A few more awesome reviews!

What a fantastic weekend!
I was lucky enough to have three reviews roll in … check them out!

Kristi Belcamino’s Gabriella Giovanni has the sharp wit of a seasoned beat reporter and the tragic past of a truly complex heroine.

As Gabriella delves into the complicated mind of a beguiling criminal to report on a case about the kidnapping of a young girl that is eerily similar to that of her deceased sister, she approaches the source of what makes a killer kill with a refreshing amount of pragmatic compassion.

Fans of acclaimed shows like The Killing and True Detective will devour BLESSED ARE THE DEAD. Belcamino is a strong female voice in a genre dominated by men. I can’t wait for the next installment in this thrilling series! — Bethany Neal, acclaimed author of MY LAST KISS

Like the best Law & Order SVU episode you’ve ever seen…

And the kicker is that the protagonist, Gabriella, is a newspaper reporter instead of a cop, so you get an entirely different perspective on a twisted serial murder case. “Ella” is a woman you can instantly relate to, i.e., she pigs out on pasta, has a messy love life, forgets to switch her cell on, and accidentally wears her clothes inside out. Through her, the author deftly gives us an inside glimpse into the world of a big city crime reporter — the deadlines, the hierarchies, the crazy and often dangerous demands to get news scoops, the cutthroat competition among staff and with other papers, and the fascinating tension between cop reporters and cops themselves. It’s all here in such vivid detail, it’s unmistakably the writing of someone who has been there, done that — which Belcamino has, it turns out, even down to the interviews with a serial killer. This is authentic stuff, not the result of Google research and fancy wordplay. So real, in fact, that the suspense will make you glad this is an e-book so you can take it with you everywhere. One caveat: I was a little confused at first when exactly this story is meant to take place, as the characters have cell phones, but their world still does not seem totally wired. Sure enough, towards the end we learn it’s during the GW Bush administration, which then makes sense. Looking forward to more from Belcamino and Gabriella! — Meg Bratsch, acquisitions editor in book publishing

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First review by a Blogger! It’s getting real now.

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What a total trip. I still can’t believe there are people out there reading my book and I hope I never lose this excitement about it.

So far now, I’ve had my mind blown by these things:

*Stellar crime writers reading and liking Blessed are the Dead (thank you Owen Laukkanen, David Corbett, Alex Segura, Bruce DeSilva, and Alison Gaylin).

* A reader, a real, genuine reader, I’ve never met before loving Blessed are the Dead and reviewing it on Goodreads! (Thank you Alexis Tanner!)

*And now today, my first review by a book blogger. Thank you Jo Ann Hakola, aka the Book Faerie. Here’s what she said in full and here is my favorite part:

“This is a suspenseful story with lots of action.  It would make a great movie.  

I’m already looking forward to the next book.”

I promised my mom I would try not swear online, but I can’t help but say, Holy smokes

The $hit is getting REAL now.

Less than a month until my book comes out in the real world.

 

Fully Exposed – Day 28

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On Sundays, some of you already know, my routine is this: Mass, after party at my mother-in-laws house with tons of family, and then work at the newspaper.

But this weekend, something amazing happened. THIS:

A Review: New Crime Novel By Kristi Belcamino

A Review: New Crime Novel By Kristi Belcamino
Posted on April 24, 2014by Bruce DeSilva

Gabriella Giovanni, police reporter for a daily newspaper in the San Francisco Bay area, is passionate about her work; but a younger colleague is trying to steal her job, and her boss is eager to push her out.

So there’s a lot at stake for Gabriella when a big story, the kidnapping and murder of a little girl named Jasmine, happens on her beat. It’s the sort of story that can be emotionally draining for any reporter, but it’s a lot tougher on Gabriella, who’s still suffering from survivor guilt over the childhood kidnapping and murder of her older sister Caterina.

The story gets tougher still when a cab driver named Jack Dean Johnson, the only suspect in Jasmine’s kidnapping, refuses to speak with anyone but Gabriella. He intimates that he’s killed dozens of little girls. And one of them, he hints, just might have been Caterina.

That is the premise of Blessed Are the Dead by Kristi Belcamino, a crime novel so skillfully executed that it’s hard to believe it’s her debut.

In Gabriella, the author has created a compelling, utterly believable character who is at once vulnerable and tough as they come. The supporting cast, including the police detectives, the cunning villain, and denizens of the newsroom, spring to life from the page. The plot is as suspenseful as they come. And the gritty prose, distinguished by short, muscular sentences, is truly first-rate.

Belcamino’s own experience as a police reporter infuses her story with realism. She covered some high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and the disappearance of Chandra Levy. And she also reported on a serial killer linked to the murders of little girls, a case that inspired the novel.

Blessed Are the Dead, intended as the first in a series of novels about Gabriella Giovanni, is scheduled to be released by William Morrow on June 10.

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THANK YOU SO MUCH, BRUCE DeSILVA!
Here is a little about Bruce. (You can see why I’m so thrilled with his praise!)

Bruce DeSilva’s crime fiction has won the Edgar and Macavity Awards; has been listed as a finalist for the Shamus, Anthony, and Barry Awards; and has been published in ten foreign languages. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies including Akashic Press’s award-winning urban noir series.

He has reviewed crime fiction for The New York Times Sunday Book Review, Publishers Weekly, and The Strand Magazine, and his book reviews written for The Associated Press have appeared in hundreds of print and online publications.

Previously, he was a journalist for forty years, most recently as writing coach world-wide for The Associated Press. Earlier in his career, he worked as an editor and national writer at The Hartford Courant and as an investigative reporter at The Providence Journal. Stories edited by DeSilva have won nearly every major journalism prize including the Polk Award (twice), the Livingston (twice), the Robert F. Kennedy, the Ernie Pyle and the Batten Medal. He edited two Pulitzer finalists and helped edit a Pulitzer winner.

DeSilva has worked as a consultant for more than fifty news organizations, taught at the University of Michigan and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and lectured at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation. He has been a sought-after speaker at professional gatherings including the National Writers Workshops, the Abroad Writers’ Conference, Bouchercon, and Thrillerfest.

He and his wife, the poet Patricia Smith, live in New Jersey with an enormous Bernese Mountain Dog named Brady, and a big loveable mutt named Rondo.