Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Twin Time by Olga and Christoper Werby

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Twin Time by Olga and Christopher Werby. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt and a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win two signed books from the authors. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Twin Time
Authors: Olga and Christopher Werby
Publication Date: September 25th 2016
Print Length: 459 pages
Genres: Illustrated Science Fiction, Historical Fantasy
Alex and Sasha are twin sisters, physically identical down to their freckles. But the resemblance is only skin deep—Sasha is profoundly autistic, while Alex is not. Sasha can’t communicate and acts bizarrely, and the family revolves around her and her intense needs. Yet the aged, wealthy, and mysterious Aunt Nana seems to have a particular interest in both girls. Offering a helping hand, she encourages the family to move to San Francisco to be near her. And when the young twins discover a tunnel in Nana’s tool shed, it leads them on a journey across the world and back 100 years in time. The tunnel is a pathway to the Firebird Estate, the home of their ancestors, located in rural Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. Even more remarkable, through the effect that twisting time has on cognition, Sasha is not autistic when she’s at the Firebird Estate. Now, growing up in two strikingly different times and places, the twins must face their separate destinies among the ravages of the incipient Russian Revolution. Can they save their families on both sides of the tunnel? Can they simultaneously stay true to their own hearts, to each other, and to the people they left behind? Each sister must face her own personal challenge—but only together can they discover their own future within their family’s past.

**Check out the first few pages of the book by clicking here!**

“Ma’am? Ma’am?”

The police officer had been trying to speak to the woman, Emma Orlov, but she was clearly in shock, unable to respond. Another officer had been managing the woman’s husband, Greg, trying to convince him to escort his wife away from the scene of the fire.

A neighbor called the rest of the family while the police started the evacuations of nearby homes. The house had already burned to the ground, but the fire stubbornly refused to go out, and the firemen worried it might jump to the neighboring structures.

There had been only one critical injury: an old lady they had pulled from the fire. An ambulance had already taken her to the hospital. However, Mr. Orlov insisted that their daughter was also in the house. The girl was autistic, he said, and mute except for her own name: “Sasha.” The firemen hadn’t been able to locate the girl, but at least there was no evidence that the girl had died in the fire–although it was too early to tell for sure. Still, an alert had been issued: “Svetlana Orlov, a nineteen-year-old special-needs woman, missing after house fire.”

“Sir? We’re going to have to ask you and your wife to leave now. It’s getting dark.”

“She’s in there somewhere,” the girl’s father said in a flat tone. “I know it. I dropped her off myself.”

The officer realized he wasn’t going to be able to get the parents to leave voluntarily. He looked around. The trauma center people should have been here already.

He looked back at the house. It was one of those old mansions built in a Spanish style almost a century ago–stucco and tile with a clay roof–one of the first constructions in the hills of San Mateo. It had been quite lovely, but now it looked like a bomb had exploded inside. Hardly anything was left standing. If there was a body in there, it might take a while to find it.

He shook his head. He had been one of the first on the scene and had been there when they pulled the elderly woman out. She said she was alone; she was adamant about it. She was badly burned, but before they took her away, she insisted that they get in touch with her lawyer. Strange, he thought at the time, but people tend to do strange things when their world goes up in flames.

Olga Werby, Ed.D., has a Doctorate from U.C. Berkeley with a focus on designing online learning experiences. She has a Master's degree from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology. She has been creating computer-based projects since 1981 with organizations such as NASA (where she worked on the Pioneer Venus project), Addison-Wesley, and the Princeton Review. Olga has a B.A. degree in Mathematics and Astrophysics from Columbia University. She became an accidental science fiction indie writer about a decade ago, with her first book, "Suddenly Paris," which was based on then fairly novel idea of virtual universes. Her next story, "The FATOFF Conspiracy," was a horror story about fat, government bureaucracy, and body image. She writes about characters that rarely get represented in science fiction stories -- homeless kids, refugees, handicapped, autistic individuals -- the social underdogs of our world. Her stories are based in real science, which is admittedly stretched to the very limit of possible. She has published almost a dozen fiction books to date and has won many awards for her writings. Her short fiction has been featured in several issues of "Alien Dimensions Magazine," "600 second saga," "Graveyard Girls," "Kyanite Press' Fables and Fairy Tales," "The Carmen Online Theater Group's Chronicles of Terror," with many more stories freely available on her website.

- If you could go back in time, which era would you like to visit and why?

This is a difficult question. I’m a woman. I also walk with a cane (I was run over by a car several decades ago). I’m a Jew. All of these attributes make time travel to the past problematic. As romantic as it would be to visit Paris and go to the first performance of Nijinsky’s “Afternoon with the Faun” ballet, for example, I don’t think it would work out that way for me.

When we think of the past, we apply our modern sensibilities to the way society should work rather than accepting how it was. It’s fun to go to a Renaissance Fair or a Dickens’ Fair or any other pretend-we-are-knights-and-ladies events, but I’d always want to be a knight. Who wants to be powerless? People always seem to claim ancestors who are kings and queens. But what if there are slaves? And if we travel back, can we walk away when we see injustice? Can we watch a child be abused and not do something? I think traveling back in time is problematic because it is not at all how we fantasize it to be. For most of human existence life was cheap and bathroom accommodations were nothing to brag about. So not the past.

Traveling to the future might have similar pitfalls. Would a person from 200 years ago do well in a modern city? Would they even understand what’s going on? Sure, there are plenty of comedies that are based on this premise. But I don’t think I want to be the main character in a comedy.

Time travel tourism is fun to fantasize about, but might not be fun to actually engage in. That said, there uplifting events that would be fun to experience vicariously. And the best way is through reading or watching a movie or playing a game. All of these activities have the advantage that we can easily walk away at any moment. If we can’t stomach the ugliness or violence, we simply let go.

And someday, Virtual Reality will bring the past and the future (in a sanitized form) for all of us to experience at our leisure.

Of course, in my time traveling story, the main heroine gains the ability to communicate with the world. She is able to shed some of the shackles of autism and experience the world as her twin sister does, albeit 100 years in the past. My heroine makes a choice of the life she wants to lead. She gets empowered by her shift in time. She finds love and a way to express it. And my heart goes out to her. Hope people who read my book would feel the same.
Olga Werby & Christopher Werby will be awarding two signed books to a randomly drawn winner (US only) via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you very much for sharing my story with your readers!

  2. I liked the blurb and excerpt. It sounds like a very interesting book. Thank you for sharing.