Author: Alfredo Casuso

Starting Sunday at 10pm, San Francisco Preemptively Adopts Stricter ‘Stay at Home’ Protocols to Deal with COVID Surge

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Friday, December 4, 2020

Contact: San Francisco Joint Information Center, dempress@sfgov.org  

*** PRESS RELEASE ***

SAN FRANCISCO TO JOIN BAY AREA COUNTIES TO PREEMPTIVELY ADOPT CALIFORNIA’S REGIONAL STAY AT HOME ORDER IN AN EFFORT TO CONTAIN COVID-19 SURGE

Due to the aggressive increase in COVID-19 cases and continuing rise in hospitalizations across the city and region, Bay Area counties will voluntarily implement the State’s Regional Stay at Home order to significantly reduce gatherings and additional activities in an effort to stabilize COVID-19 cases and preserve region-wide hospital capacity.

San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed and Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax today announced San Francisco will join counties across the Bay Area to impose significant restrictions across the region in an effort to mitigate the current surge in COVID-19 cases. The City’s case rate and hospitalizations continue to increase unabated since late October and are now prompting San Francisco to take further action.

San Francisco and the other Bay Area Counties are opting into the Regional Stay at Home Order that Governor Newsom announced Thursday, December 3rd for regions with less than 15% capacity in ICU beds. Although San Francisco and the Bay Area have not yet met that threshold, the City in partnership with Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Santa Clara and City of Berkeley, is preemptively implementing these restrictions in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, which continue to surge, and prevent hospitals from being overrun across the region.  

As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, San Francisco will close all personal services, outdoor dining, public outdoor playgrounds, outdoor museums, zoos and aquariums, drive-in theaters, and open-air tour busses and boats. Additionally, San Francisco will halt indoor limited personal training in gyms and limit outdoor gyms and outdoor fitness classes to a maximum group size of 12 people at a time, including instructors and participants. Low contact retail such as pet grooming, electronics or shoe repair services, may only operate in a curbside drop-off context. All other retail, including grocery stores must reduce capacity to 20%, and all indoor businesses that are open to the public, such as retail stores, must create a metering system to manage and enforce indoor customer capacity. This metering system must be in place no later 10 p.m. on Sunday December 6, when other amended order becomes operative.

Hotels may remain open for essential workers and critical infrastructure support, including isolation and quarantine. Out of town visitors who are not essential workers or here for critical infrastructure support must stay in the hotel for the full amount of time required to quarantine. Real Estate viewings must take place virtually. The City will limit any outdoor gatherings to members of the same household up to 12 people.

“Given the steep increase in COVID-19 cases in San Francisco, we must do whatever is necessary in order to get the virus under control,” said Mayor Breed. “This is about protecting people’s lives. We see how quickly it moves and how devastating the effects. We need to do everything we can to prevent our hospital system from becoming overwhelmed and to save lives. We know that the faster we flatten the curve, the less time it takes us to move out of the danger zone. We are taking these actions now in order to contain the spread in our communities, and I urge everyone to take this very seriously.” 

San Francisco, along with California and the United Sates, is experiencing a surge in COVID-19   more aggressive than what the City has experienced to date. Local COVID-19 cases have quadrupled during the last month. San Francisco is currently averaging 142 new COVID-19 positive cases per day compared to the 34 per day that it averaged in late October. Moreover, the City currently has approximately 900 COVID-19 cases diagnosed per week and hospitalizations have tripled over the last month. As a result, the City’s hospital capacity will be under considerable stress. At its current rate of COVID hospitalizations, the City would run out of hospital beds by December 26. Unlike in previous surges, the rest of the State’s hospital capacity is strained and reaching patient limits and it is unlikely there will be additional hospital capacity in other counties if San Francisco’s is compromised.

“We are in our worst surge yet of COVID-19.  It is stressing health care systems across the state of California and taxing our health care workers,” said Dr. Colfax. “We need urgent intervention now if we want to be able to care for the sick in mid-to-late December.  We do not want your parent, your spouse, your child, your grandparent or any loved one to be in need of help and our hospitals too overwhelmed to properly care for them.”

