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San Francisco Book Festival Gives Top Prize to “Upon This Rock”

Media Contact: Jaguar Bennett /

San Francisco Book Festival Gives Top Prize to “Upon This Rock”

David Eugene Perry’s Mystery Thriller Set in Orvieto, Italy
Wins “Best Gay Book” of Spring 2021

23 June 2021 – San Francisco, CA: On the heels of last month’s Silver Medal Ben Franklin Award win from the Independent Book Publishers Association, first-time author David Eugene Perry has taken top prize from the prestigious San Francisco Book Festival as “Best Gay Book of Spring 2021” for his critically-acclaimed mystery thriller set in Orvieto, Italy “Upon This Rock” from Pace Press.

“Coming during LGBT Pride Month makes this an even happier moment,” said Perry, 59, who has lived and worked in San Francisco since 1986. “I’m greatly humbled to have been nominated among so many fine writers and so grateful to Pace Press for the encouragement and support.”

“All of us at Pace Press have been excited by the success of ‘Upon This Rock’.  It is a truly exceptional novel,” said Kent Sorsky, publisher of Linden Publications / Quilldriver Books. “It is a page-turning thriller and a deep dive into Renaissance history that straddles pop and high culture.”

The San Francisco Book Festival recognizes the best books of the spring cycle. A full list of other winners may be found at this link:

Upon This Rock is an “elegant twisty thriller” (Armistead Maupin, author ofthe international sensation Tales of the City) and “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).

Perhaps Emmy Award winning journalist, famed Hollywood reporter Jan Wahl put it best: “Upon This Rock is fabulous. This historical thriller is a sexy ‘DaVinci Code.’ I can’t wait for the movie.”

Upon This Rock by David Eugene Perry / 360 pages / $ 18.95 / Quilldriver Books, Fresno, CA.