Sunday, March 3, 2013

Peaches and the Gambler (#1) by A.T. Hicks Book Review

What Does a Strip Club, a Dead Man and a Dove Ice Cream Bar All Have in Common?

Peaches Donnelly

Peaches has a major problem: she's just been fired.

Unaccustomed to filling her days with nothingness, she embroils herself toute suite in the recent murder of a childhood friend.

However, standing between her and the solving of this heinous crime are two pesky daughters, a selfish opera singer sister, the diet from hell and two sexy men she can't resist.

Add to this bubbling pot a hasty decision to go undercover as a stripper and you have a story rife with drama, laughs and a little dash of danger.

Follow Peaches and the always funny cast of characters in this first installment of a rollicking series of cozy mysteries.

My Review

5 of 5 Peaches

Peaches and the Gambler is a great read! I love reading YA books and I spend most of my time reading them but every once in a while I love to read an adult book and love it. This is one of those times where I loved reading this book. Lord Peaches was a riot! She is a strong character who has to deal with a lot of crazy people but I give it to her she handles it and handles it well.

Peaches has been fired from her job. With nothing to do she decides she will look into who murdered her childhood friend. But Peaches has no idea how to start or where to start looking for the killer or information. Sh she decides she will go undercover as a stripper at the club where her childhood friend worked. That causes people in Peaches life to get angry and they all decide they are going to convince her to leave the detective work to the detectives and not her.Peaches daughters start to harass her and then her ex husband tells her to mind her own business. To make matters worse two gorgeous guys enter the picture and Peaches is not sure what to do because she likes both of them.

Lord what is a girl supposed to do when she does not have the first clue on how to handle all these people and try and solve her friends murder. What will Peaches do? What will Peaches find out about the murder? Will Peaches end up in danger?

This is a must read! It is quick and easy to read and funny because you go on an adventure with Peaches and as things unravel you are like WOW I did not see that coming. 


Lenny Richards the third was in seventh heaven. 

“God damn, girl. God daaamn.” 

Loud, muffled hip-hop pumped through thin walls as Lenny watched, eyes half closed, as a girl 

he only knew as Melinda moved her head energetically up and down in his lap. Her lips and hands 

worked their magic as large naked tits rubbed erotically against his bare, scrawny kneecaps. He 

screamed shrilly as she bought him to a shuddering climax. 

“Damn! You loud as hell.” 

“Was I?” he slurred, squinting. 

Melinda ‘Moony’ Jacob’s, a short, curvy woman with shiny brown skin and dark, flashing eyes, 

inelegantly stood from her kneeling position. 

Adjusting her bronze wig she pulled her thin top up, surveying her second client of the evening 

with disfavor. A thin, nervous man with uncombed hair, his pores reeked of the cheap gin and Colt 45 he 

had been drinking all night. He was, to say the least, unattractive. And the large mole located smack dab 

in the middle of his forehead was positively disgusting. Melinda wearily contemplated when and if she 

would ever get out of this game. I should’ve charged this one double, she thought, regretfully. 

“Good thing the DJ’s playing that music so loud. Otherwise the police’d be up in here fo’ sho!” 

“Sorry,” he mumbled, smiling sheepishly. 

Trying to pull his pants up and stand simultaneously, he was suddenly dizzy and nauseous. He 

sat down hard, legs trembling. When he closed his eyes and reopened them, two unsmiling Melinda’s 

appeared. Maybe I should lay off the alcohol for the rest of the evening, he thought weakly. 

“One hundred.” Melinda stuck out an imperious hand topped with shiny gold nails matching her 

earrings, toes and a few of her teeth. 

“But I already done paid them seventy-five at the front,” he protested. 

“That was their fee. This is mine.” 


“Do I need to call Anton?” she asked, softly. Anton was the three hundred and fifty odd pound 

brute who worked the front door of the strip club and impromptu bordello Lenny found his way to on 

nights like this. 

Lenny tried staring her down, but when you’re as inebriated as he was, you’d be lucky to stare 

down the wall. Finally capitulating beneath the ball withering glare of Melinda and the looming threat of 

a very uncomfortable beat-down รก la Anton, he dropped his somewhat wavering gaze. 

“Fine, fine. You don’t need to do all that,” he grumbled. He reached inside his underwear, going 

down, down, down to a small pocket he had sewn into his pants. 

“You keep your money in your drawers?” she exclaimed. 

“Yeah. What’s it to you?” he asked, a tad defensively. 

“It’s nasty. 

“You paid to suck people’s dicks and you talkin’ bout I’m nasty?” He thrust the money in her 

direction and she gingerly took it, the tips of her nails clasping the bills like crab pincers. “That’s like 

callin’ the pot black.” 

“The kettle black,” Melinda corrected. 


“Nothin’,” she said, sighing grumpily. “Come on. Let’s go. Not like I got just you as a 

customer.” She drummed her nails impatiently on the wall, wondering if that new bitch Gina was 

hussying up to her best clients. 

Lenny finally managed to pull his pants all the way up. Standing unsteadily, he leaned one hand 

against the wall for support. They managed to make it out into the hallway before another strong bout of nausea gripped him. 

