Is it possible to fall in love in the afterlife?
The last thing Piper Malko ever expected was to have her life snatched away so early. When she wakes up on the front steps of her brownstone to a rose-colored facsimile of her world, she is forced to come to grips with her demise. Why is she still trapped on her street, though? Was there a debate as to her final destination? Any attempt to ask the gauzy pedestrians passing by goes unheard. No one notices her. Until she sees him—over six feet of well-defined humanity staring back at her from across the street.
Russell Hughes is dead. He can remember the impact of the car. But there was no bright light. No portal to the beyond. Instead, everything around him is pink. Except for her. The attractive woman across the street.
Piper and Russ try to piece together the crime that killed two strangers on the same road. If they can find their killer, then maybe they can escape this rosy limbo.
But will leaving purgatory tear them apart…just as they're falling in love?
"Multiple twists and turns." - Amazon Reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"It's different, surreal, with a touch of the paranormal, friendship and romance." - Book Sirens ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"This was such a sweet, romantic read. A well-deserved 5 star!" - Book Sirens ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
"What an extraordinary book. Loved it." - Amazon Reviewer ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A shadow loomed.
And for a moment there was pain.
Both vanished quickly. Sucked into—
Not just any light. A flash so brilliant, Piper Malko threw her arm up to deflect it. The epic supernova flared and faded, leaving her disoriented.
She sat with her eyes closed.
One breath. Two.
Cautiously, she cracked open an eyelid.
A twitch of the neck was a vain effort to shake off the fugue state. The bright light retreated and she found herself sitting on the front steps of her brownstone.
It wasn’t a big deal, but why couldn’t she remember coming out here?
Rarely would she sit on the permanently damp concrete. Never, in fact. The street was too narrow and loaded with pedestrian traffic. The brownstone housed three apartments, so it wasn’t like she owned the porch, anyway.
It would be easy to blame a wild night of revelry—but it was Tuesday. She had no friends in the area. And the strongest liquor in the refrigerator was a six-pack of those 3% light beers.
A quick glimpse at the sky revealed a hazy shade of pink—the prelude to dusk.
Had she just returned from work? Why didn’t she remember the day?
Mediocrity made it easy to forget.
Swiping the grit from her palms against her thighs, Piper hefted off the steps and hiked back up to the front door.
Grabbing the handle, her hand slipped right through it.
She reached for the brass knob again and watched in curious fascination as her fingers dissolved through the metal.
Glancing over her shoulder to see if anyone witnessed this absurdity, she caught the first indication that something was amiss.
A person passed by. A woman with long hair billowing in a breeze that could not be felt. This woman wore a coat and scarf to ward off the late October chill. But Piper wore only jeans and a yellow Henley shirt. She felt no chill. No touch of autumn. Even more hilarious was the fact that she could see through the bustling woman.
Right through her!
She was translucent—nothing more than a foggy facsimile. And behind this gossamer figure, a car crawled down the street. It was sheer as well.
Okay, Pip. Wakey-wakey.
Oddly, when she smacked herself in the head, her palm was solid enough to hurt. Good to see that her latent mind was capable of irony.
Piper’s eyes swept the area again. The brownstones across the street no longer looked like brick structures—they were more a fluid blend of mauves, like the uncertain strokes of a novice painter. In fact, everything looked off in color. Tainted.
Motion in her periphery caught her attention.
Was it the woman? No, it was a dark shadow hugging the street corner—a miniature storm cloud slinking across the sidewalk. The turbulent muck poured across the intersection like the rumbling disruption of a herd of bison.
That shadow troubled her. With it came a chill in the air, and she hugged her arms tight about her to ward it off. Eventually, the cloud crept around the corner and out of view.
Of all the peculiarities she had witnessed, that malevolent disturbance unnerved her the most. Once the shadow was gone, it took the chill with it.
Piper pivoted and tried for the doorknob again.
Her fingers passed right through it.
Dropping her head back in silent appeal, she stared up into the rose-colored sky. It churned like a cotton candy machine, spinning fine pink strands into colossal clouds.
The sound of bicycle chains halted behind her. It was the boy who lived in the apartment upstairs.
“Andy!” she cried out. “I’m glad you’re here. I’m having some sort of problem with the door.”
Understatement of the century.
All her enthusiasm fled when she realized that she could see through Andy. He didn’t react to her either. He wheeled his diaphanous bike up beside the stairwell and locked it to a water pipe and then jogged up the steps, one of his elbows slicing right through her.
With no trouble whatsoever, Andy opened the front door and yanked it closed behind him before she could even snap out of her stupor.
Piper sprang up to follow, reaching for the door lever again. Her fingers poured through it and dropped uselessly to her side.
Quite the elaborate dream, Pip.
What was the hidden meaning? The unconscious neurosis affecting her sleep? That her hands were useless? Did she screw up at work? Type the wrong code?
Looking up at the churning red sky, she waited to wake up. Rose-colored whirlpools circled overhead ready to suck her up into oblivion—not eject her back to reality.
It was at that moment that Piper heard the chirping sound. It was soft at first and then it resonated. A shrill beep intended to aggravate, not alarm. Its pace hastened, drawing more frantic until it fell into a shrill pitch that invaded her soul.
She clawed at her ears to put an end to the clamor.
What followed was a hollow silence. A hush void of street noise, void of voices, void of wind. A vacuum that obliterated the sound of her own breath. An emptiness that muted the beat of her heart.
In that stillness a nagging notion began to fester.
Maybe this wasn’t a dream.
Maybe this was death.