From the Publisher
J-14 Magazine book club:
If you like historical fiction like Anna Godbersen's The Luxe or fantasy romances like Aprilynne Pike's Wings (and of course, Twilight), you'll love J-14's newest book club pick: Timeless by Alexandra Monir.
Michele Windsor is just your average California beach girl, but after a terrible tragedy strikes her family, she's forced to move to New York City and live in a stuffy mansion with the grandparents she's never met.
While making friends and fitting in at a new school is hard enough, Michele also has to unravel an unbelievable family secret an old diary that has the mysterious power to transport her to the year 1910. In this other world, Michele meets Philip, a gorgeous and sweet guy who's haunted her dreams her entire life. Convinced he's her soulmate, soon she's leading a double life and caught up in a race through history to save Philip's life.
I was so drawn into Michele and Philip's love story that I tore through Timeless in just two days! Once you've finished the book, head over to our J-14 message boards to discuss. You can also download the original songs that play a crucial role in the Timeless plot! (http://www.j-14.com/2011/01/j-14-book-club-timeless-by-alexandra-monir.html)
There is nothing quite like curling up with a book you just can’t seem to put down—and wouldn’t want to even if you could. Enter “TIMELESS”, written by Alexandra Monir. I was lucky enough to interview this impressive young author about her debut book and can’t wait to share some sneak peeks into the story, as well as into Alexandra’s own life, with all of you!
“TIMELESS” will sweep you away from era to era, alongside main character Michele Windsor as she defies the constricts of time and engages your heart and mind. The power of music is embedded deeply in this story, as Michele turns out to be a song writer—just like the author really is! Alexandra, in her own words, says that “music is how we express ourselves when emotions are too overpowering for just words, and with a love story like TIMELESS, there are definitely overwhelming emotions at play that only the music my characters write together can fully express! “ Alexandra is so passionate about music that she actually recorded two of the songs from the story (bonus: the songs are available via digital download to anyone who purchases the book!).
Alexandra expertly hits the sweet spot in this story, weaving together the perfect blend of quality content, romance and heart-pounding adventure that fill every page. She is currently working on the sequel to this novel and we could not be more excitedly awaiting its arrival. “TIMELESS” is one book I guarantee you do want to miss, but just let me warn you—the characters and story are sure to come alive in your hands and leave a lasting impression in your heart! (http://savvymagazine.blogspot.com/2011/01/timeless.html)
Children's Literature - JoAn Watson Martin
Michele lives with her single mother, happy in their relationship, secure in her school and her best friends, Amanda and Kristen. But circumstances change and she is sent to live with her grandparents in New York. Michele knew that her mother had been totally estranged from her rich "blue blood" parents since she married and moved to California. Michele has never known her father. Her grandparents seem cold and uncaring. She has the room her mother grew up in, her meals are served in her room, and she rarely even sees her grandparents. While unpacking a box sent by her mother's lawyer, she finds a golden key that looks very old and was owned by her father. It twitches as if it is alive. A recurring dream has persisted since she was young. In the dream she remembers a key and a boy, but she has no idea why or what. Is it witchcraft or voodoo? When she finds a worn and dusty diary she stares at the last entry: October 10, 1910. Today is October 10, 2010, exactly 100 years ago. With the speed of light, Michele time traveled back one hundred years! Only a waif looking girl, Clare, could see her. The author gives the reader a glimpse of society, fashions, customs, and New York City as Michele learns how to go back and forth. When she finds the boy from her dreams, the boy with the sapphire eyes, the two of them try to figure out how this happens. Could Albert Einstein have written about time travel? Many strange adventures keep Michele traveling, but she learns about her family from long ago and realizes she might be able to change history. Would it be for better or for worse? Reviewer: JoAn Watson Martin
VOYA - Ann Reddy Damon
Michele Windsor's humble life changes dramatically after her single mother is killed in an accident. As hard as that experience was, it was easy compared to the events that follow her move to live with her estranged New York aristocratic grandparents, the renowned Windsors. In her struggle to find out what caused the family rift, Michele is put in the exact room and school as her mother. It turns bizarre when she finds the diary of her great-great-aunt Clara, and in reading the entry from exactly one hundred years ago, she is transported back to 1910. Reminiscent of Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife (MacAdam/Cage 2003), Michele falls in love with Phillip Walker, who is not only an anachronism but also from the rivaling family who lived in the mansion next door. While she cannot completely control her travel, especially the return to 2010, she uses a glowing key she found in her mother's possessions. Like all good historical fiction, this novel effectively compares courtship, the constraints of society living, and differences in language. Most of the novel takes place in turn-of-the-century New York, but Michele also visits her teenaged great-grandmother during the roaring twenties and her grandfather as a child during World War II. While the novel suffers from some incredulity in the time traveling, it is a good read for teens looking for a love story. Reviewer: Ann Reddy Damon
