• Stephany Tullis

Have you ever experienced Deja Vu?


Deja Vu on the Seas

The Angelica Mason Series, Book 4

Here's a sneak peak of my fourth book in the Angelica Mason Series. Enjoy!

“The definition of vulnerability is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. But vulnerably is not weakness; it’s our most accurate measure of courage.”


Déjà Vu on the Seas

Prologue


"The feeling that one has lived through the present situation before. An anomaly of memory whereby, despite the strong sense of recollection, the time, place, and practical context of the "previous" experience are uncertain or believed to be impossible…”


The beginning of the end… Nothing intimidated Ms. Angelica Marie Mason, and she never second-guessed herself. Once she made up her mind, she persevered to the finish. No regrets. Not one iota of remorse even when she impetuously decided to leave her prestigious position at the country’s powerhouse in Washington, DC and return to her childhood home in Smoothville, Georgia. She had learned a lot, enjoyed her experience and made several good friends, including her mentor, Dr. Beckham Johnson. Although Johnson was caught off guard by his protégé’s unanticipated decision, he regretfully accepted her resignation with a commitment to stay in touch. She relied on her designer bookshelf of awards and citations to remind her of her accomplishments and the effectiveness of her “do it my way” lifestyle.

No one asked, and Angelica felt no need to share how, why, or when she consciously decided to no longer interpret the maneuvers and machinations of DC’s decision makers. As with most other critical lifetime events, the date and details were etched in her calendar of the mind: Monday, January first at 6:00 p.m.

On February first at 6:45 a.m., instead of heading to the DC Metro, she hopped into her newly financed Audi RS Q3 and drove downtown to another capitol building, Smoothville City Hall. Angelica easily readjusted to small town living without missing a beat, and via a combination of luck, bumping heads with the right people, and her DC experience, she made the perfect landing.

As with DC, she quickly made a name for herself. Smoothville mayor, Luke Evans, was the first to experience Angelica’s no-nonsense highly effective work style and ethic. No one could convince him otherwise—he had first-hand experience. Angelica Mason “was no joke.” She had more than proved herself when she salvaged him and his election a few years ago from his self-inflicted political wounds. Evans acknowledged to his supporters, friends, and family—even to his public audience—that he’d made some serious mistakes and assured them that he had learned his lessons—the hard way. He promised his mistakes would never be repeated. Little did Angelica know that the Luke Evans she trusted would someday renege on his commitments, including the vow he made to her.

***

Two years ago, Angelica’s father, Marshall Mason who was never sick a day in his life—not even with a bad cold—scared the crapola out of her when he had a massive heart attack. Angelica’s otherwise super sophisticated and self-acknowledged bougie mother, Marilyn Mason, hysterically broke the news at 2:00 a.m. from the Savannah General Hospital emergency room.

By 7:00 a.m., a somber hold her own, not frightened by much, Angelica was at her father’s bedside, struggling to hold back tears. Her mother sobbed enough for the two of them. Sophistication was no longer on the table. Marilyn’s no makeup appearance made that clear.

Marshall Mason’s heart attack was much more than Angelica’s first exposure to death. No one had to tell her how ill her father was. “Massive heart attack” was a fully loaded, much-too-commonly-used medical term that didn’t require extensive research to determine the severity of the diagnosis nor the potential impacts. She fought against all those possibilities with every bone in her body, resisting the mind battles that played games with her emotions.

The personal strength and stamina that most saw and admired rallied to the forefront. When family friend, Dr. Bryant, met with the family to gravely review Marshall’s health status and prognosis, Angelica did what she knew she had to do.

***

Without a second thought, Angelica messaged her boss. “Luke, I need to take a leave of absence.” The mayor honored her request, but she would have taken it and even quit her job, if necessary. Her father assured her that he’d be okay. “Marilyn and I will find a way.” His body language and tone confirmed what she already knew. He’d find a way. But there would be no way that would meet ‘Mother Dear's’ exacting standards—something they both knew. Angelica stepped to the plate. She made a quick trip back to Smoothville, grabbed her laptop, some underwear, toiletries, and sweats and was back in time to drive her parents from the hospital to her home away from home—their recently purchased pre-retirement home.

***

She’d just returned from a celebratory dinner with her father where he promised her: no fried chicken, no more than one whiskey on the rocks a month—and only to celebrate something special—to drink more tea than coffee, and renew his gym membership when she got the call. Her long-time colleague, point person, and now good friend Jonathan C. Jarewski—aka, JaRew broke the news.

“Hey, your ex, Lover Boy, is now sitting in your corner office with his personalized shiny new name plate on the door.

“That scumbag of a boss of ours reassigned me to Communications, the job I told you I’d never perform again, even if my life depended on it, and get this, I came to work today, but guess where my office is? That cold, gloomy, windowless back room in the basement.”

