Local Author Releases Sequel
Deborah Heal’s Unclaimed Legacy, a young adult novel, is the latest in her Time and Again time travel mystery series highlighting southern Illinois history.
Waterloo, Illinois. September 1, 2012— Author Deborah Heal’s love of history shows in her books, making them appealing to teens and adults. “I like how the author weaves the stories from the present and the past in such a way as to appeal to someone interested in history, yet firmly living in the technological world of today,” said Donna Maguire, a librarian at Morrison-Talbott Library in Waterloo.
Amazon.com reviewer Tiffany Harkleroad described Time and Again’s premise as “unique…sort of a Back to the Future meets virtual reality, with a little dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in.”
In Unclaimed Legacy, college junior Abby and her eleven-year-old tutoring student Merri continue exploring the weird computer program they first discovered in Time and Again—this time with Abby’s new boyfriend John. Abby calls the experience time-surfing and explains to John that “it’s like being there, except no one can see or hear us.”
Time-surfing comes in handy when Abby agrees to help the Old Dears next door with their family tree. Except she and her friends learn more about one of the ladies’ ancestors than they ever wanted to know. Convicted in 1871 of murder and arson, Reuben Buchanan is a blight on the family’s reputation. But was he really guilty? Abby and John must get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.
The author included two of her favorite southern Illinois historical locations in the book. Abby and John do their “time-surfing” in an old house that was once a stagecoach stop called Shake Rag Corner. The building still stands, as a lovely home today, two miles from where the author grew up in Macoupin County. A photo of it along with more of the history behind the book can be found on the author’s website www.deborahheal.com.
“The beauty of writing fiction is that I can let my characters do what I’ve always wanted to do—go back in time and see what things were really like. I had to take a little literary license with Shake Rag Corner to make it work with the story, but most of the details are accurate. If a person wanted to ride the stage coach, someone would shake a rag to signal the driver to stop,” Heal said.
Abby, John, and Merri also virtually visit Camp Dubois in 1803, where Lewis and Clark and their men spent the winter near present day Hartford, Illinois, before beginning their exploration of the western lands. “I’ve always been intrigued with the Lewis and Clark story. In doing the research for Unclaimed Legacy, I discovered the little story of four young privates who get in trouble that winter for drunkenness and fighting. As punishment, Captain Clark makes them build a cabin for the camp’s washer woman. I couldn’t resist including this in Unclaimed Legacy.”
Deborah Heal lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She and her husband Bob have three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a Dr. Bob in the story). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again series, in which Abby’s college roommate Kate enlists her help solving a family mystery.
The author will participate in an Author Forum hosted by Morrison-Talbott Library in Waterloo, Illinois, on November 17. Her books are available in bookstores and online at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. More information is available on her website www.deborahheal.com.
Author: Deborah Heal ISBN: 978-1478311492 Retail Price: $12.99/Kindle: $2.99 Soft Cover, 5.5×8.5”, 275 pages