no 2 Announcing Rewinding Time Series purple background

Merrideth Randall’s day job is teaching history at McKendree 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, giving her a first-hand look at the past!

The Rewinding Time Series is available in paperback and Kindle on AMAZON.COM.

In ONCE AGAIN, she makes startling discoveries about the American frontier—and about her handsome colleague Brett Garrison. READ MORE.

In ONLY ONE WAY HOME, Merrideth Randall experiences the Cherokee Trail of Tears through the eyes of Matthias Frailey, a man who lived in Golconda, Illinois in 1838. Matthias is a wonderful man and she falls just a little in love with him even though he’s been dead for over a century. Fortunately, Brett Garrison is very much alive. READ MORE.

In HOW SWEET THE SOUND, Professor Randall meets Trevor Dalton, a mysterious tattooed biker who shares her adventures with the Ohio River pirates of Cave in Rock—AND teaches her that you can’t can’t always judge a book by its cover. READ MORE.


history mystery trilogy

You don’t have to read the History Mystery Trilogy before you dig into the Rewinding Time Series, but you may want to. There, you’ll meet Merrideth fifteen years before when she was a bratty eleven-year-old with an old house, a new computer, and the travel opportunity of a lifetime—to another century. The star of the trilogy is Abby Thomas, a college student who comes to tutor Merrideth but ends up learning more than she teaches. For a description of all three books, check out the “About my Books” tab above.

Now available as audiobooks

The History Mystery Trilogy is available in audiobook, paperback, Kindle, Nook, and other e-reader formats at Amazon and on Barnes & Noble and most other online bookstores. 



The History Behind the Books

All my novels are inspired by the lives of actual historical people and the events they experienced. But it was impossible to fit it all into the books, so if you want to read more, click on the “About my Books” tab above. Lots of my readers have told me they don’t normally like history but they do enjoy the historical themes of the books. I hope you will too.

I loved doing the historical research for these books nearly as much as writing them. But it would have been so  much easier to do if I could go back in time to see what it was really like in the “olden days.” The characters in the trilogy find a weird computer program called Beautiful Houses that lets them do just that. Abby and Merrideth call it “time-surfing.” It’s miraculous, but as Brother Greenfield says in Every Hill and Mountain, “Our God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. Hallelujah! If he wants to give us a gift like that, he can.”

Tiffany Harkleroad quoteIt’s an amazing gift, all right. Except sometimes Abby and Merrideth learn more than they ever wanted to know about people from the past. Still, studying their lives of people teaches them about God’s love and goodness in a new way. From the distance that only time gives, they clearly see that God has a plan for his people, that He’s in the business of redemption, that He makes all things new. I hope my readers get that. Writing about it reminded me, too.

The Setting of the Books

All the books are set in my own beautiful southern Illinois. I was born in Eldorado, which is near tiny Equality, the setting of Every Hill and Mountain. I grew up in Woodburn, a village just down the road from the settings of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today I live with my husband Bob in Monroe County, Illinois, the setting of Once Again. Golconda, the setting of Only One Way Home, is the site where the Cherokee entered southern Illinois on their tragic Trail of Tears in 1838. It is a topic that has always fascinated me because of my own Cherokee ancestor Mary Ann Jones Bohannon, whose parents somehow escaped that fate. She was born in North Carolina, but ended up in Sugar Tree, Tennessee, where her neighbors called her “The Indian Woman.” When Mary Ann died in 1882, they buried her outside the cemetery fence because she was not white enough. Today, the cemetery has grown to the point that her grave now lies at its center, a fact that makes me smile every time I think of it.

I enjoy reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. My husband and I have three grown children, five grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (Scout had a cameo role as “Dr. Bob” in Unclaimed Legacy).


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Welcome — 32 Comments

  1. As a girl growing up, I had read some romance novels now and then. One that stands out the most is “Mrs. Mike”. It’s been years since I read it, but it was an awesome love story.

    As far as looking back, as one of your reviewers said as “unscriptural”… to me is inaccurate. The Word of God is full of telling us what was years past, so that we can learn from their mistakes.. as well as their victories. I think of King David.. the Word says “David encouraged himself” by thinking of his past victories.

    Putting one’s life experiences together as a fiction novel is a work of art. You can put yourself in a story with fictitious characters, and people can learn from the stores.

    I give your work 5 stars! *****

  2. I have thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy! The first book, Time and Again, draws the reader into the story so that the time travel seems completely plausible. The story leaves the reader wanting more. The second book, Unclaimed Legacy, picks up the main characters from the first book, developing both them and the idea of virtual time travel. The injustice of racial prejudice and the innocent suffering is presented in such a way to cause the reader to mourn for the wrongs committed and long for the day when justice, true justice, will reign. The third book depicts slavery in a way I’d never read before! In that sense, the third book, Every Hill and Mountain, is the darkest and most disturbing of the three books. Carnal human beings, separated from God, are evil and selfish, and it’s horrifying what people will do to others. All in all, I would recommend the books as a good read; I know they will stick in my thoughts for quite a while.

