Monday, August 25, 2014

The Return of Gabriella Giovanni {+ Giveaway}

Blessed are the Meek coverIt’s a pleasure to be participating in author Kristi Belcamino’s Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tour for her recent release, BLESSED ARE THE MEEK, the second installment in her Gabriella Giovanni Mystery series.

I’m delighted that Kristi has joined us to talk about how her career as an award-winning journalist relates to her writing fiction. In addition, I’ll share my thoughts on this intriguing book and Kristi is hosting a tour-wide giveaway.

First, a synopsis of BLESSED ARE THE MEEK:

        A rash of high-profile murders all point to reporter Gabriella Giovanni's boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan, when investigators uncover a single link in the deaths: Annalisa Cruz. A decade ago, Cruz seduced Donovan away from a life as a monk, and though their relationship soured long ago … her passion for him has not.
        As the investigation continues, it becomes increasingly clear that any man who gets involved with Cruz soon ends up dead, including a dot-com millionaire, the mayor of San Francisco, and a police officer. Donovan, the only man to have dated Cruz and survived, is arrested for the murders and dubbed a jealous ex, leaving Gabriella scrambling to find the real killer without ending up as the next body headed for the morgue.
        Gabriella's search ultimately unearths a dark secret that Donovan had intended to take to the grave. Faced with the knowledge of this terrible truth, Gabriella must tie the past and present together to clear Donovan's name.

Genre: Suspense
Published by: Witness
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Number of Pages:
ISBN: 0062338927
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads

Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kristi as she answers this question: Has your career as an award-winning journalist helped or hindered you're writing fiction and how so?

Even though writing fiction terrified me enough to study journalism in college instead of creative writing, I’ve found that my later-life transition from journalist to fiction writer has gone better than I dreamed.

There were a few reasons I shied away from pursuing my dream to be a writer when I was in college. I was worried about the same things most people worry about — how to pay the rent and put food on the table. Journalism seemed a surer bet in the late 1980s. Now? Not so much. Now, as the profession wanes, it may be just as big a gamble, but when I was in college, it was a way to make a living writing all day.
Although I left my career as a newspaper reporter a decade ago, I still have enough love and passion to do it part-time. 

At first I worried that going back to newspaper after becoming a fiction writer would be tough. I worried that the two ways of writing would collide, but surprisingly none of that has happened. If anything, I am probably a better journalist now because of my journey into fiction.

I have found there are more pros than cons in switching from journalism to fiction.

The only con I found at first was that I really had to concentrate to “show” and not “tell.” That is the fundamental difference between the two forms of writing.

Here are the pros.

* No Writers Block/Ability to put butt in chair

After a career as a journalist on a daily newspaper, I quickly got used to having an editor screaming at me and breathing down my neck to turn in a story on deadline. That, along with the fear of losing my job if I didn’t perform, effectively ensured I would never have writer’s block again in my life.

* Ear for Dialogue/Good eavesdroppers

Recently, a book editor at a daily newspaper interviewed me and complimented me on my dialogue, which surprised me. But then, she pointed out something. She said that she has found in her more than 50 years of journalism that former journalists who write fiction have the best dialogue because we’ve developed an ear for how people speak. I agree.

* Conciseness/No Purple Prose/Willingness to Kill our Darlings

Journalists are trained to get to the point in as few words as possible so you will rarely see our novels chock full of filler and fluff. In addition, we know that most of the time, when we kill our darlings and chop the superfluous writing, our stories are better off for it. Editors have trained us to have a thick skin in this arena.
So, overall, I think that being a journalist prepared me for my dream career as a fiction writer. It gave me the confidence, chops, and ability to do what it takes to be a published writer.

Kristi, thanks for sharing this insight into the transition from journalist to fiction writer. As a former journalist, I can truthfully say your love of the craft shines through in your writing and your protagonist.

For those who aren’t familiar with Kristi, here’s a brief background.

Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist who also bakes a tasty biscotti. In her former life, as an award-winning crime reporter at newspapers in California, she flew over Big Sur in an FA-18 jet with the Blue Angels, raced a Dodge Viper at Laguna Seca, watched autopsies, and conversed with serial killers. 

During her decade covering crime, Belcamino wrote and reported about many high-profile cases including the Laci Peterson murder and Chandra Levy disappearance. She has appeared on Inside Edition and local television shows. She now writes fiction and works part-time as a reporter covering the police beat for the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Her work has appeared in such prominent publications as Salon, the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, and Chicago Tribune.

For more on Kristi and her writing, visit her website and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

You can also follow Kristi’s tour by visiting the following blogs that are participating in her tour:
8/01 Showcase @ A Blue Million Books
8/05 Review @ Words by Webb
8/06 Interview @ The Pen and Muse
8/12 Showcase @ Books Books and More Books
8/13 ~ Guest Post @ My Devotional Thoughts
8/20 Showcase @ Deal Sharing Aunt
8/26 Showcase @ X-Mas Dolly
8/31 Omnimystery News


Author Kristi Belcamino once again shows readers the heart and soul of her protagonist Gabriella Giovanni in this action-packed story.

The story flows smoothly, but is adrenaline-driven from beginning to end. The twists and turns keeps readers on the edge of their seats in anticipation of what’s to come next. The author blends bits of humor and romance at the right intervals to give readers a chance to catch their breath.

The characters are realistic, likable and well-developed. Their interaction draws the reader in to be a part of the action and intrigue.

Belcamino has captured the determination, dedication and drive that makes a great journalist in Gabriella, as well as what makes a great law enforcement officer in Donovan. These are characters readers can relate to as they deal with their jobs, family issues and emotional concerns.

BLESSED ARE THE MEEK is a fascinating mystery that will hold you captive from the first page. This exhilarating story is one not to be missed.

FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me as part of the author’s virtual book tour in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.


This is a Rafflecopter giveaway for 10 individual promo codes for a free download of BLESSED ARE THE MEEK for the entire tour. Winner must have access to Bluefire Reader and have an Adobe account to receive the free download. 

To enter, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.

Thanks so much for stopping by during Kristi’s visit. Do you think journalist and law enforcement can work together or should they remain on opposite sides?

*This post contains affiliate links.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. It's always nice to hear from an author about their work. Thanks for featuring her on your site and sharing your thoughts on her new mystery.

  2. Good points, Kristi. You do have to get to the point in journalism, which probably means you don't write overstuffed books that need a lot of hack and slash. I've done a lot of technical writing, so my fiction is also pared down.
    Congratulations on your latest book!

  3. She probably got better training than most people since she worked in journalism.

  4. Mason - Thanks for hosting Kristi and sharing this book.

    Kristi - The kind of writing one does as a journalist vs as a fiction writer is really different. Still, as you say, the switch can ultimately be really successful. I'm glad it was for you.

  5. Thanks Alex. Sometimes I get a little worried when the first draft of my novel is so spare, but I know that the second draft of revisions is often about fleshing it out and deepening the story, but yes, it does not start out overstuffed!
    L. Diane, it did help!
    Margot, Thanks so much!

  6. we have a film in my country about a woman whose all boys end up dead :)

  7. Rafflecopter refuses to acknowledge my existence, so I'm unable to enter. However, I'm reading BLESSED ARE THE DEAD right now and loving it. This new book is going on my Amazon list today.

  8. Sounds like an exciting read! It's nice when you can 'pull over' some skills from another career! :)

  9. I love how she compares the journalist and the novel writer. It's true, a journalist would be more concise and have great dialogue.

  10. I've heard others say a background in journalism is helpful in writing fiction.

    Looks like a great book.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.