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Chocolate for a Woman's Heart and Soul: Stories of Love, Courage and Compassion to Nourish Your Spirit and Sweeten Your Dreams

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Combines the complete versions of Chocolate for a Womans Heart & Chocolate for a Womans Soul in one delectable volume. Here are more than 150 chocolate stories — real-life tales of inspiration written by & for women that celebrate the richness of life. Inside youll find a soul-satisfying variety of treats — unforgettable stories about marriage, friendship, work, motherhood, spirituality, courage, passion, & dozens of other topics, all written from a uniquely female perspective. Contributors to the ...
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Overview

Combines the complete versions of Chocolate for a Womans Heart & Chocolate for a Womans Soul in one delectable volume. Here are more than 150 chocolate stories — real-life tales of inspiration written by & for women that celebrate the richness of life. Inside youll find a soul-satisfying variety of treats — unforgettable stories about marriage, friendship, work, motherhood, spirituality, courage, passion, & dozens of other topics, all written from a uniquely female perspective. Contributors to the book include best-selling authors, motivational speakers, newspaper columnists, radio hosts, spiritual leaders, psychotherapists, businesswomen, & many others.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684857855
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 10/6/1998
  • Pages: 512
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 1.48 (d)

First Chapter

"A Wise Man, a Mentor, or an Angel?" from Chocolate for a Woman's Heart,Section I: Divine Intervention

My hands rushed to my face, and I sobbed with joy. After five attempts, I had finally won the title of Miss Hawaii. Flashbulbs flickered like little lightning bolts, congratulations echoed from the crowd. After the festivities had wound down, I headed to my dressing room, alone. I saw him then. A man in his forties with a quiet, kind face, dressed in bland colors and smoking a pipe. He was portly, with gentle brown eyes framed by eyeglasses and wispy hair combed straight back. The aroma of his cherry pipe tobacco was instantly comforting.

"Congratulations! You deserved to win," he said.

How did he know that? "Who are you?"

"My name is George." His smile disappeared, and his eyes turned serious. "We need to talk, Donna. Ten o'clock tomorrow at the coffee shop."

I was tempted to laugh at first, but my curiosity won out. He wasn't menacing, just sure of himself. I nodded yes.

"I sensed your hesitation, and I do intend to justify my actions by passing on a message to you."

"OK -- let's hear it."

"To fulfill your destiny, Donna, you must leave the Hawaiian Islands next year."

This time I couldn't help laughing. "I love it here."

George sighed. "All right, then, you leave me no choice but to predict three incidents that will occur before we have breakfast tomorrow."

Now what? I thought, and opened my mouth to speak, but George put up his hand.

"Your car will be towed, your kitchen's leaky pipes will burst, and the noiseless third step in your apartment will begin to creak."

By the next morning, everything George predicted had happened. My car wouldn't start, my roommate was in tears because the kitchen pipes were leaking badly, and as I climbed the stairs to my room, I heard a creaking sound, which came from the third step. Over breakfast, I asked how he knew so much about me.

I thought I detected a squint in one eye as he smiled. "We rarely listen to our intuition -- our inner voice that tells us what to do. For instance, I know I'm supposed to be in your life, to watch over you and be around when you need me. You must now search for your own truth."

And search I did. I went on to compete in the Miss USA pageant in Miami and lost. The next year I moved to Los Angeles, and I struggled for seven years to become an actress. Meanwhile, George and I talked frequently on the phone or met when he came to L.A. Trying to stay thin and beautiful, I became bulimic and hooked on diet pills. I was alone and miserable, and contemplating suicide, when the phone rang, It was George. He said, "You've got a lot of work to do. Don't you dare think about checking out."

"How did you know?" I asked, dumbfounded.

"I'm leaving Oklahoma. I'll be in L.A. this afternoon, and then we'll talk."

That day, George convinced me to believe in myself again. "Your life will change at thirty. Hang in there for a few more years."

Age thirty sailed in, and I still wanted off this earth. I had hit rock bottom -- emotionally, financially, spiritually, and mentally. On March 1, 1978, I boarded a DC-10 from Los Angeles to Hawaii, to emcee a Miss Hawaii pageant. The plane exploded on takeoff, and I was the last to escape the rear section of the flaming aircraft. Transported to a medical triage, I asked where the nearest phone was. This time I called George.

He said, "It has changed, Donna. You can finally see the big picture. It's time to get out of your own way -- time to help others."

I didn't understand completely, but I ended up waiving my right to sue the airline and became an envoy for the dead and burned passengers. I fought for better safety regulations and was grilled in court for hours by the big guns representing the airline. After it was over, I stepped down from the witness stand, drained and again alone. When I reached the courthouse parking lot, George was leaning against my car, smoking his pipe.

"I just got to town," he said. "Let's get an ice cream and walk on the sand."

Watching the sun set over Santa Monica Beach, I babbled countless questions and George patiently answered every one. I felt restored by his philosophy, insight, and truth.

"Understand," he said, "we all have fears, but our destiny is to conquer them." I knew at that moment that I would go on to teach survival skills.

"George, please tell me," I begged, "will I marry, have children, and be happy?"

He looked out over the sea and spoke in measured words. "You'll have a daughter late in life, and oh, yeah, she'll be a pistol. She'll have your energy and will be a leader. The bonding between you and your daughter will be miraculous." A smile fit up his face. "And, Donna, she'll come to you."

"What exactly do you mean by that?" I asked.

"The truth is inside you. Trust yourself. Pursue your destiny with power."

It was later that I learned I was not destined to give birth. I put in for an adoption, only to be overlooked by the birth mothers year after year. I worried that single moms over forty were not on their agenda.

George passed away suddenly, from cancer. I was devastated. I never got to say good-bye. The last time I spoke to him, George had said, "Your daughter is coming -- and I'll be there."

Three more years passed before I got a call from Las Vegas. My prayers had been answered. I was ecstatic. A birth mother and father chose me. I had six short weeks to deal with the mounds of paperwork required for the adoption.

I named my baby Mariah. Seventy-two hours after her birth, the final papers were ready to sign. The birth mother was pushing Mariah in her bassinet down the brightly lit hospital corridor, and she said indignantly, "I smell pipe smoke. Can you imagine that -- and in a baby nursery?" My heart flip-flopped and I was frozen to the spot as I watched her dart from room to room, searching for the offender. When she returned, she said, "That's odd -- there's no one here. I know I smelled cherry tobacco. Did you?"

Tears welled up in my eyes and streamed down my cheeks. "Yes."

"Donna, what's wrong?" she asked.

"I don't know if you believe in the spiritual world, but there was a man named George who was always there for me in my times of great need. He told me years ago, just before he died, I would have a daughter and he'd be here when that happened. George smoked cherry tobacco in his pipe."

My birth mother stared at me wide-eyed and said, "I chose you because I feel this child is going to become a leader and I can't give her what she needs, but you can."

She bent over the bassinet and lifted the baby up to me. I smiled down at Mariah and murmured to her, "What do you think, darling? Was George a wise man, a mentor, or an angel?"

Donna Hartley

Copyright © 1998 by Kay Allenbaugh

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