Dear Readers, Deborah Heal is an author with an entirely different time travel novel. She uses current technology in a unique way to facilitate the time travel aspect. I found it fascinating. And since it interweaves a complete contemporary story with a complete historical story, this adds even more uniqueness to the whole book. I loved her settings and her characters. I think you will, too.
Welcome back, Deborah. What are some of the spiritual themes you like to write about?
The overarching theme of my Rewinding Time Series is that our sovereign God works his good and perfect plans in our lives, and that if we could experience time from His perspective we would see that more clearly. Merrideth, the main character, is a Christian in name only, and throughout the series readers will see how God works in her life to bring her to true saving faith in Christ.
In Once Again, Merrideth sees Christ’s parable about forgiving seven times seventy times lived out in the life of a young pioneer preacher who takes the Gospel to the very Indian tribe that scalped his brother. Merrideth can’t decide whether he’s a hero or a fool to risk his life, but she is definitely impressed. She wonders how she would ever be able to forgive those who have injured her.
In book 2, Only One Way Home, Merrideth learns another piece of the Gospel message when Matthias Frailey tells White Dove that it is not her Cherokee rituals or his own white religious customs that bring salvation. It is only Christ’s redeeming sacrifice on the cross.
How Sweet the Sound will showcase the truth of Romans 3:23. “For ALL of sinned and fallen short…” Merrideth begins to understand that there’s no sense comparing one’s own sins to another person’s because neither of you measure up.
And so it will go until she finally accepts Christ.
What other books of yours are coming out soon?
I hope to have How Sweet the Sound, book 3 in the Rewinding Time Series, out by May of this year. This time Merrideth will take her amazing software to Cave-in-Rock, a tiny southern
Illinois town on the banks of
the Ohio River. The actual cave from which the
town gets its name has a long history of human habitation. Indians and French
trappers found it a convenient place to stop while traveling the Ohio. Then when
land-hungry easterners began coming down the river on their flatboats, bound
for the frontier with everything they owned, river pirates found the cave an
exceedingly convenient place for a hideout from which to relieve the pioneers
of their earthly goods and many times their lives. Truly truth is stranger than
I really want to feature this next book on my blog. If you could spend an evening with one contemporary person (not a family member of yours), who would it be and why?
I’d love to have a leisurely chat with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin so she could tell me lots of interesting tidbits and help me put our history into perspective.
What historical person would you like to meet (besides Jesus) and why?
I’d like to get to know President Thomas Jefferson so I could find out what he actually believed and felt about slavery.
How can you encourage authors who have been receiving only rejections from publishers?
I tried off and on for eighteen years to sell my first book, and it was soundly rejected everywhere I turned. But then I began to hear about the self-publishing option and decided to try that. And it’s working! I am very happy to not have to depend on a publisher seeing the merit of my work. Instead, my books rise or fall on the basis of reader response. It is so rewarding to find that many readers do enjoy what I write. So don’t wait on publishers as long as I did. Go forth and publish. Just study what you need to in order to turn out a good product.
Tell us about the featured book.
Once Again: an inspirational novel of history, mystery, and romance is about a young woman named Merrideth Randall whose day job is teaching history at a small 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!
Merrideth makes a virtual visit to the 1780s, hoping to be the first to locate an ancient pioneer fort. Along the way, she gets a first-hand look at the lives of the courageous pioneers of the Illinois Country, who withstood Indian attacks, hardship, and loneliness to settle the rich land.
One of the settlers is James Garretson, who risks his life to take the Gospel to the very tribe that wreaked havoc on his family. Merrideth is amazed that he could forgive a crime so huge. Hero or fool, James Garretson is the ancestor of her colleague Brett, a physics professor at
. McKendree College
With her findings, Merrideth is able to help Brett with his genealogy, but she can’t tell him everything she learned—like that he inherited his black hair and green eyes from James Garretson, or that his aunt’s poetry is eerily similar to the verse Garretson’s wife Isabelle used to compose at her spinning wheel.
Brett has rock-star status on campus, but amazingly enough, he seems to be pursuing Merrideth—in spite of her firm policy against dating co-workers. She would love to tell him about her amazing program, but discretion is not his strong suit. She has secrets about herself that she’d just as soon he didn’t find out either. One virtue Brett does have is patience, and he’s quite willing to wait for Merrideth to figure things out.
Please give us the first few pages of the book for my readers.
“We have to remember that in 1811, the
was the wild, wild West.” Merrideth Randall realized she was leaning on her
podium and straightened her spine. At five-foot-two it was difficult enough to
look like a mature professional without slouching. At twenty-six, she was the
youngest professor at Illinois Territory and only a few
years older than her students, which was why she always dressed in suits and
high heels. At times, she had a feeling it only made her look like a child
playing dress-up. McKendree
She had started the day feeling confident in her new black gabardine suit. The label had bragged about the comfortableness of the three-season fabric. But even though it was a cool October afternoon, she was already sweating like a pig.
Furthermore, the fabric was a magnet for her hair. She picked two long blond strands from her sleeve and turned her eyes back to her students.
“And as amusing as it seems today, the governor’s job description then included riding into battle, leading the soldiers at his command.”
