Thrill Week Guest Blogger

Hosted by Marce from Tea Time with Marce
(click above image to bring you to her blog)

Hi and Welcome to CMash Reads!!!

Marce invited me  to be today’s guest blogger for Thrill Week, and asked if I would talk about Partners In Crime Tours and a debut author that I have had the privilege of getting to know during the tour process.

First, a little bit about Partners In Crime Tours (PICT).  PICT was founded in May/June of 2011 by Molly from Reviews By Molly and it was during that time, that she extended the invitation to me to become a partner in the company.  This past July, the reins were turned over to me, with Molly assisting me when needed.  PICT is a virtual tour company for authors of mystery, suspense and crime novels.  Within this past year, we have grown, gained recognition and have become so busy that I had to hire a second Tour Coordinator, Gina from Hott Books.  I have had a vision for PICT for awhile and one of the ideas came to fruition last month, with the creation of a monthly newsletter.  If you would like to see the latest news from PICT, you can sign up for the bulletin on our site.

PICT recently teamed up with ITW (International Thrill Writers) and just finished a tour at the request of Harper Collins for the newest Laura Lippman, And When She Was Good novel.

Our hosts are phenomenal and we have over 120+ book bloggers on our mailing list.  They write professional, honest, credible reviews and blog with integrity.  And as I state in my invitation email, they choose which tours they want to participate in.   I truly think we have a great group and in appreciation, I will be running contests for our hosts, the active one is for a $50.00 GC to Amazon.

If you are interested in becoming a host/reviewer and/or would like more details, please contact me at  Hope to hear from you!!

Our clients range from publishers, authors and agents.  I have had the honor to coordinate tours, for both the publishers and authors with debut novels, that have blown me away!  One such author is Giacomo Giammatteo, Murder Takes Time, which his tour officially kicks off on Sept. 15th, here on CMash Reads.


A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn’t good.

Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable.

Those relationships have forced Frankie to make many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life.

In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.

This book was amazing!!  Kept me turning the pages.  Since I am scheduled to post my entire review on Sept 15th, I will give a sneak peak for those participating in Thrill Week.

This book pulled me in within the first few paragraphs and never gave me the chance to get away.  I had to keep turning the pages.  It is a debut novel that was written as if it was penned by a seasoned author.  A debut writer that I am sure you will be hearing more about.

Giacomo has graciously accepted my invitation to be part of Thrill Week, and has not only written a guest post, but offered one lucky participant the chance to win and read his novel.


The Impact of Reviews

I have always enjoyed writing, but I wasn’t one of the people you hear about who felt they were destined to be a writer since childhood. Even if I had been, it would have been tough. I got married at 17, and never finished high school. Back in those days, even dreaming of being a writer without an education was ridiculous.

So I took pleasure in helping my sister with her homework, and later, helping my kids. It wasn’t until my youngest son showed an interest in writing that I started thinking about actually writing something myself. We both loved reading fantasy books. We would read the books, and then discuss them. Dissect them, is more like it. Before long we decided we could write one, and started on a plot.

It was about that time that girls came into my son’s life, and I was left alone with the writing. Fortunately, I never lost the “bug.” I still didn’t give it serious thought, but after finishing three epic fantasies, I was happy with what I’d written. I made a few half-hearted attempts to get representation with agents, but met with the usual rejections, so I put the books on the shelf and went on with life.

The Bug Bites Again
A few years after that, I got the bug again, but this time with a different genre. My first book, Murder Takes Time, has a lot of my own life in it, but the story is built around a mystery. It was while writing this book that I felt, for the first time, that I had what it took to be a writer. There were scenes that brought tears to my eyes while I wrote them, and others that made me laugh out loud.

I finished the book in two months, took another few weeks to do a quick edit, and then sent it out to everyone I knew, asking for an honest review. I did more than ask for honesty, I begged for it. I told each one of them, “you don’t have to say anything nice, but you have to find something wrong.”

I was fortunate to get 29 beta readers for this project. Some of those were family members, but for those of you who are thinking, “oh yeah, family members,” all I can say to that is you don’t know my family; they were brutal.

Once I felt comfortable that I had a good story, I did several more rounds of editing and polishing, then I prepared it for submitting to agents. This time I felt certain I’d get scooped up by several of them. Stupid me. After 103 rejections, I finally decided that I was going to do it myself.

A New Strategy
Self publishing was a scary prospect, venturing into unknown territory, exposing my soul to readers and reviewers waiting to rip it apart. I was confident, but…at the same time, nervous. After all, 103 agents said it wasn’t good enough. Who was I to say otherwise?

It’s difficult to describe the anxiety after you put your “baby” out there, and wait on reviews. Even worse when you have to spend an hour or so each day working on trying to get reviews, and then wondering if they’ll be good or not. New authors live and die on reviews, so it’s more than just an ego thing, it’s a stepping stone to success.

The Impact of Reviews
Reviews are like drugs to an author. A negative one can, and will, bring your mood crashing down, and a positive review lets you walk in the clouds, if only briefly.

But out of everything that a good review does for an author, the thing that means the most to me, is reading a review that says they couldn’t put the book down. Or seeing someone talk about how involved they were with the characters, or how they could smell the food being cooked in Mamma Rosa’s kitchen.

The Bottom Line
Reading a review like that means more to me than anything, because it reminds me of how I feel when I read a good book. And to me there isn’t much better in life than that feeling. Except maybe my wife’s lasagna, with a good bottle of wine.

Ciao, and thanks for listening,

Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of Murder Takes Time, and A Bullet For Carlos. He lives in Texas where he and his wife have an animal sanctuary with 41 loving “friends.”





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8 thoughts on “Thrill Week Guest Blogger

  1. This is the book I added to my Wishlist from your top 3 on the Thrill Week blog hop, yaaaay.

    I cracked up when he said his son got into girls and left him on his own. I’m glad the writing bug didn’t let up.

    It is so great to get feedback from authors when they read your review, I am sure it is like walking on clouds when it is positive. It is hard to read the negatives but keep it up.

  2. Marce and Cheryl: Thanks so much for inviting me here. You guys are the best. And I’m so excited about the tour with PICT. Can’t wait!

    And you’re right Marce, those reviews (the good ones) feel wonderful, but even the critical ones can be so helpful. I’m thankful for all of them. If somebody takes the time to review my book, that’s awesome, no matter what they say.

  3. First of all I gotta read this book, my hometown, my hubs and brother are retired NYPD : )

    Negative reviews have got to be a bitch, I get pissed when someone says they don’t like my cooking, well that doesn’t ever happen, but the fear of someone not liking what I created scares the crumbs outta me so that vulnerability is there. What counts is the tact a person uses. I can be scathing (Eat Pray Love, Fifty Shades 2&3) but for the most part I try to be fair and honest if a book didn’t grab me.

    Great interview I am happy to see he went out on his own, there are so many independent authors out there with just fantatic books. I am not a snob and will read a book that doesn’t come from a big publisher, just look what’s taking place, how many are being snagged by them since their books are taking off!

    This was a great week Cheryl : ) I left my comment on Marce’s saying just that –

    Marce thank you so much, I loved reading everyone’s hop answers, most of all I loved finding so many new authors and books!!! Now I can’t wait for next year : )


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