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By: Patricia Ann Chaffee

Denise Gadreau

Denise Gadreau is an author, artist and photographer whose work speaks to the heart and soul. The most recent of her eight books is Guided Visualizations for a Stress Free Day. It is a companion guide for those needing a five minute reprieve from their day to day stresses, or those trying to get through a challenging time in life. Through her thought provoking words and inspiring images, her book calls the reader to relax, unwind and begin anew.

Gadreau grew up in Dayville, Connecticut and pursued a bachelor of arts in Education at Eastern Connecticut State University with the intention of teaching art. She enjoyed sharing her love of painting with children,teaching in various early childhood education programs throughout the Brooklyn and Willimantic areas for 20 years. Though she loved children, work took then her in another direction. She worked at the career transitions center at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson and later for the Northeastern Connecticut Council of Governments, until her grant funded position ended. She moved to Florida in 1998 to be with a love interest, and worked at the University of Central Florida Daytona Beach. While down south, she started questioning life.

She became a voracious reader, checking books out of the library on religion, spirituality, near death experiences, and other similar topics, and in 2009 she wrote Crystal Meditations, her first book.

“I’ve always been interested in rocks” says Gadreau who had studied geology in college. “I found myself answering questions about life through a blog, and a friend said I should write a book.” So she did. Then she wrote others that were reflections on spirit and nature. “I saw the beauty of the world and realized how we are one.”

Her love of hiking led her to discoveries about life, as she spent time in the natural world, her camera by her side. Between 2009 and 2013 she compiled 8 books that reflect her gifts as a writer and photographer, including one novel that can best be described as a time travel mystery adventure. Her others, like Guided Visualizations for a Stress Free Day lean toward inspirational non-fiction, where she can share her ongoing journey to developing her unique perspective on life.

She publishes through the self- publishing platform of Amazon.com, called CreateSpace and has been happy with the results. “They make it easy for someone wanting to self-publish, and distribution through Ingram makes it available through any bookstore including Amazon.com.”

Guided VisualizationsIn 2010, Gadreau returned to Connecticut where her hiking has allowed continued exploration of numererous state parks and natural treasures over the next three years.

“I had an awareness of nature when I was younger but I became increasingly awakened and more attuned while in Florida. It helped me to understand the divine essence of God,” says Gadreau who considers herself spiritual rather than religious. “I wanted to visit places I’d gone as a child and some places people just told me about. I took pictures wherever I went, mostly in the spring, summer and fall.”

Guided Visualizations for a Stress Free Day has more than 90 full color images, almost all of which were taken in Connecticut with just a few from Rhode Island. This pictorial invitation to some of Connecticut’s most pristine locations, invites the reader into a journey of discovery of nature while the reflections invite settling into one’s self. It is at once, an inward and outward journey. Gadreau writes, “An “ahhhhhh” moment! You have to have one at least once a week!”

Using a Canon digital Powershot SD 600 with a zoom lens, she finds her own “ah haaa” moments. It is not uncommon for her to take 700 photos during one hike. She estimates that out of 100 photographs, perhaps 20 might be good. Her love of photography is likely to have come from her mother, Lorette Gadreau, who was an award winning professional photographer in her day. She suspects she’s learned a little bit from her mom. Her gift of writing comes from a lifelong passion for the written word that began when she was about 10 years old and wrote her first short story. It was a “weird space story.” She is currently working on a sequel to her novel, The Epic Catalog, as well as other inspirational books that will feature her photography.

“I don’t know why I do it. I love all people. I hope to help people see the beauty of the world through my pictures and de-stress. I ask myself, how can I help them feel better about themselves and relax? When we do a kind act for someone it makes the world a better place. I’m looking to make a difference in the world, not to make me a bigger person. But through doing something that helps others, I feel better too.”

Her final invitation in the book is filled with wisdom.
“There are no words, just to be…”

To order Guided Visualizations for a Stress Free Day visit www.Amazon.com or email Denise

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