In modern day Chicago, deja vu draws together a handsome mounted policeman and the beautiful young woman who saves his life. This tender love story pulls the reader back to previous lives and a time richly elegant. Yesterday is also a harrowing tale of escape through the American Civil War and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. A life of tragedy is Amanda's destiny, or so she believes. But, in this historical romance, Mark fights through Amanda's rejection to prove that she will love again as she once loved - Yesterday.
©2011 Samyann Curtis (P)2013 Samyann Curtis
This is my first Audible review and it is very rare that I think a book worthy of a five-star rating. "Yesterday," is an incredibly well-written blend of romance, accurate historical fiction, humor, and reincarnation . There were times when I laughed and times when I cried but, at no time was I ever bored. Samyann's attention to detail and her ability to weave a story kept me riveted all the way through the book. The characters were so well-rounded that I found it almost impossible to choose a personal favorite but I think my favorite was Mary. I can't wait for her next book and the information page at the end is something not often found in literature. This is a book that will captivate the reader whether or not he/she is a believer in reincarnation. The detail is so life-like that I've been craving corned beef and cabbage since I read "Yesterday."
I love to read and working on my first book. Maybe it will be on Audible someday.
This was a wonderful story of love. Set in Chicago in the present day the story alternates between Chicago of the 21st century and the 19th century.
Amanda is minding her own business when a disaster strikes in Chicago and she finds herself playing the hero as she saves the life of Mark, a Chicago PD police officer who will come to play a huge role in her life.
Ever have that feeling that you have have met someone before but you can't quite put your finger on where? That is how both Amanda and Mark feel about each other. Both are convinced they know each other from somewhere and are determined to remember where they met even though both are certain that they have never met, at least not in this lifetime.
When Amanda saves the life of Mark it happens in front of an antique store. Inside the antique store there is a grandfather clock whose ticking and chimes capture Amanda's attention. Her godmother, Mary, convinces her she needs to go back to the store and buy the clock. Amanda finds herself totally drawn to it and swears that she has heard the chiming before. Again, she does not know why it is so familiar to her, but she cannot help but stand in front of it and listen to it tick, tock, tick, tock. Inside the clock is the name "Wellington 1873". She knows that the clock is much older than this and determines to find out the significance of the inscription.
Mark, in an effort to help, convinces Amanda that she should try past life regression to see if it yields any answers for her. Mary, her godmother, is a psychiatrist and has helped many patients through past life regression therapy and agrees to help Amanda.
Amanda has issues with the present. She won't allow herself to love or otherwise become attached to another person because she is convinced that every she loves dies or goes away. This is a problem with Mark because she finds herself drawn to him like no other person she has ever known. When she begins to fall in love with him she does everything she can to push him away convinced that it is the only way to make sure he does not die as well.
Mary is convinced that this PLR therapy can help Amanda overcome her issues and give her answers about the past that can help her in the future. Meanwhile Amanda remains torn between her love for Mark and her need for him in her life and saving his life by not allowing him to become to close to her. Will she succeed in pushing him away or will love truly conquer all.
This is as much a historical novel as it is a present day love story. Samyann obviously did quite a lot of research on Civil War era and post Civil War era history in order to write the passages regarding Amanda's past life regression sessions. The final chapter of the book is a short list of some of the historical research that went into the book.
The characters in the book are all believable and lovable in their own ways. I had no trouble in bringing myself to care about them. They are all flawed in some way and yet they are so perfect. My favorite character has to be Mark. I could relate to him in many ways, and in many ways I wanted to BE him putting myself into the story in his place.
The narrator, Darlene Allen, did quite a wonderful job with the story. I never felt like I was just being read to out of a book. She does quite a good job with her voice intonations and the voices of individual characters in the book.
This is quite a charming love story. Even though there are many love scenes between Amanda and Mark they are never explicit, and I absolutely ADORE that. This book is proof that love stories can be enchanting without being dirty. BRAVO!!! Samyann...I want more like this.
I received this audiobook from the author via the Goodreads Audiobooks Group in exchange for an honest review.
