Pre-order Midnight at the Orpheus!

MidnightAtTheOrpheusComing in December 2015, from Bold Strokes Books.

Pre-order the book here! (or on Amazon or Chapters/Indigo, below)

Chicago, the Roaring Twenties.

Cecilia Mills is new to town and struggling to survive. Her world is turned upside down when she falls for gangster Franky Greco’s moll Nell Prescott. Working at The Orpheus dance hall thanks to Nell, she becomes known as CeeCee and rubs elbows with gangsters and the city’s elite, and she and Nell hide their affair from Greco.

Patrick Sheridan is fresh out of prison, bent on revenge, with Greco in the crosshairs. He gets a job as CeeCee’s bodyguard, and despite her infatuation with Nell, love blossoms between CeeCee and Sheridan. When Sheridan sees his chance, thanks to a disillusioned cop seeking his own revenge, he must choose where his loyalties lie as CeeCee and Nell are caught in the middle.

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Paperback:

ISBN-13: 978-1626396074

Book review, excerpt & giveaway! The White Leopard, by Laurent Guillaume

white-leopardLaurent Guillaume
on Tour
November 2-21
with

White Leopard

(hard-boiled African noir)
Release date: November 19, 2015
at Le French Book
238 pages
ISBN: 978-1939474506
Website | Goodreads

 

SYNOPSIS

Everything is possible and nothing is certain in Bamako. A man torn between two continents finds himself in a dangerous confrontation between tradition and corruption. Solo is a former cop who ran away from a dark past in France to start his life over again in Bamako, Mali, as a PI. An ordinary case turns out to be not so ordinary. The drug mule gets her throat slit. The French lawyer is too beautiful and too well-informed. The cocaine is too plentiful. This is hard-boiled noir with a modern twist set in West Africa.

REVIEW

The White Leopard is definitely noir. The PI set on a case by a woman, and continuing on it to avenge a friend… it’s like The Maltese Falcon, except there’s no falcon, and I have a feeling that Sam Spade might take awhile to get up to speed in this modern world, where it’s drugs people are after, not mysterious and legendary falcons.

Solo, the PI, has cunning and guts, and is startlingly cool under pressure. Yet he’s human, like everyone else in this drama, and he has his weaknesses. Beautiful women, girls without protectors, his friend and houseman, and a kid needing a job. Like most PIs, he’s troubled, and running from (or just plain avoiding) a troubled past. He’s also quick-witted, reminding me somewhat of Henry Kane’s hero, Pete Chambers (just minus New York).

Bringing noir to an African setting instead of a more typical US metropolis got me interested quickly, and Guillaume’s compelling writing kept me reading. I am so glad Le French Book had this one translated. I hope they’ll translate more from M. Guillaume in the near future, because I think I’ve found another favourite author.

EXCERPT

PROLOGUE

LYON, FRANCE, THE PAST

There she is, a metal monster with a tricked-out engine, lying motionless in a chop shop outside the city. She’d been souped up with heavy side panels and a supercharged engine. Perfect for trafficking. It’s stinking hot out, but they really should have closed the door of the garage.

Big mistake.

Sweating’s better than bleeding.
I check my watch. I don’t have much time before the others show up, lights flashing, sirens blaring, and all that crap. I lift the latch and push the gate open. It hardly squeaks. I stay off the gravel driveway and walk through the overgrown yard to avoid being spotted. The makeshift shop looks like it was once a house. Bodies of abandoned cars are rotting away all around it. Waste oil and battery acid are seeping from their guts, making holes in the weeds. The men are there. They’re busy taking apart the front of the car. The crushed radiator and bumper have already been ripped off.

It’s the watchdog that spots me—a rottweiler mutt with a big muscular chest. His black and wild coat’s full of scars, some of them still fresh, no doubt from being forced to fight in basements of the neighboring projects.

Chained to the rusty body of a Renault 11, he leaps up on all fours, baring a steel-jaw trap and yellow fangs.

He gives a muffled growl. From deep inside.

Slowly, I walk closer, bringing my finger to my lips.

“Shush!” I whisper. How pathetic. The dog turns his huge snout toward his masters. When they don’t react, the animal starts barking. The men raise their heads. I freeze. They look at each other and come out of the garage, glancing around. No surprise, considering what they’re working on. Eddie, the giant, wipes his huge grease covered mitts on a rag. Steve, the weakling, approaches the animal, who’s barking louder now and foaming at the mouth. He leaps toward me with crazed eyes. The dog’s chain looks ready to break. The skeleton of the car rises each time the animal jumps.

“Who’s the black asshole?” Steve asks.

“Can’t you see he’s a pig? Fuck!” Eddie shouts.

“I know he’s a cop. Why’s he alone?”

The animal has gone quiet. With a half-smile, Steve starts unfastening the chain that holds him back.

“Go on, Panzer. It’s lunch time.”

I’m not scared. I know what I have to do. I open my jacket and slip my hand on my weapon. The freed watchdog rushes toward me. The two brothers howl with laughter, cheering the attack.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

white leopard - Laurent_Guillaume©reservedLaurent Guillaume
is a multiple-award-winning French writer
and former police officer.
In law enforcement,
he worked anti-gang, narcotics,
financial crimes,
and served in Mali as advisor to the local police.
He is now a full-time writer.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR

Sophie Weiner is a freelance translator and book publishing assistant from Baltimore, Maryland. After earning degrees in French from Bucknell University and New York University, Sophie went on to complete a master’s in literary translation from the Sorbonne, where she focused her thesis on translating wordplay in works by Oulipo authors. She has translated and written for web-based companies dedicated to art, cinema, and fashion as well as for nonprofit organizations. Growing up with Babar, Madeline, and The Little Prince, Sophie was bitten by the Francophile bug at an early age, and is fortunate enough to have lived in Paris, Lille, and the Loire Valley.

***

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Global giveaway open internationally:
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for more chances to win

Visit each blogger on the tour:
tweeting about the giveaway everyday
of the Tour will give you 5 extra entries each time!
[just follow the directions on the entry-form]

***

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THE LONDON GAME is here! :)

I’m delighted to announce that the latest book in my Le Chat Rouge series has finally been released! It’s been a long time coming, and it’s finally here.

AlyssaLinnPalmer_TheLondonGame_800pxThe game isn’t over.

Art dealer Marc Perron relocates to London with his lover, singer Sera Durand, to protect her from past mistakes. Blackmailed by a gangster, he must return to Paris, leaving Sera alone and vulnerable. Forging a precious painting may be his only chance at survival, but if he’s found out, the consequences will be deadly.

Without Marc, Sera struggles in an English-speaking country, coming face to face with his lies, his sexual past, and her own misdeeds. Finding a job at a jazz club called ‘Sanctuary’ is anything but, as she is not safe from her new boss, or the disturbing man who spies on her every move.

Once more, the lovers must play the game, but the stakes are higher than they imagined…

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Buy links:

A tease of what I’m working on…

Cathy Pegau tagged me, and thus here are my answers!

1) What am I working on?

I just finished a novel for Bold Strokes Books (Betting on Love), and I’m back in gear with The London Game (the sequel to The Paris Game).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My work has been called ‘gritty noir-romance’, so I tend to work with anti-heroes, and characters of questionable morals.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I’m intrigued by how people can justify doing things that are morally questionable, and how they can still be good-intentioned people even though what they’re doing is wrong. This goes back to reading old noir and detective stories, where the detective or PI is pretty much as morally bankrupt as the guys he’s trying to beat. In one of my favourite books, pardoned gangster Roy Earle (in WR Burnett’s ‘High Sierra’) takes part in a robbery because he owes the man who pardoned him, but yet he still yearns for the everyday: love, marriage, settling down.

4) How does my writing process work?

I’m more of a plotter; at the very minimum I have an outline or a plot summary, and all the main characters have been sketched out. On ‘Betting on Love’, I did up a plot summary, blurb, and sketches for the four mains. It helped, and I wrote quickly and well. (or at least, I think I did! When I get edits back, we’ll see 😉 )

I haven’t tagged anyone else, but if you want to play, drop me a comment and I’ll link to your post!

