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"Embraced by the Light," Betty Eadie's book about her near-death experience, was a wonder - a book that leapt from nowhere onto the New York Times best-seller list and lodged there for months.

Utah's Gold Leaf Press did the first edition. Chances are there'll never be a last edition. But now there is something of a sequel: "The Awakening Heart" (Pocket Books; 235 pages; $20) features Eadie's more down-to-earth experiences.If "Embraced by the Light" was a book about dying, seeing the afterlife and returning to earth, "Heart" is a book about day-to-day living. And though it's subtitled "My Continuing Journey to Love," the book actually plays heavily on the events surrounding the writing, publication and promotion of "Embraced by the Light." It tells of the challenges the author has weathered.

And one of her biggest challenges has been discrediting all the gossip.

No, she has no plans to start her own church.

Yes, she is involved with healing these days.

And, yes, she still relies on her LDS faith.

"Some of the gossip has been hurtful," she told the Deseret News. "Contrary to what people have heard, I have not been excommunicated by the LDS Church. In fact, I haven't been approached by any LDS authority. I keep quiet about my faith because I don't want to hurt people in the church. The doctors and the hospital in Salt Lake City have been under pressure, for instance, ever since `Embraced by the Light' was published."

Currently "Embraced" has been translated into 27 languages and can be purchased in 37 countries. After a few more years of traveling within the United States, Eadie hopes to branch out and visit other nations.

"I have many invitations," she says.

Does her amazing popularity as a spiritual guru mean she must deal with an array of fanatics and charlatans?

"I've been lucky in that regard," she says. "In my new book I talk about this power of discernment I seem to have. It doesn't always work; but for the most part I know what kind of people I'm talking to."

It's doubtful "The Awakening Heart" will soar like "Embraced by the Light," although it has breached the Times' top 10. The new book is more memoir and personal history than visionary. And it has the feel of volume that's intent on piggy-backing on the fame of the first book. In fact, there's a chance Betty Eadie's place in history will be tied to just one volume. And, for the author, that's fine.

"My life is tied to one experience," she says. "The time I was embraced by the light. The rest of my life comes from that."

- ON TUESDAY, Aug. 13, Eadie will be at Wal-Mart, 1300 E. 7000 South, from 4 to 4:30 p.m. On Wednesday, Aug. 14, she visits Media Play, 5546 S. Redwood Road, from 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. Then on Thursday, Aug. 15, she will be at Media Play in Orem, 7-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16 will take her to Barnes & Noble in Bountiful, 5-6 p.m., and on Saturday, Aug. 17, from noon to 1 p.m., she will be at Waldenbooks in the Crossroads Plaza.