Back on Track

New reviews coming soon! I'll be importing my work from the past two years, but in the meantime,
I'm reclaiming my small place on the web.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Children's Book Review

Where Peace Lives
by Debbie Robins
ISBN-10: 0978721373
Review by Heather Froeschl

Where does peace come from? It isn’t something born of war, or won through argument. Author Debbie Robins explores peace and finds three keys to it in her book, “Where Peace Lives.” A book for all ages, children and adults, it is sure to become a classic along the lines of “The Little Prince.” More than that, it is a delightful read, and a tool for spreading some very valuable lessons.

The narrator is worried about the world and wonders why everyone can’t just get along. One night, a visitor comes and insists that the angel, Peace, needs to be set free. Peace is trapped in a glass box and three keys are needed to open the lock. They need to find the keys, and they begin by looking in the City of Right and Wrong. There, terrible things are happening. The residents are divided and each side insists that the other side is wrong. What’s even worse is that the Cube of Bitterness hovers above and devours those who are the “right ones”. Donkeys and elephants play tug of war, only it isn’t a game. It looks like there is no hope for peace. However, Mister Buddha, a poetic cat, is sharing a potion called Acceptance, and so there is hope after all.

Mister Buddha introduces our narrator to the concept of acceptance and the fact that kindness begets kindness, and also to his best friend, Mahma. The adventure continues with a story of understanding and Oneness, and then on to the Sea of Forgiveness, where two orangutans, Chris and Mo impart more wisdom. Through a desert and to a waterfall, and up a mountaintop, the keys are sought. Will they be found in time to set Peace free?

A parable, the story can be taken at face value, with lessons still understood. Upon further reflection, deeper meanings come to light and the reader can see how important choices are. The colorful characters’ teachings are inspired by and reflect those of Ghandi, Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad and Martin Luther King. With exquisite illustrations, a delightful cast of characters, and a most important plot, “Where Peace Lives” rates my highest recommendation. Additional biographical information on these key people is included at the back of the book, as well as journaling space and an exercise to “strengthen your peace muscle’. Well written and enjoyable to experience, this book is a must read for everyone you know.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Fiction Review

Blue Turquoise, White Shell
By Virginia Nosky
ISBN-10: 1932695583
Review by Heather Froeschl

Fate has a way of putting us where we are needed and when we pay heed to that urge, beneficial things happen. Fate had a helping hand in Virginia Nosky’s latest novel, “Blue Turquoise, White Shell,” by a sense of karma; the result being, varying degrees of satisfaction with life. The human will though, is a strong adversary to fate. Which will win in the end?

Lily Cabot Chase is the granddaughter of Cabot W.W. Chase. Both became doctors and both feel a sense of honor to fulfill a destiny they aren’t quite sure of. The elder feels responsibility to a fellow soldier who’d died saving his life back in WWII, and young Lily Cabot is asked to spend a year doctoring on a Navajo reservation as a payback for her grandfather putting her through Harvard Medical School. The story centers around the young Cabot and her goal of finding her passion as a doctor on the reservation. She is surprised to discover more than her own passion, but a mutual one between herself and handsome Nicholas Nakai who is running for the seat of a newly mandated US Congressional district. He would be the first Native American Congressman. The battle for votes is intense, but his mind if torn to commanding thoughts of Cabot.

Meanwhile, another story plays out in the same setting. In 1862, Daago, a Navajo headman’s daughter, is destined to be wed to the medicine man’s apprentice of the neighboring tribe. She is apprehensive at first, but knows it is her duty. When she is captured by a slave trader, she becomes determined to eventually escape, no matter what the burden. Captain Nathaniel Cabot is a medical officer for the army who is new to the inhumane treatment of the native people. When he “wins” Daago in a game of poker, he is planning to set her free; however, Daago is desperate and cannot understand what he tells her. She only knows that he wants her and she will use that to her advantage.

Perhaps destiny was set for Cabot and Nicholas back in 1862, or maybe their fate was sealed by their own desires.

Virginia Nosky has a flare for weaving Native American customs into her books. This has a desirable effect, creating a vibrant setting that I just want to dive into. Her treatment of the 1862 portions of the book are spectacular and pulse with life. Her modern Navajo scenes are rich with traditions and the political race demonstrates truth. It is her understanding of human nature that really draws the reader in though. You will see yourself and your loved ones in the characters and know that this is a good read.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Non- Fiction Spiritual Review

Courageous Souls
Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth?
By Robert Schwartz
ISBN-10: 0977679454
Review by Heather Froeschl

Why me? It is a question so often thought, cried, moaned, or screamed. Blame is placed on higher powers as surely as emotion is felt. Isn’t it possible though, that our trials and tribulations, our painful experiences, are full of purpose? What if an author would share with you that your own soul actually planned for these things to happen? That there is indeed a reason for it all? Robert Schwartz, author of “Courageous Souls,” shares his view that we plan our life challenges before birth. This is a must read book with my highest recommendation.

Robert begins by explaining his research of his own, very personal experiences with his spirit guides, and then the research he did with the help of four gifted mediums and channels. Through the life experiences of ten people, with the help of his team, Robert relays how those interviewed went through various life challenges, including drug addiction, accidents, physical illness, and the death of loved ones, and why. He interviews these people, shares their stories, then has the medium or channel delve into the pre-birth planning done by the soul. Here, the reader comes to understand the soul groups, soul mates, akashic records, spirit guides, and planning of the challenges and lessons we are on earth to face. Discussed in great detail is the fact that we are here on earth as personalities and that when the body dies, the soul goes on, and on, and on. We may have lived in a completely different part of the world before, with other souls who are now our husbands, parents, or children, and were then our friends, business partners, or even tormentors. As a soul group, the life is planned, with tremendous challenges that provide opportunity for growth.

I’ve always loved that quote, “"We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. How very true that is, and I believe it is the main point of Robert Schwartz’s book, “Courageous Souls.” Eloquently and purposefully delivered, the book is one that will help readers to understand these concepts, begin to understand why events in our lives take place, consider that things that happen to us are part of our lesson plan, replace the anger or guilt felt over situations with forgiveness and peace, and begin to recognize the patterns that are in your life that revolve around your own soul’s goal for you.

For anyone who has ever asked, “Why me?” and anyone who has ever felt that there had to be a reason for this life, I recommend “Courageous Souls.” For anyone and everyone, I say, please read this book; you’ll be absolutely enlightened.