Monday, April 13, 2015

Could You Have A Past Life? by C. Marie Bowen

Could you have had a Past Life?

Many years ago, I knew a woman who swore she had lived a previous life. She believed she was in Georgia during Sherman’s “March to the Sea”. She told me she had never given the Civil War much thought until she watched Gone With the Wind for the first time. As the war drew closer and closer to Scarlet in the film, the woman said she became increasingly agitated. As Scarlet walked through the remains of the battlefield, the woman became so ill she had to leave the theater. She swore she wasn’t squeamish, but could never watch that show without experiencing physical and emotional pain. She blamed her visceral reaction on having been killed during the Civil War.

I also knew a man who believes he had died on the Titanic in his previous life. He claimed to have memories of being trapped beneath the deck as the ship went down. He relayed this story to me in the early 80s, well before the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. I thought of him as I watched Jack and Rose fight their way to the upper deck, and I wondered...what if?

Past lives. Reincarnation. Could it be a learning process for the soul? Do we choose to be born again, or do we earn a new life by learning a specific lesson in this one? Perhaps all this talk of reincarnation and past lives is nothing but superstitious nonsense. Each person decides their own truth.

Many eastern religions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, hold reincarnation as a central tenant. While in the West, popular culture has brought the idea of reincarnation into contemporary books, movies and songs. For me, the fascination with past lives began with the Paul Williams song, Old Souls from the 1974 film, Phantom of the Paradise, sung by Jessica Harper. Here, give it a listen. It’s a beautiful love song.  -  Old Souls

The song is haunting, romantic, and filled my young imagination with the idea of loving someone so much you could find them in your next life, or long for them in your present one. The notion stuck with me, and the central theme of Passage was born.

 PASSAGE: Soul of the Witch, Book 1

In Passage, my heroine, Courtney Veau has a near-death experience, and returns to her past-life in the post-Civil War west. When she wakes in a present-day hospital, Courtney realizes she’s returned to her own hollow existence. Heartbroken, she knows she left behind not only a family she loves, but life with the man who shares her soul, a man she’ll love forever, Merril Shilo.

A carriage accident nearly takes beautiful Nichole Harris’s life, stealing her memories completely. Plagued by amnesia, she is confused by flashes of memory that are out of time with the world around her, and seem to belong to someone else. Only Nichole's own strong emotions remain to guide her—and as others try to take control of her life, she fights a desperate battle to survive. Merril Shilo is someone she should know, and though her memories fail her, she is stunned by her passion for him—and the remembered agony of a broken heart.

Merril Shilo is the love of Courtney’s life—no matter when that life might be. The memories and emotions of her life as ranch heiress Nichole Harris consume Courtney’s mind—and her heart. Courtney soon finds her desire for Merril threatens her sanity, as he beckons from a past she can no longer reach. Can she find the PASSAGE back to the soul-mate she left behind?

Excerpt from Passage:

The long shadows faded into twilight. She'd found what she came for—proof this house existed. There was no longer a reason to stay; and yet, just the possibility she might hear his voice again kept her waiting one more day.

Outside the window, night took final possession of the day. A few porch lights came on down the block. Headlights swung around the corner as a car turned onto the street and illuminated the pavement. The headlights winked off and a car door slammed.

Behind her, the room took on a familiar chill. She turned from the window and pressed her back against the heavy drapes as the echo of boots pounded up the back stairs. She gasped when he raced into the room, vaguely luminescent in the darkness. He was dressed in denim trousers and cotton shirt, with a silk scarf tied loosely around his neck. Where's his hat? Had he lost it in the dash up the stairs? That wide-brimmed cowboy hat was such a part of him he seemed naked without it. His hair had come loose from its binding, and he shoved it out of his face with a familiar motion. She stood close enough to read the emotion play across his face, a mixture of fear and bewilderment. His breath was labored, and his anxiety tangible as he stopped and looked right at her. Her mouth fell open in surprise and her heart tightened in her chest. Does he see me?

He took a hesitant step toward her. “Nichole?” His voice filled with horror, he whispered her name from another life.

Yes! Merril, it's me.” Courtney stepped toward the specter.

His head turned. His attention called away from her open arms. “Oh, sweet Jesus.” Merril fell to his knees and reached for something no longer there. “Nicki, please don't go. Stay with me.”

Merril, I'm here.” Her heart ached for him and for herself, but her plea went unheard.

Sobs shook his wide shoulders.

Her heart clenched to witness his despair. She longed to comfort him, to assure him she was there, but could not. In defeat, she sank to her knees beside the grieving apparition.

Nicki, don't leave me. Look at me—” His hushed voice, choked and broken.

I'm right here, my love,” she whispered, but the room grew warm and Merril Shilo faded back into the past. Courtney hung her head in the darkness and fought back tears. One question was answered, at least for now.


Comment and leave your email address. Do you believe you had a past life or lives? If you could choose a past life, who would you have been?

The winner will receive a free e-book of Passage, Soul of the Witch – Book 1.

