Welcome to my stop on Liza O'Connor's Virtual Book Tour for Saving Casey. Please leave a comment or question below for Liza to let her know you stopped by. Liza will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Other random commenters at blog stops will receive: $5 Amazon GCs, tattoos like Casey’s, or offer to place tattoos like Casey’s on a jpg picture supplied by winner. You can follow all of the tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.
Guest Post by Liza O'Connor
My Question to Liza: In Saving Casey, when Cass dies, she returns into the body of a teen who committed suicide. Ghost Lover has a prominent ghost as a character. What is your influence for paranormal activities in your stories?
I tend to write stories based loosely from events that have occurred to me or someone I know. Thus, what I think is plausible tends to be more flexible than the norm, because I’ve had an eventful life. I’ve two experiences that has led me to believe in reincarnation and ghosts.
MY OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE
When I was 16, I experienced a short, out-of-body occurrence, in which my soul/consciousness left my body, went out the window, and I hovered in amazement outside my house. Then crows began to squawk. I became terrified they could capture my soul, so I slammed back into my body and NEVER left it again.
(I would like to point out that I have never been afraid of crows before or after. But when I was out of my body, they terrified me.)
This one out-of-body experience convinced me the soul is separate from the body, which logically led to my belief in reincarnation, where the soul leaves a non-functioning body and finds a new host. I believe this is the standard, natural process when someone dies.
While normal reincarnation occurs with a newborn host, in my story, seventeen-year-old Casey has died from her ‘suicide attempt’ and her soul moved on. However, the hospital kept her body alive while they tried to convince her father to donate her organs. And God directed Cass into Casey’s body.
(Yep, I believe in God and guardian angels as well, but that’s a different blog.)
I can even explain the reason Cass retains her prior life’s memories when she enters Casey’s body. During my one out-of-body experience, I knew what things were, so clearly my memories went with me. Thus, I believe Cass’ memories would go with her, and because she entered an older brain, it could store and process them properly. A fetus/newborn baby’s brain is too underdeveloped to retain this residual data. While it might be stored, normally it cannot be retrieved.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH A GHOST
I don’t know why the standard process of reincarnation doesn’t happen for ghosts, but since I have a ghost in my house, I know reincarnation does on occasion fail to occur.
My ghost is the first owner of my house, Mrs. Martin. She is the only person who has ever died in this house. Her brother built the house for her around 1950. So, she’s a young ghost. And she’s usually very quiet and non-intrusive ghost.
Unlike the ghost, Lassier, in my story, who can fully materialize, I have never seen Mrs. Martin. However, I did have a woman insist she could see an old woman sitting at my piano before the bay window. I refused to go out and see. So I’ll never know if it was really Mrs. Martin at my piano that Halloween night.
(I refused to go look because I also believe in crafty house burglars who lure people out of their home while a partner enters and robs the place of jewelry.)
Mrs. Martin constantly moves my rugs. In the early years, I only had two cats and yet heavy rugs would slowly creep across the room. When they’d get too far from where I wanted them to reside, I’d pull them back into place…I still have to do that, just not as often.
In the first year, I learned Mrs. Martin really disliked having men sleep in her bedroom. While I was in Taiwan I allowed a guy friend to stay in my house and he originally planned to sleep in her room.
He lasted one night then moved up to my guest bedroom on the top floor. He said something gave him the creeps all night. He felt like someone was staring at him and wanted him gone.
When my old, unwell Dad came to visit, I put him in her room by necessity. It’s the only bed on the first floor of my house and he couldn’t climb steps. I didn’t expect it to be a problem because my dad wasn’t what I’d call a ‘sensitive’ fellow. However, the next morning the first thing he asked me was if I had ghost.
Never did I expect my science-oriented father to ask such a thing.
“In fact I do,” I admitted.
He told me about foot stompings, heavy sighings, and a sense of unwelcome. So I went into her room, sat on the bed and explained I couldn’t put my dad elsewhere and she needed to leave him alone.
I’ve no idea if she did, or if he just stopped complaining because nothing could be done about it. He was a very practical sort.
Why Mrs. Martin remains here, I have no idea. It’s possible she stayed to chase her husband from the house (a neighbor said they didn’t get along) and when she achieved that task, a new family arrived with 5 adorable young girls and she decided to stay on. But they moved and now she’s stuck here…with a writer who sits at her PC and types all day. (I’m sure the kids were far more interesting.)
As I write this, a part of me is saying ‘Do I really want to sound so freaken crazy? But it’s the truth. And let’s face it, reality is often stranger than fiction.