San Francisco’s Health Order is expected to be in effect through January 4, 2021. If, after a week of this order being in effect, the City’s indicators show a consistent reduction in case rates and hospitalizations for three additional weeks (for a total of 4 weeks) and ICU capacity is holding at 25% availability or more, San Francisco will lift this health order. If however, the Bay Area continues on its current trajectory and reaches the 15% ICU capacity threshold, it would trigger the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order and mandate that the region continue these restrictions for at least 3 weeks from that time and until ICU capacity exceeds 15% and forward-looking indicators would allow easing the restrictions.  In either scenario, once this order is lifted, San Francisco would be returned to the State’s blueprint tier system.

In addition to the measures the City is taking in order to reduce close interactions by people from different households, the City is increasing its focus on compliance and enforcement activities. In an effort to promote responsible behavior in higher risk contexts, such as high traffic areas in neighborhoods experiencing increasing case rates, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development has funded the Creative Corps, a pilot program to deploy community health ambassadors to street closure locations. Additionally, the City’s Community Education and Response Team (CERT) is addressing complaints regarding Health Order violations to ensure that business owners and operators are fully aware of and adhere to health orders and directives.  Further, with expanding contact tracing capabilities and infection monitoring efforts, CERT is strategically focusing its proactive outreach and education efforts to business corridors in areas of the City with high infection rates, low compliance, and/or elevated risks.

The following activities will be required to suspend operations until further notice:

  • Personal services. Establishments offering personal care services including hair and nail salons, barbers, tattoo, piercing, estheticians and massage must cease operations, including both indoor and outdoor operations.
  • Outdoor dining. Restaurants and any other establishments offering meal service, may only operate for delivery or take-out. Eating and drinking on the premises is prohibited.
  • Outdoor museums, aquariums, and zoos. Outdoor installations or exhibits associated with museums, aquariums, or zoos may not allow entrance to visitors. Outdoor botanical gardens and historic sites may remain open.
  • Indoor gyms. Limited 1:1 personal training within gyms and fitness centers that was allowed under the previous health order must cease, but may take place outdoors (see below).
  • Drive-in gatherings. Drive in theaters and other performances delivered in a drive in context must cease.
  • Outdoor playgrounds. Public playgrounds including climbing structures and walls, slides swings, sand pits, etc. must close.
  • Outdoor family entertainment centers. Outdoor family entertainment centers including skate parks, roller and ice skating rinks, batting cages, go kart racing and miniature golf must close.
  • Open-air bus and boat operators. Operators of open-air busses offering sight seeing and other tour services and open-air boat excursions, including leisure and fishing expeditions, must cease operations.

The following activities will be required to restrict their operations:

  • Low Contact Retail. Service oriented retail such as dog groomers, electronics repair services and shoe repair services can operate in a curbside drop off context only.
  • Retail. All retail establishments such as shopping centers, hardware stores, convenience stores, equipment rental, and specialty shops, and including standalone grocery stores, must reduce capacity to 20% (down from 25% and 50% in the case of grocery stores) and implement a metering system (see below).

The following activities will be required to proceed with modifications in place:

