Open With Love
A story for women who want more from their lives, but don’t have the freedom (or the money) to run away to Italy, India, or Indonesia to get it!
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Article: Open With Love in the Ojai Valley News!
Reviews: read what people are saying about Open With Love.
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Author uses personal story, creativity to form hybrid self-help novel
In her book, “Open with Love” (ISBN 1453733663), Roberta Raye explores what happens when an emotionally flat-lining single mother begins receiving letters containing mysterious instructions which hold the key to her personal resurrection, but will completely disrupt her life.
Grace Nash is a recently divorced mother of two who is too exhausted to even to imagine a life of anything but drudgery and desperation. Her life is unknowingly about to change after she is mesmerized by a fascinating, vibrant old woman striding down the Venice Beach boardwalk. Grace follows the woman into a dingy café, and listens as the woman tells Grace of the exotic places she has seen and of her next stop, Africa. When the woman asks what’s missing in Grace’s life, Grace timidly admits her own desire to be more like the old woman, more alive, more passionate. Embarrassed by her disclosure, she rushes out of the café. Grace begins to receive letters postmarked from all the destinations of the woman’s travels. The letters are full of mystical and practical instructions, which at first are infuriating, but soon become a path for Grace to follow that forces her to face her fears, loneliness and negative judgments.
Hesitant at first, Grace begins following the instructions and finds herself opening up, enjoying her life more, having more fun with her kids, but when a promising new relationship ends, everything crashes down, and her old habits to sneak back in. She reaches out to the old woman by sending a postcard with a single word: help. The next letter forces Grace to finally choose whether she will stay stuck inside the narrow world she has created for herself, or break free and invent a life which suits her. For the first time in her life Grace skips a day of work and makes her way back to the boardwalk, where she is finally able to fully embrace the new life she is beginning to see is possible for her.
Merilee Eaton, local artist, had to say:
“ I started it last night… cancelled everything I had planned for the day and finished it this afternoon. I need to carry it around for a few weeks, (months ?) for all the gems. I cried twice – bigtime … and I am giving it to everyone can think of . Do I need to tell you I loved it ? YES I LOVED IT ! thank you for something I want to read again!”
Raye understands the difficulty of balancing the demands of working and raising children with the need to be fully self-expressed. She has spent her life exploring and teaching creativity in various forms and wanted to share what she has learned in a way that other women could relate to and enjoy.
“Open with Love” is now available for sale at Made in Ojai in Ojai, California and coming soon at Amazon.com and other fine bookstores.
The author, Roberta Raye is a mother, an actor, an artist and an entrepreneur. She taught has taught art, acting and improv to students in Seattle and Los Angeles. In the 80’s, Raye founded an improv company that used theater to reach at-risk youth and teen mothers in Washington state. She also presented a variety of workshops to youth and adults on Indian reservations throughout the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada. Raye is the co-founder of Ojai WordFest, and is the owner and founder of Made in Ojai- Artisans and Mercantile, an award-winning artists’ collective and gift shop.
She is also the proud owner of Fluffy, the bearded dragon, pictured here.