Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time and Again by Deborah Heal

Back Cover Blurb:
Time and Again
Visiting another century…not the summer vacation she had planned.

Abby thinks tutoring an “an economically disadvantaged adolescent” as her college service project for the summer will be a snap.
Merrideth, her sullen 11-year-old student, thinks “No thanks, I don’t need a babysitter.”
John thinks Abby’s kidding when she tells him she can fast-forward and rewind life. Not her own, of course, but that of the girl who lived in Merrideth’s house 160 years ago.

It’s difficult for Abby to break through Merrideth’s emotional wall. The girl has been closed down ever since her parents’ divorce, especially since she was forced to move to the dilapidated old house that her mom inherited. But when her dad sends her a top-of-the-line computer to make up for it, Abby and Merrideth discover a crazy program that invites them to “Take a Virtual Tour” of houses around the world— including Merrideth’s. It’s a tour all right… a tour of the past when the house was new and a girl named Charlotte Miles lived there 150 years before.

It’s like being there, only better. They know Charlotte’s thoughts and feelings. They experience her joys and frustrations as she courageously takes on a huge challenge, risking her life for others while her father is off fighting in the Civil War.

Watching from a distance, Abby and Merrideth gain a new perspective on their own lives, their faith strengthened as time and again they see God’s loving hand in Charlotte’s life.

“What really made the story unique was how she brought the past to life via a computer program. While this book is geared toward teens, I think that anyone who enjoys contemporary and historical fiction woven together will certainly enjoy this book. On a scale of one to five I would easily give this book a six! Highly recommended.”
--Brenda Casto, Amazon reviewer

Read an Excerpt here:

Merrideth sighed wistfully. “I wish we could shrink and jump into the computer.”

“I know what you mean. I wish we could see the back of the buildings, especially the…” Abby blinked and said in a strangled voice, “No…there’s no way that would work. I mean, no one could invent a software program that could do that. No way.”

“What are you talking about?” Merrideth asked, staring at her.

Abby didn’t answer, but taking the mouse from her, she placed the cursor on the View icon on the menu bar and clicked. “This is so similar to Aaron’s architecture program,” she began, “that maybe we’ll be able to…”

A drop-down menu appeared, giving them the options of Flip, Interior, Exterior, Virtual, and Lock. She clicked on Flip. “Do this,” Abby said.

 The screen view had rotated on its vertical axis and now they were seeing the back of Colonel Miles’ house. White sheets on a clothesline snapped in the wind. A woman in a long blue dress and bonnet was stooping to pull a wet sheet from the wicker basket at her feet. A gray cat came out of the barn and, stepping delicately through the wet grass, cautiously bypassed the flapping sheets to lie in the sun on the back step.

After a moment of stunned silence, Merrideth said, “It’s Charlotte. Quick. Zoom in on her.”

 “Maybe it’s supposed to be Mrs. Miles.”

Before she could manipulate the zoom function, the young woman picked up her wicker basket and, stepping over the cat, went through the back door into the house, saying, “Nice kitty.”

“Make her come back out so we can get a closer look,” Merrideth said.

“I’ve got a better idea.” She moved the cursor back up to the View menu and clicked on Interior and Lock. And then they were pulled out of their time and into Charlotte’s.

To Buy the book, go here:

About Deborah:
Deborah Heal, the author of the Time and Again time travel mystery series, which has been described as “Back to the Future meets virtual reality with a dash of Seventh Heaven thrown in.” She was born not far from the setting of her book Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today she lives with her husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. She has three grown children, three grandchildren, and two canine buddies Digger and Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). She loves to interact with her readers, who may learn more about the history behind the books at her website and her Facebook author page
 (Long bio)

History, Faith, and Fiction Woven Together
“Particularly interesting is how the past and the present are woven together to bring history to life and to make the story complete.”
--Amazon Reviewer

To that reviewer and others who said similar things, I say, “Thank you, very much. I do try to be a good weaver.”

I loved researching the "Olden Days" for my young adult trilogy. It would have been so much easier to do if I could go back in time to see what it was really like. The characters in my books find a weird computer program that lets them do just that. Abby calls it "time-surfing." It's only virtual time travel because I didn't want them to accidentally mess up the whole space-time continuum thing. But it's amazing all the same.

Some Christians might be a bit uncomfortable about this fantasy concept of time-surfing. 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 her friends 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. 

I was born not far from the setting of Every Hill and Mountain and grew up “just down the road” from the setting of Time and Again and Unclaimed Legacy. Today I live with my husband in Waterloo, Illinois, where I enjoy reading, gardening, and learning about regional history. We have three grown children, and three grandchildren. 

Connect with Deborah here:

Deborah is giving away a copy of Time and Again. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.  To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice--once on each spotlight post.

Happy Reading!
Caroline Brown


Jackie McNutt said...

What an intriguing story line. Sounds like an excellent book for my teen grandchildren. Nice to meet a new author who writes geared to the youth. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This sounds different than what I usually read but sounds interesting so would like to give it a try. Thanks Deborah and BDBL for the give-away.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

nylnestill said...

Deborah Heal Is a new author for me; I hope I enjoy her work!

Joy Hannabass said...

Thanks for introducing me to another new author and another new book!

Diana montgomery said...

Sounds like a wonderful book would love to read it and review.
Diana Montgomery

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