Soul to Soul: by Judy Weinberger

Soul to Soul

Author: Judith Weinberger

ISBN: 978-1-935097-86-0

Publisher: Two Harbors Press

Soul-to-Soul brings us face to face with our thoughts and beliefs on how we relate with our relationship with God. Author Judith Weinberger awakens our spirit and gives us reason to question how we can get closer to God by understanding the many ways we can speak to him and let him hear our voices and messages. If you believe in God and in miracles, voices that speak to you in a dream or just when you are thinking about something that bothers you and you need solved, this book will be an inspiration to let you know that you are not alone.

There are five ways that we can communicate our thoughts and prayers with God. But, first you have to believe that there is only one God and you have to understand that your prayers and thoughts will be heard if you pray with emotion, passion and the strongest belief that your needs and prayers will be heard.

As a prelude to each chapter the author creates a beautiful painting to introduce the theme of each chapter to follow. The theme for the these paintings is different yet there is one common thread in all: the is one God, The words in Hebrew: I Am that I Am, the energy streams that help connect and release God’s energy into each person and the Lord’s prayer. Within each painting is a specific thought or theme that follows in the chapter: Life’s Plan, Intuition, Interconnecting with God and more.

Each painting helps the reader to connect to some part of the author’s life and journey to find her inner self, her true passion and her life’s path. Stating many times that we use our energy and our thoughts to create our reality, health and our life. The one discussion that I really do identify with is where the author relates how you can improve your feelings in life in your job and in general by creating a more positive energy flow and attitude where you work and in how you perceive things. In the chapter 7 she tells how your vision can cloud what you really see and how your attitude and the way you interact with people can hamper your success and the way you are treated by others. By creating a better mindset and visualizing yourself working in an incredible job and feel that the job you really desire is yours and great things will happen.

I love the painting on page 58 that shows the different races and faces of people in the world. I truly love what the author writes as an introduction to this chapter where she says,” We see our planet earth, with the hand of God above it.” She painted this picture to remind everyone that God is always with us and is always watching over us. The many faces of the people of every nationality, race, religion and belief help connect us as people, and how important it is to learn from and the embrace the similarities and differences.

There are so many lessons that can be learned from reading this book. Life Purpose is one that I found interesting. Following your inner dream or desire is how you follow your life purpose. Our life purpose is intertwined with our life plan. Even if we deviate or do not follow our life plan our life purpose will still grow. As a child I always loved school and my teachers. Emulating them at home and pretending to be an educator from the time I was four, was an inner passion and desire I hoped to achieve as an adult. I guess you would call it what I set out to achieve and I did. There were times at the beginning that I struggled and thought that I might have made the wrong choice. Then, I heard a voice in my head that said, “You can do this and do it really well: Imagine yourself in your classroom the next day and think about how you want to run your day and what you hope to accomplish and teach your students. Keep thinking and go in the next day and be the person and educator that you have within you.” I did. I cannot say that every situation I encountered went smoothly, but I can say for 36 years of my life I loved going to work and working with my students. Not only did they want to become lifelong learner but also using their abilities to choose their own paths they soon developed their own Inner desires and passions and strengths.

In the final two chapters the author really sums up a lot of what she talks about in the entire book. There are four important components of a life of meaning: Honoring, maintaining, and celebrating all of our relationships is first. Next, is giving back to society, which is something everyone does in his or her own unique, and hopefully positive way. The third establish a relationship with our creator is next and finally the fourth is living with gratitude and appreciation for the blessings that we have and the goodness and beauty in our lives.

The last chapter is really quite valuable and needs to be read by everyone and truly understood. When you hold a grudge and you stay angry and cannot let go of the negative energy or feelings as a result of this situation, you hindering you life, and you are allowing others to take control of your feelings and well being.

I feel that after reading this book I have learned a lot of things that I might not have realized about others and myself before reading this book. I am glad that I was asked to read this book and that had the honor or reviewing it for this inspirational author. The last painting, Hope, says it all: We live our lives and we are blessed with hope, resilience and the forethought to be the best we can be and live our lives and explore the endless possibilities out there.

