Tag Archive for: gangster

Just Put the Word “Club” at the End

by Maria Geraci

First off, I’d like to thank Susan and the rest of the Stiletto gang for hosting me on their blog today. The minute I heard the name of the blog it brought a smile to my face, and I immediately knew the theme of my post. I’m here to talk about gangs (not the east LA kind. That would be a different post all together). I’m talking about the sort of gangs we women know and love–and that would be Clubs.

I looked up the word in my handy dandy online thesaurus because I was curious how many synonyms I could find for the words gang or club. There were roughly a few dozen. Here are some examples: bunch, circle, clan, clique, cronies, assemblage, pack, posse, bunch, clump, galaxy, squad and yes, even mafia. I could go on, but you get my drift. There are a lot of words to describe the same thing. The word gang itself has several different meanings, but the bottom line is this: it’s a group of people with something in common.

I think I must be drawn to gangs. My first two books were about a group of women who play Bunco. If you don’t know what Bunco is, I’ll tell you. It’s a fun, fast paced dice game usually played by women. Think men’s poker night but substitute the cards and the cigars and the beers with dice and gossip and frozen margaritas. What it really is is an excuse for women to get together. Women crave the company of other women. The phenomenon starts all the way back in preschool, when little girls are drawn to each other to play and hold hands and giggle and talk. That camaraderie is something I think we crave till the day we hit the nursing home. I also think it’s the reason why books with the word “club” in the title are so popular. As women, we love reading about the relationships we have with other women and the word “club” is keyed in our brain to trigger some sort of pleasant reaction (work with me here).

Here’s a few examples:

The Friday Night Knitting Club
The First Love Cookie Club
The Sex Club
The Babysitter’s Club (starting us out early with that theme)
The Joy Luck Club
The Hot Flash Club
(yes, this is a book and I just might have to go get it!)
The Professors’ Wives Club
The Coffin Club
(not one club I’d necessarily want to join…)
The Wildwater Walking Club
The Cougar Club
(great read!)

I could go on and on because there are dozens more literary titles that end with the word club. And while there are countless awesome synonyms that mean the same thing, somehow The Cougar Mafia or The Joy Luck Posse just don’t sound quite right.

So I’m hoping that my latest foray into literature, The Boyfriend of the Month Club, will be as successful as some of those books I just mentioned. It’s a romantic comedy about a woman who turns her dysfunctional book club into a boyfriend club, where women discuss the men they’ve dated comparing them to classic literary heroes and villains. I got the idea for the book while attending a friend’s book club meeting (book clubs–another great excuse for women to get together!) It’s getting some great reviews, but the one I personally like best comes from Julie at What Women Write, who calls it “Dorothea Benton Frank Meets My Big Fat Greek…er Cuban Wedding.” How perfect is that?

The Boyfriend of the Month Club
Berkley Trade Paperback
December 2010

At thirty, Grace O’Bryan has dated every loser that Daytona Beach has to offer. After the ultimate date-from-hell, Grace decides to take matters into her own hands and turns her dwindling book club into a Boyfriend of the Month Club, where women can come together to discuss the eligible men in their community. Where are the real live twenty-first century versions of literary heroes such as Heathcliff and Mr. Darcy? Could it be successful and handsome Brandon Farrell, who is willing to overlook his disastrous first date with Grace and offers financial help for her parents’ failing Florida gift shop? Or maybe sexy dentist Joe Rosenblum, who’s great with a smile but not so great at commitment? Unfortunately, just like books, men cannot always be judged by their covers…

If you’d like to know more about me and my writing, please visit my website at http://www.mariageraci.com/. I’m currently holding a fabulous contest. Purchase The Boyfriend of the Month Club on or before December 12, and you can enter to win a grand prize of a $100 Amazon gift card, plus a bag filled with some wonderful autographed women’s fiction. There are also 5 runners-up prizes of a $20 Amazon gift card and a special edition Boyfriend of the Month Club desk top calendar. Contest details on are the homepage of my website. I’d also love it you joined my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/MariaGeraciBooks

**Maria, thanks so much for visiting our little gang (hee hee) today! We loved having you and wish you loads of success!!! Also, Maria is giving away signed copies of The Boyfriend of the Month Club and Susan McBride’s The Cougar Club today on her Facebook page! All you have to do is comment to be entered!

Cop, Gangster and Me

Actually, the cop is retired police officer Denny Griffin who is better known these days as the author of Cullotta, the Story of a Chicago Criminal and Las Vegas Gangster. I met Denny right after 9/11 when hubby and I flew back to Orlando for what was then called the Police Writers Club Conference. (Now Public Safety Writers Association.) Everyone was surprised we were brave enough to fly, but we knew it was safer then than at any other time. Denny’s wife had come with him. The conference was small enough that all of us went out to dinner together. We sat with the Griffins and became great friends. Denny’s wife, Faith, has since become one of the biggest fans of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series.

The gangster is Henry Hill of Good Fellas fame (the movie with Ray Liotta was about him). I sat next to and visited with him over lunch. (He’s the one with the beard.)

The occasion was the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime meeting. Because I know Denny, I was asked to introduce him and somehow I ended up next to Henry. He is reformed, obviously, and regrets many of the things he’s done. Actually, he’s quite a charming fellow. He has quite a story to tell, from growing up in New York, wanting to be like the gangsters he saw around him, seeing some of his friends and fellow gang members being wiped out and knowing he was going to be next, becoming an informant, going into the witness protecting program, all the moving and name changes and how hard it was on his family, his marriage failure, and lots of tidbits about organized crime that still exists today.

This is not the kind of stuff I will ever write about, but it was one Sisters in Crime meeting that I drug my husband to that he really enjoyed.

Marilyn a.k.a. F. M. Meredith who is not in the witness protection program nor ever will be.