Book Description for Corporate Citizen (Book #5):
A call for help from an old friend lands Bianca and the crew back in Boston. On a timeout with Dante, due to revelations in the aftermath of the showdown in Naples, Bianca is drawn to a mysterious new ally who understands the traumas of her past, and has some very real trauma of his own. Murder, designer drugs, and a hacker named Magician challenge our team, and Bianca learns that leaving Rendition behind might be much harder than she thinks.
Book Description for first four book in the series:
ROMA, UNDERGROUND (Book #1)
Savvy forensic accountant Alabaster Black is hiding in Rome from her former employer, covert U.S. organization “Rendition.” While there under an assumed name she meets Dante, an investigator, erstwhile explorer and member of the Roma Underground, a band of amateur archaeologists who map the city beneath Rome. With Italian artifacts disappearing at an alarming rate, Alabaster and Dante search for answers and create a trap for the thieves. Through a mysterious online contact Alabaster learns she is being followed, and with her safety at risk she is forced to rethink her chosen alliances and discover hidden truths about herself.
“A provocative thriller with a riveting and surprising plot.”
—M.J. Rose, International bestseller
“...the strong, captivating heroine and an allure of conspiracy and organized crime make this novel an undoubted success.”
—Kirkus Book Reviews
“Conspiracy, double identities, car chases and espionage, all against the backdrop of magical Rome, with its great food and marvelous art history, make this an entertaining, intriguing read.”
—Blogcritics Book Reviews in Brief
WASP’S NEST (Book #2)
In the highly anticipated sequel to Roma, Underground, Bianca returns to the U.S. for her former employer, the covert organization Rendition, to investigate Cyril Sargent and Nasonia Pharmaceutical. Although ambivalent about the assignment and uneasy about her online “friend,” Loki, she is enticed into researching what Sargent is doing with insect genetics that might upset the world of cancer research and treatment. Old friends Farrugia and Gennaro uncover a twisted conspiracy from their past and join Bianca in Boston where they will experience conflicted loyalties, question allies, and confront uncertain enemies, as they’re drawn into the wasp’s nest.
“Again, Valjan successfully conflates multiple sophisticated narratives that bring the past and present together, which the archaeological theme of the last novel also helps accomplish . . . Black is back and just as entertaining as ever.”
—Kirkus Book Reviews
“…a compelling reading, action-packed and with intriguing characters. The plot had plenty of twists and turns, some surprising secrets, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, guessing until the very end.”
—The Book Junkie
THREADING THE NEEDLE (Book #3)
Milan. Bianca’s curiosity gets a young university student murdered, but not before he gives her a file that details a secret weapon under development with defense contractor Adastra. Guilt may drive her to find justice for the slain Charlie Brooks, but she is warned by the mysterious Loki to stay away from this case that runs deep with conspiracy. Bianca must find a way to uncover government secrets and corporate alliances without returning Italy to one of its darkest hours, the decades of daily terrorism known as the “Years of Lead.”
“It is even more to Gabriel Valjan’s credit that with Threading the Needle he, as an American, was nonetheless capable of unusual insight into the Misteri Italiani, the Italian Mysteries, without taking any prejudicial standpoint, one way or the other, or putting the blame on anyone, but rather inviting readers to judge for themselves.”
—Claudio Ferrara, Italian journalist and translator
“But after the first few pages, I knew I was committed to the end of the book ... and would be reading the two earlier books…Characters, plot, ideas, background: In Threading the Needle, Valjan weaves it all into an international crime novel worth the read.”
—Beth Kannell of Kingdom Books, a specialty mystery bookshop in northeastern Vermont.
TURNING TO STONE (Book #4)
Forensic accountant Alabaster Black has always been steps ahead of her former employer, Rendition, a clandestine and apparently lethal organization. Once the star investigator of financial crimes, she fled from the United States to Italy, under a new name: Bianca Nerini. She carries on her work with a group of trusted friends, although a mysterious contact by the name of Loki reaches out to her on occasion. In this fourth installment, Bianca is in Naples against the Camorra, a crime syndicate unlike the American or Sicilian mafia.
Gabriel Valjan lives in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of the Roma Series, available from Winter Goose Publishing. Gabriel has also written numerous short stories and essays found online and in print.
Interview with Gabriel Valjan
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Recent events tend to inspire my imagination. The term ‘corporate citizen’ is a new term that I’ve been reading about with interest; it ascribes personhood to a company, which means that a company has a social obligation to the community in which it resides. I learned about an insidious opiate drug called krokodil when I was doing research for the novel. A deceased family member was the basis for a character in Corporate Citizen.
What is the last great book you’ve read?
Herman Wouk’s Winds of War is the last great book I read. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Wouk is still alive (he is 101 years old). The novel and its sequel were made-for-television movies in the 70s, but I’m enjoying the novel for a different reason. I can see men such as my late grandfather in Wouk’s pages (the author and my grandfather were born days apart). While I know Winds of War is historical fiction, it is a snapshot of a bygone era, its morality and people caught up in world history.
What is your writing schedule?
Morning coffee. Exercise. More coffee. Sit at the desk and write for three to four hours. I average a page an hour. I end my day with a long walk.
Where do you write?
I write in my bedroom. I have my desk, library, and Mac nearby. The décor is functional and practical. The cats visit, sit on the bed and stare at me. They keep me honest and on schedule.
Favorite travel spot?
As much as I love Italy, I’m not fond of airports and airplanes anymore, not since TSA started marring the travel experience. I can make do with wherever I am. I live in Boston so I am content with a walk through the Boston Garden or to the Boston Public Library, which has recently been renovated into something quite glorious and inviting. I can disappear there without any problems, only to come out for some coffee.
5 winners get a paperback copy of CC
5 winners get an ebook copy of CC
1 winner gets whole set of Roma series in paperback (signed)
1 winner gets whole set of Roma series in ebook format
12 winners total
Print copies open to USA and ebooks open international