COMING IN NOVEMBER: PROJECT HAPPINESS: A Practical Guide to Everyday Contentment,  by Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D. (LINDEN PRESS)

You can also still get copies of my previous books:

Living la Dolce Vita: Bring the Passion, Laughter, and Serenity of Italy into Your Daily Life (Sourcebooks) reveals all you need to know to help you live the sweet-life through the simple traditions of Italy. It reminds us to slow down and learn to make each day a celebration of LIFE. Readers have told me it has turned their lives around and reminded them of what really counts. An OSIA BOOK CLUB SELECTION.

Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy (HCI Books)  is an Italian cultural perspective on getting through life’s challenges and loss. It has been called “inspiring” and “uplifting”. Some readers have left it on their bedside table when going through tough times, and said that even turning to a random paragraph has helped them get through even their lowest points. I hope it does the same for you. OSIA BOOK CLUB SELECTION
Change Your Mind-Change Your Weight (Ronin), despite a few editorial typos I was not able to change,  is still a solid book chuck full of behavioral and thought techniques for losing weight. Endorsed by the great founder of Rational Emotive Therapy, the late Dr. Albert Ellis.



When all seems lost we can often pick it up and make more than we ever thought possible. “Lemons Into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy” is a motivational memoir from Raeleen D’Agostino who shares her experiences with facing down loss, and piecing her life back together after it all. With grief, she draws on her Italian heritage and its philosophy to piece together much wisdom, and makes “Lemons into Limoncello” a choice read of uplifting spirituality, very much recommended reading.

“Italy’s best is not just the material things that come from this great country, but the Italian lifestyle in general. Every single one of us will face life’s challenges and personal losses, and I know of no one better suited than Dr. Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner for teaching how to incorporate the benefits and pleasures of the Italian lifestyle into our daily lives. Her own warm and heartfelt personal experiences and the knowledge she shares in this exceptional book will have you, too, enjoying the limoncello of life.”—Richard J. Michelli, founder and executive director of

“Dr. Mautner’s poetic book not only helps shorten and heal grief, but also helps turn the healing into an opportunity to grow into a stronger, healthier, more vibrant, and more resilient person. The fresh intercultural perspective shows readers of any ethnicity how to move forward following hardship using the timeless Italian traditions of beauty, simplicity, and creativity. Self-renewal awaits those who turn the pages.” Martin Kantor, MD, Harvard-trained psychiatrist and author of Now That He’s Out: The Challenges and Joys of Having a Gay Son

“Dr. Mautner’s writings convey a historical memory, without which man is like a tree without solid roots: weakly anchored to the ground. Her writing evokes and gives back a cultural belonging that unites us on earth in a holistic way. Only a forward-thinking mind like hers can combine aspects of the psyche with motions of the everyday aspects of life. In Lemons into Limoncello, she harmonizes all the components of the human personality, going deeper than just what is at the surface, never forgetting how much of life is due to poetry and art. One needs to have the strength of Atlas to support the entire world on their shoulders, to love everything, even the darkness, and then leave a beam of light. My dear cousin Rachelina (Raeleen) gives us this beam of light in a world of frequent suffering.” —Giuseppe De Filippo, internationally acclaimed artist and teacher in Calabria, Italy

“An uplifting book—written with an Italian passion for life—that provides excellent guidance for those suffering the loss of a loved one or other personal crisis.”—Theodore Grippo, attorney and author of With Malice Aforethought

For centuries Italians have weathered every tragedy imaginable—foreign occupation and oppression, famines, devastating illnesses that carried away babies as well as adults, poverty, injustice, and terrible wars waged by other nations and fought on their own lands. At the same time, Italians—both as a people and as individuals—have developed an enormous respect for life and an innate ability to appreciate even its smallest gifts: a sunny day; a cup of espresso; a family meal; or even a heartfelt love song. Adversity has taught them how to confront disasters and endure if not overcome them. In her excellent study, Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D. captures the remarkable gift Italians share with the world about how to live through the inevitable reversals of fortune that life brings with it . . . and still smile.”—Dona De Sanctis, editor in chief, Italian America Magazine

“Perhaps life has knocked you down one too many times. Or maybe you’ve just gone ‘stale.’ Dr. Mautner is part philosopher, part psychologist, part life coach—but entirely Italian. She offers Italian-style therapy: food, family, friends, and fun—a recipe for your own, personal renaissance. What would Freud say if he was Italian? Here’s your answer!”Steve Perillo, CEO, Perillo Tours

“I truly enjoyed reading Mautner’s book ‘Lemons into Limoncello’. Not only did it have recipes, but it also had some wisdom in how to move on after disaster strikes no matter what type. She was able to weave her own story of painful loss of her husband untimely death along with her helpful tips for allowing the healing process to enfold in her life. Read this book, it is amazing. You will get some great recipes and great wisdom from a woman who has had her own journey.”Jamie Holloway, NetGalley

“A thoughtful, kind and generous book that would be of tremendous use for those who are grieving.”Rosemary Smith, NetGalley

“The whole book is a thoughtful collection of excellent ideas which can be used as a self-help manual to deal with the aftermath of heartbreak, and I wish I had  had a copy of this book when I was struggling to deal with the loss of my brother a few years ago.  This one is definitely a keeper.”Sian Williams, NetGalley

5 star READERS REVIEWS (on Amazon)