  3. I met Deborah at a book signing at the Valmeyer Public Library. She told me about her books and a little of the story line. I have read the trilogy and also Once Again. I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed all of them. I felt like the characters were all personal friends by the end. When I met Deborah, she did not mention that these books were built on a Christian foundation. What a WONDERFUL surprise. Thank you, Deborah, for sharing your God given talents with the world.

    • It was so nice to meet you and everyone else that night at Valmeyer library. I’m tickled pink that you like the books. I hope you get the chance to read the latest book in the series, The Cave.

  4. What an interesting concept for story lines!! Would love to read these – thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!!


    • Thanks, Anne, but you should put your comment at the bottom of the giveaway post in order to be entered int he contest.

  5. I just found your books. I read all four available in one week. I love them. They are just the right balance of everyday life and those that struggled before us. I have always loved old house and wished the walls could talk. You gave that gift through your books. Thank you. May God continue to bless your love of writing. I can’t wait to see how Merri will grow as a person through her adventures past and present.

    • Thank you very kindly, Jenna. I’m so happy you liked them. I can’t wait for the next one to come out in January. I do love my characters and can’t wait to see how things turn out too!

  6. All I can say is WOW!! I just can’t say what a great writer you are. Please give your readers more and more. I can’t wait for more to come.
    Thank you Thank you.

    • You are so kind to take the time to encourage the writer! I can’t wait to release Only One Way Home, the 2nd book in the Rewinding Time Series. God willing it will be out by the end of January 2015.

  7. i just finished reading Only One Way Home. I can hardly wait for spring and book 3! I have read every one of your books in less than one weeks time. I hope you have at least 1,000 more in the works! It is such a pleasure to read Christian based books and learn history at the same time. I feel that I really know all the characters. Merrideth sure has grown up to be a wonderful woman thanks to Abby and John. Keep them coming!

  8. Thank you so much for the History Mystery series and the books that follow. I absolutely could not put them down. You truly have a God given gift with weaving words. The story was so real. I laughed, cried and was angered appropriately!! Thank you for inspiring me to delve more into history (including my own).

  9. You are an amazing writer !!! I am an AVID reader and I just stumbled upon the Time and Again Trilogy, Once Again and Only Way Home. I can’t wait for How Sweet The Sound! Love historical books and what an interesting “hook” with the computer going back in time. I want one !! I too had a great great grandmother (no proof just info handed down through history) that was a Cherokee. I’ve always wondered why she had an “English” name of Almira if she was an Indian, now I can put pieces together from info from Only Way Home about the Cherokee given different names. She was born in New York State in 1828. I just wish I could find out more about her.
    Thanks again for the wonderful books.

    • Thanks, Marcella. I’ll let you know if I ever figure out where to get a copy of the software. Just think how much moolah I’d make selling it from my website! Wouldn’t it be sooo cool to go back and see our great, great grandparents?

  10. I downloaded the first in the series for free, and then got caught up in the lives of Abby and Merri, so I bought the next. Now, having read five, I am so upset that I will have to wait until spring for my next look into the future (and the past)! I flew through the last few. Cant wait. Thanks for the inspiration and enjoyment. Bu the way, I’m pulling for Brett.

    • I too am a Deborah…..spelled the biblical way of course.
      I also downloaded Time and Again for free and am hooked. I so enjoy history,mysteries, and the Christian perspectives are appreciated. This book had it all! Will be starting the next one!

  11. I just want to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I love the Christian reference through out the book and on a personal note that my ancestry name was one of your characters names, Mr. Puckett. Thanks again, looking forward to more…..

  12. I just got a new lap top and it had a kindle app on it. My sister has a Kindle anyway I had seen your book and called my sis to see how to down load it. So she also downloaded it. We both enjoyed reading it. I loved how you brought the past to life. How you put scriptures from the Bible in it. and explained how God has plans for us all. once we started to read it could not put it down. I had to stop reading it to go work at the church. We have a food bank there that I manage. I find myself talking to many of the older people and listen to there stories. How they were not allowed to get food like the white people did when they were young and other things that went on in the 20’s through 1960’s.d makes me thank God for the blessings he has given me. Oh I did not mention I live in North Carolina now but was born and raised in the north. I really truly enjoyed your book and looking forward to getting Unclaimed Legacy.

    • Thanks for the encouraging words. I’m so glad you like Time and Again. The Underground Railroad and slavery issues aren’t mentioned in the next book, but get resolved in the third, Every Hill and Mountain. It nearly broke my heart to research about the mistreatment of black people, including the sundown laws in towns all around where I live. I enjoyed creating the characters of Brother Greenfield and his elderly uncle. But I actually cried when I wrote the part where the uncle is still to this day worried about being in town too late in the day. I’d love to hear your impression of these characters and my treatment of the racial issues.

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