Thursday, October 11, 2012

And Heere She is, Folks. Deborah Heal! (Drum roll or music)

 I'm today's stop on the bloggy train for Deborah Heal's YA book, Unclaimed Legacy. There is a guest post from the lovely author herself following my review. 

"I call it time-surfing," Abby said. "It's like being there,
 except no one can see or hear us."

"Whatever you call it," John said, "that was crazy--what we just did.
 Beyond realistic. I mean, I was in that guy's head
and knew everything he was thinking."

Abby's weird computer program is working again. And it comes in handy when they agree to help the Old Dears next door with their family tree. Except Abby and John 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 get inside the mind of a murderer to find out.

But while they're rummaging around in the Old Dears' family history, they discover the truth of God's promise to bless a thousand generations... and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed.

My review: 

Merrideth (Merri) and Abby have come across a remarkable computer program that was installed on Merrideth's computer. So now they can make a simulated trip back into time to see how life was for the people who lived there. The story centers around the fact that they can't get the program to work in the Miles Station home. Could there be a virus? 
This book is beautifully written and extraordinarily fun and exciting to read. Deborah plops us right into the story with her vivid descriptions and strong characterizations. I fell in love with all of the characters and felt as though I knew Merrideth and Abby personally. John is utterly awesome and I wholeheartedly recommend you read both of these super fantastic stories. 

Now for the guest post:           

I’m grateful for the crew of volunteers who worked so hard to preserve a bit of local history with the careful restoration of Sand Bank School in Columbia, Illinois. Built during the 1850s, it stands on the site of an even earlier school, a log cabin built in 1801 to serve the original seventeen families pioneering in the area. Perched on a hill overlooking the Mississippi Valley, the one-room schoolhouse looks like the sort of place (to me anyway) that might be a portal for time travel. Every time I visit a historical site, I start imagining the people who lived and died there, wishing I could go back to just see what it was like. (Maybe if I went back to the school when the sun was down and all the visitors were gone…?)
I’ve always loved thinking about the “olden days.” I thought about them a lot, growing up in the tiny once-upon-a-time village of Woodburn, Illinois. How could I not, living in a house with the date 1874 carved into its soft red brick?

My siblings and I acted as amateur historians when we collected arrow  heads Native Americans had left behind for our chickens to scratch up centuries later. We explored the old, nearly forgotten roads. On one, we found a barn where an old stagecoach was being kept out of the rain. (Sorry for trespassing, Mr. Stevens. We couldn’t help it.) And we listened to the stories about how the Woodburn had once bustled back in the day with its stagecoach inn, blacksmith shop, stores, mill, and brick factory.

We heard how the stages used to pass through on their way from Springfield down to Alton and how Abraham Lincoln sometimes stayed at the inn. I heard the stories and read the scant entries in the Macoupin County History Book and I wished that I, like our chickens, could scratch up more clues to the past. I wished men and women had written more about their lives. I wished I could see for myself. I wished Mr. Peabody would loan me his WABAC Machine.
I never found the way back. But the beauty of fiction is that my characters can. In Time and Again, I allow Abby and Merrideth to see it all exactly the way it really was when a girl named Charlotte lived in their old house as part of a bustling village. And while Abraham Lincoln didn’t spend the night there, he did sit down to a nice meal Charlotte cooked. I always thought it would be cool to go back to see if I resembled my great, great, great grandparents. Alas, I don’t know the way. But, in Unclaimed Legacy, I let Abby and John go back to uncover heroes in their friends’ family tree.
I’m not sure where I’ll let them go next. But I’ll have fun thinking it up. I can’t go back myself, but that’s all right, for now.

Thank you Deborah. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed meeting you and reading these wonderful stories. 


Deborah Heal is the author of the young adult novel Time and Again. She lives in Waterloo, Illinois, where she enjoys reading, gardening, and learning about southern Illinois history. She is married and has three grown children, three grandchildren, and a canine buddy named Scout (a.k.a. Dr. Bob). Currently, she is working on book three in the Time and Again trilogy.
You may learn more about the author by visiting her website:, her  Facebook Fan Page, and Goodreads. Her books may be purchased on


About the Author
            Her house:
            Deb's facebook:

Where to buy the books     
            Barnes & Noble

(Psst. There's a giveaway, peeps!) 

