Time's Relative by Debbie DeLouise Genre: Time Travel Thriller
It’s the fall of 1998, and librarian Samantha Stewart is looking for a new job. After seeing an ad for a high-paying position at a company called Virtual Software that entails research and travel, Sam investigates the company and learns that its president has gone missing, and that it’s currently being run by the vice-president Greg Parsons.
Before Sam makes it to the interview, she's visited by a strange woman who introduces herself as Jane Oldsfield: a time traveler whose mission Greg Parsons is trying to prevent.
Sam ignores the woman and goes on the job interview anyway. Soon, she finds herself involved not only with Greg Parsons, but also Philip Montmart, a chain-smoking detective with a vendetta for his wife’s killer, and the time-traveling Oldsfield and her feline accomplice.
Witnessing world events that have yet to happen in her lifetime, including 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, Y2K hysteria and the COVID pandemic, can Samantha figure out Oldsfield's plans?
“What did Jane mean when she said the cat was working for her?”
“It’s a long story; but when Jane argued with me about the proper use of the Time-Travel Disks, she implanted a microchip in Floppy that would allow him to travel back and forth through time and act as her ‘Grounder.’”
“Is that what she meant by saying that she switched with him and why I saw the cat right before she appeared in my apartment?”
“Yes. Floppy is her grounder to the present time. She has the eleven Foundation Markers; the twelfth is in the circuits implanted in the cat.”
“Excuse me if I seem a little naïve about your technical terms, but what is a ‘grounder’ and how does it work?” Sam hoped she was asking the right questions and not exacerbating the listening detective who was probably getting impatient with all the small talk.
“I know you’re eager to learn everything, and I don’t blame you. But I’d rather not confuse you further. The next time we meet, I’ll show you the prototypes and Jane’s journal. For some reason, she didn’t take it with her. That’s what enabled me to duplicate the disks.”
“Now, wait a minute, Mr. Parsons.” It was Sam’s turn to be impatient. “You can’t give me half an explanation and see me off. If I’m going to be involved in this, I want the whole scoop. Besides, I don’t appreciate midnight or any other time of day visits from your partner.”
“She’s not my partner,” Parsons corrected her. “She used to be but not after she convoluted our project and used my cat as a guinea pig.”
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her seven published novels include the 4 books of her Cobble Cove cozy mystery series: A Stone's Throw, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Written in Stone, and Love on the Rocks, her paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow, her mystery thriller Reason to Die, and her latest psychological mystery, Sea Scope. She also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ac. Debbie has also written articles and short stories for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently querying agents to represent the first book of a new cozy mystery series. She lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and three cats.
A Lot of Things Happen in 20 years By Debbie De Louise
While trying to write a guest post for the blog tour of my new time-travel novel, Time’s Relative, I started thinking about the book and how I began it in 1998, put it away, and then discovered it twenty-two years later when cleaning up during the lockdown. I realized that, during that time, many things had occurred in my life. I began to mentally list them.
The best thing that happened, besides my daughter being born in 2014, is that I’d gone on to publish ten books (Time’s Relative is my eleventh) and dozens of short stories, articles, and even a bunch of poems.
There were many other occurrences during that time, however, that weren’t so great. I lost several loved ones, both my parents and my mother-in-law, as well as the two cats who were in the book and another one I got later. I also lost two friends, one who died way too young from a rare disease and one who caught COVID and died last spring.
I’m sure if you recall what your life was like in 1998, you’d also recall some bad and good things that happened to you since then. Now imagine that you could go back and change some of those things. Would you want to? How do you think those changes would have affected your present life?
In my book, the detective investigating Virtual Software and its missing president, gets an opportunity to return to the day his wife was murdered. His decision to try to save her, regarding warnings not to tamper with the past, has serious ramifications.
The main character, Samantha Stewart, known by all as Sam, not only transports to the past but also to the near future. What she sees about upcoming events, may or may not come to pass. Later in the book, she is able to view world events, as well as personal ones, including 9/11 and the pandemic. I added this information when I updated the book.
I hope you will enjoy Time’s Relative and its look back over the last twenty-two years.
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