Thanks to guest blogger, Robert Steven Goldstein, for this insightful review:
Breathe is a charming novel that deftly intermingles the genres of romance and spiritual fiction, creating a riveting tale that engages the reader powerfully on both fronts. The novel tells the story of Alex, a young woman who believes she has married her perfect mate, but then faces the sad reality of his leaving her just six months later. Alex is thrown into a journey of self-discovery that begins with bitterness and self-pity but evolves into something much more profound.
Alex’s quest to find love is, in reality, an internal struggle to discover her true self. Yoga becomes her portal to that adventure. Alex’s initial encounters with Yoga, its teachers, classes, and social rituals, are set in the San Francisco Bay Area, and are portrayed with a wit and verbal precision that renders them a joy to read. Yet these exploits remain instructive as well. The irony that Alex’s husband left her for a statuesque Yoga instructor just adds to the richness of the story.
An especially inspiring aspect of the tale, for me, was its exploration of the relationship between delving into one’s own spirituality and living one’s day-to-day life. It evoked, for me, the concept of synchronicity, a termed coined by psychologist C.G. Jung, to describe events that have a meaningful yet seemingly non-causal relationship. I think of synchronicity as being to cause-and-effect what intuition is to rational decision-making. Although “Breathe” never becomes didactic or sanctimonious, it was clear to me that Alex’s discovery of her spiritual self enabled her to interact with people and deal with life’s circumstances in a much more graceful manner. As Alex becomes more in touch with her spirit, she somehow taps into that mysterious sensibility that enables events to go your way, often to your own surprise.
ROBERT: What inspired you to write the book?
We knew we wanted to write a romantic comedy with yoga as the backdrop. As three writers/friends, we talked often about our aspirations and creative pursuits. At some point, we realized we had a collective story to tell. We began to meet at coffee shops in the early morning and late in the evening, as we had jobs and kids that filled daytime hours. We shared observations of transformation in ourselves and our students. We shared our love stories and our heartbreaks, uncovering common threads. Breathe took shape one chapter a time, one cup of coffee at a time.
ROBERT: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?
A peaceful, fun, positive and joyful experience!
ROBERT: Your book was so beautifully written; how do three authors collaborate to create such a seamless work?
While crafting the story, each of us naturally fell into roles that were best suited to our writing styles and skills. The process was much like building a house or designing a garment. The plot or story line had to be solid before we could focus on character development, dialogue, the love story and so on. And then, of course, there was the finished work, the editing and revising, which takes ten times longer than the actual writing of the book. We flowed in and out of roles, sometimes the visionary, sometimes the grammar geek, sometimes the task–master, sometimes the muse. We maintained the utmost respect for each other and learned much about humility.
ROBERT: Did your practice of Yoga and your own spirituality influence the writing process?
The process was in essence, a culmination of what we have learned through yoga thus far. Trust, be open, quiet the ego, love and believe in abundance.
ROBERT: Any advice for others who feel they have inspiration to share?
Helen Keller’s quote, sums it up. “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.“ We hope other women will be inspired to co-create as we have.
Breathe is available in Kindle and Audio editions on Amazon.com.
Reviewer Robert Steven Goldstein is also an author and Yogi living in the San Francisco Bay area. His novel, The Swami Deheftner, explores the themes of Yoga, spirituality, vegetarianism, animal intelligence, mystical transcendence, Houdini, magic, and escape from bondage. Read more about him at http://www.theswamideheftner.com.
Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
P.S. Give the gift of reading this holiday season. Check out the catalog of discounted Indie Books for sale on “Read Tuesday,” December 10th, at http://readtuesday.com/book-catalog/.