Blog Tour and Book Review: A Catalogue of Catastrophe by Jodi Taylor–Historical Fiction Meets Science Fiction



For fans of Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series, Jasper Fforde and Doctor Who.

Finally – finally! – Max has that nice office job she’s always wanted. The one with no heavy lifting and no one tries to kill her. Well, one out of two’s not bad…

Punching well above their weight, Max and Markham set out to bring down a sinister organisation founded in the future – with a suspicious focus on the past.

Max’s focus is staying alive long enough to reunite with Leon and Matthew, alternately helped and hindered by St Mary’s. Who aren’t always the blessing they like to think they are.

But non-stop leaping around the timeline – from witnessing Magna Carta to disturbing a certain young man with a penchant for gunpowder – is beginning to take its toll. Is Max going mad? Or are the ghosts of the past finally catching up with her?

What people are saying about Jodi Taylor:

Once in a while, I discover an author who changes everything… Jodi Taylor and her protagonista Madeleine “Max” Maxwell have seduced me’

‘This amazing series is anything but formulaic. Just when you think you’ve got to grips with everything, out comes the rug from under your feet’

‘Addictive. I wish St Mary’s was real and I was a part of it’

‘St Mary’s stories are the much-anticipated highlight of my year’

‘Jodi Taylor has an imagination that gets me completely hooked’


Another wonderful, action-packed trip through history with the crew of St. Mary’s, a group of historians who “investigate major historical events in contemporary time. DO NOT call it time travel.” This is Book 13, and Max, while still working as a “recovery agent” along with Markham, finds herself with a new office job. She is also fighting strange symptoms that have started to happen whenever she does a time jump. This is not a standalone and the reader will benefit from beginning with Book 1, Just One Damned Thing After Another, and reading the series in order.

Whenever another St. Mary’s book is available, I drop everything to read it. The cast of characters is fun-loving, witty, and smart, and they go through events that are sometimes hilarious, often dangerous, and occasionally tragic. And there are always fascinating history lessons. In this installment, we learn about the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215 and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. The past comes to vivid life, and our historians throw themselves right in the middle of it. Filled with humor, heartache, and history, this is a series that will leave you craving more. Fans will rejoice at this newest installment that heavily features Markham, a fan favorite. New readers of this series are advised to take a time jump to book one and start an adventure they will never forget. I envy those who get to read it for the first time. Whether it’s a laugh, a learning moment, or a punch in the gut, this series has everything.

I happily received a free print copy of this book from Headline via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Jodi Taylor

Jodi Taylor is the author of the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), Jodi spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers, and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.





Self-published Saturday: The Emissary: A First Contact Novel

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-published/Indie authors with the daunting task of marketing. Self-published authors have to do it all, from writing to editing to cover design to going out and selling that book. It’s exhausting. If I can help even a little bit by sharing the book with others, I’m happy to do it.


It wasn’t the aliens she had to worry about; it was the humans.

A troubled young woman is recruited by a race of ancient alien explorers to be their emissary to save the human race from extinction. The problem is that not everyone believes the world is doomed, and not everyone trusts the aliens’ motives. Holly Burton will have to overcome opposition from world leaders, attacks by religious zealots, assassination attempts, intractable bureaucracies, and her own fears and doubts if she is to save the human race, not just from the coming apocalypse, but from itself.

She will have to become a very different person to lead a remnant of humanity into space and become the architect of a new civilization. The question is: Can she use the extraordinary knowledge and abilities given to her without losing her own humanity in the process?


Holly Burton is just a girl living a normal life with her Dad–well, as normal as you can get in a post-apocalyptic world. Then, aliens arrive, announcing that they want to meet with the world’s leaders, and Holly’s life is literally turned upside down. Twelve years later, she is a troubled university professor, and the aliens choose her as emissary. She is to lead a select group of Earth’s people into space so they can prevent the extinction of the human race. There is a real coming of age element, as Holly matures from partying professor to leader and struggles with the politics and suspicion that surround her at every turn. 

This is a compelling story of first contact that portrays how certain governments and individuals might react. The characters are interesting and well written, and Holly is a wonderfully conflicted protagonist who shows real character growth. The plot is well developed and engaging. The idea of first contact is an intriguing one. What would varying reactions be from different countries? Would our world accept first contact or react with suspicion? 

There are some political opinions in this story, so if you avoid politics, be aware. The ending is a bit of a surprise. I would recommend this book to fans of classic science fiction.


Michael J. Edwards is a writer living in the Pacific Northwest (USA). Having unexpectedly found himself in his seventh decade of life, he decided to retire from Boeing and become a writer of speculative fiction. The Emissary is his first novel. Follow him at Buy The Emissary at the links below.

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self-Published Saturday: Unfathomable Plan #Q&A #BookReview

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help Self-Published/Indie authors. These authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit with marketing, I’m happy to do it. Below is a review of a young adult space opera, Unfathomable Plan. It is Book two in the Cosmic Gem series. My review of book one, Unfathomable Chance, is here.