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—When her mother dies in a car accident in California, Michele Windsor is sent to New York City to live with her high-society grandparents whom she has never met. Via her Great-Great-Aunt Clara's diary, she is suddenly propelled back in time to 1910, where she not only meets and interacts with her Windsor ancestors but also with the young man whom she has been dreaming of her entire life, Philip Walker. The two fall in love. Trying to live between her two worlds, Michele discovers that only by giving up her "timeless" love for him can she allow Philip to attain happiness and reach his true potential. While much of the explanatory prose and dialogue tend toward trite, there are enough twists and turns to make the story interesting, if rather hokey. Philip's promise to find a way back to her will entice readers to seek out the sequel. While the protagonist is generally well-developed, the secondary characters are fairly stereotypical: e.g., the ever-faithful boyfriend, willing to sacrifice his societal position for love, who finds solace in his music. Youngsters intrigued by time travel will revel in Michele's adventures into the past, enjoying the historically accurate details, while her amorous trysts with Philip, accented by the difference in mores between his time and hers, will appeal to romance fans. An additional purchase for collections trying to attract reluctant, romance-prone readers.—Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, The Naples Players, FL
Following her bohemian mother Marion's sudden, accidental death, Michele Windsor is shipped off to live with her estranged, Old Money grandparents. Marion could never forgive the elder Windsors for bribing Michele's father to abandon them when she was in utero, so naturally, Michele is devastated to leave groovy Venice Beach for the uptight Windsor family mansion in Manhattan. Everything changes when Michele discovers that the unusual skeleton-key necklace she's seen countless times in her dreams is real and that it sends her back in time whenever she touches a historic document. Whoosh! Michele is off to 1910, where she meets the boy who haunts her dreams, Philip Walker, scion of the Windsors' neighbors and business rivals, and—oops!—her great-great-aunt Violet's fiancé. Traveling through time chasing after her would-be ancestor and befriending her sassy female forebears from the 1910s, '20s and '40s, Michele learns about love and strength and begins to unravel the mystery of her father's true identity (hint: He's not a cad, after all). At least one sequel will follow. Overwritten, overwrought and undercooked. (Supernatural romance. YA)
Read an Excerpt
Michele stood alone in the center of a hall of mirrors. The glass directly in front of her revealed a girl identical to Michele, with the same chestnut hair, ivory skin, and hazel eyes; even wearing the same outfit of dark denim jeans and black tank top. But when Michele moved forward, the girl in the glass remained still. And while Michele's own neck was bare, the reflection in the mirror wore a strange key hanging from a gold chain, a key unlike anything Michele had ever seen.
It was a gold skeleton key in a shape similar to a cross, but with a circular bow at the top. The image of a sundial was carved into the bow. The key looked weathered and somehow wise, as though it weren't inanimate, but a living being with over a century's worth of stories to share. Michele was momentarily seized by an urge to reach through the glass and touch the curious key. But all she felt was the cool surface of the mirror, and the girl with Michele's face betrayed no notice of her.
"Who are you?" Michele whispered. But the mirror image didn't respond, didn't even appear to have heard. Michele shivered nervously, and squeezed her eyes shut. What was this?
And then, suddenly, the silence was broken. Someone was whistling, a slow melody that created goose bumps on the back of Michele's neck. Her eyes snapped open, and she watched in shock as someone joined the girl in the mirror. Michele's breath caught in her throat. She felt paralyzed, unable to do anything but stare at him through the glass.
His eyes were such a deep blue they seemed to dazzle against his contrasting thick dark hair. Eyes the color of sapphires. And though she could somehow tell that he was around her age, he was dressed like none of the other boys she knew. He wore a crisp white collared shirt under a white silk vest and tie, formal black pants, and black patent leather shoes. In his white-gloved hands, he held a black top hat lined with silk. The formal clothing suited him. He was more than good-looking, much more than could be conveyed by the word "handsome." Michele felt an unfamiliar ache as she watched him.
Her heart racing, she stared at him as he carelessly peeled off his gloves and dropped his hat, the three items falling together in a heap on the floor. He then reached for the hand of the girl in the mirror. And to Michele's astonishment, she felt his touch. She quickly looked down, but though her hand was empty, she could feel his fingers interlacing with hers, the sensation causing a flutter inside her.
What's happening to me? Michele thought frantically. But suddenly she couldn't think anymore, for as she looked at the boy and girl embracing in the mirror, she felt strong arms encircling her own waist.
"I'm waiting for you," he murmured, smiling a slow, familiar grin that seemed to hint at a secret between them.
And for the first time, Michele and the mirror reflection were in sync as they both whispered, "Me too."
Michele Windsor awoke with a shock, gasping for breath. As she took in the sight of her darkened bedroom, her heartbeat slowed and she rememberedit was just The Dream. The same strange, intoxicating dream that had haunted her on and off for years. As always, waking up from it brought the pain of disappointment into the pit of Michele's stomach, as she found herself missing himthis person who didn't even exist.
She'd been just a little girl when she'd first begun dreaming of him, so young that she hadn't yet resembled the teenager in the mirror. The dreams were infrequent then; they came just once or twice a year. But as she grew up, looking like the twin of the girl in the mirror, the dreams began to flood her consciousness with a new urgency, as if they were trying to tell her something. Michele frowned as she slumped back against her pillows, wondering if she would ever understand. But then, Confusion and Mystery had been principal players in her life since the day she was born.
Michele rolled over onto her side, facing her bedroom window, and listening to the waves lapping the shore outside the Venice Beach bungalow. The sound usually lulled her to sleep quickly, but not that night. She couldn't seem to get those sapphire eyes out of her head. Eyes that she had practically memorized, without ever having seen them in her waking life.
"See that I'm everywhere, everywhere, shining down on you . . ."