Two years have passed since April Patterson’s husband was shot and killed in the line of duty, and she’s trapped in a haze of grief and uncertainty. Having grown frustrated by all other efforts to engage her in activities where she could meet new people, her cousin pays for a date via 1Night Stand. Not thrilled with the idea, April nevertheless contacts Madame Eve and requests the impossible: a date with her deceased husband.
Brilliant software engineer Drew Monroe created his company, Elysium, to help give closure to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, through the use of virtual reality. Though passionate about his work, being constantly surrounded by heartache and death has taken a toll on his mental health. When he accepts the case of a young widow referred to him by Madame Eve, her tragic tale depresses him further, but he commits himself to programming April the romantic date she desires.
April arrives at Elysium and prepares to enter Drew’s virtual realm. Will she find the solace she seeks within? Or will she discover she doesn’t need a fantasy world to discover happiness again?
An excerpt from Elysium
I tried to think back and pinpoint exactly what had attracted me to Kevin in the first place. He’d had a way of making me feel like the only person in the room, even when I thought there were plenty more fascinating people around. I’d never believed I was special, and he’d done a pretty good job of convincing me I had something to offer.
Since his death, I’d heard all the platitudes about moving on and how he’d want me to be happy. Deep down, I knew everyone from grief counselors to well-meaning acquaintances were right. Perspectives changed so much, though, I didn’t know how to find happiness anymore. How could I feel the way I used to? Should I feel that way? Everything was so different without him. I was different.
Blink, blink, blink went the cursor. Somehow, telling a complete stranger about what I found attractive in a potential partner led me to completely idealize what I’d once had, and pretend we’d never argued about him leaving dirty socks on the bathroom floor or how I didn’t want to go on vacation with his parents for the Fourth of July. He wasn’t perfect, and no marriage is either. Yet whatever flaws we had were our flaws, and I missed those, too.
Hidden desires. Forbidden fantasies. I needed to write the email that night or else I’d never get it done. My fingers flew across the keyboard in a show of defiance, an act of desperation. Before I could stop, I issued a challenge.
I want a date with my husband.
About the Author
Thea Landen lives in New York with her husband and a variety of houseplants. A former educator, she strives to encourage creativity and passion in all those around her, and uses writing to help inspire. Though she reads and writes in nearly all genres, she has a special fondness for science fiction, fantasy, and adventure and anything that pushes the imagination beyond its usual limits. When she’s not writing, or thinking about writing, her hands and mind are occupied by either yarn crafts or role-playing games.
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