|to encourage and entertain
|Love Never Fails
|The only daughter of Italian immigrants, I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, along with my three
brothers. Growing up in the Caldarelli household held nothing out of the ordinary, with my father earning a
living as a carpenter and my mother remaining on the homefront, raising the four of us.
I graduated from high school with an honor diploma and with no real love for reading or writing. At the
age of eighteen, I launched myself into the world of a working girl. And then an education of another kind
began. It also marked the beginning of my road to becoming the avid reader I am today.
Returning home from the office one evening, I caught the tail end of a news clip on TV featuring the
growing popularity of romance novels. This was the early eighties. Intrigued, I scooted to my local library
to pick up a copy. And was forever hooked! Many novels later, the idea of writing my own romantic
story piqued my interest momentarily and fizzled just as quickly. But the seed was planted and the
ensuring years would nuture it and help shape the form it was destined to take.
My profession over the next twenty plus years experienced twists and turns and sudden stops. I worked
as a policy adjuster for a large life insurance company, a receptionist in a chiropractor's office, a
bookkeeper for a trucking firm and a human resources representative for a distributor of oils and
shortenings -- all wonderful opportunities for people-watching and a huge asset for writing about real
people in a real world with real-life circumstances.
I was raised a Roman Catholic, with attendance every Sunday morning a natural desire within my heart.
Though God was important to me, I did not know Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior. I had a
head knowledge of Him but not a heart knowledge. Thankfully, I had an appointment with Destiny.
At the age of twenty-five, I found myself single with no hint of marriage on the horizon. Disheartened
with the notion of becoming a spinster (I was over-the-hill for an Italian girl -- this was the early eighties,
after all!), I made the conscious -- and sinful -- decision to seek out a fortune-teller for advise. The advise
was going to cost me -- to the tune of $3500. Immediately, the blinders lifted from my eyes and I saw my
folly and sin. The Lord would never offer help in exchange for payment. On this Thursday evening in
March, 1984, I surrendered the desires for my life, the hopes for my future, the fears of forever
remaining single, to the Lord, acknowledging I wanted to live His way, not mine.
Three weeks later, I met my Polish knight in shining armor, not galloping on a white horse but driving a
small, red Toyota stationwagon. The circumstances leading up to our "destined" meeting was out of the
ordinary but we do serve a creative and mighty God. When I returned home from work one night, I found
the Toronto Star newspaper on the kitchen table. Picking it up, I skimmed through it as I sipped a cup of
coffee. I came across the personal ads and read them all. One in particular stood out, high above the rest.
Not having any intention of mailing in my response, I did, however, for the fun of it, pen a reply. I even
wrote it in red ink. And to my complete horror, I dropped the never-to-be-mailed letter in the Canada Post
mail box. If I could have crawled into that box and retrieved the envelope, I would have. Seeing I couldn't,
I did the next best thing -- I ordered my brain to forget my temporary lapse into insanity. The amnesia,
however, was short-lived. Three weeks following this insane action, my "hero" catapulted into my life and
I embarked on the most thrilling, romantic and loving adventure with a man who loves Jesus with all of
his heart and who helped me grow in the things of God. Six weeks later, my hero proposed. A month
later, we married. Two decades plus later, we're still on our honeymoon, with Jesus holding the position
of Senior Marriage Partner.
In 2000, I complained to the Lord, desiring to leave my day job to pursue a career in which I could
experience satisfaction, fulfillment, and contentment. Late one evening, as I prayed, the idea of writing
romance bulldozed its way to the forefront and the little seed planted so many years earlier emerged as a
powerful partner. Together, we stormed the bookstores for romantic fiction and how-to-write-romance
books. I joined the Romance Writers of America, and its affiliate chapters, the Toronto Romance Writers
and the Faith, Hope and Love chapter. Later, I became a member of the Word Guild, an association of
Canadian Christian Writers and Editors. I attended writers' workshops and conferences, sponging up
everything the instructors taught. It wasn't until I "accidently" picked up a Christian romance fiction book
that I understood this was what God had called me to write. As a child growing up, I had always wanted
to be a teacher in a classroom of children. Little did I realize then, God had called me to teach, in novel
form, about the greatest and most ardent of Lovers, the Lord God and of His love letter to us, the Bible,
while encasing them in heartwarming stories of love and romance between one man and one woman.
I continue to reside in Toronto, with my hero/husband, Henry, who is also my greatest cheerleader and
supporter, and Misha, the cat, who believes she's human and co-authored my books. I divide my time
between these two loves of my life, my 81-year-old mom, reading, and gardening. Oh, and yes, my day
Love & Prayers,