Book Blitz: Parker’s Choice + Excerpt

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Parker’s Choice
by Mike Nemeth
Suspense, Mystery

Published: March 2021

Publisher: Southern Fried Karma

Framed for murder and on-the-run an innocent man is forced to become an outlaw. Hiding from his troubled past in Atlanta, Parker can’t escape his enemies. His former business partner blackmails him and when she’s killed, Parker becomes the chief suspect, but he fears his wife did it. His boss coerces him to commit fraud, but he and his clever colleague, Sabrina, uncover evidence that his elusive birth father is involved in the scheme and Parker’s innate moral code is stressed to the limit. Parker must solve a riddle within a quandary within a puzzle within a mystery to save the lives of those he loves.

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Excerpt:

Three Years Ago

Parker watched her on the doorbell camera on his phone. It shouldn’t have to end this way; his future shouldn’t depend on the risky odds that he was right about what would happen tonight. He weaved around over-sized furniture and peered through the small square window in his front door. She wore a red, V-neck sundress exposing two inches of cleavage, reminding Parker once again that this woman’s sexual magnetism radiated like heat waves off a blacktop road. Her body an eye-catching confluence of tanned, sweeping curves, her hair long and blonde, and her eyes sapphire blue, she was a woman in her prime who Parker knew enjoyed the attention of men of all ages. He wiped his sweaty palms on his shorts and opened the door. On-time and all smiles, Meredith walked into his arms as though she were his lover arriving for a romantic evening.

Awkwardly, Parker extricated himself from her embrace. He led her to the dining room in his cramped beach bungalow where the papers to dissolve their partnership in Advanced Fraud Analytics, LLC were laid out on the table.

You surprised me by agreeing to this,” he said.

She shook her head, and her long hair flew off one shoulder and onto the other. “Time to get off the investor-schmoozing merry-go-round and kill our ‘baby.’”

Sad it’s come to this, but it’s a good deal for you. You’re relieved of all company debts and obligations and indemnified against any lawsuits; in return, I retain full ownership of the fraud detection algorithms and computer programs. Okay?”

She tapped the stack of papers with her ruby nails but did not take a seat. “Let’s do this outside. It’s such a lovely evening.”

Outside, Parker knew he would lose a measure of control, but he had planned for this situation. He swept up the legal documents and carried them to the pebbled glass table in his lanai. Five feet beyond the wall of screens, a swimming pool filled the backyard that ended in a gentle slope to the Intracoastal Waterway. A wooden shed, in which his center-console boat sat in a lift sling, flanked his rickety dock and to the right of the pool a large, four-person hot tub squatted on a slab, shielded from his neighbor’s sight by thick hibiscus. The sun was a dying ember on the horizon, so Parker turned on the underwater pool lights. It wasn’t a romantic gesture; he wanted a little indirect lighting.

Do you have any wine, Parker? May as well make this pleasant.”

He hesitated; he had no weapons in the house. “White or red?”

White if you have it.”

He nodded. “You can read the documents while I’m pouring the wine.”

When he returned to the patio with a chilled glass of Chablis and a sweating bottle of Tecate, he found Meredith standing at the edge of the pool with her naked back to him. She stepped out of red thong panties and flipped them with her foot onto the Cool Crete surface surrounding the pool where her outer garments and lacy bra were strewn in disarray. Naked, she grinned at him over her shoulder. He returned her smile as he admired the perfect contours of her high ass and the smooth tapering of her legs.

Come on in,” she said. “You can’t have a free show.” Then she dove into the pool.

If he didn’t suspect that she wanted him in the water so he’d be less mobile, Parker would have been tempted to join her. He squatted at the edge of the pool and extended the glass of wine to her. He couldn’t resist watching her wade toward him, her breasts parting the rippled water like the prow of a ship plowing through ocean waves. She gave him permission with her eyes, but she couldn’t resist a quick glance over her shoulder at the bottom of his property where it met an inlet off the Intracoastal Waterway. He followed her gaze and saw it then, a white Boston Whaler silently drifting up to his dock. He had thought the odds would be in his favor, and now they weren’t. She noted the look of recognition on his face and made a grab for her purse at the edge of the pool, but Parker was quicker. He snatched the unusually heavy bag and tossed it into the deep end of the pool. Then he kicked her clothes into the water.

