Writer shares her secret to help others find purpose

Kerri Gardner says her own dark memories resurfaced after the suicide of her daughter’s classmate. It “ripped open feelings I had kept secret for 25 years being ashamed of my suicide attempt.

“I was also very angry. This anger led to frustration with how schools having cliques and bullying have not changed. I needed to help, to make a difference, and I knew in my heart I had to stop being ashamed of my attempted suicide and use my story … to help others.”

Her memoir, “Out of the Darkness Into the Light” (Spider Books Publishing), starts with the day she tried to take her own life. “It was hard because I had to relive everything I went through and realized I had suppressed some memories,” she said. “I cried a lot while writing this book.”

Gardner hopes her story inspires others to see past the temporary and find purpose for their lives.

“Once you realize your problems are only temporary, there is hope,” she said. “That hope will then enable you to start dreaming of a wonderful future.”

Gardner, who is also a motivational speaker, lives in Raleigh with her husband and three children.

New titles

“Sunset Over Java (CreateSpace) is the true story of author Jacobus E. de Vries, who grew up in what was the Dutch East Indies. During World War II, Japan dismantled much of the Dutch colonial state and de Vries and his family were held in Japanese prison camps on Java. Once freed, the family members who survived were forced to evacuate to the Netherlands, and in 1950 moved to the United States. De Vries, who lives in Pittsboro, overcame great odds and at 23 entered Harvard University.

Author Wayne Grant has published “The Broken Realm” (CreateSpace), the third in his Roland Inness series. In the continuation of the coming-of-age story, Roland has been knighted and sent to England with a message for Queen Eleanor. The book has enjoyed brisk sales in the United Kingdom since its release in December. Grant, whose bedtime stories for his sons evolved into the novels, lives in Raleigh. He is currently at work on the final book in the series.

First timer

William A. Frey, who has studied stress management for four decades, offers suggestions for handling stress in “Ease into Freedom” (Amazon). There is a tip for each week of the year (plus a bonus) to encourage overstressed Americans. Frey is an instructor of mindfulness-based stress reduction at the UNC School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

For children

“Ladybugs for Sale” (Tate Publishing), by Nikki Rogers, is the tale of a girl named Katie and her resolve to achieve something special. Katie comes up with an idea to help her family earn money and accomplishes more than anyone thought possible. Rogers, an author and educational consultant for families with struggling children, lives in Apex.

Triangle-area authors: We want to hear about your new book. Send details to As space permits, we mention self-published books by local authors that are sold on commercial sites.