Book review from Equities.com

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What’s on Your Reading List?

Desireé Duffy | Wednesday, 29 March 2017 11:27 (EST)

For any trader or entrepreneur, the daily grind of reading depressing headlines and perusing a constant stream of data can be physically exhausting and mentally draining. While you may long for a vacation, for most of us, the demands of work are nearly ever-present. However, there is one great way to reset your brain and rejuvenate your spirit: Reading a great book!

No matter how hard I try, I can’t stop bouncing from one great book, and from one genre, to another. A good mixture of fiction, non-fiction, and provocative books are necessary for a well-rounded life.

If you agree, then you’ll appreciate this list of must-read books that you’ll want to add to your list. I understand, you probably have your 2017 reading list planned-out already. Well make room, you won’t regret adding these “un-put-downable” books!

The Fragrance of Angels

Are you ready to get a glimpse of heaven?

Join Martha Brookhart Halda as she shares her incredible journey to the Other Side. Just be warned, you might not be the same after reading this book.

On a fateful night, Halda was thrown from her vehicle during a horrific car crash. She died not once, but three times. Then she came back. Her life changed forever, and when you read this memoir, you will find out why.

The Fragrance of Angels is filled with love and challenges. It is a tale about physical beauty, emotional upheavals, frustrations beyond compare, as well as spectacular triumphs.

There is also a surprise that I must admit, I never saw coming; it is something Martha realized when she visited Heaven, and you will soon know it, too.

This is a book that will lift you up, bring tears to your eyes, and laughter to your heart. Trust me, The Fragrance of Angels needs to be added to your reading list today.

 

SO… after reading such a wonderful book review, and being the first book mentioned in her 2017 recommended reading list, I am super excited for all the blessings coming my way this year.  I also have a review coming from the Huffington Post. What a dream come true: not many authors receive this kind of coverage.

Merry Christmas, a year in review

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So… I’m not the best at Blogging, having only written three blogs so far this year.year-in-review

I guess you’d need to revise that to pathetic at Blogging. However it’s amazing what can happen in a year. Time and life are so precious. I was reminded of this recently as my good friend Lilly was saying goodbye to the love of her life, after only having four or so precious years with him. Tony was by far too young to go, a victim of cancer, but yes Heaven has welcomed him, and because of this, I had another “Life” wake up call.

I needed to review this past year. I quit my job this December 18th….. Who does that? I mean who quits their job in December? Perhaps this is why my brother David calls me his crazy little sister. I bet there are a few more reasons than that!

 

I had one heck of a year; I switched from the escrow/quality assurance department to the sales department of the timeshare company where I’ve worked for the last 5 years. What was I thinking! While one department “I get” , I was never cut out for the other one. I sat waiting for my tour (my chance to sell and make commission for the day), which never happened. I should have had a tour; I had the sales numbers but no tour? The wheel of agents had been set askew. After my two days off, again nothing. I was never made to be a person who waits and does nothing. I prefer to be active, so “adieu to you”, and in a flash, I was gone.flash

 

This morning as I awoke, the feeling of “OH SH-T what did I do?” began to crawl up my spine. I got a text from a girlfriend from high school, Mindy Ramsey, who wanted 7 of my books. They wouldn’t arrive in the mail in time for Christmas; we decided I would deliver them to her mother’s house in Carlsbad (my home town). I figured I’d drive up, drop them off, and be on my way. Thoughts that I’m leaving for San Francisco with my love in the morning and packing needs to happen rang through my head.

 

When the door opened, I was surprised to see a charming little older lady. This lovely woman was 93, to be exact. I don’t know what I was thinking … but I was expecting a woman about 60… I still had my blonde head from high school, in that blonde moment I was thinking of our mom’s as they were at that time. Dah… Martha, you don’t even have your mother with us any longer. Funny how we can freeze someone to be perpetually at a certain age, or era.

I went in for a cup of coffee, and about an hour or two later, after many stories of Angels and happy lives, I left feeling completely blessed

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I decided to review 2016. This year, almost to a year from the German version of my book being released, my book debuted here in the USA in English.

