Tag Archives: metaphysics

REVIEW: Soul Dancing With The Brass Band by Vicki Renfro

REVIEW:

What an amazing story! Vicki Renfro has penned an epic tale of transformation and spiritual enlightenment, masterfully guiding a group of souls through two eras with the ease of a Hollywood director. Soul Dancing With The Brass Band is a well written novel that captivates from the first page. It’s deep, thought provoking and soulful, but not as esoteric as Cloud Atlas or The Fountain. You’ll have no problem understanding the story or following each character’s path as you devour chapter after chapter.

There’s a rather large cast of players which could have ended up a muddled mess in the hands of a less skillful author but Ms. Renfro proves adept at providing clarity and purpose for each person’s role. I especially enjoyed the subtle change in voice between eras, adding to the definition of time periods without a glaring separation from the story.

The premise is interesting . . . Hillary Rubner is a young woman about to embark on a life-changing journey – college. Yet a series of coincidences/synchronicities unite her with a group of people who awaken a confusing sense of recognition. As the alternate world from 35 A.D. weaves a parallel path, we begin to see how the characters knew each other. The plot incorporates an intriguing theory of souls reincarnating as groups, travelling through various lifetimes in different roles but all connected by a universal goal or for the purpose of fulfilling karmic debt. Don’t let the implication of metaphysics deter you . . . this is a great, character driven story.

Soul Dancing With The Brass Band will appeal to readers of many genres including time travel, romance, young adult, fantasy, and women’s fiction. If you are a fan of The Celestine Prophecy, you’ll especially enjoy this book.

 

SOUL DANCING With The Brass Band

Vicki Renfro

front cover Kindle

Themes: Metaphysical, Transformation, Reincarnation
Pages: 279
ASIN: B00DV6ASAC
AMAZON

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Have you ever wondered if you have lived before?

Hillary, a farm girl from Kansas never gave it a second thought. She always believed her big adventure would be going away to college until she learned about a promise she made two thousand years ago.

EXCERPT:

NOV 17, 36 A.D.

Come with me, dear one,” McCollum says. “I have something I’d like to show you.”

It’s very cold, so I wrap myself against the wind and mount my mare. We ride for hours before we reach our destination and when we do, it’s nothing but the remnants of a once thriving town. McCollum dismounts and looking up at me asks, “What do you see?”

I scan the area slowly and begin to speak. “The fields are barren, as if the crops failed. The people stayed as long as possible because they had built their lives here. Eventually with nothing to eat, they had to move on and now their homes sit before us in decay,” I explain from a knowing within me. “I feel the sorrow of the people who once occupied this village deep in my bones.”

Come child. Let’s build a fire and I will tell you a story.” McCollum leads our horses into the remains of an old barn and begins gathering kindling. When the fire is lit, we both sit close to warm our hands.

Looking into my eyes, McCollum admits that I am correct in what I saw. It makes me wonder why we had to ride so far on such a bleak day. Placing more wood on the fire, he settles in.

Let me tell you the story of the downfall of this settlement, so you will better understand. About ten years ago, a man walked into this thriving village and was welcomed as an additional set of hands to work the land. He was strong and as he helped plant the crops he also began to plant other seeds in the minds of the villagers. He talked of drought, famine, crop failure and starvation, and one by one these worries grew and festered in the farmers’ minds. Negativity slowly sucked the dreams of the future from their naive souls. Pride once held in the appearance of their homes soon faded because they were distracted by fear. And as the fear grew within them, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Their crops failed because the darkness of their vision caused them to make devastating decisions. Before long, brother argued with brother and neighbors began to doubt each other’s loyalty. You see, Hilsbeth, what happened here is just the reverse of what you saw. The downfall of this town began with the planting of a thought and when it took hold, there was no one in the village who was powerful enough to stop its manifestation.”

What happened to the stranger?” I ask, afraid of the answer.

There will always be darkness in our world that preys on the ignorance of mankind. It creates bigotry and hatred, infests the world with fear and drains the life force from individuals who don’t have the vision to see through it. I brought you here today, so you’ll realize how important it is to hold the light for the ones who are lost. We must never be seduced by the darkness, dear Hilsbeth, but learn to recognize it by the feeling it creates and the destruction left in its wake. We must always instill hope and stand on the side of love, peace, thoughtfulness… and hold a positive vision, because in time… I pray light will prevail.”

