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When writing a book isn’t all about the sales

Aaron Phillips, Cheryl Prater, Ricky Cash, Nicci Lease and Bella Capo during the Vegas Unwrapped broadcast
Aaron Phillips, Cheryl Prater, Ricky Cash, Nicci Lease and Bella Capo during the Vegas Unwrapped broadcast
Vegas Unwrapped Radio Show

May 23, 2013. Bella Capo was a guest on the Vegas Unwrapped internet radio show, and the talk turned to her upcoming book, La Bella Mafia, from Houdini Publishing. The title is indeed provocative, so one must wonder if it is strictly about crime and the Mafia. The answer is ‘no’.

As hosts Ricky Cash and Aaron Phillips turned the conversation to her book, Bella didn’t go into a lot of details because that night her agenda was to talk about abused women. (The book will be offered for presale within the next few months, with a target publication date of October 2013.)

I had endured so much, I was beyond feeling anything. Because I believe in angels, I had a crying angel tattooed on my back so it could cry for me when I couldn’t cry for myself, ~Bella Capo

She says candidly that reliving her life to write this book was a very painful experience, and often resulted in rivers of tears. Sometimes, memories resulted in physical symptoms. Her true story is one of being the abused child of a crime boss, later a woman who became a powerful force managing after-hours clubs on Hollywood’s famed Sunset Strip, a female boss in a notorious gang that has a presence across the United States, and ultimately the co-founder of La Bella Mafia, her online organization on Facebook, dedicated to helping abused women (and some men).

Bella says her ultimate goal in writing the book was to have a platform to reach those who don’t even know there are others going through various degrees of what they themselves are experiencing. When questioned further in person, she said,

It was never about the money or fame one expects to make from writing a book like this. If that was the reason, I wouldn’t have put myself through the Hell of reaching down to release suppressed memories of what I called my life. It was always about writing a frank, unvarnished account that would ultimately help others. That was also the whole reason behind co-founding La Bella Mafia eight years ago.

You never think about the fact that so many victims of abuse do not know they aren’t alone. They might know about shelters, and one certainly hopes they do, but they don’t know about the counseling and support offered by others who have walked in their shoes. Although Bella has earned her advocate’s degree for counseling those with PTSD, as she said, there is a big difference in book-learning and classes about what helps to heal as opposed to learning by the hard knocks in life including physical and mental abuse.

First readers of the manuscript, like radio host Ricky Cash, have said they could not put it down from the first page to the last, and have become avid supporters of the “movement” to use the platform of this book to help those who suffer in silence.

There are often other reasons for writing a book than the obvious and it this case it is taking hold. During the broadcast the phone rang off the hook to a point where all the calls could not be taken in the time slot allotted. Most said they too were suffering abuse but had no idea anything like La Bella Mafia existed.

You can follow posts on the new La Bella Mafia Book blog. During the past several years through the support of La Bella Mafia many women have been rescued from abusive situations, threats to their lives, and helped during kidnapping episodes. Their work is serious business. Visitors are invited to leave comments, but no advertisements or spam, please.

Morgan St. James, an award-winning author of funny crime fiction, like A Corpse in the Soup and Who’s Got the Money?, she recently made the leap into non-fiction when invited by true crime author Dennis N. Griffin to co-author La Bella Mafia. More collaborative true crime books are in work for this writing team, and she continues to write the Silver Sisters Mystery series with her sister Phyllice Bradner.

Her book Writers’ Tricks of the Trade: 39 Things You Need to Know About the ABCs of Writing Fiction was named to Carolyn Howard-Johnson’s list of Top Ten for 2011 on She frequently presents workshops for organizations and conferences.

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