THE PARIS GAME is the daily deal on ARe!

For April 12th, get any book at All Romance eBooks, and you can score a copy of The Paris Game for half-price! Click below:

All Romance eBooks

The Paris Game at ARe

The Paris Game - Alyssa Linn Palmer

On the darker side of Paris, it’s dangerous to not pay your debts…

A singer in a jazz club past its prime, Sera Durand must come up with thousands of euros to pay back her boss, a ruthless gangster.  A confrontation with her ex, an art dealer profiting on the wrong side of the law, leads her into a questionable wager, but one that could solve her problems.

Marc Perron knows a winning proposition when he sees one. Seducing a shy young woman of Sera’s acquaintance will be the easiest thing in the world, and the prize, to have Sera in his bed once again, is worth the chance of losing a sizable sum. What he didn’t expect was the depth of Sera’s desperation.

When one of his deals goes awry, Marc’s solution could cost them more than money…

Read an excerpt.

My gay romance, MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS, is on sale!

A few days early, I’ve released the second book of the Le Chat Rouge series, entitled MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS, on the world. Check it out at the links below. (B&N, Kobo TBA). Here’s the blurb:

AlyssaLinnPalmer_Moonlight&LoveSongs_800pxWhen Le Chat Rouge’s pianist, Benoît Grenier, meets the club’s new singer, his world is turned upside down. He’d given up ever finding someone to love. His hopes and dreams of a life beyond the club are revived, while his heart heals.

Daniel Marceau has come from Marseille, looking to escape bad decisions and worse memories. He never expected to fall in love, and when his past catches up with him it could ruin the only thing he’s ever found worth living for.

Daniel’s fears and his reluctance to ask Benoît for help could cost them everything they’ve worked so hard to create.

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Trade paperback:

eBook:

 

THE PARIS GAME now available for Kobo!

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As Sera stepped up to the microphone, she glanced at the band. Benoît gave her a nod and she heard the opening bars of ‘Le Vagabond’.

The first lines came easily and she saw the club’s patrons turn their heads to listen. Even Jean paused in his work, holding a snifter of cognac. Her confidence swelled and she allowed a small smile to hover on her lips between verses, widening as she saw Jeremy Gordon moving from the bar to a better vantage point. Perfect. Near him, Sophie waited her turn for a drink. Sera met Edouard’s gaze across the bar and knew he’d spotted her as well. She watched them until the song finished and she had to turn her attention back to the band.

Benoît had chosen a song by Dietrich for their next piece, one of her favourites. It seemed appropriate to sing about falling in love again as she watched Sophie hover by the bar with her drink, Edouard speaking to her every time he had a lull in his work. Satisfied, she let her gaze wander.

The flicker of a cigarette lighter in the gloom caught her eye. It flickered again and held, illuminating the face of a man she hadn’t seen in weeks. Marc Perron lit his cigarette and his features faded back into the shadows. Not that she needed bright sunlight.

He would be elegantly dressed—a suit, pressed shirts with cufflinks, and depending on his mood, a tie. For all his apparent fastidiousness, he was never a dandy. Even now, moving amongst the crowd to stand at the rail, clear to her gaze, he confidently filled his space. He had a certainty about him, even when they’d first met in that tiny bar years ago. He’d beckoned her over, introduced himself, and had her telling him all her troubles before the night was over. Tonight, he gave her a hungry look that caused her to catch her breath in the midst of the phrase she was singing. She saw that half smile of amusement as he sipped a glass of wine. No one else had noticed her distraction, but he knew.

THE PARIS GAME Release Day!

The Paris Game - Alyssa Linn Palmer It’s release day for the debut novel, THE PARIS GAME, in my new series!

On the darker side of Paris, it’s dangerous to not pay your debts…

A singer in a jazz club past its prime, Sera Durand must come up with thousands of euros to pay back her boss, a ruthless gangster.  A confrontation with her ex, an art dealer profiting on the wrong side of the law, leads her into a questionable wager, but one that could solve her problems.

