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Monday, June 17, 2013

Time Fall: An intriguing Action/Adventure with a twist


Time Fall by Timothy Ashby is a historical fiction with an Interesting twist. The story starts in the last days of World War ll. A young boy in the Hitler Youth, Hanno Kasper, is presented with the Iron Cross by Hitler.  The words "you are the guarantor of the future" is said by a shaky and sick Hitler.  The story moves on to the year 2011.  Kasper a vital 78 year old reflects on Hitler's words to him as a youth "...guarantor of the future."  Hanno, an internationally known figure during his military career, now a counter-terrorism specialist heading the DSH providing security services to the country. Kasper, a key leader of the Phönix organization, and other leaders, had not forgotten Hitler's tenet.   As the plot progresses we learn how Kasper plays a key figure in the counter-terrorism and WWll trail.
We then take a step back in time to WWll when the top-secret US Army Rangers parachute into Germany in April 1945. But the six commandos do not realize they have been transported into the year 2011through a strange weather anomaly.  
Another twist to the story happens as the US Delta Force, code name 'Operation Bandstand' is transported into 2011. A terrorist, nom de guerre Sebastian, a German citizen raised as a Muslim, and his group are plotting an attack on Germans.  Unfortunately, the German authorities assume they are dealing with two groups of terrorists, the real one and the 'Bandstand' commandos who they presume are disguised as WWll soldiers.  Yet another dynamic is added to the plot.  Cassera, a Vietnam veteran,  is now working for a US government agency in Washington DC.  The agency investigates missing military personnel from past wars.  Cassera becomes involved in the German search for the terrorists.    To his surprise, Cassera discovers the true identity of the group the Germans consider to be disguised as terrorists.

Timothy Ashby's novel is both entertaining and educating. Ashby is obviously knowledgeable on historical facts of WWll, and the German and British cultures, both past and present.  In his writing, Timothy demonstrates a good knowledge of weapons, modern day terrorism, and anti-terrorist forces.  The plot is fast paced and flows from the past to the present with ease.  The 'time warp' feature of the story is dealt with so well by Ashby, that the reader might surmise this idea is plausible. One is pulled into the story in a way that makes it 'feel real' not 'science fiction'.  Timothy has the skill of bringing his characters to life in the readers mind.  Arthur Sutton, the leader of the 1945 'Bandstand' commandos, becomes a much loved character. While his Sergeant, Hugo Roth, is depicted as vindictive, that is the antithesis of Sutton.  Ashby has incorporated a hint of love and romance giving the story even more sense of reality.

I found 'Time Fall' an enjoyable and interesting read.  My foremost interests in the book were the secret mission, World War ll, and terrorism elements.  I was unsure regarding the 'time warp', science fiction part. But it was hard to put the book down and I certainly did not have the impression I was reading a science fiction story.  The events appeared to be in the realm of reality and 'maybe' they could or did indeed happen! The characters drew me into the story and I found myself loving and sympathizing with Arthur and the ordeal he experienced.  Hugo was less easy to like but I was able to understand why he was so negative towards the Nazis regime. I recommend this book as a 'must read'.  Timothy is a skilled writer and good story teller.  This is the first of his books I have read but I look forward to reading others by this author.

Filled with historically accurate details, Time Fall is a complex military tale that keeps readers riveted through every surprising twist.  Read an excerpt and to enter to win a FREE copy of Time Fall, visit  For your copy, visit .  You can also get your copy at all major retailers. 

About Time Fall
Lt. Art Sutton's team of six US Rangers parachute into Nazi Germany...but they vanish in 1945.  They land, a few minutes later in 2011.  The Rangers are unaware of the passage of time all around them and the valiant, misguided soldiers begin to attack "enemy" targets.
They face the age old questions - What is good!  What is evil?

About Tim Ashby
Timothy Ashby's life has been as thrilling as one of his action/adventure novels. Visit his author blog at  
An international lawyer, businessman and writer, Tim Ashby worked in Washington DC as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official -  the youngest political appointee of his rank - at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.  He held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  He has lived in the Caribbean and Europe as well as various places in the United States.  An avid historian, he published widely on military history, archaeology, business and international relations.  A licensed attorney in Florida and the District of Columbia, Tim Ashby has a PhD degree from the University of Southern California, a JD from Seattle University Law School, and an MBA from University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Book Details
Publisher - Author Planet Press
ISBN - 101481026674
ISBN - 13 978 - 1481026673

I am honored to be able to interview Tim Ashby and learn more about his latest book.

 Welcome to my blog Tim.  Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself, your book ‘Time Fall, and your exciting career. 

Q. Tell us about your latest book ‘Time Fall’ and why you wrote it?

A.  On a secret mission, Lt. Art Sutton’s team of US Rangers parachutes into Nazi Germany weeks before the end of World War II … and vanishes during a severe electrical storm. Missing in Action for seven decades, during a similar storm Sutton’s team lands on target in Bavaria in 2011. Unaware of the passage of time, the Rangers begin their operation: sabotage, assassinations and assaults on military targets. Believing the Rangers to be terrorists, modern Germany’s elite counterterrorism unit – led by unrepentant Nazi Hanno Kasper – hunts them. Wounded and left behind after a gun battle, Sutton realizes that he has landed in a future world very different from 1945. He races against time to save his men, knowing that Kasper has given the order: Take no prisoners.

Q.  What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?

A.  When I was a university student a Vietnam veteran classmate told me about an incident that he witnessed that inspired me to write TIME FALL.  During that Vietnam War a “dustoff” (US Army unarmed medical evacuation helicopter) mysteriously disappeared after flying into a strange cloud during the monsoon season.  Hundreds of military personnel witnessed the phenomenon, a high-level investigation took place, but no trace of the aircraft or its crew was found.  Perhaps one day that helicopter will land in a very different Vietnam with its unsuspecting crew of young American soldiers.

Q.  What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A.  I draft a comprehensive story outline and develop it into a detailed synopsis of the book.

Q.  What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A.   I interviewed WW II US, German and British veterans, as well as US Vietnam vets.  I visited every place described in the book, including an interview at the US government agency in Washington DC that deals with the remains of MIAs.  I did copious research on WW II weapons, uniforms, tactics, contemporary culture (music, movies, etc.), and even speech patterns.  I have personal experience of anti-terrorism intelligence and military operations, so I used this background in portraying the “real” terrorists in TIME FALL as well as the modern German army’s elite counter-terrorism unit.
Q.  How much of YOU make it into your characters?
A.  My male leads (heroes or protagonists) incorporate many of the qualities and virtues that I value.

Q.  How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A.  About 60% of my time is now devoted to my literary career and the remainder goes for my work as a lawyer and time with my family and friends.

Q.  Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A.  I admire Frederick Forsyth, Nelson DeMille, Don Winslow, Harlan Coben, Wilbur Smith and others who write in my genre of Action/Action or Historical Thrillers.

Q.  Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A.  There’s usually a moral purpose or other story (stories) behind my works.  In my new book, TIME FALL, I give the Sutton and his team a purpose for “jumping” 66 years into the – i.e. it didn’t just happen randomly. In for first novel, DEVIL’S DEN, I portray the complex, changing world of 1923, a transitional period between the 19th century and “modern” times.

Q.  What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A.  I’m working on the sequel to my first novel, DEVIL’S DEN, another historical mystery thriller set in the 1920s titled IN SHADOWLAND.  The new book’s plot is about an investigation into the actual death of fighter pilot Quentin Roosevelt, son of former President Teddy Roosevelt.  Quentin crashed behind German lines in 1918 … but what REALLY happened to him?

Q. Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A.  My agent and publisher make effective use of traditional and “leading edge” marketing strategies.  We use conventional advertising (e.g. in the latest print and electronic editions of WORLD WAR II magazine), as well as FaceBook, Twitter, blogs, etc.

Q.  What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A.  Discipline yourself to write at least 1,000 words each day, even if you discard the work next day. It’s better to get words on paper (or on your computer hard drive) and edit them later than to spend hours mulling over sentences.

Q. Do you have a favorite line or scene from the book?
A. I like the final scene, which takes place on a cruise ship in 2012.  You’ll have to read the book to discover what I’m referring to!