Yippy … I can finally read my own book. Happy that I didn’t have to “self publish” at a heavy cost. No I had actually been given (another God gift) the US publishing house of Open Books Press.

Last year in October 2015 my book debuted in German at the Worlds largest book fair, the Frankfurt Messe. I was feeling blessed and happy to join my publishing house ‘Sorriso” as one of their first titles. My book had finally made it to print; yet in German only. I knew I couldn’t read this ancestral language of the Brookhart’s, yet how happy I was my promise to God was now finally completed. I promised to tell and I had, in German at least.

 

Last month , November “The Fragrance of Angels” was selected as one of the finalist’s for Acorn Publishing Authors Circle Awards. What a privilege. Fingers crossed when they announce the winner in May 2017.acorn-award-nominee-for-the-fragrance-of-angels

The past six months I was off work for a medical leave, searching for what ailed me. I was informed I have degenerative rheumatoid arthritis in my feet, hands, and worse in my hips… all a residual result of my car accident detailed in “The Fragrance of Angels.” The cure? None. The only one to be offered was a referral to a pain specialist. Well that’s not going to be me. I am happy, No Ecstatic, to say that one of the cures is to Keep Moving. Moving, walking or whatever gets me outside is a treat to me, and moving keeps the stiffness away. The movement, and so many great natural supplements that are waiting to be found by me. This was reminded to me as I spoke with my new cute 93-year-old friend. She broke her leg last year and moves slower now, but she told me about being encouraged at 91 to do a 5K. Can you imagine?

 

Reviewing more on July 10th, 2016, my book was part of Carlsbad Magazine, which offered a list of the Top 5 Summer reads of Carlsbad locals. I feel so honored to be a part of it! There are so many reasons, not to mention Wendy giving me one of the best compliments I could have asked for, which is, “Halda just tells her story and what she learned, without being preachy.” That was exactly my intent, so it’s wonderful to know that I achieved this.

God gave me so many Blessing’s this year, starting with a total flood to our first floor. Just days before this flood I had gotten a bid on painting. Since buying our home I wanted to break the wall out between the family and living rooms, but could NOT figure a way to make the hardwood floors match. Now… a flood and the whole flooring must be taken out, and the walls must now be painted. Thank you God…

A gift, truly a gift, found in what could have been viewed as a horrible thing. I’m smiling again as I think how; if we look for ,and most importantly listen, to Gods “taps “ on our shoulders and not wait for his sledgehammer to Hear Him, we will be amazed at all the splendid care He takes over our lives.

 

We’re all looking for something we can rely on, and love is the source most people need. We are all searching for that unconditional love. Like talks with 93 year old women that we’ve never met before.

I believe the Love that engulfed me was far too great to be judging, that the God I saw, the Divine Energy I met, the pulsating sphere of Total Knowledge, would want us to reflect each year and hopefully we can all see the wonderful gifts he gave us this year.

 

Merry Christmas, We’ve got a lot to learn but God knows we are worth it.

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1st English book review. Summer Reads, Carlsbad Style

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WOW, am I ecstatic! My first literary review in English, of The Fragrance of Angels, came out in my hometown mag, Carlsbad Magazine. What a wonderful feeling.

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Wendy Hinman put together ‘Summer Reads, Carlsbad Style”, with the opening of “stretch out your beach towel with books from local authors,” and what a list she put together. I feel so honored to be a part of it! There are so many reasons and people in this issue that make it feel complete, not to mention that Wendy gave me one of the best compliments I could have asked for, which is, “Halda just tells her story and what she learned without being preachy.” That was exactly my intent, so it’s wonderful to know that I achieved this.

She starts out mentioning the renowned local author Victor Villasenor and how his stories describe recognizable environments, and that it is an encore of sorts for the 2016 reading list. I wrote my book honoring a promise to my father, Ray Brookhart, who Villasenor describes in his memoir Burro Genius (pages 296-297.) My father had been one of Villasenor’s teachers, and Villasenor’s words about my Dad describes him to a ‘T’.

However, there is more to this tale. A Fragrance of Angels stands between the magazine’s covers with friendly faces and names. There was Caulerpa Conquest, written by a new friend, Eric Noel Munoz, which covers the story of an invasive marine seaweed that nearly smothered the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Eric was among the key members of a community and statewide effort to eradicate Caulerpa taxifolia from the lagoon. This book was edited by my honey Robert Yehling, so I have a little more understanding of what a huge accomplishment this effort was.

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Next, Shirts & Skins was written by local legend Gregory R. Nelson, Sr. I got to know Greg first at about the age of ten. Greg was like a big brother, a type of counselor of sorts. When he first started out, Greg worked with my dad at The Army Navy Academy and Greg was the cool young guy when I attended summer camp there. The book relates how sports can help create the drive, direction and passion in a man or women, a drive and habit that can later present itself well in business and life. Greg spent years, and many of his philanthropic talents and dollars, raising boys to men at the Carlsbad Boys Club. I also knew him from golfing; we had been members at the same country club. During my coma (detailed in The Fragrance of Angels) he and his stunning wife, Barbie, asked their kids’ youth group to pray for me for the two months I was under. They later told me that my recovery was a beacon of sorts for those kids. I am honored to be in the same summer reads reviews as Greg.

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I don’t know author Cynthia Mestad Johnson, but I can’t wait to read her book Legendary Locals of Carlsbad. I’m sure once again to feel at home reading stories of our wonderful town, many of which I may have already heard.

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The piece d’resistance, when it comes to being at home, is that the cover story is about longtime good friend Billy Stang. The feature article, also written by Wendy Hinman is titled “Pure Stang Pure Stoke – the last of the great soul surfers.” I have to say Billy is certainly that… A Soul Surfer. It was great fun reading Billy’s story as he describes stories of the mid to late 70’s. Billy discusses how he gave up competition and the life of a professional surfer to stay real and keep his sport about the stoke and joy, not the greed.

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I have to say this first literary review could not have been more perfect for me. Everyone in this group of authors did exactly what Billy did — went out and wrote about what we have experienced, not for the cash, but for the pure stoke, the pure joy of life and love. What more do any of us need than that? Enjoy your summer with a good book, a book that can take you anywhere you want to go.

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Thoughts of Easter

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Jesus  My thoughts on Easter.He died for our sins… with arms wide open. Rio Cross

Jesus was here for the salvation of ALL Mankind, for the forgiveness of ALL of our sins. This is what I was raised with, and to me Easter… is by far the most important holiday, more so than Christmas. In “The Book”  I’ve read it does not say for the salvation of only a select few, it does not say for the forgiveness of sins of only a few.

While recently discussing my book, A Taste of Eternity, my girlfriend, a woman I love and respect, suggested that I should review my thoughts to know if I’m Christian. I appreciate her concern, and want to assure her I most definitely am a Christian! However I do not judge others for their beliefs. I was a little emotionally let down by her question but I trust that everything happens for a reason. I feel we are born into our social, and cultural lives for a reason.

I believe in the end only Kindness matters. I believe whether your Christian, Metaphysical, Mormon, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Scientologist, or Catholic you may just well be welcomed into Heaven. During my Taste of Eternity review I was shown that Love is the strongest energy and force in the universe. We’re all looking for something we can rely on, and love is the source most people need. We are all searching for that unconditional love.

I’ve been judged by friends and stranger’s over the past few years for my statement that I believe that the God I saw, the Divine Energy I met, the pulsating sphere of Total Knowledge, would not only let practicing Christians into Heaven, that his love seemed open to All. I’m sorry but I do believe this, the Love that engulfed me was far too great to be judging.Lily

Lord knows I am not a perfect person … I am only human, and we All fall short of what God wants of us. We’ve got a lot to learn but God knows we are worth it. As a human I cannot say why I feel that God is not judging, but I felt only love. My thoughts of late have been that perhaps at a person’s final moments, when we are in front of the Divine, our life review has passed through us and we encounter this magnificent love, perhaps then a non-Christian may have a moment that they may choose to believe in Jesus only. I don’t know what the final moments are for other people, I do not judge them, I pray that they call on their Angels for peace. The only thing I know is that for me the Heavens were full of love, beauty, and colors that would make the most spectacular Easter eggs ever. Eggs                            I send All my wish for A Happy Easter to every one.

 

 

 

 

 

Signed – Publisher for A Taste of Eternity

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This February 2016 has proven to be a very fantastic month for me. After traveling to Frankfurt, Germany in October for the debut of my book at the Frankfurt Buchmesse, the world’s largest book fair, the flurry had started to settle down. Life was getting back to normal with the grind of learning a new job.

However, on the first week of the month, a box arrived, filled with over 20 copies of Der Duft des Engels, the German version of A Taste of Eternity, published by German publisher sorriso verlag. It was overwhelming when I saw my face in a photo plastered on the wall of the book booth in Germany, but to actually hold my book in my hands? With my picture on the back cover and “author” under it? Well, this blew me away.Der Duftdes Engels: book cover.jpgFM Christine and I

Now to top things off, for this magical month, I just signed a Publishing Agreement with Open Books Press to print A Taste of Eternity in English with a release date of September 1. If you’re an author, September 1 is one of the most coveted publishing dates of the year — it’s holiday shopping season, and a time when people start to move toward the holidays themselves… which have a central place in my book. I start the book with “life can be summed up in three words, family, adventure, and perseverance. “  This still holds true for me and it has been with all three that this loving project has been able to come full circle, and allow me to fulfill my promise that I would write this book.Open Books Press Publishing Agreement.jpg

I want to share a bit of the book to tide people over until the book releases on Sept. 1 (don’t worry; I will share more tidbits throughout the next few months):

 

 

CLIFF JUMPING WITH GOD and WRITING HIS BOOK, A TASTE of ETERNITY

On my 53rd birthday, my crazy streak popped up. Bob had seen it the previous summer, when we bodysurfed 10-foot waves in Carlsbad and marveled about it later on Oceanside Pier, which shook from the waves whose spray hit onlookers’ faces. He also remembered how, when we were in high school, I was one of the few girls to bomb down the steep La Costa hills on a skateboard.

This time, I outdid myself. While whitewater rafting down the upper Ganges outside Varanasi India, I celebrated March 16 in a new way — by jumping off 30-foot cliffs into the river. My fellow travelers, all in their 20s, wouldn’t try it. Neither would the Indian men standing on the edge. (In the photo in this blog, I jumped from a spot about 10 feet above them; this was taken in mid-jump.)Raft on Ganges India.jpgMe jumping of cliff into Ganges.jpg

But I jumped. I went for it. Why not? This is my life — and I’m going to live it to the max. I am not afraid of what comes next. I’ve seen it. I look forward to my return.

 

I continue to be excited and motivated by the visions I received during my near death experience, my Taste of Eternity.  I will also keep up my search and understanding about religions and how they are changed from the ways they were originally practiced.

I am a Christian, as in Jesus Christ is my divine teacher.  I completely honor other religions and know that the All Powerful, Loving God Energy I met in Heaven would not condemn others for following their religion with the depth of their heart and the example of their actions. My focus is to love and be loved, none of that judging and condemning stuff for me.  I know I am far from perfect (isn’t that an understatement), and I tend to over-react when I feel I’m wronged. This whole experience is not one I would ever change, my desire in writing this book has always been to share the incredible love and beauty I know awaits us when we die – we’re not alone as we travel to Heaven. God sends us each an Angel, and He is the one holding us in his arms all the way to Paradise.

 

Blessings of a book dream come true

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Christmas often makes people stop to acknowledge all their blessings. The end of this year 2015, I am doing just that exactly.

October 15th, 2015, I entered the Frankfurt Messe book festival amazed by its size! With nearly 150,000 guests, and close to 40,000 venders working the trades show it was over whelming.FM building

 

Once entering the correct (one of four) three-story buildings, I wondered how on earth the sorriso-verlag booth would be found. As we, Robert Yehling (aka Bob editor extraordinaire), and I went down the escalator he verbalized just this worry. My heart and mind halted because, with all his trade show experience, this was the last thing I expected to come from his lips. Worried… I started scanning the mass of booths on the floor below; the escalator seemed to move in a slow time warp, my eyes scanned everything. How will we find it in this seemingly endless crowd?

However, I quickly learned that my publisher Karen Christine Angermayer is a master at marketing and doesn’t miss a thing. Her attention to detail is amazing; she had her logo set high smiling out at the crowds from the very top of her booth. That bright yellow smile of sorriso was like a beacon laying a guiding light for me.FM Sorriso logoFM Christine and I

As we walked closer to the booth, suddenly I saw my own face smiling back at me. The booth was white, its floor a bright yellow, and a photo of each of the five writers she was debuting was displayed in a large 3’ by 5’ headshot (a models dream) on the wall of the booth. Many writers dream of having their books make it to the European market, some wish that they would be given such presence from the publisher, my dream had now come true.FM authors debutedFM sorriso book cover Tshirt

While in heaven I promised God, my heavenly father, the Divine Energy (too many names to chose only one), that I would share the loving grace that awaits us in Heaven.  Once back on earth, after two months in a coma, the first thing I promised my earthly father, Ray F. Brookhart, was that I would write this book, and share the knowledge of the love that awaits us with all people interested in knowing more.

 

Our trip to Europe was full of wonder… the countryside God Germany and Austria are full of (God given) natural beauty, the likes of which a California girl doesn’t get to see often.  We played in the sound of music filled city of Salzberg, enjoyed Mozart street music and so much more.FM Salzberg Bob & MeWe hiked the wonderful hillside of the Austrian Alps in St. Johanna all the while basking in the beauty of this life we have been give.FM Salzberg riverFM St Johann cows  and  Mt

Again last week, another Christmas gift, I was blessed with a visit by my publisher Karen Christine Angermayer, and her charming love Pino, they were here from Germany for business.

Fm Christine and Pino in LaJolla

We met in the coastal town of La Jolla California.  While admiring the Pacific Ocean waves, and the many seal’s lounging on the beach.

We talked about sorriso-verlag extending the publishing of Der Duft des Engels to a more International European distribution.

FM seals in La JollaFM LaJolla Beach

I could not be more blessed, so this year 2015 and I am certainly whole-heartedly counting my blessings.  I ‘am grateful for Gods blessings in my life yet again.

 

 

I warmly look forward to a new and exciting 2016, and wish everyone a blessed new year. Cheer’s

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October Angels in Germany – A Taste of Eternity becomes A Scent of Angels

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It has been a long road, the one that leads to Eternity… and to Germany. I feel so blessed in both cases, and am blessed yet again in the month of October.

 Book CoverIt was in October 1999 that I had my Taste of Eternity, which lead to my wanting to write and publish my book about sharing the beauty I know awaits us in Heaven. Three years later in 2002 in October I was blessed, again, to be able to compete in the Dublin Marathon, to also be one of the top fundraisers in the US for the American Diabetes foundation.

Now finally… I am blessed, yet again in the month of October. This time that blessing comes in the form of my book making its debut. The title has changed, the language has changed, but it is going to market at The Frankfurt book fair, the world’s largest book fair. The title has changed from “A Taste of Eternity” to “Der Duft des Engels” which translates to “The Fragrance (or the Scent) of Angels”. So it will be on the wings of Angels that I fly to Frankfurt in 2 days on October 14th, 2015.

There are thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of authors who wish they would have their book printed in a foreign language, or make it to print at all. I am one of those very lucky few, that not only will achieve this, but it will be to release my first book. I feel like a southern bell making her Debut at the big ball. I want to dance and twirl and sing out loud I’m so pretty, I’m so pretty but really changing the words to I’m so lucky, I’m so lucky. Twirling just the same.Frankfurt City PIC

Please don’t think that the coincidence of all these wonders of good fortune happening in October is lost on my blonde California head. I accept that we are not the ones in control of our fates. I do completely believe that these gifts were a blessing from above. While reading a review on the book festival in Publishers Weekly, I had to take pause because there was a paragraph, which spoke directly to me. Now as I pack my bags to fly to Germany for this live time event, I do take pause, and review all the wonders of this life. I wanted to share this with you.

{Frankfurt Book Fair 2015: A New Era Begins.  Welcome to the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair—and publishing’s next act}

Whether you’re hurrying from meeting to meeting or just wandering the halls, try to pause for a moment to take it all in. Publishing has entered a new era. And the conversation is no longer about print or digital, Kuyper says—it is about meeting the needs of the consumer.

Frankfurter Buchmesse, a.k.a. the Frankfurt Book Fair; Vibrant, Inspiring Memories and Discoveries

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Books create worlds and new ideas. They help to shape our society and its values.

My desire in writing my book A Taste of Eternity is to do just that: I want you to experience (as much as a book will allow) my view of the Love I experienced and which is offered to each of us in Heaven.

Now, I get to do it halfway around the world, when A Taste of Eternity makes its worldwide reveal at the Frankfurter Buchmesse, a.k.a. the Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the three largest in the world.

I can’t believe my lucky stars that this is the place of my book’s debut! The Frankfurter Buchmesse takess center stage of Frankfurt every October (October is an auspicious month. My accident that led to my taste of Eternity happened in October 1999, and I completed a 26.2-mile full marathon in Ireland three years later — after being told I would spend my life in a wheelchair). Located on the banks of the river Main, with its skyscrapers intermingling with the historic part of town, it is often jokingly called “Mainhattan”.Frankfurt City PIC

The most famous son of the city by far is novelist, playwright, poet and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who was born there in 1749. During his lifetime, Goethe wrote the equivalent of 140 books 400-pages long (a task now fully appreciated). His protégé, Rudolf Steiner, established the education philosophy we know today through the Waldorf Schools. Now, Goethe’s legacy is preserved by the book fair.

The Fair is a vibrant publishing landscape, Dynamic! It’s international, interactive and inspiring. The gathering place for the Who’s Who of publishing — publishers, agents, film producers, booksellers, and authors! It’s clearly the most important marketplace for books, media, rights and licenses worldwide. The industry comes together to create something new.

         More than 7,000 exhibitors are expected from over 100 countries. Frankfurter Buchmesse will be home to publishers from Asia, the Arab world, Australia, Canada, France, Greece, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latin America, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Scandinavia, Spain, Southeast Europe, Turkey, UK, and the USA.Frankfurt PiC  Having my Book debuted there offers the opportunity not only wished for by authors worldwide but hopefully (I pray) will give me an opportunity to expand my network, build bridges into the future, and make new memories and discoveries.

I promised God, and my ‘Pop’s” Ray Brookhart that I would write this book. They asked me to share all the memories I could layout there, describing the Divinity of Heavens Colors on my empty white pages. Feeling guided all the way, God has made this Heaven sent.

TITLE: ‘Love is the Beauty That Gives Color to Life’:

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Robert Yehling of Word Journeys interview: Talking with A Taste of Eternity author Martha Halda

imagesWhen Martha Halda sweeps into a room, people notice — immediately. If you don’t notice her long, rangy presence, then her smile will light you up. Her laughter shakes the edge off the toughest moments, and her closest friends often find themselves on the receiving end of lips, hearts, winks, sun-faces and other emoticons during texting sessions.

There is definitely a playful, childlike side to the author of the riveting new memoir A Taste of Eternity, one that visibly brightens the worlds of others. Imagine the most loving, vivacious, adventurous playmate popping into your house and hauling you outside, only this playmate has kids that are 30 and 27. Her playfulness is a lesson to us all not to take life too seriously; her ability to brighten hearts and souls comes from more than that.

It has been almost sixteen years since Martha’s life ended, revived, ended, revived, ended… and changed forever. On October 8, 1999, a car accident left her for dead… and then took her away. Before the night was over, she had been officially pronounced dead three times. Her ensuing Near Death Experiences (NDEs) brought her face to face with the Divine in a vivid way she recounts in A Taste of Eternity. More importantly, they changed her life, and how to handle its challenges while constantly seeking to bring out the greatness in others — definitely the dance of an angel.

The world is about to share Martha’ s journey. A Taste of Eternity will be published in Fall 2015 by Sorriso Verlag in Germany. It is scheduled to be presented at the prestigious Frankfurt Book Fair, one of the world’s five largest. Negotiations continue with American publishers, with a 2016 publishing date.

Now that she’s finished the long process of writing such a poignant memoir, Martha sat down to discuss her journey, and what comes next. As usual, the conversation was spiced with equal parts reflection, wisdom, laughter, and direct honesty.

WJ: Congratulations on finishing A Taste of Eternity. You were at it for quite awhile; must feel in a way like they’ve finally wheeled you out of the delivery room.

Martha Halda: That only takes nine months and a few hours of hard pushing! (laughs). Thank you. When I was in Heaven, I’d promised God I would write about my experiences there, and that was in 1999. A lot has happened since, but finally, I was able to sit down, put one story in front of the other, and get to this point.

WJ: What was the greatest joy — and struggle — you had with this book?

MH: Reliving it. I had difficulty trying to write down feelings and finding words for what I experienced; words became incredibly limiting. I just couldn’t get the stuff down. (At my life review in Heaven), trying to share my soul’s trials and tribulations from hurting someone… not an easy thing, because at some point, we have to admit our mistakes and face your faults. It’s hard to find the correct words.                                                                                    One of the ways around this was, I shared a lot of my review by sharing my story with Study groups, friends, to my love. As a writer, he helped me fine-tune the words. He fortunately — and also unfortunately — got to see me when it was overwhelming, when I smiled with joy, but he also got to see me when a memory came back so strongly I would cry uncontrollably and not be able to explain why.

WJ: The first part of A Taste of Eternity reads like otherworldly writing… because it is. What surprised you most about your Heavenly journey while your body lay on the road?

MH: What surprised me the most… not an easy thing to answer. I was caught off guard that God was not a larger-than-life Herculean figure, full of fire and brimstone, sitting upon a throne. He wasn’t looking to condemn me for all my faults and misdeeds. I had a few of those. This is hard to explain, but he did not have the appearance I expected, and yet I instantly perceived him as The Trinity — Father-Son-Holy Ghost. I do not have “enough words” to describe what I saw and felt. He has no name, no image, I recognized him instantly but still he was merely a sphere, a sphere of energy of the utmost Pure Love – God is Love.

WJ: One of the things we hear about is the ‘life review,’ essentially a high speed playback of our actions, good or bad. Could you describe that experience, and why it became the thematic building block both for A Taste of Eternity and the rest of your life?

MH: I learned that we must treat others the way we want to be treated. Eventually we will feel any hurt we place on others, whether it is intentional or not. I learned no one is better than any other person, not because they run farther, surf better, are more creatively gifted or more financially well off. We are each special in our own way. When our life is done, our relationships and memories are really all we get to take with us to heaven; the rest stays here.

Love and forgiveness are the strongest traits of the soul, because the heart governs the soul. It is a pure expression of God and what a wonderful thing to share. I am never ashamed or feel shy or embarrassed when I express my love for someone. Love is the beauty that gives the color to life, both here and in heaven.

WJ: There might be the most beautiful sentence we’ve seen in a long time. You’ve spoken to groups of some true skeptics, yet when you’ve made comments like this and shared your stories, everyone walks away saying, ‘She really was in heaven.’ But their skepticism was well founded: some NDE stories have proven to be anything but.

MH: You’re right, and that really bothers me. I really want to be careful here, because any experience authentic and profound enough to be written about is something we should look at. However, I don’t understand why anyone would want to willingly and purposefully write a book on NDE if it wasn’t a truthful experience. To write on this subject for me came strictly from my promise to God that “I would tell of his love”. Other than that promise, this would not have been a choice subject. I am sometimes greeted with less than open arms, and sometimes I receive cruel comments like, ‘Oh, so you think you’ve been to Heaven…’ Now that is hurtful.

WJ: One reason people will buy A Taste of Eternity is because their souls yearn for something greater than they experience on earth — and you paint a vivid picture of that ‘something greater’. Why are we so fascinated?

MH: I believe people want to know they matter, that their life wasn’t some fleeting moment with no meaning. They may receive a second chance to correct life screw-ups, and it’s important to know the value of doing so. I felt that was one of my obligations in writing this book. I, for one, want to believe our trials and tribulations are there for some greater good, to use as a marker in our life, or to be there for someone else to learn from.

WJ: That’s a yearning people often don’t share for fear of ridicule — but you’re bringing out into the open.

MH: People have been fascinated by this question for centuries. They just might be more open to showing it now. For centuries, one wouldn’t consider letting anyone know they wondered about the soul’s journey; in many places, this could mean being condemned, or worse.

WJ: To close, you have a wonderful little affirmation that seems to describe both you and A Taste of Eternity. Take it away…

MH: I can, I shall, I will, dance in the spotlight of God’s love.  With that, Martha left — but not before texting out a few hearts, stars, angels and smiling faces. In a sense, heaven-sent.

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The Dead Sea Scrolls, Angels, and the Ten Commandments.

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USC Trojan PICLA Times Festival of Books 2015 -PIC Dead Sea Scrills PIC

We hopped across the street to the California Science Center from the Campus of USC, where I was talking with writers and publishers at the LA Times Festival of Books.

On display were The Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest copies of the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament. They are written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Greek is the predominant language due to nearby Ancient Greece. The Essenes are the sect regularly identified as the Dead Sea Community. The Community had Rules one of them was “All who submit freely to His truth will convey all their knowledge, their energies, and their riches to the community of God.” The Dead Sea Scrolls original writers and copyists considered Jerusalem polluted and profane. They lived secluded, austere lives of piety, and were the founders of the Essene religion (secret order to which Jesus belonged)

The Scrolls were written mostly on parchment, with some written on papyrus. They’re incredibly important documents. They are central to the belief system for Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Wow who’d a thunk it…  that they had so much in common?

The story goes in 1947 a Bedouin shepherd, tossed a rock into a cave and heard a pot shatter, which led to the recovery of more than 900 scrolls. They date between 150 BCE and 70 CE. The traveling “Dead Sea Scrolls” exhibit featured more than 600 ancient artifacts, including selections from 10 scrolls, housed in low light and dry conditions similar to the caves near Khirbet Qumran, where they were preserved for 2,000 years. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth (1,400 feet below sea level).Getty Museum- PIC

I had some favorites, first was the song of Sabbath Sacrifice. These 13 songs were for the first 13 weeks of the Sabbath each year. Yeah now we are talking, these songs were songs of angelic praise, angelic priesthood, and heavenly temple, which gave the community’s sense of engaging in a common worship with angels.  The Scroll known as the Angelic scroll, is apparently loaded with Jewish mystical imagery, and descriptions of angels. It is potentially more important than any of the other scrolls so far examined, and is thought to be around 2000 years old. The text describes a ‘tour of the heavens’ undertaken by its author in the company of an angel named ‘Pnimea‘. The author of the Angel Scroll is taken on a journey where he is shown the “secrets of the universe.” He is taught to contemplate signs in the sun and the stars and through them forecast events. To notice the signs in the raging waves of the sea, and in the clouds of the heavens, and how to use medical plants and stones to cure disease and predict the future.

This was amazingly similar to what I was shown when I had my review.  It was almost eerie to read such a straightforward guideline so close to how I feel when I’m walking in nature, along the beaches of Carlsbad, where the majestic energy and strength of the Ocean can be overwhelming.

My personal favorite is: “a vision was revealed to me from the Most High, and Pnimea, Prince of Angels lifted me up in spirit and I ascended Heavenward above the high places of the clouds, and he showed me the great world and the image of the gods. And I pondered the appearance round about and there was no time and no place and their appearance from the dwelling places of light was like a rainbow in the clouds.”images-25

Well needless to say WOW…when I read a description like this and knowing it is nearly 2000 years old, I feel its descriptions chill me to the core, because it is so similar to what I saw and knew during my Taste of Eternity – it makes me feel normal. No I’m not crazy, I did have a normal experience with and Angel. My Guardian Angel and so have others, even way back than 2000 years ago.Angel- PIC

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