His stomach began heaving dangerously. 


Melinda whipped around irritably, took one look at his greenish face and jabbed an urgent finger 

to a door at the end of the hallway. 

Wasting no time, Lenny took off at a run, his badly zipped pants loosening up and dropping to 

his ankles. Melinda’s “You betta not throw up on that floor!” ringing in his ears as he stumbled into the 

bathroom, pants pooled around his legs. He made it to the toilet just in time to violently retch up all the 

BBQ and buffalo wings he had eaten upstairs. Weak, he rested a moment before standing up and firmly 

zippering, then buttoning his pants. 

“Hurry up, fool! Time is money,” Melinda demanded once Lenny exited the bathroom. 

Melinda crossly watched Lenny’s slow, deliberate hobble as he scooted along the wall. Soon as 

they got back upstairs, she was going to have Anton throw him out. She was tired of looking at him and

smelling him. 

She had hit rock-bottom. She had given a blow job to a man who for all intents and purposes was 

a bum. He had smelled so bad, she forced him to spray on some of the perfume she always carried in her 

purse. Her favorite perfume. After tonight, she was quitting. Yeah, she’d have to go back home with her 

two kids, grovel to her mama and work a dead-end job, but anything was better than getting down on 

your knees to give a guy as disgusting as Lenny a one-off. 

As a matter of fact, he could find his own way back upstairs. Though it was against club policy 

to leave client’s unattended in the lower levels, she was beyond caring at this point. She had already 

decided to quit so the fear of getting fired no longer existed.

Decision made, she threw Lenny one final impatient look, then stalked toward the stairs leading 

back to the main part of the club. When she ascended the stairs and opened the basement door, the first 

thing she saw was new—younger—exotic dancer Gina, jiggling and giggling upon the lap of her best 

paying customer. 

Previous thoughts of quitting flying the coop, the adrenaline flow of fury took its place. She’d 

show that bitch about screwing with her clients! Setting her jaw, she went about making sure Gina knew 

who really ran this place. 

Downstairs, Lenny was making maddeningly slow progress towards Melinda. At least, he 

thought he was. Through double vision, he watched as she abandoned him, disappearing up the flight of 

stairs with a disgusted flick of her golden nails. 

He had nearly made it to the foot of the stairs, when the wall abruptly gave way beneath his 

hand. He cart wheeled, bumping and cursing down a short flight of stairs, landing in a heap against a 

hard, plastic covered wall. 

“What the hell?” 

Furiously rubbing at his smarting shoulder, he fumbled his way to his feet, peering into the dimly 

lit recesses of a cool, musty room. Unable to see more than shadows and darkened shapes, he irritably 

massaged his sore hip. Just where the hell was he? In his disorientation, he bumped into another of those 

hard plastic walls. Trying to get his bearings, he inadvertently leaned against it, sticking one arm out. 

Did walls move? Because this one was coming right at him.

Crashing into him hard enough to take his breath away, hard blocks of something tumbled down 

on him, one of them exploding on his face. Lenny coughed and wheezed, swiping at the feather light 

substance covering his hair, face and neck. While sneezing, he inhaled some of it, then coughed again. A 

strange numbing sensation began moving up his nasal passages. He felt euphoric. 


When Lenny was discovered an hour later, huddled in the corner and gabbling like a madman, 

the man who walked in cursed, then made a call on his cell phone. 

“This night just got a lot more complicated.” ** 

Later that evening, another man smiled when the phone call telling him everything was taken 

care of came in. He hung up, pleased. 

“What you happy about, man? We’re about to have one of our toughest matchups this season in 

just a few hours.” 

“I get that. But there’s always something to be happy about. You just gotta find it.” 

‘Damn, this dude is just so Zen. Maybe I should start meditating, too.’ Stephan Young laughed, 

discarding the thought as foolish. He did way too much partying and pussy hunting to focus on anything 


The two finished dressing. They walked out of the locker room chatting amiably about nothing in 

particular and onto the basketball court in the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida to warm up 

for their match against the Miami Heat. 


An elderly couple, out for their daily morning exercise near the Old Durham Bull’s Stadium, 

were disrupted from their light bickering by the frantic barking of their overly excitable dog, Money 


“My God!” the woman’s husband complained. “Why does that blasted dog always have to bark 

so much?” They had recently adopted the animal from the local shelter, something he had been 

staunchly against. 

His wife, a huge fan of James Bond, particularly when played by Sean Connery, thought it would 

be very fitting to name the Maltese/Bichon Frise mutt after the secretary in the films. Hating this idea, 

her husband had promptly vetoed the name. 

She in turn, had promptly vetoed him back. He had lost. Again. 

“Why do you always have to talk so much?” his wife snapped. 

The two began sourly squabbling again, neither paying attention to Money Penny. 

The dog, on an extendable leash, suddenly bound into a thicket of bushes, barking maniacally. 

When her quibbling owners went to disentangle her from the tree she was wrapped around, the sightless 

eyes of Lenny stared up at them. 

The woman promptly fainted, landing most unfortunately upon a mature blackberry bush 

bristling with sharp thorns. Her husband, always happy to laugh at his wife’s expense, burst out laughing 

when she popped back up like a jack-in-the-box, before calling 911.
When author A. T. Hicks isn't penning outrageous fiction, she's shooing a renegade tomcat out of her garden, desperately trying to prevent her escape artist dog from slipping out once again, and negotiating power deals with her daughter to complete her chores.

As a newbie Indy Writer there are many things I hadn't taken stock of as I began writing Peaches and the Gambler, the first novel in the Peaches Donnelly Mystery Series.

What am I speaking of exactly? Writing notes!

When beginning any novel series, as you go along it is essential that you keep good notes on what happened in previous book(s). I learned this the hard way. I had to go back and write notes about the 1st novel as I as I wrote the 2nd novel.
It's just one of those funny little details you learn from experience.

But you can learn now.

Here's what you do:

1) Pretend as though you are taking a college course. Treat your debut series novel/book as though it is the class you're taking. Of course this necessitates keeping good notes. You want to pass the class at the end of the semester, right?

2) Keep detailed notes on characteristics and behaviors of recurring characters. You don't want to say a character does something or acts in a way that is inconsistent from book to book in the series. This will irritate and perhaps even lose readers.

3) Write notes about recurring places that characters go and recurring characters that they speak to in those places. If they go to a particular convenience store stay consistent with the clerk that is always there. Readers LOVE this. It helps them connect to the series. It can also make things hilarious if--like me--you're writing books filled with humor.

4) This may be the most important tip: Stay consistent to your characters behavior. The most annoying thing a writer can do is to go off track to what a character would do based on previous writing. IE: In the last book in the series there was never a mention of the main character smoking. In the second book they're smoking like a chimney stack. Do NOT make this serious error. It's the mark of an inexperienced (and careless) writer.

5) Keep track of place. If they live in an apartment always write small details about where they live and how they live and keep this consistent.

Lesson of the Day : Stay consistent throughout the series.

By following these rules you will build and maintain a happy fan base.

Stay Salty!

A. T. Hicks

Want more of Peaches well book two is coming out in March sometime and here is the cover and excerpt:
From a young age Cecily Washington learned two important things: she was very 
beautiful and beauty held power. 

When she was a child, she often tested this heady knowledge on her mother by 
asking for increasingly extravagant gifts. For her eighth birthday she requested a Barbie 
themed party. She demanded that this shindig have the latest and greatest powder-pink 
Power Wheels Corvette. Her mother worked overtime to make her dreams come true. On 
nights when her mother dragged her sore feet home after a long day at work, Cecily would 
sweetly ask for crispy fried chicken. Her mother would not only fry chicken, but would also 
make mashed potatoes and hot buttered cornbread as accompaniments. And when Cecily 
wanted the most expensive dress in Dillard’s department store for her senior prom; her 
mother took on a second job just to make her wishes a reality. 

Yes, Cecily realized beauty held power and that power could get her what she 

Her mother, a frumpy woman with washed out looks, a revolving door of dead beat 
boyfriends and a minimum wage job at The Convenience Mart, doted on darling little Cecily, 
waiting on her hand and foot. In awe of her daughter’s perfect features, thick, curling hair 
and golden hued skin, she often wondered at God’s ability to bless her with such a lovely 

Gazing upon her daughter’s perfection, she knew big things were in her precious 
little Cecily’s future… 

…and she was absolutely right. 
As the years passed by, Cecily advanced from very pretty, to downright stunning. 
Though smart, she had no interest in school, preferring to invest her intellectual prowess in 
urban big game hunting. Her hunting didn’t require guns nor clever camouflage nor an 
uncomfortable stay in a safari camp. Instead, she needed a few carefully chosen dresses, VIP 
passes into the best clubs in town and several pairs of killer heels.
It would be a three hundred dollar pair of spiked red beauties, a skintight silver dress 
and a dazzlingly bare back, which netted her first big kill. 

His name was Jamal Anderson and he had just been signed to the San Antonio Spurs 
for a cool sixty mil. 

Just as he inked his deal, Cecily smugly discovered she was six weeks pregnant. 
She was nineteen. 


An industrious girl, by the time she was twenty-nine, she had bagged two additional 
Platinum Baby Daddies. 

Gregory Bynum, the star running back for the New York Giants, seeded her with a 
bouncing baby boy and Darren Porter, megastar R & B singer, blessed her with fraternal 
twins. Each of her baby daddies had proposed to her and each had been coolly turned down. 
She preferred her freedom. Besides, she was no fool. No sooner would she be carried over 
the threshold than they would be casting their nets out for other women to warm their beds.
She liked control and she planned to keep it in her corner. 

Between the three fathers of her four children, she was raking in a whopping sixty 
thousand dollars a month in child support dividends. A tiny portion of this, just enough to pay for bills, food and maybe a movie or two a month, was sent to her mother. The rest was 
tucked securely in several bank accounts and sequestered in varying investments. 
Today she was turning thirty. 

She walked out onto her massive, hand crafted, stone patio, smiling with satisfaction 
at all the birthday preparations busily being carried out to her specifications. 
Tonight, she was going to put that long ago Barbie Birthday Bash to shame. 

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