“By the way, I quit.”

But quick as a whip, Angelica had a new job before collecting her first unemployment check. Beckham Johnson’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. He’d coincidently reached out to Angelica to chat and get an update on her dad’s health status. Angelica shared that her father was great and recently released from his doctor’s care but that her boss had just fired her. Without hesitation, excited at the opportunity to work with her again, he chimed, “Hey Angelica, guess what? I need a project manager, and I’d love for it to be you.”

Voilà! Angelica not only had a new job but had worked a deal with Beckham to have JaRew on her project team. She eagerly looked forward to the new position, viewing it as another fork in the road—one that would lead to another step up the ladder. More importantly, she believed it was definitely a “sign” that Shawn Mallory, the ex that had just stolen her job, was definitely a “fling” of the past.

Little did she know that her new project would expose her to another world—one she’d never experienced—making her feel as though she was in a 21st century urban Twilight Zone.

Angelica walked and talked it as best as she could for two months—twenty-four hours a day.

She lived it. Immersed herself in it.

She escaped it. But barely.

Actually, she was mercifully rescued. Some might say, JaRew saved the day; others, that he literally saved her life...

CHAPTER ONE


This is insane. “Take me or leave me, but I’m sure you’ll take me.” Angelica Marie had only shared her personal mantra with five people: her parents; Nicole Honeywell, her childhood BFF; and, JaRew, her colleague and now one of her closest friends.


She and JaRew had worked closely together for more than five years, always finding themselves in unusual circumstances. They’d quickly bonded such that they learned from experience that they could depend on and trust each other—for anything and under any circumstance. Confidante number five, the BLUE LADY, Angelica’s mysterious alter ego, not only knew but understood Angelica better than she understood herself and had bailed her out of more situations than Angelica cared to remember.

***

Angelica couldn’t remember the last time she checked her cell phone for calls or messages. Last time she talked to Jarewski, she’d promised to send him a draft of a new business concept for comments. He’d agreed with no reservations—always eager to delve into the new and different. She’d forgotten the specifics, but they’d even brainstormed about names for the business. Nor could she recall any irritating pokes, nudges, interruptions, or innuendos from BLUE LADY.


And her online life was nonexistent. She no longer cared about how many Facebook friends she gained or lost or how many new followers she had on Instagram. This morning she almost called her phone carrier to temporarily disconnect the only remaining link she had to the outside world. The one she was struggling to forget. The non-stop nerve-wracking chirps, clacks, and beeps were more than she could tolerate. Besides, why did she need a phone if she no longer planned to talk with anyone?


With confidence and self-esteem levels at an all-time low of zippo—yes, zero on a scale of one to ten—this savvy, sophisticated, some might say kinda sexy lady—despite her bougie infused blood line—was quite satisfied with her current lifestyle. She’d found her zone: 753 Magnolia Lane, SE., Smoothville, Georgia. Her new townhouse contained all the features she had sought when she made the purchase less than two years ago, including the must have, custom-made office adjoined to the master bedroom. The current problem? Her computer was on shutdown—just like its owner.

What the heck had happened?

Some might say, “‘Stuff’ happens.”

Be the first to read about the 'stuff' that happens. Grab your copy here.


Déjà Vu on the Seas is a story of an emotional journey of personal exploration and search for self. It explores a woman’s fear, confusion and healing, asking the question: Which takes more courage—ignoring the fear or staring it in the face?


Angelica Mason is known in political circles for her highly effective ‘do it my way or hit the highway’ MO. Not one to be intimidated, she’s never second-guessed herself. Once she’s made up her mind, she perseveres to the finish. No regrets. Until now.


Traumatized by several near-death experiences, including a kidnapping, Angelica returns to her safe place and finds the security she needs in her king size bed. She succumbs to the dense fog that has smothered her spirit. And sleeps.


Frightened when her BFF doesn’t return her phone calls or text messages, Nicole Honeywell makes a surprise visit to check in on her incognito childhood friend. Alarmed by Angelica’s bedridden, bedraggled and semi-comatose condition, she threatens to sound the alarm and contact Angelica’s business partner and parents if she doesn’t get her act together.

Angelica sluggishly acknowledges her friend’s threat. She’s awake long enough to ascertain two things. Something’s seriously wrong. And more importantly, she needs to do something about it. Rather than take the chance that she’ll be bombarded with unwanted visitors making unmeetable demands, she accepts her only alternative. Escape.


Angelica embarks on a journey of a life time; one that is full of unknowns but with her commitment to search and prepare to accept whatever she finds.


AVAILABLE HERE!

11 views1 comment

Recent Posts

See All

FOLLOW ME

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

© 2020 by Stephany Tullis Proudly created with Wix.com