Sunday, August 31, 2014

Please Welcome Mystery Author Kristi Belcamino

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Kristi Belcamino
by Kristi Belcamino

We are delighted to welcome mystery author Kristi Belcamino to Omnimystery News today.

Kristi's second mystery to feature San Francisco reporter Gabriella Giovanni is  Blessed Are the Meek (Witness Impulse; July 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats) and in today's guest post she writes about the setting for the series.

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Kristi Belcamino
Photo provided courtesy of
Kristi Belcamino

When I first sat down to write Blessed Are the Dead, the first book in my series featuring San Francisco Bay Area crime reporter Gabriella Giovanni, I hadn't lived in California for seven years.

I based my descriptions on locations in the Bay Area on memory alone, which, let's face it, the older I get, the less reliable that becomes. So, this summer, knowing I was about to embark on writing book three in the series, I included a trip to the Bay Area as part of my summer vacation.

My husband and I stayed in the Oakland Hills and made day trips down by Lake Merritt (where Donovan lives), into San Francisco, and east to Contra Costa County where Gabriella's newspaper is based. (And a few secret side trips I can't talk about without creating spoilers for the next book!)

Without giving too much away, some of the places we visited included China Town in downtown Oakland where we indulged in The Best Pork Buns on the Planet at Sum Yee Pastry. We caught a movie at the Grand Lake Theater. We walked the shores of Lake Merritt and spent an evening with our priest friend. (Father Liam in Blessed Are the Meek is inspired by him.)

My husband was impressed that after so many years away, I had described the rectory perfectly in my book. It was everything I had remembered and more. And my priest friend was larger than life. He is more charming, more joyful, and more stylish than my book's character. Some people might think the priest character in my book is exaggerated, but let me tell you it is only a shadow of the man who inspired the character.

In San Francisco, we headed to the North Beach part of town (The Italian section where Gabriella lives) and we visited Saints Peter and Peter Church. Of course, we stopped for a coffee at Café Roma. Met a writer friend at City Lights Bookstore (Hi David!) and then had beers (Stella Artois for me of course!) and bruschetta at a sidewalk café. And we shopped! I picked up items to giveaway to newsletter subscribers and bought a cool poster of Italy for my kitchen.

Back home in Minneapolis, I am geared up, inspired, and ready to dive into book three, Blessed Are Those Who Weep, knowing that I will visit the Bay Area again, maybe next year in real life, but I'll be there next week in my new novel!

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Kristi Belcamino is a writer, artist and photographer who makes a tasty biscotti. Her first novel, Blessed Are the Dead, was inspired by her dealings with a serial killer during her life as a Bay Area crime reporter. Her work has appeared in such prominent publications as Salon, the Miami Herald, San Jose Mercury News, and Chicago Tribune. She now works part-time as a police reporter at the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at KristiBelcamino.com or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blessed Are the Meek by Kristi Belcamino

Blessed Are the Meek
Kristi Belcamino
A Gabriella Giovanni Mystery

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.

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