Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Meet the real Jess from Saving Casey by Liza O'Connor

Meet Jess

My dog Jess wanted to be in my first published novel, (Saving Casey was originally published in late 2012, as my very first novel.

However, when Jess discovered that she would be dying with my heroine, Cass, at the end of chapter one, she was NOT a happy camper. I assured her that she would come back. I had originally planned for her to come back WITH my heroine, but honestly that seemed to be a stretch. First of all, the hospital would have a fit if a puppy appeared in Cass’s room and if Jess appeared at their mansion, Terra Trauma, the butler would have had it sent to the pound.  So, I decided Jess would spend a life with someone else, then I’d bring him back in the Epilogue as an adorable small pup.

Yep, I also made Jess a male in the book. Jess doesn’t mind, for she’s a tom dog.  (That’s like a ‘tom boy’ for girls). She raises her leg to piss, just like male dogs do. She’s even been known to climb on the back of a little bull dog and hump. So I’m thinking in a previous life, Jess was a boy dog, and that’s why she didn’t complain when I made her a boy.

However, the reason I made her a boy was to improve the flow and understanding when Cass (female) would talk about her dog.  It saved me from the confusion of having ‘she’ references for both my heroine and the dog.

Clearly book Jess had another life while Cass struggled with her situation, but what type of life was it?

Jess and I discussed the matter. She demanded I make her a German shepherd or a dire wolf. Since the latter is extinct, we settled on a German shepherd. If you remove any hints of size, she does sort of look like a German shepherd mix.  However, if you put a ruler to her side, the illusion crumbles. The one-foot ruler only needs another inch to reach her back height.

But otherwise she resembles a blonde German Shepherd mixed with a Sheba Inu, so the yet to be written backstory is that while Cass was struggling to survive her new life, Jess was a bomb dog for the army. Unlike many dogs, she can actually understand the English language and can read a person’s emotions, so she manages to save her dog handler countless times and keep him safe through his tour. They did such a good job, he was allowed to keep Jess when he returned to the states. She had a good life with him and his family, saving his son on many occasions. The boy had a penchant for finding trouble, but Jess managed to keep him alive while he grew up. And when Jess died of old age, no one cried harder than the young man.

Still, Jess missed his Cass, and this time when he arrived in heaven he convinced the angels that Cass deserved a better life, and if they’d just get him in close proximity to the only man Cass had ever loved, he could bring home the bacon.

Next thing, he woke up in a box of puppies in the break room of some corporation. Before the wrong person grabbed him up, he escaped the box and snuck off, in search of a man he had never met. How on earth would he find the right guy? 

Then passing a door he heard Cass’s name spoken. A young woman was telling a ruggedly handsome guy of Cass’s struggles. This was the fellow! Now Jess just had to convince him to grab the pup at his feet before he headed off to find Cass… but could he do that?

My real Jess is now 19 years and 3 months old.

Sadly, she is nearing death.
She can’t hear and her eyesight is very bad.
She also growls now.
(She never growled when she was healthy.)
Since Jess hates vets, I am going to let her die at her own pace. I did change her food from dog food to shredded chicken and fried eggs.
That has given her several more months!
She has her good days and her bad days.

Not to be creepy, but I’ve already dug her grave. I suspect she will try and hold out until winter, so I needed to have the grave dug before the ground freezes.

So to be safe, I have also bought 3 large bags of soil and another one of mulch which will remain inside my solarium so it will be malleable when she decides to die.

She is the finest dog I have ever had, and I want her to die in her sleep knowing I have always and will always love her.

She can no longer walk very far, but she still wants me to open the back door, so she can go out frequently. She mostly steps out and just stands on the wooden path.
But she’s still with me.

It is possible that she will live for many more months, since every time I think she is ready to die, she revives. A week ago, she was even skipping. However, she’s not skipping now. She mostly sleeps, goes out, and lays in the backyard, She also eats her three meals of chicken breast and eggs.

In Saving Casey, Jess returns at the end of the story as a recently born puppy.

I would give anything if that could actually happen.
And rest assured I will go puppy hunting when my sweet Jess goes to heaven.

Now I will stop weeping and introduce Saving Casey

Saving Casey
Liza O’Connor

Book 1 of the
Requires Rescue Series
Contemporary Suspense

When 80-year-old Cass Goldman learns she has inoperable cancer, she decides to end her life, peacefully on her terms. So, imagine her horror when she wakes to find herself in a hospital with strange rich people staring at her. It’s not until the doctor arrives to examine her that she realizes she’s no longer old. She’s in the body of a seventeen-year-old teen named Casey.
Unfortunately, her new body comes with some serious baggage. First of all, the kid has burned every bridge imaginable. Secondly, those ‘people’ in her room are her outrageously rich parents and while the Dad seems friendly, the mother wants nothing to do with her. The moment they take her home to a horrifically huge mansion, which she dubs Tara, she’s abandoned to the care of the butler.
While Cass is determined to turn this train wreck of a life around, doing so is far harder than she expected. In fact, without help, she’ll end up dead just like the last occupant of this body. Thankfully, her dad has his hunky head of security become her bodyguard. Between her eighty years of life lessons and hunky Troy’s help, she just might live long enough not to be jailbait.

Something soft and warm settled in Cass’s lap. At first, she thought Troy had rested his hand next to hers, wanting her to make the first move, but she didn’t recall Troy’s hand being soft and furry.
Looking down, Cass gasped at the small brown puppy in her lap. Its black muzzle and black tipped ears made it the spitting image of Jess as a pup.
She hadn’t realized how much she missed her dog from her prior life until this instant. Tears of joy and anguish overwhelmed her as she gathered the tiny handful of fur into her hands and kissed its sweet face. In return, it licked her hand with its black tongue.
Her mouth opened in shock. Had Jess somehow finagled his way back to me?
“Where’d you get him?”
“At work. I’d just learned Dan has been lying to me about how you were doing. As I typed my resignation on the computer, I felt something climb on my shoe. I looked down and saw this little guy.”
“How did a tiny puppy get in your office?”
“I still don’t know how he managed to travel so far. However, his litter mates resided in the break room in a box with a sign saying, Free Pups, Part Shiba Inu, part Mystery.”
The same as Jess.
“He has a black tongue, did you notice?” he asked.
She kissed Jess’s nose. “I did.”
Troy sat beside her and leaned in to tease Jess’ mouth open, but the pup stubbornly resisted. So like Jess. Was it possible? What had happened to her wasn’t possible. Could the impossible happen twice?
Was this her reward for turning Casey’s life around and helping others?


Liza O’Connor is a nut.


Liza is a nut and is prone to being a smart ass at times, and not surprisingly her heroines say odd and inappropriate things in her book, as well. So even in a suspense novel, you can expect to laugh along the way. That’s because Liza loves to see the humor in the crazy world around her.

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