The Time Collector by Gwendolyn Womack
Travel through time with the touch of a hand.
Roan West was born with an extraordinary gift: he can perceive the past of any object he touches. A highly skilled pyschometrist, he uses his talents to find and sell valuable antiques, but his quiet life in New Orleans is about to change. Stuart, a fellow pyschometrist and Roan’s close friend, has used his own abilities to unearth several out-of-place-artifacts or “ooparts”—like a ring that once belonged to the seventeenth-century mathematician and philosopher René Descartes, but was found buried in prehistoric bedrock.
The relics challenge recorded history, but soon after the discovery, Stuart disappears, making him one of several psychometrists who have recently died or vanished without a trace. When Roan comes across a viral video of a young woman who has discovered a priceless pocket watch just by “sensing” it, he knows he has to warn her—but will Melicent Tilpin listen? And can Roan find Stuart before it’s too late?
The quest for answers will lead Roan and Melicent around the world—before it brings them closer to each other and a startling truth—in the latest romantic thriller from Gwendolyn Womack, the bestselling, PRISM Award-winning author of The Memory Painter and The Fortune Teller.
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Praise for The Time Collector
“A wonderfully intriguing tale, filled with the mystery of objects that tell a story. The Time Collector’s fast pace and fascinating premise will delight history and romance lovers.”―Yangsze Choo, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghost Bride
“A compelling exploration of time, history, and our primal need to connect with the past, The Time Collector is also a rollicking adventure through ancient mysteries and the moving story of two stunningly drawn characters, chasing the answer to the question of what it means to be human.”―Charlie Lovett, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookman’s Tale and The Lost Book of the Grail
“Gwendolyn Womack weaves a suspenseful tale that tackles the question of ‘time’―how it’s measured, its impact on nature and human consciousness―and I could hardly put it down! The Time Collector is a treasure trove of ancient artifacts, mysticism, and intrigue, sprinkled with a dash of romance―my very favorite things. What a book!”―Heather Webb, international bestselling author of Meet Me in Monaco
“The Time Collector is a fascinating tale of psychometrists, people who touch an object and sense the stories embedded within them. Pick up this book and you too will be transported across the globe and the centuries into exhilarating worlds filled with history and mystery, magic and mysticism, romance and danger. Its pages make the past come alive. Once you hold this object in your hands, you won’t be able to put it down.”―Amy Weiss, author of Crescendo
About the Author
Originally from Houston, Texas, GWENDOLYN WOMACK studied theater at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and holds an MFA in Directing Theatre, Video, and Cinema from California Institute of the Arts. She is the USA Today bestselling author of The Fortune Teller and the RWA Prism Award-winning reincarnation thriller, The Memory Painter. She resides in Los Angeles with her family.
Blog Tour Schedule
Tuesday, April 16
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Wednesday, April 17
Excerpt at The Book Junkie Reads
Friday, April 19
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, April 24
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Thursday, April 25
Interview at Passages to the Past
Friday, April 26
Feature at Historical Fiction with Spirit
Tuesday, April 30
Excerpt at Kimber Li
Wednesday, May 1
Review & Excerpt at Clarissa Reads it All
Thursday, May 2
Review & Excerpt at Broken Teepee
Friday, May 3
Review at Tar Heel Reader
Saturday, May 4
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Sunday, May 5
Review at Carole’s Ramblings
Monday, May 6
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, May 8
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews
Thursday, May 9
Review at Henry & Benny’s Book Nook
Friday, May 10
Review at Coffee and Ink
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of The Time Collector! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 10th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
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– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
“How did you become so good at reading things?”
Her question surprised him again. He wasn’t used to anyone asking him about his ability. Even his mother had stopped years ago. He tried his best explain. “Growing up in New Orleans was like a wonderland, a training ground, being able to walk into any corner antique shop and pick up a bona fide piece of the past.” He had held a cornet of Joe “King” Oliver’s, Louis Armstrong’s mentor, and heard the music; he’d touched the fence around Jackson Square and seen the hand of Micaela Almonesta Pontalba, the “Baroness of New Orleans,” who conceived the cast iron design in 1851 after returning from France brokenhearted. He’d met Degas in his mind when the painter came to visit his cousins in 1872, and he overheard the conversation between the pirates Jean and Pierre Lafitte and Andrew Jackson at the blacksmith shop when they agreed to aid in the War of 1812 in exchange for their pardon.
“I saw what New Orleans was like before the city changed hands from the Spanish to the French to the Americans. I saw the settlers, the immigrants from Germany and Ireland building the channel by hand. I saw the slave rebellion.”
New Orleans had been named the most haunted city in the country, the place where they said the dead and the living slept side by side with barely a wall between them. Through the imprints Roan had walked down the steamboat wharfs, visited the slaughterhouses, and watched the white flags from the plantations being raised on a pole beside the river to call the doctor when someone was sick. He visited the room where Étienne de Boré discovered how to granulate sugar, an invention that would change the city forever. Even without his ability Roan couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. The city was his domain and he knew every inch of it, through every century.
“Is that why you wear gloves? To keep control?”
Roan looked down at his hands. Most of the time he forgot he had gloves on. They’d become like second skin. Today he was wearing his thinnest tactical Under Armour gloves. He owned countless pairs and brands, each for different activities. These were best for working at the keyboard.
“I don’t want to wear gloves,” she added.
“I didn’t suggest it.”
“But it helps you.” Melicent considered him. “So you don’t touch anything you don’t want to.”
Roan stared back her, seeing the concern in her eyes, and he could tell she was wary of what challenges might exist for her further down the road if she fully exercised her power.
The gloves did help him because, unlike most psychometrists, Roan could feel every imprint, from any time, with excruciating detail to the point the boundaries of the years blurred. Most psychometrists were limited with the information they could retrieve from an imprint. But Roan was a pure receiver with the rare ability to be transported into the memory. He’d stood in the past as the future’s witness. There was no way he could explain some of the imprints he’d seen or the deep marks within history, gouges left by hatred and cruelty, over beliefs, power, and greed. Roan had witnessed tragic moments, the annihilation of life, from both world wars and the countless other conflicts that stretched further back. He’d seen how history was doomed to repeat itself until humanity acknowledged the deep connection between every living being. That was the true war, the war that never ended, and it had taken Roan many years to learn how to live in such a world. The gloves were his armor.
“You won’t need gloves,” he assured her, and he leaned toward her across the aisle, until their faces were a breath apart. He could see the pulse at her neck speed up. He wanted to touch her. He had since he’d walked into the store in L.A.
Here was a woman who shared his power, who’d begun to experience the thresholds that could be crossed. He’d never been able to have this kind of intimate conversation with anyone before, not even Stuart. He found himself wanting to share his world with Melicent and invite her in.
He searched her eyes. “I only touch what I want.”
She met his gaze with a challenge. “Then do it.”