Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Character Interview with Connor, Hero of Echoes of Paradise

Where are you from? Did you have a happy childhood?
I’m originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but I moved to Rome to teach after college. I did have a happy childhood. Unfortunately, my life was cut short when I died in a plane crash in my 30s.

Where do you live now and what do you do for a living? Is there something you'd rather be doing?

As I mentioned, I most recently worked as a teacher in Rome. In a way, I’m still a teacher, only now I help people from the spirit world. My goal is to provide peace, hope and comfort to the living. It’s a tough job because most of the time, no one even knows I’m there. I do love what I do, but it’s hard to be separated physically from the woman I love. If I had a choice, I’d choose to be with her.

What's going on in your life right now?

My biggest challenge is trying to reach Celeste, the woman I love. She’s still living in the physical world and is going through a very difficult time. She’s separated from her husband, unhappy with her career and trying to raise her young son practically alone. To top it off, she’s heavily mourning my death. I’ve been trying to reach her and let her know I’m okay, but so far I haven’t gotten through to her.

Is there someone special in your life?

Celeste has always been the one. I regret moving to Rome and not trying harder to make things work with her. 

How did you meet?
We met on a blind dinner date. When our eyes met, I knew there was something special about her.

What obstacles do you see yourself facing in this potential relationship?
Well, I’m dead (in the physical sense anyway) and she’s still alive on earth. That makes things very tricky. Also, she’s still married. I don’t plan on deserting her, though. I hang around her quite often and try to drop little hints and signs of my presence. I hope to convince her that my spirit lives on and that our love didn’t die too.

What one thing could you do that would make you feel like the relationship will work out?

If I could go back in time, maybe I could make different choices. But since that’s not possible, my hope is to continue to support and guide her from the afterlife. I know that someday we will be reunited again in Heaven.

Any last comments?
For those of you out there who have lost loved ones, please know that they do indeed live on. Look for signs of their presence. Many times, they try to reach you, but you don’t realize that it’s them. Keep an open mind and heart, and maybe you will have an experience of your own.

About the Author
Deanna Kahler is an award-winning author, an accomplished writer and a proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives.

In addition to Sara’s Soul, Deanna is the author of Echoes of Paradise, a paranormal love story about the afterlife. She has also written a children’s book, A Rare Gem, and a memoir about her experiences with miscarriage and adoption titled From Pain to Parenthood.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb and enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

Photo courtesy of Steven Jon Horner Photography


Connor's dead. But she can still feel him. Is it just her imagination or something more? Celeste wants to know. And she'll stop at nothing to find out.
A once-aspiring artist, Celeste is going through the motions of life. She's stuck -- in a job she doesn't love, with a man who isn't right for her, in a web of painful memories from the past. Adding to her despair is the sudden and unexpected death of Connor, her true love. As she struggles to make sense of the world around her, strange coincidences and mysterious events lead her to question her sanity. When the happenings persist, she wonders if Connor's spirit is trying to tell her something. 
Join Celeste as she risks her marriage, her career, and her own safety to escape the demons from her past and unravel the mysteries of life and death. With so much uncertainty, there's only one thing Celeste knows: her world will never be the same.


Celeste began sobbing uncontrollably. She struggled to see the road ahead of her through tear-filled eyes. The landscape became a fuzzy blur of moonlight and shadowy trees. The world around her spun into an unrecognizable mix of darkness streaked with occasional rays of dim light. As she drove blindly ahead, she felt as if she were plunging into nothingness. And she didn’t even care.
She would have continued in her oblivious state, but somehow, out of nowhere, she heard a very clear and distinct male voice pop into her head. She thought that surely she must have imagined it, because it sounded like Connor.
Pay attention.
Suddenly a deer darted out in front of her, its startled eyes aglow from the blazing gold headlights. Blood pulsed through her veins as she abruptly swerved her car to the right, narrowly missing the animal. With her heart still pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure.
“That was close,” she said aloud to herself. “Stay focused, Celeste. Keep it together.”
Although she was alone in her car, she noticed a distinct presence. It felt like Connor was somehow with her. First the voice, and now this? Surely she must be losing her mind! Even so, she had an irresistible urge to talk to him. Maybe it was silly or useless, but she couldn’t fight this desire brimming inside of her. She didn’t just want communication with her deceased former love; she needed it—even if it was one-sided. She began to have a conversation as if he were right there with her.
“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I didn’t stay in touch with you and try to be a part of your life in some way. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you or able to help you. I’m sorry for the night I left you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you get closer to me or tell you that I love you. I’m just so sorry.”
Tears streamed down Celeste’s face like the rain on a shiny glass window, and she gasped for air. What she wanted most right now was to know that Connor still existed somehow, somewhere. She wanted proof that his spirit lived on. She wanted to know that he was alive and well in heaven. Although she had been raised Christian, her faith had faded as she’d grown older. Life’s circumstances, unanswered prayers, and the cynical, materialistic world around her had left Celeste with doubts and questions. She now wondered if God and the afterlife even existed at all. She wanted to believe. She just didn’t know how.
Right after she spoke to Connor, a song came on the radio. The words caught her attention, and she stopped crying long enough to listen. It was a tune by Nickelback titled “Someday.”
For a brief moment, Celeste noticed a tingling sensation run down her spine. She felt like Connor was speaking directly to her through this song. It felt as if he were trying to respond to her. Were the words to this song meant for her? Did he somehow hear her cries? Was he trying to tell her he was going to help her in some way?
Author links, webpages, fan pages, and book trailers.
Web site: www.deannakahler.com