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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

In A Small Town by Marc A. DiGiacomo (Author Guest Post / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Marc A. DiGiacomo, author of In A Small Town!

Author Guest Post

A Day In My Life

I thought for a long while what I would write about for this guest blog. I am truly honored to be here and thankful for this opportunity to help all aspiring writers and readers looking for something different to read. My writing style is so different from everyone else’s but that’s the beauty of writing. No two authors have the same form and everyone’s situation is different. There is no set schedule as it can occur at any time. Many nights I have awoken mid-dream with a thought and reached for my laptop, only to spill over a half empty mug of my favorite hazelnut coffee. What a great way to wake your sleeping wife. No time to clean the mess, not until it all leaves your brain and ends up a key stroke. There is plenty of time for cleaning up later, you’re writing important stuff here. It is extremely beneficial for a late night writer to have a dog to take care of these sudden messes. My little Lola is a sweetheart; she cleans up a spill better than a mop and bucket of water.

I prefer solitude when I write but living in a house with three young boys, this isn’t possible. I have a bedroom in the basement that is tucked away with a view of the backyard. We live in the woods. There is always a cool bird to watch building its nest or a squirrel running through the backyard looking for food. This is the perfect picture of nature until a barrage of Nerf bullets rain down on the little critter causing him to retreat up a tree. Now, you would think animals are their only targets but no, unfortunately they save a few dozen rounds to rattle my window. Their laughter calms me, I remember being young, the only difference is we had bb guns when I was their age. Luckily, neither I or my friends lost an eye.

I try to write in the morning after the school bus drives away from in front of my house. With the kids off to develop their young minds, I begin to crank mine into action. First, there is coffee and lots of it. No television otherwise I will get sucked in on catching up on my favorite shows. Do I procrastinate? Sometimes, but the characters, they call to me. Who am I not to listen to their demands? They keep me from becoming someone who just talks to himself all day.

In all honesty, for once I am my own boss who is in total control of my destiny. That is until the yellow bus shows up three hours later as I stare at a short sentence of new material. Half-day kindergarten for all the taxes I pay, unbelievable. The sound of their little feet running up the walkway causes my spine to tingle. “I guess I’m done for the day,” is something I usually say but that rarely is the truth. Somehow through this limited timeframe I wrote In A Small Town. It is all still a blur for me. I know I wrote it but how did it ever get done. When people ask, “How long did it take to write?” I have to search for the answer, “Ahh, about a year.” That sounds right but I don’t know, maybe a little more or less. Every once in a while I will re-read my first draft and wonder if it is mine or my nine year old son’s fourth grade essay. I never can be sure until I come across vulgar profanity that only an adult could write. Then again, five years ago, my oldest son got off the kindergarten bus on his first day and asked my wife and I what the “F” word was. Welcome to my life.

About The Author

Marc A. DiGiacomo is a retired and highly decorated police detective who worked for an affluent community within the State of New York. He has worked with numerous police agencies at the local, county, state and federal levels on various investigative assignments. He currently resides in New York with his wife and three children.

In A Small Town by Marc A. DiGiacomo ~ Virtual Book Tour Page: Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

Book Review

In A Small Town by Marc A. DiGiacomo
Book 1 in a series
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Publication Date: September 21, 2012
Format: Paperback - 175 pages / Kindle - 400 KB / Nook - 3 MB
ISBN: 0741478862
Genre: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller

BUY THE BOOK: In A Small Town

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

The shotgun blast catches Detective Matthew Longo by surprise. His world unravels into a nightmare that seemingly won't end. Murder, rapes, pedophiles, the small town of Hutchville, N.Y. is changing. It is up to him to make a difference. While partner Donny Mello is in Italy attending a funeral for a family member who is connected, to say the least, a beautiful F.B.I. agent waits to question him about his family business. Can Matt keep from answering the Agents questions? More importantly, can he hide a potentially career-ending secret from his community, his brother, and most especially Agent Cynthia Shyler?

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

Not In Our Town

I can’t get it out of my mind. The lightning that exploded from the end of the barrel. The ripping orange flash off the black steel. The smell of gunpowder. The sound, like an M-80. And the pain—the fucking searing pain. It is permanently scorched into my memory.

Everything but his face. The face I didn’t see haunts me every second. All I remember are those ultra-white Reebok sneakers as he ran away. The fucking coward would have shot me in the back, but I turned around and caught the blast in the chest. I didn’t have time to pull my Glock.

The shot knocked me to the ground. I thought I was having a heart attack—I couldn’t catch my breath. Then I understood what happened, and reality hit: I was going to die.

It seemed to take minutes rather than seconds, but I managed to radio into headquarters. The response from the good guys was impressive, to say the least. They saved my life. Cops from my own town and others surrounded the scene. I knew they would come. When a cop gets shot, they all come, and with one thing in mind—to find the bastard who pulled the trigger.

Things grew foggy. I saw blue uniforms scurrying around the scene while white-clad EMTs lifted me onto the gurney and loaded me into the ambulance. I could hear people talking about me—reporters, other cops, curious residents. “Detective Matthew Longo…Only 29 years old, been on the force nearly 10 years…Shot in the fucking chest and shoulder. No wife or children. Parents live in town; Hutchville lifers. Oh yeah, the town is going to go batshit over this.”

Blood oozed from my left shoulder. My friend and paramedic Scotty Franks hovered over me and placed direct pressure on my wound.

Even through my fog I could tell he was holding back tears. My shoulder was on fire. I never wore my bulletproof vest unless making entry on a search warrant, or if a hot pursuit was coming my way; then I quickly threw it over my shirt. I was lucky I had it on that night. Maybe someone on the other side was looking out for me.

I fell unconscious even with all the shouting around me. I dreamed of my funeral and who would be there. I saw myself in the blue box surrounded by a sobbing crowd of familiar faces. My parents looked horrible. My poor mother clutched her bible and rosary beads. My dad kept his eyes glued to the floor, angry and broken. My little brother Franny, in full uniform, stood near my casket at full attention, his white gloves damp from tears. Donny was there too, trying to keep it together.

I heard Scotty screaming for me in the distance. The poor guy loved me, but why was he screaming my name, spitting all over my face, at my wake? Maybe I should have had a closed casket.

Suddenly I felt him slapping me. I awoke and found myself back inside the ambulance. Scotty took a deep breath, in and out, and said, “Okay Matt, okay. Don’t do that again.” The pain was relentless, and I couldn’t help but cry. Scotty put a needle into an IV line in my arm and the pain vanished almost immediately. “Don’t give me morphine Scotty,” I managed to whisper. “It killed my grandparents.” Then I lost consciousness again, falling into a world between life and death.

I heard someone screaming in the night. Was it me? It was too dark to see. Where’s Donny? I really needed him now. Was I dreaming again or was this some delusion of reality? I slapped myself and felt a sharp sting, jolting me awake.

It has been three weeks of hell living inside this apartment. My social life has been placed on indefinite hold. The phone rings constantly but who cares? I don’t answer. The window shades are drawn. I don’t know if its day or night, and I don’t give a shit.

Thankfully, the wound has been healing well. But I look at my shoulder and am repulsed by the scar and missing flesh. People say scars are sexy but this one may be the exception. My left arm is still in a sling. At times, the pain is still unbearable. The Percocet I’m still taking makes me pass out.

The sink is loaded with paper dishes and plastic cups. Last week’s dinner from my mother sits on the kitchen table still wrapped in tin foil, and the smell is starting to ferment in my kitchen. I can hear my Dad’s deep voice in my head: “Why don’t you pull it together and clean up around here? You’re making your mother nervous.” She’s nervous? I can’t help laughing.

Hey Dad, your oldest son was almost shot dead in the same small, safe community where we played Little League baseball. Mind if I take a week or two to let that one sink in?

Only cops—and maybe some of their wives—realize how dangerous police work can become in a millisecond. Parents of cops usually choose to ignore the reality—it’s too difficult to accept that a life-or-death choice awaits their son or daughter at any moment. A bank robbery turns into a shootout; a wanted felon gets pulled over for a broken tail-light and decides suicide by cop is his only way to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. As a detective, this is my everyday reality.

This isn’t supposed to happen in a small town. We’ve never had a police shooting—never. In fact, the last time we had any kind of criminal shooting was ten years ago, and it was a domestic dispute between a father and his cheating son-in-law. These old-school Italians are no joke.

My Book Review:

Even quiet small towns have bad guys ...

While off duty, Hutchville, N.Y. police Detective Matthew Longo was shot in the chest, but his life was saved by his bullet proof vest. Matthew is physically fine, but he struggles emotionally not knowing who tried to kill him, so he withdraws from the world unable to come to terms with what happened, even though he knows that he has to go back to work. The one person that he always depended on to help him through his struggles is his best friend and partner Donny Mello. But Donny is in Italy for a family funeral, and while he is away, FBI Agent Cynthia Shyler is questioning Matthew about Donny's connections to the Mafia. Who wants Matthew dead, and is Donny involved in the failed attempted hit on Matthew's life?

In A Small Town is a riveting police thriller that keeps the reader sitting on the edge of their seats. In his debut novel, author Marc A. DiGiacomo weaves an intriguing tale set in the quaint small town of Hutchville, NY, told in the first person narrative by police Detective Matthew Longo, who provides the reader with his perspective of the various encounters and danger that comes with being a small town police officer. Pulling from his own past experience in law enforcement as a retired police detective, the author's knowledge and perspective lends a sense of realistic credibility to the story.

The story is fast paced and flows smoothly, it easily draws the reader in while the drama, suspense, and many twists and turns keeps them guessing as they turn the pages. I loved how the reader is able to get into Matthew's head with the first person narrative that alternates between the present time and flashbacks to his past. There is a raw realistic and believable feel that comes through with Matthew's emotions and thoughts as he deals with his inner turmoil. You can't help but get immersed in Matthew's story as it unfolds, his story leaps off the pages with a palpable intensity that keeps the reader engaged, even though they are left with a cliff hanger ending.

With an intriguing cast of characters who are realistic; witty dialogue and dramatic interactions; and a riveting storyline that only a former law enforcement official could weave; In A Small Town is a gritty, powerful and compelling police thriller that will leave you wanting more!

In A Small Town is the first book in a series by author Marc A. DiGiacomo.


Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

Win An eBook Copy Of In A Small Town

Contest Dates: April 17 - 24, 2013

To enter the contest giveaway for a chance to win an eBook copy of In A Small Town by Marc A. DiGiacomo, use the Rafflecopter entry form. The winner will be notified by a representative of Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours. Open To USA Residents Only.

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Tour Participants


  1. WOW..that is one awesome review!! Fantastic post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this read!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank your kind comments, I appreciate it. Thank you for the opportunity to host the virtual book tour event.

  2. Good morning Kathleen,
    I thought your review was absolutely amazing! Thank you for this opportunity to be here with all your friends. New Jersey is close to my heart as I have been vacationing there every summer since I was a little boy. Have a wonderful day!
    Marc A DiGiacomo

    1. Hi Marc! Thank you for the kind comment on the review, I really enjoyed reading In A Small Town. I am looking forward to reading the next installment in the series. NJ is a resilient state, her shores will be rebuilt and provide visitors new memories. :)

  3. I liked this book.

    1. Hi Teena! Thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you liked the book too! :)