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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Interview: Fantasy Author Thomas Reilly + giveaway

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
During my career as a biotechnology scientist and executive, writing was an important aspect of my responsibilities (e.g., scientific manuscripts, essays, research reports, business plans, etc.). After I retired from the industry, I wanted to challenge myself to determine if I could utilize some of those acquired skills to create an entertaining novel. So, in the final analysis, my prime motivation in becoming an author was to address my own personal challenge.

What is something unique/quirky about you?
I was one of nine kids and have an identical twin. Like me he pursued a scientific career, but unlike me, he has not pursued writing.

Tell us something interesting that happened to you!
I’m going way back here. As a kid, I broke my collar bone on four separate occasions. Interesting: perhaps not. Painful: definitely.

What are some of your pet peeves?
No surprise here- endless waiting on the phone in trying to reach customer service; lines of any type (notice a pattern here); movies that make little sense- (I always tell my wife,”I can make a better movie than that.”)

Where were you born/grew up at?
I grew up in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn as the fifth of nine children in a wonderful household where my dad was everyone’s favorite pediatrician, and my mom was a real super mom. After raising four kids of our own, I can only imagine how my parents managed so well with nine. Even though we lived in the big city, our life in the Bay Ridge environment was closer to one associated with a small-town community.

If you knew you die tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?
I think I would spend it relaxing and swimming at the beach. That’s the best way I know to clear my mind.

Who is your hero and why?
Aside from my parents and some of their unbelievable friends who treated me so kindly as a kid, I veer more towards some of the fantastic authors who wrote about historical greats rather than the historical figures themselves. After I read a compelling bio of a historical figure or event, I remain in awe of the author who not only researched the topic to such a great extent, but also had the ability to convey the immense story in such entertaining prose- true genius! Two who come to mind are Ron Chernow and Robert Caro.

"There will be a price to pay for bad medicine."

Trial and Redemption (Janus Key Series Book 2)

by Thomas Reilly
Genre: Time Travel Fantasy, Suspense



In his latest inspirational and suspenseful novel, Trial and Redemption, Reilly continues the saga of a mystical Janus key and its time-bending influence on 21st-century characters, first introduced in the award-winning Chasing Time.

Disgraced scientist Brian Ellis finds an improbable ally in Julie, a college student trying to reset her life after a family tragedy. Guided by a Janus key with magical powers to predict future events, they embark on a crusade to bring a corrupt pharmaceutical executive to justice, prevent a medical tragedy, and restore peace to their shattered lives. However, Brian guards a dark secret that may imperil both their mission and their redemption.

Filled with unexpected twists and turns, memorable characters, and heart-stopping suspense, Trial and Redemption is an emotive mix of medical and legal fiction with a touch of fantasy.

“Sounds good,” replied Julie. “I was hoping we would have learned something about its history. Oh well, at least I enjoyed viewing the exhibits.”

As they proceeded along the crowded corridor to the museum’s cafe, Julie suddenly recoiled in surprise as a strange person bumped into her, seemingly on purpose. Before she even had a chance to speak, the stranger asked in a husky tone. “Where did you get that key?”

Looking up, Julie observed a wizened old man who seemed strangely out of place in the museum. Dressed in tattered jeans and a threadbare plaid shirt that seemed as old as some of the museum’s relics, the man bore a face weathered with wrinkles that spoke of a grueling life filled with many arduous journeys. The deep-set, ebony eyes that were focused on the key dangling from the chain around Julie’s neck gave his head the appearance of a skull. A musty odor emanating from his raggedy clothes infiltrated Julie’s senses, unfortunately serving as some type of calling card. With disheveled hair and one gnarly hand rubbing a scruffy beard in confusion, his overall appearance was a statement of desperation and deprivation.

“Excuse me?” replied Julie.

“That key around your neck. Where did you get it?”

Taken aback by the old man’s brashness, Julie responded in a petulant tone. “That’s none of your business. Now if you’ll excuse us.”

“Wait, wait. It’s just that I had that key, or at least one like it, a long time ago. It could predict the future.”

Upon hearing these provocative words, both Julie and Brian turned back to face the old man.

“What did you say?” asked Brian.

“That key gave me bad dreams. Years later, the dreams came true in a VA hospital. No matter how I tried, I couldn’t stop that vision from coming true. It has haunted me ever since.”

Julie asked in an excited tone. “What can you tell us about this key? How did it work?”

However, the old man ignored her question and rambled on. “Spent months at the VA where that doctor ruined me. He kicked me out and destroyed my life.”

Suddenly, as if in a trance, the man started to repeat a mantra, softly at first but then in an ever-louder voice, “the Janus key, the Janus key, the Janus key ….” As Julie and Brian looked on in astonishment, the old man’s yelling drew the attention of several interested onlookers who surrounded the three of them. Soon, two of the museum’s security guards burrowed their way into the center of the crowd and intervened. The taller of the two guards spoke.

“Okay, Billy. Calm down, calm down. It’s okay.”

As the old man quieted in response to the guard’s gentle prodding, the second sentry addressed Julie and Brian. “Has he been bothering you?”

Julie responded. “Not really, He was telling us a story about some bad dreams a long time ago.”

In response, the guard shrugged his shoulders. “This is Billy. He spends a lot of time here entertaining visitors with crazy stories about dreams that he claims came true. He is harmless, but excuse me for saying this, he isn’t all there, if you know what I mean. We will just quietly escort him outside.”

With that, the two guards, each supporting a scrawny shoulder, gently escorted the old codger toward the exit.

As the crowd thinned out, Brian and Julie heard many residual whisperings from witnesses of the entertaining incident, some expressing pity for the old man and others contempt for such peculiar behavior.

Julie turned to Brian and spoke in an excited voice. “Wow, did you hear what he said? That man referred to a Janus key foretelling the future, just like mine. I have to try to catch up with him. Maybe he knows something about how it works.”

She noted a troubled expression cross Brian’s face as he answered. “Julie, did you hear everything he said? He couldn’t alter the future that the key revealed to him. Does that mean our efforts to change the future about Davis and the deadly clinical trial are doomed to fail? Are we chasing a lost cause here?”

Julie shrugged her shoulders in response. “I don’t buy that. Besides, everybody’s perception of time is different, so maybe the future can be open to several possible outcomes. We can’t stop now; we’ve got to see this through. Let’s go find that strange man. Maybe we can get some answers from him.”

They exited the museum on Michigan Avenue to locate the stranger. Encountering the two guards who had ushered him out, Julie asked. “Where is that old man? I need to talk with him.”

“Sorry, Miss. That Billy is one elusive character. He just seems to shrink from view the second we release him. But he will be back here again. He always comes back.”

Brian added. “I guess he’s gone for the day. Maybe we can find him another time.”

“I hope so,” replied Julie, wondering if she had lost the opportunity to unravel secrets about the magic key.
Chasing Time (Janus Key Series Book 1)

A time-bending adventure like no other

A Literary Titan Gold Award winner

“A brilliant debut novel from start to finish, you won't be able to put it down.” — N.N light’s review

“It had me sitting on the edge of my seat until the conclusion.” — Reader’s Favorite

"An earnest and moving novel, Chasing Time is an emotive mixture of contemporary fiction and fantasy, for a story that reads like a potential film.” — Self-Publishing Review

Chasing Time takes the reader on a thrilling adventure as history professor Tony Lucas seeks an ancient time-bending key that may hold the secrets to a miracle cure for his beloved wife, trapped in the throes of the debilitating and deadly ALS. Racing against time as the disease extracts its unforgiving toll, Tony embarks on an amazing quest involving a series of unexpected plot twists, cryptic clues, and memorable characters.

Driven by a strong male lead, this heartwarming book combines realistic medical elements with a hint of fantasy to create a gripping, suspenseful narrative. Reilly spins a compelling tale of a devoted husband’s resilience and perseverance as he pursues a life-saving mission that extends from ancient Rome to modern-day America to the lush olive groves of Andalusia. The story takes the classic medical drama, historical fiction, and fantasy genres and turns them all completely on their heads. With its precise and witty style, Chasing Time is an engaging, must-read story like nothing you have read before.

About the Author
Thomas Reilly is a retired biotechnology scientist who holds a doctoral degree in microbiology. He is the author of numerous essays and articles on science and technology. TRIAL AND REDEMPTION is a story of medical suspense coupled with a hint of magical realism. His first book in the Janus Key series, the award-winning CHASING TIME, was reissued in 2023. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware with his wife Linda.

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