A Token of Time

The murder of Zachary’s lover and a mysterious connection to the recently deceased legendary matinee idol, Marc Castle challenged everything Zachary knew to be true – to believe that the impossible, was possible. On the run from his family, Zachary Hamilton was cursed with a gift he neither wanted nor asked for. The recent murder of his lover unleashed a chain of events revealing Zachary’s connection to the recently deceased legendary matinee idol, Marc Castle. Attempting to unravel the mystery behind the movie star, Zachary encountered an ancient relic shrouded in history and folklore, leading to a discovery so shocking it altered his very existence — challenging everything Zachary knew to be true — to believe that the impossible, was possible.

 

Title: A Token of Time
Author: Ethan Day
ISBN#: 978-1-60820-650-6 (print) $14.99
ISBN#: 978-1-60820-651-3 (ebook) $8.99
Release Date: April 2012
Word Count: 121,000
Heat Level: 3 out of 5

Well, what an amazing story.  I read it twice before sitting down to write this review, not because I needed to but because I wasn’t ready to let go—The story of Zachary Hamilton and Marc Castle flows like a Mobius strip from the year 2008 back to the 1950’s and around again and never hits a false note.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews

Zachary carried in an open bottle of wine and three glasses as Dave continued to fiddle with the projector they’d set up on top of the dining room table. Jonathon looked about the room as if taking note that the place was in a state of disrepair. He glanced back at Dave every so often to see how things were coming along.

Zachary watched him carefully for a few moments, thinking he seemed nervous, or was it anxious? Something told him that Marc wouldn’t appreciate the mess. Placing the glasses down he proceeded to fill them, handing one to Jonathon before pushing another across the table to Dave.

“I think it’s ready,” Dave said to no one in particular. He took a sip of wine and further examined the projector. “I couldn’t find the screen…Jonathon would you happen to know if Marc had one?”

Jonathon nodded, heading over to the large plate glass window showcasing the courtyard between the house and garage. Zachary followed, ready to help him carry the thing till he realized what Jonathon was doing.

Zachary smiled at the simple genius of it when Jonathon flipped a switch in the corner. A mechanical hum began, followed by a screen which slowly began to drop down in front of the window from a long metal grate in the ceiling. Zachary had assumed it was an air vent of some sort.

“Very cool,” Dave said.

“Thank you for inviting me for this.” Jonathon stood, hovering in the corner for a moment. “I wasn’t sure I wanted to come at first, but…”

Zachary watched as the older man once again trailed off into his own thoughts. “Did you drive yourself?”

“Goodness me, no,” Jonathon said. “My eyesight has gotten too poor.”

“Would you…I mean…shouldn’t we invite your driver in? Feels funny leaving the guy out there all alone.”

“He’s used to it.” Jonathon moved to a chair. He stopped as if realizing. “But if it makes you uncomfortable and you don’t mind, of course. He is family.”

“Please.” Zachary nodded as Jonathon began to make his way to the front door. “Nephew or grandson?”

“You misunderstand me.” Jonathon poked his head out the front door and placed two fingers in his mouth. A freakishly loud whistle followed. He motioned as if to wave the guy in, pulling the door closed. “He’s family…as in homosexual, not by blood.”

“Oh!” Zachary felt his cheeks flush with heat.

“And not like that, get your dirty mind out of the gutter.” Jonathon managed to get out before the chauffeur came bounding through the door. “My Max was it…the only man for me.”

Zachary was embarrassed, having unintentionally offended his elder. He heard a low rumble of a laugh coming from Dave who was standing behind him, enjoying his awkwardness.

“Sorry.” Zachary apologized to Jonathon before offering his hand to the newest member of the Divine Secrets of the Ga Ga Homohood.

The man introduced himself as Bruce, who was beefy, filling out his chauffeur’s uniform quite nicely, and certainly wasn’t hard on the eyes. Zachary guessed Bruce to be in his mid twenties. He had short black hair, a nice chiseled jaw line, but was on the shorter side with quite large hands, something Zachary always appreciated.

Bruce didn’t have much to say outside of yes, no, and thank you.

Zachary brought him a can of coke, since he’d declined wine. Probably just as well considering he was definitely the designated driver out of that twosome. Zachary and Jonathon exchanged grins catching Bruce and Dave eyeing one another.

It suddenly occurred to Zachary that Dave probably enjoyed having sex, something the poor guy hadn’t had time for having been glued to Zachary’s side since Nick died.

Dave had never looked at him that way and on some level he should probably be upset by that fact, though quickly decided to let it go. He had enough to deal with as it was.

They finally all settled in once Zachary topped off everyone’s glasses and turned off the lights. Dave flipped the switch on the projector and the light flickered, reminiscent of the way Zachary’s visions began. The film had no sound, but it was in color, they discovered. Whoever was filming had been standing out on the patio filming the ocean and the boats off in the distance.

The film had a faded, old fashioned quality—both bright and dim at the same time as if the colors were separating. Zachary was grateful it played at all considering how old it had to be.

Zachary listened to the ticking sound of the projector behind him as the photographer slowly turned the camera toward the section of the house that hung out over the cliff. The patio looked deserted, but you could see someone moving around inside the house and the camera began heading in that direction. Once close enough, he could see it was a woman.

Okay…didn’t see that coming.

“That’s Madison Sinclair,” Jonathon said. “One of Marc’s Hollywood friends.”

Zachary nodded, deciding not to press further hearing a hint of disdain in Jonathon’s voice.

The Madison lady looked up at the camera; gave a little wave and a huge smile. She was extremely beautiful, like a movie star herself; with long Rita Hayworth styled blonde hair. She was flawlessly put together in a seaside ensemble wearing a wide brimmed straw hat, a retro looking one piece swimsuit, and a long wrap around skirt tied at the waist.

The camera whipped around, causing the four men watching the screen to shift in their chairs from the vertigo. It stopped on Marc, standing out on the patio in nothing but these sexy form fitting swim trunks that had tiny red and white checks. His skin was well tanned as he walked around acting silly— making macho, he-man poses, before moving on to jumping jacks.

Zachary smiled, watching Jonathon stare up at the screen with a big smile.

Marc suddenly walked up to the camera very quickly, in a kind of Three Stooges manner and licked the lens. The camera jerked wildly as Marc laughed hysterically. The camera operator turned it around and looked into as if he were angry. He was an attractive young man, and Zachary was surprised by the sudden flash of disappointment in his gut.

The guy wiped the lens off with the corner of his open shirt.

“That would be Leo Archer,” Jonathon announced. “Another of Marc’s Hollywood friends…always good for a laugh. So terrible what happened to him.”

“What happened?” Dave asked.

“No one knows really. He simply vanished one day without a trace,” Jonathon answered. “There’d been a string of young gay men who’d disappeared like that back then. If I remember correctly it made the papers during the time Max and I spent in Los Angeles in ‘59 and ‘60. There was an investigation of some sort if I recall correctly. Not that the gay aspect was being reported mind you.”

Zachary nodded, unable to tear his gaze away from the screen.

Leo finished cleaning the lens, turning the camera back around to film Marc in a purposefully over-the-top embrace with Madison. It was very melodramatic. They both jumped and separated slightly, looking across the patio where Marc’s bedroom was located.

Zachary chuckled; understanding they were going for a corny, silent movie-like feel.

Marc and Madison turned, looking into the camera with awe and shock before Marc shoved Madison away.

Zachary’s heart nearly stopped, seeing himself up there on the screen, acting fake-upset with Marc. His doppelganger wore nothing aside from a tight pair of black swim trunks, and there it was…slightly distorted in color yet dangling from his neck…Pepi’s token.

Every muscle in his body stiffened, and the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. Zachary heard Bruce and Dave leaning forward in their seats behind him.

Madison was wringing her hands on screen, wailing away pretending to be distraught. Marc was trying to grab fifties Zachary, who was attempting to fend off his advances on screen.

Apparently not too great of an actor…not even a great bad actor.

“Dude…that’s like…you,” Bruce said, obviously stunned.

No one else spoke, but Zachary sucked down what was left of the wine in his glass. He watched as Marc pulled fifties Zachary into his body, kissing him. Madison faux crumpled onto the ground like she’d fainted, and Marc picked fifties Zachary up and tossed him over his shoulder, carrying him off toward the bedroom. Fifties Zachary looked into the camera with a big smile and waved goodbye with both hands.

Leo turned the camera around and stared directly into the lens with a they’ll never believe this back in Ohio expression.

The screen went black briefly and then white as the film ran out of the reel.

Everyone sat perfectly still, all eyes were on Zachary.

“C…can we…rewind that?” Zachary finally got out, placing a hand over his chest.

Dave snapped to attention and began working on that.

Zachary’s gaze slowly drifted over to Jonathon who was staring back at him with a told-you-so grin.

5 Stars from BookAddict and a Romance Reviews Top Pick
“Mr. Day excels at showing how true love can really be. This m/m romance is highly recommended to those who cherish the “love will conquer all” theme.”
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5 Stars from Reviews by Jessewave
“A beautifully written romance that I couldn’t find fault with and simply couldn’t put down. I highly recommend A Token of Time.”
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5 Stars from The Novel Approach
“A story unlike any I’ve ever read before from Ethan Day – I didn’t want it to end.”
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4.75 Stars from Joyfully Jay
“The book fluctuates between contemporary and historical romance under an umbrella of the supernatural and it does so beautifully – a must read for all.”
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4.5 Stars from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Reviews
“Well, what an amazing story.  I read it twice before sitting down to write this review, not because I needed to but because I wasn’t ready to let go—The story of Zachary Hamilton and Marc Castle flows like a Mobius strip from the year 2008 back to the 1950’s and around again and never hits a false note.”
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B+ from Book Reviews and More by Kathy
“A Token of Time is a brilliantly conceived novel with a creative storyline that is quite compelling—a must read for anyone who enjoys a romance with a beguiling paranormal twist.”
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4 Stars from Hearts on Fire Reviews
“A whole side of Mr. Day that you have never seen before.”
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4 Stars from Prism Book Alliance Reviews
“This is a fantastic book. Paranormal and time travel; a complicated plot that the author nevertheless manages to keep control of so you don’t get lost; characters who come alive on the page, so that you can fall in love with them and feel for them.”
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