LITTLE MILESTONES, NOW AVAILABLE
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ABOUT LITTLE MILESTONES (published October 2019)
After receiving divorce papers from her husband on her birthday, Olivia Bruno decides to leave her job in New York City as an event planner to live with her grandmother, Nan, in St. Michaels on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where she spent a lot of time as a child. Securing a job in town at a local bookstore, Olivia begins to pick up the pieces of her life by connecting with her grandmother’s friends and other townspeople she meets along the way, including Milly Foster, who lives in nearby Oxford and runs an inn called Inn Significant, and Miles Channing, a local writer. Nan has lived in the town all of her life and has some stories of her own. Together, Nan and Olivia navigate their lives and appreciate the power of family, friendships, forgiveness, and listening to your heart. As well, Nan and Olivia find out that perhaps life is made up of little milestones.
I have written three fiction novels, Inn Significant (2017), Beneath the Mimosa Tree (2012) and Baseball Girl (2015). My newest book, a collection of short stories and poetry I published in July is called The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry. During my time at the Baltimore Orioles, I was the editor of the Cal Ripken Jr. Commemorative Publication (1995) and Orioles Magazine. In January of 2016, Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice was published, a textbook I wrote along with two of my colleagues. A needed resource in the field of communication, the text examines both the theoretical perspectives and practical application of event planning.
THE POSTCARD AND OTHER SHORT STORIES & POETRY
In this collection, which includes 22 short stories, you will read about tales of love, heartbreak, middle-aged meltdowns, gossips and unkind women, abusive relationships, a last-ditch message in a bottle, witches and brooms, baseball, and living with a grandmother, among others. Written over a span of twenty years, The Postcard and Other Short Stories & Poetry will warm your heart and leave you feeling as if you’ve made a few new friends among the pages.
I N N S I G N I F I C A N T ( 2017 )
Two years after receiving the horrifying news of her husband Gil’s death, Milly Foster continues to struggle to find her way out of a state of depression. As a last-ditch effort and means of intervention, Milly’s parents convince her to run their successful Inn during their absence as they help a friend establish a new bed and breakfast in Ireland. Milly reluctantly agrees; when she arrives at the picturesque, waterfront Inn Significant, her colleague, John, discovers a journal written by her late grandmother that contains a secret her grandmother kept from the family. Reading her grandmother’s words, and being able to identify with her Nana’s own feelings of loss, sparks the beginning of Milly’s climb out of the darkness and back to the land of the living.
Finalist – National Indie Excellence Awards
Praise for Inn Significant from Readers’ Favorite
Inn Significant: A Novel by Stephanie Lynn Verni is a beautiful story that looks at the heart of depression. Milly Foster lost the will to live the moment she learned about her husband’s tragic death. And that was two years ago. Asking her to look after their business while they are away to help a friend in a startup bed and breakfast in Ireland, her parents couldn’t imagine what this would do to her. While at the inn, Milly’s colleague, John, discovers a diary that belonged to her grandma. Read on to find out how an old journey changes everything in the life of a woman who is just as ready for the grave as a corpse, sending her on a personal odyssey to find answers to her own pain.
At the beginning of the story, we meet the protagonist, a grief-stricken woman who has just learned about the death of her husband. Only one thought occupies her mind: “I don’t want the paramedics. I don’t want my mother. I want Gil!” The drama, the emotional intensity of the story is evidenced by the opening pages and readers who love emotionally charged stories will be gripped by the heart from the very start. Stephanie Lynn Verni’s writing is exceptional and I enjoyed the way it captures the powerful emotions, especially those of the protagonist. Milly’s journey towards healing is realistic, one that readers can connect with easily. What made this story stand out for me was the depth of the characters and the gorgeous writing. It was hard for me to let Milly alone, even if I found her headstrong and stubborn from the start. As the story progresses, she learns to shift her gaze onto reality and matures far more quickly than I could have imagined. Inn Significant: A Novel is entertaining, inspiring, and outright delightful, one of the stories I won’t hesitate to recommend to readers seeking a fun read.
B A S E B A L L G I R L ( 2015)
Francesca Milli’s father passes away when she’s a freshman in college and nineteen years old; she is devastated and copes with his death by securing a job working for the Bay City Blackbirds, a big-league team, as she attempts to carry on their traditions and mutual love for the game of baseball. The residual effect of loving and losing her dad has made her cautious, until two men enter her life: a ballplayer and a sports writer. With the encouragement of her mother and two friends, she begins to work through her grief. A dedicated employee, she successfully navigates her career, and becomes a director in the front office. However, Francesca realizes that she can’t partition herself off from the world, and in time, understands that sometimes loving someone does involve taking a risk.
