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Official Monthly Group Giveaways > Winner Declared August "Here by Mistake: The Secret of the Niche" By David Ciferri

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message 1: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod


Here by Mistake The Secret of the Niche by David Ciferri Here by Mistake: The Secret of the Niche by David Ciferri David Ciferri is August's Giveaway. Time travel fiction meets historical fiction as three 21st century teens navigate the 1960s!

The year is 2005. Brandon, Sarah, and Stephen - three teens from the small town of Rollings, New York - have just begun their summer. Wondering how to pass the time, Brandon suggests they explore the treasures in the basement of his Aunt Faye's mansion. The only problem: the kids are forbidden access to the house.

Never one to step away from a challenge, Brandon manages to obtain a key. The dark basement holds a trove of gold coins, a knight's armor, a grizzly bear on a pedestal, and ... an elaborately decorated niche. This unusual furnishing draws the kids' attention, and before they realize what has happened, they've transported through the niche to New Orleans, 1965.

Learning about the past has always fascinated this trio, but to actually live in 1965 - and in a strange town? They need to find the niche to return home!

Searching for the niche affords the kids an education unlike any they have known. Gas is 31 cents a gallon. Cars are long and low. TVs lack remote controls. Howard Johnsons are restaurants instead of hotels. And, sadly, racial discrimination is much in evidence.

Between episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies, the kids plan their return - both to their hometown and to their millennium. Aware not to change anything that might affect the future, they pursue the niche while trying to avoid notice. Will they succeed? What if they see an opportunity to change the future for the better? Peril and promise await them on the path toward home.

Two signed softcover copies will be given away for the two best answers to the following Discussion Question:

Assuming the kids get home and decide to use the niche again, to which time and place should they go, and, most importantly, WHY?

The two winners will be chosen by the author based on his take of the most interesting, original, and exciting answers.


message 2: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 90 comments Lincoln, that book sounds fascinating, while your two questions certainly are food for serious thinking.

For the first question (to which time and place should they go next), I would suppose that a number of practical factors should weigh on the teenagers' choice, like going to a place and time where Modern English could be understood (you don't want to try explaining yourself to irate/frightened people who can't understand you) and where you stand a fair chance of not getting burned at the stake for sorcery or ending up as a slave. If your travelling teenagers have any common sense, I would expect them to at least consider those points. This said, I would say Dallas, Texas, on or before November 22, 1963. Why? To either warn President Kennedy of a plot to assassinate him or to thwart that plot. The goal of that would be to prevent many bad things to happen to the USA in the years to come, apart from preventing the death of J.F.K., including the escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War and the racial riots of 1968. Your three teenagers could even become secret presidential advisors to President Kennedy and thus become potentially very powerful instruments for positive change in the USA during the 1960s and 1970s.

Mind you, this is only one of countless interesting possibilities opened to your three teenagers. All will depend on their mindsets and personal motivations. Unfortunately, not having read the above-mentionned book, I can only speculate about what they will decide.


message 3: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Just a reminder to check out the August Monthly Book Giveaway under Time Travel Discussion. Two signed copies of Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche will be given away to the two winners at the end of the month!


message 4: by Nathan, First Tiger (last edited Aug 21, 2014 01:30PM) (new)

Nathan Coops (icoops) | 544 comments Mod
I would love to see how teens respond to being sent somewhere where just being a kid is challenging. Travels abroad have shown me just how differently kids and teens are treated by country, and how much responsibility they are given. I loved hearing my great grandfather's stories of how when he was a kid of only five, his parents would put him on a horse with pellet gun and a sandwich and send him out in the fields all day to scare birds off the crops. They trusted the horse enough to guide him home. When he was 10 or so, he and some 12 year old cousins took a 1900 Olds and went on a hunting trip in the mountains near Santa Rosa, California. Never shot a thing, but did have an adventure trying to fix the car. I love hearing stories like that of a different time when people trusted that kids wouldn't get kidnapped if they were out of sight. Sending modern kids to meet others teens from an era like that would make for fun reading.


message 5: by Davide (last edited Aug 25, 2014 12:20AM) (new)

Davide Crudo | 3 comments You know how kids are. First they will fight about where to go everyone has a different idea. Teen don't think rationally. If you pick a teenager, he wants to have fun... is rare to hear kids plan to make the world a better place and go back to change the past on purpose.

They'll start to go different places and do stuff having a way to run away thru the portal "without consequences". The thing is: even they try hard to behave, they'll mess for sure things up, bring something from here to there, break things, lose each other somewhere in time, maybe find each other again after a while but in a different time and timeline... and when they realize the mess... they'll try to fix it...

Well... difficult to say... i think they would want to go to some places just because they finished watching a movie...


message 6: by April (last edited Aug 22, 2014 09:49AM) (new)

April | 17 comments Perhaps there's a relationship with a parent or grandparent that is misunderstood, or an ancestor is revered or reviled in family history. A personal journey - one that could potentially change the teens' outlook on themselves - would be fascinating.

