Blessed Are Those That Mourn Virtual Book Tour

Welcome to today’s stop on the Blessed Are Those That Mourn Virtual Book Tour – Hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Without further ado, let me introduce author, Kristi Belcamino. Kristi

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a newspaper reporter, crime fiction writer and Italian mama who bakes a tasty biscotti!

Each writer has their own rituals – some listen to music while others drink coffee.  What do you do to bring on your muse?

I must have caffeine – usually a double espresso when I sit down to write. Other than that, I need a spot for my laptop and I’m good to go.


How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on their meaning or because you like how it sounds? What other things do you consider when naming your characters?

Names are very important to me. Before my first Gabriella Giovanni book was published, I was devastated to get a cease and desist order from a handbag company that was named Gabriella Giovanni! Luckily, the company’s claim (or concern) that it’s customers might be confused by the same name wasn’t a valid argument. Hard to mix up a fictional character with a handbag, right?


Thinking about your latest novel:  If one of the supporting characters could step off the page and join you for lunch, which would you choose and why?

Chris Lopez. He’s the most badass newspaper photographer who ever lived! I love the guy!

Writers tend to spend a lot of time alone.   When it comes to socializing, do you prefer a small group of close friends or large and rowdy party?

I love throwing small intimate dinner parties. If I have to attend a party, I am the one off in the corner having a deep conversation with one other person.

Which would you prefer:  Hiking/Camping   or   Dinner/Movie

Dinner and movie. I got all the hiking/camping out of  my system as a kid growing up in Northern California.

Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams.  Do you remember your dreams and have they ever inspired a story or a scene in a story?

I remember my dreams, but they haven’t inspired a story. However, I have woken in the middle of the night with a breakthrough idea for my current novel. It’s why I keep a pen and paper on my nightstand.

At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?

Her family was her everything.

About her novel: blessed are those that mourn

San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni has finally got it all together: a devoted and loving boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan; a beautiful little girl with him; and her dream job as the cops’ reporter for the Bay Herald. But her success has been hard-won and has left her with debilitating paranoia. When a string of young co-eds starts to show up dead with suspicious Biblical verses left on their bodies—the same verses that the man she suspects kidnapped and murdered her sister twenty years ago had sent to her—she begins to question if the killer is trying to send her a message.

It is not until evil strikes Gabriella’s own family that her worst fears are confirmed. As the clock begins to tick, every passing hour means the difference between life and death to those Gabriella loves…

Author Bio:

Kristi Belcamino is a writer, photographer, and artist. In her former life as a newspaper crime reporter 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 interviewed serial killers. She is now a journalist based in Minneapolis and the Gabriella Giovanni mysteries are her first books. Find Kristi on Facebook or on Twitter @KristiBelcamino

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Writing Group Outing & Flash Fiction

My writing group is pretty informal – we don’t have officers or go over the minutes of previous meetings.    Instead, we get together for lunch, talk about our current projects, and discuss things like our latest marketing efforts.  In September, we decided to change things up by taking a trip to an arboretum, bringing only paper and pen.

After a few minutes of “sharing,” we split up – each wandering through the gardens and the paths of our own imagination.

It was overcast with a passing sprinkle or two, a comfortable 72 degrees – perfect writing weather.

Adirondack ChairsI thought I had found the perfect spot to write – a picnic table under a gazebo.  I scratched out a few lines and after a moment, I moved to another location.  It was there, sitting in an Adirondack chair that I met Grace.

Dropping the garden rake, she placed her hands on the small of her back and stretched as rain drops lightly fell around her.  June had been unusually hot and dry.  Grace refused to run inside.  She thought it a sacrilege not to bathe in the prayed for precipitation, to not revel in the glorious wetness.

The clouds thickened, the droplets fell harder, faster.  A low rumble signaled this would be no passing shower.  This would be an electrical frenzy – a clashing of the elements.

The wind shifted.  The trees found their rhythm, swaying to some mystical music.  Grace closed her eyes, raised her hands into the air until she too, found the melody.  she rocked to and fro, and as the storm increased in intensity, so did her movements.  She danced – twirling like a tornado.  A laugh erupted from deep inside as lightning crackled across the sky.

