Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Time Apart, Book Barrage, Interview, Give away and Review #cblspromos

A Time Apart: A Novel
by Brittany Batong
Time-Travel Romance
Publisher: Chances Press, LLC
Release Date: Feb 25, 2013
Heat Level: Sensual
Word Count: 105,000

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A Time Apart explores the bittersweet duality of our existence among the past and the present, through the eyes of Kara, a twenty-something art school graduate who has resigned herself to contentment in the routines of everyday family life as a commuting suburbanite.

An unexpected attraction to Jake, a slacker-colleague in her office, is further complicated when a visit to a lavish old movie palace initiates a journey into the past. Kara and Jake inexplicably find themselves thrown into the turbulence of Los Angeles during the Great Depression, maintaining a feigned marriage as inhabitants of a boarding house in a forgotten community of Los Angeles called Bunker Hill. As partners in a past that is both exciting and adversarial, Jake and Kara begin to develop very real romantic feelings for one another, even as they are bound to identities in a time that does not yet exist.

A Time Apart follows two people as they discover a Los Angeles beyond their separate lives, beyond all comprehensible experience, and beyond that which is real or imagined.

Preface: 2011
Sometimes I walk around downtown, imagining it not as this Los Angeles, but as our Los Angeles. My mind strips away the high-rises and the mirrored glass, isolating what is left of the city that we knew, surrounding it with the familiar places we walked; supplementing the self-absorbed professionals of the Financial District (who seem to me to talk to themselves but really into their hands-free devices) with instead the department stores and proprietors of “Art Lane”, defying the assumptions of the highbrow set, making statements and movements with their thoughts and their art. What would they think of this overly polished place their world has become?

I wander to 6th Street, seeing not the jumbled mix of cheap eateries and plain façades, but the warm bookshops burgeoning with poetry and compatriots; imagining the streets not with orange Metro buses and blue DASH buses, but instead with red and yellow cars that sail past on their cable connections, Delia reaching out to grab them, her laughter ringing in my ears.

And then I think of Jake, my mind carrying me to all the places we walked that first day. Sometimes I retrace our steps from the Theatre District, with its treasure trove of lavish movie palaces, to Pershing Square, where my reverie allows me to push away the gaudy concrete and primary colors of a park redesign gone wrong; and instead see the trees and grass of that other Los Angeles. My eyes continue to the grand old Biltmore Hotel, still as proud and dignified as it was and now somewhat out of place, and I smile as I think of that first night. If only I could dream vividly enough, I could bring to life the steep incline up Olive Street to Bunker Hill and find my way home to our old Victorian, up the concrete steps and through the creaky porch, into the parlor where our friends gather, spinning records on the old Victrola while I trip on the back step as Jake tries to waltz me around the room. My heart begins to throb in my throat and tears sting at my eyes.

But on I walk, as if it is the only way to keep those memories real.

It is when the memories are their most vivid that I chance upon a group of colleagues, who smile at me and say “hello”. I smile back but resent this invasion, this reminder that the place we knew is no longer here. That place, that life that we lived before us, before now, is gone forever. I am completely alone in its dreamlike memory, my profound grief unspoken, my loss without a voice, strangled at the back of my throat, a silent cry: unutterable.

About the Author
Brittany Batong finds that the most fascinating stories lie within the hearts of seemingly ordinary people. She enjoys working and playing in Downtown Los Angeles, uncovering its hidden treasures; and lives in Santa Clarita, California with her husband and two kids.

Connect with Brittany Batong
Chances Press- info@chancespress.com

Interview Questions: 
1.       Where did the idea come from for the book?

