As the dog days of August emerge, one of my favorite activities is to head outside, find some shade, and pick up a good book to dive into for an afternoon. For most of us, there are plenty of books on the shelf that we had once promised to make time for. For others, there may be enough room to pick up a new book and ignite the spark of interest by giving our phones a rest and start reading again.
Whether you are looking for inspiration through poetry, intrigued about the theater, or are looking to curl up with your little ones to read a wholesome story: books are the gift that keeps on giving! In this post, I’d like to share with you three of my books that I believe would make enjoyable entertainment, while we still have some time to kick back and relax.
If you have kids in school, reading is typically a summer requirement. It can be difficult to carve out quiet time with vacation-mode in full swing. Once we do find these moments of respite, the sense of accomplishment for finishing or starting a book is worthwhile, especially for young children. My kids are now at an age where they are developing, enriching, and honing their reading skills. In preparation for this exciting part of their educational journey, I have been working on an illustrated children’s book that I am excited to share with you and your family as well.
Gypsy to the Rescue (2021)
Gypsy to the Rescue is my third published work and my first children’s book. Beautifully illustrated by Lorraine Dey, this story is about a small German Shepard pup as she embarks on her journey to find a forever home. After a series of failed adoptions, she escapes to the working waterfront of the Florida Keys. When she meets a kind fisherman named Charlie, Gypsy starts to feel trust for the first time. But when a robbery threatens Charlie’s family business, Gypsy must help uncover the thief and protect her new friend.
This heartwarming tale of courage and friendship, navigates feelings of loneliness, fear, and trust. My intentions for writing this story are near and dear to my heart. The main character of Gypsy is named after a dog that I rescued from a shelter in Florida.
Poetry can be the perfect escape for those of us who have less time to focus on a full-length novel. When I write and read poetry, I find myself lost in the depth of subtle words that echo in my mind throughout the day. Captured combines two of my favorite art forms: poetry and photography.
I write poetry to express my feelings, and when I put them into words, they are used as a tool for healing. Poetry helps me to achieve an immersed understanding of all that surrounds me. Photography is my window to the world. By combining these two elements, this book shares my internal and external voice. My hope is that readers can resonate with the various themes of this collection that embraces nature, relationships, self-reflection, and captures the power of the human experience.
Before the Curtain Goes Up (2019)
There is such beauty in being able to witness a live performance, especially in one’s own town or in a nearby local theater. During this time where it is still questionable to trek into a big city and performances are just beginning to reconvene, my book Before the Curtain Goes Up could be a socially distant way to fall in love of theater once again.
The inspiration behind the book came from my experience as an actor. The glamour that is seen on stage is a result of what is developed behind the scenes. My hope with this book is for the audience to see how that magic is developed and get a sense of what life is like behind the curtain, through this photographic and historic journey into theatres along the east coast.
Combined with information about each theatre, I attempt to shine a light on the intimacy and comradery between the actors. I use photography as a glimpse into how much work goes into rehearsals, preparation, and how makeup and costumes can transform people into characters. I find prep work and process fascinating, which is why for this book I focused on what happens before steps are taken onto the stage. My intention was to celebrate and embolden readers to continue enriching the traditions embodied by local theatres.
This book is for all ages and could be the perfect gift for any theater enthusiast. Click here to read the Kirkus review written about the book. Before the Curtain Goes Up can be purchased online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I hope that this post has been an encouragement to reintroduce yourself to the simple pleasure of reading. Whether you are sitting by the beach, escaping to your tub for a relaxing bath, or cheering on your little one’s as they begin their literary journey, there is a story for everyone. As a writer, I can only hope that by sharing my books with you they could brighten your day and possibly inspire you in the process.
Do you have any book recommendations that you believe would inspire others? I would love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave your comments below.
Thanks for reading,