Guest blog by MaryAnn Diorio about The Italian Chronicles series

by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD

When my dear friend Rose invited me to write a guest post for her blog, I was delighted! Rose and I go back a long time. We met at an ACFW Conference in Dallas and have been friends ever since. So I am honored to share with you a little bit about the story behind my trilogy, The Italian Chronicles.

All three novels of the trilogy—The Madonna of Pisano, A Sicilian Farewell, and Return to Bella Terra—are, in part, set in Sicily. Having visited Sicily, I have strong ties to this beautiful island because my paternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Sicily. Those very ties inspired me to write The Italian Chronicles. It is in Sicily that the life of my heroine, Maria Landro, unfolds.

The seed for the trilogy grew out of an incident I discovered while researching my family tree. I learned that my great-great-grandmother had been raped and had borne a child out of wedlock. Feeling a sudden and deep compassion for this woman, I made it my goal to find out what had happened and to exonerate her good name.

Through a serious of miraculous circumstances, our Lord connected me with a professional genealogist who lived in the very town in which my great-great-grandmother had lived. He informed me that, in those days, young women were often violated by either ruthless landlords or unscrupulous priests. This fact provided the seed for the first novel, The Madonna of Pisano, although most of the story beyond that is purely fictional.

Book 2 and Book 3—A Sicilian Farewell and Return to Bella Terra—are also based on historic facts in my ancestry, but, for the most part, these novels are fictional weavings that, I hope, will glorify God and bless my readers.

Copyright 2018 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All Rights Reserved.


A woman, her son, and the man who threatens to come between them . . .

When she receives word that her mother is terminally ill, Maria Landro Tonetta travels to her Sicilian homeland with her son Nico. She finds herself yearning for the life she once knew as a child on Bella Terra, the family farm, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Caught between two worlds, Maria dreams of moving back to Sicily with her husband and children to save the farm.

When, however, Nico’s biological father unexpectedly appears at Mama’s funeral, Maria faces a new enemy to her dream.

But is there an even greater enemy within her own soul?

BIO: Dr. MaryAnn Diorio is a widely published, award-winning author who writes compelling, riveting fiction that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart. A former university professor of fiction writing, she lives in New Jersey with her husband Dom. They are the blessed parents of two adults daughters and five rambunctious grandchildren. You can learn more about MaryAnn and her writing at

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2 Responses to Guest blog by MaryAnn Diorio about The Italian Chronicles series

  1. Thank you, Rose, for featuring me on your blog today. I am most grateful! Blessings to you!

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