May 30, 2017

Lone Star Book Blog Tours : Before The Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio


  Genre: Women’s Fiction / Historical / Family
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Date of Publication: May 16, 2017
Number of Pages: 334

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After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.
She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.
Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

Check out the book trailer!

Praise for Before the Rain Falls:

Still wiping away tears! Before the Rain Falls is simultaneously heartbreaking, hopeful, and joyous: a story of complex characters with varied pasts and bright futures. Loved it! - Jennifer B. on Goodreads

This novel takes readers on an emotional, fast-paced, ride through one sister's journey to self, redemption, and the true meaning of "freedom." - Nicole W. on Goodreads

There is romance, mystery, and secrets that are kept till the very end that will have you not wanting this beautifully written story to end. - Carol B. on Goodreads


Deleted Scene from Before the Rain Falls

As a writer, you have to make hard choices. Not the least of which is deleting characters or scenes that don’t support the story as much as you like. Or they do, but they distract from the manuscript’s essence.

This was the case for me as I wrote Before the Rain Falls. The novel takes place in a Texas border town and one of the central characters is a New York City doctor who is struggling to find her purpose. While visiting her grandmother, a truckload of immigrants being smuggled across the border are found in deplorable condition, woefully mistreated by the man hired to transport them.

As they enter the immigration center, her friend Mick, a struggling journalist, surveys the scene and is desperate to find a way to help.

In the end, we cut this whole sequence. While it was compelling, it took the story on a tangent that cut away from the main theme – a story about family and sisters.

Maybe I’ll reuse the idea in a future novel, but for now, here is a bit of what did not make it into the final version.

* * * * *
He heard a siren in the distance. Then, nearer. Then, more. A phone call came through to the receptionist.
“Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Yes. What about Laredo? How the hell am I supposed to get a team of doctors here that quickly? Ok, slow down. Let me get a pen.”
When she hang up, she rang another number. Mick listened closely. A story was brewing.
“Joe, it’s Verna. Border patrol says they’re sending a busload here. Ya, they’re the ones that were found in the truck. Um,” she looked at her notes. “Twenty-two adults. Fourteen kids. Two babies. Yes – the deceased went to Laredo, but they couldn’t take anyone else. OK. Send everyone you’ve got. They said it’s a disaster.”
The sirens started to get closer, and Veran made more calls. Food. Water. Doctors. Bedding.
The red and blue lights of police cars reflected on the windows and Mick stood back as officers started escorting bedraggled people through the doors. One after one they came in, mothers holding children, fathers carrying backpacks. Bandanas coming off their heads to wipe their faces of the streams of sweat that ran down them.
Mick raced over to Verna.
“What’s going on?”
“A truck full of undocumenteds was found. Those coyotes messed them up pretty bad. Worse than normal. Either they didn’t know what they were doing or they were all kinds of cruel.”
“Coyote? Like the animal?”
“You aren’t from around here, are you?”
“A coyote – a pollero – is a smuggler. Getting immigrants to pay him to bring them over the border.”
“How can I help?”
“Supplies are on the way.”
“Do you have a break room? Vending machine? Anything? I can grab whatever you have.”
“No one is allowed back there.”
“Look at this!” He swept his arm around the room, where more people had entered, sagging into the few chairs and lying down on the floor in exhaustion. One mother grabbed a magazine to fan her crying baby.”
Maybe Verna saw this all the time. But Mick didn’t. His first thought was to get out his phone and take videos. This was news, in a national polarized by the immigration debate. But that wasn’t the priority right now. Damn, a month ago, he wouldn’t have said that. He would have been documenting everything and figuring out an angle. Excited to be on the scene getting the scoop. But Paloma had changed him. All he could see was the humanity, damaged and dying, the suffering in the eyes of those collapsing all around him. People. Not politics.
He sprinted over to the men’s bathroom and yanked out as many paper towels as he could and soaked them with water. It was all that he could think of to do. Maybe they could squeeze a bit of water out of them. Or press them against their parched skin. He brought the towels out to the reception room and started handing them out. A teenaged boy joined him as he went in for more.
When they had exhausted that supply, including what little they could find in the cabinets, they entered the women’s restroom and did the same

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She's lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai'i to feel like a local. She's traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries), and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There's almost nothing she wouldn't try, so long as it does't involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. "The Memory of Us" is Camille's debut novel, and her second book, "Before the Rain Falls" will be released in spring 2017.

She appreciates you stopping by, and welcomes you to reach out and share a love of books!

  May 17-31, 2017 


Excerpt 1
Author Interview
Guest Post
Excerpt 2
Deleted Scene

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