Guest Post by Tina Ruiz Griffith
I had just finished writing two incredibly intense murder mystery novels when I met and then married my current husband. He was dumbfounded at how much I enjoyed killing people, and asked me if I could write the most passionate love story the world had ever seen. I hesitated for a moment, then said I would try.
A friend of mine sent me a music video on Facebook, and I ended up crying over it. It’s called Caruso and it’s written by Lucio Dalla. I watched it being performed by several people over the next few weeks, and each time I was mesmerized by Enrico Caruso’s life story and the strong love he had for his wife and daughter. I decided to take all of what I was feeling and write a wonderfully fictitious novel. Hence, The Elusive Mr. Velucci was born.
Here’s a peek at Tina’s romance novel, The Elusive Mr. Velucci
Sadie Adams was twenty-one years old when she met the very handsome and charming Enrico Velucci. Even though they were both aware that he would only be in New York for a few months, they ended up falling deeply in love. When it was time for him to board the enormous ship back to Italy, they were sobbing while uttering their final goodbyes. We’ll keep in touch every single day! they agreed as one heartbreaking voice. The passionate promise lingered in the air like a delicate mist while the large vessel sailed away from American soil.
Since that fateful day, life had become tattered with many surprises and unexpected complications. Sadly, it was enough to keep the young couple separated for much longer than they had hoped. And after not speaking for a little more than twenty years, Enrico was shocked to find himself standing face-to-face with Sadie, the mother of the girl who his son wanted to marry.
How could Sadie tell Enrico that he was the father of her daughter? Because she still loved him, she knew she had to, and it needed to be done as soon as possible.
It was 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve when Sadie made her way to Rockefeller Center. After she parked her car and walked the last few blocks in midtown Manhattan, she took in all that was around her; the buildings which were lit up in cheery holiday colors, the decorations which had been carefully draped over doorways and trees, the enormous element of excitement for all that that time of year was about, and the very idea of strangers rushing around while trying to buy their last minute gifts. It felt quite magical to have the holiday season drape itself around her.
The air was crisp and filled with the smell of roasted chestnuts, which were being sold by vendors on several street corners. Christmas music was more than just a faint sound in the background, and the mix of rich people with the ones who lived
from paycheck-to-paycheck was quite amusing; they were all laughing and interacting as if they had known each other since birth.
Sadie soon found herself standing in front of the unbelievably beautiful, and very famous Christmas tree, which had been lit up and decorated to perfection. It seemed taller than it looked on TV, and she couldn’t begin to count how many large red bows had been strategically placed on every bough. Sadie was mesmerized by the magnificent spectacle, and admired it as if she was a kid seeing it for the first time.
As she gazed at every ribbon and ornament, her vision slid downward, as the reflection of the colored lights glistened in her eyes. Her smile had widened with a multitude of appreciation by the time she got to the bottom of the tree, for there stood the triumphant collection of metal-wire herald angels. They were standing guard in the Channel Gardens, while seeming to blow their horns. Sadie became immediately overwhelmed, for it was all so utterly magnificent.
Sadie stood admiring all that she could see, for a good 15 minutes or so, and then she was ready to do what she had come to do. She closed her eyes, laced her fingers together, and allowed the tender words to flow gracefully from her heart. “I know that it was foolish for me to fall in love with Enrico, because it had been clearly told to me that he would have to go home when his time in New York was over. But fall in love I did, and now I want to be with him every second of every day.”
Her swollen belly was moving, which caused her to become even more emotional. A tear fell from her right eye and her lips began to quiver, but she continued. “I miss him with everything I have, and now I am going to have his child. If I can receive any wish tonight, I wish that I could see Enrico again. I would very much like to talk with him, hold him, and let him know that I will always love him.”
A cold chill raced up the length of her spine, which startled her and triggered her to suspend her speech for a brief second. She looked around, but because she was on a mission, she didn’t care that she was fenced in by an unsurmountable number of people. Sadie closed her eyes and positioned her hands in front of her face. With everything in her soul, she prayed towards the gigantic tree and the heavens above it. “Please”, she begged loudly, and then broke out crying. “Please let me see him again, and let it be soon; I love him and miss him very much, and I want him to know that he is about to become a father.”
The very minute the last few words left her mouth, Sadie felt big fluffy flakes of powdered snow drift down from the sky and land on her face. She immediately opened her eyes, and the joy in her heart repeated in her laughter and shone on her skin; the wet flakes were kissing everything that they were touching. “Was this a sign that my wish had been heard?” she asked aloud. Sadie looked straight up and tried to catch a snowflake on her tongue. When one landed, she instantly felt a sense of complete satisfaction.
Minutes later, Sadie tucked the ends of her warm coat tightly across her chest. As she stared at the very top of the beautiful tree, she hoped with all her might that the universe had heard her wish.