It has been six months After Cosmic Adventure, and just when Diana feels like everything is getting back to normal, the new Bearer of the Cosmos and future Empress of the Universe goes missing. Worse, the very people she’d turned down that very position to, want her help. Because Diana is unwilling to get involved a second time and break a litany of promises she made to her friends and family, Dimar goes in her place. When he disappears while searching for the new Bearer, however, Diana realizes she can’t keep her feet on the ground. Once more, she is thrust across the universe, this time in search of Dimar and her replacement. As Diana zigzags across space in search of Dimar, she begins to suspect that the Heart of the Cosmos might still have a plan for her.


K.T. Munson delivers a solid space opera adventure that fans of young adult science fiction will love. This book has everything from a talking Guardian Cat to a space search across the galaxy. There is even some mythology woven into the story. The world-building is literally out of this world, and the author’s ability to create fascinating planets and their inhabitants is impressive. There is an underlying theme of not being afraid to reach for your destiny, or literally reach for the stars. The characters are captivating, and I connected with them easily. I definitely want my own Guardian Cat! The plot is engaging and enjoyable. Get in your spaceship, bring your cat, and start this adventure now!

4.5 stars. Rounded up to 5 on sites without a half star option.

I downloaded this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.


K.T. Munson is an independent author. First published at 5 years old in the young writer’s conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog,, which is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.


I’m so glad to share with you a great interview I did with author K.T. Munson below.

Let’s go beyond the bio. Tell me something people might not know about you from reading your bio?

My bio mentions I’m an Alaskan, but what it doesn’t say is that I draw on a lot of experiences from growing up in Alaska. Everything from archery (both recurve and longbows) to experiencing all the diverse ecosystems the Last Frontier has to offer. I used to play in the wilderness and concoct all sorts of daring adventures.

What was your inspiration for the Cosmic Gem series?

It was the culmination of a few items; as is typically the case. Much of Diana’s dialogue and quirks are based on funny jokes, stories, and/or messages I received from a good friend of mine, Caitlin. She’s always supported my writing and it is something that I hope connects us even when life tries to get in the way. I also wanted to try my hand at a sci-fi setting and a YA-friendly book. Thus, the birth of the Cosmic Gem series!

My favorite character is Kal Zed.  Who cannot love a guardian cat?  Is there a real-life cat who inspired this character?

Yes! Emma-bear (who has sadly passed away) was very much the inspiration for Kal Zed. She was a unique and lively cat that was for sure my little furry companion. She brought so much joy to my life that it just felt right to include a cat as a companion in the books! Also, for anyone who has a cat, please tell me they aren’t aliens!

You have done a fantastic job of world-building a complex space adventure series.  You created more than one world and its inhabitants.  How did you organize and tackle such a big job?

This one is tricky to answer since world-building has always come so naturally to me—I just ‘see’ different worlds or ideas and bring them to life. When it came to building an entire cosmic universe, I wanted the first book to focus only on what Diana knew, so very little science, much more about what is observable. To accomplish this I already had ideas formed for the one-off interactions that were basically surface level. Then for the places she visited more, I started writing down what kind of experience I wanted the reader to have or what kind of world made sense for the people on it. I applied the same thinking for book two, but Diana knew more, therefore, the reader got more glimpses into technology and its different applications. As Diana learns more about the cosmos in each book, so will all of you!

Diana was chosen for a great position in book one, but did not want to accept it.  She frequently admits feelings of unworthiness to herself.  Was it important to you to introduce this theme?

The idea of feeling unworthy or ‘imposter syndrome’ was more to introduce the concept that Diana wasn’t ready. She didn’t feel ready to take on this powerful role at that time. I wanted to show that it is okay to not be ready when opportunities arise, but you have to live with the consequences of those choices. The second book explores the fallout from her ultimate choice in book one and how to deal with regret while not letting it paralyze you from moving forward.

What were the challenges you found when writing about space travel?

I knew I wanted the story to start off with a very soft sci-fi that gets a little more complex but still stays in the YA realm. That meant I had to make some very specific decisions about the rules, not only of the overall space travel but the limits of the universe or multiverse as a whole. With the limitless potential, it would be easy to lose the story and characters to the sheer world-building needed for a space-opera of this scope. I had to limit myself to only so many new worlds. Otherwise, I would have just kept building like an endless game of hopscotch.

How many books do you plan for The Cosmic Gem series?

There are four books planned for the series, so halfway done!

You have self-published several books.  What have you learned along the way that you can pass on to other self-published/Indie authors?

Find a good editor. Bookselling is much like selling a home you’ve lived in for years, the buyers won’t love it is as much as you do. Along that same vein, not everyone is going to love your book(s) and that’s okay. Figure out which parts of the process you aren’t good at, find other writers who are able to help and do the same for them, or hire someone who fills that role. Find a good editor.

Thanks so much, K.T., for your great answers! We appreciate you taking the time to do this interview.


