Coarsegold author Robert A. Williams Sr. saw the film "The Ten Commandments" when he was 10 and that sparked a fascination with ancient Egypt that continues today. He's used that interest as the foundation for his e-book, "T.Y.M.E. Interrupted" (Whiskey Creek Press, $4.99).
The book is a time-travel adventure that begins at a secret base in the Nevada desert where the time travel machine, T.Y.M.E., is stored. Scientists make a trip to ancient Egypt to determine the architectural secrets of the building of the temples and pyramids. They are attacked by Egyptian guards and barely make it back to the return portal, but not before they see a never before known element being used by the Egyptians for construction.
"It is very dissimilar to the 'Time Machine' or 'Stargate' films," Williams says. "In fact, no book or picture has approached the subject in this way before. The ending is quite unique."
The science-fiction approach was a natural for Williams, who has long been a fan of the writings of Lester Dent, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov.
"T.Y.M.E. Interrupted" is the first book from Williams. He always wanted to write, but it wasn't until he retired from law enforcement that he found time to "peck away" at the book. It took Williams two years to write the book, a process that took longer than he thought.
"I showed the book to a local editor in my book club. That's when I learned that while I had the idea for the book, I didn't know how to write," Williams says. "I basically rewrote the whole book."
His efforts were fruitful. His work was picked up by the third publisher he approached. Go to www.robertwilliamsauthor.com for information on downloading the book.
A trip to Tulare's past
Sésar A. Carreño — local historian, teacher and Tulare resident — has put together the latest addition to Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series with "Tulare." The new publication features more than 200 vintage photos of the city.
The book shows a different city than the one that's home to more than 60,000 people today. The book offers a look at Tulare's historic frontier, particularly the city's connection to the railroad. Tulare originally was founded by the Southern Pacific Railroad as the terminal for its southern division.
When the terminal opened, the railroad projected Tulare as the future county seat. That hope ended when in 1891 Southern Pacific moved its roundhouse and machine shops to Bakersfield and the division headquarters to Fresno. The photos — most donated by the Tulare County Library — show how the local residents adjusted to a new future in agriculture.
"Tulare" (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99) is available at area bookstores, independent retailers and online sites such as www.arcadiapublishing.com. A portion of the author's profits will be donated to the Tulare Athletic Club.
Other books of local interest:
"Cow Without Tail" (Dorrance Publishing Inc., $33): Fresno's Godwin Akube's book relies on the many clues and visible cultural traits left by Igbo ancestors to weave the Hebraic heritage of the Igbo people of Nigeria, the country where the author was born. Some of the clues and cultural traits are their priestly clan, circumcision, oral or unwritten Talmudic laws and Akwete native prayer shawls.
"Seed of the Future: Yosemite and the Evolution of the National Park Idea" (Yosemite Conservancy, $27): Dayton Duncan, an award-winning writer and documentary filmmaker, takes a look at how the establishment of the national park wasn't always a foregone conclusion. The book includes more than 100 archival and landscape images.
It can be purchased at www.amazon.com and local stores.
"Paj: From Laos to Freedom" (Poppy Lane Publishing, $12): Former Fresno Bee writer Nzong Xiong and MyYang Xiong have written a children's book — illustrated by Pao Lee Vang — inspired by the thousands of Hmong refugees who immigrated to other countries after the Vietnam War. The book is published in both English and Hmong.
The book is available at A Book Barn, 640 Clovis Ave., Clovis.
"Hidden In Plain Sight: Profiles of Fresno's Unsung Progressive Activists" (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $15): The book is a collection of articles Richard Stone wrote for Fresno's Community Alliance monthly newspaper. Each story profiles people working toward peace and social justice for the community. "The subjects include an array of individuals — varying greatly in age, ethnicity and interest — that reveals an under-appreciated aspect of Fresno," Stone says.
It's available at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness, and at www.amazon.com. All proceeds benefit the Community Alliance.
TV and movie critic Rick Bentley can be reached at (559) 441-6355, firstname.lastname@example.org or @RickBentley1 on Twitter. Read his blog at fresnobeehive.com.