Finding Felicity

Finding Felicity Released August 2011

"Finding Felicity" is a fine and entertaining pick, not to be overlooked."  More:
     from The Midwest Book Review

"This is a 4 Book worthy novel that I think everyone should read. Filled with emotional scenes, characters that tug your heart strings and one whopper of an ending, this is a book that I recommend to all readers everywhere!"  More:
     from Reviews by Molly

"Surrounded by the breathtaking setting of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel, FINDING FELICITY, is an extremely nostalgic story of torn feelings between sisters. Madeline finds a consuming love with Anthony with the belief he is in her soul, body and thoughts forever. Even though Maddie's story will tear at your heart, it leaves you with a firm belief in the mysterious ways that God works. I thoroughly enjoyed this heartrending story of a forbidden love."  More:
     from Fresh Fiction

"Finding Felicity is a great read.  What I loved most about Finding Felicity was the deep connection between love, forgiveness, relationships, passion and God. Each of the characters has to come to terms with liking themselves and forgiving themselves about the choices they have made."  More:
     from Sizzling Hot Book Reviews 

“Finding Felicity” was a wonderful wild ride, thoroughly enjoyable, and romantic."  More:
     from The Joy of the Written Word

Finding Felicity tells the story of Madeline O’Connor, whose life is turned upside down when she learns that her estranged sister is ill, leaving Manhattan to care for her sister in Italy.  Although she is consumed by work and her relationship with her sister is strained by a past betrayal, Madeline makes the journey to Europe and stays in a monastery that accommodates travelers.  There, she meets Brother Anthony Lamberti, a man unlike any that she knows in New York.  Anthony and Madeline share an overwhelming love and Madeline lets down her guard to the sincerity, dignity, and strength of Anthony.  From him, she learns many spiritual and emotional lessons and undergoes a complete transformation.  Along the way, she also meets Tyler Reed, who adds the excitement of a love triangle to the many twists and turns along Madeline's journey to Finding Felicity.

Read an excerpt:

                  This early, the offices were empty and quiet.  But by eight, the receptionist would be at the front desk and the phones would be ringing.  People would be at their desks or in meetings.  The suite would be buzzing with designers, executives, and office staff.
                Madeline continued to her office where her assistant, Eric, was already placing some reports and folders on her desk.  He was in his late twenties and, with black hair and cornflower blue eyes, more handsome than a man had a right to be.  He glanced up as Madeline entered the office.              
                “Good morning, Eric.  You’re here early.  Good weekend?”
                “Yes.  Too short, though.”  He grinned slyly.  “I won’t even ask about yours.  I know you worked all weekend.”
                She shrugged.  He was right.  She had worked all weekend.  “So what’s that?”
                “Sales reports.  Mail from Saturday’s delivery.”
                “Anything interesting?” 
                She set her attaché down and slipped into her ivory leather chair, glancing at her computer screen, which displayed a dozen or more email that had arrived during her commute.  She turned her attention back to her young assistant. 
                “Just the usual junk.  But there was one letter.  Marked personal so I didn’t open it.  From Italy.  Is there something you’re keeping from me?”  Eric teased, ever curious about Madeline’s personal life.  Even though he had worked for Madeline for almost five years, she kept her private life just that.  Private.  Curiosity gnawed at him and he dangled the letter out to her.
                “Eric, you know all you need to know,” she winked at him but at the sight of the letter, her stomach contracted.   “I’ll get to it later.  Thanks.” 
                She reached into her handbag and pulled out a pair of black-framed eyeglasses, slid them on, and turned again to her computer screen and clicked open an email.
                Her non-stop morning was underway.


                Two weeks prior to its arrival in Manhattan, Brother Anthony Lamberti had held the same letter in one hand while slipping his simple tortoiseshell glasses onto the bridge of his nose with the other.  He stood on a terrace overlooking a serene green valley.  The twilight sun cast just enough light on the Italian countryside for him to read the neatly handwritten words that Jonathan Brown had spent the entire day composing.  The letter almost glowed.
                “Please read it aloud for me,” Jonathan respectfully asked the older man.
                Anthony’s deep melodic voice began.
                “Dear Aunt Maddie,” he paused at the endearing salutation and wondered again about his young protégé’s aunt.  He continued, his Italian accent transforming the words into near poetry.

                “This letter must come as a surprise.  I hope and pray that it will be a welcome one, although I wish it were being written under more favorable circumstances.  Oh, Aunt Maddie, how I have missed you over the years.  I have wanted to write to you many times but I didn’t know how to begin.  There is much to tell you, and I fear that I may reveal too much or too little in this long overdue correspondence.  How can I possibly update you on the last seven years?  How can I possibly hope that you will be willing to hear what I have to say?
                “Where to start?  I suppose the best place would be with the most important news.  Mom has cancer.  Treatment isn’t working, and the doctors are not at all hopeful.  Aunt Maddie, Mom is dying.  She only has a few months to live.  Dad left her, us, shortly after we arrived in Italy.  For a young model in Milan.  They got divorced and so Mom raised me by herself.  I can only tell you how very sorry I am that you and Mom have spent so much time apart.  She very much regrets the pain her actions caused you.  I hope you can believe that. 
                “As to what became of me.  I’m seventeen now, and a novice at Monastero de St. Valentine.  Eventually, I will be a monk.  Can you imagine having a monk as a nephew?  While my decision to travel this path was an easy one, it has not been easy to explain to those closest to me. Least of all, Dad.  But I hope to have the opportunity to explain it to you.
                “And now for the real purpose of this letter.  In short, Mom needs you.  She would never dream of contacting you herself, and asking you to come to Italy, and neither has she asked me to contact you.  But I know that seeing you would mean everything to her.  I know it is a lot to ask.  But I fear I would not be able to live with myself if I had not reached out on Mom’s behalf.  And on my own behalf.  You are my family and I have missed you.  I, too, would love to see you and have my Aunt back in my life.
                “Please consider this note an olive branch.  And come to Italy.”

                 Anthony swallowed.  He wondered what could have happened to keep sisters apart for so long.  What could Madeline have done?  But he was too private, too respectful of others’ privacy, to ask.  
                “Well?” Jonathan looked every bit the vulnerable young man he was.
                “It is a good letter.  Come.  Let’s post it.”
                Anthony placed a fatherly hand on Jonathan’s shoulder and guided him inside.