Monday, February 19, 2018

**Giveaway** Havana Blues by David Pereda




This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Pereda will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
The year is 1952 and Ramon Rodriguez’s life as a teenager in fun-loving Havana is filled with typical activities and concerns: girls, education, religion, baseball, parties, and hanging out with friends. The country is enjoying a period of prosperity and happiness--until General Batista stages a coup that topples the government and Ramon’s life is flung into chaos.

In a few short years, the carefree fifties morph into a vicious and repressive dictatorship highlighted by corruption, organized gambling, school closures, student demonstrations, police brutality, and assassinations.

As Ramon experiences the thrills of his first romantic relationship, graduates from school, and struggles to plan for an uncertain future, he is forced to make important decisions that may be dangerous to him, his family, his friends, and his girlfriend – the beautiful Sonia -- and could turn deadly.

Enjoy an Excerpt
My room was on fire. Orange tongues licked the crumbling walls and snaked across the burning floor toward my bed. Thick gray smoke choked me. My ears throbbed with an insistent and reverberating sound.

I couldn’t breathe.

I gasped for air. My palms felt sweaty, and my heart thrashed against my rib cage, as if trying to escape my chest. I opened my eyes. For a moment, I was in a bright and silent void – then I heard my parents arguing in the kitchen.

It was a hot and sunny morning. I had been dreaming of hell again, and the alarm clock was ringing.

I shut it off.

Ever since Brother Santiago had given in Religion class a week ago a vivid and realistic description of hell as punishment for masturbation and having sex with prostitutes, I’d had the same dream over and over. Amid much commotion and speculation, Pacheco, the frail student with a perennially runny nose who sat behind me in class, fainted and had to be carted off to the school infirmary, pale and limp like a noodle in won ton soup. Everyone in class knew Pacheco was an assiduous masturbator – he bragged about it to other students often enough – but his blackout generated great speculation
in the school about his frequent visits to brothels. I wondered what kind of nightmares Pacheco was having.

On second thought, I really didn’t want to know. I had enough with my own nightmares of hell.

I stretched lazily in bed. Today was a special day. It was my birthday. I was fifteen years old.

A door slammed somewhere, and once more I was aware of my parents’ angry voices in the kitchen. I likened their arguments to a sort of word symphony, the sound of their voices harmonized so well. My mother’s shrill, piercing sting was a nearly perfect complement to my father’s placating hum.

Though I couldn’t hear them clearly, I guessed what they were arguing about – money. Ever since Papa’s broom-making business started going bad, it seemed money was all they ever talked about.
About the Author:
David Pereda was born in Havana, Cuba. The award-winning author of seven previous novels, he enjoys crafting political thrillers and edgy mainstream novels with unique characters placed in exotic settings. He has traveled to more than thirty countries and speaks four languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, David had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, David earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned bachelor degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

He lives in artistic Asheville, North Carolina, with his youngest daughter Sophia, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College. He loves sports and is an accomplished competitor in track and show-jumping equestrian events.






The Wingman by David Pepper









Jack Sharpe, Book 2


Political Thriller


Date Published:  February 2018


Publisher: St. Helena Press






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In The Wingman, veteran Midwestern reporter Jack Sharpe has made it big thanks to the deep-rooted voter-fraud conspiracy he uncovered in The People’s House (the first of the series). At his new perch at Republic, one of America’s flashiest and fastest growing news networks, life is good—until it’s not. Following his beat reporter’s gut, he catches a whiff something rotten is taking place in the Democratic Presidential primary, and ultimately discovers an elaborate scheme to put a corrupt and dangerous politician in the nation’s highest office by any means necessary. Dark money, drone technology, paramilitary government contractors, neglected veterans, kompromat—we see these issues in the news every day. But in The Wingman David Pepper shows that if shadowy entities with enough incentive and resources were to connect and exploit these issues, the American people would be largely powerless to stop them. Jack must risk his life and reputation to get to the bottom of the story before the disturbing plot he and his team have uncovered becomes reality.











