiful Creatures series and I enjoyed it tremendously. As far as what why preference is–at first I was adamant on only reading physical copies of books, but I succumbed to my Kindle and we have never parted since. I love her very much.
What do you think is more important: character or plot?
There needs to be a balance of both in order to produce a success (like a marriage). Characters help propel the story forward, while the plot promotes and helps develop who the characters are. I don’t think you can have a truly epic story with both.
Do you have any advice for young writers?
First and foremost, there needs to be a relentless belief in yourself. Even if you are insecure or scared, you must believe that there is no other way for you. You cannot accept anything less than what you have dreamed of. Second, you need to be completely committed to your book and story. Take your time. Know your characters better than you know your very self. Also, connecting with your readers. Understanding what they want and how your stories can inspire them and generate emotional attachments. And lastly, do your research. Know what’s available. Think outside the box for promoting your book. Never expect that success will be given to you. Work for it. Achieve it. Earn it.
What’s next for you?
Hopefully somewhere in a Best Seller’s category!  😉 But in the mean time I’ll be writing the sequel to The Photo Traveler, called The Peace Hunter. It will be absolutely amazing. I’m also working on three other novels. I feel a little crazy. But I love it. All I have to say is: lots of coffee…lots and lots of coffee.

Once again, thank you for sitting down with us & good luck with your new novel! 

_______________________________________________________________________

About the Author:
The Photo Traveler is young adult author Arthur J. Gonzalez’s first novel. Arthur was born and raised in Miami surrounded by his loud Cuban family. He graduated from the University of Florida, where he acquired his coffee obsession and his chocolate hoarding antics. He’s the proud father of one baby girl, Sookie–his miniature schnoodle dog. Arthur is a self-professed goodball who spends 98% of his life laughing. He’s now working on his second novel.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter |


03 Apr

WOW- INDIEREADER.COM APPROVED!!!!


http://indiereader.com/2013/04/the-photo-traveler/

 

Verdict: Arthur J. Gonzalez is an entertaining storyteller. There is never a dull moment in his story, and the characters are for the most part multi-faceted.

Gavin Hillstone is seventeen and eager to leave his dysfunctional home. His birth parents died in a house fire when he was very young, and a few years later his adopted mother was killed in front of Gavin in an armed robbery.

Gavin’s adopted father is a big drinker with emotionally and physically abusive tendencies. One day Gavin learns that his grandparents are still alive and living on the east coast. He runs away from home and takes a bus from his home in Nevada to Washington, DC.

Gavin’s bus trip is interrupted by a strange encounter with a young woman and man who seem to have it in for Gavin. But he makes

Purchase The Photo Traveler (The Photo Traveler Series) from Amazon



03 Apr

AMAZING Interview by LiteraryEtc!


http://literaryetc.wordpress.com/2013/04/02/interview-arthur-gonzalez/

 

Interview: Arthur Gonzalez

Posted on  by 

I’m really happy to welcome Arthur Gonzales today to Literary, etc! His book, The Photo Traveler is already available. If you’re a fan of YA or science fiction / time travel, this is a book you’ll enjoy reading. I reviewed it here.


Q. Tell me a little bit about Arthur Gonzalez, other than the standard bio on your website. 
I’m someone who wants to make people feel good about themselves. At the core of it all, I am a lover. I live to laugh. I like to be silly and goofy, and tell cheesy jokes. I obsess over those moments where you laugh so hard you feel you may actually die of laughter.

My father passed away, by surprise, of a heart attack, at the age of 48. Ever since, I’ve been on this journey of wanting to leave behind something meaningful. Hypothetically, (and I think of this way too often), if I was destined to leave this Earth at such a ripe age as well, I want to leave behind the memory of someone who inspired. Someone who motivated with love and strength.

I also like to volunteer. The best volunteer experiences I’ve had were helping out in Haiti right after the earthquake, and playing with terminally ill children for weeks at a time in a Paul Newman, called Camp Boggy Creek.

Q. Have you always had an interest in time travel and science fiction?
Science Fiction, yes…but time travel, not so much. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of time travel, but no more than the next person. But after the idea came to me, I was all too inspired. I couldn’t stop thinking of the possibilities.