Yesterday by Samyann is a book about soulmates and the love and loss shared between soulmates through the ages. I've read several stories over the years involving reincarnation and this novel does not disappoint. The central theme is how a "soul" is often recycled through families.
In Yesterday, our two old souls are Mark and Amanda, who both "recognize" each other without ever having met before. In discovering who they are, Mark and Amanda uncover at least one past life that they shared during the time of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The story climaxes when Amanda overcomes her fear of commitment because of past tragedies, and instead learns to live in the moment and appreciate the life that God granted her in this lifetime.
I listened to the Audible version of this book narrated by Darlene Allen who did an admirable job. She had different voices for each character, both male and female, including a way of portraying Mark such that he sounded very tall, dark and handsome. As a bonus you occasionally hear an Irish brogue - yum! I received a copy of this audio in exchange for an honest review.
Reading/Listening is FUNdamental!
YESTERDAY: A NOVEL OF REINCARNATION was an engaging novel about Amanda and Mark, a mounted police officer, who meet by chance in an accident where she saves his life while he’s on duty. Meanwhile, she’s mesmerized by a beautiful old antique clock inside a shop. It wasn’t for sale but the owner decides to sell it to her anyway since she saved Mark’s life. She purchases it and brings it home but there’s more to it than just that. She’s drawn to this clock as if she’s seen it before. While over for dinner one evening, Mark decides to do some investigating with the clock and opens it up. He and Amanda very carefully look behind the animal carvings and moon face to the back and he discovers soot inside it and a label of a company that never existed in Chicago in the 1800’s. He also removes a small piece of wood to have it checked. He ends up staying over on the sofa and they both have the same encounter in the middle of the night at the clock. Was it just a dream?
The next day Mark learns that the soot inside the clock was from the Great Chicago Fire and the clock must have been saved from destruction and restored with a new label added onto it. With both him and Amanda having continued feelings of knowing each other somehow and Amanda having seen the clock before, they decide to use Amanda’s therapist to put her through past life regression therapy. This leads them on a path to discovering the origins of not only the clock but to a past life that neither of them could have ever imagined.
I found this to be a wonderful historical romance novel with well-rounded characters including Mary, her therapist. I really liked her and she had a great southern accent. I liked the idea of past life regression but it was more comparable to a time travel story. There were a few places in the story where I felt the plot jumped around somewhat but it didn’t necessarily take away from the overall outcome. I listened to this audiobook written by SAMYANN who’s an author to watch in the future. I look forward to seeing what she does next. I think “Yesterday” is worth a listen and I’d recommend checking this one out if you like historical fantasy/romance.
DARLENE ALLEN is a wonderful narrator with a wide range of tone. She has a unique voice and keeps all the characters separate. Her voice is deep enough to portray Mark cleanly while not compromising the part of Amanda. She handled the story very well and made it an enjoyable audiobook. This was a nice listen from both author and narrator.
Audiobook gifted in exchange for review.
I knew this story would have some kind of reincarnation element to it, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how the story unfolded. The past and present are artfully blended together. The dual timeline creates an intriguing mystery that is slowly revealed. I really enjoyed the audible version.
Past Life Romance
Yesterday: A Novel of Reincarnation focuses on Amanda and Mark and their search to learn about their past lives in order to understand how it is affecting their present.
The novel is well-written but the main character, Amanda, comes off as flighty in parts of the novel. Mark is a bit too well versed in Gaelic and Irish lore for a current day Chicago native. It comes off as contrived after a while. If the goal was imbuing the story with authentic Irish characters and atmosphere, promoting the myth about corned beef and cabbage being an Irish dish rather than an Irish American dish could have been left out.
Despite these relatively minor irritations, the story was enjoyable overall. I bought the kindle book and was given the audible version by the author in exchange for a review. The narrator, Darlene Allen, did a fine but not outstanding job bringing voice to the various characters.
I alternated reading and listening through whispersync and the story line kept me intrigued enough to finish it in a day.
I have not read the print version. I really enjoyed the audio version.
I really liked the love story. It was very sweet.