I actually had a situation similar to one in A Time Apart, where an attraction I felt from a seemingly insignificant moment with an acquaintance got me to wondering about how people wrestle with these ideas of emotional faithfulness.  As a married woman, I wondered what I would do if I was thrown into a situation that made exploring those feelings a possibility: would I be able to remain true to who I am and to my husband?  Then the idea of time travel came to mind, and the rest just sort of flowed from there.  I wanted the journey through time to be significant in reach, but subtle in that they don’t realize they are time travelling.  It’s like they just fall through a little hole in time and have to deal with the life-changing effects of that little stumble.
2.       What genre does your book fall under?
We’re promoting A Time Apart as a romance, but really it is equally historic fiction, with a teensy bit of science fiction rolled in with the time travel.
3.       Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
A Jay Hernandez type and a Mila Kunis type.
4.       What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Kara, a married twenty-something art school graduate, shares an unexpected journey through time to depression-era Los Angeles with Jake, a slacker-colleague from her office to whom she feels an unwanted attraction.
5.       Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I started by self-publishing, but then Chances Press picked up the extended distribution.
6.       How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Seven months.
7.       What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Somewhere in Time and The Time Traveller’s Wife.
8.       Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My own experiences informed the contemporary portion of the novel, and then my love for the city of Los Angeles and many of the hidden pieces of its history supported the exploration of that city’s past.
9.       What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The setting of 1930’s Los Angeles is one that is not as heavily explored as others in local history.  This is the everyman’s Los Angeles, not the Hollywood-focused LA that we often see.  There was so much going on at the time!  You have The Great Depression that was paralyzing the economy of the whole country; then there were additional challenges to the Mexican American population with the often unfounded deportation of both Mexican nationals and American citizens of Mexican heritage; and the bohemian arts movements that were happening in Los Angeles also made it this exciting place to be a progressive, creative individual.

My 5 Star Review

For the first time in a very long time I shed tears at the end of a book. It is a story that holds you captivated and you wonder at the final outcome and although you know it could never be a good one it still stirs a wanting for these two characters to be together, to have that happy ending we are all entitle too. But helas it was not mend to be, so make sure when you have your copy to grab a Kleenex at the end.
Co workers Jake Nava and Kara Smith Malagon found themselves at an old theater when a earthquake rocked the building and pushed them back to 1931.
Both were married each with a child and they mourn this loss for some time. Struggling to understand and trying to find away back.
Not sure what happened they found themselves in a world different but yet still the same learning how to adapt to the time difference and finding work. But to find a place to stay proofed they had to be married and for two years they played the role. Fell in love since they thought they would never return to their own lives and had a child together.
Each character had to adapt in their own way into this new life, finding work in a place where the great depression swept through the country and Mexicans were deported if they had no papers. Since they are both half Mexican and have no papers on them they had to be careful.
Trained in art and printing Kara found work at a Stationary shop and soon she was able to make her own art, selling it. Creating an income for them. For Jake it was more difficult, since there was no way he could find a desk job without papers. His love for cars cause him to find work as a mechanic but as times grew more difficult work became less and as time goes on he had to rely on her as sole provider.
Soon Kara's judgmental spirit changed as she get to know Jake for the man he is. Seeing him through new eyes as he makes the best in the situation.
During this time they grew closer to each other and with the loving care of their boarding room friends they established a new found love for each other. Jake aloud her to be her self, helping her and motivating her to the best she could be. His love for her lifting her and making her whole.
I really liked his character, supportive, caring willing to take risks and walking the extra mile for her to proof that he loved her.
When their baby daughter was born their life was complete.
Then the next earthquake hit and life as they grew accustomed to change once again. Finding it hard to adapt since they were back in their old roles being the husband and wife of other people but still longing for each other. Apart but yet still one. Mourning and adapting once again to a new life.
Heart felt and compassionate, the author wrote the story with a deep understanding of their losses in different aspects of their lives. Creating a believable story that touched the heart and I must admit wondering what I would have done in the same circumstances.
A great time-travel romance that takes you back to a time forgotten where simplicity and the genuine care of friends and people was still alive and where two people found a strength they never knew they had.

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Giveaway Info: 
Prize is 10 eBook copies of “A Time Apart: A Novel" 
(1 each to 10 winners). 
Contest is tour-wide and ends May 10. 
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. 

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