Thursday, March 6, 2014

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO - Karma or Coincidence? Countdown (Barbara O'Connor)

If you've read this intro already, by all means, skip right down to the guest post!

As some of you may know, THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, my second novel for young adults officially comes out March 25th from Algonquin Young Readers.

THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO tells the story of almost-16-yr-old Francesca “Beans” “Frankie” Schnell who, four years ago witnessed her baby brother, Simon, drown. Guilty and broken, Francesca has hunkered down in the shadows of her life, resolved to play second fiddle to her dead brother’s memory and to her best friend Lisette, a blonde bubbly beauty Francesca lives vicariously through. That is, until she meets a young boy named Frankie Sky who bears an uncanny resemblance to her brother. Frankie brings humor and hope to Francesca’s life, but are all the similarities between Frankie and Simon merely wishful coincidences, or could he be Simon’s reincarnation?

Curious coincidences abound in THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO not only the overlaps between Simon and Frankie Skybut also Bradley’s gift to Francesca, Bradley’s bird sighting, and the ties to the statue of  Saint Florian (you'll have to read to know what these are ;)). Midway through the story Francesca starts to think these events can’t really be coincidences, “but something bigger and magical at work.”

Have you ever experienced strange events that seemed like more than coincidence and made you wonder if fate was at work or that soul and or reincarnation exist?

Throughout the month, I've decided to pose that question to friends, some writers, others bearing other artistic talents, for a brief account of their own experience with karma, kismet or a mystical connection. I leave you to answer the question, “Karma or coincidence? Random or something magical at work?” 

I hope you find these stories as intriguing and lovely as I do.

- gae

    Today I have the funny, lovely and talented Barbara O'Connor, author of many amazing middle grade novels including her latest, ON THE ROAD TO MR. MINEO's. (btw, I love the cover to Mr. Mineo's. If you want to see, click on that link...) Anyway, Barbara and I not only share our love of Whoppers malted milk balls, but also a deep affection for my first editor, Frances Foster, who made Barb and me feel like instant and lasting friends just by the sheer connection of sharing such an extraordinary person in common.

Here's Barbara's brush with some kind of karmic connection.

This runway, here. . . 
My father was a major dog lover. He bred Siberian Huskies and always managed to keep at least one puppy from each litter, so that eventually, 
he had a LOT of dogs. They are a very energetic breed and need exercise. 
So my dad would take them to an abandoned Air Force base near his home and drive his van on the runways while the dogs ran along beside him.

When he passed away, at his request, his ashes were scattered beside that runway. 

A couple years after his death, I was visiting the sight. 

It’s very peaceful there and I always feel his presence. 

This particular time, after I was finished chatting with him, I looked up to see a dog standing on a hillside in the distance. 

The dog just watched me, then turned and ran away. As I started to return to my car, I looked down and saw dog prints in the asphalt of the runway. 

It was eerie and cool at the same time. My dad was definitely there with me.

- Barbara

Please check out Barbara's books, and pre-order your copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO, today, especially from your favorite Indie Bookseller or brick & mortar store. Oh, and if you want, share your own karma or coincidence story in the comments below. :)


  1. Thanks for letting me be a part of celebrating your new book, friend!

  2. <3 p.s. I fixed the font on your post. For some reason it had reverted to small, but it's back to "normal" now. <3

  3. Oh my gosh, that story made me cry! There's a book in there somewhere, Barbara. ;-)