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
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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.
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
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.
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.”
It’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!