Twenty-One Stones

Leap Limit Book #1

A genius with a reckless streak. A risky scientific breakthrough. Is saving a life worth the cost?


Mars Lockporte lives for excitement. Brilliant but impatient, the quantum physics major chases each new blood-pumping high with the cockiness of an action hero. So when his best friend is murdered, the loyal adrenaline junkie doesn’t hesitate to use his untested invention to jump back in time and stop the killer… but instead ends up in the middle of the Civil War.


Scrambling to survive the Battle of Antietam, Mars is shocked to discover his foe’s distant ancestor is a male nurse patching up wounded Union soldiers. And with scant hours left before he’s returned to his own era, the bright young scientist fears his only opportunity to alter his friend’s deadly fate means destroying an innocent life.


Will Mars change history at the price of his soul?


Twenty-One Stones is the intriguing first book in the Leap Limit time-travel science fiction series. If you like smart but flawed heroes, historical backdrops, and facing difficult decisions, then you’ll love Janice Boekhoff’s fascinating what-if.

Reviews of Twenty-One Stones:

In Twenty-One Stones, protagonist Mars Lockporte is a quantum physics major who is addicted to excitement and high-octane action. The mysterious murder of his best friend adds these opportunities into his angst—especially when the obvious (to him) solution (stopping the murder entirely) demands he employ an untested time travel invention to change both the past and the present.

As with most untested devices (and forays into the past with the intention of altering it), there are surprises. This one lands Mars in the middle of the Civil War at Antietam, where he makes some surprising discovers about heritage, legacy, and moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding who dies and who lives.

It’s these injections of bigger-picture thinking which set Twenty-One Stones well above and beyond the usual time travel adventure, encouraging readers to absorb not only the science and history of time travel and the process of confronting one’s past, but the consequences of sacrificing one life for another.

Who can (or should) place a value on such lives? Certainly not Mars, even though he would be saving his friend.

Janice Boekhoff excels in using Mars’s situation to cover thought-provoking insights as he grows into new realizations about his role and his attitude towards history:

This is a battle where thousands have died—or rather thousands will die. In the history books, they are nameless, faceless men. Even the more personal archives show only their somber portraits or their bodies lying still in death. I have no reason to care about men who are so long dead to my present. And yet, something in me cannot let this man be one of them. 

She injects the subplots of romance, breakups, interpersonal clashes and attractions, and other layers of life into the tale, giving it the added value of a character-driven, emotional component which contrasts nicely with its fast-paced action.

This is flavored with a wry sense of comic relief that is also unexpected:

A few seconds later, a loud blast shakes the wooden door. Hopefully, Jonah ducked back out before it went off. Cracks appear in the wood. But the door doesn’t fall off its hinges like I expected. Maybe that’s a movie thing.

All these facets lend to a time-travel/murder probe that excels not just in covering issues of changing the past to affect the present, but dilemmas that force Mars to grow psychologically and morally.

Libraries and readers seeking time travel sci-fi that arrives with the added value of psychological insight, packed with material suitable for book club discussion, will find the satisfyingly different atmosphere of Twenty-One Stones to be compellingly different from the usual time-travel genre production.

D. Donovan

Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

The first book in the Leap Limit series captivated me from start to finish with its blend of science, well-researched history, action and an outlook on the yeat 2051 that feels totally realistic.

Honest Bookworm 5-Star Review

Oh, how I love a good time travel novel, and this one is no exception! The idea of one person making alterations in time, changing the future, causing a ripple, is so intriguing. Mars knows he could be altering history, in fact, that is why he decides to test his theory – he wants to change an event, to make it never happen. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series to find out what happens next!

Amazon 5-Star Review

This author has written an exciting, fast paced story. Mars must decide if saving his friend is more important than an innocent life.

Amazon 5-Star Review