25 Jul

“I Was Hooked Pretty Quickly…” 4.5 Star Review


http://theresalikesbooks.tumblr.com/post/56095277759/book-review-the-photo-traveler

 

I’m Theresa! I’m 19. I love reading – mostly YA, but I like others as well. I’m going to attempt to read at least 50 books in 2013. Wish me luck! :)
  • TEXT4
    notesBook Review: The Photo Traveler

     

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    Summary

    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, life will never be the same.

    – (Amazon)

    What I Thought

    I had never heard of The Photo Traveler, before I saw an advertisement for it on Epic Reads.  Instantly, I was intrigued, which is something, because I usually don’t pay much attention to advertisements at the side of my screen. I saw it was only $0.99 at the Nook store, so I decided to go ahead and buy it.

    I was hooked pretty quickly. I found the story really intriguing and I was drawn to the idea of time traveling through photos.  I loved the plot!  I also loved how Gavin talked and acted like a regular 17 year old.  It made his character seem realistic.  I also loved Gavin’s relationship with his grandparents.

    I have to say the only thing I didn’t entirely care for about this book, was that some of the events and relationships happened very quickly. Without spoiling anything, I felt like certain moments were being built up to happen slowly, and over time, and then all of a sudden they were already happening.

    Also, like most self-published books I’ve read, I caught a couple of typos, but for me at least, they didn’t distract from the story any way.

    Also: CLIFFHANGER!!!

    So, overall, I highly recommend this book!

    Arthur Gonzalez, please finish book 2 quickly! I can’t wait to read what happens next!

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11 Jul

Interview by Digital Book Today


http://digitalbooktoday.com/2013/07/10/interview-196-arthur-j-gonzalez-author-of-the-photo-traveler/

Interview #196: Arthur J. Gonzalez author of The Photo Traveler

July 10, 2013

By 

Our interview is with Arthur J. Gonzalez author of The Photo Traveler (4.6 stars, 57 reviews). Before the interview a brief book description: Kirkus Reviews praises The Photo Traveler for its emotional realness and creative vision, stating, “In the hands of a lesser author, this concept might have been a difficult sell, but Gonzalez grounds his novel in emotional reality, making it easy for readers to suspend disbelief during the fantastical portions”.

Interview with Arthur J. Gonzalez

1. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I remember writing as early as elementary school.  I would create stories and drawings to accompany them.  Recently, I found a series of drawings from when I was in about 4th grade.

Since then, I always wrote, but for some reason my interest surrounded poetry and song writing.  I think I was very insecure at the full-length writing process.  But in 2007 my father passed away. It was completely unexpected, and ambushed completely ambushed my life.

It was after this moment that I decided that I would dive into the realm of my dreams and bring them to life.  Since then, writing has been an everyday occasion for me.  A single day doesn’t pass by where I have not written.  Because of it, I find myself feeling much more fulfilled.

2. What inspired you to write The Photo Traveler?

One of the most important people in my life was facing a difficult time when their grandmother passed away. I remember him crying, staring at an old black and white photo of his grandmother in Havana, Cuba.

He said, “I’d give anything to travel into this picture right now and hug her.”

I jumped off the couch and pretty much shouted,  “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. 

3. What’s your book about?

Short Version:

The story follows a seventeen-year-old teenager as he discovers his ability to time travel through photos and images.

Long(er) Version:

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 time 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, life will never be the same.

4. Tell us a little about your main character.

Gavin is a character comprised of self-hate and guilt.  He believes he is not worthy of love.  He holds himself accountable for nearly every bad thing that has occurred in his life.  At his very core is a person who wants to fit in to a family and find his greater purpose. And though he is (rightfully) careless and immature at times, he is a loving and naturally nurturing person, and through his experiences he will discover what has been a part of him his entire life

5. What do you enjoy the most about writing?

I love creating the story.  There’s no right or wrong way to go.  You can literally let your mind wander in any and every direction.  Also, imagining the potential emotional reaction I may have on someone is priceless.

