My Books

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My Latest Book:

Open Arms

On November 10, 1901, the Abruzzi family left their home in the ancient village of Linguaglossa Sicily, and boarded a steamship to America. Like many others, they were tormented by the grief of leaving their lives and their loved ones behind, while facing the uncertainty of what lay ahead. Unnoticed among the multitudes was six-year-old Lucio, a boy locked inside of his undemonstrative world. His mother, Catrina, recognized his aberrant behavior with a nagging suspicion that something wasn’t quite right. Her life became even more distressing while witnessing her husband Fortunato’s constant displays of disdain and cruelty toward Lucio— a son that he looked upon as a disgrace to the family and therefore unworthy of his love….

Open Arms will keep you reading. The book has several themes which will resonate with different readers. We read with a strong narrative about an immigrant family leaving behind their lives and loved ones to come to America in 1901 and their resettlement in a country that is not always welcoming. The story also portrays with painful reality the cruelty of a father toward his young son locked in his own world, while his wife stands helplessly by. And finally, we see the growing relationship between a stern teacher who softens and comes to love that mysterious boy. Open Arms gives us much to think about.
I love to read about people who pack up their lives and leave their loved ones and homeland behind to seek better opportunities in a new county. Open Arms tells that story. It was interesting to follow the Abruzzi’s next transition from big city tenement living to a rural life. But the real story for me is about Lucio, the young son who dwells within himself and doesn’t communicate like others. Viewing him through today’s lens we see an autistic child. But imagine how much more disconcerting his behaviors must have been a century ago. This heartfelt tale tracks how very differently the father, mother and teacher relate to Lucio. It keeps you thinking long after you finish reading.
Just finished reading Open Arms by Drake Gaetano. Another intriguing, educational, love-inspired read by a great author. Captivating from the very beginning. Your emotions soar in all directions. The message and understanding we all need stay with you and in your heart. Thank you for opening our eyes in Open Arms.
Open Arms was a very enjoyable tale of Italian immigrants coming to America in 1901 that needed to be told. Drake did just that! It was easy to understand and captured all of the difficulties facing the Abruzzi family from the ancient village of Linguaglossa Sicily. The story brought back memories of my relatives who immigrated from Austria around the same time with hopes of a better life in America. It also addresses the challenges of having a special needs child, lovingly named Lucio. His mother and father had to learn to cope with his disability at a time when children such as Lucio were considered a disgrace to the family, in particular his father Fortunato. His Mother Catrina chose instead, to love him and protect him from his father and anyone who might bring him harm. The characters are very believable and you can actually feel their frustrations until things began to look up when they encounter a young endearing one-room schoolhouse teacher by the name of Katlin who changes everything. It becomes a relationship between her and Lucio that will warm your heart forever. Drake’s work made me aware of the challenges the Abruzzi family faced together such a long time ago. Along with a strong and endearing cast of characters, it’s an easy read.

View my Previous Books

My Other Books:

Borrowed Angel

When her son is diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer, Elaine is determined to cherish the treasured remaining time they have together. But those years are filled with anxiety and trepidation as she watches his life slowly ebb away. During the last three months she spends with him in the Mayo Clinic, she discovers what she knew all along-that life is precious and can't be redeemed by assumptions, empty words, or promises, and if angels really do exist, they went unnoticed in room 420. Borrowed Angel will open your heart to the pain, suffering, and ultimately the healing of a mother who lost the one thing in life that she loved most. It is a story that will show that angels really do exist, that they can mend a broken heart, and despite what others may believe, that they are servants of a higher power.


You’ve probably never given any thought to what life might be like for a man living and working in a woman’s world. However, if you were to ask G. Edwin Crandall, you might be enlightened by what he has to say. He is what a man should be: idealistic, sensible, good humored, dashing, witty, sensual, genuine, and determined. He's not your ordinary man about town. Among other things, he’s an extraordinary hairstylist with an intriguing story to tell – and he’s not just talking shop. Through a succession of life's lessons, Edwin embraces his nurturing side early, discovering there’s more to life than just another pretty face. Enter his world and join him for le voyage de votre vie, where the story will unfold to uncover his rise to fame, close encounters, trouble in paradise, and his ultimate realization that women with great style don’t merely dazzle – they inspire and can rock your world.

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