What’s your name again?
Some American first names can be very confusing. Take Pat for example, it is short for Patricia or Patrick? How can you tell? Then there is Toni or Tony. Yes, for a native that’s simple. For me, it is a little more difficult.
After a friend explained that “i” works for the female version and “y” for the male as a nickname for Anthony I felt like I have Anthony under control.
But what about Miki, Mickey, or Micky? Where did the “y” come from in this case? What about Sam? And Blair, Morgan, Jaime, Marion, and dare I ask? Paris. Are these boy’s or girl’s names?
Then you have last names that are really first names. How confusing is that? There’s Lynn David, Andrew Lawrence, April Rose, Kim Lindsay, Tom Arnold, Ricky Martin, Tina Louise, Marc Anthony, Marc Grace, Darryl Hannah, Dave Barry. I bet you could add a dozen more to this list.
When I was growing up in Italy, everybody had to have the name of a Saint.
There is a Saint’s name next to every calendar day and Italians like to celebrate their name day. Maria was probably the most common name. It was Maria this and Maria that. Maria isn’t so common anymore. However, Italian first names are easy to distinguish because male names end in “o” like, Mario while female names end with an “a” like Maria. If I stopped writing right now, you’d probably all go on thinking how simple it is to tell if it’s a man or a woman by their Italian name. But, wait. There are exceptions. Quite a few actually, like Andrea; in the United States this is a girl’s name and since it ends with an ‘a’ you would assume the same of the Italian counterpart. You’d assume wrong. Andrea is a boy’s name.
And we have other exceptions. For instance, both boy’s and girl’s names ending with an “e”, like, Cesare, Dante, Davide, Beatrice, and Clarice.
I named my first-born in the Italian tradition, using the names of his two grandfathers: David, Augusto. I had hoped he would use these names proudly, but pretty soon he became just Dave, and at his high school graduation, he bribed the announcer not to mention his middle name. So much for tradition. With the next boy I decided to find a name that couldn’t be abbreviated. Fat chance. Brian Swan quickly became BS, you all know the common meaning of that acronym.
As for myself, my given name was Maria Grazia. In a perfect world, it would translates to Mary Grace, but we live in the United States of America, so, when I grew tired of people calling me Mary Thank You, I began to use Maria, just plain Maria for my first name. It’s hard to shorten or change that. So far.
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BEST IN SHOW
Mina’s Adventures Series, Book 6
Maria Grazia Swan
Cozy Romantic Suspense, 188 pages
When a seemingly innocent night out with friends lands Mina in a hospital bed and Diego undercover, and not the covers Mina wants him to be under, Mina has to draw on all her new-found maturity, and all her supportive friends for strength.
Meanwhile, a Best in Show cat takes up residence at the Ritzy Cats B&B, Mina’s other venture, setting Mina on the trail of a suspicious character who might not have the cat's best interests at heart.
Add a Matchmaker to the Stars, a temperamental Italian chef and the usual menagerie of people and pets, stir it all up and you have an entertaining, hard to put down romantic tale of suspense.
Did he love her?
In the heat of the night, love was a given. But as daylight unfolded, her insecurities found their path to her heart. Mina didn’t move, afraid the slightest shifting might wake him. His chest rose and fell against her back as he breathed peacefully. Their bodies touched, connected in a perfect fit. A match made in heaven she repeated to herself, in heaven but not on earth?
The longing she felt for him transcended sex and lust. Eyes closed, she revisited their good-bye two years ago in the cemetery in Italy, and that sense of unconditional love he’d brought into her life. It was the kind of love Mina assumed girls customarily expected from a father, a brother, a kin. But that was only a guess, a yearning, since she’d grown up without parents or siblings, so she had never experienced such love, until then, during that magical Italian summer.
Diego stirred and brushed his lips up and down the nap of her neck. “Missed you,” he whispered.
Now wide-awake, Mina quipped, “You missed me? How?”
“How?” In one fluid motion he spun her around, her body pressed against his. “How did I miss you?’ He paused, his eyes burning from a surge of passion she hadn’t seen coming. “For the last two years I carried with me the image of you in your red dress. The way you looked the last time I was near you. It’s branded in my soul. I couldn’t rid myself of it. Even now a glimpse of a red dress would arouse me. I’d be aroused not by the woman wearing it, but by the memory of you in that red dress.”
Books 1 thru 5 Available at Amazon
About the Author
As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.
Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?
Find Me Here –Maria Grazia Swan
I Love My Cat locket (US only)
Paperback copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (US only)
Ebook copy of any of Maria’s Books, winner’s choice (Intl)
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