The Rewinding Time Series


MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, the delightfully satisfying conclusion to the series, is now available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. CLICK TO PREORDER More Than Meets the Eye

And please help me spread the word: CLICK TO TWEET


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00023]Remodeling Professor Merrideth Randall’s dream house is turning into a bigger project than she and Brett imagined. Even so, they take time out when Merri’s father pleads for her to visit him in prison. When she boldly shares her new faith to the inmates and guards Brett proposes to her on the spot.

Now, if only they can get the house finished it will be perfect for the wedding. The work would go faster if there weren’t constant interruptions by people needing help. But Merri has a new policy of People Before Projects, which is why she agrees to temporarily “grandma-sit” Josephine Sayers so she can stay in the home she loves—one of 156 Sears catalog houses built in Carlinville, Illinois in 1918.

Merri uses her miraculous time-surfing software to meet Elizabeth Spaulding, the plucky lady on horseback who supervised the men constructing the houses. She’s a strong woman of the new century, but all she really wants is a Sears home of her own—and for her husband to be worthy of her respect.

After seeing Elizabeth’s struggles unfold on her screen, Merri prays that she will have the grace to keep her marriage vows to Brett—in good times and bad.

The Rewinding Time Series is available in

paperback and Kindle on AMAZON.COM.

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!

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.

In A MATTER OF TIME, the house Merrideth has been dreaming of owning goes on the market, and a realtor gives her a key to the front door. Built in 1839, it sits right across the street from the Mermaid Inn where Charles Dickens stayed during his American tour. That makes her house the perfect place to use her amazing time-rewinding computer software to find out  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).

It would be so nice if you could share!




  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.

  13. I stumbled upon Time and Again and was pleasantly surprised it was based out of Brighton Illinois. I grew up my far from there and now live near Eldorado! I can’t wait to read this series and all the others! I love reading christian based books, and adding the historical settings makes the perfect read! May God continue to bless you and your books!

  14. Hi Deborah!
    I have always been fascinated with time travel! Enjoyed all five books so far.
    They were very well done. GoodJob!
    I am also a history buff, may I throw an idea your way?
    In Kentucky in the 1800’s ( Bath County) there was a revival ( you probably already know this!) turns out I had relatives from both sides in the area at that time. One was a circuit rider and the other a minister in the Dunkard movement. Also Daniel Boone rumored to be in the Dunkard Church. What a great way
    to include history and faith.
    This revival was also the beginning of Asbury College.
    I’ve never been there, but I am chomping at the bit to check it out!
    Just a thought!
    Keep up the good work!

    • That would be a great book idea. So far, I’m sticking with southern Illinois history, but who knows, maybe I’ll branch out to Kentucky just over the way. I’ll be giving a mention to the Kentucky militia in my next book How Sweet the Sound. They chased a pair of very bad hombres out of Kentucky (and into Illinois, thanks a lot!). Look for it in May or June 2015.

  15. Just wanted to say how much I have enjoyed Time and Again & The Legacy.I am about to start the third one and I can’t wait. I was just looking on your sight And found two more I am about to download try and wait patiently for the third. What was a pleasant surprise is I’m from that area .

  16. Thank you for the delightful reading experience!. Historical Fiction is my all time favorite genre. i.e. David Nevin, “Dream West” etc. I’m a Kindle reader and was given the suggestion after reading Joanna Stratton’s “Pioneer Women”. As another reader commented, I too am from the area. Born in Greenville, Ill and lived for a year or so in a little home rumored to have been in on the “Underground Railroad”. Met my husband at a church camp up on the bluffs of Pere Marquette (sp?)state park. The Indian petrograph off of Grafton Road, the charms of Abe Lincoln’s New Salem and on and on. I grew up in Trenton, Ill which, as I found out from my dear co-worker, was a town she would have had to “Not let the sun come down on her”. I cringe at this. May the Lord continue to bless your writing. Wendy & Co. (my reader buddies)

    • Thank YOU for taking the time to comment. It’s fun hearing you mention so many places I know. For example, my family used to often vacation at Pere Marquette, and I’ve been intrigued by the Piasa bird forever.

  17. Wow. I just finished Time and Again. Wonderful. I love reading time travel books and finding ones that are christian is fantastic. I couldn’t put it down. And now I am even going to pay for the next book. I’m cheap and rarely purchase ebooks. But after reading the first 2 chapters I have to get it.
    It’s so refreshing to find good reads with no trash in them. It’s a rare thing.
    Please keep these books coming. I guess I have found a new favorite author.
    God bless you.

