Today for the Eggcerpt Exchange on The Maze I feature a character interview of Vita Caputo McGlory, heroine of From Here to Fourteenth Street by Diana Rubino!
It's 1894 on New York's Lower East Side. Irish cop Tom McGlory and Italian immigrant Vita Caputo fall in love despite their different upbringings. Vita goes from sweatshop laborer to respected bank clerk to reformer, helping elect a mayor to beat the Tammany machine.
While Tom works undercover to help Ted Roosevelt purge police corruption, Vita's father arranges a marriage between her and a man she despises. When Tom’s cousin is murdered, Vita’s father and brother languish in jail, charged with the crime.
How can Vita and Tom’s love survive the crushing poverty, hatred, and corruption?
Learn more about Vita:
What’s your job?
I started out as a sweatshop worker sewing ‘shirtwastes’ (blouses), and now I’m a committeewoman, with a view to being New York City’s first female mayor.
What’s your level of schooling?
I left school at 16 to go to work in a lampshade factory.
Where were you born?
Sassano, Italy, near Naples.
Where do you live now?
Greenwich Village, in a brownstone on East 14th Street.
Do you have a favorite pet?
They’re all favorites: two mongrel pups, Charlie and Shirley, two cats Romeo and Juliet, and assorted goldfish whose names we can’t keep up with!
What’s your favorite place to visit?Coney Island, to sit on the beach, frolic in the ocean, eat those delicious hot dogs and fried dough, and stroll the boardwalk!
Who is your significant other?
My husband Tom McGlory, who stuck with me as we overcame astronomical odds to stay together.
What’s your most important goal?
To see my three children become successful, respectable citizens. Doing all right so far—my daughter Assunta (Susan) owns a clothing store, my son Virgilio (Billy) writes Broadway musicals, and my youngest Teresa (Tessie) wants to be a baby doctor.
What’s your worst fear or nightmare?
That the stock market will crash again, or some other disaster will plunge us back into poverty.
What’s your favorite food?
My homemade lasagna with my grandmother’s sauce recipe (it’s a secret).
Are you wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?
We’re finally members of the solid middle class.
What’s your secret desire or fantasy?
To sing in one of my son’s musicals.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I’d buy my own airplane and give the rest to charity.
Vita leaned forward till their knees touched, but stopped short of an embrace. Boarders always came into the parlor at this hour. A lamplighter lit the gas lamp outside. A soft glow reached Tom’s eyes.
“Tom, I’m worried. I don’t want you in any kind of danger. But I’m so relieved you told me. Dear God, I was thinking—never mind what I was thinking.” She waved her hands. “I’m relieved that you told me, but I’m still worried something’s going to happen to you.”
“Nothing’ll happen. This won’t go on much longer. I’m up for a promotion—one that I won’t have to pay for—and I’m doing what I feel is right. I don’t want you worrying about me now.”
“Doesn’t it make you feel better to have shared it with me?” That surge of relief now relaxed her muscles.
“Now that I have, yes.” His shoulders relaxed. “It’s a load off my mind.”
They shared a smile. Strains of sweet music then started floating in through the open window. She recognized the song. That voice, that melodic strumming… oh, no, Roberto Riccadonna serenading her!
Tom turned toward the window where a shadowy figure stood in the light of the streetlamp. “That’s awful loud. Not only that, it’s just plain awful.”
For more information about From Here to Fourteenth Street,
including a different excerpt, check out this blog post!
Her passion for history and travel has taken her to every locale of her stories, set in Medieval and Renaissance England, Egypt, the Mediterranean, colonial Virginia, New England, and New York. Her urban fantasy romance, FAKIN’ IT, won a Top Pick award from Romantic Times. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Richard III Society, and the Aaron Burr Association. She lives on Cape Cod with her husband Chris. In her spare time, she bicycles, golfs, plays her piano, and devours books of any genre.
Visit Diana at www.dianarubino.com, www.DianaRubinoAuthor.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/DianaRubinoAuthor, and on Twitter @DianaLRubino.
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