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Alum Wins Awards: John DeDakis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Maryglenn McCombs (615) 297-9875

An intensely personal novel prompted by son’s fatal heroin overdose,
Bullet in the Chamber recognized among winners in three prestigious awards competitions

BALTIMORE, Maryland – John DeDakis has earned three national book awards for his latest mystery-thriller novel, Bullet in the Chamber. DeDakis, a former editor for CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer,” was prompted to pen Bullet in the Chamber following his 22-year-old son Stephen’s fatal heroin overdose in 2011.

Published by Strategic Media Books, Bullet in the Chamber won three national awards:
• First Place – Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award for 2016/2017 (Mystery/Thriller category)
• Silver Medal – Foreword INDIES Book Award (Thriller/Suspense category). Bullet in the Chamber was a finalist in the competition’s Best Mystery category.
• Bronze Medalist – 2017 Feathered Quill Book Award (Best Mystery/Thriller category)

Prestigious national book awards celebrating excellence in independent publishing, the Reader Views Literary Awards, Feathered Quill Book Awards, and Foreword INDIES Awards receive thousands of entries each year. The Foreword INDIES alone boasted over 2,000 submissions with a panel of over 150 librarians and booksellers acting as judges to pick the winners.

Howard Lovy, Foreword Reviews’ executive editor, commented: “Awarding the INDIES is always the highlight of our year, when we get to honor talented authors and great books that are ordinarily overlooked by mainstream publications.”

Ellen Feld, Editor at Feathered Quill commented: “We were overwhelmed by the sheer volume and exemplary quality of entries for this year’s awards program. With so many worthy books to consider, it was difficult for our judges to pick among the many excellent contenders. Bullet in the Chamber by John DeDakis was certainly a standout. A gripping and engaging story, Bullet in the Chamber teems with authenticity. It is a true honor to recognize John DeDakis among this year’s winners.”

In this extraordinary thriller about drugs, drones and journalism, author John DeDakis draws on his own personal pain to create an unforgettable page-turner that teems with authenticity.

About Bullet in the Chamber: Gutsy White House Correspondent Lark Chadwick is front-row center when the executive mansion is suddenly attacked. The president is missing, the first lady’s life is at risk, and Lark is forced to hit the ground running in her new job as White House correspondent for the Associated Press. Her career may be in high gear, but when the man she loves disappears, Lark’s personal life starts to fall apart in this deadline-a-minute thriller.

What Others Are Saying about Bullet in the Chamber:
—Henry Schuster, CBS News “60 Minutes” Producer

“Will keep you turning the pages.”
—Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief, USA TODAY and Past President, White House Correspondents’ Association

Bullet in the Chamber is available wherever fine books are sold in a trade paper (ISBN: 978-1939-5216-3-7, Trade Paper, 351 pages, $18.95), eBook and audio book editions.

About the Author: After a 45-year career in journalism which included 25 years at CNN, DeDakis retired in 2013 to write full time. He also edits people’s book-length manuscripts and leads writing workshops around the country and abroad. DeDakis is currently at work on his fifth novel, tentatively titled Fake (as in “fake news”). DeDakis lives in Baltimore. Visit his website at:

Members of the news media wishing to interview John DeDakis or learn more about Bullet in the Chamber are asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone: (615) 297-9875, or by email:


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