It was then he saw her – this beautiful madwoman embracing the storm – and the fairy prince knew she would be his.

Margaret Sorick, Author Interview

Because of Blogging 101 & 201, I found some great blogs and some awesome Blog-Buddies.  One of those buddies is author Margaret Sorick.  The first thing that caught my attention was her blog’s title and tagline:

Meg Sorick – she writes better than she dresses

“She tried to look picturesque, but only succeeded in being untidy.”    Oscar Wilde

Seriously, I was intrigued – a writer with a self depreciating sense of humor!  I knew her blog was going to be a favorite.

So when the opportunity arose to have her visit my blog, I was thrilled.  If you haven’t met Dr. Meg, you’re in for a treat. And if you are familiar with her blog, then you’re about to get to know her a little better.

Tell us a little about yourself.         

IMG_0176Where to begin?  I am a writer!  I love saying that because I’m finally doing this thing I love after years of ignoring it!  The rest of the time, I am a practicing chiropractor with an office in the basement of my home.  This set-up is actually very conducive to writing because I can carve out time for it between patients and on my long lunch break in the middle of the day.  (Chiropractic can be very physically exhausting, especially after 20 years of practice!)  I love to read, am addicted to it.  In fact, I usually have at least 2 books going at a time: one on audio for listening to while I exercise, and another on paper or e-book.  I love music, sports and live theater.  I’ve been married to my wonderful man for 23 years.  We don’t have any children, but love being “emergency back-up parents” for our friends’   We enjoy traveling and our bucket list includes visiting all the capital cities of Europe.

Each writer has their own rituals – some listen to music while others drink coffee. What do you do to bring on your muse?         

Early morning writing has to include coffee, at least 2 cups, with absolute quiet.  Later in the day, I will listen to music, usually non-vocal.  One of my favorite Pandora stations is Moby Radio.

When it comes to a new novel, what/who usually shows up first? The idea for the story or the characters?

The story usually shows up first with a vague idea of who the characters might be.  I’ve gone back and rewritten major characters, because I didn’t like how they were working in the story.  For example, one of my villains from Three Empty Frames actually started out as the hero.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on their meaning or because you like how it sounds? What other things do you consider when naming your characters?

I don’t choose names based on their meanings.  So far, I’ve been writing a series with recurring characters.  I’ve tried to make sure all their names sound good together as a group, not too similar or alliterative.  I haven’t given anyone in the book too outrageous a name, except for my current main character Desdemona.  So aside from her name, I’ve used the website to help choose names based on how old the character is.  If you type in the year the character was “born”, they will give you the top 25 names for babies born that year.  For surnames, I’ve used place names, the names of deceased relatives and names of people in movie and TV credits!

Desdemona Murray is the main character for your novel, Seeing Red. How did she introduce herself to you?

This is a convoluted tale.  At the time I was writing the first book:  Three Empty Frames, I was binge watching Doctor Who on Netflix.  During the time of the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond, played by the beautiful Karen Gillan, was the Doctor’s companion.  I imagined Karen, a statuesque red-head, as one of the friends of my main character for that book.  I had already figured out that each of the three young women in the first book was going to get a story of her own.  As for the name Desdemona, it’s not taken from the Shakespeare’s Othello, as one might assume. Rather, I took it from ‘Where Is Joe Merchant, a novel by Jimmy Buffet!  He wrote about his friend Desdemona, who runs a space station and bait shop as part of a crazy cast of Florida characters in the book.  My Des is nothing like Jimmy Buffet’s Des, but I just loved the name!  Murray is a distant family name on my mother’s side.

Thinking about your latest novel: If one of the supporting characters could step off the page and join you for lunch, which would you choose and why?           

Adam Quinn has an older brother, Graham.  He only has a supporting role in this story, but secretly, I’m in love with him!  He’s blunt and honest to the point of being rude.  As you get to know Graham, however, you find out that he is intelligent, artistic, loyal and funny.  Oh and did I mention drop-dead gorgeous?  Yeah, that too!

