‘Girl She Used to Be’ author one to watch

On the old ’60s television show, they used to say before the start of each show, “The names have been changed to protect the innocent.”

So what if you were in the Federal Witness Protection Program and you’ve had your name changed so many times that you begin to forget what your real name is?

Melody Grace McCartney likes her name, but she hasn’t been able to use it since she was 6 years old. That’s when she and her parents witnessed a brutal Mafia boss murder a man before their eyes, and they were whisked into the Witness Protection Program to keep them safe. Twenty years and several names later, Melody’s parents have been murdered by the same Mafioso’s henchmen, and she is tired of moving and running every time the phone rings. She has had enough.

So she creates a false threat, hoping the marshals in charge of protecting her identity will move her somewhere more interesting, and they begin the process of relocating her once again. But one night in a motel room, with the marshal supposedly next door, a man slips into her room and calls her by her real name and offers her a deal she can’t refuse. Jonathan Bovara, the son of man who started all this trouble years ago, offers Melody the one thing she longs for — her freedom and her real identity back — all she has to do is come with him to meet his father.

What could she lose? Her freedom? It was already gone. Her life? The boring, bland existence she had endured for years that she could cheerfully do without in exchange for being able to live a little.

So she does the unthinkable, and takes off with Jonathan on an adventure that will have Melody in and out of federal custody, and in and out of the arms of the one man she could easily love, but shouldn’t.

In “The Girl She Used To Be,” author David Cristofano debut novel, the author has created a fascinating story that will have readers on the edge of their seats, not knowing exactly who to cheer on — the good guys or the bad guys. But one thing is for certain, the fast-paced tale will hold your interest to the very last sentence.

Optioned for movie rights, and nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allen Poe Award, watch for “The Girl She Used To Be” to become a blockbuster success for Cristofano.

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