Today is a happy day as it sees the release of Forever and Until, the final book in my Timeless Trilogy. For those of you who have been reading the first two books, please forgive me in giving a little re-cap to those who haven’t.
In book 1, The Promise, Ben Milburn is a man from the 21st Century who died and has been put on a lifelong trial which he must survive and win if he has any chance of getting his old life back. After being picked up as a slave by the Tuareg in the Sahara, living with nomads in Mongolia and living a life on the run in the Middle-East, Ben finally thinks he has settled down when he meets Mandana and the couple settle down for a life of domestic bliss on the farm until it is violently shattered at the end of book 2, The Messenger.
In many ways the third book is my favourite. Though the characterisation and plot events of book 2, The Messenger, are perhaps the most substantial and dare I say it meaty. Forever and Until takes things to another level and brings a new dimension to the story with intricate plotting and black humour. All good trilogies need a very strong final entry whether it be a book or a movie series and this is what Forever and Until does.
It also brings about a satisfying conclusion to all off the plots and characters raised in the trilogy so far. One of the things I like is how with it being an epic life-story as well as a historical romance is that events have repercussions and both good deeds and bad deeds from times past can come back with surprising results when least expected.
The story picks-up with Ben in the hands of the tax-collector, the very man whose life he spared all those years ago but there is absolutely no thanks shown and its understandable when we find out what happened to the tax collector whose life was spared but treasure stolen.
Ben finds himself thrown into the army and to make things worse, his hated commander turns out to be the very fugitive who burnt his farm down and killed someone very special to him. Whilst in the past Ben found his lack of contemporary skills to be a great hindrance, now he is fully at ease with the time and through all manner of adventures ends up to be one of the top generals in the Shahs army.
Like the preceding books, Forever and Until skilfully ties in actual events with this fictional story. Experience life in a 16th army, visit the home of the Ismaili or Assassins and their Castle of Death, see what live was like in one of the pivotal battles of history and visit the most famed city of the age when Ben fulfils his rags to riches story and meets the Shahanshah or King of Kings.
Of course to Ben, this is all the means to an end or rather two ends. He needs to get back to his family and farm but also back to the 21st Century and Samantha and he won’t do either if he gets himself killed… again. As the story has a strong theme of faith it seems only natural that at his lowest ebb just hours before his apparent execution Ben gets to meet and be tempted by the Devil himself with all the power and treasures that he so often offers for the use of a soul which in Ben’s case, stuck in a dungeon, hungry, thirsty, exhausted and having lived a life-span away from the 21st century just happens to be a Pepperoni Pizza.
Forever and Until looks like it is going to tie up the story nicely and takes us back to the beginning of book 1 until a man from Bens past re-appears, Guyuk, the Uzbek warlord who has plagued him almost a life-time. Will he let sleeping dogs lie and get his old life back or despite being so close to the end, risk everything for justice.
Of course the story doesn’t just centre on Ben and we are treated to more time with Ben’s magical though slightly bumbling Guardian Angel, Harry and we find out what happened to Sam and what exactly Ben wrote to her in that letter that spanned the centuries all the way back in The Promise.
We also get introduced to some touching new characters whose parts may be small in the amount of page-time they receive but which are undeniably kind and gracious and a reminder of all the good in the world, especially in Ben’s world which is so often far from a smooth ride.
If the Forever and Until keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering how it is going to conclude that is because I myself didn’t decide on whether it would be a happy or sad ending until the night before I wrote the final pages. The Timeless Trilogy might be a historical romance but it is full of the ups and downs of life and in this epic tale it isn’t only the bad that die.
The cover for Forever and Until is a photo which I took myself on one of my regular country walks. It shows a field of cereals blowing in the wind but are they blowing carefree in a breeze or moodily under an increasingly ominous sky? Like in the story a large Oak tree grows on the horizon, a symbol of strength and longevity standing bravely alone. Yet look closely and you’ll see the oak isn’t perfect and is in fact damaged. I think it ties in well with the trilogy as a whole and Forever and Until in particular.
I’m very proud of this book and the way it ties up the entire trilogy so neatly and yet brings in new elements and twists right up until the end. I must thank Tonja Bliss of KTF Press for her help and assistance in publishing the entire trilogy, her enthusiasm and professionalism knows no limits.
As with the preceding books, Forever and Until is available in all the usual formats from all good online and retail outlets. Two of the most popular sites where it can be found in paperback and Kindle format include Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk Does Ben make it back to Sam? You have to read it to find out! If you are looking for an epic trilogy with an intimate and realistic story in a historical setting then look no further.
If you’ve missed out on The Promise and The Messenger, then check them out! You can read about my other books from the top menu ‘My Books’ section too. That’s it for my publishing in 2014 but I have a part completed Star Trek title I will return to after the summer as well as a WW2 history book and another novel too.
Thank-you to everyone who have purchased any of my books and I will be sending out some more paperbacks of Lest We Forget in the next few days. If you’d like a signed copy of any book, just let me know 🙂