Foregone Conclusion, the fourth novel in the Malone series, was released in September 2018. T.J. O'Sullivan, who first appeared in Cold Comfort, makes an appearance in the novel when Malone must track a diamond thief from Los Angeles to O'Sullivan's home country New Zealand.
The New Zealand setting is in the rugged mountainous terrain around picturesque Queenstown on South Island. T.J. and Malone are forced to negotiate the infamous Skippers Canyon Road, regarded as one of the most dangerous roads in the entire world. My dear friend Jessica who lives in Queenstown gets credit for the idea of using Skippers Canyon in the book, and she provided me some great research.
Speaking of T.J., Honolulu Blues the second book in the T.J. O'Sullivan Thrillers series, featuring the feisty Kiwi ex-pat and Honolulu private eye has also been published this fall. The hardcover and trade paperback versions are now on sale. The electronic book will be released on October 9, but is available for preorder now at a special discounted price. Preorder before October 10 and save a couple of bucks of the $3.99 cover price.
I'm really excited about this book because it is the first book I've worked on with my new editor Sarah Milstead. Sarah is amazing and incredibly experienced in all phases of editing. I think readers will find this the best T.J. novel so far.
After giving it much, I've decided to put the T.J. O'Sullivan Thrillers in KDP Select. This was not an easy decision. If you know much about me then you know I'm not a fan of either KDP Select or the companion Kindle Unlimited program. But, the vast majority of independent authors and publishers continue to flock to KDP Select.
As much as I prefer publishing wide, it is simply getting very difficult to gain any real visibility on Amazon with more than 10 million Kindle titles now available if you don't hold your nose and enroll in their exclusive program. I'm not certain if this will be a permanent decision, but expect the Honolulu Blues eBook to be available only on Amazon for the foreseeable future. I will reevaluate the decision quarterly when it comes time to renew the KDP Select enrollment.
IN THE PIPELINE
Live Long Day, the fifth book in the Malone series and The Chinese Tiger Ying, the third book in the T. J. O'Sullivan series, are both in development. The first draft of Live Long Day has already been completed, and I'm about fifty-percent through the first draft of The Chinese Tiger Ying.
Live Long Day will be released in December, in time for Christmas. The Chinese Tiger Ying is slated for release in March. I actually think Live Long Day is the best Malone book thus far. And, feel the third T.J. novel is shaping up to be a good one too.
What I'm Reading
Like most authors, I'm also an avid reader. One of the books I read this month was Robert B. Parker's Blood Feud by Mike Lupica. Lupica has been selected by the Robert B. Parker estate to continue Parker's third series starring female private investigator Sunny Randall. If you're a Parker fan like me, or are just looking for something good to read, here is my review of Blood Feud.
Sunny is back... Blood Feud a solid resurrection of the Sunny Randall series
Sunny is back. As a longtime devoted fan of Robert B. Parker, the dean of American crime fiction, I was devastated when he passed away in 2010. I felt mixed emotions when the estate decided to continue Robert B. Parker's characters and series by turning them over to other authors. While I mourned the loss of Spenser especially, I found myself in agreement with John D. MacDonald's son Maynard when he explained why he refused offers to continue his father's popular and influential Travis McGee series. “It is because I have never seen a really good imitation, be it art, literature, or music, that carries that poignant echo of the original artist.”
Parker not only revived the private detective novel, but he also revolutionized it by bringing to the genre a literary-like quality that made it respectable. It's quite difficult to imagine another author ever filling those big shoes by giving us fanatical Parker fans a novel that reads anywhere close to those penned by Spenser’s late creator.
Yet, I've been pleasantly surprised to see how well Ace Atkins and Reed Farrel Coleman have done with the Spenser novels and Jesse Stone series respectively. Neither author is Robert B. Parker, but both are excellent writers and do a credible job with the series each has continued. It was for that reason I was keen to see how Mike Lupica would do with the Sunny Randall series when I learned the estate had tapped him to continue it.
I was counting the days until the release of Blood Feud when I had the good fortune of being offered a complimentary ARC to review by the publisher which I happily accepted. Like Atkins and Farrel, Mike Lucia is not Robert B. Parker, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading his first Sunny Randall novel. Sunny along with all the other principal supporting characters seemed the same as I'd remembered them. Also, the case that provided the basis for the story was one which I could easily imagine Sunny pursuing.
Lupica didn't disappoint. For the most part, his writing is tight and exciting, and he kept me turning the pages. I'll be looking forward to his next Sunny Randall novel as Blood Feud was a worthwhile and entertaining read.
Blood Feud is slated for release November 27, and available for preorder on Amazon. I'm a little surprised surprised that the publisher has set the eBook cover price at $13.99. While I thought it was a good read, I wouldn't have paid $13.99 for it. The Sunny Randall series was never as popular as Parker's other two series, Spenser and Jesse Stone. I really expect the publisher will drop the eBook cover price when they see the sales figures at launch, so I wouldn't recommend preordering the book. I did have every intention of buying this book. But, frankly, if I'd not been offered an advance review copy by the publisher, I'd have waited until used copies of the print edition became available and picked it up for far less than $13.99. I'm just not going to pay that kind of money for an eBook when there are so many quality reads out there for a fraction of that price.
While I found Lupica to be a fine and entertaining writer, he isn't in the class of John Standford who is absolutely the ONLY author on the planet whose eBooks I'd ever consider paying $13.99 for.
That wraps up the newsletter for Fall 2018. As always, thanks so much for your support.