Alexa West thinks she's found a man who loves her, but another man, Justin Lord, woos her with an outlandish tale--they have loved and married for their last twelve reincarnations, and he will allow no other man to marry her in their thirteenth. Is Justin's story lunacy, a line, or a love that spans the ages? Determined to win her by making her remember, dynamic Justin romances Alexa by restaging and retelling their past lives and their loves. But he doesn't tell her she has rivals for his love, and she is all twelve. Hovering around the edge but unable to do much more than secretly nudge the hard-headed lovers in the right direction--toward each other, Alexa and Justin's guardian spirits Celeste and Walter work frantically to make certain these two soulmates come together, again.
A Hard Shell Word Factory Release
Marilynn Byerly's writing passion is adventure stories. Some are set in the present day and involve intense suspense, thriller, or paranormal elements like reincarnation, others are set in the distant future where gender roles are switched. Romantic Times has called her an author to watch. Affaire de Coeur has named her an Outstanding Achiever in romance. Both the readers and the reviewers of Affaire de Coeur named her TIME AFTER TIME one of the best time travel novels of 1998.
Her novel, STAR-CROSSED, has received a Sapphire Award, the National Reader's Choice Award, the "Affaire de Coeur" Award, and a Write Touch Award. It was also a double finalist in the PEARL Awards and the RIOs (Reviewers International Organization) for the best sf romance and best book of the year, and it was nominated for the Frankfurt eBook Award and the James Tiptree, Jr. Award, for exploring gender issues using science fiction.
"You might think, from the title, that this was a time travel. It's probably better classified as a paranormal. Really, it's more of a time commingling (Ms. Byerly may have invented a new subgenre). The plot was full of surprises, and kept me up until 3 am to find out how it ended. Don't start this one with the intent of reading just a chapter" before you go to bed. But do read it. You haven't read anything like it before."Science Fiction Romance
"Time After Time is an ingenious otherworldly romance that will thrill fans of the sub- genre. The retelling of previous lives comes across as genuine (no easy feat), leaving readers to wonder if perhaps the author has found some scientific rationale behind reincarnation. The lead protagonists are a fabulous pair and the motivations and limitations of the angelic duo are well designed, propelling the story line forward. Marilyn Byerly has scribed a rousing reincarnation romance."Harriet Klausner -- Painted Rock Reviews
"This romance defies categorization, doesn't fit nicely into any niche, but it is one of the most memorable books I've ever read. Intelligently written, fascinating in scope, Time After Time isn't exactly a time travel, although it does have certain elements that point in that direction. If it has to be called something, I will settle for "great," and let the reader decide whatever else it is. Needless to say, I feel like I'm babbling, but basis of the book, transmigration, the human essence going from one lifetime to the next, is believable, logically explained and mystical at the same time. All I can say is if you don't grab Time After Time and put it on your keeper shelf, you are depriving yourself of mental stimulation, a page-turner book, and a love story to make you sigh."-- Under the Covers Book Reviews
JUSTIN LORD was dying. Walter didn't have to look at the fancy medical monitors of the intensive care unit to know this; he could feel Justin's life force seeping away. Justin teetered between coma and death, only his enormous physical and emotional strength keeping him alive. But that strength was fading, his will to survive exhausted.
Walter blinked tears, bent over Justin in the hospital bed, and took the limp hand unencumbered by tubes in his hands. "Don't die, Justin. It's not your time. You have years of happiness to live through and good acts to do. A wife and children waiting for you in the future, lives to touch."
The air quivered. Dull fluorescent light became the gold of May dusk on a perfect sunny day. Cleaning fluid and sickness smells transformed into the scent of apple blossoms. The gold light coalesced in the room's corner. A door opened from beyond.
Her hair still pure auburn, the wrinkles on her kind face only around her twinkling eyes and smiling lips, a lovely woman in her late golden years stepped through the door into the room.
Relief surged so intensely Walter forgot his usual snippy comments about her fondness for grand entrances. "Celeste!"
