TitleThe Simple Touch of Fate: Real People; Real Stories.


Brenda Warneka & Arlene Uslander

About the AuthorsArlene Uslander is an author of 14 books, an award winning journalist, and a professional editor.

Brenda Warneka, is an attorney who writes on legal topics, as well as travel and human interest articles.

GenreInspirational anthology
Number of Pages194
Purchase InfoAmazon.com and other online bookstores or directly from publisher: iUniverse: 800-288-4677; International: 001-402-323-7800.

This is a fascinating collection of true inspirational stories revealing compassion, mystery, humor and warmth, written by people from all over the world, in various walks of life as they tell about their personal brushes with FATE. A computer engineer experiences the touch of the unknown as he learns that the plane he was scheduled to be on has crashed into the World Trade Center. A father and daughter trying to escape from war-torn Egypt, lose something very precious, but find it in such an incredible way that they are sure Fate has favored them. A woman from India relates the strange way in which she is given a Ganesha God statue that has been blessed by a revered Swami. The stories evoke the texture of life in an elegant yet gentle mosaic that confirms the unseen hand of Fate touching all our lives. This book is about all different kinds of Fate. The common thread is that each story raises the question: “Was that just a coincidence—or was it meant to be?”

Review by Jennifer Brown Bookpleasures.com

Fate (fāt) n. 1. the power or agency supposed to determine the outcome of events before they occur; destiny 2. a) something inevitable, supposedly determined by the power b) what happens or has happened to a person or entity; lot; fortune

That is Webster’s New World College Dictionary Fourth Edition’s rather clinical definition of fate. It is something inevitable, unavoidable, certain. But to the real people behind the stories in Arlene Uslander’s and Brenda Warneka’s book, THE SIMPLE TOUCH OF FATE, fate has a different definition.

Says Thomas Wilson, “…when people are touched by the hand of fate, they know it” (p. 1). And, indeed, the contributors to Uslander’s and Warneka’s book knew that fate had played a hand in their lives…a play that would change direction of their lives forever.

For some, fate meant a feeling or obstacle that held them out of disaster’s way. For those, fate kept them from taking a route that would have meant their demise. For others, fate found them uncertain at a crucial decision-making time in their lives and directed them to a clear path. For still others, fate meant comfort at a time of loss, or a chance meeting that resulted in a reunion never thought possible. Fate, as the stories show, can take so many forms.

Take, for example, an ill mother who speaks just one word before dying – and a daughter who hears it at a time she desperately needs to. Or a drowning child suddenly given one last thrust of energy that saves her life. Or a “spirit board” pounding out a life-saving message to a little girl. These are just some of the stories found in THE SIMPLE TOUCH OF FATE.

The stories in Uslander’s and Warneka’s book are quite varied, contributed by people from all walks of life. A great deal of them revolve around avoiding tragedy, the kind of stories that make one wonder if there is something more “out there”. But a few of the stories are the strange, no explanation, goosebumps-creating tales that defy even the staunchest doubter.

It is impossible to put down this book without feeling a glimmer of inspiration and a reason to explore your own faith in whom exactly is the director of our lives. Painstakingly chosen and carefully edited, the stories in THE SIMPLE TOUCH OF FATE are just a scratch on the surface of what wonderment may exist in this world. It is my prediction that Uslander and Warneka are onto something glorious with this endeavor – something that will turn into volumes upon volumes of people reaching out with their incredible tales – perhaps in doing so, extending their own hands of fate.

Copyright© Jennifer Brown Bookpleasures.com

Review by Catherine Pulsifer Inspirational website: http://www.wow4u.com

When I was younger, things happened in my life that made me wonder if they were a coincidence or was it fate? And now, as the years have passed, I strongly believe in fate - everything happens for a reason.

At times, we don’t see the reason that something happens, but it is there. Often, things that happen appear to be negative, but if you look for the positive, you will find it. Sometimes, you don’t see it for months or even years, but there is a positive associated with every negative.

The Simple Touch of Fate contains wonderful stories of people and how fate touched their lives. Many times, it initially appeared to be a negative situation but the outcome turned positive, sometimes many years later. As I read The Simple Touch of Fate, it reinforced my beliefs in fate – everything happens for a reason.

The stories in the book will make you laugh, some will make you cry and others will inspire and motivate you. Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka have done a great job in collecting stories of fate. If you’ve ever doubted that fate is part of our lives, then you’ll want to read this book!

We highly recommend “The Simple Touch of Fate.”

Review by Lanie Shanzyra P. Rebancos Reviewer for The Readers’ and Writers’ Network

Heartwarming and inspirational

Ms. Uslander and Ms. Warneka compiled different wonderful stories on how fate had changed every characters’ lives. Like the story of "The Amazing Tablecloth," it simply showed that when God worked His miraculous ways, everything is possible no matter when, how, or where, and in the end, people will still meet again somehow. In the tear-jerking story of "Mother’s Voice," I could relate somehow for it reminded me of my friend’s mom who passed away last year, and as well as the story of "The Seat in the Window." This particular story of fate really brought many memories of my second child. He came into this world too early for his time; I had a miscarriage when I was four months pregnant.

"Finding Daniel Joseph," "The Sapphire Ring," and "The Fate of Aspirin" were the stories that really tickled my senses. To have found true love and happiness in different times and places were truly a very romantic surprise.

Ms. Uslander and Ms. Warneka’s anthology will surely touch your heart. Each story will open the windows of your soul with just one simple touch of fate.


Review by Judy Bridges, Columnist for The Stump Literary Magazine, May, 2005.

