Hi lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Carmen Amato and her new book, “King Peso”! For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above.
Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card. Also, come back daily to interact with Carmen and to increase your chances of winning!
Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you lots of luck in this exciting giveaway!
by Carmen Amato
GENRE: Police Procedural Mystery
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.
“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.”
Let me introduce you to Emilia Cruz, a woman who needs a friend like you to balance her life.
Emilia is the first, and so far only, female detective on the Acapulco police force. She’s a tough investigator, a good daughter, and an even better kickboxer. Oh, and an excellent liar.
Her partner is Franco Silvio, a former boxer who once told her he’d make her life so miserable she’d quit. They split their time between titanic arguments and grudging respect.
One way that Silvio presses Emilia’s buttons is by calling her boyfriend “Hollywood.” Kurt Rucker is a gringo from New York who manages Acapulco’s most luxurious hotel. Emilia moved into his penthouse at the hotel a few months ago but she isn’t comfortable there.
Might be a commitment thing. Kurt is ready but Emilia simply can’t say those three little words. She’s a bird poised to fly every time Kurt brings up the subject.
When she messes up her love life, Emilia dives into work. As a detective, she’s always on duty. For the most part, Emilia thrives on the adrenaline.
But danger is always a few pages away.
Emilia’s Acapulco goes behind the tourist destination’s fabulous hotels and glittering nightlife. Mexico’s drug war means missing friends, street violence, official corruption, and a record homicide rate. Emilia keeps a list of women who have gone missing. She calls them Las Perdidas—The Lost Ones—and she’s always looking for them, even as she investigates dozens of other cases.
If you were missing, you’d want Emilia Cruz to look for you. She never gives up.
For a taste of the Detective Emilia Cruz series, you can get a free copy here of the Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library. Two novellas, three chapters, and one unforgettable woman.
Mojitos not included.
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.
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Carmen Amato will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
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