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Sunday, November 5, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Valley of Time by Jeremy D. Holden @smithpublicity @jeremydholden

Valley of Time
by Jeremy D. Holden
Smith Publicity


Hey everyone! Kicking off the Valley of Time BLOG TOUR today!  This is the second book in the Mal Thomas Mystery Series.  Continue below to see a synopsis, about the author, an excerpt, my review and a glimpse at the first book in the Series, Sea of Doubt, linking you to my review for that book as well.  Happy reading!

For those on Bookstagram - stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway for 2 paperback and 2 ebook copies! (Come follow me @wherethereadergrows to enter!)

Valley of Time

The Greatest Journey Ever Taken

A Mal Thomas Mystery Novel (Book #2)

By Jeremy D. Holden

If you could go back to a pivotal moment and change your fate, would you?


 “Jeremy D. Holden has done it again with Valley of Time! His gifted writing style and humorous protagonist, Mal Thomas, take us on a time-bending journey in an epic story of adventure and love.”

-- A.J. Tata, national best-selling author of Besieged

             In October 2016, author Jeremy D. Holden introduced readers to one of contemporary fiction’s most charismatic new protagonists with Sea of Doubt: The Greatest Story Ever Sold - A Mal Thomas Mystery. An “oddly believable […], swift, unusually entertaining journey through present-day public relations” (Kirkus Reviews), Sea of Doubt followed Mal and his team of mad men and women as they embarked upon an extraordinary assignment – promoting the alleged second coming of the Messiah at the behest of a powerful and mysterious industrialist – and brought to bookshelves a laugh-out-loud funny, eerily timely story about the media, alternative facts, and modern society’s endless obsession with fame.
            On November 5, 2017 – not incidentally the day our clocks “fall back” per Daylight Savings Time! – Holden continues Mal Thomas’s adventures with the release of Valley of Time: The Greatest Journey Ever Taken [Clean Publishing], the second book in the ‘Mal Thomas Mystery’ series.
            A sequel that also works as a standalone novel, Valley of Time sees Mal approached by another enigmatic billionaire with an incredible proposition: Huw Hudson – think Richard Branson meets Elon Musk plus a dash of Howard Hughes – wants to position his company, Space Rider, as the leader in commercial space tourism.
Of course, there’s a twist: Hudson has evidence of an alleged UFO encounter, which he thinks could damage his business plans, and needs Mal and his team to investigate and manage the breaking news story.
 Mal discovers a deeper purpose at work as he crisscrosses Sao Carlos, Miami, London, and Dubai in furtherance of Hudson’s audacious ambition while being forced to keep an unbelievable secret from the FBI, and even his closest friends. A page-turning thriller that follows the launch of a massive global PR campaign to promote one of the most seismic events in human history, Valley of Time ultimately corners Mal into confronting his deepest fears – and takes readers on a journey that will challenge the very core of our beliefs about space and time.
Valley of Time provides a window into the modern world of digital and social media-driven mass persuasion,” states Holden, who is himself an award-winning advertising executive who has counseled some of the world’s most recognizable names and brands.

“It also poses some crucial questions,” he continues. “What if you could go back to a pivotal moment in time that shaped your life? Would you try to alter your fate? And what if the conspiracy theorists aren’t actually nutty at all – what if they’re right?”

Fast-paced, full of wit and humor, and sure to delight fans of authors like Carl Hiassen and Nick Hornby, Valley of Time: The Greatest Journey Ever Taken is a truly original novel from one of contemporary fiction’s most thrilling new voices – and will be available for purchase in mass-market paperback and e-book editions wherever books are sold as of November 5, 2017.

About the Author:

Jeremy D. Holden is the author of the Mal Thomas Mystery Series, which to date includes the critically acclaimed novels Sea of Doubt (2016) and Valley of Time (2017) – with a third release planned for 2018. An award-winning creative professional and accomplished author, Jeremy has earned many of the advertising industry’s top honors, including the prestigious “Gold Effie” (the Golden Globe of the ad world). His first book, Second That Emotion: How Decisions, Trends, and Movements Are Shaped [Prometheus Books, 2012], explores how movements are created in the political, cultural, and commercial realms, and received attention from national media outlets, including Fast Company, The Huffington Post, CNN, and NPR.
A UK native, Jeremy currently lives and works in Raleigh, North Carolina where he is President and Chief Strategy Officer of Clean, an award-winning integrated branding agency. He also teaches at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Media and Journalism. A popular speaker and facilitator, Jeremy has run workshops with fellow authors Malcolm Gladwell and Professor Dan Ariely.

Find Jeremy D. Holden on Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads and at

Excerpt from the Book:

Not a tremendous amount happens in Llandderfel in the county of Denbighshire in North Wales. The undulating valleys that decorate the countryside are beautiful as I recall from a school hiking trip I took when I was a boy. The people are warm and welcoming, it rains a lot, and of course they love their rugby and to sing in celebration of their victories.

Huw Hudson was undoubtedly the most famous person ever to come from Llandderfel, where he was born in 1970, a few years after me, but a world away from the relatively privileged upbringing I’d experienced across the border in England.
The Welsh name Huw—more commonly spelled Hugh by Saesons (or Saxons) like me—derives from the German name Hugo, which means simply heart, mind, and spirit. And no three nouns could have better captured the life and the character of the man who would rise to international wealth and notoriety as the visionary leader of Space Rider.
The people who knew Huw best variously described him as driven, combative, and charismatic, and it was these qualities combined with his blazing intelligence that elevated him from the humblest of beginnings to the apex of the global business world.
Huw’s mother had died tragically while giving birth to her only child, and he’d been raised by his devoted father and best friend, Llewellyn, who was a gamekeeper at the nearby Palé Hall country estate. Llewellyn taught his son to track and hunt and had tutored him into becoming an expert shot with a rifle while still a young boy.
Palé Hall is situated in the nearby county of Glyndwr, which takes its name from Owain Glyndwr. He was either the rightful Prince of Wales in the time of King Henry IV, or the treacherous leader of the Welsh rebellion, depending on who taught you history, after his patron King Richard II was deposed.
In his time, Owain Glyndwr was a Renaissance man, educated in law, a committed supporter of the arts, a diplomat, and a soldier. A legendary Welsh hero also known as the Prince of Powys Fadog, the Lord of Glyndyfrdwy, he was ultimately defeated by the English forces and incarcerated in the Tower of London, never to be seen or heard from again.
Some say he escaped, others that he was executed, but what isn’t in dispute is that the grandson of one of his descendants, Owen Tudor, ultimately ascended to the throne of England becoming Henry VII, and the Tudor dynasty was born. Perhaps Braveheart should have profiled the life of Owain Glyndwr rather than William Wallace, if the producers had wanted to tell a story of equal bravado, as well as engineer a happier ending.
Although born of humble stock, to many in North Wales, Huw Hudson was a modern-day manifestation of their ancient hero, Owain Glyndwr. He bled for Ddraig Goch, the Red Dragon, and for many they saw him as the hallowed Mab Darogan, the Man of Destiny.
A product of the grammar school system in the United Kingdom, which selected the brightest working class children to receive a more academically challenging education. Huw excelled in math, science, philosophy, and the arts, as well as on the rugby field, and he was offered a combined academic and sporting scholarship by Oxford University.
Unlike myself, he accepted his place at Christ Church College and went on to achieve a double first in astrophysics, in the process becoming an Oxford Blue three years in succession, playing scrum-half for its celebrated rugby team. While Huw distributed the ball for the dark blues, the team never lost a match to the light blues of Cambridge.
On leaving Oxford, Huw was variously recruited by organizations as prestigious and as diverse as NASA, GE, and a Seattle-based online retail start-up called Amazon. But ultimately, in a move that didn’t surprise his friends in the slightest, he opted to join the Royal Air Force, having always wanted to fly jets.
He rose to the rank of flight lieutenant in record time and flew one of the earliest Eurofighter 2000 jets, latterly known as the Typhoon, on several covert missions over the Persian Gulf and received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Having fulfilled his lifelong ambition of becoming a jet fighter pilot, Huw left the RAF with the characteristically modest goals of both becoming the richest person on the planet and changing the face of aviation.

My Review:

Mal is back and this time he's being asked to promote space travel with the possibility of meeting life elsewhere.  We are basically taken in the same direction as Mal was taken in the first book, Sea of Doubt.  The first part of the book is basically the same.  We meet the main characters again, he's approached the same way again and we live in a sense of deja vu if you've read the first in this series.  I do much prefer this premise of space travel and extraterrestrials much better than the premise of the first book with the second coming of the Messiah.  

Once again, we get to see how Mal uses his expert advertising skills to convince people to want to come on this exploration.  As we near closer and closer every day to the possibility of living on another planet, those in the elite money bracket will be afforded the opportunity to potentially do so!  If you believe that there is life outside of Earth, then why wouldn't you want to be the FIRST to meet and/or observe them?  Quite interesting and definitely had my interest.  

What I love the most about these characters is Mal's relationship with his wife.  The author expresses beautifully how much in love they are after decades of marriage and how much Mal admires and listens to his wife's opinion and how she supports him, even when she doesn't agree with him.  Love!  And based on the author's notes at the end of the book, you can see that he feel the same about his wife.  So adorable!

It's hard not to compare this book to the first one - especially with reading them back to back.  Also since the beginnings of both books are extremely similar.  This time we don't have the huge, out of left field twist and instead get a more interesting and easier read.  I think you could also read this as a stand alone though there are some references to book one that might not be crystal clear if you haven't read the first.  Overall still the very intriguing concept of using social media to sell something outrageous to the world.

Want to know what thoughts of the first in the series?  Check HERE

Thanks so much to Smith Publicity for these copies - it's always nice to read series books back-to-back!

Follow along the blog tour:
Monday, November 6 - JESSICAMAP REVIEWS  (
Thursday, November 9 - ABOOKTASIA (
Friday, November 10 - THE WRITING TRAIN (
Saturday, November 11 - BROOKE'S BOOKS (
Sunday, November 12 - WHITTERZZ M (
Monday, November 13 - MELISSA'S BOOK WORLD (
Tuesday, November 14 - MEL'S MEANDERINGS (
Wednesday - November 15 - THE OUTSPOKEN YAM (
Thursday - November 16 - THE QUIRKY BOOK NERD (
Thursday - November 16 - CAMILLEA READS (
Friday - November 17 - ME AND BOOKS (
Saturday - November 18 - A BOOK AND A LATTE (
Sunday - November 19 - ABOOKTROPOLIS (

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