Recent Books by Cleo Lampos
“I love you, Ava Rose,” she whispered.
“I love you enough to give you life.”
All Irish immigrant Deirdre O’Sullivan has ever wanted is a home and a family. But her dreams didn’t include living in a cramped tenement in Five Points, New York, with the disillusioned love of her life. Nor could she have imagined that, each day, she’d be torn away from her children to work for low wages in the steamy laundry of a hotel just to survive. Then tragedy strikes twice, and Deirdre struggles with the ultimate act of love—to give her children the chance to live and blossom…without her.
When Nebraska homesteaders Sam and Claudine Thompson lose their third baby, she retreats into hopelessness, convinced that the secrets of her past won’t ever allow her to be a mother. Then one day the orphan train rolls into town. Claudine insists, “A baby is out there crying. And he’s crying for me,” and hurries toward the railroad station.
Strawberry-blond-haired Ava Rose, four years old, waits on the railroad platform, watching over her fragile baby brother and clinging to hope. Neither has any idea they’ll not only fulfill the deepest longings of two mothers, but will also kick off legacies of hope for numerous others who live with poverty and prejudice.
A poignant tale of hope and courage amidst unfathomable odds.
Roni stared up into the deep brown eyes of the medic.
Since when did the mere sight of a mature male make her lose her focus?
Special education teacher Veronica Bagedonas is passionate about her work with behavior-disordered children. Teaching is her life, but nothing could prepare her for the shock of her class list this year, which includes two students infamous for reducing seasoned teachers in the Chicago Public School system to incoherent babbling. It doesn’t help, either, that Sunny, her new “Barbie doll” teacher’s assistant, is an everyday reminder of all Roni lacks. By the age of thirty-two, her hope of marriage has vanished. So why then does she find herself unsettled whenever Joe, the medic, is around school?
Joe Milanovich, the school liaison for the fire department, is intrigued by the jaunty, gutsy “Miss Bee.” But the pain of his if onlys never seems to leave his heart, driving away any potential relationship. It’s been three years since the tragedy, but the event is still imprinted on his mind like it was yesterday. If only his tour of duty had been one month shorter, maybe his mother and brother would still be alive….
As Joe and Roni navigate the tough urban school, dangerous neighborhood, and their own scars, might their longing for acceptance and home be met…in each other?