Q. As a first-time author, how many projects and stories did you discard along the way to The Photo Traveler?
I have files upon files upon files of stories I have started on, and are either midway complete or just needs to be edited. I was initially going to release my children’s book, Monty and the Monsters, first, but my editor and I both felt the timing was right for The Photo Traveler. So I refocused all of my energy into getting it out there.

Q. What type of research did you conduct while preparing to write The Photo Traveler?
I explored countless websites and books on the historical pieces/adventures of The Photo Traveler. I not only wanted to the readers to vividly imagine this past world, but I hope I’d be able to teach them something they didn’t know before. You know, a mix of something educational masked by the entertainment.

Q. You’ve stated in several interviews the inspiration for The Photo Traveler was a friend grieving for his grandmother. Has he read the book and how did he react to the concept?
Absolutely. He’s been someone who I’ve (forced) asked repeatedly to read the manuscript. The idea was inspired by a major loss, and in some intangible way, he feels his grandmother lives on through it. He loves the concept and has the bragging rights to say he inspired the story!

Q. Gavin is attracted to photography. Why did you choose this profession, and how did you prepare to write about it?
It felt like the perfect match. Time traveling through photos- what better way to propel this story, than to make the main character a photography nut. It was a way to link Gavin’s personal passion to his newfound ability. It felt like the right match for a person who’s always felt alone and not in control of their life. It was a way for him to hold on to moments that were otherwise, always taken from him.

Q. History plays an important role in The Photo Traveler. Why did you pick the time periods that you feature (Salem Witch Trials, the Great Depression)?
Before I began scribbling ideas down, I asked myself, “What periods would I personally like to travel to?” The Salem Witch Trials and The Great Depression immediately came to mind. Then I thought- “How can I tie this into a story and make it meaningful and keep the plot moving forward.

Q. The crystal vials associated with Machu Picchu in The Photo Travelerreminded me of the crystal skulls associated with pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. What attracted you to use Machu Picchu as the source of creation for the photo travelers?
Sometimes (or most often, really) I’ll live vicariously through my writing. I’ve dreamt of going to Machu Picchu for a very long time. Integrating it as part of my story was a way to discover it, to deepen my understanding of it. In doing so, I was able to create this alternate reality that revolved around a destination I would love to visit.

There will be a lot more of Machu Picchu and its history to how it relates to Gavin’s ability in book 2, The Peace Hunter. Hopefully, I will be able to visit- ahem- for “research”, of course.

Q. Photo travelers are distinctive because their eyes change to purple. Why did you decide on this trait and where did the idea come from?
When I began outlining the story, I was trying to think of something that would symbolize the story. Something that someone would see and immediately think ofThe Photo Traveler. Then one night I woke up in the middle of a dream where I had imagined Gavin with these stellar purple/violet eyes. There was no going back from that. I just felt it was perfect.

Q. I’ve always imagined time travel to be hard on the body and maybe painful. Most time travel plots feature a bit of pain for the protagonists. Why did you stay away from this aspect? In your opinion, if time travel was possible, do you do think it would painful?
I wanted to steer away from a lot of the common ideas that had been used already. I tried to completely erase my mind of anything I had ever read about, and push my creativity for something that was different. Time travel (so far) is not physically possible; so who knows if it would hurt.

As for my own person opinion, I think time traveling – if it were possible – would give me a perpetual massive migraine. I would probably be addicted to Excedrine or something. :)

Q. Gavin in many ways is sheltered when compared to those in his peer group. Was there a particular reason to keep him innocent? By innocent I mean, Gavin not having set foot in a museum before.
There are several factors that contributed to his innocence. The two major ones being: 1) the abuse from his adoptive family and 2) his own personal guilt. I wanted his experience when venturing across the county to be an eye opening and liberating experience full of new opportunities. I was sending a message to youth, that no matter how horrible things may be at some point in their life, that something greater awaits them if they dare seek it. I wanted to inspire those who feel alone; that they should never, ever, ever give up.

Q. Meesha is an interesting character and one who helps Gavin when he needs it. Why do you think she looks out for him? Will we see more of her character in book 2?
Meesha is by far one of my favorite characters. I wish she were real so I can have a drink with her and laugh. She will most definitely be in book 2, The Peace Hunter. I think Meesha has taken this maternal approach towards Gavin because she understands, or senses, what he’s been through. She can sense that at his core, he is a boy that wants nothing more than to be loved and accepted. Maybe something happened in Meesha’s life- something we have yet to learn- that Gavin reminds her of.

