Saturday, June 19, 2021

Book Blitz and Giveaway: The Accidental Gatekeeper (The Accidental Midlife Trilogy #1) by Carla Rehse

Title: The Accidental Gatekeeper
Series: The Accidental Midlife Trilogy #1
Author: Carla Rehse
Publisher: Pink Squirrel Publishing
Publication Date: June 14th 2021
Print Length: 254 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Turning the big four-five isn’t a problem for Everly Popa—it’s everything else in her life that’s gone to hell in a handbasket.

It’s bad enough that Everly’s drug-selling husband is in jail and her adult daughter blames her for the situation. But now the FBI wants her to turn witness, while her husband’s criminal friends want to keep her permanently silent. With no other safe haven, Everly returns to her hometown. A place she hasn’t visited in twenty-seven years. And didn’t leave under the best of circumstances.

It’s not that Everly has a problem with her hometown, exactly, but since it sits next to Hell’s Gate, there’s bound to be a few issues. Like the archaic rules set by the angels who run the town. Or the fact that the townsfolk feel Everly abandoned her duties as one of the members of the town’s founding families. But between celestial politics or getting gunned down by a drug cartel, Everly decides to chance finding sanctuary back home.

After a little good-versus-evil stunt at the town’s border, Everly is let back in and for the first five minutes, things are great. Everly’s mom hasn’t started nagging and she has a whole bottle of wine to herself. But after minute six, all hell breaks loose. Everly gets bitten by a hellhound, faints in front of her hot-and-single old high school boyfriend, and accidentally becomes the town’s Gatekeeper to Hell. A job she never wanted, isn’t trained for, and can’t shake off like gum stuck to her shoe. And as much as she’s flipping out, the celestial ruling body aren’t too pleased about it either.

Before Everly can take a deep breath and figure a way out of this mess, an angel gets killed, humans go missing and the town shuts its magical borders. Now Everly is trapped inside with dying angels, rampaging demons, and a witch with a murderous agenda. Plus, an archangel and his army surround the city and are itching to contain the town’s problems with a heaven-sent big boom. The only way out is for Everly to learn how to use her newly acquired Gatekeeper powers. But with no handbook provided, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll figure it out in time.

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When all the good choices have disappeared faster than kids at chore time

If eighteen was the age of exciting self-discovery, then forty-five was the weary age of having zero sh*ts left to give.

What did it matter if my husband of twenty years was rotting in federal jail? And that our chiropractic clinic had gone belly up, leaving me jobless? Or that my friends had turned from “we’ll help hide a body” to “we’ve got your back until the reporters hit our lawn?” I also didn’t care that the DEA had frozen our joint bank accounts and seized our assets. I never liked that ho use anyway.

Homeless. Jobless. Friendless.

Add in a pickup truck, beer, and an old dog and it would be the most pathetic country song played on the tiniest fiddle ever. I gritted my teeth as the wipers shrieked across the windshield. Nothing like driving through a late-October downpour to add to your misery, and the constantly patched roads in this part of Central Texas didn’t handle rain well.

My phone rang with its cheerful tone that I kept forgetting to change. Sadie’s name lit up on the display, and I almost knocked it off the dashboard holder while hitting the speaker button. “Sadie? Is everything okay? How’s Laney?” I really hoped the trembling in my voice wasn’t audible. My daughter hadn’t spoken to me in two months, refusing to answer my calls or respond to my texts. Her girlfriend had even gone so far as to block me on her social media.

“Mom? Where are you? God, this connection sucks.” Her voice had a recognizable anxious edge to it. I wanted to ask if she was taking her meds, but at twenty-one Sadie hated coddling. “Someone needs to talk to you.”

“What?” I eased onto the shoulder of the road, then placed the truck into park. “Who?”

“Mrs. Collins? Uh, Everly Collins? This is Sam Duncan, your husband’s attorney? We really must discuss your husband’s case.”

I glanced at the clock on my dash: 10:33 p.m. Duncan was raking in some serious OT. “What the hell are you doing with my daughter?”

“Mrs. Collins?” He lowered his voice. “I know you’ve been advised not to speak with me. But you really need to before certain other people do. We can meet anywhere you want.”

“Listen to me, you scum licker. Tell my husband and his thug buddies to leave my kid out of their mess. I’m not afraid of their flaccid threats and won’t be intimidated.” I slapped at the phone to turn it off, sending it careening to the passenger floorboard, out of reach and therefore away from temptation.

I didn’t have the money to replace the stupid thing, but the desire to take out my frustration on the helpless and innocent electronic device was strong.

Part of me wanted to turn the vehicle around, race to Sadie’s apartment in Austin, and kick the crap out of that attorney. But I knew the truth. Sadie had taken her dad’s side and was angry I’d snitched on him. She would do whatever she could to get him out of trouble. What was a little money laundering for drug dealers, after all? She might have my dark hair and eyes, but unfortunately, she inherited her father’s defective moral compass.

A lesson for all the kiddies: choose the sperm donor for your progeny well.

Exhaustion, physical and mental, hit me, increasing the stabbing pain behind my left eye that’d been plaguing me for days. How did this become my life? Why did I always get myself in such horrible messes?

For all my trash-talking, I was worried about the drug dealers my husband had brought into our lives. The Feds were worried about them as well, ’cause nothing hurt a case more than the star witness contracting a bad case of a bullet to the head. Not that I trusted the law to keep Sadie or me safe. I needed to find us a sanctuary.

With few good options left, I guided the truck back onto the deserted highway. I hydroplaned in a pool of water and fought the steering wheel as stomach acid burned my throat. Sanctuary … Such a simple word for such a complex mess.

My mother’s house would be safe, but it was … complicated.

I didn’t have a problem with her, but at eighteen I’d stormed away from my hometown of Crossing Shadows, Texas, in a raging hissy fit. I hoped the town would accept me back now, but I had my doubts. And I wasn’t referring to the townspeople. Sitting at the edge of a Hell’s Gate made the town’s magical border fussier than a pearl-clutching old biddy at a church function.
Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of "y'all" and "bless your heart."

Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met.

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  1. Midlife trilogy.. cannot wait to read this..

  2. Love the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Sounds like a great book. Congratulations on it's release.

  4. this sounds like a fantastic read! I can't wait to get started on it.

  5. Carla Rehse is new to me, but I love meeting new authors. Thanks to this blog for the introduction.

  6. love the cover, congrats on the book

  7. I never want to go to Hells Gate. Good work.

  8. Sounds like a good book. I love the cover!

  9. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  10. thank you for a chance to win!

  11. I like the title subject & cover for this great read.
    Thank you for sharing it.

  12. My daughter would enjoy this book

  13. Good one! Cheers on your blitz.

  14. I think that the cover of your book is eye catching and colorful.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  15. David HollingsworthJune 19, 2021 at 10:52 PM

    This book sounds really good!

  16. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

  17. Wow. This looks like a fun read with a lot of action.

  18. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

  19. I loved the excerpt. I want to read this book!