The Cross We Bear — Dynasty of Books

Book Title – The Cross We Bear Author – I.V. Greco Publisher – I.V. Greco Publishing Date – August 16, 2021 Format – 298 Pages Paperback Genre – Fiction/ Drama/ Literature Series – NA Synopsis After the tragic death of her husband, Katlyn finds her life is spiralling out of control as she struggles to […]

The Cross We Bear — Dynasty of Books
Advertisement

Book Review: The Cross We Bear — Sara Flower Kjeldsen Writes

I bought this book after a fellow blogger asked me to try out their book. As always, I prioritize book reviews for fellow bloggers, because you guys are awesome and I appreciate your viewership on my blog. 🙂 My review: A family saga in a novel This was a family saga type of story in […]

Book Review: The Cross We Bear — Sara Flower Kjeldsen Writes

November 11 – Remembrance Day

In Flanders Fields

For Remembrance Day I wanted to share this poem we in Canada all learnt in elementary school. For me the most poignant lines are:

The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die, We shall not sleep…

The price of the freedom we enjoy today, was at the precious loss of many, many lives. We should stand on guard and continue to protect that freedom, for which they so courageously fought to secure.

In Flanders Fields

BY JOHN MCCRAE

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
 Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
 In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
 If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
  In Flanders fields.

Our Night at the Opera

Let me begin by saying I’m going to share this story with you, but it is a bit embarrassing.

Back in February of 2011, my husband and I decided to do something from our shared bucket list for our 40th anniversary. Being both lovers of opera, we decided to visit Milan and see an opera at its renowned opera house, Teatro Della La Scala. We were both excited for this trip so as soon as tickets went on sale, I searched online and found two, second row orchestra seats for Pucini’s Tosca. I knew DaVinci’s Last Supper was also in Milan, so I booked a viewing of that as well. From there, we would take a train to Switzerland in what I referred to as the Hemmingway-Farewell to Arms-route: starting in Milan, then a few days in the resort town of Stresa, and finally, on to Lausanne for a few more days. (As I’m writing this, I realize that trip covered my greatest passions: music, art, and literature.) We booked a direct fight, Toronto to Milan, and had really nice accommodations waiting for us when we arrived there.

We settled in and everything was wonderful, just as we imagined it would be. The day after we arrived, we went to see the Last Supper at the convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie. It was a short showing -maybe 15 minutes – in a temperature-controlled room where groups of only a few people were allowed to enter at one time. The guide explained details about the mural and we found it was all very interesting. (By the way, opposite the Last Supper is another beautiful mural Crucifixion by renaissance painter Giovanni Donato.) After that, we did some more sight seeing and later had some fabulous food at a local restaurant.

The next day we had our night at the opera. The morning we spent doing more touring and eating, and later we returned to the hotel to prepare for the evening.

Again, everything was grand when we arrived at La Scala. There was a light drizzle but it did not dampen our excitement as we walked into the opulent, historic opera house. The foyer was of an ivory cream colour and gold gilded trimmings, and it had large statues of famous Italian composers displayed here and there. The ushers wore, I believe, 19th century cloaks to set the feel of the time period the opera was supposed to have taken place in. We took our seats in the theater decorated with lavish, red velvet drapery framed in more gold gilded cornices and moldings. The orchestra was so close, the stage was so close, that we felt like we were a part of the presentation.

There was a few minutes before the opera was to start, so my husband stepped out to the restroom and I flipped through the program while I waited. I was holding my glasses in one hand, absentmindedly playing with them between my fingers. (I had reached that certain age when I always had to take them off for reading, but I was not quite ready to accept bifocals.) In any case, I needed them desperately for distance, being very nearsighted and blind as a bat without them.

Wouldn’t you know it? The glasses slipped out of my hand, and I couldn’t see where they landed on the floor!

I panicked and thought to myself, after all the planning and expense to finally be here, there was no way I was going to see a blurry Tosca! I looked and looked around. Not seeing them, I figured they must have fallen under my seat somewhere and I worried my husband might step on them when he got back. I really needed those glasses to see! So, I got down on all fours – in my fancy dress – and felt around under my seat and the seats in front and to the sides of me. Finally, I let out a sigh of relief, as I felt them under the seat to the left of mine and pulled them out triumphantly from under there. As I got up, I noticed people smiling and chuckling, in particular, an elegantly dress couple seated just behind me, smiling – closer to laughing. I smiled back and just slightly held out my glasses to indicate why I had been on the floor. I’m sure at that moment the colour of my face must have blended in with the colour of the red velvet drapery. I slumped in my seat trying to be as inconspicuous and small as possible. My husband returned and I told him what had happened. He thought it was amusing. I thought it was mortifying. Mercifully, the lights went down, the orchestra played, and I drifted away to 19th century Rome, and the tragic story of Mario Cavaradossi and Floria Tosca.

