Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to be part of the Fiction Addiction book tour for Deadly Gamble by Shirley Kennedy. Take it away Shirley!
Author: Shirley Kennedy

Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Super Novel
ISBN: (print) 978-1-939590-10-7
ISBN: (ebook) 978-1-939590-09-1


Writing Deadly Gamble, how my heroines have changed!

All novels are about someone with a problem. No problem = no plot = a very dull book indeed.

In my years of writing Regency romances, my heroines’ problems reflected the time in which they lived. In my first book, poor, crippled Meg was a servant in fear of being dismissed from her job “without a character.” (Through no fault of her own, of course.) That meant she’d either be out on the streets or headed for the workhouse, a dreadful place where “there were eight or ten beds in each room, retentive of all scents and very productive of vermin.”

My subsequent Regency heroines had to contend with everything from the all-important search for a husband, to a father who gambled the family fortune away, to a brother sentenced to hang for what today would be considered a minor white-collar crime.

Fast forward two hundred years. After producing a steady stream of historicals, I got a great idea for a haunted casino mystery/romance. It just popped into my head and wouldn’t go away. So for the first time I plotted a contemporary romance in a setting far removed from the stuffy manners and morals of Regency England. Deadly Gamble is set in glitzy, cutting-edge Las Vegas, Nevada, 2013.

To say Kristi Andrews, my heroine, faces a different set of problems would be an understatement. Unlike the women of the Regency, her one big goal in life is definitely not to find a husband. When the story begins, she just got out of a bad marriage and plans to focus on her new career at the Parthenon Hotel/Casino. Of course, human nature being what it is, no matter what the century, a new man in her life soon appears in the form of Mike Garvey, famed historian/author (his line of work ties in with the mystery.) As the plot progresses, Kristi’s “problem” reaches momentous proportions. Forgive a bit of a brag here, but I love a story that contains seemingly unrelated threads that all come together in the end. That’s true of Deadly Gamble. I hope I’ve kept the reader guessing almost to the very last.

History lover that I am, I couldn’t entirely ignore the past. One of the threads in the book involves the history of Las Vegas. It's hard to envision Sin City before the casinos—the Strip—all the glitz and glamour, but while researching, I did just that. Who knows that beginning around 1821, travelers on the old Santa Fe Trail passed directly through what is now the City of Las Vegas? It was all cactus and sand back then with one exception:  after a hard trek across the desert, pack trains loaded with goods for Los Angeles stopped at a beautiful green oasis, a site just west of what is now downtown. Early Spanish explorers named it "Las Vegas" which means "grassy meadows." There, amidst cottonwood trees and lush greenery, two pools of clear, cool water greeted the weary travelers. The pools were perfect for swimming. Bubbling waters from Artesian springs beneath kept the swimmers so buoyant they couldn't drown even if they wanted to.

It’s all in the book (I couldn’t resist), so for a bit of history, a look into behind-the-scenes Las Vegas, an intriguing romance, and a heroine with a very, very big problem, I hope you’ll take a look at Deadly Gamble.  




When attractive Kristi Andrews is hired as Assistant Marketing Director at the Parthenon hotel/casino in Las Vegas, she’s focused on succeeding at her new job. But from the very first day, strange events occur:  a deadly escalator accident—the strange death of a candle shop owner—a psychic’s warning that the Parthenon is doomed AND IT’S ALL KRISTI’S FAULT.

Shocked and  baffled, Kristi must determine if she could be responsible for the mysterious, evil presence that seems to haunt the hotel. She’s aided by a man she’s just met—famous western historical author, Mike Garvey. Attracted to Kristi, Mike goes one hundred fifty years back in time to draw upon his knowledge of old Las Vegas and the Santa Fe Trail. They are the key to a puzzling mystery which Kristi must solve if she wants to save not only the Parthenon but the entire Las Vegas Strip from total disaster.


About the Author:

Shirley Kennedy wrote and published Regency romances for several years for both Ballantine and Signet.  She switched genres to write a wagon train romance. When struck with what she called “a great idea” about a haunted casino in Las Vegas, she was compelled to abandon both  Regency England and the Old West to write Deadly Gamble. 

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Shirley has lived in such diverse places as Denver; Houston; Torrance, California; Bogota ,Colombia; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary.  She worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for several years before she went back to her first love, writing.  

Shirley lives close to her two daughters in Las Vegas Nevada. Brutus and Sparky, her two editorial assistants on the furry side, love to nap in the sunshine next to her computer while she produces her next novel. 

See Shirley’s web site at 

Her published books include: 

Heartbreak Trail, Camel Press  

Three Wishes for Miss Winthrop,  Signet

Lady Flora's Fantasy, Signet

The Irish Upstart,  Signet

The Selfless Sister,  Signet

The Rebellious Twin, Signet

The London Belle, Signet

Lady Semple's Secret,  Ballantine





2 Responses so far.

  1. Thank you for hosting Shirley on tour today JB.


  2. Sheryl says:

    I love the idea around a haunted casino. The name of the hotel the 'Parthenon' is a perfect fit for the story and era. I was also immediately drawn by the idea to put a little history about Las Vegas before the glitz. I'm a Brit, but I have visited, Las Vegas, briefly. I think most people can picture it as is, though. The 'green oasis' is a nice touch. Best of luck!

- Copyright © 2013-2014 Brook Cottage Books - Powered by Blogger - Graphics & Blog Customization by JellydogDesign