Deja Vu - The Story
Please enjoy this Sampler from Robert Tonner’s New novel based on his
Déjà Vu line of dolls! Read a Teaser by CLICKING HERE!
Penelope Brewster - current
Penelope Brewster is a young woman who has recently moved to LA—and there was really nowhere else she would rather be. Penelope is a long time film buff who grew up in New York City and attended NYU Film School. Although she loves NYU and the City, she knew that, as far as movies go, LA was the place to be. A bright, charming young woman, Penelope landed a job rather quickly considering how competitive the cutthroat movie industry is. Her boss, Michael Cohen, a self-made movie producer, isn’t the easiest person to work with.
Penelope lives in a small apartment not far from work. The apartment came furnished which is good—and with a roommate which is sometimes bad.
Although her life seems to be going very well, Penelope has an odd feeling—a tinge of anxiety and dread that doesn’t seem to want to go away. Normally an upbeat person, this strange feeling baffled her. In fact, it’s doubly puzzling just because her life does seem to be going so well. In addition to her dream job, Penelope just met the most amazing guy. Trevor and Penelope met in the strangest of circumstances. It was like they were always suppose to meet, and yet, at the same time, not. Like fate pushing them together, and at the same time, forces trying to keep them apart.
Penelope had no idea that she had lived before—but, in fact, she had lived many times before. It wasn’t until one day when she was accidently hit in the head that she was able to remember the first of many past lives. Her minor injury seemed to open the floodgates to her memory. Now, with even a slight bump on the head, Penelope remembers another past life. Each past life character is very different than Penelope—however there are a few things that reoccur. For instance, Penelope tends to meet the same people over and over again as they live their past lives. Also, the past lives that Penelope lives tend to be cut short—young lives ended in romantically tragic ways.
Penelope’s head injury made her remember past lives, but also something even more shocking. She remembers (although fuzzy and unclear), MidLife.
Mid Life is where a person goes when waiting for his/her next “assignment” or life. A person who has passed is aware of Mid Life when he/she is experiencing it, but once re-born, the memory of Mid Life disappears. Mid Life is set up something like ghostly restaurant. Attended to by an overworked, slightly cranky wait staff, the recently deceased must chose their next life off a menu of vague choices. Penelope’s “waitress” is the same every time and has the responsibility to gently guide Penelope toward her next life. However, the ultimate choice is solely up to Penelope. Neither Penelope nor her “waitress” realize that she has a force working against her—right at Mid Life. There is a sinister figure at Mid Life that wants to keep her from having a long and happy life on earth. The question is, why?
This time, however, current Penelope refuses to go along with plan. Sensing a rather sloppy record keeping system at Mid Life, Penelope insisted that this time, she will not go along with her “destiny”—this time she plans to keep her boyfriend and live a long and happy life—even if she has to take drastic steps to do so.
Judy Watson - NYC 1950’s
Judy was a small town girl from the Midwest. Shy, a sweet soul and the face of an angel. Traipsing through town one dusty afternoon running errands for her mother, Judy was discovered by a high-powered agent from New York City. “Excuse me,” said a voice from behind a huge map. “I’m trying to get to Chicago but I seem to be a bit lost.” The man put down his map to look at the face that went with the shoes of which he had just asked directions. The man was stunned by the soft, exquisite face that met him. Soon thereafter, Judy was whisked off to the runways of New York and Paris. Judy’s life became a whirlwind of fame and fortune. City to city, designer dresses and gowns, polite conversation and laughter, seemingly every girl’s dream. But yet, something was missing.
She was supposed to look alluring, yet unattainable. But somehow the way he smiled at her each time she walked down the catwalk just melted her heart. Did the other girls see him? Was he looking at them the same way? No, it was only Judy. He only had eyes for Judy. There was a faint knock on her dressing room door after the show. And there he was, bouquet of Black-eyed Susans in his hand. But how could he know? Growing up they had been her favorite. Their bright, sunny color represented all that was possible to a young Judy. And with that, Judy and Philip’s lives were forever changed.
From party to party, glamorous event to glamorous event, Judy and Philip were the toast of the town. Everyone wanted the face of today’s finest fashions and the billionaire playboy whose heart she stole to attend their soirees. On this particular evening Judy knew exactly what she wanted to wear. Prior to her bath she laid out the beguiling gown, the attractive earrings and the bewitching heels so as not to waste time afterward. “Judy?” It was Philip’s voice but it seemed so far away. “Judy?” Her eyes opened suddenly. She had drifted off in the tub. “Please do hurry dear, we are going to be late.” Judy rushed to dry off. Luckily her hair had been done that afternoon and it still looked perfect. “Philip dear, do you mind?” Judy turned around for Philip to zipper her gown. “Would you be a doll and please also fetch my earrings? They’re on my dressing table.” Philp hurried but in his haste dropped one of the earrings. He scrambled about on the floor until he found the match. Judy put in its counterpart, slipped on her heels, grabbed Philip’s hand and they were out the door. “Taxi!” the doorman yelled.