Amazon US

Amazon UK

*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self Published Saturday: The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray

Self-Published Saturday (SPS) is my effort to help self-published and indie authors with the heavy task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, from cover design to marketing and more. This is my effort to take a bit of that load and help promote their books every week on a Saturday. The next book I’m recommending is The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, a clever and compelling time travel adventure. See the review, author bio, and cover rating below. Please be sure and share this review with your social media followers. Even if a particular book is not your cup of tea, it might be theirs, and the authors will appreciate it so much!


When William Wells buys a watch for his girlfriend in 1984 London, he has no idea he is setting off a set of circumstances that will have him running for his life as a murder suspect. The watch is not what it seems, and those who are searching for it will do anything to possess it.

This is a compelling time travel adventure set in London in 1984 and various other time periods. The characters are well written and the action grabs you on the first page and does not let go. As a fan of time travel fiction, the method of time travel is extremely important to me, and the method used here is both creative and fascinating. The rules and nuances of all the time shifts and their repercussions bend the mind a bit, but not so much that I couldn’t keep up. I was entertained throughout, and I’m a pretty demanding reader when it comes to time travel fiction. 

To address something readers may notice, the dates of some events may not exactly match up to reality. For example, the main character went to Blockbuster in London in 1984 although in reality Blockbuster wasn’t founded until 1985 and didn’t spread outside the US until the 1990s. However, this is TIME TRAVEL fiction, not historical fiction. The time travel in this book had been going on for many years and many circumstances were changed. So it’s entirely possible that in this time-manipulated universe, Blockbuster was already in England in 1984. I loved the explanation in this book of how merely bumping into someone on the street could cause a catastrophic event for the whole world. Therefore, a business being founded early in a book about the manipulation of time doesn’t raise any eyebrows for me. 

I truly enjoyed this book and hope to see the characters again in a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book via BookSirens. I also downloaded it on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


O.R. Simmonds

Oliver R. Simmonds is a Writer, Director and Artist working in the Games Industry and author of The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray.

Before working in the games industry, he spent nearly a decade dreaming up deep, detailed worlds with weaving narratives only for them to be ‘value engineered’ by clients. It was during this time that he decided he no longer wanted to be a frustrated writer and to try to be an actual writer instead.

He ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to help fund the publication of his first novel, The Timepiece and the Girl Who Went Astray, which is now due for release in 2021. His second book is currently being edited and slated for release sometime in 2022.

Oliver lives in surrey with his wife and two young boys. His eldest son is named after Doc Emmett Brown and the youngest’s middle name is Adventure (yes, really). It’s not all that surprising that his debut is a time travel adventure then. 






I think it’s a very effective cover. The title and author’s name are extremely visible. I am always intrigued by clocks, and they work well on this cover. The bit of added gold is very eye-catching.




*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Spotlight: Kindle Unlimited

Every Saturday starting today I will turn my spotlight on great books that Kindle Unlimited members can get at no additional charge. My first spotlight is on Arriving Through Time by Heather L. Barksdale. This is a young adult Time Travel adventure. This book can be picked up at no additional charge by Kindle Unlimited members.

Arriving through Time by Heather L. Barksdale is a Young Adult time travel novel. Lizzie has been through a family tragedy and is having a tough time, but she is supported by her two best friends, Sam and Jeremy. They are currently navigating high school life and dealing with bullies Gary and Tiffany. Then a class project has Lizzie wondering about her ancestors, and a school trip ends with the three friends hurtling through time, along with their bullies and Lizzie’s secret crush. Although at first it appears to be a freak occurrence, the time travel seems very designed, as all of the teens begin to meet long dead ancestors.

What I loved about this story is that it combined time travel fiction and genealogy, two of my favorite pastimes, and it did this in a clever way. A class project and a DNA test have brought questions about Lizzie’s ancestors to the surface, and unexpected time travel gives her a chance to get answers. This book reminds us that our ancestors were living, breathing, people, not just names on a family tree. They blazed the way for us, good and bad, and everything they did enabled us to be alive today. We also learn something along the way as we visit people and places that are important to American history.

I loved the way time took the six travelers to locations that were pertinent to all of them and their ancestors and gave them both answers and surprises. I find that in my own genealogy research. 

If you are a fan of young adult novels, time travel, genealogy, and/or historical fiction, you will enjoy this book. I received a free copy of this book from the author. I also picked up a copy on Amazon, where Kindle Unlimited members can read it for free. My review is voluntary. 

Link to the book on Amazon:  

Link to Heather L. Barksdale’s website:  

Link to my review on Goodreads (Like and follow if you are so inclined)


Heather L. Barksdale has been a physical therapist, a researcher, a military brat, and now a novelist.  She has also traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia seeking adventure.  She is an avid fan of historical fiction and calls upon her adventures as inspiration for her stories.  It was one such adventure that inspired her to write Arriving Through Time. She and her husband share their home in Jacksonville, Florida where she is currently writing the sequel to continue the story of Lizzie and her friends.