  • Hotels and lodging. Hotels may only accept reservations from essential workers travelling for work purposes or to support critical infrastructure including accommodations for isolation and quarantine purposes. If an individual who is not travelling for essential purposes makes a reservation, it must be at least for the number of days required for quarantine. The persons identified in the reservation must quarantine in the hotel or lodging facility for the entirety of the time required.
  • Small gatherings. Small outdoor gatherings, must limit themselves to members of 1 household with a maximum number of 12 people (down from up to three households or no more than 25 people). Face coverings must remain on at all times and no eating or drinking is allowed. 
  • Outdoor gyms. Outdoor gym or fitness center activities as well as outdoor fitness in-person group classes (such as boot camps, dance, yoga, tai-chi, etc.) are limited to groups of 12 people, including personnel, and must maintain strict distance and face covering requirements. Running groups are prohibited.
  • Youth sports. Youth sports activities affiliated with a childcare program, Out of School Time program, or other organized and supervised youth sports program may continue operating outdoors only without competitions or spectators and with strict social distancing and face covering requirements in place.
  • Indoor activities open to public. Any establishment allowing members of the public to access indoor areas, including shopping centers, grocery stores, corner stores, financial services, hardware stores, pharmacies, etc. must establish a metering system to monitor capacity thresholds and ensure capacity does not exceed limits. In effect, a business will need to assign a specific staff person to monitor the number of people in the establishment and ensure that the 20% capacity threshold is maintained at all times. This system must be in place as soon as possible and no later than Sunday, December 6th at 10 p.m. when the amended order becomes operative. Additionally, special hours should be instituted for seniors and others with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems. 
  • Adult Recreation. No/low contact adult recreational activities such as golf, tennis, pickle ball, and bocce ball may continue outdoors but must be limited to participants within the same household.  

Additional information about which businesses and activities can operate in San Francisco and what modifications are required at this time is available at sf.gov/step-by-step/reopening-san-francisco.

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Chinese Historical Society of America

Rare World Class Collection To Become Complete at San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society of America

Media contact:
David Perry & Associates, Inc. / David Perry / (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com

Rare World Class Collection To Become Complete at
San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society of America.

Money Being Raised to Purchase Four “Lost” Paintings by Jake Lee
$ 50,000 Needed to  Finalize Purchase


https://www.gofundme.com/f/chsa039s-purchase-of-artist-jake-lee-paintings

4 December 2020 – San Francisco, CA:   Let’s face it. COVID has been an unprecedented challenge: keeping families apart, keeping museums closed, keeping art from doing what it does best – uniting all of us. In a year exampled by so much separation, however, one “family” is being re-united: an artistic family.  For many years thought lost or destroyed, the unique world-class collection of paintings by artist Jake Lee are finally being re-united at San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society of America (www.chsa.org).  However, at a time with so much competition for resources, there’s a $ 50,000 catch. Money must be raised to bring this family back together for posterity.  A GoFundMe campaign has been established at https://www.gofundme.com/f/chsa039s-purchase-of-artist-jake-lee-paintings

“Without exaggeration, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” says Sue Lee, community historian and former executive director of the Chinese Historical Society. “These twelve paintings represent a rare, celebratory and unique pictorial chronicle of the early Chinese American experience. Eight are currently in our possession, but we’re in a race against time to raise money to purchase the final four and complete the collection.”

Jake Lee (1911–1991) was born in Guangzhou, China and grew up in Monterey, California. Following his studies at San Jose State College and Otis Art Institute, Lee had a prolific career as a commercial artist and an art teacher. In 1959, Johnny Kan, owner of the landmark Kan’s Restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown, commissioned a series of twelve paintings by Lee. Each painting showcases specific aspects and milestones in early Chinese American history. These paintings were displayed for many years in the private Gum Shan (“gold mountain”) dining room of Kan’s Restaurant.  After Kan’s death in 1972, the restaurant changed hands, and the paintings disappeared in subsequent years. For decades, these paintings were believed to be lost, until eleven of the paintings resurfaced at a 2010 auction in Los Angeles.

“I knew we had to have them,” (Sue) Lee remembers. “We were able to purchase seven at the auction but we were outbid for the remaining four.  It’s taken almost ten years, but we convinced the collector to sell his Jake Lee’s to us so they can be re-united at the Chinese Historical Society Museum.  We need to raise another $ 50,000 to complete the purchase.”

Having acquired seven of the paintings at auction, Lee was determined to track down the missing twelfth, a painting called “Deadwood.”  It’s rediscovery was serendipitous to say the least.

“I got a tip to go to a auto repair shop in Bay view and spotted the painting,” recalls Lee with a nod and laugh. “There it was, hanging at the back of a grease pit. They had no idea of its value. Evidently a former bus boy at Kan’s took the painting and hung it at the back of his family’s garage. He was more than happy to donate it to the Museum.”