Shrieking, “Help! Rape!” Meredith climbed out of the pool and dashed into the house.

A rangy man in military fatigues, wielding a double-barrel shotgun as though it were a natural extension of his hand, leapt onto the dock and advanced toward Parker.

Get the fuck off my property,” Parker snarled.

The man raised the shotgun with one hand as Parker ducked to evade the blast that shattered the sliding glass doors at the back of the house. Bent at the waist, Parker hustled into the protective shadows at the side of his house. Cowering behind his hot tub, he watched the man slowly approach in a stealthy semi-crouch, like a big game hunter stalking his prey. The terror Parker felt was what an antelope feels when it is about to be eaten alive by a pride of hungry lions. Now would be good time to rescue me.

When the hunter reached the hot tub and crept around the far side, Parker shuffledclockwise to remain on the opposite side. He took shallow breaths through his nose to mask the sound of his breathing as he listened to the blood coursing through his carotid artery—whoosh, whoosh. Where is she?

When they had made half a turn around the hot tub, and the predator’s back was to the boathouse where she had been hiding, he saw her emerge in the crepuscular light, fifteen feet away on his dock, and assume the shooter’s stance she’d been taught at the gun range. She never said a word, gave the hunter no warning, just fired her compact Beretta once, and the man crumpled onto the Cool Crete surface with a thud and a rush of expelled air. That hadn’t been the plan. She was only supposed to balance the threat Parker suspected Meredith had posed. She wasn’t supposed to shoot anyone. But Meredith had out-schemed him. It’s so easy to get these things wrong.

A scan of the house’s back windows revealed no sign of Meredith. Parker motioned for the woman to hurry into the shadows and put a finger to his lips—don’t talk. The wounded man moaned softly, and Parker’s quick glance confirmed that he was semi-conscious and neither moving nor watching. Parker took the woman’s pistol and shoved her toward the neighbor’s property. The snowbirds who owned the place were away enjoying the Canadian summer during the Florida off-season.

Run,” he whispered.

She did as she was told. He counted to twenty—one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi—then he dialed 9-1-1.

 

About the Author


Mike Nemeth is an Army vet and former high tech executive who lives in suburban Atlanta with his wife, Angie and their rescue dig, Scout. He is the author of the Amazon bestselling and award-winning novels “Defiled” and “The Undiscovered Country.” Creative Loafing Atlanta named him Best Local Author for 2019.

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Spotlight: Wyrd Gods + Author Interview

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Wyrd Gods
by Susana Imaginário
Published: August 22, 2019
Genre: Mythic Dark Fantasy
Pages: 394 (Print Length)

CW: Abuse (emotional), Animal cruelty, Chronic illness, Mental Illness, Cannibalism (only mentions of), Genocide (only mentions of), Gore, Violence, Racial bigotry (between fantasy races), Self-harm, Suicide, Suicidal thoughts, Torture

POSSIBLE ULTIMATE TOUR EXPERIENCE TICKETS: Represent, It’s All About the Journey, Snark It Up, Love Actually, A Villain You Love to Hate, The Wings of Change, Storyteller in the House, Bring On the Magic, Simply Mythical, A Gate to Another World

The God of Time wants to destroy Eternity.

A mysterious immortal seeks vengeance.

And a reclusive deity does what no god should ever do: she answers a prayer.

As punishment, she is stripped of her powers and trapped in a mortal’s body. Now a Wyrd – a fated god – she is haunted by the memories and thoughts of her host and must hide her true identity in order to survive in Niflheim, the rival Norse Underworld.

There she discovers the afterlife is not quite what it used to be. Niflheim’s new ruler threatens the precarious balance of a world overrun with outcast deities and mortals alike.

To save her own sanity and find her way back to the stars, she must help the other Wyrd overcome their grievances to defeat this enemy, but those who would be her allies appear to have motives as hidden as her fragmented consciousness.

And yet it seems the greatest threat to her freedom comes from within, and the prize it seeks is her immortal soul…

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Author Interview:

1.What inspired you to write this book? OR Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma, etc?

