Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Magic of the Alchemical Process and the Courage of our Vulnerability: Guest Post by Carmela Cattuti, Author of Between the Cracks + Giveaway!

Please welcome Carmela Cattuti, author of Between the Cracks: One Woman's Journey from Sicily to America, as she tours the blogosphere from February 9-27. Please find her guest post below and continue on for more information about the book, the author and how to enter to win a Kindle Touch eReader, loaded with an eBook of Between the Cracks! So without further ado, Carmela Cattuti on the magic of the alchemical process and the courage of our vulnerability...

Having just published an historical novel based on my great aunt’s experience of the 1908 earthquake in Sicily, I started to think about the alchemical process of growth open to the human race residing on this planet. In order to open ourselves to this transformation process we must have what the Italians call “couragio,” a quality highly regarded by the culture. The word means courage, but when an Italian says it, it is more of a blessing of confidence to transcend the obstacle or confront the issue at hand. A person with great “couragio” always triumphs regardless of the outcome.

As a species I see humans moving into a time line that is regenerative and healing. Many of us incarnated at this period in history possess courage in spades, and are waking up to who we really are. Those who remain steeped in the constructs of religion and politics, may take a few more life times to develop enough courage to extricate themselves from these paradigms. But for those of us with enough courage (energetically developed over life times) to face the amount of imposition imposed upon the human race from the media, politics, and religion, our transcendence is assured. The time line is created, all we need to do is bring it into our awareness.

It took a great deal of courage for my great aunt to survive that massive disaster, then marry a man she hardly knew and immigrate to a strange country. I wrote her story and I am humbled by it. Her younger sister was never found and for the rest of her life she often wondered if she was still alive. Many years later she and her husband returned to Messina to see if they could locate her, but there was no evidence that she had survived the earthquake. I think her story is a tribute of the indomitable human spirit.

From what I can remember of our conversations, she was very much in touch with her inner knowing from the time she was quite young. When she was a child both her parents died and she and her brother were sent to live with grandparents while her young sister was sent to live with an aunt, so from early on she had confronted loss and abandonment. After the earthquake she was even more alone, surviving on the streets until the Americans came and took children aboard ships. She ended up in a convent and was raised by the Sisters of Charity.

Her early life was an intense alchemical experience that strengthened who she was and what she came to the planet to accomplish. A less developed soul without an abundance of courage would have perished or given up. Her relationship with the Catholic Church was superficial and the energy of her worship was focused on the Blessed Mother. Even though she was raised in a strict religious atmosphere where her behavior was closely monitored, the construct of religion was not a force behind her spiritual beliefs. She was vulnerable to criticism for her “Mary Worship” by the Italian Community, but she persisted in having an altar devoted to Mary in her home regardless.

She was bombarded with family obligations and tragedy, but she persisted in her spiritual development and serving others, even when they were less than kind. Her influence on my life has been profound and when I think I am having a difficult time, I refer to her life and it puts everything into perspective.
Thank you so much, Carmela, for this insightful and intriguing post! Your great aunt was quite admirable!

Publication Date: August 15, 2013
Three Towers Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Pages: 324
Genre: Historical Fiction
Join Angela Lanza as she experiences the tumultuous world of early 20th century Sicily and New York. Orphaned by the earthquake and powerful eruption of Mt. Etna in 1908, Angela is raised in the strict confines of an Italian convent. Through various twists of fate, she is married to a young Italian man whom she barely knows, then together with her spouse, immigrates to the U.S. This novel is an invitation to accompany the young Angela as she confronts the ephemeral nature of life on this planet and navigates the wide cultural gaps between pre-World War II Italy and the booming prosperity of dynamic young America. Author, artist, and teacher Carmela Cattuti created Between the Cracks as an homage to her great-aunt, who survived the earthquake and eruption of Mt. Etna and bravely left Sicily to start a new life in America.

Buy the Book


About the Author

Carmela Cattuti started her writing career as a journalist for the Somerville News in Boston, MA. After she finished her graduate work in English Literature from Boston College she began to write
creatively and taught a journal writing course at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education As fate would have it, she felt compelled to write her great aunt’s story. “Between the Cracks” has gone through several incarnations and will now become a trilogy. This is the first installment. To connect with Carmela email her or leave a comment at

Between the Cracks Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, February 9

Guest Post at Book Babe

Tuesday, February 10

Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Wednesday, February 11

Review at Back Porchervations

Thursday, February 12

Guest Post at Boom Baby Reviews

Monday, February 16

Review at Bookish

Wednesday, February 18

Review at Book Nerd

Friday, February 20

Spotlight at My Book Addiction and More

Tuesday, February 24

Guest Post at Let Them Read Books

Wednesday, February 25

Guest Post at A Literary Vacation
 Spotlight at Layered Pages

Thursday, February 26

Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Friday, February 27

Spotlight at Passages to the Past



To enter to win a Kindle Touch eReader (valued at $59) & eBook of Between the Cracks, sponsored by author Carmela Cattuti, please complete the giveaway form HERE.
Giveaway ends at 11:59pm on February 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
Only one entry per household.
All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and  entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
Winner will be chosen via GLEAM on February 28th and notified via email.
Winner have 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Please email Amy @ with any questions.
Good luck!!


  1. What an fascinating story, and one that is so close to home. I think Carmela's great aunt's story sounds very good. I was close to a couple of my great aunts as well, and lacking any grandpas, definitely filled a story telling void.

    1. Isn't there just something wonderful about the stories that pass down from those relatives we are really close to? I didn't have any great aunts growing up but my grandfather fought in the British Air Force in WWII and I will always cherish the stories he told me, not only about that time in his life but his time growing up, meeting and wooing my grandmother, etc. Thanks for stopping by!!!