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The Girl She Used to Be


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A woman who has lost her identity to the Witness Protection Program flirts with trusting her life to the Mafioso hired to kill her.

About the Author

David Cristofano has earned degrees in Government & Politics and Computer Science from the University of Maryland at College Park and has worked for different branches of the Federal Government for over a decade.


Cristofano's intense, romantic debut revolves around the Federal Witness Protection Program. When Melody Grace McCartney is six, she and her family witness mobster Tony Bovaro gut Jimmy "the Rat" Fratello at a restaurant in New York's Little Italy. They go into WITSEC in exchange for testifying against Bovaro. Eight years later, due to a foolish slip on Melody's part, a Bovaro goon finds her parents and kills them, but WITSEC whisks Melody to safety. By the time she's an adult, Melody has gone through a numbing parade of eight identities, the latest as a math teacher. She's about to enter yet another new life when she meets John Bovaro (aka Jonathan), who at age 10 also saw his father slicing up Jimmy. Jonathan, who's been tracking Melody's movements ever since and is obsessed with making things right, persuades her to run off with him. Despite Melody's questionable attraction to Jonathan, Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"...something special..."
--New York Times Book Review

"Intense...the emotions of a woman caught in Melody's unlikely scenario ring deliciously, scarily true."
--People ---
"David Cristofano artfully explores the meaning of identity and home, heroes and villains, in this story of a woman who loses herself, then finds herself again in the most unlikely place. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a roller-coaster ride, both thriller and riveting psychological drama, and Cristofano is definitely a writer to watch for."
--Elizabeth Arnold, bestselling author of PROMISE THE MOON---
"David Cristofano's debut novel captures the essence of the human spirit, and delivers a story that is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking."--Brad Listi, author of ATTENTION. DEFICIT. DISORDER---
"David Cristofano's debut novel is alternately thought-provoking, poignant, and darkly funny. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE hooked me from the very first page."
--Lesley Kagen, New York Times bestselling author of WHISTLING IN THE DARK and LAND OF A HUNDRED WONDERS---
"I absolutely fell in love with David Cristofano's writing, and couldn't wait to see Melody's mystery unfold. THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is that rare's the one you've been looking for when you wander the bookstore aisles, hoping to find something that will grab hold of you and not let go. Eloquent, haunting, and totally enthralling--I was swept in from page one."
--Johanna Edwards, nationally bestselling author of HOW TO BE COOL---
"Intense, romantic debut...Cristofano's mad love scenario sizzles like garlic in hot olive oil."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"There's no hiding the fact that THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is a brilliant debut by a magnificent new novelist." --Will Clarke, LORD VISHNU'S LOVE HANDLES and THE WORTHY ---
"This is a compulsively readable, skillfully constructed first novel with well-drawn characters and a plot that twists and turns to what seems the best possible conclusion, marking Cristofano as a writer to watch!"
"THE GIRL SHE USED TO BE is everything I want a book to be. A humorous, poignant, and compelling page-turner that kept me guessing all the way to the end. I marveled at how utterly I was drawn into Melody's world and what a vivid picture David Cristofano created."
--Patricia Wood, New York Times bestselling author of LOTTERY---
"What a riveting and remarkable first novel! The story grabbed me on page one. As the events spin forward, with crackling dialogue and earned surprises, you can't help but root for this most unusual, and lovable narrator--whatever her secret name or home may be at the moment. I didn't want the book to end; I didn't want to leave the wild, wooly wonderfully frightening world that David Cristofano has created. With a poignant and literary flair, this novel fixed my jones for "The Sopranos.""--Lolly Winston, New York Times bestselling author of GOOD GRIEF and HAPPINESS SOLD SEPARATELY---

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