Grace Mattioli | Realistic Fiction | Olive Branches Don't Grow On TreesOlive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees

Published September 5, 2012 | Read Chapter One Free

Silvia Greco has been moving from place to place, working dead-end jobs since graduating from art school 2 years ago. She’s broke, unemployed and living with her crazy father when she is drafted into helping her mother organize a family gathering to commemorate her younger brother’s high school graduation. Her family is anything but peaceful and have not been gathered together in over 6 years. But she’s strong-willed and feisty and welcomes the challenge. In her journey to make peace in her family, she learns that peace isn’t something that is freely existing but something that needs to be cultivated. She also learns that the disharmonious state of her family has contributed to her own restlessness and that peace is essential for her own happiness.

Although this novel addresses such serious issues as dysfunctional family relations and alcoholism, it’s filled with humor. The matriarch, Donna gets sexually harassed by The Three Little Pigs in Disney World; the youngest child, Vince thinks the recent preponderance of war stories is a government conspiracy. Laugh while gaining insights on subjects like forgiveness and happiness.  As one reviewer wrote, ” the author weaves a tale that is a moving and realistic portrayal of a dysfunctional family with enough drama and humorous family situations that will keep the reader engaged and entertained, while providing…messages of life lessons to extend the olive branch and learn to live, love and forgive.”

Best of 2012, Suspense Magazine 

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Discovery of an Eagle

Published May 1, 2014 | Read Chapter One Free

After his job lays him off, Cosmo Greco takes his sister, Silvia, up on her offer to drive to Portland. At the beginning of the trip, a Mack truck wipes them off the road, nearly killing them. This near-death experience is a wake-up call for Cosmo, and he begins to question the life he’s been leading. He realizes that he’s not happy with his current life and wants to make a change. A number of encounters along the way reinforce this desire, but he’s afraid to leave the familiarity of his humdrum existence for the unknown. His journey is set against the backdrop of the American road with vivid, soulful descriptions and a cast of colorful characters.

Readers will feel that they are along on the ride as the highly lovable Cosmo explores a vividly painted landscape, encounters a cast of colorful characters and discovers what it takes to be truly happy.  As one reviewer wrote: “The book isn’t just about Cosmo’s journey. It takes a hard look at the lives we live, the monotony we assume is a part of adulthood and the mediocrity we’re content to settle for. Through Cosmo’s shoes, the reader’s perspectives are quietly opened to new possibilities…Discovery of an Eagle demonstrates the little joys we give up on the way. This book makes for a great bed-time read that quietly but firmly, leaves a definite impression on you.”

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Cover - The Brightness Index

The Brightness Index

Published August 4, 2016

The stories in this short collection take place in Arizona, and they are as unique and colorful as the place itself.  “Just Bring Your Own Food” is about a diner waitress and her struggle to stay employed at a place where she knows she’ll be fired any day. “So She Could See the Color Plue” is the story of a misfit who wants desperately to fit in in the only place on earth where she can see the most magical colors in the sky. “How Doc Holliday Saved Me” is about a college girl’s experience living in a haunted house in Tucson and the pizza delivery guy who saves the day. In “Crazy Ted: A Love Story,” a blond, blue-eyed man from Pennsylvania falls for a young Navajo woman. “Something He Could See Himself In” is the story of a born-again Christian tattoo artist and his quest to find the perfect tattoo.

 

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