Q.  How did you first envision the plot of the book, and what changed as you went through the planning, research, and/or writing process?
A.  Not much changed once I completed the outline and synopsis.  I rearranged scenes, shortened chapters and cut some extraneous descriptive language.

Q.  Please open your book at a random page and tell us the first paragraph…
A.  The old casement window rattled as if shaken by spectral hands.  Rain thickened the early dusk, darkening the forest around the von Scheller house.  Roth stared at his reflection in the windowpane, watching raindrops trickle down the glass like tears he could no longer shed. He turned away, breath leaving a misty circle. The bedroom was cold and pervaded by mildew. The ceiling's bare light bulb was burned out, so he used his Zippo to ignite a candle.

Q.  You have a very interesting background Tim.  Please could you tell the readers about yourself and how your career has influenced your writing?
A.  My entire life and career influenced my writing.  I was born in the USA but moved at the age of 13 to the small Caribbean island of Grenada, where my veterinarian father and occupational therapist mother had chosen for charitable volunteer service.  I truly lived a “Huck Finn” existence, rarely attending school, and spending my teenage years surfing, sailing, diving and indulging my lifelong passion for history and archaeology. My interest in creative writing was mentored by the late Martin Woodhouse and Dudley Pope, historian and author of nautical fiction who was inspired by C.S. Forester. Mr. Pope even named one of the characters in his Lord Ramage series of historical novels “Captain Ashby,” in my honor.  I subsequently lived in Spain and the UK, returning to Grenada in my early 20s where I was a director of various businesses until the Communist Revolution of 1979.  I moved to California to attend the University of Southern California, receiving my PhD in International Relations in 1986. My doctoral dissertation was published by Lexington Books in 1987 as The Bear in Back Yard: Moscow’s Caribbean Strategy.  Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich included long passages from the book in a floor speech to the U.S. Congress. I was in Washington DC from 1984 to 1990, working first as a counter-terrorism consultant to the U.S. State Department, and then as a senior official – the youngest political appointee of my rank – at the U.S. Commerce Department, responsible for commercial relations with Latin America and the Caribbean.  I held two Top Secret security clearances and worked with a number of colorful characters, including members of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). During the 1990s, I resided in the UK, earning an MBA degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and working in Central and Eastern Europe on a variety of privatization and economic development projects. I also have a law degree from Seattle University and am a licensed attorney in Florida and Washington, DC. I am the author of Time Fall, Devil’s Den, The Bear in the Back Yard, Missed Opportunities, numerous articles, and the prize-winning ghost story, “Warrior’s Return.”

Q.  I understand that you wrote a book called ‘The Bear in the Back Yard: Moscow’s Caribbean Strategy’ that was used as a textbook by the US Army War College.  Please tell us more?
A.  This book was my PhD dissertation about the (then in 1986) Soviet strategic threat to the US via the Caribbean, Cuba etc.  It was published as a hardcover book by Lexington Books (now Rowman & Littlefield) and went into several printings.  It received considerable attention in the aftermath of the “Iran Contra” affair in Washington DC.

Q.  What was the most exciting and dangerous event during your ‘top secret’ work?
A.  If I told you that I could be locked up in Leavenworth with the key thrown away!  However, in the 1980s, I worked with JSOC teams on embassy security and counter-terrorism missions in Latin America and the Caribbean.  I also spend my 21st birthday at the British Army’s Jungle Warfare Training School in the Maya Mountains of Belize, Central America.  Later, I volunteered to be the “hostage” in a counter-terrorism military training exercise in the UK.  I was “rescued” by the British Special Air Service (great blokes!).

Q.  As an international lawyer you must have seen some interesting characters.  How has this influenced your writing?
A.  I got to know many of the JSOC men, and they were colorful characters.  At that time, most of the personnel were Vietnam veterans, and they told me about missions behind enemy lines not unlike the fictional “Bandstand” operation that forms the plot of TIME FALL.  The military veterans I have met – including WW I vets I met when I was quite young – have impacted my writing, and I strive to portray them with sympathy and compassion.

Again, thank you Tim for a great interview and for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work and look forward to reading more of your books.
Good luck with your current and future publications.

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