ASHEVILLE — Author David Pereda announced today that chose his manuscript for Who Killed Fidel Castro? out of 5,000 entries to be a semifinalist in the online bookseller’s Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. If Pereda’s mystery thriller wins, Pereda would get a book contract from Penguin Group, one of the world’s largest publishers.

Amazon is asking members to read an excerpt of Who Killed Fidel Castro?, rate the story and then write their own review. Amazon will choose the top 10 finalists based partly on readers’ reviews.

“I’m thrilled that the story was chosen and to have a chance at fulfilling a lifelong dream to be published by a major publisher,” Pereda said. “I also welcome the chance to get feedback from readers and to show potential publishers that there is an audience for stories by and about Latinos.”

Pereda is an award-winning author who splits his time between Miami and Asheville, N.C. He is a former consultant with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, a member of MENSA and speaks four languages. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida and Pepperdine University and currently teaches college-level writing courses.

This is the third major honor for Who Killed Fidel Castro?. The suspense-filled fictional work, involving one of the world’s most controversial leaders, earlier was named a finalist in the National 2007 Indie Excellence Book Awards and won first place in the Lighthouse Book Awards for mystery thrillers.

The top 10 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award finalists will be named on March 3 and the winner on April 7.

Readers who want to participate can go to Pereda’s Web site,, which includes links to the story excerpt and page where reviews can be written.