C. Marie Bowen

Connie (C. Marie) Bowen is an award winning writer of paranormal adventures laced with suspense and romance. She grew up in Denver, Colorado and has a love of western history, science fiction, and fantasy. Her life travels have taken her from Denver to Wichita, KS and eventually settling in North Texas to raise her two boys. A LEED accredited professional, she worked as an Architectural Project Manager for retail construction prior to deciding an empty nest gave her the opportunity to follow her writing muse.

She plans to release Prophecy, Soul of the Witch, Book 2 this summer, and the final chapter, Paradox, Soul of the Witch, Book 3 by the end of the year.

She is a PRO member of Romance Writers of America, Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Sub-chapter of RWA, North Texas RWA, and Savvy Authors.

Learn more about her books and works in progress at her website:


Sarah J. McNeal said...

I can't imagine anything more romantic or exciting than realizing your true love will find you no matter where your next life takes you.
I loved this excerpt from Passages when he calls her by her name from another life.
How many books have you planned for this series?
I wish you every success and happiness, Connie.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Connie, it's sometimes hard to reconcile Christian beliefs with reincarnation, but I do believe in both things--crazy, I know. But there is so much we don't know! I saw a show on PBS a few years back where a woman knew she had lived before. She flew to England to a small cottage. She showed where the pictures had hung on the wall and what the pictures had been of. They even located some of the pictures and she recognized the people in the pictures that she had never known, and in this place she'd never been or seen in her present life. It was so amazing.

Unknown said...

Hi Sarah!
Right now, Soul of the Witch is a trilogy. Passage, Prophecy, and Paradox. I am halfway through some needed edits on book 2, then on to the final book. This is really one long story, in 3 parts.
Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Hi Cheryl,
There are some cases where children remember past lives and relay detailed descriptions of people and homes half way around the world, speak in languages they could never have learned. Spooky stuff. And there are the frauds too.
I would like to have reincarnation be true, and be able to live another life with those special to me.
Thanks for commenting. I fly home today!

Kirsten Lynn said...

Interesting post, Connie. I can't say I believe in past lives, but it sure is a fascinating theory and some of the things people remember is amazing. And of course the romantic in me always believes true love never dies.

PASSAGE sounds like such a great read. I can't wait to dig in!

Beverly Wells author said...

Connie, reincarnation fascinates me--I'm not sure I believe it, but I think I want to. Crazy I know. And I too believe in true love never dies and I would be so pleased to think that those who are torn apart for some reason in their first life are reunited to finally unite. Enjoyed reading your post. Wishing you much success with all three in the series.

Unknown said...

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." (Hamlet)

Without trying to give anyone further evidence I'm a complete loon, I've always thought there's more "magic" in the world than we allow ourselves to see. Children believe in ghosts and past lives, play with imaginary friends, see monsters and angels. I don't believe any of those things aren't real. I think we just forget how to see them when we become adults.

Connie, I'm really looking forward to this series. It's a big idea, and one I'm sure hasn't been easy to address. Kudos to you. :-)

As for that wretched movie... Rocky Horror Picture Show worked. Phantom of the Paradise? Not so much. :-D (The song is good, though.)

Renaissance Women said...

I was once regressed by a hypnotist, and I went back to an earlier time where I was a man who was shot and killed in the woods. (That's the short version). Reincarnation is a fascinating subject and from the excerpt, you have done a great job. Best with this story. Doris

Unknown said...

Hi Kirsten,
I can make you believe, even for a moment, that the impossible could be true... that is all I can hope for. And where love is involved, isn't anything possible? I hope you get a chance to read Passage. I'm glad you stopped by.

Unknown said...

Hi Beverly,
I am playing catch-up tonight. I apologize for responding so late!

Past lives, and being able to remember a past life, fascinates me. In Passage, I've flipped it, and Nichole eventually begins to remember a future life.

Thanks for the good wishes. If you get the chance to read Passage, I hope you enjoy it.

Unknown said...

Not a Paul Williams fan, Kathleen? I'm not sure Rocky worked all that well either, except maybe for the Time Warp. Tim Curry in drag is rather special as well.

I will give you that Phantom was pretty bad, but Jessica Harper can sure sing that song.

Either way, it was the words at the time, and the old boyfriend,.... and you know-- Upper balcony at the Gothic Theater. I believed.

I hope you get the chance to read Passage--and I hope you enjoy it.

Unknown said...

Hi Doris,
I've been to a couple different psychics in my life. Both touched on past lives, and both, years apart and different places / people told a similar story. Eerie does not equal believable in my book, but it is food for thought and total inspiration for past life stories.

A line from the song link, "I have seen in strange young eyes, familiar tears." I've lived that. I've looked into a stranger's face and had an instant connection. It would be easy to believe I had known them before.

Thanks for the good wishes, I hope you read and enjoy Passage.

Unknown said...

The winner of the e-book Passage is Doris! Doris, please send me your email address. My email address is: connie (dot) bowen (at) gmail (dot) com.

Congratulations Doris!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Congratulations, Doris. And Connie, thank you so much for being on The Romance Room blog. I so enjoyed having you.

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