Each Jake Lee painting showcases specific aspects and milestones in early Chinese American history, including scenes of San Francisco’s Chinatown, railroad-building in the Sierra Nevadas, Sonoma wine country, cigar and lantern factories, and the 1888 champion Chinese fire-hose team of Deadwood, South Dakota. Besides their un-paralleled historic stature, they are clearly the works of a master craftsman.   The large (41 X 31 inches) paintings are striking, boldly composed and brightly colored, packed with elaborate detail and figures in expressive poses engaged in the various cultural and commercial activities of Chinese immigrants of the previous century. In one spectacular scene, New Year’s Day lion dancers roared down a Chinatown street festooned with giant strands of popping firecrackers.

The watercolors evoke a glittering bygone Chinatown era,” said The New York Times noting that they had served as backdrop to “a storied hot spot frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe and Herb Caen, the longtime newspaper columnist.” 

Perhaps Stanford University historian Gordon Chang put it best: “We have few artists in our history who have painted about the history of Chinese-Americans, and Jake Lee really stands out.””

“If we do not tell our own story, no one else will,” says Lee. “This pandemic year has really brought home to all of us the importance of preserving history and living in the moment. This is our moment now, to preserve for future generations and irreplaceable piece of our history.”

About Chinese Historical Society of America:
The Chinese Historical Society of America is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. CHSA pursues this mission through exhibitions, publications, and educational and public programs in the CHSA Museum and Learning Center, a landmark Julia Morgan-designed building (formerly the Chinatown YWCA) located at 965 Clay Street, San Francisco.

SF Hotel Council 17th Annual Hotel Hero Awards

Media Contact: DP&A, Inc. / David Perry (415) 676-7007 / news@davidperry.com

SF Hotel Council 17th Annual Hotel Hero Awards

Friday, December 4: 12pm – 1pm (PST)

Virtual Awards Hosted by Emmy Award Winner Liam Mayclem

3 December 2020 — San Francisco, CA: In a year defined by every day acts of personal and professional heroism,  the Hotel Council of San Francisco (www.hotelcouncilsf.org) presents the 17th Annual Hotel Hero Awards this Friday, December 4, 12pm – 1pm, (PST).  Hosted by Emmy Award winner Liam Mayclem, the virtual honors the brightest and best hospitality professionals in “The City That Knows How.” The widely anticipated event was initially scheduled for March 19th but delayed due to COVID.  The awardees are based on performance and service during the 2019 tourism season. The event is free: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZFHEIptJTWqjATQwEFcn1Q

There are no words adequate to express our admiration for and appreciation to all those who work in San Francisco’s hotel and hospitality industry,” said Kevin Carroll, Hotel Council President and CEO. “Everyone employed by our City’s hospitality industry is, and has been, a hero during a year when heroism was a daily choice. The individuals we celebrate through this event are shining examples of hospitality in a city known for being hospitable and welcoming.”

Established in 2003, the Hotel Hero awards were created to pay tribute to the people who dedicate their lives to the hospitality industry. As the largest industry in San Francisco, hotels and tourism directly impact the success of many businesses throughout San Francisco, supporting over 105,000 jobs. Honoree designations are: Rising Star, Unsung Hero, Beyond the Call of Duty, Sustainability, Community Spirit, the Werner Lewin Lifetime Achievement Award, the Operations Lifetime Achievement Award, The Department Manager Bob Begley Lifetime Achievement Award and the Hotel Executive Award.

“No matter how early the morning or challenging the job, our hospitality professionals are our ambassadors to the world,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “They are out every day promoting our city, supporting our economy, and ensuring that San Francisco continues to be a world-class tourist destination.”Presenting sponsor for this year’s event is Clearway Energy. Award sponsors are the Bay Club, Big Bus, Clearway Energy, Recology, San Francisco Travel, Swinerton, Tito’s Vodka and United Airlines.  Program sponsor is Cintas.Supporting Sponsors include David Perry & Associates, Inc., PSAV, Tito’s Vodka and Young’s Market Company.