 

6. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I think the biggest obstacle I faced was my own self-doubt.  At some point I started questioning it all, becoming very insecure.  I’d ask myself, “Is anyone going to like this?”, “Am I serious?” , “Should I just stop?”

I would read other novels and compare it relentlessly, thinking mine would never compare.

But fortunately, I drilled right through those doubts.  I promised myself not to give up even if my mom was the only person to buy a copy.

At some point, you need to throw aside all insecurities and hand yourself over to faith. You just have to believe.

7. Where do you get the inspiration to write?

Ha! Where don’t I get inspiration to write?  Inspiration is around us at all times, I think it’s just up to us to take notice.  I’ve been inspired while I’m running, doing groceries, watching TV.  You name it, it’s happened.

8. Who is your favorite author and why?

Rather than choose an author, I’ll choose a favorite story-teller.  For me, there is no one that can measure up to the creative genius that was Walt Disney.  He may not have illustrated the faces that were attached to such iconic films, but it was his constant vision and relentless creativity that paved the way.

9. What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?

I’ve been reading like it’s about to go extinct.

But when I’m not writing or reading, I like to laugh. I like to go to the movies.  I am a fool for creating memories. Life’s too short. If I were to suddenly die, I want to make sure the last thing everyone remembers, was that I was smiling.   <~~ Sorry for the downer. ;)

Oh yea…and 99.99999% of the time I’m drinking coffee.  -___-

10. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Yes! I love you all- stay tuned for my upcoming works.

I’m definitely working on the sequel to The Photo Traveler, titled The Peace Hunter. I cannot express how excited I am about this book! This story takes off in directions I, myself, could not believe! ;)

My children’s novel, Monty and the Monsters, will hopefully be ready by end of summer/end of year. The story is about a newborn human boy, Monty, who’s taken from his world and raised by monsters (in a hysterical monster world I created, called Gloomsbury). Monty is raised by monsters his entire life, carrying the burden of feeling different, but never knowing he is actually a human. His life is filled with isolation and loneliness, constantly being the target of heavy bullying.

On Monty’s 15th birthday, he is informed of the truth of his origin and given the opportunity to venture to his human world; where there, Monty will have to decide if he will stay in the world he was stripped of, or stay with the monster parents he has grown to love, in a world that has always shunned him.

The story is about love, blended family, acceptance, bullying, and finding your way.

The second novel is part one in a still untitled YA series surrounding the end of the world. This story, though, takes place ten years after the fact, where five 5 teens wake to an earth that has evolved into a completely different planet than they remember.

They are forced to resuscitate their kind and reestablish civilization.  But they soon realize why their world ended and discover that earth is still at its mercy.

And then I’m also working on an adult Fiction series surrounding Greek Mythology, The Olympian Chronicles: Hades. Think True Blood with Greek Gods, rather than vampires and werewolves. It’s an edgy, sexy, and modern take on Greek Mythology, with a 21st century twist. What would our favorite tales look like if they took place in today’s world.

This will be epic.

You can sign-up to my mailing list on my website, under the Contact page, at:www.arthurjgonzalez.com

All information will be released through here first! J  Plus Goodies!

Social media and buy links:

Connect with Arthur J Gonzalez:

Blogwww.arthurjgonzalez.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/arthurjgonzalez

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/arthurjgonzalez



08 Jul

One of the Best Reviews on THE PHOTO TRAVELER so far! WOW!


http://synchchaos.com/?p=8058

 

1st July
2013
written by SynchChaos Staff

The divide between literature for older children and literature for adults has gotten much smaller than it once was, in the past decade; and the gap between books intended for adults and those intended for teens is smaller still. In the sci-fi/fantasy genre it is perhaps at it’s smallest; with adults devouring the latest Harry Potter,/Twilight/Hunger Games books along with their kids. The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez is a novel that is classified in the YA (young adult) or teen genre. Why? It has a teenage protagonist, certainly (and one who actually acts like a teenager as opposed to many of his counterparts in other books who act 17 going on 45). But if the character were to be written ten years older, the only really notable change would be that he would (hopefully) be a bit more mature and less impulsive. All of the other circumstances could be altered slightly to fit an older hero. What I am getting at here, is that The Photo Traveler is a novel written for teens and about a teen, but it’s one that could just as easily be enjoyed by adults.

