About the Books

Protecting the Cittern

Tony Giordano and his father Sammy have had a strained relationship ever since Tony's childhood, and it has grown worse over the years. The only time Tony ever recalls his father seeming happy was when he was strumming his beloved cittern, an instrument whose origins are unknown to the family.

Sammy was born in Naples, Italy, where he once dreamed of owning a barbershop. But when he is convinced to give up his long-held dream and move to America to marry a woman he does not love, resentment and bitterness begin to overtake his life - emotions that are soon transferred to his family in the form of abuse that lasts a lifetime. When Sammy becomes ill, he is placed in a nursing home where he soon transforms from a bullying ogre to a pathetic old man. As Tony and his mother witness years of pent-up frustration and stubbornness rise to the surface and contribute to Sammy's failing health, they have no idea that he has been hiding a secret from them.

Protecting the Cittern explores eighty years of family history leading to a discovery from the past that leads to a startling conclusion.

Winner - 2011 Royal Palm Literary Award

The Ibex Trophy

Renzo Crespi is a young Italian soldier serving in Italian-occupied Corsica during World War II. The locals aren't always pleasant with the occupying troops, particularly a young woman by the name of Adrienne Santi. Adrienne is the granddaughter of the wealthiest and most influential man in the area, and she is not happy to be serving soldiers who are not native to Corsican soil ... until she meets Renzo.

Renzo and Adrienne fall in love, despite the possibility of terrible consequence. Their sin is fraternizing with the enemy; if their affair is discovered, Renzo could be court-martialed. Adrienne has much to lose as well, as her behavior could be seen as a betrayal to her country- especially in the eyes of the Maquisards, a rebel group hell-bent on liberating Corsica at any cost.

It's not long before the evils of war threaten to overtake Renzo and Adrienne's love. The Maquisards are ready to act, and soon Renzo and his Italian comrades find themselves in the middle of upheaval. Is love strong enough to survive a military coup? Only time will tell if either of the star-crossed lovers will live long enough to find out. It is a test of devotion, patriotism, and morality, as Italian and Corsican alike fight for their own versions of freedom.

Winner - 2013 Royal Palm Literary Award

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