Before you fit me for a straight jacket, consider the fact that scientists still know surprisingly little about the workings of our brains and they completely disregard our ‘soul’ as a real component influencing our brain. So the real ‘truth’ in this matter remains unknown.
However, once you have an out-of-body experience or live with a ghost, trust me, you’ll believe them real. You might not blog about it, but it changes your entire perspective, and suddenly the Buddhists seem more in touch with reality than the scientists.
I gathered the following data to determine how many of you will think me utterly nuts upon reading this. The polls suggest 20% will believe me, 80% won’t.
According to Wikipedia 1 out of 10 people have had an out-of-body experience.
A 2005 Gallup poll determined 20% of Americans believe in reincarnation. (Europeans are a bit higher: 23%)
A 2007 AP/Ipso polls says 34% of people believe in ghosts and 23% believe they have been in the presence of a ghost.
To the 80% who thinks I’m nuts: Please buy Saving Casey anyway. It’s not a book about reincarnation. That’s just how Cass ends up in a teenage body. The story is about the real life problems that plagued the prior teen and now Cass. You will laugh, cry, and yell at characters, but I promise not to think you nuts for doing so.
by Liza O'Connor
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC.
Release Date: November 14, 2012
Genre: YA Paranormal
Length: 191 Pages
Thornton entered with a tall glass of green tea and bowl of nuts and dried fruit. “Thought you might want some nutrients after your work out.” He set down the tray. “And for future references, there are extra slippers in the bathroom closet where you found the robe.”
“Okay, now you’re creeping me out. Do you have a camera in the bathroom?”
“Of course not! However, I do monitor the gym. Your father put a camera in after his first heart attack.”
She had been about to take a sip of the tea when his words slammed her like a two ton truck.
The next moment Thornton knelt at her feet, scolding her for her lack of shoes, all the while picking up shards of glass.
“When did that happen?” Tears swelled in her eyes. She couldn’t lose her dad. Despite the terrible thing he did to Old Casey, he’d been nothing but wonderful to her. She needed him…damn it, she loved him. “Is he okay now? Is there something he should be doing but isn’t?”
Her butler-parent checked her feet to insure she hadn’t been hurt.
“Thornton, talk to me!”
He sighed heavily. “It’s not my place to discuss this. Nor should I have said anything. Most remiss of me.”
“I’ll keep your remissive moment a secret. Just tell me if he’s okay now.”
Thornton sighed heavily and looked up, meeting her worried gaze. “Turning your life around is the best thing you can do for your parents and yourself, and that is all I’m saying on the matter.”
“All right. If I ask Dad, I won’t mention this conversation. I have to look out for my butler-parent, too.”
He actually smiled before standing up. “I’ll bring you another green tea.”
“How about a diet Dr. Pepper in a can—since I’ve proven unreliable with glassware.”
Another smile. What a great day!
“I’ll see what I can do,” he said and left the walk-in closet.
I don't know how many times I've said that youth is wasted on the young but Liza O'Connor must have been reading my mind when she wrote Saving Casey. An interesting premise, well developed characters, plenty of teenage angst and a May/December romance all play a part in Ms. O'Connor's book. Let's face it, if you got a free chance for a "do-over" when it comes to life - who's not going to jump on it? I know I would....
When Cass Goldman discovers she has an inoperable brain tumor she decides to take the easy way out - or at least the least medically painful way out - and plans to take her life. When she wakes up in the body of a 17 year old girl, Cass can't believe her luck, she gets a do over in life in the body of Casey, a young troubled woman who's unhealthy, unhappy and completely friendless. Grabbing life by the horns, Cass is determined to turn Casey's life around and sets out to change her life. Unfortunately Cass didn't know about all of Casey's horrible secrets.
As Cass sets out to "fix" the problems in Casey's life, she discovers that while Casey may have been rich and pampered - all of it came with a price - a price that could sometimes be very high. Will Cass be able to fix all of Casey's mistakes? Will Troy, Casey's father's bodyguard, and the man Cass has fallen in love with, realize Casey the girl he's protecting is no longer the teenage girl he knew? You'll have to read Saving Casey to find out. I think Ms. O'Connor did a good job with the character's development and wrote a fun and interesting book.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a blog tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I live in Denville, NJ with my dog, Jess. We hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, I learned to fly small cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. I’m an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through my entire life, my first love has and always will be writing novels. I love to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
Saving Casey Trailer: http://youtu.be/WxcaMP0Dgzc
Abridged My Crappy New Life series: http://youtu.be/p6QzYsxJ7jQ
Blog and Website: http://www.LizaOConnor.com
Facebook Profile: http://www.facebook.com/liza.oconnor.90