Denise’s life is full, and yet completely empty. Stuck in a loveless marriage, even the thrill of running a New York City bakeshop and working at a major opera house can’t fill the gaping hole in her heart.
Then, one evening, Vincenzo Moretti walks up the grand staircase at Masterworks Opera. When their eyes meet, Denise knows it would be folly to fight her feelings.
When Vincenzo returns to his home city of Rome, Denise is heartbroken – but she always knew it wouldn’t last. Then one day, he walks back into her life….
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I started writing this book as a kind of therapy, with the idea that only I would see it. Then I discovered I had written almost an entire book, so I thought I'd re-arrange it to take out the more personal parts. At some point I realize that my characters were in control and I had no say in the matter anymore.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I work at the Metropolitan Opera so it was easy to think up characters; all I did was look around me. However, my male lead is based on one specific man who is actually a professional singer.
She exited the Board Room and made her way down the corridor. In the silence of the House, she heard men’s voices carried through the open space. They seemed to be right beneath her. She pinned herself against the wall and listened, even though she knew she shouldn’t.
“Vinnie, come on. You know it wasn’t your fault. No one dies because their child is bad.”
The other man – Vincenzo, she guessed – sighed. “I know that up here, Tonio.” (She imagined him tapping his head.) “But in my heart, I cannot accept it.
“I have memories of her, but nothing clear,” Tonio said in a voice that suggested he was smiling.
“Well, you are younger than me. You wouldn’t remember her well.”
Embarrassed at hearing something so personal, Denise stepped away from the wall, walked over to the white marble railing and looked down to the lobby below. She watched Vincenzo and Tonio ascend the staircase. Then, as she unconsciously twisted her wedding ring, Vincenzo suddenly looked up at her, as if he knew she’d heard their conversation. She felt the blood rush to her cheeks.
He was dressed in tight-fitting jeans and an open-neck shirt with the tails hanging outside. His dark, wavy hair was combed back, the ends coming down slightly on his neck. But what she noticed more than anything was his eyes. Even from a distance, those beautiful, deep chocolate brown eyes seemed to see directly into her soul. Then he looked away and disappeared through a doorway.
She thought he seemed sad, deep down sad, and reflected on what she’d just overheard. “Maybe he’s just tired,” she mumbled to herself. Whatever it was, she found she had an urge to comfort him. He seemed like he needed it.
Startled by her own feelings, she grabbed the katana more forcefully and made her way to another exit, taking her into the connecting tunnels under the House and back to her office in the adjacent building.
D.D. Bartholomew was born in Brooklyn, NY and has live in, Australia, Canada and in Japan. After 40 plus years in the corporate world, she gave it up and retired.
Opera is her passion, both listening and performing. She volunteers at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City and can most often be found at the membership desk on the Grand Tier.
She’s published numerous articles on VOCAL and this book is her first full-length novel.
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