A great book for moving past any sort of loss

I enjoyed Raeleen Mautner’s book Living La Dolce Vita. In Lemons into Limoncello she continues to bring the wisdom of Italy to those of use not fortunate enough to be born Italian. Although, those Roman’s got around….I figure there’s a bit of Italian blood in me somewhere. During the past few years I have had some significant losses, and this beautiful book helps me put them in perspective. More importantly, it gives you the encouragement to truly embrace life and find joy in everyday experiences. Thank you Raeleen for putting these words to paper so they can help your readers find a renewed zest for life.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem

Whether you have suffered a loss or are just stalled in your life do not miss this book. It is one of the most life-affirming texts I have read. From the depths of her humanity the author looks at loss and provides simple, practical actions that take the reader into the strength and creativity of the soul and the goodness of life.
As I followed readily available, and beautifully described, simple things to do – from dance, to song, to cooking, to beauty and creative expression, and much more- I saw how a personal renaissance is in arm’s reach and waiting to be claimed. This book is a gem! It is your life – do not miss it.


5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing helpful outpouring

This book is so beautifully and subtly written and so Italian to its core that you won’t even know you are getting a full-fledged course in behavioral psychology and more specifically in anti-loss therapy. What better way to get over grief than to use what comes naturally, curatively, to the Italian people, who seem to have figured out on their own how to deal with the inevitability of grieving and cope with and get through it so creatively, so effectively, so humanely. Don’t miss this one. If you don’t need it now, some day you certainly will. Dr. Martin Kantor, MD. Psychiatrist and Author.




By:  Vashon Marie Sarkisian, Author of:  Finding Joy After Loss, My Seven Step Journey to Transforming Grief into Joy

Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy by Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, PhD

In the beautifully written book Lemons into Limoncello, Mautner calls upon the beauty and depth of her Italian heritage to gently take the reader through healing after personal loss. When Mautner suddenly lost her husband, the Italian rituals and habits she grew up with helped her heal, and she now shares how the mind, body and soul can be healed with love, gratitude and renewal … not to mention by the beautiful Italian countryside. To drink in Italy’s beauty is, in itself, restorative.

Lemons into Limoncello is divided into four parts. In part one, she guides her readers to move through grief gently and with grace. She encourages the belief in something greater than ourselves through prayer, journaling and meditation. Mautner encourages the reader to slow down, do nothing at all, be mindful and observe what is all around us. Part one ends with her asking the reader to focus on gratitude: “to find ways to enjoy something about each and every day.”

In part two, she reminds us that beauty can lift our spirits and emphasizes the importance of simplifying our lives — how important it is to smile every day and, most of all, to let go.

In part three, Mautner shares important tips on how to ease your loss, how to engage in life and how to start living life fully again. Part four pulls it all together with the “Recipe for a New Day”: a checklist of sorts to help you start over after a traumatic loss.

Lemons into Limoncello is a warm, soothing resource for the soul after personal loss. Reading it will comfort your heart and guide you gently back to living your life.

“Let us raise a glass to your bright new beginning —tante belle cose.”


Review from:

Find Happiness and Health the Italian Way By Corine Gatti

The Italian approach to living will energize and keep you loving life writes Dr. Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner in Lemons Into Limoncello. Mautner discovered that her answers to happiness where found in her own backyard when she was forced to pause after the unexpected death of her husband. Here are a few tips from her book to achieve overall better health, the Italian way.

The Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is the solution to health risks. Foods like fish, nuts, tomatoes, fresh basil and mint are traditional Mediterranean flavors. Maintaining a healthy diet will help you cope with the stress of life. “The Italian League for the Fight Against Tumors found that 65 percent of tumors are caused by either poor eating habits (35 percent) or smoking (30 percent). The traditional Italian table experience provides nutrition to give you strength, company to make you feel supported, and laughter to remind you that life goes on and so does joy.”

By changing our diet we can live better lives.

A Mediterranean diet could help cognitive defects and dementia, says Mautner. People going through loss experience brain drain with their thoughts becoming muddled, feeling confused and depressed. Foods of the Mediterranean Diet keep the brain sharp.

Italians have a never give up attitude and refuse to let life destroy them because they remain flexible. Things will happen in life that you have no control over. Rise above it the Italian way.

Mautner writes that grade-school children in Naples participate in a garden program to promote a healthy lifestyle. Children tend to a vegetable garden one hour a day to prevent obesity. In Italy, exercise is not limited to the gym, but by walking, biking, yard work and after dinner walks. Let natural activity become the solid foundation.

  • More tips from Dr. Mautner:
  • -Don’t relive your trauma!
  • -Dream a new dream
  • -Think of your life as an unfinished sculpture
  • -Free your mind of regrets
  • -Choose to be around positive people
  • -Pause to think about the positives in your life
  • -Be your own best friend

Individual Reviews

–“I have just lost my spouse and the pages of your book are like a warm blanket of comfort to me. Thank you so much for writing from your heart.”

-“You have changed my friend’s life. She was depressed and your book has turned her life around. She is now successful and thriving.”

-“I have given your book to everyone in my family. Thank you for reminding us about the importance of love and relationships. You are wonderful!”




Lemons into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy by Author Raeleen D’Agostino Mautner, PhD

June 3, 2013 |

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New Book Release May 7, 2013 on Amazon  In the beautifully written book Lemons into Limoncello, Mautner calls upon the beauty and depth of her Italian heritage to gently take the reader through healing after personal loss. When Mautner suddenly lost her husband, the Italian rituals and habits she grew up with helped her heal,…

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