Publisher: Huntington Press (Oct 3, 2017)
Category: Paranormal Romance, Ghosts, Crime Thriller, Las Vegas Mystery
Tour dates:Oct-Nov, 2018
Available in Print and ebook, 324 pages
Anna Christiansen’s small-town life is about to go haywire. A young reporter stuck in a dead-end job, Anna falls head over heels for an interview subject, the bass player in an up-and-coming alt band. In short order, she pulls up stakes, moves to Las Vegas, gets married and pregnant, and buys a big fixer-upper haunted by the ghost of a Sin City racketeer.
That’s when Anna gets notice from a corrupt casino owner that he’s buying up all the properties on her street to make way for a parking lot. But Anna has poured her heart and soul into the house and digs in hard to fight the system — not the easiest of tasks in a city where bribery, mayhem, and murder are standard operating procedures.
Can Anna’s tough-guy ghost provide the help she needs to prevail in this dangerous cat-and-mouse game? Will Anna’s life be left in ruins? Or worse?
“How many dollars am I holding?” Boozer asked. For a moment, I could envision him as a little kid, a mischievous one at that. He held what looked to be five or six overlapping singles under my nose.
“I hate guessing games,” I said, pushing his hand away. “And get that nasty money away from me. It’s full of germs. Especially in this town. You have no idea where it’s been.”
“Oh, I have an idea,” he said. “Come on, take a guess. Just this once.” He looked like Oliver pleading for more. And, of course, I caved. “If I play along, will you go away?”
He made the sign of the cross. “Swear to God.”
I did a quick silent count. “Six. Now leave.”
“Ha! Gotcha. It’s two.” He opened his palm to show me the intricate folding pattern that made two dollars look like three times that amount.
Against my better judgment, I said, “And this is important why?”
Boozer beamed like the Luxor. “Thought you’d never ask. Because when I give money to a valet, I want him to think I’m a stand-up guy. After he sticks the bills in his pocket, it mixes with his other money and he’ll never figure it out. So I get all the good karma without having to pay for it.”
“There’s only one drawback,” I said. “You don’t own a car.”
“It’s good to be prepared. Same reason I’m learning the alphabet backwards. Want to hear?”
“It’s in case I get pulled over for drunk driving. I can trick them into thinking I’m sober. I’ve also been practicing how to walk a straight line with my eyes closed.”
“Wouldn’t it be easier simply not to drink and drive?”
He lapsed into a brief silence before saying, “Never crossed my mind. You’re a real downer, you know that?”
“I do my best. Now live up to your end of the bargain and scram.”
“Scram? Seriously? Who talks like that?”
Before I could answer, Lucky, who’d been snoring softly under the table, emitted a low growl, leaped to his feet in one fluid motion, and was out the doggie door in three bounds, Boozer following close behind, moving surprisingly fast for a man his size, grabbing the baseball bat we kept by the front door, and yelling over his shoulder, “Stay put! This shit just got real!”
In the seconds that followed, everything happened at once: blood-curdling snarls, a high-pitched scream, a string of expletives, three short pop-pop-pops, the clang of our wrought-iron gate. And then silence, in its own way even more ominous than what preceded it.
No longer able to ignore Boozer’s admonition, I hoisted myself up, wobbled to the door, and stuck my head out into the crisp night air.
“Boozer! Lucky!” No sign. Venturing into the courtyard, I thought I heard Meyer’s voice warn, Keep your eyes open. Go slow. As if I could move any other way. I nodded grimly, my senses on high alert. And beneath the surface, an aura of preternatural calm that surprised me most of all.
The scene lying before me could have been fashioned by a Hollywood set designer. A gas can and cloth leaning up against the house, the bloody remnants of a Nike sneaker, a stomach-churning jumble of hair and fur, a trail of red droplets leading out the now-open gate. And, as if pointing me in the right direction, a severed finger.
Praise for The House Always Wins
“It’s pure Vegas, told from an insider’s perspective.”- Anthony Curtis, Huntington Press
Finalist, American Fiction Awards, Romance: Paranormal category
“A whirlwind romance leads an unlikely pair of newlyweds to Las Vegas, home of every dream and nightmare they can imagine―from predatory developers to a friendly ghost. Rouff spins a guilelessly winsome fable whose charming heroine needs to have everything from her ghost’s personal history to the ritual significance of her newborn’s bris explained to her―which means that the reader gets treated to all these explanations too.”-Kirkus Reviews
“Paragraphs are replete with uproariously sarcastic similes, metaphors, and tongue-in-cheek comments. Narrative hooks, drama, unexpected openings, and cliffhanging chapter endings keep the story flowing. Complicated situations, including confrontations with neighbors and pressure from the casino, build to a significant and unanticipated climax. A fun read from beginning to end, The House Always Wins is an attractive romance with a unique ghostly touch.”-Clarion Foreword Reviews, 5 stars
“Author Brian Rouff has dreamed up a fun little tale, which he describes in a release as “part coming-of-age saga, part mystery and part ghost story.” When it comes to Nevada stories, Rouff knows his stuff. He has lived in Las Vegas for more than 35 years and has also written the Las Vegas-based novels Dice Angel and Money Shot.”- C. Moon Reed, Las Vegas Weekly
“Brian Rouff’s writing of The House Always Wins: A Vegas Ghost Story is impressive. It’s a charming, fast-paced story beautifully narrated by the main character, Anna. It contains wit, mystery, and a bit of nostalgia. Meyer reminisces about his racketeering life and how developed Las Vegas has become. Anna is a strong-minded person who possesses a sense of humour, even when her problems are serious. I thought the road trip was interesting, also the descriptions of the communities that had seen changes, for better or for worse. The author has shown the other side of Las Vegas in this must-read novel.”- Michelle Stanley, Readers’ Favorite
Award winning author, Brian Rouff was born in Detroit, raised in Southern California, and has lived in Las Vegas since 1981, which makes him a long-timer by local standards. When he’s not writing articles, screenplays and Las Vegas-based novels such as “Dice Angel,” “Money Shot,” and “The House Always Wins,” he runs Imagine Communications, a marketing and public relations firm. He is also a regular contributor to Living-Las-Vegas.com.
On a personal note, Brian is married with two grown daughters and five grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys movies, playing guitar and the occasional trip to the casino buffet line.
This giveaway is for one print copy or ebook copy of the book. Print is available to the U.S. only but ebook is available worldwide. This giveaway ends on November 30, 2018 at midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.
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