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


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.


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Giveaways Galore

Today marks one month until the publication of BLESSED ARE THE DEAD!!!!

One month! As my kids would say, I’m nervacited!

To celebrate, having my very first book published, I have two giveaways planned, one long-term and ongoing, one short term.

1. For everyone who pre-orders my book before June 10th (release day), I will give them a free Gabriella Giovanni Recipe Book (ebook) that includes recipes for the dishes I mention in BLESSED ARE THE DEAD. All you need to do is send a screen shot or copy of the receipt to [email protected] with subject line RECIPE BOOK.

2. Everyone who signs up for my newsletter (here) is automatically entered into a contest to win a super cool & awesome prize EVERY month. I want to start off with a bang so I’m going BIG for the first FIVE months:

Here are the prizes!!!

(1) One lucky person will get a new, signed copy of KILL FEE!


(1) Free, brand spanking new KINDLE goes to another lucky winner



(1) lucky winner will nab this brand spanking new STRAND bookstore tote bag filled with books from the kick ass authors who gave BLESSED ARE THE DEAD a blurb here. Owen was in town recently so his copy is signed.



(3) people will get Ghirardelli chocolate bundles because nothing says San Francisco (where BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is set) like Ghirardelli!



(1) DVD pack with the entire first season of True Detective


All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter HERE and you are automatically entered to win. One winner will be chosen each month.

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Tales of a Fourth-Grader with a Dorothy Hamill ‘Do


I feel like my poor web page has been neglected since Fully Exposed ended.

Here is something I wrote over on Do Some Damage

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Fully Exposed – Finito!

DSC_8907I was whining to Matthew yesterday that I got nothing for today. Nothing.

My life is blissfully uneventful (unless you count mopping up gallons of water, but I’m not going to talk about that anymore because, hey, people are dealing with entire houses flooding. I only have “seepage” – good problems).

So, I am pretty boring.

If you’ve followed this project, you already know that most days I sit at my kitchen counter writing for several hours by myself.

At least one day a week, I get totally CRAZY and go to the cafe to write and whoop it up there with a latte.

This is the writerly life for me.

I’m a true believer that if you sit butt-in-chair for at least three hours a day, you can write a novel in three months, just like Stephen King says. It usually takes me twice that long to make the novel pretty enough for someone else to read, but not always. Sometimes that only takes another three months and BAM — off it goes to my agent.

I dream of the day when I can eek out a very, very simple living from my writing. I don’t need much. If you’re a writer, the best advice I can give you is to keep a low nut. Don’t incur debt. Keep your expenses as low as possible. Live lean and mean and buy used and know that this way of life will give you the freedom you crave to pursue a writing life.

Now, I don’t deny for a second that I live an extremely privileged life. I have it made. I have a rich life compared to many, many people.

But I don’t live large, either.

I shop at thrift stores. I make do and use up what I have before I replace something. I eat leftovers. I take a little brush to scrape the rest of my lipstick out of the tube. I buy my friend’s books new but many others I check out at the library. I drive a used car that I own. I wash the gray right out of my hair at home with a box of dye from the drugstore!

I’m not saying all this to sound like a martyr or sanctimonious, I’m just saying that part of how I’m able to only work part-time outside of my home is because I live very frugally and simply and have the support of my husband and other family members in so many ways.

The other thing that must be said, is that I would not be in the position I am right now (about to have my first book published) if it weren’t for the unbelievably warm and welcoming writing community I’m a part of. From the people who read my roughest drafts, to the authors who are giving it raving reviews right now — they all have been part of the community that makes me realize this the best JOB EVER!

So yes I’m blessed and privileged and incredibly, incredibly lucky and grateful to live the writerly life that I’m living right now.

Because of this, I believe my obligation is to work hard in the time I’ve been given each day to pursue this writerly life. I hope that this glimpse we’ve given you into our lives—how one debut writer (ME) and one veteran writer(Matthew Clemens) live—has been helpful.


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Fully Exposed – Day 30

lakephoto: dreaming of summer

The super cool and awesome Alison Gaylin’s review of BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is in and it’s fabulous!

“BLESSED ARE THE DEAD is a fast-paced, suspenseful read. Savvy San Francisco reporter Gabriella Giovanni is tough, vulnerable and complex — a terrific new series character.” —Alison Gaylin, USA Today Bestselling Author of the Brenna Spector series


In other news, my writing took a backseat today. I spent a large chunk of my morning writing time ferrying the children to doctor’s appointments and then taking them to lunch, later. I also spent time today mopping up our flooding basement every few hours. Good times. Before that I managed to squeeze out 500 words, only half of the BARE MINIMUM I set for myself daily. Tomorrow – will do much better. And walking, out of the question. Pouring rain and 30s. Yuck.

Goals: writing 1,000 words, walking 1 mile
Results: writing 489 words, walking 0 miles

Check out my partner, Matthew Clemens’ progress on Facebook and at

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