Black Garden

The Black Garden

By Joe Bright

Living in an isolated community with his granddaughter, George O’Brien seems to be harboring not only a grudge against everyone in his town, but people in general. In 1941, when our story opens a young girl named Carolyn, takes her own life. As the story then continues and young college student decides to take a summer position with Mr. O’Brien to clean out the junk in his own and restore the much-neglected garden and yard that is in total disrepair.

Added to the mix is O’Brien’s granddaughter Candace, a young girl in her early twenties whose life seems focused on taking care of her grandfather and his needs. An unhappy man who never seems to smile and always has a scowl on his face and behind every statement a nasty remark, George O’Brien has a secret that has something to do with his garden and more.

Mitchell Sanders enters and decides to work for the Mr. O’Brien and soon learns the truth behind why he and his granddaughter living in total isolation and seclusion. His daughter, Carolyn, victim of a brutal rape, which caused the entire town to turn against not only her, but George as well. With his wife out of town and his daughter as the only witness to the rape, Grant Baxter, son of the richest man in town who owned the Taft Paper, is tried for the rape but the result was not what George expected or deserved. Twisting his words and recreating the events of the crime to suit his needs and objects, Baxter’s lawyer, now a prominent judge, helps Grant go free. Instead of being jailed for the crime the lawyer implies that George is the guilty party and more. For over 20 years living in seclusion and never setting foot in town or allowing his granddaughter to leave his side, he becomes more jaded, bitten and angry allowing.

When Mitchell goes to town and meets some of the residents of Winter Haven, he learns the truth behind their feelings about George and goes on a one man crusade to not only change their mindset about him but to renew George’s faith in people and to help him foster a healthier relationship with his granddaughter and the people where he lives.

But, that would not be easy since many of the people still feel there is more to what really happened the night Carolyn committed suicide and more to what really happened to Grant Baxter. Mitchell too has many secrets in his past and can understand how it feels to be picked on and ridiculed by family and peers. Together with his newfound allies Kirk and Quinn and Nicole, they ban together to right a serious wrong.

But, the trouble was not over yet and our author presents us with the background information we need in order to decide what really happened when Carolyn, George’s daughter, was raped and took her life. Grant Baxter forever taunted her and kept a precious necklace belonging to her as a memento of his conquest.

A town ruled and run not by the law enforcement agencies in it, a town run by the rich and those who were powerful. Found guilty of a crime that he did not commit because a judge and a lawyer made the evidence he provided disappear, George O’Brien with the help of Mitchell Sanders will now try and right a wrong and hopefully give the man back the self-respect and dignity he so deserves.

Using a first person narrative the author allows the reader into the mind of the main character, Mitchell, in order to understood his thoughts, reasoning and goals in helping to solve this 20-year-old crime and the disappearance of Grant Baxter and more. Even Candace’s grandmother, Dora could not handle the rumors and allegations against her husband and after Carolyn’s death she distanced herself and eventually left both her husband and granddaughter. Blaming Candace for her plight in life and not wanting her in her home anymore, her grandmother leaves and does not return.

Being judgmental and blaming an 8 year old child for what happened between her mother and someone else, is wrong. What the school did by not defending the child was just as bad. Throughout the book the author does flashback to the events that led to what would happen in the present. No matter what transpired in the past, it does not change the prison that George lives in now.

In the garden in the back is a bathtub. Under that tub everyone suspects is the body of Grant Baxter. But, the sheriff will not pursue the matter nor will he try and make life worse for George who is finally attempting to get along with his neighbors and the people in the town.

What happens next will surprise the reader? What is under the tub you will have to read for yourself? Where is Grant Baxter’s remains and who really killed him? Read this outstanding novel that deals with disloyalty, hate, trust, unhappiness, deceit and more. But, most of all the love of a granddaughter and one young college student who wanted to make one man’s life better. Will Mitchell’s and Candace’s paths cross again? Only the author knows for sure !

This is a must read for all mystery lovers and I hope he writes a sequel.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer