Tag Archives: Berkley Books

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.

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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Writing about hard events and life challenges can be FUN – PART 2

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IMG_7242  Writing about hard events and life challenges can be FUN-Part 2.  A Story of Change can be fun; we decide how to accept and view the change.  I choose to move forward with an open heart and eyes.  I had my eyes wide open at The Los Angeles Times Festival of BooksThis place offers a different time, and a unique reality for writers; think about it, they are coming together with their own kind!  A massive group of open and active minds bunched together, all waiting for the chance to share their most prized possession – words.

It was interesting to me, this new way of socializing among writers. A Taste of Eternity is, after all, my first book. People just plop right down next to a total stranger and ask things like, “What are you working on?” “What seminar are you going to?” “What is your view on (name the subject)?” Amazing!

I’m new to this. It’s far more than the usual blanket socializing of the weather, a sport team, or clothing. Because of that, I watched more from a spectator’s viewpoint.  Have you ever watched dogs at a dog park, and seen how they run across the grass and head up to a dog they’ve never seen before. Their tails wag in the air, they crouch down on their front paws, stick their back haunches in the air, and start swaying their head from right to left, teasing the other dog. It’s like they’re saying, “C’mon. Let’s play. I like you. What ya got?” Then, a few minutes later, they are off sniffing flowers and flipping over in the grass, rubbing their backsides, squirming back and forth and looking as if they are making snow angels in the grass.

This describes the unabashed glee and friendliness that the folks at the Festival share with each other.IMG_7228

I have been in settings like this, together with my own kind before. I am a former tennis player, basketball, and volleyball player. I am also a female; hence, shopping is in my nature. However, random tennis players don’t walk up and ask me which backhand I’m working on, and ladies at Nordstrom’s semi-annual sale don’t ask what style I’m developing. They actually want strangers out of the store, and certainly out of the line.  So I’m sure you understand how new these friendly and honestly interested greetings were to me.

IMG_7258We did a walkthrough to assess the books we wanted to buy.  The idea? To trim the selection, knowing whatever we wanted, we had to carry. For the rest of the day. Then of course, we needed to make the vital connection (via the cell phone, what would we do without those?) with my literary agent, Dana Newman.  Determining the location among a crowd of 60,000 to 75,000 people is critical. Tommy the Trojan statue it is! He sure stuck out, and we had no trouble finding her.  During a quick chat, she assured me she would be pitching my book at the festival. No rest from work for her!

I found the Los Angeles Times stage, all set up for a reading with its shade tarp. On this hot day, its shade was inviting.  I noticed with a pleasant surprise that the guest speaker was non other than Prettyfestival of books4   In Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles star Molly Ringwald.  Molly has written several books, but this time, she read from her latest, When it Happens to You. At first, I just  noticed how great she looks, clean, pure, sweet, not Hollywood at all.  I know she’s an actress and I expect her to be able to read the lines ok, but then, she starts to exhibit her story.

She shares it through her voice projection; I’m completely engrossed.  When she finishes her one-chapter teaser, I’m like a little girl at the library story time, never wanting the reading to end.  Her reading felt like a movie trailer… a tease of what’s to come.

My goal is for my book to be the same, to engross every reader.

After Molly’s reading, I found a spot to kick back. A guy plopped down next to me, and began to eat his lunch. Within a few minutes, he asked more questions about what I was writing and what I IMG_7217thought than most of my friends have asked in over a year.  He told me about his years as a Los Angeles Times reporter, the books he’s edited, and his current ghostwriting projects. I told him he reminded me of my honey Bob, and that they should meet sometime; I think they would really hit it off.  Then I headed off to the seminar on memoir.

I took in the panel of memoirists, four women who have all published their memoirs.  I glean a few great tidbits from their information. The room was packed, almost all the 300 or so seats full. I noticed my newfound friend sitting a few rows in front of me.  Afterwards, I saw Bob waiting for me outside the conference hall. I introduced him to my new friend. Just like those dogs at a doggy park, they were pleased as punch to find someone else who spoke their lingo, who totally got it, who had so many similar experiences writing and editing.

Finally, the day ended, with my mind in sensory overload.  I felt so happy, my belly deliciously full like I’d just eaten the perfect meal. I was satiated, filled by The Festival.

An Agent’s Gift

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Valentines day and what a gift!

I just signed my agent’s agreement with Dana Newman of Newman Literary Agency.   My… how life can have its twist’s and turns.

A year ago I was boarding a flight to India, where I would spend one month traveling, and visiting varying sites of pilgrimage of peace.  I toured the    Orphanage and home of Mother Theresa, walked the schools and property of Gandhi, immersed my soul in the meditative peace of Bodhgaya where Buddha reached enlightenment, joined wholeheartedly the crowds cleansing their souls at the Sikh’s Golden Temple, visited many Ancient Hindu ashrams, and found a serenity in the crowd of thousands at Dharmasala to enjoying the annual speech of the Dalai Lama.  Not to mention strolling the stunning beauty of the Taj Mahal, refreshing myself in the waters of the River Ganges, and walking rural villages dotted with the vivid colors of the saris worn by the beautiful Indian women.  All of these places of pilgrimage, from so many different, beliefs, spiritualties, and religions come together and blend in a colorful swirl of chaos and love.

OK… so normally you wouldn’t consider this (an agent’s agreement) to have anything to do with Valentines Day, but my book A Taste of Eternity is all about love. The love that God and Spirit are full of, the love that we are to share with each other, and the love that fills every cell of all things here on Earth and in Heaven.  This was my experience in Heaven, this is what I was told, and this is    the most important thing we can ever do – to give, share, and express love.

So… needless to say, when I was sent my agreement on February 14th, I found it to be a perfect day for such an exciting event!

The truth was, and is, that I have a long way to go.  My Editor (and love) Robert Yehling of Word Journeys had just sent Dana my query letter along with my proposal in December.   We were busy moving the first week in January, and thought this would be a perfect down time to fine-tune my chapters, and wait to hear from her, before we figured out our plan B.

Well, thank goodness Bob and I have that go for it and get ‘er done attitude, that edge for urgency, because when Dana notified us, we needed to jump fast.  She was in New York and received interest for A Taste of Eternity from Berkley Books and Harlequin Non-Fiction, both of which are major publishers.  Yippy, excitement filled us both!

This past weekend, we got busy at San Diego’s Southern California Writer’s Conference.  I was busy taking a few writing workshops, partaking in constructive critique sessions, trying to grasp as much as I could from the keynote speeches, and sitting on the edge of my seat during the panel of agents that were kind enough to offer suggestions about query letters and the like.  The agents gave those vital directions; we all need to grab the bull by the horns (so to speak), to be able to draw the interest of agents – let alone receive agency agreements.  I realized just how amazingly lucky I was, and just what a fantastic gift had been delivered to me via Dana’s interest.

My life has been transformed and defined the past 13 years that are covered in A Taste of Eternity. Hopefully, my next chapter will be to help other people transform their lives by sharing with them the beauty I know is there for us all when we leave this earth and this body, and join the blessings of our afterlife.