Gemma: Hello handsome! I don’t recognize you from Liza’s A Long Road to Love series, and trust me, I would have remembered you. Liza plasters pictures of her characters all over the internet. What’s your name and what’s your role in Climbing Out of Hell?
Cute Guy: Before I tell you my name, I want to ask you a question.
Gemma: Right, I forgot. I’m being interviewed. Ask away.
Cute Guy: When you read the title “Climbing out of Hell?” do you immediately think of a humorous romance or a paranormal with demons running amuck?
Gemma: Good point. My first thoughts go to demons.
Cute Guy: Exactly. I’m concerned Liza isn’t very good at naming books and should maybe have an oversight committee to evaluate her titles first.
Gemma: Not going to be me. And to be fair, the title of the first book of the series is fabulous. Worst Week Ever. That screams of humor and disasters, which is exactly what readers get. But let’s return to this title. Why are you so invested in what it is called?
Cute Guy: Because the book is about me becoming a better man, and when people read the title they are going to think I am a real demon wishing to reform.
Gemma: Hold on…You’re Trent Lancaster? You look and act nothing like the fellow.
Trevor, the cute guy: I go by the name Trevor Campbell now. Coco’s father threatened to destroy Carrie unless I married his daughter.
Gemma: I don’t mean to be harsh, but why would anyone want to marry the old Trent Lancaster?
Trevor: For my money. I was worth $52 millions a week before my death. However, I gave it all away to good people, then faked my death, got plastic surgery and started over, channeling Carrie instead of my father this time.
Gemma: And how’s it going?
Trevor: Really well.
Gemma: Then the title works euphemistically.
Trevor: But what if people take the words literally? Like you did. Then what will I do?
Gemma: Just be your new self. There is nothing demonic about you, and may I say I love the new face and attitude. I’m glad things are working out for you.
You cannot imagine how great it is to have people actually like you after a life of hate and contempt. It’s addictive. I could never go back to the man I was.
Gemma: So everything is good now?
Gemma: This sounds like a perfect place for you to live. I’m happy for you and I’m so glad you stopped by to interview me.
Trevor: *laughs* Yeah, that didn’t go so well. We probably need to work on the reverse interview a bit more. But you did make me feel better about my title.
Gemma: I enjoyed our conversation as well. Stop by anytime Trevor. It’s a pleasure to know the new you. Now let’s check out the book:
Book 4 of the series A Long Road to Love
Billionaire Trent Lancaster has destroyed his relationship with the only woman who ever loved him. Now we discover the full truth of what happened.
He actually had reasons for his behaviors.
Still, there is no going back. Trent has lost Carrie forever, but he would rather die than marry Coco, so he does just that. Trent gives away most of his possessions, fakes his death, and starts over with a new face and a better attitude in a small town in Iowa where his half-brother Sam is sheriff.
Losing his true love has fundamentally broken Trent to his core. His only chance for happiness is to become the better man Carrie had always seen inside him.
True change is not easy. Can Trent grow up and become a man we can love?
Trent hurried downstairs to his waiting car and gave the fellow his prior attorney’s address. When he arrived, David kept him waiting for three hours. Given he no longer had the man on retainer, he had no right to complain. Finally, David opened the door and glared at him. “Come in, if you must.”
Following his lawyer in, he sat on the hard chair before the desk. Upon sitting, David leaned back, and crossed his arms. “So what have you gotten yourself into?”
“I almost raped Carrie today.”
“No way in hell will I defend you.”
“No, Sam pulled me off. There’s no case.”
“Then what? Planning to sue Sam? I won’t take that case either.”
“You’re a very good man. I’ve no idea how you put up with me as long as you did.”
David glanced at his watch. “You have five minutes to tell me what you want, then I’ll say no, and you can leave.”
“I wish to sell my condo to Jon Javits, create a trust for the boys, a maintenance fund to cover the condo costs in perpetuity, and a fund to cover the taxes my reparations cause. Then I need to transfer ownership of the condo I bought in SoHo to a bag lady. She may be short on documentation, so this task could be harder than anticipated. And I want half my assets transferred into Sam’s name, but in a trust administered by you. I don’t wish to ruin his life with money, but he should have enough funds so he can do whatever will make him happy. Maybe this could be like a Secret Santa?” Large, unmanly tears fell down Trent’s cheeks. “I understand Massey has fired the salesgirls.”
“I’ve no doubt ruined their lives too. Let’s send them to Ian Goodman for retraining and give them each three hundred thousand to reestablish themselves on the West Coast. If they need to change their names, help them do that as well.”
David frowned, but before he could object, Trent added, “And I’d like to give Lancaster Estates to Mars.”
“What’s a butler to do with an estate?” David asked.
“I don’t know. If he truly enjoys serving people, he can open a bed and breakfast. Or a school for butlers. He’s by far the best there is. Or he can create a rest home for vets. It’s his call. But he seems very happy there.”
“I’m going away so she won’t have to fear running into me ever again.”
Pain erupted and he moved to the window so David wouldn’t see the agony speaking those words had caused him.
“And Coco? Neither she nor her father will take well to these decisions. You’re doing no one favors if they have to give their gifts back.”
“Which is why I need you to do this, instead of some hack I hire off a Google search. It has to be ironclad. If you need me to pass some mental competency test, I’ll do it.”
“You will definitely require a psych exam. These requests diverge from your normal personality. May I inquire what caused the change?”
“Losing the one good thing in my life.”
Trent nodded and continued to stare out the window.
“I doubt these acts of generosity will win her back.”
“No, I’ve lost her forever. But Father McClellan advised me to make reparation to all I’ve harmed and then to go forth and do good deeds like Francis, the sissy.”
“When you explain this to a psychologist, I suggest you use the saint’s proper name. If this is the angle you wish to take, I’ll make sure we get a Catholic doctor. However, if you screw up the name of the saint you are claiming to emulate, his report may go against you.
“So Francis isn’t a sissy?”
“No. He is from the town Assisi”
“Oh, thank God! I didn’t want to prance about in pink gowns.” When he turned to thank David, the guy was rubbing his temples. “Have I given you a headache again?” He returned to the chair. “I’m not Catholic, you know. I followed the priest home because I wanted an exorcism, but he says there’s no demon in me. I’m screwing life up on my own. Carrie always blamed it on the money, and she may have been right. Father McClellan suggested I give it all away. He probably meant to his church, but I’d rather help real people instead of funding the purchase of more stained-glass windows. They really aren’t heat efficient.”
David smiled. “Well, you won’t lose Carrie entirely. She seems to have gotten in your head and altered your thinking.”
His words were a balm to Trent’s tortured soul. He would never be without Carrie because her voice resided inside him. Whenever he hit a crossroads, he could ask: What would Carrie do?
Released May 1, 2014
Climbing out of Hell
Book Four of the series:
A Long Road to Love
“Easily, the best of the series!”
Other books in the A Long Road to Love series
Worst Week Ever
“Love this book and couldn't stop laughing from beginning to end.” 5 stars – Alves - Amazon
Oh Stupid Heart
“Be warned though, this book is completely different from The Worst Week Ever. Yes, there is still humor, dry wit, situations that you would think...NOT AGAIN but this one humanizes Trent more.” 5 stars - Brian’s Mom – Amazon
Coming to Reason
"Once again, Ms. O’Connor has written a brilliant book about the complexities of relationships, good and bad. Again, to me, the book is the best break up book EVER and it left my heart singing in the end. Best.Book.Ever…"
Other Books by Liza O’Connor
Meet Liza O’Connor
Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.
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Worst Week Ever
Oh Stupid Heart
Coming to Reason