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Marian Rizzo


 Pulitzer Prize nominee Marian Rizzo has written five contemporary novels and two biblical era novels in additon to her non-fiction and inspirational writing. She’s been a journalist for twenty-five years with the Ocala Star-Banner Newspaper, part of the Gatehouse Media Group. Now retired, Marian has continued to work with the Star-Banner as a correspondent. She’s won numerous awards in journalism, including the New York Times Chairman’s Award and first place in the annual Amy Foundation Writing Awards.

Marian lives in Ocala, Florida, with her daughter Vicki who has Down Syndrome. Her other daughter, Joanna, is the mother of three children. Grandparenting has added another element of joy to Marian’s busy schedule, which includes workouts five times a week, lots of reading, and lunches with the girls.

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In the Boat with Jesus

Daily Devotional

Israel is unfamiliar territory to many people. Few have tread upon the rocky wilderness of Judea or dipped their toes in the Jordan. Few have witnessed the sun rising behind the mountains of Moab or plucked an olive from a gnarled tree in the garden. Few have camped out under the star-filled sky that spread its arms of welcome to angels on that holy night more than 2,000 years ago.
Author Marian Rizzo invites you to travel beyond the pages of this book into the very presence of Jesus. Rub elbows with Simon Peter, place your head beside John’s on the Savior’s breast. Join the crowd as they lay their cloaks and palm branches before Him. Dine with Him in the home of Martha and Mary. Weep with Him at the tomb of Lazarus. Then rise up in anger at the Lord’s trial and crucifixion. Mourn with His followers, celebrate His resurrection, stand on the Mount of Olives as He ascends into heaven, and witness Him in His glory.
Let the lessons He taught 2,000 years ago help you deal with today’s issues. Learn from Him. Apply His teachings. And make His story your story.


Marian Rizzo is a gifted storyteller, whether it be for news reporting or fiction. She has a keen eye and ear from the intricacies of a story, which translates into very powerful narratives. Marian can turn the mundane into the magnificent through the masterful weaving of character, context, and scene-setting.

– Susan Smiley-Height, Long-time News editor

Also by Marian Rizzo

Silver Springs

Silver Springs, located in central Florida, is perhaps the best known natural artesian spring in the world. A grand natural wonder of the world on par with Niagara Falls or the mighty Mississippi River. Easily the largest spring in the world, Silver Springs boasts long-term average measured flows of more than 500 million gallons per day.

Angela’s Treasures

Dorothy glides past me with an armload of my stuff. She doesn’t pause to ask my opinion, just tosses my personal things into whatever box fits her whim. Or she feeds my precious treasures into the trashcan. Then she moves on as if I’m not even here. As each item leaves my daughter’s hand, I travel back to another time and place.


The first patients arrived: Numbers One and Number Two – the impersonal numbering system designed to keep the staff from getting emotionally involved. If the project continued longer than planned, there would be no hope for Numbers One and Two, or for any of the other unsuspecting test subjects who might stumble into Muldovah.

In Search of the Beloved

“It’s a simple assignment, really, with some long distance travel involved. You’ll fly to Ephesus and spend a couple of days doing on-site research, then you’ll head to the Isle of Patmos.”

Julie bit her lower lip. “The island where the Apostle John was supposed to have been exiled? Why?”

“There have been reports from credible witnesses that John might still be there waiting for Jesus to return. I want you to find him.”

In Search of Felicity

Julie Peters could barely contain the heady euphoria that enveloped her. She was newly engaged to Mark, the love of her life. Her human interest news story had been picked up by Great Destinations Magazine, and an incredible job offer followed. Now, she found herself on assignment in Cross Creek, Florida, walking in the footstep of her literary heroine, American novelist Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.


March 4, 1918

An army cook at Fort Riley, Kansas, reported to the infirmary with a temperature of 103.1 F.
Within two days another 521 men became sick. It is one of the first recorded outbreaks of what came to be known as the Spanish flu.
Living in the country, we fared better than those who lived in crowded conditions in the big cities. You might say we lived in our own little Shangri-La. But at last the plague of 1918 found us too.

The Leper

Eleazar followed his father along the narrow trail from one level to the next. They moved beyond the grassy hillside onto the rocky path, descended to the valley below, then rose to the three peaks of the Mount of Olives.

Eleazar tried to suppress the surge of excitement. He took a deep breath, inhaled the mix of nature, and looked ahead with anticipation. He knew this place, had eyed it from a distance. The miserable ones lived there. His mother’s warning came back to him. He would sacrifice his own family to help the forbidden ones.

The forbidden ones. A chill ran through him. He looked with trepidation at the row of caves. It was too late to turn back.

O Holy Night

We sing the lyrics. We love the music. But are we merely mouthing empty words and vain repetitions? Are we just humming the tune? Or do we honestly think about the underlying message?

Presence in the Pew

“How do you feel about demonic activity? Do you think it’s real, or fantasy?”
Mitch thought it a strange queston. He narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean?”
“I mean do you believe in another realm, even though you can’t see it?”
“I don’t know what you’re driving at, Mister Garby.”
“I’m asking you is, are you prepared to do battle with the devil himself, if necessary?”

The Legacy of Mrs. Cunningham

Adele Cunningham had died. And she had lived. Two hours of personal testimonies proved as much. Multiple individuals stepped up to the pulpit to share what Mrs. Cunningham had done for them, either through prayers or through advice. The truth was, Adele Cunningham left a legacy that would never die.