How to Stop Time

Matt Haig

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be”

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig is a truly magnificent book and a must-read! I had heard good things about his other books, bestsellers too, and chose this one because of the unusual premise and my obsession with anything to do with time – the greatest mystery of life. Ever since I have seen Highlander on tv years ago I have been fascinated by the concept of immortality or at least living longer, old souls, reincarnation etc. I myself wrote ‘The Immortal’ to explore the issues someone faces who outlives everyone and what it does to you, living with all those memories.

This book is similar in that respect, though the main character is not immortal or a vampire (thank the heavens for that!) but ages very, very slowly. I have never highlighted so many passages before in any book and will re-read this book for the beauty of it. It’s very well-written in first-person which I love, the pace is excellent and the prose visual, whimsical, and often emotional (many things are funny and some are sad bringing tears to your eyes). I didn’t want this book to end!

The genre is partly fantasy (only the part of the main protagonist’s strange condition, but utterly believable), historical (well-researched), part romance (though not too much), and philosophical (loved it). It is essentially about Tom, a 41-year-old man born March 3, 1581 and still alive today (2018). Tom ages very slowly though he will die one day like the rest of us (after 900 years), but outlives everyone around him, including those he loves. His mother, and then his one true love. He only fell in love once over the course of 400 years. For the romantic in me, that was super adorable. If you have ever loved and lost you’ll recognize the feeling.

“And she died and I lived and a hole opened up, dark and bottomless, and I fell down and kept falling for centuries”.

Tom lives in fear of discovery and loneliness, and lives in the past most of his days. When people begin to notice his bizarre condition (he doesn’t seem to age), assumes a new identity in a new place every eight years or so. This means he becomes estranged from the rest of humanity and from life overall. His only reason to live on is to find his daughter that suffers from the same condition as him. There is a society for people like him ruled by an eccentric guy, Hendrick, who helps Tom relocate and provides him with a new identity each time. The book jumps through Tom’s memories from time to time and brings you right there, vividly detailing the streets of London in the 16th century with all the smells and sights, as well as later times and back again, but I never felt lost or that I couldn’t keep track. Tom felt very real with the same flaws as we do, even for a 400-year-old man, though sometimes I did find him a bit naïve and clueless, but that could be because he was so focussed on finding his daughter and more an outsider of society.

There are so many lessons to be learnt from this book, apart from “how to stop time” by slowing down and living more in the present for the past not to crush you. “The past is never gone, It just hides”. For not to be afraid of the future, the lesson of the power of love, of hope, of believing in the good hearts of people.

“I want you to slow down. I just want it all to slow down. I want to make a forest of a moment and live in that forest for ever.”

We are living in a society where everyone is fixated on everything else, be that mobile phones, facebook, tv, the news, and are losing touch with each other and themselves. Are either afraid of or just don’t know how to be content living in the moment any longer. Learning how to “just be” and to be happy in that moment is one of the lessons we learn along this journey. The question is when and how much time will we waste before we learn this simple truth? After all, we cannot control time and must try to live in the present moment.

“We are what we become. We are what life does to us.”

The ending of the book was satisfactory, though a bit rushed maybe and what happened to Hendrick seemed to me a bit too easy as if the author didn’t quite know what to do with him.

Overall, I can wholeheartedly recommend this novel and I will read his other works as well.

The book can be found HERE

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The Queen’s Curse is revamped!

The book not only received a totally awesome new cover (designed by http://www.beyondbookcovers) but has been given a complete revised make-over. It has been newly edited and proofread for a better updated reading experience!

No worries if you already have the book on your kindle, you can update the book by going into the book in your Kindle library and downloading it again. Some Kindles automatically do this. To be sure you have the latest version, it should say ‘revised edition March 2021’ in the copyright inside along with the brand new cover!

The paperback is also available this weekend to purchase, though Amazon might be a bit behind with updating all the book details on their site.

And it’s the last day to download your FREE copy of the IMMORTAL!

Get yours HERE

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I Heart Lesfic Spring Sale! March 15 through March 19

Are you looking for your next great read? More than 100 authors (including me) have joined forces to deeply discount more than 200 books so you don’t have to break the bank to get your reading fix. There are over 25 subgenres of lesbian fiction, ranging from romance to sci-fi to fantasy to mystery and so much more!

