January's Thaw

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
Many people obsess over their past, but no one more than I. Perchance it’s because, as a man out of time, I left behind so much of it unlived. If that makes little sense, consider that I’m a time traveler. More

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Words: 80,310
Language: English
ISBN: 9781935171645
About J. Conrad Guest

I write novels about everyday people dealing with the universal ideals of love, loss, regret, and death—and the emotions associated with those ideals. A reader once told me that my work was, “Gritty, entertaining… real. Romance for the non-romantic.”

My first novel, January’s Paradigm, was published by Minerva Press, London, England. Current Entertainment Monthly in Ann Arbor, Michigan, wrote of January’s Paradigm, “(readers) will not be able to put it down.” I have two other novels based on the Joe January character, One Hot January and January’s Thaw. Both are available from Second Wind Publishing.

In 2008 I completed Backstop: A Baseball Love Story in Nine Innings, which is available from Second Wind Publishing as well as from Amazon in both book and Kindle formats, and from Barnes and Noble (Nook). Backstop was nominated as a 2010 Michigan Notable Book, while the Lewis Department of Humanities at the Illinois Institute of Technology adopted it as required reading for their spring 2011 course, Baseball: America’s Literary Pastime.

Chaotic Theory, a novella that explores the conjecture of how the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil might result in a tornado in Texas, is now available from Amazon in book and Kindle formats.

In April 2010, I completed my fifth novel, The Cobb Legacy, a murder mystery that spans two centuries written around baseball legend, Ty Cobb, and the shooting death of his father by his mother. The Cobb Legacy is now available for download for your Kindle, Nook, EPUB, MOBI or in PDF.

Death is considered a universal ideal in fiction writing, so you’ll want to check out A Retrospect in Death, which is now available from Second Wind.

500 Miles to Go is set during the golden era of motor racing (the 1960s). The story follows young Alex Król as he seeks love while making his dream to win the Indianapolis 500 come true. 500 Miles to Go is now available from Second Wind.

I’ve completed, A World Without Music, speculative fiction set against a backdrop of romance, has been accepted for publication and will launch in late 2014.

I’ve commenced my next novel, Forever a Philanderer.

My fiction and essays appear in various online and print publications, including Cezanne’s Carrot, Saucy Vox, River WalkJournal, 63 Channels, The Writers Post Journal, Redbridge Review, and Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine. My sports writing can be found at Bleacher Report.

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Reviews

Review by: Sheila Deeth on Aug. 06, 2013 :
I read J. Conrad Guest’s One Hot January quite a while ago and enjoyed it, but I have a talent for forgetting tales and all I remembered, on picking up this sequel, January’s Thaw, was that the story involved time travel and a 1940s Private Investigator. I thought about picking up the earlier volume and rereading before embarking on January’s Thaw, but I didn’t and so I can confirm, January’s Thaw stands perfectly well alone, though you’ll want to read One Hot January afterwards if you haven’t already. And I still want to read January’s Paradigm too.
Which is prequel and which is sequel becomes a moot point in a novel of intersecting timelines and parallel universes. Which is the real Joe January? How honest an effort can he make to change his own past? And how will he learn to live in the present when yesterday was 1947 and tomorrow is 2047?
There’s a touch of H.G Wells in the author’s explanations and description of the future, with Joe January facing a world of promiscuity, terrorism, excess and modern technology. Time-travelling protagonists question whether changing the past has brought any improvement, and the modern world’s supposed freedoms are well compared with a theoretically benign authoritarianism.
Attitudes to women, love and lust come to the fore with some fascinating arguments about past and future objectification of women. “Love is a choice, not a feeling,” says one of the characters, and respect is a right. “If the rights of even one individual are revoked, then the rights of all mankind suffer,” she says later.
The story’s tightly woven around one man’s hopes, loves and regrets. But the themes are all-encompassing with politics, recent events, abuse, advertising and more, all viewed through the eyes of the ultimate outsider—a man from the past, living in the future, looking forward and back to the present. A fascinating, if sometimes wordy book, with much food for thought and a fine storyline, this is an intriguing novel bound to appeal to anyone who’s ever wished H.G. Wells were still dreaming and writing today.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this novel from the author in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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