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Out of Time

Author(s): Pauline Baird Jones

Winner of Eppie 2007 - Mainstream

A time travel/action adventure/romance.

What happens when a twenty-first century woman on a mission to change the past meets a thoroughly 1940s man trying to stay alive in the hellish skies over war-torn Europe?

Melanie “Mel” Morton is an adventure reporter, who lost her grandfather in World War II. With no family left, she’s all about doing her job and finishing her grandfather’s biography.

Enter Jack Hamilton, sexy octogenarian, genius/scientist and former WWII bomber pilot.

What he tells Mel sends her on her craziest adventure yet—straight into the past to save her grandfather’s life—and change Jack’s future—if she doesn't accidentally end it.

All Mel has to do is outmaneuver the entire German army—and not fall in love with Jack.

Unfortunately, eluding the German army is the easy part….

Praise for Out of Time:

Out of Time has Oscar nomination written all throughout it’s very well written and adventurous pages. I can see this being turned into a movie because it is so fleshed out; details are so vivid and the dialogue matched true to the characters that they seem to jump off of the pages. Ms. Jones has a winner with this story and it’s going on my keeper shelf.” Long and Short Reviews, Best Book

"Jones is back and taking on new genres and challenges in this high-intensity time-traveling war thriller. Love can truly span generations, as these soul mates born out of time prove. Adding in the drama of being trapped behind enemy lines ratchets up the tension and thrill factor! " Romantic Times

"What a great time I had reading ! I got in trouble at work, at home and I could not put it down. Ms. Jones made me feel I was right there with the Time Machine crew in the freezing skies over France and the French countryside with the Resistance trying to help downed flyers was all too real. Even the deaths were done true to life. I can't express how much this book made me think of other folks' relatives who lived and died for our freedom." Manic Readers


