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

Published 2012

23-year-old Silvia Greco is broke and living with her father in New Jersey when her mother asks her for help in gathering her family together for a celebration commemorating her brother’s high school graduation. Uniting her feuding family who haven’t been together in over six years and whose parents are newly separated will be a great challenge, but she can’t refuse her mother, with whom she sympathizes. She knows the core of all their fighting is her father’s alcoholism, so she attempts to sober him up while appealing to the sensibilities of her other family members. Her challenge takes on greater significance when she realizes that her own peace and happiness is linked to the state of disharmony in her family and that she must save them all from devolving into families like those of her parents—loveless with siblings who are estranged from each other. But the task of uniting her family may prove to be too huge for her. Can she do it? Buy this book and find out while immersing in a wonderful world of unforgettable characters, great humor and delicious food! Best of List, Suspense Magazine. Get your FREE copy at Amazon or all other major online booksellers today!

Best of 2012, Suspense Magazine 

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Discovery of an Eagle

Published 2014

28-year-old Cosmo Greco is perfectly content with his humdrum existence in Philadelphia until he realizes he has been joylessly sleepwalking through his life. This sequel to Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees begins when Cosmo gets laid off from his job, after which, he takes up his sister on her offer to drive with her to Portland. A near fatal car accident in the beginning of the trip wakes him up to the fragility of life and characters he meets along the way further open his eyes. But his pragmatic nature and his fears come into play and he’s conflicted about whether to go back to his old way of life or to go forward in his journey of self-discovery. His inner conflict grows when he learns that the lay-off is ending and he’s been invited to interview for a promotional job. What will he do? Buy this book and find out while going on a magical, spirited road trip filled with colorful characters and vividly painted landscape. As Kirkus Reviews wrote, “(readers) may be surprised to find that they too have undergone an emotional odyssey.”

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Cover - The Brightness Index

The Brightness Index

Published 2016

A collection of stories that acknowledge the magic in ordinary people, each with wonderful humor, quirky characters, and an element of O Henry. Meet Stacy, a down-and-out waitress who is about to be fired until she goes on an unlikely quest and becomes the restaurant’s hero. An English woman moves to Tucson so she can see the sunsets that she associates with her mother who died when she was a child, and although she treasures the beauty of her new place, she struggles with being a misfit here. Crazy Ted is a cowboy who comes from Pennsylvania and falls in love with a beautiful Navajo woman who barely notices him. Tattoo Tommy is a born-again-Christian tattoo artists who searches his mind for the perfect tattoo that will complete him. A college student can’t get out of her lease in the haunted house she lives in until a mysterious pizza delivery guy saves the day. For only $0.99, you can escape into the wondrous world of the American Southwest and immerse into what Midwest Book Review has called “exceptional reads.”

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Part family drama and part self-actualization story, this is about Donna Greco, who in her teens, subscribes to a conventional view of success in life—and pushes her freewheeling, artistic brother, Vincent to do the same. However, he remains single, childless, and subsists in cramped apartments. She harbors guilt for her supposed failure until she discovers a sketch-book he’d made of his life, which prompts her own journey to live authentically.

While this textured story combines serious issues such as alcoholism, death, and family conflict, it’s balanced with wit and humor and is filled with endearing, unforgettable characters. The story spans decades, beginning in 1970 and ending in the present. Readers will be immersed in this tale as it poses an intriguing question: “What pictures will you have of yourself by the end of your life?”

 

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