La Dame d'Romance... 

 Blasts from the Inescapable Past


MEMORIAL to Kristina O'Donnelly's Parents


Kristina O'Donnelly aka Karina di Cuore, pictured here with the late Grand Dame d'Romance, author Barbara Cartland (Ms. Cartland's daughter Raine was married to the Earl of Spencer, thus making her the late Lady Di's stepmom)  at The Dorchester Hotel in London, England, during Romantic Times Magazine's Convention ( What year, you ask? I refuse to disclose it!)

Kristina aka Karina aka Vita, nicknamed  A Lady For All Seasons, was an actress as well as an author and journalist, and more photos  of her stormy, globe-trotting, universe-tripping  life, coming here, soon.

Kismet seems to have decreed that author editor journalist KRISTINA O'DONNELLY, aka Vita Vendresha and  Karina di Cuore, should lead a globe-trotting, multi-cultural, chameleon-life wrought with romance and drama, and thus end up writing thought-provoking exotic novels! Her odyssey began with her birth in Rome, Italy, well after the Second World War. Her father Sami Alberto, was a freedom-fighter, journalist and editor, and her Austrian mother Geraldine von Landeck, an opera singer and his best comrade-in-ideals.

Having met in Vienna, Austria during the raging fires of the Second World War, and married in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Sami and Geraldine then settled in Rome, Italy, at the end of the war, and Kristina was born sometime  later.

A short while after, due to political persecution, the threesome had to  leave Italy and settled in Turkey.

As she grew up in Istanbul, Kristina fell in love with Turkey and her gallant people. She was a child film-star and later a poet and a journalist and published a daily column in a major Istanbul daily. A die-hard romantic and idealist, imbued with a can-do, will-do spirit, she strove, to the best of her abilities, to champion the rights of the down-trodden. At the age of 17, she eloped and married a  44-year old Turkish artist, who had convinced her that he shared  her inclinations. The the union produced a much beloved son, Faik Kurt.

However, the April-December marriage of an artist and writer, was soon confronted by the realities of life and sunk in stormy seas.

Six years later, Kristina had no choice but to leave, under quite traumatic circumstances.

After her arrival in New York, she restarted her life from point zero. Although fluent in German, Turkish, Italian, her English could be termed at best "pidgkin,' and her experience as an actress, writer and journalist, counted naught in the New World - and skidding through a road inlaid with razor-blades, she worked as a 24/7 working maid, cook, window-cleaner, hair-stylist, door-to-door delivery person, and later on as a real estate sales person.

Few years later, Kristina married her soul-mate, blue-eyed Hibernian, Michael O'Donnelly (which led her to travel throughout Ireland and thus causing her to fall in love with the Irish people as well).

In time she moved up to be employed for the New York Daily News and then trailblazed as a volunteer newspaper union officer (The Newspaper Guild of America). Not surprisingly, her experiences in this electric environment inspired her to write the contemporary novel, Ride the Eagle (originally published by Worldwide Library; 2nd publishing by Rose International Publishing House). Readers called this novel "... a piece of Americana and a celebration of idealism." Ride the Eagle was sold in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, England, Spain, and Australia. (In May of 2003, Ride the Eagle, retitled as Sevgili Dusmanim (Beloved Enemy) was published in Turkey, by Epsilon Publishing House.) Another novel of hers, titled The Scorpion Child, was published the following year in Turkey as well.

Kristina is pictured here with Oscar winning actress Joan Fontaine.

Ms Fontaine has interviewed her on her exclusive cable talk-show broadcast from New York City.

She continued to write for two internationally published newspapers, as well as freelance as a magazine editor and book reviewer. The opening chapter of another novel, titled Children of the Eagle, about present day Albania/Kosova, was serialized in two newspapers, The Turkish Times, published in Washington D.C. and read worldwide, and Illyria, published in New York City, N.Y., also read worldwide. Revamped, revised and re-titled as TERRA DOLOROSA, it is awaiting the day Kristina will be (emotionally) strong enough to tackle it to completion.

To date , Kristina has published nine novels. Five more are nearing completion.

September 2013, brought her the greatest loss of her life, her best friend/soulmate, and husband, Michael's life.

As devastated as she still remains, Kristina's quest to touch and perchance to help heal, the Universal Human Heart, goes on ....

The proverbial question begs: CAN YOU GO HOME AGAIN?