Accidents Happen, first published 2017, an e-book copyright and written by Sharon Karaa.
Plot: Tabitha Brownlee, last minute shopping for her upcoming wedding, witnesses a horrible automobile accident where one of the boys is thrown through the windshield. She runs to his aid but is struck on the head by a huge sign whose support has been weakened in the accident. Mort, a ‘collector-of-souls’ (formerly referred to as a ‘grim reaper’) delivers the coup d’grâce so she won’t feel the blow. Unfortunately, she is not due to ‘crossover’ for a long time. She arises from her body, argues with him while he is trying to replace her (her soul) back into the body. She is a martial arts black belt, pushes him, he lands in her body, it is zipped-up and that’s it. She is directed to the counter that handles distribution of collected souls and referred to Death (a heavy drinking old man who doesn’t like to be disturbed), to plead her case. She is assigned to work with another collector Cooper, a handsome hulk, who is a seemingly more or less permanent collector because of a story of his own. From here the reader is taken on a journey following Tabitha as she functions in her role, all of the while awaiting her call to be returned to her body that now contains Mort, the overanxious collector who messed up to begin with. Numerous other zany situations occur during soul collecting assignments and with her mother, who seemingly is hopeless mentally incompetent but loves to ride her motorcycle although not licensed, and the mother’s attempted clandestine interrelationship with Mort, who now is in her daughter’s body. Through it all, a mutual physical attraction gradually develops between Tabitha and Cooper, although hampered by her expected marriage to John as soon as she is restored to her own body. Further understanding of the situations only can be gained by working one’s way through the complicated case.
Discussion: The basic theme of and approach to, this fascinating tale, as well as its presentation, is quite engaging. Regrettably for this reader, the tale began to ‘bog down’ somewhere a little beyond mid-story, a situation that judicious editing, and especially of the extended interplay between Tabitha and Coop, would easily have corrected. However and parenthetically, an end note by the author offers intriguing insight to the author’s thought processes and adds a rather delightful touch to the story. She tells of how elevating she finds it to be by simply looking at the many good ‘little things’ that happen during a day. She then concludes “Because it’s all about perspective. It’s all about the little things. And so to close, I’d like to wish you all a hundred little things. May your day be filled with them, and may they infect you with happiness.”
3* 5* amusingly engaging tale; judicious editing needed to enhance enjoyment.