The Hotel Council of San Francisco is a non-profit membership-based organization advocating for the economic and social vitality of the hospitality industry in San Francisco. With a membership roster of over 200 hotels, allied members, and partner organizations, the Council is dedicated to protecting the San Francisco hospitality industry and connecting its members to support its growth and success. 

Miracle Messages and Union Square BID to launch “Miracle Friends”

Media Contacts:
Kevin F. Adler, Miracle Messages / kevin@miraclemessages.org  /
(415) 545-8405

David Perry, Union Square BID / news@davidperry.com / (415) 676-7007

Miracle Messages and Union Square BID to launch “Miracle Friends”

First-of-its-kind Phone-Based “buddy system” designed to re-united people experiencing homelessness with support network

3 December 2020 — San Francisco, CA: Even E.T. could phone home with the help of his buddy Elliot. But, what if you had no home to phone?  What if you had no buddy? This Holiday Season, a newly launched pilot program from the esteemed nonprofit Miracle Messages (www.miraclemessages.org) partnering with the Union Square BID (www.visitunionsquaresf.com) seeks to match volunteers with unhoused individuals through a first-of-its-kind phone-based buddy system for those experiencing homelessness in and around Union Square. Called “Miracle Friends Union Square” the initiative will kick off, virtually, on Thursday, December 3 at 11am (PST) via a Facebook training. Those interested in volunteering for the effort should go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/783157075851858/

“The need is especially acute because of COVID and especially poignant during the Holidays,” said Karin Flood, Executive Director of the Union Square BID.   “The goal of the program is to provide general companionship and social support for people experiencing the isolation of homelessness of which, sadly, there is a great deal here in the heart of San Francisco.”

Launched as a pilot program in late April 2020, Miracle Friends has matched 130 volunteers with unhoused individuals who have been moved into hotels during the pandemic. As the program expands in the coming months, additional participants will be added from current and future sites. To date, more than 250 volunteers have applied for training and matching through Miracle Friends. The program is currently active at numerous hotel sites and an affordable housing site for senior citizens in San Francisco, as well as sites in San Mateo County, Santa Cruz County, Sonoma County, and many others.

“Our goal is to match at least 50 unhoused individuals located in and around Union Square with trained volunteers for weekly phone calls and text messages, to provide general companionship and social support during COVID-19, and beyond,” explains Kevin F. Adler, Founder and CEO of Miracle Messages.  “Also, our flagship Miracle Messages reunion service will also be included in the training and support that volunteer friends receive through the Miracle Friends buddy system, in case any unhoused friends near Union Square are interested in reconnecting with their loved ones.”

Miracle Friends is currently operating in San Francisco in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, Urban Alchemy, Five Keys, Catholic Charities, Larkin Street Youth Services, Episcopal Community Services, Downtown Streets Team, and other local providers.

“Our neighbors experiencing homelessness are not problems to be solved, but people to be loved,” says Adler. “This partnership with the Union Square BID is part of our broader commitment to end relational poverty on our streets and show up for our unhoused neighbors with the same level of compassion and respect that we would want someone to show up for our own parents, siblings, children, or even ourselves.”


So, how does it work? Miracle Friends is 100% phone based. Volunteers can be based anywhere. If selected to participate, a volunteer is matched with an unhoused friend at a participating partner site, as well as a mentor from the Miracle Messages community. Through a partnership with cloud-based phone system Dialpad (www.dialpad.com)volunteers are assigned a new, secure, virtual phone number to make calls and text with their friend. The time commitment for volunteers is two to three hours a week, which includes the one-to-one calls, call logs, weekly group check-ins, and ongoing training and communication.

