JACKSONVILLE, FLA. (July 30, 2007) – David Pereda, an up-and-coming author who gave up a successful international consulting career to become a writer, won first place in the Lighthouse Book Awards mystery-thriller category this weekend for his manuscript titled Who Killed Fidel Castro?

The award was the second this year for Pereda’s story about a respected Miami doctor who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of Cuba’s infamous dictator. To save his life, the doctor must find the real killers and retrieve a mysterious journal while outwitting a ruthless woman assassin sent by Castro’s brother, Raul. The political thriller has earned praise for its intriguing plot, engaging characters and exotic scenes that include the hot spots of South Beach, ancient cities of Yucatan and a high-octane climax in Cuba.

Earlier this year, Who Killed Fidel Castro? was named a finalist in the 2007 National Indie Excellence Book Awards, which drew more than 700 entries.

“Even though by all accounts I was a successful man who had achieved a lot in his life, I felt like a failure because I wasn’t doing what I cared about most, which is writing,” Pereda told the crowd of authors who attended the awards ceremony held in the Ponte Vedra resort community south of Jacksonville. “So three years ago, I quit my professional career and set three goals for myself. Winning this award fulfills one of these goals, which was not to be just another writer, but a good writer, an award-winning writer.”

The award was not the only good news Pereda received this weekend. On Sunday, he was notified that one of his poems had been accepted in an anthology to be released this fall titled Express Yourself 101, Volume 2.

Pereda, a Cuban native, speaks four languages, is a member of MENSA and competes in running and equestrian events. He formerly lived in Miami before his recent move to Asheville, N.C., where he lives with his wife and youngest daughter.

Pereda said he hopes that the Lighthouse Award, which was judged by Barbara Moore, an acquiring editor for Midnight Ink, will encourage publishers considering the book for publication. The story has already caught the attention of a Hollywood producer.

Pereda also is the author of Havana Confidential, The Highest Hurdle and Getting Filthy Rich.


David Pereda