Win a copy of Time and Again, the first book in the trilogy. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Leave a comment telling me why you want to win a copy of this exceptional story. For additional chances to win, see Deborah Heal’s official website and LIKE her Facebook Fan Page.
Excerpt (from Time and Again)
“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 said, staring at her.
Abby didn’t answer, but taking the mouse from Merrideth, she placed the cursor on the View icon on the menu bar and clicked. “This is so similar to my brother’s architecture program,” she began, “that maybe we’ll be able to …”
When she clicked on Flip, both girls simultaneously gasped. “…do this,” Abby said with satisfaction.
The screen view had rotated on its vertical axis and now they were seeing the back side of Colonel Miles’ house. White sheets on a clothesline snapped in the wind. A young 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 lay in the sun on the back step.
After a moment of stunned silence, Merrideth said, “It’s her! It’s Charlotte.”
Excerpt (from Unclaimed Legacy)
Merri leaned forward and studied the monitor and then, laughing, said, “It’s them.”
Frowning, John looked closely at the monitor. “That’s crazy. This is just a computer program. It can’t be them.”
“See the resemblance? Just project forward fifty to sixty years,” Abby said. “That’s definitely Beulah and Eulah.”
“Boo and Yoo,” Merri said. “Get it?”+
“That’s insane! No one could make a program that could—”
“We don’t know what this is or where it came from. All I know is that it’s awesome,” Abby said. “And we really are seeing Beulah and Eulah back in the forties—you got the bit about food rationing, didn’t you? And if you think that’s wild, just wait until you see what happens when we lock onto one of them and go virtual mode.” 
 “Virtual mode? Show me.”
Abby smiled smugly and turned back to the controls. “Okay, John. Hold onto to your hat.”
First, there was a confusing blur of color and whirring sounds and then…

Here's the rest of the tour y'all: (Forgive the formatting)

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win.


  1. I understand the draw of wanting to go back in time as someone who studied history. Beats pouring through dusty documents and library books!

    Good luck, Deborah.

    Thanks for telling me about the books, Robyn.

  2. I love when history comes alive this way. Great post, ladies! Robyn, you are a wonderful hostess! Deborah, wishing you the best with your books!

  3. Yes, isn't Robyn a great hostess? It's always fun to meet others who enjoy history. I'm busily researching book three. I've found some amazing factoids. If only I could include them all!

  4. I enjoy history and time travel stories. It's great getting to know Deborah and her work. :)

  5. I love time travel stories, even simulated travel. Maybe it's because history is so interesting and I'd love to go back and see for myself what it would've been like.

  6. I hated history when I was a kid, but now I LOVE it. Time travel stories are my favorite genre. I know time travel by itself isn't a genre (is it?), but I think it should be. This book sounds awesome. Best wishes with all your books, Deborah.

    I agree, Robyn, is the bestest hostess, and she's a pro when it comes to writing book reviews.

  7. My Dad and I always loved history, going to museums, talking about it. History plus time travel sounds like a great combo!

    Please enter me in the contest.

  8. Time travel is a fascinating concept!
    Good luck Debra! The story sounds wonderful!

  9. I enjoyed the excerpts. It sounds like a wonderful book! Thanks Robyn and Deborah :-)

  10. I love the carving of the date in the rock. Thinking about the past is so facinating to me.

  11. I have great news! Unclaimed Legacy will be free for Kindle on Amazon Oct. 29-Nov 2!

    I hope you'll take advantage of this FREE event! Not only to do you get a free copy of my book Unclaimed Legacy, I also benefit with royalties and a rise in ranking for my books.

    Don't forget to go back to post a review of Unclaimed Legacy after you finish reading it.

    And did you know that even if you don't own a Kindle, you can read it on your computer?

    If you haven't read Time and Again, book one in the series, you'll want to before you read Unclaimed Legacy. The cheapest way to get a copy of Time and Again is to order it from my website (until my supply is gone).

  12. I hated history when I was a kid, but now I LOVE it. Time travel stories are my favorite genre. I know time travel by itself isn't a genre (is it?), but I think it should be. This book sounds awesome. Best wishes with all your books, Deborah.

    I agree, Robyn, is the bestest hostess, and she's a pro when it comes to writing book reviews. cheap guild wars 2 gold
    buy guild wars 2 gold


Leave me a note! :)