The party was in full swing by the time Judy and Philip arrived. It seemed as though everyone wanted a piece of their time. “Sorry fellas, I need her first.” It was Madge, Judy’s agent. “Harpers, Vogue, they’re all here and waiting by the fountain on the balcony.” Madge took Judy’s hand and led her through the crowd with Philip trailing a step behind. The paparazzi was swarming the balcony. Madge nudged Judy to stand in front of the fountain. The flashbulbs were as bright as the sun as they began snapping in Judy’s eyes. As the photographers inched closer Judy took a step back. Suddenly, Judy lost her footing. She reached out, unwittingly grabbing onto the twinkling lights that decorated the balcony. Holding onto the electric cord she tumbled backward and into the fountain, Judy’s eyes went wide. “Judy!” Philip cried as he grabbed her hand, ensuring their fate.
Emma Jean McGowen 1920’s
Emma Jean McGowen was born on a farm in the Midwest in 1908. She was the beautiful only child to Maggie and Thomas McGowen. Emma Jean was quite bright and had a delightful personality. Her idyllic childhood was cut short when her parents met their untimely demise. Having few relatives close by, Emma Jean was sent to New York City to live with a distant cousin. Cousin Doris reluctantly, at first, accepted the responsibility of the young girl, but with time they developed a very close relationship and became fast friends.
Doris was something of a wild young woman for her time and had been an ardent Suffragette. After women gained the right to vote in 1920, Doris, with her young cousin, started on the path to become modern women. Followers of the newest, art, music, literature and fashion of the time, Doris and Emma Jean became some of the first flappers. Their wild ways took them through the twenties and it wasn’t until Emma Jean met Randolph Miller that she felt it was time to settle down (at least a little).
Randolph was a handsome young stockbroker. He was making more money than he had ever dreamed of. However, that dream turned into a nightmare when the stock market crashed. And, unfortunately, soon after, the young lovers came to a tragic end.
Anne De Legere
It was an unassuming basket, on an unassuming day, set on the back steps of an unassuming servant’s entrance. Attached to the steps was anything but unassuming—it was the Grand Palace know as Versailles.
In the basket, nestled in rough linen cloth was a beautiful girl child. On her way to the stables for fresh milk, Mm. Rouge, head of the kitchen staff, practically stumbled over the child in the basket. Normally a gruff, sensible and stoic woman, Mm. Rouge fell instantly in love with the beautiful baby and in spite of immense hardship, raised the girl as her own with the help of the other kitchen servants. Anne, as she was called, was in essence, raised in a Palace.
Mm. Rouge, fearing for her daughter’s future, sought to teach her a trade and as it turned out, even as a child, Anne had a talent for sewing and soon became an accomplished dressmaker.
Using every connection that she had, Mm. Rouge sent young Anne away for schooling. Anna returned from school as a beautiful young woman. She had changed her name to Anne De Legere and set about to distance herself from her humble background.
While visiting her adopted mother, Anne met the handsome young Prince and they fell, of course, madly in love.
Alas, what could have been a classic tale of true love, was not to be. One afternoon, so as not to be discovered, Anne hid in a large trunk near the Prince’s bed chamber. Unbeknownst to her, the trunk was to be picked up and shipped to South Africa. Not wanting to be discovered, poor Anne was taken out to sea with less air in the trunk than she needed. Her Prince, once he discovered what had happened, took his boat out to try to catch up to her. Unfortunately, he, too, was lost at sea.
Lady Arabella – The Renaissance
Born into nobility, Lady Arabella was the only child of the Duke and Duchess of Framlingham. While her mother tried desperately to instill in her the virtues of being a Lady, she was doted upon by her father. Her mother taught her the merits of culture, music and arts, using her mind while conveying the necessity of how to dance and be festive whereby she would be able to entertain graciously. Although charm was her mother’s primary aim, Lady Arabella was a determined and spirited girl. Her father taught her the skills of archery and horseback riding so that her expertise was parallel to, if not exceeding, the abilities of any man.
Lady Arabella slowly and deliberately walked to the seat beside her father to await the tournaments that would eliminate many in the long line of suitors. “My Lady,” they would say as one by one they knelt before her. She would quickly roll her eyes before they stood upright again. One melded into the other with no distinguishing characteristics until she saw him. Their eyes met briefly before he knelt and in that moment there was an undeniable spark. As he slowly rose, she extended her hand to him. His light kiss on the back of her hand confirmed everything. Nigel Hawtrey easily defeated his opponents in all the competitions and easily won Lady Arabella’s heart.
But Nigel was a commoner, and Lady Arabella’s hand was not his to have, at least according to her parents. They met in secret on the grounds and in the palace. When they rode, Lady Arabella would laugh as they playfully raced through the woods. Although Nigel was a strong rider, Lady Arabella, a natural competitor, was his equal.
One rainy afternoon, Lady Arabella and her lover were playing a spirited game of hide and seek in her palace chamber. Quickly, so as not to be noticed, her lover hid under her bed. But Lady Arabella was quicker and saw a bit of his foot. Excitedly she jumped on the bed which, much to her horror, collapsed and crushed him. Her shock was short lived as at the same time the canopy came crashing down hitting Lady Arabella, and sealing her fate as well.