Pulitzer Prize nominee Marian Rizzo has written numerous contemporary, historical, and 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.
The House on Maple Street
Francine Maria Capellini was named after her grandmother, and carried with her many of the same personality traits and physical features. As a child, young Frannie would sit enthralled as the elder Francine, Gram to Frannie, regaled her with wild tales of adventure in places far, far away from the humdrum little village of Cittadina, New York.
But while Francine seemed content to dwell in the same little house, in the same little town where her family had lived for generations, Frannie couldn’t wait to shake the dust off her feet and leave Cittadina in her rear view mirror as soon as she graduated high school. Within a few years she was on the fast track in the high pressure world of news reporting in the Big Apple. She had a great job, a handsome boyfriend, and a life that was a world away from her small town origins
Then the call came.
Gram had died and left Frannie the house on Maple Street.
Frannie would have to return to her home town, fix up the old house, and sell it before she could move on with her life.But Cittadina exerted an unexpected pull on Frannie, and Gram’s final bequest provided answers to questions long buried which uncovered Frannie’s heart.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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?
In the Boat with Jesus
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.