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Short Story Press Presents One Winter Moment By Alicia Voss-Guillen "One Winter Moment," by Alicia Danielle Voss-Guillén, is an intriguingly original coming-of-age story, a delicate romance that delves beneath the surface to explore our various family dynamics and the ways in which they shape us, influence us, and make us who we are. Romance, passion, family, and cultures collide when twenty-year-old college student Giorgio Meducci finds himself faced with the decision of a lifetime. Torn between beautiful Meghan Elliot, the girl of his dreams, and his fear of disappointing the close-knit Italian family he adores, Giorgio is faced with an age-old dilemma all of us have grappled with at one time or another: is it more important to follow his family or to follow his heart? If he follows his family and leaves Meghan for the "ideal Italian girl," whoever that may be, he knows he will regret the decision for the rest of his life. If, however, he follows his heart and stays with Meghan, he will inevitably be forced to confront the reality of having ashamed his family and once again being upstaged by his older brother and younger sister, both of whom can do no wrong in the eyes of their parents. To complicate the matter, Meghan is growing weary of Giorgio's secrecy where their relationship is concerned.She demands that Giorgio make up his mind, one way or the other, by New Year's Day. January first is fast approaching, and Giorgio is in a panic.It does not help matters that his brother Claudio, Claudio's perfect Italian wife, and their two beautiful little girls are staying with the Meduccis over the holidays, or that Claudio is bent on teasing Giorgio about his own future Italian wife. Giorgio is tired of his lies, his deceit, his sneaking around. He wants to date Meghan openly, while at the same time he deeply desires to be a source of pride for his mother and father. It appears at this time that he cannot have both, and the reality of it breaks his heart. How he can he go on living with only half of a heart? And more importantly, what will he decide when the clock strikes twelve on New Year's Day? Inspired by a real-life teenage romance of her own in which she found herself in a less dramatic variation of Meghan Elliot's situation, Voss-Guillén has decided to write from the opposite point of view, imagining the dilemma that an individual such as Giorgio Meducci is forced to confront. Although Giorgio's situation may be unique to his character, the feelings with which he grapples are familiar to us all. Writing "One Winter Moment" was a learning experience for the author, enabling her to sympathize with both of the viewpoints between which Giorgio oscillates, and to gain appreciation for the strong cultural pride of a family such as the Meduccis. In addition to "One Winter Moment," Voss-Guillén is the author of the three-book middle-reader Tori Series (Just Tori, Tori and the New Girl, and Tori's Wish), published by Price World Publishing and available online through a variety of booksellers, as well as numerous other short stories and novellas for young adults and children. Voss-Guillén is a freelance writer/editor and ghostwriter living in Wheaton, Illinois.