CLICK HERE:
https://iheartlesfic.com/ihl-march-mega-sale-page-5/

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To know what will happen next, you have to understand what came before…


I wanted to share some exciting news with my readers and followers! It comes as no surprise that I am writing, hey that’s what we writers do, even if it’s just preparing in our heads, or taking notes, but what am I writing at the moment you might wonder?
Well, the Comyenti Series is an all-time favourite of mine for various reasons, and book 1 and 2 have been out a while, as have a few stand-alone novels in the series, so it is only logical I would be writing book 3 by now, right? Wrong! I will, I will, of course, and I know roughly where it will go with book 3, though expect new twists and turns! However, I have long wanted to write about what happened before ‘Call off the Search’ and to delve into the comyenti’s distant past. To find out who and what they really are. Not just answering these questions in my book series, but by telling the story in a book of its own.
A Prequel!
I have long thought about it and it has taken more shape over the years. But it is finally time. Sula’s ancestors are ready to tell me.
If you haven’t already read the 2 books here they are: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00P1F2TMG/

And so, because these are the comyentis, and dear to me, I want to do them justice, so it has taken me a while to gather all the information I needed. They are from another planet after all, so it will be a science fiction book, my first. I read a lot of sci-fi, but haven’t written one myself yet. All my other books, though speculative, are still classified as Fantasy, but the prequel will be sci-fi, though without technology or spaceships and little to no violence. I have done extensive research into the fields of time and space, the dimensions, other galaxies including our own nearby ones, stars, and planets, and read many books and watched even more documentaries. It has opened up my mind and I’m continuing to learn on my ongoing journey for truth and development.
I do like that I can use my imagination as the prequel is more fiction than hard science, though still seeped in facts in the metaphysical sense, for that’s the kind of writer I am.
Therefore, I’m happy to announce I’ve made a good head start with the book with my characters leading me through it whilst they are telling me their story! I better get back to it! I will keep you posted, but I expect the publication to be either in summer or autumn this year! Check out the cover!!!!Here is the synopsis so far, which might change nearer publication, but to give you a taste:

Cradle of the Stars – Origins
How far would you go for love? In a world teetering on the brink of total destruction, Shinze holds the key to her species’ salvation. In this prequel to the international bestselling Comyenti Series, the Circle of Eight predicts the planet’s downfall. Shinze, who is one of them, has to convince the rest of her kind to travel light-years to another habitable planet. How many will go with her and survive the long journey? What will they find? Their new home, Bhan, turns out to be a very different world as to where they came from. Not only is this planet resonating in a lower frequency, thus existing in another dimension, but the dominating humans might prove more of a problem than they can handle…
https://mailchi.mp/4ba6f1ce5d55/to-know-what-will-happen-next

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Cosega Search by Brandt Legg

Cosega Search by bestselling action-adventure thriller author Brandt Legg was a real surprise to me. I don’t usually read thrillers as they normally contain too much violence, but I had seen the Davinci Code by Dan Brown and the two other movies for its mystery elements and grew up with the Indiana Jones movies. Cosega is the first in a terrific series. It’s a thought-provoking blend with a similar feel to it, but it surpasses both by far. It’s a fast-paced, action-packed adventure novel with a few murders but nothing graphic and kept me turning the pages.

The main character is archaeologist Rip Gaines who comes up with the Cosega theory which in Native-American means “before the beginning of time”, a theory that human history predates creationism and evolution. Ever since Gaines has published his theory, the Church has been developing a plan to discredit him. When he finally discovers an artifact that potentially proves his theory and fundamentally challenges everything we thought we knew about history and science in an archaeological site in Virginia, he finds himself caught in a conspiracy that involves both the government and the Vatican and those hired by both to get the artifact called the Eysen and kill Rip. Brave journalist Gale Asher is intrigued by the find and the Cosega theory and she gets caught up. Both end up on the run through New Mexico whilst Rip and Gale are trying to decode the Cosega Sequence broadcasted by the mysterious Eysen, which means “to hold all the stars in your hand”, an eleven million years old spherical holographic computer. Who can they trust along the way?

The novel is a unique take on the “our history is not what it seems” concept which reads like a true story more than fiction as it is based on what has happened in our past if you take into account the numerous ancient scrolls, bones, aliens remains, spaceships and megalithic sites “the powers that be” have tried to cover up and killed for, and what could happen again, if such an ancient technological artifact would be found. I especially loved the profound “Clastier” papers and thought this an insightful addition to the story. The author has done his research well!

Because of the great storytelling, profound plot, and likable characters I got drawn in from the start and have also just finished book two!

You can find the book HERE

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Lesfic Fantasy books makes for the best gifts!

Xmaspromo

Books make the best gifts! All my thought-provoking, non-violence Fantasy, LGBTQ, Lesfic paperbacks and e-books (FREE with KindleUnlimited) are for sale worldwide here: https://www.amazon.com/Natasja-Hellenthal/e/B00CMNVPX4 Happy Holidays! 

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Suppose We (The Flying Crooked series Book 1)

by Geoff Nelder

“Absolutument. We have to cease thinking like a human.”

‘Suppose We’ by Geoff Nelder is a First Contact Sci-Fi novel published in 2019. It’s focused around four people who have been travelling in a spaceship from Earth to a new world set in the Kepler 20 system. The planetary system by the way does exist in the Milky Way between Cynus and Lyra. The planet the story sets on has yet to be discovered so that part is imagined, but in a very realistic way. How it is described, one can easily imagine a planet like Kepler-20h, though it’s very unlike Earth! It’s a ‘What if’ story which I like as it explores the imagination based on real science and research very much so as the Star Trek series do, which I’m a huge fan of. The best episodes for me are always the ones about the away teams getting stranded on a strange new planet and learning all about its strange flora and fauna. This story reads like one of those episodes at first but goes into much more detail.

Our four main protagonists have been in hibernating for a thousand years before they crash land on the new planet. Their mission is to seek and investigate habitable planets for the people of Earth to go and live on in the future and send a report back to Spaceweb, which I imagine is a sort of futuristic NASA online, or to the other ships. Little do they know there is also a secret mission. Only their AI called CAN holds that last message and secret package.

The main character is Gaston, a French exo-linguist and exo-biologist, who wakes up first. There is Commander Penn and Delta and Em, all carefully chosen for their set of skills. Their technology has evolved, but that is about it. People are still people, and the relationship between Delta and Penn was a little odd. I liked Gaston best, he is likable and convincing the way he was described, throwing in French words and getting lost in his head, thinking, missing the first few words people say, or the last. Also, his interest in the local flora and fauna, his non-violence approach, and the way he befriends a butterfly. But is it really a butterfly? When the team get separated from their spaceship, the Suppose We, they try to re-establish contact, but not before exploring the planet, trying to make first contact with the alien species and getting into a whole lot of trouble.

The sceneries are beautifully painted with lilac or emerald skies, tree bark soft like cucumber, and dome-shaped buildings that change colour. One can even smell the ozone in some scenes or the flower scents in another. And then, how to make contact with the suspected dominating species on the planet, the Kelps, since they pretty much ignore the humans. And what are those bird-like creatures in the forest always appearing in threes?

I enjoyed reading this book tremendously and it definitely was a page-turner for me as I wanted to know more. This is a well-written book by a competent author who has done his research into the subjects he writes about. I am looking forward to reading book 2!

I would recommend this book to seasoned sci-fi readers though as the terminology used is on the high-tech science side and not always explained, but perhaps that was the lure.

The book can be found HERE

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I Heart Lesfic Spring Sale! March 15 through March 19

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Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

To celebrate International Women’s Day I have chosen to write about one of my favourite books! Despite it being a classic book from the 70s it still is relevant today and can be enjoyed by many. I tend to re-read it from time to time, because no matter what era we live in, it has a lot to offer, more so now than ever. It is by no means dated, but brilliant and a call to action without becoming preachy. It might change your perspective on life forever!

Though classified as speculative or utopian it has several layers of truth and interesting ideas and is above all very human. It tends to reflect the social revolution that just started then and is based on history.

The main character, Connie, lives in New York and all of her female friends live in their own personal hell oppressed by the men in their lives. Connie also has an abusive family who imprisons her in a mental hospital, but she is far from insane, despite the fact she finds out she can time-travel! The beginning is a bit dark, but it will get better, trust me! The prospect of time-travel alone in the blurb kept me reading this book, so that made up for the things that happened in the mental hospital, though historically correct.

Connie is having hallucinations – in the form of a character from a future Utopia, Luciente. Luciente allows Connie to travel to her time – a future world where small communes co-exist peacefully with nature, rather than using and abusing it. In Luciente’s Utopia, there is a perfect marriage between a traditional American-Indian lifestyle alongside technology (they have wrist-worn “kenners”, a device people cannot live without; eerily close to the smartphones of today), where humanity has taken control of its own breeding alongside a non-exploitative agricultural system. Gender inequality is unknown – men may be nurturers and women, fearless. But is this truly a perfect world, and how free is this possible future really?

All in all, this is a multifaceted story that can be read almost as if it is really happening, you get so invested in the character’s lives, and as a metaphor for some of the issues, the world and society are facing. Marge Piercy is a visionary and exceptional author. The writing is descriptive and colourful and you really feel like you’re in the mind of Connie.

This book is one not to be missed and should be read by all, you’ll never be the same!

The book can be found Here

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My Books on Booksradar – Books in the right order

My books are now on Booksradar where you can find my books in the right order and with a short description!

Here is the link: https://www.booksradar.com/hellenthal-natasja/hellenthal.html

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Mega Spring Sale 18th to 22nd of May!

The Mega Spring Lesfic Book sale organised by iheartlesfic has started!

Dozens of mega discounted books in all genres within lesbian fiction can be found on the site.

Three of my books are discounted, one is even free! Please spread the word and share the love!

Grab yours here:

Click here

Happy reading! And remember us authors always appreciate a review on Amazon or Goodreads! It’s a great way to say thank you and for our books to be found by other readers!

Natasja

 

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