She brought the characters to life. Her distinction of the different voices was excellent. She got the accents down pat.
Yes. It really held my attention.
This was not a book I would normally read but I really enjoyed. I would recommend it to other people.
( I received a free audible copy for an honest review.)
With reincarnation as a lure, I put aside my distaste for romance novels and gave Yesterday a try. Even though I rolled my eyes and snorted through the romantic bits, I have to say that there were not as trite as I expected. It is very hard to put into words the emotions that two people who belong together have for each other. Love is too small a word to encompass the wealth of feeling. I admire an author who attempts to describe the connection between soulmates without becoming weighted down by cliché.
I did feel that the opening was a bit bumpy. But after a bit, the story just flows. Amanda does seem as if she’s more angsty than a teenage girl, but there is a point. She has to realize that life comes with painful parts and it’s what you do with them that determine your character.
Yesterday is a novel rich with history and the connection between past and present.
The narration by Darlene Allen was spectacular. This narrator becomes the characters and you can visualize the characters by the voice that she uses.
The historical fiction. Civil war era. I enjoyed the reincarnation segments. They were done appropriately and in good taste. This writer handled this very well. The flow of the story from present day to reincarnation travel is done very well.
Yes. Every book I listen to by this narrator is excellent! It is hard to compare one excellent narration to another excellent narration. I can visualize Mary because of the narration.
Yes, I would have sat and listened in all one setting if I could have. I carried my phone or iPad all over with me so I could continue with the story.
Great book, well written, excellent narration. I am going to look for other books by this author and narrator.
Have you ever had that feeling when you meet someone for the first time that you have met each other before? After Amanda saves Chicago Mounted Police officer Mark Callahan, neither one can shake the feeling that they already know each other. Thus begins the character’s journey in Yesterday: A Novel of Reincarnation.
The story starts with a literal bang, and you’re in the action right away. We get our two leads, the object that ties them together somehow (hint: it’s a clock), and the magnetic pull that draws them together to figure out just why they feel that way. The author playfully takes her time dropping hints and defying expectations while we wait for the topic of reincarnation to be addressed in the story.
Once we finally get to the point that it is a possibility, we journey through Amanda’s present and past lives while we work toward figuring if or how she knew Mark and just what that connection actually is.
As a reader/listener, my interest was so-so in the beginning. I think the narration wasn’t as strong at that point or I simply didn’t like it as much. I found Amanda to sound weak, but at the beginning of the story Amanda is weak (mentally, not physically). Once we got to the Civil War flashbacks, I was all in. I found that timeline and those characters much more interesting than present-day Chicago. The parallel timelines worked for me, and it was great to get both of them resolved by the end of the book.
I am a frequent audiobook listener, and I know how a great narration can elevate a mediocre book. Likewise, a poor narration will make it very difficult for a good book to shine. The narrator for this was very good, and though I’ve not heard any of her work before, I would give future listens of any of her productions a chance.
She had to bring to life characters of different ages and ethnicities, and to that she succeeded. She even did a rather impressive owl in the nighttime sound that could have been straight from nature. My favorite of her voices was that of Mary and Mark when he starts slipping into his Irish brogue.
I would also like to point out here that the narration for the regression scenes was particularly well done. We hear Mary speaking to Amanda and guiding her through the process. It was done in such a calming way that I could almost believe I could put that section of the book on and put myself into a past life. As I was operating heavy machinery at the time (i.e. driving), I didn’t do it and don’t recommend it to any of you, either. In the safe comfort of your own home, have at it.
The only negative of the narration itself that I would specifically want to point out is that the voice for Ed Morgen seems a very odd choice. He sounds like an old Scandinavian from North Dakota or Minnesota, though it isn’t stated in the text or by the character’s name to be the case. The narrator is consistent, but it’s odd all the same.
Chicago as Character:
In many stories, the setting can become a character all its own. In this story, Chicago native Samyann puts in the confident details to make Chicago vital to its role as the setting. This story, in either time line, really couldn’t have happened anywhere else, and it begins at the start when Amanda is looking out through her window and sees the Ferris wheel on the Navy Pier. Amanda’s cat is even named Oprah, a cute, though sometimes distracting detail.
