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?
Review on Amazon: “Judging from the pile of tissues, this short book is at least a five tissue book if you're a crier; however, it's laughter, as well!”
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.
Share two things that inspired your book.
For years, I’d had an idea in the back of my mind about a woman somehow having a romantic encounter with her deceased husband. I was initially thinking some sort of ghost story/something in the paranormal genre, but then I went in another direction. My first book in the 1Night Stand series was contemporary, and I wanted to get back to my sci-fi/fantasy roots.
What was your favourite scene to write?
Oh, that’s an easy one! The scene where April first kisses Drew (and his reaction) was one of the first scenes to really take a definitive shape in my mind when I was plotting out the book. I write in order, and by the time I got to that point, I knew exactly how it was going to go.
Where is your book set and did you need to conduct research for your setting? If so, how?
The book is set in Connecticut (sometime in the not-so-distant future), so as a New Yorker, I did not need to do any research. Actually, the two towns mentioned by name in the book are where my best friends used to live!
Where would you like to be in your writing in two years’ time?
In two years’ time, I just hope to be back in a good writing routine! I’m expecting twins in June, and I know it’s going to be quite some time before I’ll be able to get back to my various hobbies. And sleeping. I think getting back to sleeping should take precedence over getting back to writing. But it’ll happen eventually!
Tell us three quirky or interesting things about yourself.
1) My bachelor’s degree is in music and I can play many instruments at a reasonable level of proficiency.
2) I like to knit complex lace, the more challenging, the better!
3) When I’m cooking, I always make my pasta sauce from scratch.
How has your family responded to your writing?
My husband knows I write, but as we have very different ideas as to what constitutes an enjoyable reading experience (he loves those giant historical fiction books and biographies of dead presidents, I…do not), he hasn’t read anything I’ve written. Some people think that’s strange, but it doesn’t bother me. I know my mother has read at least some of my books, but I established very early on that we WOULD NOT be discussing them together. I love my mom and we’re very close, but there are certain topics of conversation that don’t need to come up.
What was your darkest hour as a writer?
That first negative review always stings, no matter what anyone says. As hard as it was to resist the temptation, though, I didn’t respond to it. Even now, it bugs me when someone gives a book of mine one star and doesn’t bother saying why, but I know better than to ruin my reputation by engaging and arguing.
What has been your greatest triumph so far as a writer?
Honestly? This book. I love all of my publications for different reasons, but I truly believe Elysium is the best thing I’ve ever written.
Thanks for stopping by, Thea. I loved reading your answers. I can relate about cooking pasta sauce from scratch. Would love to have your recipe. ;) Knitting is fun for me too, but I certainly can't tackle the really hard projects. My next goal is to learn how to use circular needles. I'm fascinated by your story idea as I enjoy watching Ghost Whisperer on Netflix.