“Dialpad is committed to helping people maintain connections from anywhere, and we understand the importance of communication in times of need,” said Craig Walker, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Dialpad.We are proud to continue our work with Miracle Messages by offering our services to help those experiencing homelessness to stay connected during these trying times.” The process goes like this: The first step is to get in touch with the team at Miracle Friends by emailing friends@miraclemessages.org. Once a partner site is approved for the program, on-site case managers distribute copies of Miracle Friends’ client-facing flyer at the hotel, and then collect sign-ups and/or releases of information consent forms from interested participants. Once the matches have been made, volunteers complete a check-in log to share their conversation notes with mentors, and flag any potential issues for on-site staff at the partner site to follow-up.“Miracle Messages offer a humane way to help end homelessness, to reconnect families, strengthen local social support systems, shatter stigmas, and empower people everywhere to get involved,” says Adler, who started Miracle Messages in honor of his uncle, who lived on-and-off the streets for 30 years in Santa Cruz before he died. “We are on a mission to end relational poverty on the streets, and in the process, inspire people everywhere to embrace their homeless neighbors not as problems to be solved, but as people to be loved. “

Miracle Messages is a San Francisco-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps people isolated by homelessness rebuild their social support systems. Miracle Messages’ award-winning reunion service has helped more than 325 people experiencing homelessness reconnect with their loved ones, through short messages and a global network of volunteer “digital detectives.” Miracle Friends builds on the volunteer base and core values of Miracle Messages’ reunion service: that everyone is someone’s somebody. For a complete list of cities and counties where Miracle Friends is currently being piloted, please visit miraclefriends.org.

The Union Square Business Improvement District (BID) serves members and creates a high-quality visitor experience by managing and activating public spaces, attracting new investment, and advocating for the District’s future success. Union Square is the vibrant heart of San Francisco and an international destination where visitors come to enjoy exceptional retail experiences, luxury hotels, world-class cultural institutions, and great public spaces found only in the City by the Bay. A lively 27-block community surrounding Union Square Park in the heart of San Francisco makes up the Union Square BID. It is generally bordered on the north by Bush Street, on the east by Kearny Street, on the south by Market Street and on the west Taylor Street. Within this service area there are approximately 600 parcels.  The original USBID was founded in 1999 and focused primarily on cleaning and safety issues. Today’s expanded USBID continues to recognize the need for providing cleaning and maintenance and critical public safety services, though has since added destination marketing, advocacy, beautification and capital improvement programs to enhance the experience of the Union Square area and contribute to a safer and more vibrant community. 

Critical Raves for David Eugene Perry’s Debut Novel Upon This Rock from Pace Press

Media Contact: Jaguar Bennett / publicity@quilldriverbooks.com

Critical Raves for David Eugene Perry’s Debut Novel
Upon This Rock from Pace Press

www.quilldriverbooks.com

Mystery Thriller Inspired by Real Life Suicide That Shook Orvieto, Italy and Catholic Church Ten Years Ago Today

30 November 2020 – Fresno, CA: When author David Eugene Perry arrived to the Italian hilltop town of Orvieto on November 30, 2014, the tightknit community was still abuzz with a real life tragedy exactly four years earlier. On November 30, 2010, a beloved young deacon leapt from the cliffs of the historic Umbrian village in despair for having been denied the priesthood because of rumors he was gay.

“I became obsessed with the real life story of Luca Seidita,” said Perry, 59, whose just published critically-acclaimed mystery thriller Upon This Rock from Pace Press is dedicated to Seidita. “His suicide had an immediate, and lasting, impact on Orvieto and on the Catholic Church, who did their best to cover up the event.”

Digging into the young seminarian’s life and death soon led Perry into a deeper research, and fascination, with Orvieto itself, including a rich Etruscan, Roman and World War II history, not to mention Medici Pope Clement VII taking refuge there following the Sack of Rome in 1527. It was during his Orvieto sojourn that the Pope was presented with the request by English King Henry VIII for a divorce.

“When I heard that, literally, the idea for a novel exploring Church conflict and cover-up separated by 500 years dropped into my head,” said Perry, who along with his husband Alfredo Casuso have visited Orvieto often in the intervening years. “In a very real way, Orvieto is not a place in Upon This Rock. Orvieto is a character in several eras.”

Always slated for a September 2020 publication date, the book was only slightly delayed due to COVID-19, although the planned publication tour, including a return to Orvieto, were by force delayed due to travel restrictions.

