RI Authors Showcase – Meet Janet DeLeo

Welcome to the Rhode Island Authors Showcase! Each day in November, this blog will feature a different Rhode Island author. Read the post and leave a comment and you are eligible to win this day’s giveaway!

Leave a comment every day this month for over 30 chances to win either our Grand Prize (a $250 Amazon gift card), our Bonus Prize (a $100 Amazon gift card), or a Cheer-Up Prize (amount to be determined), just in time for holiday shopping!

A winner will be randomly selected one week after the publication of the blog post, and the Grand Prize and Bonus Prize winners will be randomly selected on December 7, 2021. For the daily giveaways, the author will contact you directly to coordinate delivery. Print books for delivery within the US only, please.

Janet DeLeo

After being a business teacher and an entrepreneur, Janet DeLeo found time to return to one of her first loves – writing. She started by writing poetry when she was young and then started writing anything that inspired her. She frequently started a sentence with the words, “When I write my book…,” but She didn’t know how serious she was when she blurted those words out. 

Janet also discovered a new love – painting. She now paints anything that doesn’t move. She also creates an endless array of items with glass. 

In no particular order, her current inspiration is fueled by three things: She is a Baby Boomer; she is a second-generation Italian-American; and she was six years old before she moved away from a little cocoon called “Federal Hill” in Providence, Rhode Island. That’s when she realized that everyone’s last name did not end in a vowel and that most men did not have funny names like LaLa, Slick, Blondie, or Bugs! She is also a proud graduate of a Catholic elementary school AND a Catholic high school. She is making a point that this background supplies her with enough material to write for the rest of her life! 

Learn more about Janet by visiting her website: https://janetdeleo.com/

Follow her on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/3ma273ye

What a great title for a book! A Life Well Lived: Accompany my Father, a First-generation Italian American, as he Journeys Through the Depression, World War II, Fatherhood, … Patriarch in his First Ninety-four Years.  As Janet says, she met her father when he was twenty-three years old. She did not realize it then, but now she sees he had already packed a lifetime into his time on the planet. At ninety-four years young, he says his life has gone by in the “blink of an eye.” No matter how he or anyone else describes it, what a life it has been! It is the personification of the term, “a life well lived.” Walk the streets of Federal Hill. Savor the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchens of the Italian immigrants. Watch as they develop strong families and help construct a new country. Appreciate them as they strive for and attain their share of the American Dream.

Janet will give away a copy of her book – a treasure for anyone with Italian ancestry, or anyone who enjoys reading about the past – to one winner. Just comment below and answer this question: What is your favorite Italian food?

Join us on SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, from 9:00am to 3:00pm at the CROWNE PLAZA in Warwick for the 9th Annual Rhode Island Authors Expo!

It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Pat Mitchell

Pat Mitchell photo

The Girl, with her fiance, in 1946

A Girl from the Hill is a tribute to my mother, who grew up on Federal Hill during the Great Depression. The collection of essays depicts her life of as one of laughter and love, as well as its share of suffering and sorrow.

Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood was, and still is, Rhode Island’s “Little Italy.” Thousands of Italian immigrants, including my grandparents, came to Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century to begin new, better lives. They struggled to assimilate into American culture, and my mother’s parents, Giovanni and Maria, tried their best to become John and Mary. My mom, their youngest of eight children, was full of joy, and enjoyed much of her childhood despite her mother’s struggle with diabetes.

I began the book merely as a simple exercise, to see if I could actually write a book. Once we got going, once I started listening to my mother’s story, I gained an appreciation for her journey, her losses, and how the absence of her mother left a gaping hole in her young heart that never truly mended.

A Girl from the Hill is a story for mothers and daughters alike, as it speaks of the bonds between us as women, both loving and strained by the inevitable growing pains that daughters naturally experience. I remember how sure I was that I knew so much more than my mother. Now, as a mother myself, I see how my own daughter can run circles around me and my self-righteous confidence, which makes me appreciate my own mother more each day. She was right about so much, and my impatience to grow up and away has now become a yearning to return to my mother and her roots in order to understand critical life lessons.

In addition to my mother’s memories and my realizations, A Girl from the Hill also contains some stories that her mother “made up” and my mother further embellished in order to entertain their children at bedtime, as well as Italian lullabies that have been passed down for generations. And did I mention recipes? Some of our favorite family cookie recipes are also included. My mother’s delicious Christmas cookie trays were legendary, and she whipped up dozens of trays each year both for family and for my dad’s business associates.

Today my mother, 93, still loves to laugh, and says it helps her stay sane as she and my 96-year-old father care for each other. She continues to inspire me with her strength as she stubbornly insists on doing all of her own housework and cooking. To me she is still the little girl with the olive skin and big brown eyes that loved to make her family laugh.

Pat Mitchell author Pat Mitchell received a grade-school punishment and had to write a ten-page essay about appropriate classroom behavior. She enjoyed writing so much that she misbehaved more, hoping to get more writing assignments. A Girl from the Hill is her first book.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a copy of her book to one lucky winner. Just comment on this blog post to be eligible. One person will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week from publication of this blog post. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors ExpoThe Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo