Thursday, November 3, 2011

Opening The Gates Of The Heart

Opening The Gates Of The Heart by Carolyn CJ Jones

About The Book:
Composed of 42 photographs of wrought-iron gates and inspirational quotes about life, this book reflects author Carolyn CJ Jones' own healing journey in recovery from alcoholism. The book follows the journey through a 12 Step program. Beginning with great angst, including feelings of worthlessness and despair, the book quickly turns to self-awareness, enlightenment, growth and healing. Ways to treat each other and ourselves better and principles of living are explored. The reader is ultimately brought to the satisfying conclusion of joy and peace. In addition to the words of inspiration, Carolyn's lovely photographs make this book a work of art, suitable for display on a coffee table. This book makes an excellent gift for anyone. It is especially appreciated by those on a spiritual journey of discovery, as well as by those who are interested in emotional healing. Read in its entirety, Opening the Gates of the Heart is a pathway to peace. Read one verse at a time, it makes an excellent daily meditation book.

My Thoughts:
This book is just gorgeous. The pictures match the words perfectly. This book is for a journey of healing, whether from an addiction, or from some other grief. This book was lovely and it helped me heal just a tiny bit from the grief of losing my baby boy. The book helped me to see the good in things, instead of the not so good. This would be a great gift book for anyone who needs a little uplifting!

About The Author:
Growing up in various places on the East coast and then Ohio, Carolyn graduated from Kent State University School of Nursing in 1974. Shortly after graduation, she moved to Colorado, where she practiced nursing and photography for the next 22 years. During those 22 years, she discovered alcohol and drugs, which numbed long-standing feelings of low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, and deep despair. Rather than deal with the underlying issues that led to Carolyn's drinking and drugging, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1996 in order to live aboard a sailboat and to go cruising one day. She did live aboard for three years, at which point, she left her troubled marriage and the boat. Carolyn proceeded to enter the world of sobriety. During the early years as a sober woman, she renovated a van in which she traveled for the next three years. Passionate about photographing wrought-iron gates, Carolyn shot dozens of them while she traveled in her van, yielding hundreds of images. Forty-two of the photos have been paired with inspirational verses and quotes about life she has written that describe her journey of recovery. The photos and prose appear in her book Opening The Gate Of The Heart. In the 2011 contest with the Bay Area Independent Publishers Association, Carolyn's book was awarded the Best Fine Art Photography Book. Additionally, the book has won First Prize for Poetry, and two Honorable Mentions: one for Spirituality and one for Photography/Art. Also a photographer of colored light when it is shined through cut-glass, Carolyn has won awards for these magical and vibrant images. In addition, several have been published. Currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, Carolyn is in the process of promoting and distributing her book, as well as conducting signing events. She speaks to a variety of audiences about the unusual and inspiring origin of the book as it relates to her story of healing. More information about Carolyn and her book is available on her website at

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I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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