“We’re hopeful to do an in-person launch event in Italy in the spring,” said Perry, who has been doing online Zoom readings, interviews and a social media campaign highlighting the book in locations around the world. “I know it’s been read in Orvieto, as friends have been sending me photos of my readers in spots around town that feature prominently in the book.”

Pandemic aside, sales have been brisk and reviews positive.

“It’s the best selling fiction book in pre-sale we’ve ever had,” said Kent Sorsky, publisher of Linden Publications / Quilldriver Books. “This is even more impressive given that David is a first-time author.”

The early reviews would seem to explain why.

Upon This Rock: an “elegant twisty thriller” (Armistead Maupin, author ofthe international sensation Tales of the City); “the gay DaVinci Code, but a lot better” (Fenton Johnson, Guggenheim Fellow, author of The Man Who Loved Birds); Upon This Rock is “for those readers who love Italy and who love crime fiction” (Lucinda Hawksley, great-great-great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens, author of Dickens’s Artistic Daughter, Katey); “Perry’s novel sparkles with campy wit but is written with serious clues that keep you reading. And, oh yes, because it is a mystery, there’s a killer of a surprise at the end. Move over, Sam Spade and Nick and Nora Charles. Welcome the new kids to the neighborhood, Lee and Adriano.(Will Snyder, Bay Area Reporter); Upon This Rock is “a perfect read for anyone who is into thrillers, mysteries and historical fiction, like John Grisham and Dan Brown for sure.”(Ankita Dasgupta, The Bookworm Resort); “This is a wild read. Perry’s ability to build suspense is impressive and the denouement of this thriller will not just surprise you, but literally stun.”(Erika Atkinson, author of Ode to the Castro).

“You will not find a more exquisite, captivating, well written first novel than David Eugene Perry’s Upon This Rock. I was literally hooked from the first chapter. Set in the Italian city of Orvieto, Perry takes us on a roller-coaster ride that begins with the Sixteenth Century papacy of the de Medici Pope, Clement VII, and then quickly plummets us to the present day. A wonderfully addictive and engrossing story with brilliant characters and an ending that will have you perusing your favorite bookstore looking for Perry’s next novel”(Dennis Koller, author of The Rhythm of Evil). “You will not be able to put his book down. It is a page-turner from the first sentence until the twisted unexpected ending.” (Lynn Ruth Miller, author of Getting the Last Laugh). In short, David Eugene Perry’s Upon This Rock is “A potboiler thriller with nail-biting suspense” (Lew J. Whittington, New York Journal of Books); a “sexy, historical thriller” (Julissa James, Nob Hill Gazette);”a love letter to Orvieto like Tales of the City is a love letter to San Francisco” (Eric Jansen, SF Bay Times & Out In the Bay).

“I always tell my own clients to not read their reviews,” laughs Perry, a longtime communications consultant and owner of an eponymous public relations business. “But, I have to admit, I’ve read a couple of mine and been greatly humbled. Plus, in the age of social media, I’m able to chat with my readers. Since COVID protocols don’t allow for in-person events at the moment, I autograph specially designed bookmarks and mail them out.”

What does Perry hope readers take away from his centuries spanning tale?

“Refugees,” says Perry, noting that the ongoing  migrant crisis in Europe is a major component of the novel and a constant backdrop. “Everyone in the book is a refugee of some sort, whether they’re fleeing war-torn African in flimsy rafts on the Mediterranean or someone trying to escape painful past sins or the memories of Orvieto’s occupation by the Nazis in World War II. None of the characters are who they first appear to be.”

And what of Luca Seidita, the real life young man who stepped off of the rock a year ago today?

“His story touched me greatly,” said Perry, who himself had considered the priesthood at one time in his life. “I hope, in some way, this book gives him a bit of literary life, albeit fictionalized.”

Upon This Rock by David Eugene Perry / 360 pages / $ 18.95 / Quilldriver Books, Fresno, CA.  https://quilldriverbooks.com/new-in-fiction-upon-this-rock-an-elegant-twisty-thriller-is-winning-rave-reviews/