You never know what the morning after has in store for you, especially after drinks at a bar, a perfect man, and a night of the best sex you have ever experienced. Rather than dancing through a field of daisies, Juliette may be pushing them up instead. She awakes to a world where everything is familiar and nothing is what it appears to be; where the key to endless love is learning to just live.
Just Live, Juliette! is the continuation of Juliette's journey which began with the short story, "The White Peacock"; included for your convenience and reading pleasure.
The Afterlife as a Parallel World (and Second Chance)
Can a building or location actually be haunted by ghosts? Throughout the ages, have prophets, mystics, psychics, mediums, etc. really been able to communicate with the dead? What is déjà vu? Have you ever met someone and felt that instant, kindred spirit connection; as if you knew them really well in a previous life? Do soul mates and previous lives exist? What about guardian angels and spirit guides? Can there really be an afterlife, and if so, does it coexist with our own world? Why does mortal man even have a conscious awareness of the potential for life after death? Where is this afterlife? What value does mortal life have if there is a forever after? Ah, so many questions...
I’ve always been fascinated with the topic of the afterlife and I’ve even been on the receiving end of a handful of personal psychic readings over the years (some information blew me away). All of these questions and more have run through my mind at one time or another. They’re certainly a lot of fun to ponder. But where is this afterlife?
Modern visions of what the afterlife looks like vary around the globe with differing belief structures, but most see the afterlife as a parallel world (e.g. Heaven and Hell) - existing on another plane but connected to our world in some way. Being close at hand makes it easy, I suppose, for interactions between our two worlds. (Don’t you hate it when spirits change the channel on the television at a critical moment during the show you’re watching?)
In addition to all those questions in the first paragraph, the one that has always floated around at the back of my mind begging most to be answered has been - what are these spirits really doing 24/7 when they aren’t showing up to deliver messages via psychics or being cute in changing the channels on my television? We have an idea of how we view the possibility of the afterlife, but how do they view the mortal plane? What do they do all day long? What does their world look like? What sorts of adventures can they have? Is the afterlife a second chance?
This was really the driving force behind writing Just Live, Juliette! - an exploration of the possibilities of the day-to-day landscape of the afterlife - if only for my own amusement and your reading pleasure. But much more than that, it was an opportunity to reflect on this crazy, mixed up world of ours through the eyes of those hanging out on the other side.
We can’t help but fall down a few times in this lifetime. Life isn’t perfect, nor is it ever handed to us on a silver platter. We make mistakes. How can we not when we’re trying to jump hurdle after hurdle after hurdle? Sometimes we just don’t make the jump and wipe out instead. And after a lifetime of picking ourselves up and shaking off the dust, we leave our mortal existence and transition to the other side; the afterlife. Is it a second chance, or is it something else entirely? Well, it’s certainly an opportunity for more life, further experiences, and an ability to connect with loved ones who’ve passed away before us. In that, it would be a second chance, but let me leave you with this thought...
If you’re working hard to be the best person you can be, and living your life to the best of your ability given your physical and mental abilities, circumstances, knowledge, and education, will you need a second chance in the afterlife, or might you discover cherished value in the hard lessons you learned along the way?
(The White Peacock is available for free at major ebook retailers. Just Live, Juliette! is the first book in the Home Series and includes The White Peacock. The second book, Rocks Don’t Cry, was released in October 2013. At least four books are planned for this series with the third expected to be released in 2014.)
Juliette felt a pounding in her chest as if an earthquake was building momentum and she was the epicenter. She was very confused. As the color drained from her face, she read the article again, clutching her purse. She didn’t understand. There had to be some sort of a mistake. She looked at the picture of Miles MacDermott. It was definitely her Miles; there was no doubt. He had the same perfectly styled hair, the same warm, welcoming eyes, and that beautiful smile that had looked down on her as they had lain in bed together, making love well into the wee hours of the night. Her emotions slammed into her all at once in a chaotic frenzy, and as the ground beneath her began to feel unsteady, she crumpled to the floor, staring at the newspaper in her hands. She fought for breath as the sound of her heart pounding in her ears became louder and louder and the muscles in her chest tightened around her lungs. The paper slipped out of her fingers and slid down her knees to the floor in front of her.
She hugged her purse over her heart as if it were a favorite teddy bear; the same way she used to comfort herself as a child. She couldn’t turn away; she couldn’t stop staring at the black and white image of the man she had fallen in love with the night before. Her hands felt clammy as she balled the fabric of the purse tightly with her fingers. Nausea began to build in her stomach. She jumped at the sudden sound of her phone ringing in the living room, but she couldn’t make her body move in order to answer it. She felt frozen in place staring at the printed picture of Miles.
About the author:
Stephanie Andrassy is the coffeeholic author of Noble Lies, a fantasy romance, as well as the paranormal romance Home series. Beginning with the free short story, The White Peacock, the journey within this supernatural series continues in Just Live, Juliette! (Home Series #1) and Rocks Don’t Cry (Home Series #2), and will be joined by at least two further books.
She holds a B.A. from the University of Guelph and presently resides in southern Ontario, Canada with her family. An avid reader of romance, fantasy, drama, women's literature, suspense, and non-fiction; she’s been writing for her own personal pleasure since she was a child - a life-long love affair with the written word.
Readers are anticipating further new releases in 2014, including a sequel to Noble Lies and the next book in The Home Series.
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