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Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God's Fiesta Paperback – August 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“In this book, Simply Salsa: Dancing without Fear at God’s Fiesta, Janet Eckles describes moment after moment in life—her own as well as others’—when busyness, tragedy, fear, guilt, and anxiety drown out the music that Jesus wants to play in our hearts. And again and again, Janet testifies to the power of God to transform those moments of weeping or trembling into a heart-thrilling invitation to dance.

This is a lighthearted and yet profound book that speaks to women at every level—whether wallowing in the mire of self-pity, slogging through never-ending guilt, trying to outrun fear, or just plain missing out on the ecstasy of a dance-filled life. It doesn’t have to be that way—and Simply Salsa was written to help you understand that.” --Kathi Macias, award-winning author of more than 30 books including the ’Extreme Devotion“ novels

“In an engaging and refreshingly creative style, Simply Salsa addresses the issue of how fear can paralyze women. Each insight unravels the lies behind our fears. With the author’s own life journey and the experiences of other women, Simply Salsa is a guide to finding hope to overcome any fear. Like talking to a close friend about deep issues, this book is delightfully powerful!” --Nancy Wilson, author, speaker, Global Ambassador for Campus Crusade for Christ/Story Runners

“Next to my quiet time with the Lord, Janet Perez Eckles book Simply Salsa was the highlight of my day. Janet’s love for God, people, and life is vibrant and contagious. She writes with humor and transparency, and her passion is to help the reader move from tragedy to triumph. Janet doesn’t write platitudes from an ivory tower. She writes from her own trauma of losing her eye sight at age 31 and losing her son. She has woven in the stories of other women to help the reader understand the relevance of God’s Word. Janet sprinkles her chapters with words in Spanish which reflect her knowledge and appreciation of her Hispanic background. She follows the words with their English equivalent and includes a glossary at the end of the book. For an uplifting book that bubbles over with hope, humor, and honesty, I highly recommend Simply Salsa.” --Yvonne Ortega, author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer

About the Author

Bolivian immigrant Janet Perez Eckles will be the last woman you would expect to dance for joy. She lost her eyesight at age 32, suffered financial devastation, endured infidelity, and faced the incomprehensible anguish of her nineteen-year old son’s murder and the acquittal of the man responsible. Yet with God’s grace, Janet has learned to dance. Her healing journey has enriched her ability to minister to others as a teacher, group leader, writer, and public speaker.
Janet is the author of Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow: Overcoming Adversities in Life, and has contributed to more than 20 books, including the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and Guideposts. Her experiences have been shared in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Hispanic Times, The St. Louis Post Dispatch, El Nuevo Dia, and The Orlando Sentinel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Judson Pr; 7.2.2011 edition edition (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817017011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817017019
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My suitcase was overflowing with summer outfits and matching swimwear as I did my best to make room for Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God's Fiesta. Would I really take the time to read this book while on vacation? After all, my objective was to gaze out at the deep blue sea,take long walks on the soft white sand and soak up Caribbean paradise. I opened the book, turned off my cell phone and found an even better paradise. The words soothed and settled me in my lounge chair for two straight days. It's the best read of 2011.
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Format: Paperback
Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God's FiestaCaution: at first glance, the title of this book appears misleading. Simply Salsa sounds like the author, Janet Perez Eckles, is sharing tips and recipes for hosting a Cinco de Mayo party. Then you move on to the subtitle. Dancing and God's Fiesta take these hints to a cosmic level. But wait a minute; what about the phrase, Without Fear? That changes the tone completely. So you go back and read the title in its entirety. "Simply Salsa: Dancing without Fear at God's Fiesta." By now, you're intrigued and maybe a little defensive. She's probably never faced what I've faced, you think, yet she's encouraging people to dance without fear?

Really? What have you faced? A challenging childhood? Janet Eckles was born in Bolivia and immigrated to the United States when she was a young child. Without knowing a person in this country and not one word of English, her family had to begin again with nothing.

Financial? The company her husband worked for went under, leaving him and two other men financially responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Physical challenges? At 31, Eckles went blind.

Relational problems? Shortly after going blind, her husband announced he wanted to leave her for another woman.

Tragedies? When her son was 19 years old, he was murdered and the man who killed him would later be acquitted.

Any one of these would be a mountainous burden to bear; but all of them? Now, maybe you're facing other situations, but it's obvious that Janet Perez Eckles is in a position to speak from on overcoming life's challenges?

"Simply Salsa" is an amazing book.
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Janet Eckles lost her eyesight at thirty, became the victim of an unfaithful husband, and endured the horrendous murder of her precious 19-year-old son. Who could endure all of that and not be bitter, angry, and hopeless? How could a loving God allow this to happen?

In "Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God's Fiesta," Janet Eckles shares her very personal story and tackles these probing questions--and many more that we have all asked when going through unimaginable crises. With Biblical insight, rare sensitivity, appropriate humor and Latino wit, "Simply Salsa: Dancing Without Fear at God's Fiesta" will help you to know God's perfect love in the quagmire of tragic circumstances.

Some of my favorite quotes included:

"But amigas, joy has nothing to do with a trouble-free life. Joy has everything to do with the absence of fear."

"In all areas of life, unfairness abounds. And justice may be blind. But injustice allows us to discover the beauty of forgiveness."

"No amount of fear can increase our bank accounts, and no amount of losses can decrease God's provision."

"Those bumps aren't all bad. If they jostle us, that means we're moving ahead. And we're not broken down on the side of the road of grief."

"And with the same strength we use to remove the cheese stuck at the bottom of the tamale casserole, we must scrape away the "loves" that give us a false sense of purpose and satisfaction."

Are you a woman who longs for a deeper relationship with God? Are you a desperate wife who has been spurned, suffering in silence, or groping through the nightmare of abandonment? Are you reeling from the bruises of broken dreams, shattered goals, financial ruin, or strained family relationships?
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Format: Paperback
How do you respond when tragedy strikes - you lost your job, your home, a child, or your health? Some commit suicide. Some transform into cynics and lose all zest for life. Others, after a time of realistic grieving, rethink life and still find time to dance. Such a person is Janet Eckles.

In Simply Salsa, Janet walks us through the thought process that gave her hope, purpose and peace after tribulations of a variety and intensity that few face, including the loss of her eyesight, the infidelity of her husband, financial disaster, and the murder of her child. As I read, I find not only wisdom, but the hope that "If Janet can keep playing the game of life with the hand she's been dealt, then there's hope for me." Having lost my wife to breast cancer in her 30's, leaving me with four young boys to raise on my own, I understand a bit about loss and grief, and identify with Janet's struggles and solutions.

Some who deal with profound disappointments need to struggle deeply on a philosophical or theological level. They may appreciate the works of C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain) or Philip Yancey (Where is God When It Hurts?). But others prefer answers offered through a more personal approach, from someone who's willing to share her inner struggles and the rethinking of life that helped her emerge from the ruins to find a life of hope and joy. For the latter, Janet's experiences can start the healing process.

In one section, Janet observes that answers to life's problems often require waiting. How we handle that waiting can make all the difference. As she puts it,

"There are two groups of people. One group exudes peace even in difficult circumstances. The other group includes the folks who go into hysterics over small things like a long line at the post office.
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