A chance to hang out with stodgy Grandpa when he's a barefoot boy fishing in the stream, or watch the Underground Railroad in action with the help of a young, unsung ancestress - those would be fantastic trips to take.


message 7: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Wow! Many thanks for the thought-provoking comments that have come in for the August Monthly Book Giveaway of Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche. Please keep them coming...


message 8: by Candace (new)

Candace (cprimackqcom) As I have mentioned before, going into the past would put me in a wheel chair and a painful life. It's because of medications for arthritis that have kept this 41 year old going through 2 joint surgeries already ( and I still walk like a 90+ in the morning) so yay for today's progressions in my disease and others and keep them coming.
If I could go back disability free, I would choose to go back to when my grandmother was a child and play with her for a few days. She has been the person in my life that I wish I could have known more about. Also, I feel that I would be leaving a smaller footprint in history. Some days I'm bolder and may want to participate in the Lincoln administration and try to lessen the huge number of deaths in our country's civil war- but with what consequences (or butterfllies)!?


message 9: by Paul (new)

Paul | 341 comments What a coincidence! I time-traveled as a teen through the same era as these teens. Without the niche, though. I do recall 31¢ gas and TVs without remotes, actually having to Get Up (!) to change a channel. And the racism was in its blatant institutionalized form then, more subtle but still harmful today. My high school was the first integrated in a segregated city -- being a small private school helped -- but I know we were all proud and grateful that there was never an incident among friends and classmates. Change happens with the young. And must continue.

Which brings me back to the question. Where next? I would suggest that before they start interfering with events of the past, they might gain a little wisdom with their own history. Visit the times of their ancestors, even their young parents and grandparents, but carefully. (Don't screw anything up!) Hopefully, they'll gain a little insight, determination, and humility, to guide them before the real adventures begin. Take pocket change for the payphones.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 902 comments Oh, I like the looks of this book!

Where should they go next? As others have commented, it may not be where they want to.... I wonder if they'd like to see if they could work in service on the Underground Railroad, as that's something they've likely learned so much about in school that they have some motivation to take on that challenge.


message 11: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Many thanks to all who have posted great ideas about where the kids in Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche should go next. Thus far the ideas take them back in time. Any suggestions for trips to the future?


message 12: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin | 90 comments David wrote: "Many thanks to all who have posted great ideas about where the kids in Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche should go next. Thus far the ideas take them back in time. Any suggestions for trips ..."

Contrary to going in the past, when they would have some foreknowledge or hindsight that could help them or make them useful, going to the future would be for those teenagers a low return, high risk trip. Yes, they would get to see the future, but they could be easily exploited by unscrupulous people, who could even force them to hand over their secret for time travel, in which case their trip would put their time period at risk of historical manipulation. If they are lucky, they could somehow return unharmed from the future, but then the danger is how they will use their knowledge of the future. Some may even kidnap them to learn from them what they saw and use that information for their personal gain. Those teenagers may well want to see the future despite of all that, but they could well pay dearly for such a trip.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 902 comments When I was a teen, I avoided thinking about the future. I knew I'd have to grow up, become independent, consider big decisions about careers and starting a family - I wasn't ready to face that.

However, I was a fan of SF, and I sorta wanted to know if we were ever going to expand space exploration, or meet aliens, or develop Asimovian robots. I'm not sure I could guess *when* to visit to see if any of those dreams had come true, though.

So, I don't know if your teens resemble my younger self, but that's a pov at least worth considering.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

They do say the past is a foreign country. A number of correspondents have mentioned that the teens would have difficulty if they were to time travel outside of a range in which modern English was understood. To me such a situation would enhance the drama of the situation. Imagine what it would be like to introduce oneself to Socrates in ancient Greece and to grope towards a common understanding whilst exploring the vanished world of classical Greece. Or on a more visceral level, what about being forced to survive in some long gone prehistoric era where dinosaurs still roam and where the teens are both hunters and hunted? So many possibilities!


message 15: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Many thanks for the fascinating posts coming in for this month's Book Giveaway. Only five days left before the two winners are chosen and the two signed copies of Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche are mailed out.


message 16: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod


What about a trip to the medieval times. Like vacations lots of places I would love to visit but not really live there. Love me indoor plumbing and A/C to much. But to see knights and castles. I can see this discussion being had with kids of all ages.


message 17: by Brigitte (new)

Brigitte (brigdandrea) | 12 comments Oh, yes! I just stumbled upon this book and it looks exactly like what I like to read. As soon as I finish one in the stack I'm working on, this would be a great replacement. Probably when I finish In Times Like These, another teenager in time book. But where would I go if I knew of the secret niche? Hmm, probably either the 1800s America, or if absolutely knew I could get back when I want to get back, I'd go to the middle east in about 950 BC. I'd love to see Solomon and find out just how wise he was.


message 18: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Hi - Tomorrow, 8/31, is the last day of the Monthly Book Giveaway for August. Two signed copies of Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche will be mailed out to the two winners at the beginning of September. The ideas in the posts so far have been outstanding, and there's still time for some more!


message 19: by David (new)

David Ciferri (goodreadscomdavid_ciferri) | 11 comments Hi - The two winners of the Monthly Book Giveaway for August have been chosen. They are: 1) Brigitte, for her suggestion that the time traveling kids go back to the ancient world to experience the wisdom of Solomon; and 2) Cheryl in CC NV, for her suggestions that the kids go back in time to see the workings of the Underground Railroad and forward in time to observe the progress in robotics and space exploration.

Congratulations, Brigitte and Cheryl! I will mail a signed copy of Here By Mistake: The Secret of the Niche to each of you.

And to everyone who participated in the August Giveaway, thank you so much for the outstanding ideas and suggestions!


message 20: by Lincoln, Temporal Jester (new)

Lincoln | 1290 comments Mod
Congrats Brigitte and Cheryl Looks like a fun one. I will probably pick me up a copy shortly myself. Thank you David for offering your book as this month's giveaway.

Keep an eye out for Next Month's giveaway....Did you hear that? Like distant thunder...Rumbling tremor from range...What was that?


message 21: by Brigitte (new)

Brigitte (brigdandrea) | 12 comments I'm so happy to win this, and I can't wait to get it. I'm glad now I hadn't already bought it, because it is on my "to buy and read" list. :)


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