Thursday, 22 May 2014


My weekend guest is non other than John A. Heldt. In case you don't know him, he is a very popular author. But, don't worry because I am going to tell you everything about him and his book The Mine.

So come with me as we go mining for the treasure that is The Mine.

In May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can't use, money he can't spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.

About the Author: 
John A. Heldt is a reference librarian and the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage time-travel series. The former award-winning sportswriter and newspaper editor has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, he is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life at
Author of The Mine, The Journey, The Show, The Fire, and The Mirror.

My favorite excerpts

  Joel thought about mattresses as he walked north on the Ave.
  He thought about the queen-sized box spring he had in his apartment, the waterbed
he'd had growing up, and the king-sized memory-foam special in his parents' bedroom.
  He even thought about flimsy bunk-bed pads, the kind Saint Xavier's Mission had but
couldn't offer when it told him there was no more room in the inn.
  The pampered youngest son of Frank and Cynthia Smith couldn't remember the last
time fatigue and hunger had gripped him like this. He gained new respect for those who
spent each day walking the streets.
  Joel also thought about the blonde. Who was she? And why had she stared at him?
Was Joel Smith, world traveller, gold-card member, and former all-state linebacker, now
an object of pity? He didn't think so. He saw empathy in those incredible eyes, not
contempt. Still, he wondered.
  As Joel proceeded down the busy arterial, he passed a few familiar sights. Some
things had not visibly changed in fifty-nine years, such as two brownstone apartment
buildings, a Mission Revival grade school in the Heights, and three taverns with colorful
names. He stood before one, the Mad Dog, and considered his options.
  The Mad Dog didn't have memory-foam mattresses for weary time travellers. But it
did have a long sidewalk bench. Joel sat down on one end and extended his legs toward
the other. He pondered walking to a nearby park but decided to stay put. The bench was
hard but relatively comfortable. If necessary, he could make it his bed for the night.
  He closed his eyes and thought of pleasant things: his mother's chicken cacciatore, the
hot tub at home, Jana in a string bikini, Maui, and the blonde. He could still picture her
  Miss Denmark has nothing on you.
  A minute later Sandy returned to the dining room, sat down in a chair next to her
husband, and placed a small, strange-looking object on top of the table. About five inches
high, it featured a greenish screen, an array of white numbered-and-lettered buttons, and a
stub-like projection on top that shot up from the dark blue case.
  "What do you make of this?" she asked.
  Mel put on his glasses and closely scrutinised the item. He shook it, held it up to the
lights of a chandelier, and then pressed it to his ear. None of the gestures yielded clues.
  Nor did punching the buttons or reading the lettering on the back.
  "I don't know what to make of it. I've never seen anything like it in my life. Where
did you find this?"
  "It was under a cowboy hat in a cabinet in the trailer. I found it this morning when I
went to change the sheets. What do you think it is?"
  "Who knows? It looks like some sort of communication device, maybe a new kind of
telephone. If it is, the manufacturers haven't let me in on it. It might even be a toy. Hell,
I've seen odder things in department stores. I'm not sure. Either way, it's not ours and we
should probably leave it alone."
  Not satisfied with Mel's answer, Sandy picked up the item and examined it again. She
considered raising more questions or even asking Joel himself when he got back but
decided against it. She slipped the device into the pocket of her everyday dress.
  "You're right," she said, forcing a weak smile. "I'll put it back now. But if he doesn't
get any mail or telephone calls in the next few days, will you at least talk to him?"
  "I'll talk to him. I promise. Now, let's finish dinner."
  Mel dug in. After drowning his potatoes in lumpy brown gravy, he cut his steak into
bite-sized chunks and lifted the largest toward his mouth. But the moment he glanced
across the table, he stopped his arm and lowered his fork. He stared at his plate, sighed,
and then returned to his wife, as if finally validating her concerns and signaling his own about a stranger who had rapidly become an integral part of their lives.

My Review: 

As Joel explores a mine, planets align and a strange phenomena occurs. He is transported from the year 2000 back to 1941! His gold cards, money and mobile phone is of no use and soon he finds himself penniless and homeless. Thanks to a chance meeting, his new friend Tom helps him. The resourceful young man quickly lands a job and starts a new life. This book has you on the edge of your seat, as throughout, you wonder if his secret will be exposed and if he will ever make it back to his own time line.  Better yet, you wonder if he would want to. When he learns that the planets will align again, he is forced to evaluate his options and chose a difficult path no matter what.  This book is well written and a offers the reader an adventure of a life time. I thoroughly enjoyed it! What made this book even more enjoyable was the different point of views (pov) of different characters, mixed with ample dialogue and witty narration. I highly recommend this little treasure! 

Author links: