“I have a question for you sir, is time travel possible?” 
These were the memorable, often-quoted words from the romantic time travel movie, Somewhere in Time. They have prompted conversation, observations, essays, entire weekends devoted to the idea (yes, there are Somewhere in Time weekends, people!) and for me, they were the inspiration behind my new book, Cricket and Biscuits, one of five stories in the new Amber PAX™ Reeling Through the Years Collection.
When I signed up for this particular PAX I was so excited. I love time travel as a subject and have obsessed on it since I saw the movie Brigadoon as a kid. I loved that dancer Gene Kelly magically goes back in time to a Scottish town that only appears once every hundred years for a single day. I fretted as I watched it. How would Gene find the town again and the woman he’d fallen in love with if he returned to his daily life?
Even as a young girl I was a dreamer, a romantic, and I always wanted a happy ending. As time went on and I saw more time travel movies, some of them were scary and had a devastating impact. Remember the amazing Time After Time, in which H.G. Wells (who wrote the definitive time travel novel, The Time Machine, follows Jack the Ripper to modern-day New York City?
Jack was played by one of my favorite actors, the truly great David Warner, and in one scene Wells tries to convince him to return to the past asking if he realizes he’s out of time in the big apple. Jack scoffs at the suggestion, indicating the violence he sees all over the TV in his hotel room. “We don’t belong here? On the contrary, Herbert. I belong here completely and utterly. I’m home.”
Chilling stuff.
Midnight in Paris restored my faith in the utter romance of the genre. I loved that movie. Though I enjoyed the equally romantic Leopold and Kate, it was missing something for me. With Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen tapped into everything I cherish about the idea of time travel. Who among us wouldn’t love the chance to go back and visit with someone they love?
For me, I’d love to go back and see my mum though I don’t recall a time she wasn’t sick in bed, riddled with cancer. I wouldn’t want to see her suffering again because it still hurts my heart, but I’d give anything to hug her and kiss her and just be with her. I never got the chance as a child. She was so ill and never wanted me or my brothers to see her the way she was. She died in a Sydney hospital when I was six. I never got to say goodbye to her.
I’ve visited the subject of time travel in some of my books, including Out of TimeBalthazar Starblitz and some of Phantom LoverWaikiki WizardChildren of the Rainbow, and Waikiki Vampire stories.
I have always wondered, and asked many friends, “If you could travel back in time, would you?”
What if you can’t change the past?
What, however, if you could?
I am so in love with the idea of going back that I took inspiration from the lovely, hauntingSomewhere in Time, playing the soundtrack constantly as I wrote Cricket and Biscuits. I have always loved the idea that love outshines and outlasts everything. Even death. I am reminded often as I write, of a wonderful line from Brigadoon when the old man tells Gene Kelly,
“I told ye, if you love someone deeply enough, anything is possible … even miracles.”
I hope you check out Cricket and Biscuits and the other fine offerings in this collection of heartfelt stories. Don’t forget to leave a comment for the chance to win all five!
Cricket and Biscuits by A.J. Llewellyn:
Dance choreographer Michael Makris has the chance to go back in time to find his recently deceased husband, John. Encountering his lost love is magical and romantic, but Michael soon bounces back to the last place he wants to be—the present.
Clementime, the gifted witch who sent him back to the moment he first met his husband, tells Michael that John wants him to move forward, without him. Clementime also cryptically reports that John said, “Life isn’t all cricket and biscuits.”
But can Michael give up the love of his life, or will he find a way to go back and fight for it?
Genres: Gay, Contemporary / Time Travel / Paranormal / The Arts / Mystery
Heat Level: 3
Length: Novella (25k words)
…“Michael, are you sure you want to do this?”
“Yes,” I said. “I’m very sure.” Six weeks I’d waited, and the stress and tension had almost killed me. I’d only discussed my plan with one person, my best friend, Howie. He was the one who’d told me about the witch in the first place.
My hands were still shaking, so I slid them beneath my thighs, sitting on them atop Clementime’s red velvet sofa. That thing was not as comfy as it looked. I tried not to stare at her bric-a-brac, or wonder about cooties on the sofa. Her place looked so normal outside. Like every other small beach cottage on Superba Avenue in Venice. Inside, it resembled the kind of jumble sale I’d seen on desperate people’s front lawns. The unmistakable stench of eau-de-cat-piss invaded the cramped space, but I saw no kitties in sight. In a gloomy corner over her left shoulder, I spotted a tree-shaped plant stand and felt a shiver of alarm. All the plants were dead.
Don’t look at them. Don’t think about it. You can’t back out now.
“I know you’re the one who can help me,” I said, as her lovely, almond-shaped green eyes seemed to bore into my soul. Howie said she had a massive ego, and I’d been stroking it ever since I first made contact with her.
Howie had a friend who’d been to Clementime and had experienced her promises of time travel. She had wanted to connect with her mom who’d died and was very happy with the results, according to Howie.
Clementime said nothing for a moment. I still couldn’t get over the whimsical aspect to her name and wondered if she’d changed it from “Clementine” to “Clementime,” but she always got mad when I asked too many questions. I held my breath, worried that she was going to send me away. After all, she’d been difficult to get hold of, and even harder to pin down to an appointment. She’d asked me to think about it, pointing out certain dangers in going back in time.
“You might not cope with what you find out,” she’d said on the phone. “Once you go into the past, I can’t bring you back to the present, unless you and I happen to connect and we repeat the process.”
“Is that likely?” I asked. “That I run into you in another place and time?”
“Oh, yes.” She’d sort of chuckled. “You and I have danced together before, Michael.”
I had no idea what that meant, exactly. I knew I wasn’t much of a dancer in this life. I suspected she wasn’t referring to actual dancing, but didn’t care. I wanted to be with the man I loved. Going on without him was no longer an option.
My soul was in torment. “I don’t care where I am in time, as long as I’m with him.” I fidgeted on the sofa, recalling our earlier chat. Having accepted me as a client, Clementime spent an awful lot of time trying to dissuade me from taking the plunge. I kept thinking about the movie Kate and Leopold. I got goose bumps every time I thought about the moment Leopold told Kate’s brother, “I am the man who loves your sister.”
John loved me like that. He really did. If he had survived me and could have found a way to go back in time so we could begin again, he would. I was sure of that. But since he was gone and I was here, and I could do it, I went for it.
“Oh,” Clementime had said when I told her what I wanted. “Going back in time is easy peasy for me, when the other person is alive. It’s a little trickier when they’re dead…”


Cricket and Biscuits by A.J. Llewellyn is now available at Amber Allure.

To see/purchase the entire pax collection click here!

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