Suddenly, and without being able to explain it, she could feel Enrico all around her and it caused her to inhale sharply. The experience was dreamlike, even though she was awake. It took over all of her senses and it made her doubt her own sanity, but she could smell him. She was sure that he was near, and yet he was so far away.
Once she understood that there was no logic to the intuition that she was having, she chalked it up to wishful thinking.
Another tear fell down her reddened face, and Sadie decided that it was time to leave. She looked down and lovingly caressed her bulging tummy. “You want to go home now, precious?” She was speaking to her baby, who had just jumped at the sound of her voice. This made her smile, and because there was a definite chill in the air, she made her way back to her car.
Many minutes later, Sadie arrived at her home, but before she went into her apartment, she looked up at the sky and whispered softly, “Have a good Christmas, my love. Perhaps in the new year, we will see each other again.”
Little did Sadie know that Enrico was also praying that night. He had made his way to his favorite spot by the water, in the Gulf of Sorrento. As he walked, in the distance he could hear a Christmas Concert by the Sorrento Symphony Chamber Orchestra. They were playing classical music by Corelli, Bach, and Mozart, while the Blue Gospel Choir was singing Christmas songs in both English and Italian.
Enrico was suddenly transported back to his childhood, and how his family had gone to the ice rink at the Piazza A. Lauro on Corso Italia, near the train station. He remembered how his father had taught him how to stand on the blades and then glide across the bumpy ice, while his mother cheered him on from the ridge between the slippery surface and the grass. There was plenty of hot chocolate afterwards, along with several sweet treats for his efforts.
Enrico lowered his face and smiled, for that seemed like such a long time ago. He then envisioned all the children and adults who were spending a happy hour or two, skating and laughing while soaking up the carnival atmosphere on this festive night. “Ah, what wonderful memories they are making,” he sighed in Italian.
Sadie popped into his head and he wondered what she was doing. He couldn’t believe how much he was missing her, but his life had changed since he left New York, and there was still a lot to do before he could make his way back to her arms. Enrico looked up to the heavens, and searched until he spotted the brightest star that he had ever seen. It was glorious and he wished that he could share the experience with her, but it wasn’t meant to be.
His mother had died two weeks ago, from what some people were calling a broken heart. He was now all alone and extremely sad, and as a form of comfort, he said a prayer. In Italian, he wished for his parents to have a very Happy Christmas, and he hoped that they were together. He then paused before he spoke the next part in English.
“My darling, Sadie,” he began quietly. His tear-smothered voice had cracked and he knew it, but he had to continue. “I know you can’t hear me, but I hope you are well. I miss you more than you could ever know, and I wish that I was there with you, in your arms, looking up at the same sky, on this blessed night.”
Tears were now streaming down his cheeks, but he refused to wipe them away; he wanted to feel the pain of loneliness with every breath that he took. “I hope you have a good Christmas, Sadie,” he whispered. “Please know that I am always thinking of you.”
There was no way that he could ignore the immense love that he had for the girl he had given his heart to, but he needed to push onward as best he could. He felt that in doing so, that it would enable him to have a better future. He was quite sure that that would also include Sadie, and therefore, this was the concept that kept him moving forward.
Suddenly, everything about her and their time together appeared in stunning detail in the forefront of his mind. Especially the memory of how Sadie had spoken his name during their last night together; her voice had such a compassionate tone to it, that it seemed to linger for several seconds longer than it needed to.
His eyelashes and chin lowered towards his chest, for the mere memory brought tears and goose bumps to his soul. He truly believed that no other person on this earth had ever been able to make him feel like that, and he doubted that anyone ever could again.
Enrico released a loud sigh in total wonder of his tutor’s power and beauty. He loved her and he knew it, and he wished that they could have had a few more days to be together. And even though their distance was tearing him apart, he needed to resign himself to the fact that they would have to be separated for a little while longer.
About the author
Tina Ruiz was born in Germany a little more than 60 years ago. Her family came to Canada when she was of school age and she has been there ever since. When her kids were little, she wrote 27 children’s books, worked in television and radio, and worked as a professional clown at the Children’s Hospital. After her husband of 25 years passed away, she began to write romance novels as a way to keep the love inside of her heart. She now has 11 romance novels for sale in the Amazon bookstore, and while all of them have undertones of a love story, they have different genres: murder, mystery, whimsical, witches, ghosts, suspense, adventure, and her sister’s scary biography. The Elusive Mr. Velucci is a very romantic love story that will bring a lump to your throat as you continue to wish that Enrico and Sadie find each other again.
Now, in 2018, Ruiz is newly married to a very wonderful man. She is sharing her children and grandbabies with him, and is in the throes of writing a new children’s book.