Beneath the Mimosa Tree
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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, a Readers Favorite Award Winner, 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.

From the author

Letters play an important part in Beneath the Mimosa Tree, so I thought I would write one in the form of a message here to you, prospective readers, to say thank you for considering reading my book.

This novel started as a short story, and with the encouragement from one of my professors who suggested I take it from the short story form to a novel many years ago, I decided to tackle the project. It was written with much love, commitment, and energy, as this is a story I'd wanted to create for many, many years.

It was an absolute pleasure delving into the worlds of Michael and Annabelle, and I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much I enjoyed creating them and their story.

With gratitude,

About the author

Stephanie Verni was born in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and grew up in Maryland. Her teenage years and a portion of her adult years were spent living in Annapolis and Baltimore. A graduate of Towson University, she earned her first master's degree in Professional Writing from Towson University, and a second master's degree (MFA) in Creative Writing from National University. She spent thirteen years working in public relations and publishing for the Baltimore Orioles baseball club. For the past four years, she has been a full-time faculty member of Business Communication at Stevenson University outside of Baltimore where she serves as an assistant professor. She teaches feature writing, magazine writing, public relations writing and advertising. She resides in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and two children.

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