Honorable Mention for Sports Fiction – Readers’ Favorite
Praise for Baseball Girl from Readers’ Favorite
Stephanie L. Verni’s contemporary fiction novel, Baseball Girl, is a marvelous novel that blends the coming of age, romance and sports fiction genres. The author’s long-term association with the Baltimore Orioles makes the novel feel like the real thing. Verni takes the reader into the inner workings of the front office of a baseball team, and it’s a fascinating look at the hard work, dedication, and stamina needed to be part of that world. While Francesca is no longer a young adult, the interwoven tales of her childhood through to her late twenties, combined with the ongoing trauma of her loss which keeps her locked up inside and unwilling to risk emotional attachments, make this story one of the more compelling coming of age tales I’ve read. Baseball Girl has a strong romantic thread, but the lack of any overtly sexual or erotic themes makes this novel eminently suitable for young adult readers as well as the target adult audience. Verni’s strong and competent Francesca is the perfect role model for young women, especially if they just happen to love sports. Baseball Girl is an awesome read, and it’s most highly recommended.
B E N E A T H T H E M I M O S A T R E E ( 2012 )
Annabelle Marco and Michael Contelli are both only children of Italian-Americans. Next door neighbors since they were both five years old, they both receive their parents’ constant attention and are regularly subjected to their meddlesome behavior. In high school and then in college, as their relationship moves from friendship to love, Annabelle finds herself battling her parents, his parents, and even Michael. She feels smothered by them all and seeks independence through an unplanned and unexpected decision that she comes to regret and that ultimately alters the course of her life, Michael’s life, and the lives of both of their parents.
Set in Annapolis, Maryland, New York City, and London, England, in the 1980s and 1990s, Beneath the Mimosa Tree examines both Annabelle’s and Michael’s journeys over the span of ten years as we hear their alternating voices tell the story of self-discoveries, the nature of well-meaning families, and the sense of renewal that can take place when forgiveness is permitted.
Thank you to those stores that have graciously agreed to sell my debut novel, “Beneath the Mimosa Tree.” I’ve attached links to each below, along with a video trailer about the novel’s story line.
Finalist – Indie Excellence Awards
Bronze Medal Winner (tops in its category) – Readers’ Favorite Awards
Praise for Beneath the Mimosa Tree from Readers’ Favorite
Annabelle Marco and Michael Contelli have been next door neighbors in Annapolis, Maryland, since they both were five years old. In their senior year of high school under the mimosa tree in Michael’s back yard, they realized their attraction to each other. By the end of their college years, Annabelle and Michael are ready to marry. And, oh, aren’t their parents excited about this! However, Annabelle deserts Michael on the eve of their Caribbean wedding as she feels the pushiness of her parents and Michael’s. Both sets of parents obviously are furious with Annabelle, and Michael goes off to London alone and stays there for ten years, marrying the wrong girl for a short and dismal time. Now he is coming back to Annapolis and Annabelle has just ended a disastrous affair with an alcoholic. Will Annabelle be able to apologize to Michael for what she did ten years before and will he accept her apology and be able to love her as he once did?
“Beneath the Mimosa Tree” is a lovely, well-written and well-edited story of childhood sweethearts. Annabelle and Michael, their parents, Annabelle’s grandmother Vivi and all their supportive friends in the United States and London are totally believable. The special charm of this story is that Annabelle and Michael have much to overcome and take their time doing so. They don’t just make up and jump right into bed together. The story’s true-to-life plot flows smoothly to the book’s conclusion and “Under the Mimosa Tree” is a story to read and cherish.
E V E N T P L A N N I N G:
C O M M U N I C A T I N G
T H E O R Y & P R A C T I C E
Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice offers a unique approach to the topic: through the use of intriguing case studies, the authors connect concepts in communication to practical event planning ideas. Understanding the “why” behind successful events is key to creating the perfect experience for clients. With a solid basis in communication theory, the text will enable event planners to manage each aspect of the planning cycle with clarity and precision.
PUBLISHED BY KENDALL HUNT PUBLISHING | CLICK HERE FOR THE WEBSITE