Maiya Williams

Premiere date: December 4, 2010

This December, our guest is Maiya Williams, author of The Golden Hour series.

Rowan Popplewell is composing the top ten reasons his life stinks: #10. I have no friends; #9. I’m not good looking; #8. I have no personality; and so on. In the wake of their mother’s death and a failing family business, Rowan and his depressed, uncommunicative sister Nina are sent to their aunts’ house in the middle of nowhere, Maine for a month . Rowan prepares to be bored out of his mind. Things seem to be looking up when he meets Xanthe and Xavier Alexander, a pair of twins who are staying with their Nana for the summer. But none of the children has any idea what’s in store for them when they decide to explore an old abandoned hotel called the Owatannauk.

Formerly a luxury resort for celebrities of the time, the Owatannauk has fallen into a state of complete disrepair. Except…during the silver hour (just before dawn) and the golden hour (just before dusk) the hotel transforms into a portal to any destination in history. And all the residents of Owatannauk, Maine are frequent flyers.

In the course of the series, the quartet has adventures in Revolutionary France, Ancient Egypt, and Gold-Rush-Era California. Along the way, they learn that while time travel can be exciting, it can also be dirty, complicated, and extremely dangerous. In the third book, The Hour of the Outlaw, they discover dark forces at work at the Owatannauk Resort that are threatening to use the hotel for self-serving purposes that could change the future.

The Golden Hour books are an interesting blend of adventure, history, and science fiction, but they are never so fantastical as to seem implausible. Maiya Williams has a talent for creating the sights, sounds, smells, and people of the past so vividly, it’s like you’re right there. Rather than placing historical figures onto lofty pedestals, she presents them as real people with real problems. That admirable realism also applies to the four main characters, as they tackle personal and other-dimensional problems alone, together, and sometimes, as bitter rivals.