No More Secrets
Author: Joanne Guidoccio
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release Date: September 16, 2020
Genre: Women’s Fiction
As Angelica read the document, she heard several sighs emanating from Bellastrega. While she had grown to like this young woman and trust her judgment when it came to wellness, Angelica was not prepared to abandon her plans. Three women needed to be rescued.
“What if they don’t come?” Bellastrega asked.
“They will come,” Angelica said, smiling confidently.
“It’s still winter, and the roads around here can be treacherous.”
“That won’t stop them.” Angelica smiled at Bellastrega’s discomfort with winter driving. Fearless in her talk, the psychic dreaded going out at any hint of snow. Whenever she had to drive during snowfalls, she white-knuckled the entire time. “Not to worry. They’re Northern Ontario girls.”
Bellastrega waved her hands. “So, they get up here, and you share your secrets. Then what?”
“They begin to heal.”
“You can’t expect to solve all their problems in one weekend,” Bellastrega said in a gentler tone. “If you’re not careful, you’ll send them running to their mothers, who won’t hesitate to create unnecessary stress for you.”
From the start, Bellastrega had been determined to eradicate all the unnecessary stress in Angelica’s life. Did she really think she could create a lasting magic bubble?
Since receiving the positive medical report, Bellastrega had redoubled her efforts and started to plan spring and summer excursions. She had added to her meager wardrobe and purchased several decorative items for her room. Each day, she was settling in and becoming more comfortable in her role as a companion. The beautiful thirty-five-year-old woman with Arctic-blue eyes and a stormy past had found sanctuary in Angelica’s house.
Angelica’s thoughts traveled back six decades to her encounter with another set of Arctic-blue eyes. But that woman had been much older and more realistic in her expectations.
“Are you all right?” Bellastrega asked.
“I’m fine,” Angelica said, returning to the present. “I want to start the process. The rest will be up to them.” Angelica felt a wave of fatigue, one she hadn’t experienced in months. This argument was growing old, and she no longer wished to justify her motives. Why couldn’t Bellastrega let it go?
Bellastrega approached and wrapped her arms around Angelica. “It’s time for your nap.”
Angelica’s eyes flickered as she clung to the sheets in her hands. “You will send the emails?”
Bellastrega nodded as she accompanied Angelica to her bedroom.
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
It’s been too long since we’ve had our special lunches, brunches, and chats. I still remember those lovely days when we would meet for three-hour lunches and the weekends we spent together sharing all our secrets. I felt we could say anything to each other.
You are the daughters I never had—the daughters of my heart. I thank you for all those years we spent together, and I’m grateful to your mothers for allowing me to have those special times. I know it wasn’t always easy for them to watch as I played the “cool Zia,” and I tried hard not to contradict or judge their parenting.
Alas, our meetups have become fewer and fewer. As my life winded down, your lives became busier, filled with careers, relationships, and children. The miles have put the distance between us. Telephone conversations have become shorter and given way to texts and emails.
As you all know, my time on this earth is limited. Six months ago, the oncologist didn’t think I would last until Christmas. But somehow, I made it to the holidays. I got to spend time with everyone, but it was so crowded and noisy. Your mothers were beside themselves, and while they complained about all the extra work, I know they were happy to see all branches of the family represented—twenty-seven of us at last count.
I had hoped to spend quality time with each of you, but that wasn’t possible. While I had made it to Christmas Day, I found myself depleted and needed three days of bed rest to recover from all the holiday madness. By that time, you had left Sudbury.
As you may have already heard through the grapevine, I now have a lovely companion: Lynn Miller aka Bellastrega. With her help, I have been able to regain most of my mobility, and I feel stronger each day. But I am realistic: my days are numbered. I’d love to see Easter, but I doubt I’ll see another Christmas. I’ve had eighty-five wonderful years and have been blessed with a wonderful husband who adored me, sisters and friends who loved and supported me, and three beautiful nieces who have brought the most joy of all.
I’m inviting the three of you for a weekend visit. I’m hoping you can come next Friday. I’ve checked the long-range forecast, and it looks favorable. Should there be an unexpected storm, feel free to cancel. I don’t want to put anyone at risk.
Please keep this visit a secret from your mothers. They don’t usually visit on weekends, so you don’t have to worry about running into any of them. As for Bellastrega, she’s my Switzerland—secure as a bank vault. She will prepare supper and eat with us. Then she will leave and enjoy a well-deserved break.
You’re probably going to suggest FaceTime, but I need and want more. And I believe the three of you also need more than short, superficial conversations. I don’t want to talk about the weather or reminisce about the past. I don’t have that kind of time to waste.
Each of you is at a critical juncture in life; I could sense that at Christmas. Whenever I glanced in your direction, all I could see were sad eyes and forced smiles. I’ve never pried, and I don’t intend to start now. But I hope each of you will share your secrets.
I have decided to share my secrets—secrets I had planned to take to my grave. As the eldest member of our family, I hope to set the example. Keeping secrets is wrong, especially if those secrets are toxic. If they’re not shared, those secrets will implode. While my secrets are more shocking than toxic, I hope you will be inspired to share whatever is troubling you.
About the Book:
Angelica Delfino takes a special interest in the lives of her three nieces, whom she affectionately calls the daughters of her heart. Sensing that each woman is harboring a troubling, possibly even toxic secret, Angelica decides to share her secrets—secrets she had planned to take to the grave. Spellbound, the nieces listen as Angelica travels back six decades to reveal an incredulous tale of forbidden love, tragic loss, and reinvention. It is the classic immigrant story upended: an Italian widow’s transformative journey amid the most unlikely of circumstances.
Inspired by Angelica’s example, the younger women share their “First World” problems and, in the process, set themselves free.
But one heartbreaking secret remains untold…
Amazon (Australia) – https://www.amazon.com.au/No-More-Secrets-Joanne-Guidoccio-ebook/dp/B08CVTYWWX/
About the Author:
A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Women’s Fiction Writers Association, Joanne Guidoccio writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romances, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
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