3 PAPERBACK copies of Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler
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Echoes of Paradise
Publisher: Rose Petal Publications
Date of Publication: January 11, 2014
Number of pages: 228
Word Count: 54,000
Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler
Echoes of Paradise is a sweet tale with a metaphysical slant about spiritual growth and enlightenment.
It’s atypical of the romance genre. The main character, Celeste is married with a 5 year old son, living in a flawed yet manageable relationship. It’s a situation she accepts. However, when Connor, the love of her life who left to work overseas, decides to come home, she feels conflicted. His impending return resurrects old feelings. After all, if two people could be described as soul mates it was Connor and Celeste.
Unfortunately, Connor dies in a plane crash before they can ever re-connect. Celeste grieves as someone who has lost the love of her life, confusing her current husband, Dave. He is a shallow but well meaning guy who assumes she’ll get over it. When strange, inexplicable things start happening, Celeste realizes Connor has come back as an angel to guide her and son, Chip. She eventually tells Dave about Connor’s visits who remains skeptical at first, then succumbs to jealousy.
And then we go on a metaphysical journey, exploring theories and beliefs of the afterlife as the story unfolds with Connor teaching Celeste how to live a happier, fuller life.
I was fine with this since it echoes my fundamental beliefs. Others may consider it fantasy or paranormal. Regardless, the story is strong enough to please both factions and a good read for romance fans of contemporary, sweet, or paranormal genres. The characters are interesting and believable.
My only criticism is the ending seemed a little contrived but once again, what’s a sweet romance without an HEA? The writing flows easily even though I found the dialogue simplistic at times. But that’s just me. I tend to read edgier content anyway, so go figure.
I recommend this book for romance fans, especially those who enjoy stories about loving ghosts, life beyond death, metaphysics or parables of enlightenment such as The Celestine Prophecy.
Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.
What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?
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.
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?
“No,” thought Celeste. “You’re being ridiculous. This is all just a coincidence. Connor can’t hear you or help you—he’s dead.”
Somehow, even though her rational, logical mind told her this, her heart told her otherwise. Maybe Connor really was alive in the afterlife. Maybe he really could hear her. She needed to know the truth. She wanted answers.
About the Author:
Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and 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.
Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book, From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.
Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.
For more information about the author, please visit www.deannakahler.com