In Book 4 of the Morelville Mysteries series, Hitched and Tied, I fully introduced Dana’s family to Mel and to the series. They’d only been briefly mentioned before other than Dana’s ex-husband Nate (Books 1 and 3) and Nate’s family (Book 3).
Dana was born and raised in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania suburb of McKeesport and her parents Marco and Chloe Rossi still live there. As the series begins, Dana is a 34 year old woman and the only daughter of Marco and Chloe. She is the older sister of both Vince (the middle child, a Pittsburgh cop) and Nicco, who goes by Nick, (the baby, an IT director) Rossi.
Dana’s always been an independent sort who isn’t as close to her own family as Mel is to hers. Even given that, it’s evident that Marco, Chloe and the boys are all very close and that they all love Dana very much. Chloe Rossi is especially is supportive of her eldest child in a way that Mel’s own mother Faye sometimes fails to be. Chloe worries no more about Dana doing police type work than she worries about Vince doing it and doesn’t see her daughter as a woman doing a mans job. She also doesn’t care at all that Dana is gay, only that she is happy and she sees plainly and accepts that Dana is very much in love with Mel.
Chloe Rossi is a housewife who’s always looking for just a little more excitement. She and Dana’s dad are both 56 years old. Marco is still working in Pittsburgh steel mills and, though his health isn’t what it used to be, he plans on putting several more years in to beef up his retirement. Chloe longs for a life where they can do things on a weekend whim rather than planning things around the mill schedule, where they can relax in the heat of summer and get away in the cold of Pittsburgh winters. She’s a risk taker who likes to go to casinos and gamble a little (with her girlfriends or with Marco) but only what they can afford for her to lose…not that Chloe ever thinks about losing. She thinks she’s got the knack and she’s usually right. Lady luck always seems to be on her side.
To make a little extra fun money and to save some too, Chloe learned to do nails once her children were all in school. She’s been doing them for years for friends and family and she’s quite the regular at the beauty supply store where she gets her materials and catches up on the latest trends and the latest gossip. While she’s working on women’s manicures and their paint jobs, they often talk as if they’ve known her forever or talk about the earth as if she isn’t even there. She’s become a good listener, a skill which she adds to her keen sense of observation.
Chloe is an Italian woman at heart. She can be sharp tongued and quick witted but, beneath a sometimes slightly gruff exterior, lies a curious, determined woman. If she want’s to know something – anything – she’ll find out and she’ll charm you or shame you into telling her.
Watch for The Morelville Mysteries – Book 5, ‘Viva Mama Rossi!‘ to be released in September.