  18. I just discovered Time and Again and although I don’t use the word very often, I felt like I was part of some enchantment. I work part time at our local library and was very excited to share my experience reading your book with some of my “library” friends. I thought this trilogy was so special that I’m going to donate it to the library to put with our teen reads even though I think it’s special for any age group. I love the characters and the history. How awesome to imagine going back in time and seeing Lincoln as he really was….wow. I can hardly wait to read the next two. I live in Central PA where Christian fiction is very much appreciated and once we have it in our catalog, I’ll be sure to recommend it to our patrons. Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift.

    • Wow! Reading your comments, I felt like I was in an enchantment. Thank you very much. I hope your patrons like the trilogy. And be sure check out the follow up Rewinding Time Series too.

    sooo much! GOD BLESS YOU~

    • What a blessing it was to read your comment! Likewise I’m so glad you find my books a blessing. I know what you mean about young people’s books. When I was a teacher, I was appalled at some of the books on the shelves. Everywhere you look it’s about vampires, witches, and magic. I decided there was no reason books couldn’t be imaginative and mysterious without being occult–and thus my History Mystery Trilogy and Rewinding Time Series. Some Christians are afraid to read my books about “time travel” because they assume I’m going the typical route. But I was careful to make mine “virtual” only. No way would I write about people going back in time and changing the course of history. God is sovereign over time as he is everything else. Thanks again for stopping by to encourage the author!

  20. We in the SOUTH like your writing also. We have some of the same history .We love that it’s so clean and brings history alive. I have just read the TIME And again series , and I’m hooked.

    From one Grandparent to and other.
    Barbara Adcock, N.C.

    • Thanks, Barbara! I hope you like the Rewinding Time Series as much as you did the trilogy. We southern Illinoisans have many historic connections to the South. And I have a soft spot for North Carolina. Our three kids went to college there, and our daughter still lives there with her two daughters. Thanks for stopping by!

  21. I could not put this book down!!! In between cooking and mowing had to read . Thank you for an awesome read.

  22. My dad was born in Equality, Illinois. When we visited my grandma, it was in Eldorado! I will be reading your series!

  23. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find your series of books, especially since they are written from a Christian perspective. We readers are so blessed to have found such a interesting writer with such a great premise. I look forward to more books to come.

  24. Just finished reading TIME AND AGAIN and fell in love with the story. Who hasn’t wished they could be “a fly on the wall” and see, experience another life without getting stuck there? Am looking forward to following Abby as all times progress. Great read!

  25. I downloaded Time and Again and was enjoying it so much. One thing about reading a book on my ipad is I can’t flip to the end when things get intense to see what’s happening. This book ended at a great climax and truly made me have to get the next book. I look forward to reading this asap!
    Thank you for bringing unpredictability to your stories! Love them!!!!

  26. Just finished reading your first book Time and Again. I took a chance on an unknown book on my Kindle and was so pleasantly surprised to find a well-written, wholesome story with a new author friend! I related to this unique time-travel story on many levels: as a retired teacher, librarian, a lover of historical fiction and mystery, mom, and finally as a Christian who enjoys a good story without having to dig through profanity and inappropriate situations to find it. This was a breath of fresh air–suitable for all ages, from retired me–to my teenaged granddaughters. I’m looking forward to the next serving of this series. Thank you for the blessing of sharing your talents.

  27. Just finished Unclaimed Legacy. Love it! You have a real gift although I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and an explanation about the computer program that is allowing them to seethe past. LOL
    I will definitely be recommending this series to our Christian School librarian.

  28. I have just finished book 6 in this series & I’m begging for more! I’m almost 69 & these have the readability, the intrigue, the humor, the everything of the Nancy Drew mystries of my childhood, only on an adult level. The one thing I did miss is the mysterious 15 year period of Merideth’s transformation & John & Abby’s wedding. A flashback book perhaps as Merri looks for a new house & struggles with her salvation?
    BTW, I grew up in Oklahoma & was always thankful for all the Indian culture in our state. I’m not proud however of how these wonderful people were & are still being treated. Thank you for your honest portrayal of the Trail of Tears. I know it was much worse than even you described.
    I’m anxiously awaiting your next novel.

  29. Time and Again was truly a treat, what a great idea to travel through time in a computer. Abby, Merideth, the rest of the characters, very real. The references to God’s love, awesome. Thank you, young lady! My name is Reba, I’m a fan and am very pleased to meet you!

  30. You have a billion ways of attracting readers. I’m always looking for Christian Fantasy/Science Fiction; but was, at first, disappointed at finding that your books were more for younger readers. (…and, maybe, women.) But, because the computer/time travel thing was interesting, I thought, maybe, I’ll read one book; then recommend it to students from where I sub. (I don’t care if it’s “too Christian”, or not, these days.) In two weeks I read all six of your books. What have you done to me?! haha. I turned into a teenage girl! Obviously Christian dudes can like this type of story and your telling of it too. I know many a girl or boy student who will benefit from ALL aspects of your writing. I will take your books with me to classes. (6th grade+) I’ve done side reading on your History components. You are doing a great work.

    • Thanks for stopping by to comment. I’m always glad to hear feed back from readers, but I especially like to hear that men find my books interesting. I tell male friends that they don’t have to worry about the books being fluffy or girly. (Maybe that’s because I’m not.) I’m thrilled that you’ll be taking them to your classes, even if they are “too Christian.” You go! Let me know if you can think of any way I could interact with your students. I am a former educator and hopeful of getting into more schools. Reviewers on Amazon have told me they have a new interest in history after reading my books and have the urge the to go look up things to learn more. Yay!

      • Yeah, the “History thing” happened to me too. I went looking up things to find further info. (Two hours later: blink, blink… what was I doing?)
        AND, I already have one of those poignant History heart/brain things that make me wonder about the “Hopes and Dreams” of lives from the past that you described in the cemetery scene. I want this for our students. They need to feel some of that “good pain” too; have have things a bit tougher… They need to find out why GOD made them. (I tell them this in class…) Your books point these things out, as well as entertain.
        I do have a favorite class that I will turn loose on you, at this site, if that’s okay. They will enjoy getting a response from the author of the book they just read. (lmk if that’s not a good idea.)
        I’ll start by reading from my Kindle app, then, give them a copy of the book; and let’s see what happens…
        They WILL show me if they go out and buy the second one. I’ll check to see if your books are already in the school library too.
        Thanks again!

  31. I have all the books and read each one in a day. I love them all. I love the history…I love finding books that I can read AND learn from. Thank you so much for them.
    Actually, I have read them all more than once.

  32. Thank you for your work. Once I start one of your books I just about have to sit and read it until it’s done. I got started reading your books with a free Kindle “Time and Again.” The other two weren’t free, so I checked them out through Interlibrary Loan from the Library. I just finished book 2 in Rewinding and I was so impressed with the way you portrayed the Indians and Americans who helped them. I have been very impressed with each of your books and I’m going to try to purchase each of them for myself. I don’t normally re-read books, but yours are definitely a re-read.

    • Thanks for letting me know how you feel about my books. Your comment is very encouraging to me. Books aren’t cheap, especially for people who read a lot, so I am impressed that you intend to buy them all. I do try to do my very best–as unto the Lord–as I research, write, edit, and rewrite. I thank God for each and every reader who finds them!

  33. I saw the article in the News-Democrat about you and your books. I just finished reading “Only One Way Home” and am now ready to read the next one (and the previous one) in that series. I literally could not put the book down. Discovering my ancestors and what they went through in their lifetime is one of my pursuits. I started with this book since I know there is a Cherokee ancestor in my lineage and wondered if this would enlighten me as to how he came to Illinois. In the process, I have a new-found understanding of the dire circumstances the Cherokee endured as they were pushed from their land. Thank you for your research and the Christian perspective found in your writing.

  34. I just finished “A Matter of Time” & I’m still wiping the tears from my eyes. Ireally enjoy all of your characters & how you mature them tthrough each book. This was very interesting with the Dickens twist. Not being a fan of Dickens, just required reading from school days long past, the interaction of the others who did make a difference in American history had me singing ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy.’ I am already anticipating what Merideth & Brett will find as work begins on her dream house. Dare I hope for a special wedding feature?

  35. I just finished “A Matter of Time” and have enjoyed reading all your books. Waterloo is my hometown, so I’ve especially enjoyed your references to Waterloo and Columbia. The concept of time surfing is very interesting and entertaining. Looking forward to your next book!

  36. I attended college in Carlinville, Illinois and had many friends in the area. Your descriptions of the county brought back delightful memories including one of some caves not far from the campus rumored to have been a refuge point along the “railroad.” I envisioned frightened souls leaving their scary concealment to travel on to Miles Station.
    Thanks for continuing my education outside the classroom.
    Best regards,

  37. I am HOOKED! I can hardly put your books down. I love the historical parts and find myself wanting to read non-stop. I especially love the research you’ve done, I find myself putting the kindle down to look up a term. So many things I never knew about. I also really like how the storyline continues from one book to the next. I’ve read all of the your Time and Again series and now I’m into the 3rd book of of the Rewinding series. Let me not forget to say how important the Christian aspect and scripture are, to me. Thank you so much for great reading! Write on!

    • Linda, you have know idea how much that spurs me on! I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me. I hope you’ll also post reviews for the books. Lots of people have done so for the first book. (It currently has 579!!!) But the more recent books have very few reviews. And lots of reviews help to make the books findable for others. Thanks again for your support.

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