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Danger. Romance. Time Travel . . .


As four-year-old Imogen flipped through the dusty photo album, gazing into the faded monochrome faces of her grandmother's somber family—relatives with funny names like Aunt Ada and Uncle Paul and Aunt Phyllis and Uncle Gordy, and second cousins Percy and Viola from Missoula—all of a sudden the universe tilted and for a brief instant she found herself transported to the place and time within one of the pictures. 


One of only a handful of people—that she is aware of—who can time travel through photos, she establishes Dead Relatives, Inc. to help people recover lost items or unearth the stories and secrets of friends and relatives from the past.

Step into time with Imogen Oliver in this first book in the Dead Relatives, Inc. series as she investigates a young girl that ran away from home with her boyfriend in 1967 and never returned, and then as she travels back to the turn of the 20th century to locate a set of missing stereoscopic glass plates that hold a mysterious connection to her own life.

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Dead Relative's Inc. book #1
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"Met my 2022 reading goal! I just finished Sharleen Nelson's book The Time Tourists to complete my goal. What a read! The smart plot, the romance but also twisted darkness . . . I was totally invested! 
Linda Gavras-van Garderen

"I'm a big sci-fi / time travel fan and The Time Tourists checked all the boxes for me. Nelson literally did her homework. When I actually learn things from a sci-fi book, I know the author did actual, substantial research. In this case, that research involves everything from architecture and history to physics and photography. Nelson's research helps propel the narrative rather than delivering technical information lectures within the framework of the story. I even picked up a few new vocabulary words. The research and background work is comparable with more established sci-fi authors such as Kim Stanley Robinson, only not ponderous as Robinson's can sometimes be.
     The female protagonist is well-developed and relatable. I found myself really hating the bad guy, especially since the author builds some good background as to why the bad guy is bad. Some secondary characters sort of get lost along the way. Some of the twists and turns may be a little predicable, but who cares? That's the case with plenty of other fun-to-read books in lots of genres.
     This is a compelling read, a page turner, fit for a beach read or long winter evenings. Overall, this a laudable effort from a first-time novelist. I will definitely read the sequel - The Yesterday Girl."

Robert Scally

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The Time Tourists at


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Sharleen Nelson is an accomplished writer and award-winning photographer. Over the course of her 20+ year career as a journalist, she has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles on a vast range of topics. She has also served as an editor on a number of magazines in the travel, entertainment, education, science, and technology fields. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and recently retired as an editor and writer at the UO. 

She lives in Oregon with her husband, dog, and two sassy cats. She is the author of The Time Tourists and The Yesterday Girl.


imaginative ideas and compelling characters

"I think the thing that struck me most about Time Tourists is the premise for time travel — it’s not a sci-fi approach but more fantasy oriented and rooted in the one method of time travel that we all possess: photography. The characters that can time travel do so by psychically transporting themselves into the photographs in very much the same way we all look at a photo and transport ourselves to that moment by closing our eyes in memories. In that way the act of travel feel ultra relatable.

Speaking of relatable, Nelson’s characters are well constructed and feel like regular people, rather than archetypes. The hero, Imogen, is an actual person with foibles and flaws (as well as fantastic abilities) and the villain is just as three dimensional. They are products of their experience and act accordingly.

Add a mystery/adventure storyline and you have yourself a fun little read that tackles familiar territory in a whole new way!"


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Read about the author's journey in this University of Oregon Alumni Association story.

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Listen to Convince Us, a podcast featuring the author discussing time travel and her new book.

The Time Tourists

The Time Tourists

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The Yesterday Girl

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