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I Believe… A Ghost Journey for the Holidays by Valerie C. Woods
The belief that consciousness remains after the body has departed is the fuel that powers ghost stories, medium readings, and, of course, Halloween. We’ve gotten used to stories that send tingles up the spine and make the hair on our necks rise. I Believe… A Ghost Journey for the Holidays, by Valerie C. Woods, isn’t like that at all.
Woods is a masterful story teller. In this tale, three delightful, but unenlightened entities are trapped, unseen, wandering around Los Angeles until they each complete a major task. Trevor, Gabriel, and Sara are desperate to merge with the eternal light, but cannot until they can fulfill the task of rekindling a joy for life in the hearts of those who were closest to them on earth. If they can do this, their loved ones will be free to enjoy their lives fully while living.
With humor and compassionate insight, Woods takes readers through the internal lives of both the living and the departed. The story occurs in Los Angeles during the Christmas holidays. Trevor, dead for seven years, was the former ice hearted owner of a trendy LA yoga and meditation studio that is now run by his sister with the same closed heart that he once possessed. Gabriel has been wandering the earth for 11 years. He was the owner of a reality tv series about real life guardian angels but did not believe in spirit. His mentee, Simon, now runs the studio with the same attitudes and lack of empathy as Gabriel once did. Simon has recently suffered the loss of a woman he loved silently and who was married. This has only increased his icy cold demeanor. Sara has been dead a month, and at times is confused as to whether she's living or dead. She's left behind a husband, a 16-year-old son, and the grieving Simon who she never knew loved her.
Sara meets Trevor and Gabriel, and they accomplish together what neither could do alone. As
they move forward with a goal to go reach the light by the winter solstice, the three spirits strategize on how to enlighten the loved ones left behind.
There's plenty of action, emotion, and laughter. For me, the subtle, but underlying take away is: heaven is here now. And this is what the delightful spirits are trying to impart to their loved ones. Heaven is here now, and access to love is always available.