The Cross We Bear – Excerpt

By: I. V. Greco

Update: If you prefer HARDCOVER FORMAT, The Cross We Bear in now available in hardcover in addition to ebook and paperback formats on Amazon.

Brief description:

Jonathon a Catholic priest, believes the rest of his life will be spent in the service of God as it had been for almost two decades. But unbeknownst to him, he has a teenage son he never knew about with his first, long ago love, Katelyn. In their youth they shared a contentious relationship, but wanting more, she betrayed him and ran off with the another man, never telling Jonathon of the child’s existence. Their lives go on separately until Katelyn, now widowed and in need of someone to help with her rebellious son, returns to her home town of Toronto where their paths cross again. She is the only one who knows the truth and worries the discovery of her secret will ruin her relationship with her family, friends and above all, her son J.J.

Here is a short excerpt of the reaction by Jonathon when he sees Katelyn, for the first time after many years, when she unexpectedly presents herself for Communion during a regular Sunday Mass.

The woman had a slight smile, almost a smirk, as she patiently waited with her hand lifted before him. But then that expression disappeared and was replaced with a look of alarm as she saw his face turn ashen and he seemed to be frozen. For a moment she feels that time has stopped. And he, in his shock, appears to have forgotten where he is and to finish what he was doing. A dreadful panic rises within her and she fears the worst – that she is not wanted there. Pleading with her eyes, she implores him to continue and complete the holy exchange. But he falters. The line he had been repeating over and over to many others before her, now came out as an inaudible slur of words, and before the “Amen” leaves her lips, he drops the wafer into her hand as if it had reverted back to common everyday bread, old and stale.

She felt the inquisitive eyes of the congregation burrowing into her back, like hundreds of sharp stones being thrown at her, in an attempt to shatter and break her open, and reveal why she had this perplexing effect on the priest. She moved swiftly in retreat, heading to a pew somewhere in the back of the church and she did this in a manner hoping to be as inconspicuous as possible. Hunched over slightly and keeping her head down so as not to meet the gaze of any of those curious invasive eyes. She finally reaches her seat and attempts to settle her rattled nerves by taking deep breaths. And slowly, a wave of relief does begin to wash over her. There in the far back, she felt herself safely hidden and lost amongst the faithful once more.

But Father Jonathon had remained motionless, suspended somewhere in the earlier days of his youth. Suddenly, the resonating clatter of the fallen chalice which had slipped from his hand, followed by dispersed gasps from some parishioners, brings him back from his stupor. As he looks around in bewilderment, two scurrying ushers come to the rescue and begin to pick up the Body of Christ – the holy wafers which were now scattered around the floor. Reverence for those holy bits seemed to go out the stained glass windows, as they unceremoniously put them back in the chalice and then one of the ushers, hands the chalice back to Father Jonathon who accepts it with a slight apologetic nod

The Cross We Bear by I. V. Greco is available on Amazon in e-book and print formats.

Art – Cover art of The Cross We Bear

Some readers have asked me about the cover art of my novel The Cross We Bear. So I decided to post a brief explanation of what I had in mind when I designed the cover:

The novel is about the heavy burden – a life changing secret – carried by the main character, Katelyn, and also, the personal burdens of some of those around her. She carries this burden – her cross – which weighs relentlessly on her life as she looks for someone to help her with her struggles. On the book cover, standing precariously in the darkness, the cross is slightly leaning and appears as if it is about to fall. This is an analogy of Katelyn’s situation – alone in her darkness, she is barely keeping it together as her conscience and fears gnaw at her sanity. But there is a faint illumination in the background. This represents the hope and the faith she must allow into her life before her burden can be lifted. Will the weight of her cross cause her to stumble into ruin? Or will she find the courage to carry it high and face the fallout of her past transgressions?

The Cross We Bear by I. V. Greco is available on Amazon in e-book, paperback and hardcover formats.

The Cross We Bear – it’s moving!

Since my last post on August 8th, announcing the release of my first novel, The Cross We Bear, I am so pleased to see readers are picking up a copy or reading it through e-books. The satisfaction is two fold. First of all, the very idea that people are actually interested in my fictitious musings is a real trip for me; and second of all, but more importantly, a portion of the proceeds will go to cancer research.

The story is about a woman and how the decisions she made throughout her life, have impacted her and all those around her. As she tries to sort out how she can come to terms with her past and set things right, she suffers great mental anguish and fears she my lose her son in the process.

On a personal level for me, I am grateful to have been able to complete the novel and see it come to fruition. I thank you for your support.

The Cross We Bear by I.V. Greco can be found on Amazon.

Cover design and art: I. V. Greco