I found this ancient yew tree in an old graveyard back in the UK. I used to just sit there amongst the faded gravestones, imagining how it all would have looked like when the tree was young. This led to a series of incomplete historical fiction stories based on the idea of time travelling through trees. I liked the concept, but failed to make it work in the ‘real world’. Eventually I abandoned reality altogether and used the plot of another unfinished novel written years before, a sort of Clash of the Titans meets Stargate and set the story in Niflheim because I wanted to bring the Norse gods to the mix as well and so (after many drafts, revisions, edits, tears and curses) Timelessness was born.

  1. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

I learned that less is more when telling a story and that it’s a good idea to leave your ego out of it.

  1. What surprised you the most in writing it?

When I finished I had enough surplus material for another two books and despite how hard it was to write the first one and the overwhelming amount of disappointment that came after publishing it, I still wanted to keep writing.

  1. What does the title mean?

Wyrd roughly means fate or personal destiny, and since one of the themes in the series is fate vs the consequences of one’s actions, it seemed appropriate.

Besides, the story, as well as its structure, is a bit weird with a satirical undertone. Definitely not your typical fantasy.

And since the inspiration for Wyrd Gods came from several ancient mythologies and half the characters are gods, I had to mention gods in the title.

  1. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

No. I try really hard to keep reality separated from my work to avoid such comparisons (and complications).

  1. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

    Yes. Very much so. 

Wyrd Gods focuses on the thin line between selfishness and self preservation and how limited each individual’s perspective is and the consequences of assumptions and miscommunication.

There’s several lessons actually, but you’ll need to read the entire series to learn them.

  1. What is your favorite part of the book?

I have several. 

The horse riding scene because it was one of the first ones I wrote. The bedroom scene in the dark, mostly because it’s the one most people comment on and seems to make them uncomfortable. 

And, of course, any scenes with Loki. He’s just so much fun to write. 

  1. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

Ideth and Chronos. Ideth because she’s an almost complete opposite of me. I always have to think through her actions and motivations very carefully in order to make sense of them. And Chronos because he’s the personification of time. If his actions make sense, I’m probably not doing a very good job. 

  1. What are your immediate future plans?

Publish Nephilim’s Hex (in July, if all goes well). By the time this interview comes out I may have started, or at least announced, a Kickstarter to fund the audiobooks for The Dharkan, Nephilim’s Hex and Anachrony (books 2, 3 and 3.5 in the series) and of course, finish the series. Book 4, Anamnesis is drafted, but still needs a lot of work.

 

susana-imaginárioAuthor Info:

Susana Imaginário is a misfit from Portugal. She moved to England to pursue a career as an aerialist and now runs a Board Gaming retreat in Ireland with her husband and their extremely spoiled dog.

Her hobbies include reading, playing board games, hanging upside down, poking around ancient ruins, talking to trees and being tired.

Her debut novel, Wyrd Gods, combines mythological fantasy with science fiction and psychology in a strange way.



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Book Blitz: The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst, by Regina Jeffers

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The Courtship of Lord Blackhurst
by Regina Jeffers
Regency Romance

Date Published: April 2021

What happens when a lady falls in love, not with her betrothed, but rather with his cousin?

Miss Priscilla Keenan has been promised to the Marquess of Blackhurst since her birth. The problem is: She has never laid eyes upon the man. So, when Blackhurst sends his cousin to York to assist Priscilla in readying Blackhurst’s home estate for the marquess’s return from his service in India, it is only natural for Priscilla to ask Mr. Alden something of the marquess’s disposition. Yet, those conversations lead Cilla onto a different path, one where she presents her heart to the wrong gentleman. How can she and Alden find happiness together when the world means to keep them apart? Inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Courtship of Miles Standish,” this tale wants for nothing, especially not a happy ending, which it has, but that ending is not what the reader anticipates.

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About the Author


Regina Jeffers, an award-winning author of historical cozy mysteries, Austenesque sequels and retellings, as well as Regency era romances, has worn many hats over her lifetime: daughter, student, military brat, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, tax preparer, journalist, choreographer, Broadway dancer, theatre director, history buff, grant writer, media literacy consultant, and author. Living outside of Charlotte, NC, Jeffers writes novels that take the ordinary and adds a bit of mayhem, while mastering tension in her own life with a bit of gardening and the exuberance of her “grand joys.”

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