Q. Let’s talk for a moment without giving spoilers about Gavin falling in love with Alanna. Some readers won’t be able to associate with it and the consequences of an encounter with her. What was your initial reaction to Gavin falling for a girl who only exists in the past and would the initial plot for book 2 still be possible without the implication of what Gavin did?
There will always be a consequence for the decisions Gavin makes in the past; the extent, however, will always vary.

I really wanted Gavin to experience the emotion of that first love, but also realize that everything has its consequences. It was a means to the dramatic impact I wanted for him to experience.
I wanted readers to think, “Wow. What would I do in this situation?”

Q. Given the opportunity, which time period would you travel to and why?
Like Gavin, I would (hands down) time travel to the prehistoric era. I need me some dinosaurs in my life!

Q. You’re writing a children’s novel, how difficult is it to write for children versus a young adult?
It’s different. The content is different, but I think the message is always there. You can ice a chocolate cake with vanilla or strawberry frosting, but it’ll always be chocolate cake. At the end of the day, it’s about understanding who you are writing for and knowing what is and is not appropriate for that demographic.

Q. Finally, what can we anticipate for book 2, The Peace Hunter
I am crossing my fingers to have it done by the end of this year/early 2014! I’m about a third of the way done. Lets just say….Gavin will be visiting a lot more than the past, through pictures. (Hint: Peru, Paris, Future, Flinstones) ;)

Epilogue

1. Favorite museum?
Natural Museum of National History (D.C.)

2. Beach or Mountain?
Beach (I’m from Miami- come on, now!) ;)

3. Favorite Song?
Amber- 311; Hotel California- Eagles; Come What May- Moulin Rouge version; Doo Wop (That Thing)- Lauryn Hill

4. Mister Rogers or Sesame Street?
Mister Rogers

5. Favorite Sport?
Not a huge sports buff, but I’d go with basketball.

6. Favorite City?
Paris is my love.

7. Favorite Superhero?
Ice Man or Gambit



03 Apr

GREAT review on www.followmethere-jes.blogspot.com


http://followmethere-jes.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-photo-traveler-by-arthur-j-gonzalez.html?spref=tw&m=1

The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez

I had the great honor of having Arthur J. Gonzalez start following me on Twitter a few months back, and I decided to see who this mysterious person was so I did a quick little search and found this gem. Aside from the amazing storyline, the fact that he is:

  1. Cuban – I tell everyone including my husband that if I were to ever marry again it would be to a Cuban 😉
  2. From Miami – My family lived there for years and I still have one crazy old aunt there that I go back to visit every summer. I have already been promised to get a good restaurant hook-up next time I am in town…

Both made me want to read his book even more. Not to mention, he is super friendly and will totally respond and mention you in tweets! Lucky me then that I managed to snag digital copies of his book in two different giveaways (I entered both hoping for a paperback, but hey! I’m not gonna complain :))
I won one copy from Izz “Pingle” Bookish Place and another from Literary, Etc.

The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez
Synopsis by Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn’t alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

My Thoughts: I was drawn into this story from the first paragraph. You could tell the torment behind Gavin’s actions even in the opening scene where his “sister” ignores him and subsequently causes him the torture that follows. Right after that episode gavin discovers that he still has grandparents living across the country and he hightails it to the bus station and “gets the heck out of Dodge”. I think that those actions are fairly believable and I appreciate the fact that Gonzalez gives us backstory about Gavin’s adoptive parents and his living situation. We find out that life hasn’t always been like this for him, and the further you read, the more you understand why things are the way they are.
There are several things that stood out to me throughout the book; the initial meeting with Yogi being one (Hello, that camera was a major tip off!!!),Gavin’s visits with his parents (that is just cool and confusing at the same time), and Gavin’s reaction to Alanna’s picture being another. I knew from the moment I read that scene that it would become a major player in the book. I am very interested to see how Gonzalez unfolds that development throughout the next book.
Overall, this was a very well written book, with good character development and backstory. There are many unanswered questions, but I knew going into this book that it was the first in a series, so I expect some of those questions to be answered in The Peace Hunters. I think this fully deserves the 5 stars I gave it :)