Nov 17, 2010

I heard Ruth’s key in the front door and watched her drop her purse and computer on the couch. “Hard day?” I asked, seeing her exhaustion.

“I think I just haven’t been getting enough sleep lately. I’m going to make a cup of tea, take a long hot bath and hit the sack,” she said as she headed for the kitchen.

I hear her mumble, “What the hell!” and I remembered the flowers I left in the sink. She came back into the living room holding the scrap of paper.

“Who’s Jackson Black?”

“He’s that guy I pointed out at The Commons the other day… scruffy guy… older.”

“Yeah, I remember, but what’s with the flowers?” she asked.

“He was outside the coffee shop, he knew my name and now he obviously has figured out where I live.”

“Is Creepy Guy stalking you?”

I thought hard for a minute before answering.

“It’s hard to explain. It’s like he reaches inside me and takes my joy, leaving me slimed with a dirty feeling. It’s not illegal, but it should be,” I explained.

“He sounds like my Uncle Marvin. He can suck the happiness out of a room just by walking into it. He loves talking about negative stuff. If it’s not a pandemic or forecasting the crash of world markets, it is the wrath of God. His family is always depressed.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Vicki_pic1

At thirty-five, I had it all. I owned a well appointed home with a swimming pool, had a career as an engineer and a dog. I remember quite clearly the day I realized I had achieved the American Dream. I had all of the material belongings I ever dreamed of and still had an empty place inside of me. I considered joining the Peace Corp, but decided instead to backpack around the world alone. I made wonderful friends, saw amazing places, but returned home a year later with the same hole in my soul. I’d made the mistake of looking outside of myself for what you can only find inside.

Soul Dancing with the Brass Band may be a work of fiction, but the magic and mysticism I talk about exists in everyday life for those who have the eyes to see it. The forces that propel my characters are very much alive in this world, and sometimes we can only comprehend the magnitude of what is happening around us through a story.

My journey led me to the mountains of Colorado where I live with my husband and my new dog.

Links:

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vicki-Renfro-Author/258384567650799

Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18325555-soul-dancing-with-the-brass-band?ac=1

www.vickirenfro.com

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/183-4004536-5840416?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=vicki%20renfro

 

Echoes Of Paradise – Review & Contest!

GIVEAWAY

3 PAPERBACK copies of Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

Echoes of Paradise Button 300 X 225

Click link below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f518

Echoes of Paradise

Deanna Kahler 

echoescoverGenre: Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Rose Petal Publications

Date of Publication: January 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615863399

ASIN: TBD

Number of pages: 228

Word Count: 54,000

Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler

Review:

Echoes of Paradise is a sweet tale with a metaphysical slant about spiritual growth and enlightenment.

It’s atypical of the romance genre. The main character, Celeste is married with a 5 year old son, living in a flawed yet manageable relationship. It’s a situation she accepts. However, when Connor, the love of her life who left to work overseas, decides to come home, she feels conflicted. His impending return resurrects old feelings. After all, if two people could be described as soul mates it was Connor and Celeste.

Unfortunately, Connor dies in a plane crash before they can ever re-connect. Celeste grieves as someone who has lost the love of her life, confusing her current husband, Dave. He is a shallow but well meaning guy who assumes she’ll get over it. When strange, inexplicable things start happening, Celeste realizes Connor has come back as an angel to guide  her and son, Chip.  She eventually tells Dave about Connor’s visits who remains skeptical at first, then succumbs to jealousy.

And then we go on a metaphysical journey, exploring theories and beliefs of the afterlife as the story unfolds with Connor teaching Celeste how to live a happier, fuller life.

I was fine with this since it echoes my fundamental beliefs. Others may consider it fantasy or paranormal. Regardless, the story is strong enough to please both factions and a good read for romance fans of contemporary, sweet, or paranormal genres. The characters are interesting and believable.

My only criticism is the ending seemed a little contrived but once again, what’s a sweet romance without an HEA? The writing flows easily even though I found the dialogue simplistic at times. But that’s just me. I tend to read edgier content anyway, so go figure.

I recommend this book for romance fans, especially those who enjoy stories about loving ghosts, life beyond death, metaphysics or parables of enlightenment such as The Celestine Prophecy.

Book Description: 

Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.

What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?

Short Excerpt: 

Celeste began sobbing uncontrollably. She struggled to see the road ahead of her through tear-filled eyes. The landscape became a fuzzy blur of moonlight and shadowy trees. The world around her spun into an unrecognizable mix of darkness streaked with occasional rays of dim light. As she drove blindly ahead, she felt as if she were plunging into nothingness. And she didn’t even care.

She would have continued in her oblivious state, but somehow, out of nowhere, she heard a very clear and distinct male voice pop into her head. She thought that surely she must have imagined it, because it sounded like Connor.

Pay attention.

Suddenly a deer darted out in front of her, its startled eyes aglow from the blazing gold headlights. Blood pulsed through her veins as she abruptly swerved her car to the right, narrowly missing the animal. With her heart still pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure.

“That was close,” she said aloud to herself. “Stay focused, Celeste. Keep it together.”

Although she was alone in her car, she noticed a distinct presence. It felt like Connor was somehow with her. First the voice, and now this? Surely she must be losing her mind! Even so, she had an irresistible urge to talk to him. Maybe it was silly or useless, but she couldn’t fight this desire brimming inside of her. She didn’t just want communication with her deceased former love; she needed it—even if it was one-sided. She began to have a conversation as if he were right there with her.

“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I didn’t stay in touch with you and try to be a part of your life in some way. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you or able to help you. I’m sorry for the night I left you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you get closer to me or tell you that I love you. I’m just so sorry.”

Tears streamed down Celeste’s face like the rain on a shiny glass window, and she gasped for air. What she wanted most right now was to know that Connor still existed somehow, somewhere. She wanted proof that his spirit lived on. She wanted to know that he was alive and well in heaven. Although she had been raised Christian, her faith had faded as she’d grown older. Life’s circumstances, unanswered prayers, and the cynical, materialistic world around her had left Celeste with doubts and questions. She now wondered if God and the afterlife even existed at all. She wanted to believe. She just didn’t know how.

Right after she spoke to Connor, a song came on the radio. The words caught her attention, and she stopped crying long enough to listen. It was a tune by Nickelback titled “Someday.”

For a brief moment, Celeste noticed a tingling sensation run down her spine. She felt like Connor was speaking directly to her through this song. It felt as if he were trying to respond to her. Were the words to this song meant for her? Did he somehow hear her cries? Was he trying to tell her he was going to help her in some way?

“No,” thought Celeste. “You’re being ridiculous. This is all just a coincidence. Connor can’t hear you or help you—he’s dead.”

Somehow, even though her rational, logical mind told her this, her heart told her otherwise. Maybe Connor really was alive in the afterlife. Maybe he really could hear her. She needed to know the truth. She wanted answers.

About the Author:

Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives. deannakahler

Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book, From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

For more information about the author, please visit www.deannakahler.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deannakahler

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/echoesofparadise

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7087819.Deanna_Kahler

Balancing Act

“Stone Cold Justice” is doing amazingly well on the Kindle charts. I’m uber excited about the positive reception.

Isn’t it odd how life likes to add balance to the equation? I’ve been so focused on pushing myself to create this wonderful “author” experience that I must have upset the ratio. So now the universe has sent a couple of messages to rein me in. My daughter started experiencing a few issues with her new pregnancy. Got through that. My friend at work is having a few personal issues. Concerned about that. My husband is working insane hours on his job and now must attend mandatory training which will allow him about five hours sleep over the next 48 hours. Worried about that. And finally, I get a call today from my daughter-in-law telling me my son is in the hospital with a ruptured disc in his back that may require surgery.

Okay, universe….I get it. I am paying LOTS of attention to my family and friends. I’m not obsessing about my writing anymore. I’m working on shifting the balance. Can you please stop sending the damn messages? Mama Bear doesn’t like it when you mess with her cubs.