Today, author Charlene Costanzo announces that her book The Twelve Gifts from the Garden: Life Lessons for Peace and Well-Being is named a finalist for the 2021 Eric Hoffer Award. One of the largest international book awards for small and independent presses, the Eric Hoffer Award honors freethinking writers and books of exceptional merit.


Like the timeless classic, Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, The Twelve Gifts from the Garden (Mango Publishing Group) is an assortment of life-guiding reflections for confusing times. Both books were inspired by nature on sister islands off the coast of Ft. Myers, Florida. Whereas Lindbergh wrote about the symbolism she saw in seashells on Captiva, Costanzo writes about the meanings she sees in the botanicals on Sanibel, her home-away-from-home.


In her passion for mindful living, Charlene vividly links nature’s bounty with the “twelve gifts” that she explores in every one of her books, and she shows how mother earth offers us guidance on using our gifts, especially during life’s storms.


“I’m honored to be considered for this award,” says Costanzo. “I hope that readers feel transported to Sanibel and that the stories I share about courage, compassion, joy – all of life’s gifts – will increase their appreciation of nature and enthusiasm for their inner strengths.”


Brenda Knight of Mango Publishing adds, “Charlene offers fresh ways of seeing one’s life in relation to nature. Her meditative stories and insightful discoveries translate the beauty of gardens into words of wisdom. We’re thrilled that her latest book has earned this distinction.”


Costanzo’s book, nominated in the nonfiction-health category, was selected from nearly 2,500 submissions. The winners will be announced on Monday, May 10th and the grand prize winner will receive $2,500.


In Costanzo’s 20-year career history as a published author, she’s won ten awards for her literary works. To see a complete list of Costanzo’s books and other resources, visit


About Charlene Costanzo:

Charlene Costanzo is an award-winning author, event facilitator, speaker, wife, mother of two adult daughters, and a grandmother of twins. She holds a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Bonaventure University and an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. The Twelve Gifts series began in 1987 when Charlene wrote The Twelve Gifts of Birth as a life message for her then teenage daughters.


Committed to the belief that every person is gifted, she has brought her “Twelve Gifts” message to thousands of children and adults throughout the U.S. in numerous visits to diverse settings including schools, shelters, churches, and prisons. The Twelve Gifts she explores are: strength, beauty, courage, compassion, hope, joy, talent, imagination, reverence, wisdom, love, and faith.