Today is release day for BLACKMAIL AT THE GALLIANO CLUB, the second book in the Prohibition-era historical thriller series.
Grab a seat at the bar. Big things are happening.
Beer and Blackmail
Lido, New York. The year is 1926, Prohibition is in full swing.
Still smarting from the way he was run out of Chicago by Al Capone, bootlegger Benny Rotolo has a fresh scheme to seize the Galliano Club and turn the humble neighborhood club into the finest speakeasy north of Manhattan.
He’ll use the same tactics as the infamous La Mano Nera terror group that preys on successful Italian immigrants. Anonymous letters. Bullets. Fire.
Pay or die.
Related: Researching Prohibition
Unaware of Benny’s plan, Galliano Club bartender Luca Lombardo is in the spotlight after surviving an attempted murder. What will happen when Luca’s darkest secrets are for sale?
Warning: Blackmail is contagious. Dancer Ruth Cross lives above the Galliano Club. A dirty cop knows her scandalous past and demands a high price for silence. If Luca can’t save her, who can?
When blackmail threatens everyone, murder isn’t far behind.
Are you a fan of The Godfather, The Untouchables, and Boardwalk Empire? The Galliano Club series is for you.
The 1920s come alive at the Galliano Club with an unforgettable cast of bootleggers, gangsters, and a flawed hero determined to break old rules and seize a new future.
Lido, New York isn’t a real place
As many of you know, the fictional city of Lido is based on my hometown of Rome, New York. Many of you have asked exactly where Lido might be, so here’s a useful map pointing to Lido’s fictional location, plus helpful silhouettes of the USA and New York to get your bearings.
Related: New York to Mexico and back again
Along with Rome, other cities in upstate New York have names from Italy. Verona, Utica, Syracuse, etc. As you might guess, this part of upstate New York has a large Italian community.
Many, like my great-grandparents, came from Calabria in southern Italy.
That’s the part circled in red on the map. Basically Calabria is the toe perpetually kicking Sicily into the Mediterranean.
While researching the Italian immigrant experience, I unearthed a double murder on the night of my grandparents’ wedding reception that took the lives of two of their guests, and “met” a great-grandfather who killed two people in 1912 in Hartford, Connecticut and escaped a manhunt, never to be seen again.
More on those crimes in a future post 🙂
I also discovered an exciting movement dedicated to preserving and celebrating Italian heritage. It’s not just all about food!
Here are 3 organizations that do it with style:
Italian Enclaves: The first ever pictorial catalogue of every Italian neighborhood and Italian national parish in the US. Rome is listed, of course. There is even a photo of the original Galliano Club.
- Instagram: @italianenclaves
America Domani: Polished blog with long-form posts on contemporary Italian-American events, places, and cultural ephemera.
- Instagram: @americadomani
Italian-American Podcast: A weekly dose of Italian-American heritage, history and humor.
- Instagram: @italianamerican
Wings and roots
In unsettled times, connecting to family, heritage and fast-disappearing traditions feels more important than ever.
Whatever your background, I hope you find connections and community that give you both wings and roots.
Or build them yourself. As the saying goes, if you build it, they will come.
I hope you love the Galliano Club books as much as I have enjoying writing them while discovering my roots and learning about the Italian immigration experience.
Get the backstory behind the series here.
Find ebooks on Amazon and paperback editions everywhere.
ROAD TO THE GALLIANO CLUB: PREQUEL
BLACKMAIL AT THE GALLIANO CLUB
REVENGE AT THE GALLIANO CLUB coming 30 March 2023. Preorder here.