Title: Piper's Purgatory
Author: Maureen A. Miller
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Event organized byInkSlinger PR

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.

Together, 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?



It could have been minutes—maybe even hours that she sat watching phantom figures pass by.

Motion at the street corner caught her attention. Just another foggy remnant of an Earthbound soul.

No.

Wait.

Her eyes snapped at the shock of color.

Blue.

Frustrated, she blinked away tears and grit.

It was a man.

With a shoulder propped against the building, his long back faced her. His hand was hitched in the pocket of his jeans while his head inched up, searching the sky.

Piper slowly uncurled her body and rose. Hands shaking, she tried to grab the railing for support.

Convinced her eyes were playing tricks on her, she searched the avenue. In a swirling sea of pink and red ribbons laced with airy pedestrians and transparent cars, the man stood in stark contrast.

Blue—glorious—authentic—contrast.

Piper picked her way across the street, dodging a vending truck. There was no tailwind. No scent of exhaust. And no need to dodge. Those factors didn’t register. Her focus was solely on the man now half a block away.

As real as he looked in his jeans and flannel shirt, she expected him to dissolve on approach. So far, though, he remained convincingly intact. All the phantom pedestrians she had passed were bundled for the late autumn chill, but like her, he wore no coat.

This man had ruffled brown hair as if a strong breeze played with the soft ends. Hitched against the brick façade, the broad width of his shoulders was evident. Half of the blue flannel shirt was tucked into jeans that rode low over his hips.

“Hello?” she tested quietly, afraid to be rejected again.

The man’s arm jerked as he hefted off the wall. Sharp eyes flared open and traveled over her face, briefly trailing down her arms before they hiked back up to her gaze.

“Hello.”

Husky. Tentative. His voice rumbled across the space between them.

Green. His eyes were green. Not red. Not pink. Not amethyst. Not translucent. A rich, vibrant green like sunshine over a field of wild grass.

“You—you see me?”

Any other time she might worry that she sounded like a nut job, but now was not the time.

 “I do,” he murmured, his eyes tracing her chin and sliding up into her hair. “Are you—” he hesitated, “—real?”

Piper almost collapsed.

“Real,” she repeated, her lips hiking into a smile.

His mouth quivered in an attempt to mimic it.

“As real as can be in this place.”

Even in death, she tried to play it cool.

Don’t look desperate.

Don’t look eager.

Don’t drool.

 “Can I touch you?” she asked.

Soooo not cool!

This time his full lips settled into a smile. He raised his arm with his palm up. It was only inches away. She stared at that hand with broad fingers and a callused patch between the thumb and forefinger.

Tentative, she reached forward and tapped her pointer in the sinewy center. His fingers snapped around it, making her scream and yank free.

“Sorry,” he chuckled. “You looked like you were trying to touch a scorpion.”







USA TODAY bestselling author, Maureen A. Miller worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She crawled around plant floors in a hard hat and safety glasses hooking up computers to behemoth manufacturing machines. The job required extensive travel. The best form of escapism during those lengthy airport layovers became writing.

Maureen's first novel, WIDOW'S TALE, earned her a Golden Heart nomination in Romantic Suspense. Initially, she wrote for Harlequin’s digital imprint, but when the little voices in her head called for her to craft the young adult science fiction BEYOND series, it didn’t quite fit into the Harlequin world. So, she put on her big boy pants and went out on her own. The grownup in her still writes romantic suspense, but her inner adventure girl enjoys young adult adventures. 


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