Writers tend to spend a lot of time alone. When it comes to socializing, do you prefer a small group of close friends or large and rowdy party?               

I manage all right in a crowd, but it’s not my preference.  Ironically, we entertain frequently, so I find myself in the midst of a crowd quite often!  I end up sequestering myself with a friend or two in the kitchen to escape!

Which would you prefer: Hiking/Camping   or   Dinner/Movie          

Hiking/camping, but the hubs is not much of a camper so it doesn’t happen nearly enough!

Everyone dreams but not everyone remembers their dreams. Do you remember your dreams and have they ever inspired a story or a scene in a story?  

I have a very vivid recollection of two dreams I had as a child.  One was about a plane crash and a reporter standing in front of the wreckage, the other was a recurring nightmare that my house was burning down.  Have they influenced a story?  Not yet!

At the end of your life, when it is all said and done, what would you want your tombstone to read?

“Beloved wife, loyal friend, she was able to laugh till the bitter end.”

Meg’s latest novel:

51bjmspj-ol-_sx331_bo1204203200_Beautiful, hardworking, Desdemona Murray doesn’t see herself the way others do.  She only remembers the awkward teenager she once was.  The talented landscape designer is hired to install a custom deck at the home of star football player, Ethan Samuels.  When she catches the eye of the handsome professional athlete, and he begins to pursue her relentlessly, she is at first, flattered and amazed.  However, her heart belongs to a man whom she believes only considers her a friend.  Adam Quinn has always been a ladies man, not one to settle down, or so she thinks.  Little does she know his feelings for her run much deeper.  When Des finally sees both men for who they really are, the choice she must make is obvious.  But when she chooses, Des finds out how dangerous it can be to break free from a man who can’t take no for an answer.

Make sure to follow Meg:




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If you follow my blog, you know that I love participating in Benedict Nicholson’s Six Word Story Challenge.

I’m always amazed at how one prompt can inspire so many different stories.

This past week’s prompt was BETRAYAL.

My attempt was:  A bribe accepted.  A witness dead.

And I’m celebrating!!!

My attempt won!!!

Click here to visit Ben’s blog and if you haven’t participated, give it a try.  You might be surprised by the number of wonderful stories out there!

My Review of Lilah by Marjorie DeLuca

lilahAmazon’s Book Description:

When Searching for the Truth Means Reliving Your Own Nightmares

Journalist, Nick Hendricks is coasting on auto pilot with his job, his relationships and his life. All that changes one snowy night when the beautiful and mysterious Lilah arrives in sleepy little Silver Narrows. Caught hopelessly in her spell, Nick begins to investigate some tragic disappearances from the town’s past. Soon he realizes that things aren’t so perfect in this small Minnesota town and there are guilty secrets lurking beneath its cozy exterior. Secrets some of the town’s long-standing citizens want to keep buried. But he can’t help wondering where Lilah came from, why she’s there and what connection she has with the unexplained disappearances of four teenagers. Nick’s investigation sets off a string of disturbing events as he struggles to answer these questions and come to terms with unsettling secrets from his own past while falling crazily in love with the elusive Lilah.

What I Thought:

Marjorie DeLuca has created a tale full of suspense – a guaranteed page turner.  I found myself reading until the wee hours of the morning.

The story was told from the perspective of Nick, a small town newspaper reporter.  Nick is like an onion – all these different layers that when peeled away reveal a complex person.  On the surface, he seemed a bit shallow and self-absorbed.  But as the story unfolded, I found Nick to be vulnerable and at times, somewhat blind – but surprisingly likable.

I loved how the story opens:

The night Lilah came to Silver Narrows, Minnesota, the wind changed direction, and so did Nick’s life.

Lilah serves as the catalyst to the story, prompting changes in not only the town but in Nick. She is somewhat of an enigma as her past/motives are not known.  The author does sprinkle in a few clues and honestly, there were a couple of times I wanted to smack Nick for his refusal to recognize them.

There are a multitude of characters.  The author did a good job juggling all of them.  She touches on some sensitive subjects and presents them in a very realistic manner.

If you enjoy romantic suspense, you won’t go wrong with this novel.

4 stars!!!


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