"Oh, Walter. I came as soon as I felt his danger." Celeste hugged him. "We'll find a way to save him."
Walter stepped back and swiped away tears. "How is she?"
"I left Alexa well guarded by her late mother's guardian spirit. Alexa feels something is terribly wrong."
Walter nodded. "These two have always been so close in all their lives. They feel each other even before they meet."
"Such a pair they are, hard-headed and adventurous. They make our jobs quite a task, but they do love each other." Celeste smiled fondly up at Walter. She traced his graying moustache and the distinguished gray at his temples. "Very stylish and handsome, Walter. I like the look."
He beamed, and his hands settled on the lapels of his conservative gray business suit. "I prefer the styles of the period we're working even if they don't usually see us."
She chuckled and straightened her gold silk walking dress from the Gay Nineties. "And I don't." She nodded as if she'd given him just the right amount of teasing to ease his grief, then turned to Justin. The blue twinkle in her eyes dimmed as she examined the slash surgical incisions across his broad chest and the smaller web of scars down his legs and under the two leg casts. His black curls had been shaved off. A long gouge wound ran across his scalp. "Oh, Walter, what's been done to him?"
Walter stiffened defensively. "I did everything I could to stop him from flying the plane. I just couldn't stop him."
Celeste shook her head. "Sometimes they won't listen to the intuitions we give them. Especially this one. He's avoided every hint and opportunity we've given him to meet Alexa. He's wasted years of their lives together. If he'd met Alexa, you could be certain he'd not have come to this terrible pass."
"I had to hustle to get medical help there to save him. A dozen of us worked frantically that day to save him."
"He's such a handsome man, and his face glows with his unique proud spirit. Alexa will love him at first sight."
"Not as usual. Remember Gerard and Aurelia?"
Walter chuckled. "Who could ever forget that reincarnation? I thought we'd never get those two properly bonded. Over eight years before they admitted their feelings!" He smiled fondly. "Still, they have always been favorites."
Celeste nodded. "The harshness of their early years made the sweetness later so much sweeter."
"This time he just doesn't have the strength to keep fighting."
Celeste held her hand just above Justin's head and concentrated. "Not his strength, he has some strength left, it's his will that weakens."
"And from someone so hard-headed, too. He's fought so long. I've run out of ways of keeping him fighting. I'm losing him."
Celeste's face softened as if she were trying to reason through a solution to their problem. "Thinking of all their lives.... It's strange how some of the same patterns and events occur in each one."
Although she knew the answer already, Walter prompted, "They're the same people whatever life they're living. They need reminders and lessons to reaffirm their strengths and fight their weaknesses."
Celeste grabbed his wrist. "That's it, Walter. A way to give him a will to live. Remember Gerard?"
Walter stroked his moustache with his thumb. "I don't under-stand."
"The boy was going into the priesthood so he'd never meet Aurelia, never be able to wed her, and you changed his mind."
"By sending him a dream of her waiting for him in the future! I could send him a vision of Alexa, and...." Walter sighed. "Rules! I can't use certain knowledge of his future again."
Celeste sagged. "You're right. The thousand-year time limit isn't quite up."
"A measly seventy years." Walter considered other possibilities. His moustache quivered with excitement. "I've got it. Not the future, the past. I'll return his memory of his past lives. He'll remember her in all the past lives and know she's here now waiting for him, needing him desperately."
"Brilliant! He'll be fighting for her as well as for himself. No obstacle has ever stopped him when her life and safety were involved."
Walter pondered the possibilities. "Knowing him, there will be terrible problems caused by this. We may be destroying their relation-ship in the future."
"At least there will be a future. We'll save the relationship when problems come."
"If we can. Even guardian spirits can't create miracles." Walter pondered some more, but he could see no other way to save Justin. "We'll save the present and hope for the future."
Celeste beamed. "We haven't failed these soul mates yet."
Walter bent over Justin and rested his palm on Justin's head. "This is your past, all of them, Justin, and the woman who shares your soul and your heart. Please live to find her in the future."