Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Parker's Choice by Mike Nemeth 💕 Behind the Scenes, Book Tour and $25 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Romantic Mystery)

Monday, December 4, 2023

Parker's Choice by Mike Nemeth 💕 Behind the Scenes, Book Tour and $25 Gift Card Giveaway 💕 (Romantic Mystery)

Framed for murder and on the run, an innocent man is
forced to become an outlaw...

Framed by cops and chased by crooks, a white ex-con and a rebellious black woman become fugitives. They didn’t plan to fall in love.

After serving time for a crime he didn’t commit, Parker and his wife, Paula, hide from an old enemy in an Atlanta suburb. Their fresh start is disrupted when his new boss demands his involvement in a fraudulent scheme that will replace thousands of white collar American workers with artificial intelligence and offshore labor. Parker unfortunately suspects his secret and elusive birth father is mixed up in the fraud. Then a body is pulled from the Chattahoochee River and Parker believes Paula has murdered his enemy, but the police think Parker did it. He and his brilliant colleague, Sabrina, a woman who can trace her roots to Virginia slaves, steal the “smoking gun” that will expose the fraud and go on the run, pursued by cops and crooks. After a violent showdown in a frightening New Orleans cemetery, they connect the dots between a murder, fraud, and a man from his mother’s past. Parker’s loyalties are torn, but he must choose.

Setting the Scene (Behind the scene)
Mike Nemeth

As an author I’m heavily influenced by movies, and like a movie producer or director, I scout the locations to be used in my books. For Parker’s Choice I needed an angry river, a creepy cemetery, and a foreboding stand of woods.

I live in suburban Atlanta which happens to have a river flowing through it. The Chattahoochee River originates in the Appalachian Mountains north of Atlanta, feeds Lake Lanier, then flows out of the Buford Dam at the southern end of the lake, through the city and all the way to Lake Seminole on the Florida-Georgia border. South of the city, the river is a benign, listless, opaque puddle. Through the city, the river is a well-stocked trout stream suitable for wading and rafting. But north of the city, through suburban Gwinnett County and all the way to Lake Lanier, the river is controlled by the opening and closing of the Buford Dam. When open, the river rises fast and flows over hidden boulders and felled trees.

At Jones Bridge Park in Gwinnett County, I found what I was looking for—a dangerous, angry stretch of river when the dam was open with an ancient bridge collapsed into the water above the park and a stand of woods below the park. I walked the footpaths through the woods and found a huge, downed tree partially in the water. The tree’s massive ball of roots made an excellent hiding place for someone waiting to ambush a person coming up the path. I had my murder scene complete with a rushing waterway into which a victim would fall. As a bonus, the house on the other side of the woods became the home in which Parker and Paula would live, where an old enemy would find them, and where their marriage would disintegrate. I took plenty of pictures.

I still needed a creepy cemetery so my wife and I took a trip to the city of creepy cemeteries—New Orleans. Between meals of Crawfish Etouffee, beignets, red beans and rice, and breakfast at Brennan’s, we found what we were looking for, possibly the creepiest cemetery in the U.S. Just beyond the French quarter stands St. Louis Cemetery No.1, famous for its guided ghost tours. But that wasn’t creepy enough. Beside it, crouched under an I-10 overpass, is St. Louis Cemetery No.2, a derelict, mold-covered, unlighted, and unguarded ogre donated by the Catholic Church in 1823. This would be the spot where Parker and Sabrina would connect the dots between a murder, a fraud, and Parker’s secret birth father. I had my location and I took many more pictures as the scene in which Parker is hunted by a killer took shape in my mind.

N.B. I’m told that due to vandalism, the gates to the cemetery are now locked and the location is closed to the public. But on the day we scouted the property, it sent chills up our spines as we walked its gravel paths.

As another bonus, we had dinner at Arnoud’s restaurant and learned from a helpful waiter that a secret room upstairs was the place where George W. Bush had dinner with friends when he was in town. That room became the location of Parker’s showdown with his fraudulent boss.

Back home, I had many wonderful photos to which I could refer as I wrote the scenes, feeling myself fully in the places where Parker, Paula, and Sabrina acted out their stories.

The terror Parker felt was what an antelope feels when it is about to be eaten alive by a pride of hungry lions. 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 the hell is my backup?

In the crepuscular light, Parker saw her then. She emerged from her hiding place in the boathouse and assumed the shooter’s stance she’d been taught at the gun range. She 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. It’s so easy to get these things wrong.

A scan of the house’s back windows revealed no sign of Meredith. Parker put a finger to his lips—don’t talk—and motioned for the woman to hurry into the shadows. The wounded man moaned softly, and Parker’s quick check 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 mild Canadian summer during the Florida off-season.

“Run,” he whispered.

She loped into the darkness. He counted to twenty—one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi—then he dialed 9-1-1.

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Mike Nemeth, a Vietnam veteran and former high-tech executive, writes love stories tucked inside murder mysteries highlighting America’s social issues. THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY won the Beverly Hills Book Award for Southern Fiction and the Frank Yerby Prize at the Augusta Literary Festival. The novel inspired singer/songwriter Mark Currey to compose the song Who I am. PARKER’S CHOICE won a Firebird Award for thrillers and American Fiction Awards for Diverse and Multicultural Mystery/Suspense, and for  Romantic Mystery/Suspense. Other credits include The New York Times, Georgia Magazine, Augusta Magazine, Southern Writers’ Magazine, and Deep South Magazine. In 2018, I was named Atlanta’s Best Local Author by Creative Loafing magazine. Mike lives in Villa Rica with his wife, Angie, and their rescue dog, Scout.


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