The Simple Touch of Fate is a winner! I fell in love with this book. It really is reality in a new light. People look at their own lives a little differently after reading this. It gives hope and inspiration a new twist. From Desert Storm to 9-11 and beyond, you will read real life drama at its best.

Review by Midwest Book Review, March 8, 2004

Collaboratively compiled and edited by Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka, The Simple Touch of Fate is an impressive anthology of true stories revealing inexplicable connections, coincidences, and revelations of the right time and place which have changed people's lives forever. A revealing collection, The Simple Touch of Fate showcases events that will inspire even the most dogged believer in blind chance to wonder "was this meant to be?"

Review by Heather Froeschl, Book Review.com, February 2005.

Fate means different things to different people, but in general it is described as a moment when our destinies are guided by something we cannot explain ­ a moment when things happen that seem coincidental, miraculous or simply amazing. In "The Simple Touch of Fate" the editors have compiled over 50 true stories of fated events. The collection will give readers a satisfying sampling of the variety of fate’s guidance in our lives.

Examples of chance events, from the reuniting of a husband and wife separated over years and oceans by the chance purchase of a tablecloth at a yard sale, to a woman's astounding luck at winning it big twice on the slot machines of Las Vegas on the same date a year apart, will amaze you and leave you wondering if these events are coincidences. Read on and discover that we all cross paths for a reason, we are all sometimes in the wrong place at the wrong time, but are also sometimes in the right place at the right time. How does it all equal out? Sometimes it doesn't. There are instances of devastating results of fate in this book, balanced by unbelievable tales of good fortune.

The editors share their own instances of the hand of fate and have compiled a unique collection that is sure to be appreciated by readers who have even a hint of appreciation for the unknown, the mystical and the fact of life that not everything can be explained.


Review by Tom Smith, Hollywood Film Producer, March 2004.Arlene Uslander and Brenda Warneka have assembled a great collection of fascinating and sometimes puzzling tales. One never knows what to expect when beginning a short story. “The Seat in the Window,” my favorite story, brought tears to my eyes.”
Review by J Carol Kirchner from Savannah, GA USA, January 2004What a great collection of stories! I'm still trying to figure out which one is my favorite! Each one of them is a unique and personal gift for the reader! I'm betting on a second edition!"
Sample Chapters or Preview

STORY for YOUR WEEK: “Some Kind of Miracle” By Arlene Uslander, from the book, The Simple Touch Of Fate.

"Everything comes gradually at its appointed hour" — Ovid.

My mother had been in a deep sleep for three days, taking in no food at all, and a minimum of forced liquid. A “Do Not Resuscitate” sign hung over her bed. Every time I looked at the sign, I shuddered. The finality of the words chilled me, even though the heat in her bedroom was way too high.

She was 88 years old and had reached the end of a long illness. She was still in her own apartment, but I had arranged for round-the-clock nursing care for her; I did not leave her side during those three days.

On the fourth morning, a Sunday, I called my husband and asked him to pick me up and drive me home (some forty minutes from my mother’s apartment) so that I could get clean clothes. I had been wearing the same pair of jeans and blouse for four days, having had no idea when I arrived that the end was so near.

As we drove home that Sunday, my husband and I decided that before we went back to my mother’s apartment, we would stop at the funeral home to make arrangements. The doctor had said that she would not last more than a few days at most, and the previous evening, the visiting nurse agreed with his prognosis. We felt it would be better to make the funeral arrangements while we were still relatively calm, rather than after the emotional trauma of death had set in.

I also wanted to stop at the grocery store so there would be some food in the refrigerator for the nurses and myself. Once at my house, I quickly showered and dressed, then threw a few clothes into a shopping bag. We got back into the car. Suddenly, I told my husband that I had changed my mind about stopping off at the funeral home. And I did not want to take time to buy groceries, either. Something inside me told me that we had to get back to my mother in a hurry—before it was too late.

I rang the bell in the lobby and the daytime nurse, Callie, buzzed me in. After the elevator ride up to the 22nd floor, I saw Callie at the end of the hall, a look of amazement on her face. “It’s some kind of miracle!” she exclaimed. “Your mother’s eyes are open!”

Hurrying into my mother’s bedroom, I was shocked to see that her eyes were open. She was propped up in the rented hospital bed, staring straight ahead. At first, I thought she was dead, and my heart started racing. But then she shifted her gaze and looked straight at me. She had a puzzled, questioning look on her face, as if to ask, “Where am I?” Or, perhaps, “Where am I going?” Then a grimace passed over her face—a grimace that I have replayed in my mind over and over again. Was it a grimace of physical pain? Of fear? Of sadness? I think by then, she felt no more pain, so it must have been a combination of fear and sadness—deep sadness at leaving, and fear of the unknown. She needed the comfort of being in my arms when she began her journey.

I held her frail body gently, and spoke to her softly, telling her how much I loved her. And then I could feel, and see, that she was gone. I asked Callie how long my mother’s eyes had been open before I arrived.

“Only a few minutes,” she said. “When I heard you ring the bell downstairs, I said to your mother, ‘There’s your daughter. Now you just hold on there. Don’t you die before she gets here.’ And she did hold on. She waited for you.”

Thinking about the fact that something told me not to stop for anything on the way back to my mother’s apartment, but to hurry as fast as I could; thinking about the fact that my mother opened her eyes when I rang the bell, and kept them open until I got there, so that I was able to say goodbye to her, I suspect that Callie was right. It was some kind of miracle. It was the Hand of Fate.

Author Contact InformationAuthor’s contact details: Arlene Uslander: phone, 847-729-7757; e-mail: auslander@theramp.net