Our protagonist, Gavin Hillstone, initially finds himself in a situation that no child should have to face. His parents were killed in a house fire when he was just out of diapers and he has no real memory of them. He was legally adopted by his foster mother, a kind woman, whose murder he witnessed in a convenience story robbery gone wrong. Living with her drunken, abusive husband, Gavin’s only escape from the ugliness in his life is photography. However, one day, Gavin learns that his paternal grandparents are still alive and across the country in Washington DC. If he had living relatives when his parents died, why was he in the foster system? Why would his grandparents willingly put him up for adoption? In search of answers Gavin runs away to DC, where he meets Bud and Estelle, the family he never knew he had. Bud and Estelle claim that that gave Gavin up so that he would be safe until he was old enough to learn the truth about himself and his family. His family is the descendants of a group of explorers who found something enabling them to travel through time and space via images. If a picture is of a real person or place, Gavin can go there by uttering a simple chant. At first he uses this ability the way a teenage boy would use it: recklessly. But he soon learns that others are after the power that the Photo Travelers possess and more besides. As a holder of that power Gavin has tremendous responsibility to use it wisely.

YA novels with boys as narrators are rare, and when they are written (often by women) the boy is sort of a fantasy version of a male teenager. The Photo Traveler’s greatest strength is that Gavin feels like a 17-18 year old male. In other words, there are times when he can be intelligent, charming and endearing, and there are times when you want to throttle him! For example, he shows kindness and generosity during the Great Depression, but when he sees a photo of his friend’s beautiful cousin who died years earlier, he naturally decides to steal some pictures of her so that he can go back in time and start a relationship with her. Surely nothing could go wrong with that plan, right?

Of course things do go wrong, there and elsewhere. Gavin is warned that with time travel he has to be careful of “the butterfly effect”. He can’t influence past events. But he’s not aware of the secrets that exist within his own family. It is these secrets that make his trips to the past more dangerous than he realizes, and make him wonder who, if anyone, he can trust.

If you’re a fan of any genre, there are times when you know where the book is going more or less. That’s true here as well. But there are times that the author throws you curve that leaves your head spinning. For me that happened about ¾ of the way through the book and again in it’s last few pages. I had been enjoying my journey with Gavin until that point, reading the book at a fairly quick pace. However, then something happened. There was a very definite point at which I stopped being able to put it down until I’d finished. Even finishing the book didn’t leave me satisfied, because as I turned the page following a giant cliffhanger I learned that I could keep an eye out for the sequel. Well, now I’ll have to. I’m hooked! Like Gavin, once the reader gets started on a journey he/she will need to see it through to the end.

Fran Laniado hails from New York, NY and may be reached at fl827@hotmail.com. 

Arthur Gonzalez’ Photo Traveler may be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Photo-Traveler-Series-Volume/dp/0988891646

 



07 Jul

The Photo Traveler Hits the #53 Spot on Amazon Kindle’s Top 100 Science Fiction Time Travel Books!


The Photo Traveler Hits the #53 Spot on Amazon Kindle’s Top 100 Science Fiction Time Travel Books!

 

The Photo Traveler eBook is #53 Under Kindle’s Science Fiction/Time Travel Stories! AHHHHHHHH!!! ::faints::

If you haven’t bought it, please, please do it now!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Photo-Traveler-Series-ebook/dp/B00BI4KEQC/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360886583&sr=8-35