Apparently, they didn’t find that historical tidbit as amusing as she did. The class continued to look apathetic. She mentally sighed. At least they were awake, to a degree. And most were even taking notes, in a desultory fashion. But the gleam of curiosity she had hoped to see in their eyes was absent. As usual.
She had thought, naively it turned out, that after a couple of weeks at McKendree she would be nicely settled in, and her history classes would be well on the way to becoming campus favorites. Instead, after over a month, her students remained aloof and only mildly interested in what she had to say. She found their nonverbal feedback incredibly dampening, to say the least. It was a vicious cycle, of course. The more she worried about being boring, the more difficult it was not to be.
Marla White, a seasoned pro from the French Department had advised her to act confident even if she didn’t feel so. “And whatever you do, don’t ever let ’em see you bleed, or they’ll be on you like wolves.”
But that was easier said than done, wasn’t it? Taking a deep breath, she shuffled her notes and soldiered on.
“Tecumseh was off trying to organize a coordinated Indian resistance that November day in 1811. If he had been successful…”
A student in the third row—Allison? Alyssa?—raised her hand. She was a beautiful girl and always looked cool and collected, as if she weren’t familiar with the human phenomenon of perspiration. And as far as Merrideth could tell her blond highlights had not come out of a bottle. She was one of the few students who ever asked a question or offered a comment. Unfortunately, they were usually so tinged with sarcasm that Merrideth had begun to dread calling on her. But now as always, hope rose that at last she was about to experience a lively interaction with a student.
Merrideth pointed to the raised hand. “Yes?”
“The proper term is Native American. Besides, they aren’t really Indian anyway.”
Merrideth was sure the smile she had drummed up looked fake, but it was the best she could do when her teaching competence was under direct attack. “I’m glad you brought that up. I recently learned that most Native Americans actually prefer to be called Indians.”
The girl looked decidedly skeptical.
“I was surprised myself.” Merrideth glanced down and shuffled her notes again. “Anyway, if Tecumseh had been successful, who knows what the map of
would look like today? While he was gone, Harrison and a force of 1,000 soldiers
defeated the Shawnee
“At the time it was considered a huge victory for
Harrison. He picked up the nickname Tippecanoe
from the river of that name near the battlefield. Twenty-nine years later in
1840, a Whig campaign song called Tippecanoe and Tyler Too helped Harrison win the presidency.”
The girl raised her hand again. “Yes?” Merrideth said as pleasantly as she could.
“Will that be on the final exam? The nicknames and songs, things like that?”
A disdainful expression flittered over the student’s face, and then she lowered her eyes and resumed writing. Just as Merrideth looked back at her own notes, the girl muttered, “I registered for Illinois History, not Trivial Pursuit.” It was said loudly enough that it was clearly intended for Merrideth to hear.
She stifled the urge to smack her. To reward herself for her restraint, she decided to wrap up class three minutes early. “But historians know,” she said tersely, “that the victory at Prophetstown only ratcheted up the violence between the whites and Indians. Six months later when the War of 1812 began, the Indians naturally sided with the British. We’ll talk more about that next time. Be sure to keep up with your readings.”
The students began gathering their things with an eagerness that was a further insult to Merrideth’s confidence. Then she remembered her announcement and called out, “Don’t forget, if you want to be a volunteer at the Fort Piggot archaeological dig Saturday, there’s still time, but you’ll have to be a member of History Club. Just let me know if you need a sign-up form.”
No one responded. No one even looked interested, much less stayed behind to get the details. She felt her face heating and turned away to gather her own things. Her embarrassment grew ten-fold when she realized Dr. Garrison was watching her from the door. With a mind of its own, her hand started to rise, intent on checking her hair. But she forced it back down to her side. She would not allow Brett Garrison to trigger any fluttery female instincts she might have.
The thought that the most popular professor on campus had witnessed her debacle just added icing to the cake. She had heard that gushing groupies congregated outside his classroom like he was Indiana Jones, and they were there to catch him before he cast off the trappings of academia and went off on an action-packed adventure.
But Brett dressed more stylishly than Indy had—never in tweed jackets with leather patches on the elbows, for sure. And he was much better looking than Harrison Ford. His black hair was thick, and his eyes were so green that Merrideth once asked Marla White if she thought he wore colored contacts. Marla had smiled knowingly and said, “No, ma’am! They’re the real deal. It’s the Irish in him.”
The moment she was introduced to him at the faculty icebreaker at President Peterson’s residence, he had set her nerves on edge. Sure, he was pretty to look at, but his vanity ruined it. Twice she had caught him admiring himself in Peterson’s hall mirror. She had avoided him ever since.
But now she smiled and said, “Hi. Don’t you math types do your thing in Voigt Hall?” It hadn’t come out in the friendly manner she’d intended, and she mentally kicked herself for letting her rattled nerves show. He sure didn’t need anything more to stoke his ego.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I hope readers will visit my website to find out more about the actual people, places, and events that my books are based on.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00760M3OS
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DeborahHealTwitter: http://www.twitter.com/DeborahHeal
Thank you, Deborah, for introducing my readers to your new series.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Once Again: An inspirational novel of history, mystery & romance (The Rewinding Time Series) (Volume 1) - paperback
Once Again: An inspirational novel of history, mystery, & romance (The Rewinding Time Series Book 1) - Kindle
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: