Monday, September 23, 2019

#GIVEAWAY Spotlight The Don of Siracusa by Sean Rea A Smith Publicity Tour

Is there anything that catches your eye more than seeing "mafia thriller" on a book description,  to me it's like reader catnip so I'm so pleased to be a part of Smith Publicity's blog tour featuring Sean Rea's crime thriller The Don of Siracusa. Smith is also sponsoring a giveaway details below!
Enjoy (if you dare)

Publisher: FriesenPress 

Release Date: August 8, 2019


Stefano Caruso always does things the right way. With a grandfather who was forced to flee the venal Sicilian mafia and start life anew in America, Stefano now heads the corporation his father and grandfather built. Handsome and successful, he's on top of the world...until one day he has an unexpected visitor and gets shocking news. Stefano is being cheated and lied to, and the company his family built from the ground up is in mortal jeopardy. That's when Benito Cuggi, the face of the modern-day mafia, comes into his life. Cuggi appears to live by a strict code of morals that the laws of Western society cannot enforce. Loyalty and trust are rewarded, while betrayal is punished. Now Stefano faces a difficult choice. Can he ally himself with what he's been taught to hate and fear? Or should he let what generations of his family built be stolen out from under him?

Fraught with moral complexity, Siracusa is a fast-paced, exciting crime thriller that pits good against evil and righteousness versus deception, while asking whether good men should sometimes do bad things to punish evil....

Giveaway is for one Print copy US ONLY
Please use Rafflecopter form to enter
Good Luck!

Read an excerpt:

The First Step
His brow wrinkled in the light as he rose from the cool, blue water and met the embrace of the warm LA sun. A waitress walked over, towel in hand. She wore a short skirt, the shown skin leaving little to the imagination. “Would you like anything to drink, Mr . Caruso?” she asked, red lips curling into a smile. As he wrapped the towel around himself, he scanned her head-to-toe—her long, tan legs cut off by the white uniform. Her Beverly Hills Hotel name tag read, “Cindy.”
“I’ll have a vodka soda on the rocks with lime, Cindy,” he said with a smile . He paused, looking her over one more time. Stefano Caruso was waiting on a business associate, but he was in Los Angeles, and he couldn’t help but indulge. Fuck it, he thought, continuing, “And if you’re gonna bring me a drink you should let me buy you one when you get off work . . .”
She laughed, but gave no answer. “One vodka soda coming right up, Mr . Caruso,” she said teasingly, turning to leave.
Stefano walked towards his cabana in the corner of the pool court- yard. The cabana was painted pink, the far wall a mural depicting a balcony overlooking a leafy scene. Most of the cabanas were packed with professional athletes and movie people entertaining family and friends, but Stefano Caruso had booked his for the privacy. He had been on business calls all morning. Stefano had come to Los Angeles for rest, but had hardly gotten any. His month-long stay in Europe and Asia had taken a toll on his mind and body. The Beverly Hills Hotel was his place of choice to fight the jet lag.
He stepped into the cabana and ran his hand through his wet, mid-length brown hair. His features were handsome enough, and his skin held a tan in the summer months, though he hardly looked Sicilian.
While he waited on Cindy to return with his drink, he took the opportunity to settle onto the couch. I wonder where he is, he thought, scanning the characters around the pool. As if to answer his thoughts, his phone shook on the table beside him, interrupting his racing mind. The name “Vincent” shone across the screen.
“I thought we said noon, Vince?”
Vincent spoke eagerly. “I know, I know. But I just checked in. When you’re done, head up to your room. I’m right across the hall, and I have good news.”

Author Q&A provided by Smith Publicity

Q&A with Sean Rea
Author of crime thriller The Don of Siracusa

Question: What made you want to write about the world of the mafia?
Sean Rea: I have always been a huge fan of many mafia books, movies, and TV shows for as long as I can remember. It was largely inspired by my late grandfather’s infatuation with the Godfather movies and all of Mario Puzo's books. I have since read every single one of Puzo's acclaimed novels, and I can honestly say I've loved every single one of them. That being said, the reason I turned my novel towards a mafia / organized crime story was because I think the mafia is a fascinating organization to base a story like this around. I think it is a system that allows for some deep exploration of what makes a man (or woman). How do you define strength? When does showing patience and "being the better man" not actually play in your favor? Within the contexts of the legal system the punishment often doesn’t fit the crime. I want to confront the moral conundrum that can sometimes exist in the real world - are some people so 'evil' that the world is better off without them?

Regardless, I think the answer can be summed up right here - the mafia as an organization is a system based on honor and trust. They have an unorthodox definition of morality, and a proclivity towards spectacle. When you consider those few things, they make a perfect counter to the business world (which is so often the opposite), and an even better setting for a book about exploring a man’s inner conflict and exterior battle against evil.

Question: How did your family's business experience inform your writing of a character in this world?
SR: My family’s businesses included years in the automotive industry, horse industry, forays into oil, tech, and more. This, as well as many discussions with family friends and former business partners, has given me an immense wealth of knowledge about just how these big deals come about: the structures of negotiations, the give and take, the importance of the dinner meeting or the golf meeting. How do disputes amongst business partners get settled? What happens when they don't get settled? It's so much more than that, but essentially my family's experience gave me insight and helped to make the business negotiations, the big deals, the daily going-ons of working in that
world realistic and believable.

Question: Why do you think stories of moral complexity are so important?
SR: I think all stories are important. But stories of moral complexity are at the heart of most great novels. It's a central tenet of most people's existence that they are always
unsure of just who they really are. Even when someone is comfortable in their own skin, life has a way of serving you circumstances that are constantly redefining and remolding you. So I think it is important that people read stories of others struggling with their own senses of morality, and in a way their own sense of self. So much of who we are, or how others define us and we define ourselves, is shown in how we treat others. A story of moral complexity can also be called a story of identity, a struggle with one's identity.
The other reason I think these stories are important is because morality is an incredibly obscure philosophical concept - what was once unconscionable might now be socially acceptable, and vice versa. These stories are one in many ways in which we all try to move morality towards something more idealistic and principled, rather than obscure.
The simple act of reading something that causes you to relate to, or argue against, a character’s actions is worthwhile, in my opinion.

Question: What is your writing process like?
SR: My writing process was for many years unpredictable and scattered, mostly due to my pursuit of an undergraduate university degree - which I ended up accomplishing two years ago. That being said, the summers were when I would do most of my writing - usually up at my family's former cottage in Northern Ontario. My writing process is ideally, to wake up, drink a few cups of coffee, have some breakfast, and take a while to enjoy the morning and listen to some music - usually soft rock or acoustic music when I am trying to encourage a creative mindset out of myself. I would always like to start writing by 9 or 10 AM, and I would push myself to write until I got hungry for a small lunch. If I had a successful morning/afternoon of writing I'd often take the rest of the day off, but if I did not accomplish much I'd usually force myself to write again sometime after dinner to see if I could squeeze out a few paragraphs or chapters. I'm definitely a morning person (once I have a coffee) so I try to take advantage of that increased productivity. I do have a notebook for recording poetry, stray lines of dialogue, or even just interesting thoughts that cross my mind, and sometimes those notepad ramblings are refined and implemented into a characters monologue, or into a plot point.

Sean Rea studied at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, majoring in communications and minoring in management. He has travelled much of America and nearly all of Italy. Like his protagonist, Stefano Caruso, from a young age Sean was exposed to the world of big business through his father and nonno, and he drew on much of this in crafting the business aspects of Siracusa. Sean is a long-time fan of the crime-fiction genre and all things mafia-related. THE DON OF SIRACUSA is his first novel.
Connect with Rea at,, and

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  1. I never would have guessed this was a mafia thriller from that cover. I'm so intrigued now!

  2. Fascinating and very interesting story and novel.

  3. A mafia thriller?! Sounds really good to me!

  4. II love Mafia stories! The Godfather Saga (I own all of them,) and Goodfellows are amongst my favorites. I agree with the important of moral stories, and that as people, we are constantly changing and redefining ourselves based on our experiences. Wonderful interview Debbie :)

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  5. I have read a few mafia romances and seen some of the Godfather stories. My brother was the real fan. This one with its moral dilemma does sound great. Enjoyed the intro to the author as well.

  6. This book sounds like it has plenty of moral intrigue. Very appealing!