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This is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real places are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and events are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. The views expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s opinions.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission of the author.

Copyright TURN BACK TIME © 2020 by Annette G. Anders.

Email: Author@AnnetteGAnders.com

First Edition

ISBN: 978-1-7350261-1-4 (E-book)

ISBN: 978-1-7350261-0-7 (Paperback)

To those I love.

Forever in my heart.

When I had to leave you,

I believed

We would meet again.

When I saw time passing by,

I felt the loss of you.

When I could spend the day without you,

I was afraid of meeting you again.

(author unknown)


David—July 2015


e heard her before he saw her.

Hoping to avoid the oppressive midday heat, David walked under the shelter of old trees in Independence National Historic Park, sipping his iced tea—and winced.

Her off-key singing insulted his ears, although he knew not everyone was gifted with an angelic voice. Yet he had tremendous respect for people who didn’t let this little misfortune keep them from doing something they enjoyed.

At the next missed note, he winced again and checked out his surroundings, oblivious to the condensation from his cold drink running down his fingers.

A slender brunette in a red sundress sat on one of the benches under a canopy of lush green trees. Her upper body swayed rhythmically.

Are those wretched sounds coming from her?

She dug through her oversized purse—what women carried around in their bags would forever remain a mystery to him—and pulled out a book, still crooning about ghosts in the neighborhood.

He knew because of firsthand experience how important privacy and personal space were—but couldn’t stop himself.

His vocal cords responded to the challenge, his feet developed a mind of their own, and he approached her bench, singing along much more harmoniously. He leaned closer to her and intoned just one word.


She dropped the book and whipped off her enormous sunglasses. The biggest brown eyes he’d ever seen glared at him. “You… You scared me!”

He guessed her to be around his sister’s age, which made her a few years younger than his own thirty-two. Her high cheekbones were free of makeup, and he admired her natural look.

David swallowed several times. His voice deserted him. Man, she was beautiful in her fury.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.” He picked up the book and held it out to her.

“Then why did you do it?” She snatched back the book and dusted it off.

Think, Danvers, and fast. “Would you believe me if I said it was an impulse?” Not great, but honesty is always a good start.

She still stared at him as if he had two heads or his nose was crooked. He was tempted to touch his face just to make sure everything was in its proper place.

“Why don’t you follow your impulse somewhere else?” Her fingers fluttered between them.

Whoa, did she just dismiss him with a flick of her hand? Well, he couldn’t blame her. But he enjoyed the situation too much to just walk away.

“Mind if I sit down?” he asked.

Without waiting for her reply, he moved her Frappuccino and settled on the bench, pretending to take in the surrounding of the park. The golden weathervane on top of Carpenter’s Hall swayed in a light breeze, and he looked around for the heirloom roses with their intoxicating smell, but his eyes kept circling back to her.

“I’m curious; why did you sing about ghosts on this beautiful day? Halloween is more than three months away.”

She stuck her sunglasses on top of her head and pointed to her right. He looked where she pointed, across the lawn, and saw a black-caped young woman with white face paint and a shaved head swinging an old-fashioned lantern and talking to a group of people.

“I don’t know why I’m explaining myself to you, but I overheard the woman advertising ghost tours,” she said.

He turned his attention back to her. She seemed a little calmer. At least she was no longer clutching the poor book as if she wanted to smack him over the head with it. Which you would have deserved, Danvers.

“What are you reading?”

“Oh.” She showed him the cover. “The book is called Miracle at Philadelphia.”

“Never heard of it. What is it about?”

“It’s an account of the constitutional convention in the summer of 1787.”

“Sounds like heavy reading.” David mostly listened to audiobooks, and he preferred legal thrillers or mysteries, but he wasn’t about to admit it.

“True, but it gives me a different perspective about time and place. To me, it’s a way to take me back in time, to let me experience history. By reading this, I’m right there with these brilliant men, in a summer as hot as ours this year. And when I’m walking through our beautiful city, I imagine them next to me, arguing or tossing ideas around.” She wiped a bead of sweat off her forehead before slurping her iced coffee. “I just think books are a wonderful way to connect the past and the present.”

She sounded more relaxed when she talked about books, and David wanted to hear more of her warm voice and watch her eyes light up when she got excited. He was intrigued, and wanted to get to know her.

“Can I buy you lunch?” he blurted out without thinking.

Are you serious, Danvers? What’s wrong with you? He mentally slapped his forehead. First, he scared the living daylights out of her, and now he was asking her to have lunch?

“To make up for startling you earlier,” he hastened to add.

He could almost see the wheels turning in her pretty head while she considered his invitation. She’d be a lousy poker player—but a cute one—and he was disappointed when

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