Early Praise for The Wingman:





“A labyrinthine political thriller that details a plot to steal the American presidency. …Energetically paced…A cinematic and dramatic story full of delightful twists.” —Kirkus Reviews





“Another tour de force…Like The People’s House, I loved this book.  Pepper is a phenomenal writer, with great dialogue, intricate plot, subplots, and characters.  And with his unique perch, Pepper deftly wraps the real issues and frustrations of modern-day politics into captivating story lines.  I can hardly wait for the next one.” —Jennifer Granholm, former Governor, Michigan





“Pepper does it again! Believable and entertaining—just like the real news these days. What’s fake and what’s real?” —Jack Markell, former Governor, Delaware





“The Wingman by David Pepper takes readers on a rollicking ride…There are the kinds of surprises readers long for and characters they will remember long after the last page is turned.





Well-researched and beautifully crafted, The Wingman is a thrilling read, a story that brilliantly depicts the political atmosphere leading up to the primaries….The characters are superbly conceived and developed to appear like people in real life….David Pepper is a master storyteller.…”





The Wingman by David Pepper is an exceptional political thriller…The book is well-written, interesting and, above all, suspenseful, and is therefore recommended to any reader, not just fans of political thrillers.”   —Readers’ Favorites, Reviews













Other Books in the Jack Sharpe Series:







The People's House


Jack Sharpe, Book 1


Publisher: St. Helena Press


Release Date: October 2017





It doesn't take long to discover why the Wall Street Journal crowned "The People's House" the "sleeper for political thriller of the year," or why a former Governor said she almost missed her connecting flight because she couldn't put it down.





Youngstown political reporter Jack Sharpe is logging time at the tail end of a disappointing career -- jaded about politics and stung by personal hard knocks in a struggling part of Ohio. But after an odd election result in the Ohio Congressional district he covers, Sharpe stumbles across voting irregularities that spur him to dig deeper. The story takes him far beyond his corner of Ohio as he discovers an international plot that strikes at the heart of American democracy. His reporting leads to a showdown with a philandering Congressman and Presidential contender, and an eccentric but deadly Russian mogul. In order to save himself and the country, Sharpe must rekindle his old fire to navigate a treacherous journey through danger, betrayal, and atonement.





And yes, it was all written before eerily similar events occurred in the 2016 election.



















Excerpt





That’s when I noticed. With the cameras still pulled back to the wider shot, and the studio audience sitting well behind me, my guess was that I was the only one seeing it.



Bravo’s eyes. His dark brown eyes.



They widened, then darted ever so slightly.



Left.



Right.



Then he looked at me. Directly. Impatiently. In a way no one else could have seen.



He was eager to move on. Desperate to move on.



His words may have been moving, his delivery powerful. But those eyes told the real story—they always did. As my high school coach had drilled into me as a young quarterback, “It’s all about your eyes, Jack. The best players are watching your eyes, and if you’re not careful, they’ll betray you every time.” I’d long ago learned that Coach’s lesson applied way beyond football. A man could mouth whatever words he wanted, lie or tell the truth. He could smile or frown, gesture wildly or sit perfectly still. But his eyes told the real story. If he wasn’t careful, and if you paid attention, the eyes told all.



Now, Bravo’s eyes signaled that something was off. Discomfort, at a time when discomfort made no sense. Maybe it was a painful memory. Or maybe something about the story was not quite right. Or maybe there was more to it. Whatever it was, Bravo wanted to change topics.



And since he had saved my debut, I returned the favor, moving onto the final question of the night. But because of those eyes, I also jotted down a simple reminder on the notepad in front of me: “Check out Bravo war story.”





About the Author




David Pepper has served as Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party since January 2015. He was first elected to public office in 2001 when he served on the Cincinnati City Council, and was reelected for a second term in 2003. In 2006 he was elected to the three-member Hamilton County Commission, serving there from 2007-2010. David earned his B.A. from Yale, and later his J.D. from Yale Law School. In 1999, he clerked for the Honorable Nathaniel Jones of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. He also has taught election and voting rights law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. Born and raised in Cincinnati, David is a fifth-generation Cincinnatian. He and his wife Alana have two sons, Jack, 3, and Charlie, 1.





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