Reader’s Club Newsletter Fall 2021

Hello From Texas

Yes, it’s finally that autumnal season, which often seems like a two-day interlude between summer and winter. At least that’s how fall seems here. Ah, the fall! That beautiful time of year when leaves take on the orange glow of the setting Texas sun, acorns crunch under western booted feet, crisp air cools hot cider from the local Starbucks, and—oh, it’s over, there it goes, it’s winter now.

Actually, we had extended summer weather here. Back in the day, we called it Indian summer. But, of course, I’m sure it’s racist to say that today. The wokes at Sports Illustrated are even lobbying to cancel the Atalanta Braves and their tomahawk chop, both of which have been on display this past week in the 2021 World Series with Atlanta playing the Houston Astros. But I digress,

We’ve enjoyed warm weather from the first fall day, September 22, through nearly the end of October. But we’re getting cool days now, and even cooler nights along with the rainy days we always get this time of year. So, it’s time to gather the harvest, roast chestnuts with good friends around the hot wood fire as you—wait, is that sleet? It’s sleeting now. And the weather guy says that tomorrow it’s supposed to be in the upper eighties. Then it’s going to snow. But at least it’s feeling much more like football weather now at about halfway through both the college and professional seasons. You can almost smell those pigskins flying through the crisp autumnal air. So, wherever you are, I hope you avoided the plague, made it through summer alive, and are enjoying nice fall weather where you call home.

The fall is also when we give thanks for all the early Christmas gifts the morons in Washington have bestowed upon this year—record high inflation crisis, gasoline prices that are double what we paid last year, the Afghanistan crisis – the most humiliating American foreign policy debacle in our long and distinguished history, a Thanksgiving dinner that the government says will be the most expensive ever (thank you supply chain crisis) since the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, a nation more divided than at any time since the Civil War, a historical rise in violent crime, and around two million new document-challenged American residents who couldn’t be bothered to apply for immigration the legal way, but just walked across our non-existent southern border this year and made themselves at home—wait. Are we seeing a pattern here? But, yes, it is starting to look a lot like Christmas, with government giveaways going on everywhere you go.

Rick Bishop Debuts This Month

Due to a publishing snafu, the print version of The Girl on the Beach, the first novel in the series, went out to retailers early, about a month ahead of the eBook. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t have been a huge issue. But I hadn’t yet turned over the final draft, so my sincere apologies to anyone who may have already snagged a print copy before the final edits. I know it contains a few typos which do not appear in the official final draft. But both the eBook and corrected print versions will go on sale at your favorite booksellers in exactly one week from today, November 9.

If you haven’t preordered a copy of The Girl on the Beach, the electronic version is still available from all booksellers at the special preorder price of 0.99 USD (0.99p in the UK). The special pricing ends November 9, 2021.

Dead End, the Second Novel, Coming Soon

Personally, as a reader, I hate taking a chance on a new series until at least the second book comes out. I don’t want to invest in a group of new characters only to learn after buying book one that the author didn’t feel that passionate about the series and doesn’t plan to write any follow-on books. So, to avoid that, I went to work on the second book in the series, Dead End, as soon as I shipped the first novel off to the publisher.

Dead End  will be released on February 8, 2022, and is also available for preorders now at a special price. I’ve finished the final draft and shipped it to editing, so those who preorder the digital version can count on receiving it on time from their preferred retailer on February 8. Actually, it’s warmed my heart to see the number of preorders that have come through already for a book still more than three months from release.

I hope readers enjoy the Rick Bishop series. Bishop is quite a different private investigator than Malone. Hapless might be the kindest way of describing him, and Rick tends to spend a great deal of his time in hospital emergency rooms as he regularly suffers calamities as he goes about investigating his cases.

I think I’ve had more fun writing the Bishop books than any of the other novels I’ve written. So much fun that I’m already more than a third of the way through the first draft of book three, Trouble in Paradise. This series has a lot more humor in the books than any of the others I’ve written. Honolulu, one of my favorite places on the planet, is the setting, just as it is for the T. J. O’Sullivan series. Perhaps one of these days, Bishop and O’Sullivan will join forces on a case. You never know.

Malone Fans Alert

Well, I’ve done something for the very first time since writing and publishing my first book. I gave up on a book, Strange Bedfellows, which I intended to be the ninth book in the Malone series. I drafted and redrafted and then redrafted again. But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t produce the type of story that I felt loyal Malone fans would enjoy reading. I absolutely refuse to put a book out there that doesn’t meet that standard. So, at least for now, I’ve shelved Strange Bedfellows. I may take it up again and try to fix it. Or, I might even start again from scratch. But for now, the book is an inactive project.

But for those readers who inquired about when I planned to release the next novel, Malone fans have no cause for despair. There is a ninth Malone novel in the offing. Only it won’t be Strange Bedfellows. I created the outline for another book some time ago, expecting it would be the tenth book in the series. But I couldn’t simply substitute this one for the Strange Bedfellows manuscript as the plot of this one doesn’t lend itself to that title. So What’s Done is Done  will be the ninth novel in the series. I’m steaming through the first draft with none of the issues I experienced with Strange Bedfellows, and What’s Done is Done went up for preorders at retailers today. I think Malone fans will like this one, scheduled for release on January 4, 2022.   You can read an excerpt, the first three chapters, free by clicking the link on the book page.

Before leaving the Malone series, Perchance to Dream, the eighth book is my November 2021 US/UK 0.99 cent/0.99 pence deal. So, if you haven’t read that one, now is the time to grab the electronic version at a deeply discounted price. The deal runs through November 30, 2021, and the price is available from all eBook retailers.

What I’ve Been Reading and Enjoying

Not everyone realizes that most authors are also avid readers, and I am one such author. As Stephen King once wrote, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” Reading allows you to explore all the possibilities of the writing craft. As you read, you accumulate knowledge about what has been done before and how it is done today. Typically, I tend to read four to six books each month, mostly fiction in the genres I also write. So, my book recommendation for the month is the new John Sandford novel, The Investigator, the first novel in a new series featuring Lucas Davenport’s daughter Letty. It is vintage John Sandford, and I liked the book just as much as any of the Prey and Virgil Flowers novels. You have to hand it to Sandford. The man has never written a bad book. They only seem to get better and better.

Another book I enjoyed was the latest from Lee Child, Better Off Dead, the best Jack Reacher book I’ve read in a long while. I was a huge Reacher fan from the start, but the quality of the writing fell off over the years, and I stopped reading the novels. But I think this new recently released book is as good as Child’s early books.

That’s a wrap for the edition of Reader’s Club Newsletter. Until next time, stay safe and well. Watch for the next edition of the newsletter coming this winter.

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