Title: Soul Mountain
Genre: YA Romantic Fantasy
Word Count: 67,000
There’s only one rule on Soul Mountain: Don’t make contact with the living except for the purpose of carrying out the assignment.
Jimmy Abbott saves the living from untimely deaths. When he rescues seventeen-year-old Emily Bell from drowning in the Hudson River, he finds that sticking to this rule is a lot harder than he thought. Emily represents everything he lost when he died: life, family, and love.
And to make matters worse, she can sense him, even when he's invisible.
The moment they kiss, though, Jimmy realizes he can’t—and won’t—stay away. He’s determined to keep seeing Emily, even if it means being sent to Hell or worse, nonexistence.
When he is summoned before the Elders, he faces the hardest decision of his death: give up Emily and the love they share, or live as a fugitive in the world of the living, guaranteeing that he’ll never cross over.
I lie still on a hammock knotted between two trees. My best friend, Sam, lies in another one nearby. This is part of our morning ritual before the assignments are given.
Mornings here on Soul Mountain are my favorite. They’re a few degrees cooler, the wind whistles through the white haze, and a soft creaking and chirping ripples through, reminding me of the mornings at my parents’ farm, near the Blue Ridge Mountains—back when I was alive. Here, though, all sound and motion is an illusion, a reflection of that which was, like me.
This has been my home since I died in the spring of 1988. I was eighteen. Still am, actually. That’s the thing about dying, time stands still.
Stretching, I gaze upwards. The black sky bleeds away and is replaced by the soft glow of day. When the haze finally gives way, the sun shines too brightly and the eternal reality of this natural landscape glows.