Today we have author Carmen Amato visiting. Welcome!
What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Carmen Amato is the author of romantic thrillers and the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series set in Acapulco which was recently optioned for film. Originally from New York, her experiences in Mexico and Central America inspire many of her books. For a copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library, visit her website at carmenamato.net
Today Carmen Amato will be talking about the first book she read that had a big impact on her.
* What a great question and thanks for having me here to answer it!
* I write mysteries with a hint of romance and romantic thrillers with a dose of mystery. But the first book I read that had a big impact was GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell, because it was the first book I’d read that was written from a woman’s deep point of view. I was inside Scarlett O’Hara’s head through the entire book. I understood her motivation, even her utter selfishness, and I walked every step of the way with her from Atlanta to Tara as the Civil War raged.
* When Rhett Butler tells Scarlett he is leaving her to help the last-ditch defense of Atlanta, Scarlett’s mind jumps around, trying to recall what her father called “Balky mules and Mr. Lincoln.” That’s a great example of a deep point of view—I was inside Scarlett’s head–and I think that style pulls the reader into a story.
* When I write the Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series, I do it from Emilia’s deep point of view. Through Emilia’s experiences, I want the reader to feel the heat of Acapulco’s sun, the smell of the salt tang coming off the ocean, and the fear of being a cop in one of the most beautiful and dangerous cities in the world.
* To experience Emilia’s world, you are invited to download a free copy of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. The Starter Library features “The Beast,” the story about how Emilia became the first female detective in Acapulco, which was first published in The Huffington Post. You’ll also get “The Angler,” the story based on a real life murder mystery, plus the first chapters of the first three Emilia Cruz novels. As a bonus, you’ll get my monthly newsletter, Mystery Ahead.
* You can CLICK HERE to be taken to the Starter Library page.
A look into…
~ Blurb ~
* KING PESO is the fourth book in the sensational Detective Emilia Cruz mystery series recently optioned for both television and film. Emilia is the first female police detective in Acapulco, where Mexican drug cartels battle for control and politicians are bought with blood money.
* Three cops are murdered, execution style. Emilia worked with them all.
* Her partner’s wife is killed in a home invasion. Was he the real target?
* Is Emilia the next?
* She hopes to be assigned to a task force to investigate the killings, but is instead directed to a new police unit championed by Acapulco’s ambitious mayor and overseen by a shady union strongman. But when Emilia stumbles upon a falsified report, she will conduct a private investigation, even as another murder victim carries a stark message for her.
* Home is no refuge for Emilia; hotel manager Kurt Rucker has a shocking secret that could tear their relationship apart.
* Unexpected help comes from a frightened attorney and a famous movie star, but each new clue to the murders unravels the one before. Meanwhile, Emilia’s ongoing hunt for a missing girl, a continuing series subplot, leads to the infamous El Pharaoh casino, a place she knows only too well.
* What do a casino and a cop killer have in common? Emilia bets on her partner, but his gamble could cost both their lives.
~ Excerpt ~
* “Are you here to play roulette, Detective Cruz?” Duarte Ochoa asked. “You don’t have any chips.”
* “No,” Emilia said. “Just the slots.”
* Obregon licked his lips. “Detective Cruz is always a player,” he said. “Whether she admits it or not.”
* Duarte Ochoa laughed and snapped his fingers. Out of nowhere, a young man in a King Tut costume appeared. He opened a small wooden box and offered it to the casino owner. Duarte Ochoa took out a blue chip embossed with the golden logo of the casino. Five thousand pesos. Nearly a month’s salary for Emilia. Double that for Natividad.
* Emilia’s gaze travelled from the chip to King Tut. Despite the costume, which included a jeweled headdress covering his forehead, she recognized Felipe Garcia. The long hair flowed over his bare shoulders and the high cheekbones were on full display.
* The sporting goods store wasn’t doing so well after all. It was too bad that Felipe had to moonlight at the El Pharaoh.
* She flashed him a smile of recognition but he didn’t acknowledge her. Emilia wasn’t offended; Felipe probably had to stay in character. Duarte Ochoa dismissed him with a wave and the costumed King Tut went back to his pyramid. The casino owner held the chip between his second and third fingers as if toying with it. “Red or black, Detective Cruz?”
* She certainly wasn’t picking Obregon’s favorite color. “Red,” she said.
* Duarte Ochoa put the chip on the felted table. The croupier announced that bets were closed and spun the wheel. The clatter of the ball bouncing inside the wheel was louder than the grinding pop music.
* “Red wins,” the croupier announced.
* Duarte Ochoa smiled broadly as the croupier raked a combination of colored chips to his designated spot on the table. “Do we let it ride, Detective?” he asked Emilia.
* Obregon lounged against the table, watching her with that hawkish expression on his face that always made her so nervous. If he suddenly sprouted wings and talons, Emilia would not be surprised.
* “It’s your money,” she said.
* Duarte Ochoa let it ride.
* “Red wins,” the croupier announced again.
* Another bet was placed, the wheel spun, and Duarte Ochoa won a third time. The pile in front of him grew. Emilia counted at least a dozen blue chips and an equal amount of red and yellow. A year’s salary.
* “If we win on red again, we’ll share it four ways,” Duarte Ochoa said. “With champagne.”
* Natividad dug her fingers into Emilia’s arm.
* The wheel spun again, the ball bouncing and clattering until finally settling into a numbered slot.
* “Black wins,” the croupier announced.
* “Que lastima,” Duarte Ochoa said as the croupier raked away all his chips. “When you are a gambler you know that tomorrow the odds will be better. I hope you ladies are not disappointed.”
* Obregon let his gaze linger on Emilia. “Don’t worry about Detective Cruz, Duarte. She knows that sometimes you win.” He licked his lips. “And sometimes you lose.”
Buy King Peso here…
Thank you for joining us here today, Carmen Amato! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your story.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Carmen Amato will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use this RAFFLECOPTER LINK to enter the drawing. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!