Some of the writing shines in what might seem as throw-away details that would have been forgotten or skipped with other writers. In one scene, Mark has a toothpick and it is explicitly stated that at one moment the toothpick is flat across Mark’s bottom lip. In a different passage later in the book, Mark sits down and is described as putting his ankle on his knee. (Samyann does it better than I did just there.) That is such a typically male piece of body language, and it helped make Mark seem a more complete person.
I found Amanda to be a completely frustrating character. She is so damaged and wears her damage close to the surface at times. I don’t think Amanda was a poorly written character. I actually think the opposite is true. She was so well written that it made my time with her uncomfortable for me since I am not naturally sympathetic to that type of person. Many times I wanted to slap the woman and tell her to stop wallowing in self pity. I am obviously not as kind as Mark, who had the patience of a saint.
Though I didn’t initially like her very much, I did hold out some hope that the author would make Amanda’s narrative arc one where she conquered her personal demons, and by the end she is in a much better place as a character.
Book covers are an art, and in many indie books they can be embarrassingly bad. This cover is not that kind at all. It is truly clever and appropriate to the story, and the font choice is appropriate and effective.
Lots and lots o’ Alcohol:
I am not a drinker, and I find mentions of it in writing laughable and distracting. Many times it seems like an attempt to make a character look cool and sophisticated, but that backfires for me as a reader. In this story, Amanda and Mark are drinking at almost every single occasion they are together, and there are usually multiple drinks. The first time Mark stays over at Amanda’s apartment he does so because he’s too drunk to go home.
I was starting to get put out with the alcohol mentions that had seemed more like unnecessary scene flavoring, but it resulted in a very specific plot point. After one particularly stressful regression, delicate Amanda goes on this 3 day drunken bender in her apartment where she has done nothing but drink and drink. Mark goes to check on her and helps sober her up against her will. After that point, the alcohol mentions almost completely disappear.
Sex and Language:
Yes, sex happens, but never explicitly on the page. The author avoids describing the actual act, and scenes fade out usually right before or fade in right after. This is not a problem as it seems to fit the tone of the story well. The most sensual scene is a shared shower scene, but even that is kept from being too explicit.
As far as language, yes, there is swearing in this story. It’s not a main feature. There’s actually more alcohol than colorful language. I would say it’s appropriate to the characters and doesn’t detract from the story.
Miscellaneous bits and bobs:
This isn’t a comedy, but there are a few big laughs from the book really took me by surprise.
At about two-thirds into the book, Mark is critically injured and has an out of body experience. The writing and narration for that scene is very deft, one of the better scenes of the book.
I thought antique dealer Ed Morgen would play a bigger role in the book.
I also thought Mary might die by the end of the book since she is old and so important to Amanda (hint 2: she doesn’t).
Further, I had hoped perhaps we’d see Mark’s cop partner Pete get himself a girl, but there are only so many side plots a writer can put into a book without losing focus.
As an indie debut novel, this delivers an interesting, quality story that one might not expect to find in the sea of self-publishing. The pieces all tie together in the end to give a satisfactory experience, and I’m sure the author worked very hard to bring it together. When she did, though, the effect of the whole is that it’s exactly the story it should be.
This would appeal to those who love a mystery (what about the clock?), the Civil War, and a love story with a hero who does not give up on his heroine. I don’t think belief in reincarnation is required to enjoy the story, though an open mind and suspension of disbelief wouldn’t hurt.
My real rating: 4.5 stars (but 5 because we really can’t give half stars anywhere)
Disclaimer: I received a free Audible download of this story from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Amanda and Mark meet by chance when a disaster happens.Immediately they feel they knew each other before.We are taken thru 2 versions of this love story.I'm not a big romance fan and was hoping for more of a time travel novel.I was not able to get past the narrator,Darlene Allens drone.The pace was too slow and it was very distracting to me.The story was good,not great.Give it a try,you may like it more.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast or MalarHouse dot com"
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