Present Day

THE C-130 rumbled through the sky, the propellers cutting into the gradually thinning air. Melanie Morton had been miserable on the ground in her wet suit and gear, but as the plane went up and the temperature dropped she realized she was an amateur in miserable.
She’d done some crazy—and misery-inducing—things for her television magazine segment, Make Mel Cry Uncle, appearing four times a year on BrightLine Weekly, but doing a HALO jump with the Navy SEALs was taking crazy thirty thousand feet too high.
Her producer had had to do some heavy duty persuasion before the Navy would allow her to even prepare for the jump, let alone attempt it. They finally agreed, perhaps because the powers-that-be thought she’d never make it through Hell Week, let alone survive the grueling training regimen that was required prior to the high altitude low open drop with an actual SEAL team. But here she was, all geared up and only one way to go: down. At one-hundred and twenty miles per hour.
If she’d had any doubts about her sanity, she didn’t anymore.
She really was out of her freaking mind.
The sad part, she’d been out of it clear back to when she’d first pitched the idea that had eventually become Make Mel Cry Uncle. Since that time she’d learned to fight various sorts of fires. She’d trained with cops and SWATs, trekked to the Arctic, done a stint with the Coast Guard and another in search and rescue, gone swimming with sharks, dived to deep sea wreckage—the list was long and getting longer. Four shows a year for five years. Dang. So far she hadn’t made it into space, but it wasn’t because her producer hadn’t tried to talk her into it. There was buzz of going back to the moon, but that was so last century. Maybe if they let her go to Mars….
She shook her head. What was she thinking? She still hadn’t gotten her tush out of this plane and she was thinking about Mars? She was worse than freaking insane…whatever that might be.
Of course, she could cry uncle and go home. Show over. SEALs happy. Their charity would be even happier because she’d have to ante up the dough and not them. That was the deal, if she cried she donated to their favorite charity. If she didn’t, then they had to donate to hers. So far, her charity had made out like a bandit. They loved her. But all good things had to come to an end sometime. So why wasn’t her mouth open and why wasn’t she crying uncle like a baby?
Her Gran could have supplied the answer. She’d told Mel almost every day of Mel’s life that she was the most stubborn person on the face of the earth. It was probably her biggest character flaw, though it wasn’t her only one. However, there came a time to face those flaws and defeat them.
Did it really matter if her SEAL team expected her to fail? Was proving them wrong that big of a deal? So what if they had bets on when she’d cry? They were also betting on when she’d wet her pants. It was probably a guy thing.
She looked down the row of faces, seated on the hard narrow bench with her. All of them were in full scuba gear and each held an oxygen mask in anticipation of the moment when the cabin would be depressurized. Hers was probably the only face without the tough-guy expression. This was an experienced team of steely-eyed professional killers who’d proved their chops in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were honest-to-goodness heroes, like her grandfather and her father. She was proud to be sitting with them, even if they did want her to fail.
It wasn’t personal. They liked her, or what they knew of her. Some of them had even offered to get to know her on a more personal level and weren’t holding a grudge at being turned down. They just wanted her to fail. Only in the movies could a girl make it as a SEAL. It would make them so happy if she failed. It was probably the patriotic thing to do.
It was a pity the necessary word was stuck in her stubborn throat like a freaking hair ball that wouldn’t hack up. Even as she was listing the reasons for crying uncle, another part of her brain was pointing out that it was only a jump. Other than the first step and the velocity, it was really no different from her time with the paratroopers.
So that made her stubborn and delusional.
There was a saying in the SEALs that the only good day was yesterday. This was her last bad day. Tomorrow she’d be on her way home, with all her SEAL yesterdays behind her. She could go back and kill her producer. Thanks to the SEALs, she now knew about a hundred different ways. Pity she could only use one of them on him.
The aircraft shuddered and then straightened out.
“Three minute warning,” Rockman’s voice said in her ear piece.
They all donned their oxygen masks and then the rear ramp slowly lowered, depressurizing the hold. Mel had thought it was as cold as it could get.
She was wrong.
“Line up!” Rockman spoke again.
Moving like ungainly gooney birds, the team and Mel formed two lines on either side of the plane, clutching at hanging straps for balance, their footing made precarious by heavy packs, webbed feet and the bouncing of the plane as it rode the air currents. Mel realized she was hyperventilating into her mask. Would the friction and pure oxygen set her lungs on fire? That thought didn’t help. Fear Rockman would notice did.
Rockman got nose to nose with her. He didn’t need to. She could hear him just fine in the ear piece. On the other hand, he’d spent the last three months with his face in hers telling her to move her butt somewhere other than where it currently was. It was probably a hard habit to break. Maybe it was even a freaking SEAL rule.
“So, Frog Lady, you ready to cry uncle?”
Frog wasn’t actually meant to be an insult, even though everything Rockman said sounded like one. This team were divers, hence the frog appellation. Over his shoulder, Mel could see Henry, her rather green-about-the-gills cameraman, recording the moment. It was also his job to record her exit from the plane, or her ignominious defeat. If she did make the jump, then her free-fall would be recorded by mini-cams affixed to the team’s head gear. Her Mel-cam was so that her viewers could have the illusion of seeing it from her point of view.
So this was it. Decision time. And she needed to pee. No question someone was going to win at least one bet, with the cold lining up against her sphincter. If she was going to be in for a pee, might as well go for the pound. Or in this case, in for the jump.
“Sir, I’m going to jump, sir!” She shouted, because shouting was the only tone Rockman could hear, based on past experience.
He nodded sharply, even as his brown eyes told her he didn’t believe her. Mel tried to focus on her instructions, rather than the increasing pressure on her bladder. If she wet her pants now it would probably turn to ice inside her suit. Hopefully it wouldn’t form into stalagmites in there. Or was that stalactites? Either was sure to be painful.
“Ladies first.” Rockman gave her a sardonic look.
Great, now he decides to be a gentleman. She looked at the ramp hanging over thirty thousand feet of atmosphere and ocean and her sphincters gave up the unfair battle, releasing in a warm wet rush. It wasn’t that bad. And it was as much encouragement as she was going to get on this plane.
“Hoo-yah!” She ran forward and leapt off the ramp into nothing. Six guys who owed her charity money followed her out. She just hoped they weren’t bitter about the money. She had a long way to fall with them.

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Genre: Time Travel
Date Published: 11/16/2013
Publisher: Pauline B Jones

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