Deborah Heal’s new Rewinding Time Series features some of the same characters from her Time and Again trilogy, but it takes place fifteen years after that amazing summer Abby came to tutor Merrideth. (Note: You can snag Time and Again FREE for Kindle. OR get the whole boxed trilogy at a discount.)
It is not necessary to read the trilogy in order read the new Rewinding Time Series, but those who did will enjoy revisiting Merrideth Randall, who is all grown up with “history mysteries” of her own to solve. Her day job is teaching history at a small college. But after hours she turns to her first love, historical research. And she has a tool other historians can only dream of—a computer program that rewinds time!
Field Research Location:
Columbia and Waterloo, Monroe County, Illinois.
Discover where Fort Piggot was located on the Kaskaskia Trail, while staying clear of attractive, single colleagues (ie. Brett!) so as not to commit career suicide, while also keeping the “rewinding time” program secret, so Uncle Sam doesn’t turn into Big Brother.
Merrideth makes a virtual visit to the 1780s, hoping to be the first to locate an ancient pioneer fort. Along the way, she gets a first-hand look at the lives of the courageous settlers of the Illinois Country, who withstood Indian attacks, hardship, and loneliness to settle the rich land.
One of the settlers is James Garretson, who risks his life to take the Gospel to the very tribe that wreaked havoc on his family. Merrideth is amazed that he could forgive a crime so huge. Hero or fool, James Garretson is the ancestor of her colleague Brett, a physics professor at her college
With her findings, Merrideth is able to help Brett with his genealogy, but she can’t tell him everything she learned—like that he inherited his black hair and green eyes from James Garretson, or that his aunt’s poetry is eerily similar to the verse Garretson’s wife Isabelle used to compose at her spinning wheel.
Brett has rock-star status on campus, but amazingly enough, he seems to be pursuing Merrideth—in spite of her firm policy against dating co-workers. She would love to tell him about her amazing program, but discretion is not his strong suit. She has secrets about herself that she’d just as soon he didn’t find out either. One virtue Brett does have is patience, and he’s quite willing to wait for Merrideth to figure things out.
Only One Way Home (book 2)
from Professor Randall’s Notebook…
FIELD RESEARCH SITE: Golconda, Illinois.
GOAL: Trace client’s Frailey ancestors—back to Scotland if possible—and get home in time for dinner.
NOTE TO SELF: Do NOT fall in love with Matthias Frailey—even though he is was quite wonderful. Remember, idiot, he’s been dead for over 175 years.
Professor Merrideth Randall’s latest after-hours genealogy consulting gig takes her and friends Abby and John to the small southern Illinois town of Golconda on the Ohio River. She expects to have to research the old-fashioned way at the courthouse. But thankfully, her client’s ancestor Matthias Frailey once hung out in Golconda’s ancient Ferry House Inn, and that means Beautiful Houses, Merrideth’s time-rewinding software, will work after all.
It doesn’t take Merrideth and her friends long to time-surf back to find out what they need to know about Matthias Frailey and his family. But when they become eyewitnesses to the arrival of the Cherokee on the Golconda Ferry on December 3, 1838, they cannot tear their eyes away from the tragedy that unfolds—nor from Matthias Frailey’s heroic response to it. The people are herded down Main Street on their Trail of Tears, bound for the Oklahoma Country, while the townsfolk only watch, or even cheer. But not Matthias Frailey. He does what he can to help them, especially a very spirited—and very pregnant—woman named White Dove who insists on walking so others may ride in the wagons.
Spending so much time inside Matthias’ head, Merrideth has no doubt that he is the kind, selfless man he appears to be. It’s impossible not to fall a little in love with him—despite the fact that he’s from another century. Meanwhile, in the here and now, handsome Golconda historian Aaron Landis is doggedly pursuing her. And back home her colleague Brett Garrison keeps calling while he waits for her return. But are they—or any man—worthy of her trust? Too bad there isn’t a way to time-surf in their heads. Now that would be a dating tool she could really put to good use.
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