Marc Perron knows a winning proposition when he sees one. Seducing a shy young woman of Sera’s acquaintance will be the easiest thing in the world, and the prize, to have Sera in his bed once again, is worth the chance of losing a sizable sum. What he didn’t expect was the depth of Sera’s desperation.

When one of his deals goes awry, Marc’s solution could cost them more than money…

Read an excerpt.

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Buy the trade paperback at:

Buy the ebook at:

Trade paperback purchasers can email Alyssa to receive a free ebook version in the format of their choice.

Praise for The Paris Game:

“The Paris Game is a sexy noir romance–a gritty, thrilling peek between dangerous Parisian sheets.” -Tiffany Reisz, Award-Winning and International Bestselling Author of The Original Sinners series (Mira Books)

“Characters who grab you. A plot that takes hold and won’t let go. Sexy and seductive, “The Paris Game” is modern noir at its best.” -Cathy Pegau, author of Rulebreaker and Caught in Amber (Carina Press)

“Dark, mysterious, sexy. Noir at its best.” -Roxy Boroughs, author of A Stranger’s Touch

“‘The Paris Game’, the first book in Alyssa Linn Palmer’s ‘Le Chat Rouge’ series, strikes a delicate balance between erotica and intrigue. … On the whole, ‘The Paris Game’ marks an exciting first instalment in a series that promises to thrill crime and romance readers – and those looking for some escapism in la ville lumière.” Ma Vie Française (myfrenchlife.org)

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The follow-up to THE PARIS GAME, entitled MOONLIGHT & LOVE SONGS, will be released in Fall 2013, as a part of the Le Chat Rouge series:

Take a walk on the darker side of Paris…

A jazz club on the Left Bank, Le Chat Rouge seems stuck in another era. Neglect and crime have left their mark, but the club is a haven for the desperate. Sometimes a singer whose talent is worthy of the world’s greatest stages, or a patron who has wealth to spare, find their way to its smoky interior.

Gangsters, drug dealers, con artists…many occupy Le Chat Rouge’s worn velvet banquettes and tread its creaking parquet floors, but all submit to Royale. The ruthless owner demands loyalty and few earn his favour. Those who do are as brutal as he is, and those who defy him might very well risk their lives.

It’s a dangerous place, but fortune awaits the most daring.

How about a 1940s vampire noir? Yes, it’s a movie, or will be.

That’s really where we all come in. I don’t think I’ve ever posted about a Kickstarter campaign before, though I did participate in one for The Last Lonely Place, another noir film which had the backing of the Humphrey Bogart estate (and thus, caught my attention), but this one…Oh my. I write noir, I read noir, and I love to watch noir. And I can’t wait to watch this one.

bloodkissIn short: Michael Reaves, Amber Benson, Neil Gaiman, Tom Mandrake. Michael Reaves has written some great films, Amber Benson of course I knew from Buffy, Neil Gaiman is an author extraordinaire…and making his acting début (!), and Tom Mandrake does fabulous comic books.

But, all those people aside, it was the concept that really got me. A noir film, set in 1940s Hollywood, with vampires. And a detective who doesn’t believe in them. All things I am fanatical about, in one film.

Here’s a bit from their press info:

Emmy Award winning writer Michael Reaves is creating a new film, BLOOD KISS, and new genre, Vamp Noir. He’s discovered a fresh acting talent to co-star, superstar writer Neil Gaiman. Also starring fan favorite Amber Benson from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Blood Kiss revolves around detective Joe Belicek, who must solve the murder of a
vampire before a deranged killer murders them all. Inspired by Film Noir, this
supernatural thriller is set in 1940s Hollywood with famous haunts like the Brown Derby.

I liked the sound of it so much I couldn’t help but pledge. If this sounds like something you’d like to see made, a pledge is the way to make it happen. $10, or more (up to $10,000 if you’re so inclined!), and we can see this vampire noir. I can hardly wait. It’s like the Sound of Music, except that these are my favourite things (not that there’s anything wrong with whiskers on kittens, of course.)

Check out the film’s website, too: bloodkissmovie.com