Spring has sprung here, north of the Red River. The grass is turning green, and many of the trees around my place are already in leaf. The weather has also warmed, which I’m always happy to see. But soon, it will be time for the bi-weekly (sometimes more often) ritual of mowing the lawn. My lawn isn’t that large, but I inherited keeping my mom’s massive lawn mowed after my dad passed a few years ago.
After investing in a zero-turn mower two seasons ago, I’ve reduced the task to less than a half-day, but that’s a good deal more grass-cutting than I’d like to do if given a choice. It’s the one thing I don’t enjoy about spring and summer. And with the massive increase in gasoline prices, we’re all struggling with, it’s going to be costlier than ever to run the mower this year. Many thanks, Joe. Oh, and for the huge spike in food prices, too. And despite the lies coming out of Washington, the record-high inflation has little to nothing to do with COVID or the awful Ukrainian situation. The buck stops at the oval office and its senile occupant.
I have something new to share in this edition of the newsletter besides the regular updates I give each quarter on the mystery & detective and police procedural series I write.
I. Something New
II. Writing Update
III. Top 5 Bestsellers in Crime Fiction Books From Current Amazon top 100 FREE E-books
IV, Steals and Deals
Sometimes writing the same genres for years gets tiresome at times. So, this year I’ve decided to write something new, a western fiction novel of the classic style. Actually, the first novel I wrote way back in 2011 was a western. I won’t name the title because it isn’t very good, although people still buy a copy now and then. However, I like to think I’ve improved my writing since then and that this new western is much better than my first attempt.
It really isn’t that far-fetched for a crime fiction author to write western novels. For example, the great Robert B. Parker, one of my favorite crime fiction authors, wrote several westerns even though he is best known for his Spenser and Jesse Stone novels. Hollywood even made one of them into a movie. Also, the American cowboy of the 1800s was the prototype for the knight-errant, flawed heroes that now inhabit crime fiction novels. So, in a sense, this new novel I’ve written could be classified as crime fiction, only it’s a book about crime in 1881 rather than more contemporary times. I’ve always loved reading the novels of authors like Louis L’Amour, Zane Grey, Larry McMurtry, and others. And I great up watching all the western television series that aired during my youth: Bonanza, The Virginian, The Big Valley, The Rifleman, etc. So, western fiction has always been as much a favorite for me as a reader as crime fiction.
For those reading this who enjoy reading the occasional western novel along with their crime fiction, you can learn more about my new book here. You will notice that the author’s name on the cover is Rusty Beauquet. And there is a good reason I chose to use a pen name for the new western series.
Algorithms are the name of the game these days, where most books are bought and sold on the websites of online booksellers rather than in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Part of what a company like Amazon does in deciding how much or how little exposure to give a book on the website is monitoring the number of other books the author of a particular book sells regularly. And Amazon even provides this information to potential book-buying customers by showing the “Also Bought” information on a book’s sales page.
When an author decides to start writing and publishing in a brand new genre, it can really mess with the “also bought” section, which you don’t want. That’s why most authors established in a genre like crime, as one example, generally use a pen name when they decide to publish books in a different genre. So, using the name Rusty Beauquet isn’t some nefarious attempt to hide that I’m writing this new western series. It’s simply a good book business decision.
The Reckoning (Lone Rider, #1) comes out in print on April 5, or thereabouts, and the E-book version on April 19. It’s available for preordering now at all the major online booksellers.
In other news, Darker Angels, the third novel in the Howard Drew police procedural series published in March, and Trouble in Paradise, the third book in the Rick Bishop Honolulu P.I. series, comes out May 10. After taking a break to write The Reckoning, I’m now back at work on the first draft of Passage to Remorse, the tenth Malone novel. That one will probably keep me busy until fall. But meanwhile, I’ll also be outlining the fifth T. J. O’Sullivan novel, Blackout.
Top 5 Bestsellers in Crime Fiction Books From Current Amazon Top 100 FREE E-books
For the newsletter’s top five crime fiction bestseller’s list, I’ve decided to use Amazon data going forward instead of the New York Times Bestseller List. It’s no longer possible to deny that the NYT bestseller lists aren’t based on the actual numbers of books sold. Instead like everything else the newspaper does since transforming itself into a socialist propaganda rag, the publication’s bestseller lists are now based on the author’s gender, race, or holding the publication’s favored political affiliation.In other words, the bestseller lists are now a way for the New York Times to promote authors they deem worthy from a social justice perspective. At least Amazon sticks with actual book sales, although the company’s lists are compiled from Amazon sales only.
(1) Corridor Man (Box Set) Vols. 6, 7, 8, 9 by Mike Faricy | Serial Killers
(2) Silver’s Rebel by Lacey Silks | Women’s Crime Fiction
(3) Unleashed by Emily Kimelman | Domestic Thrillers
(4) Irreparable Harm by Sasha McCandless | Techno-thrillers
(5) Once Gone by Blake Pierce | Serial Killers
Note: Data from the Amazon Top 100 FREE Crime Fiction E-books list accessed at 11:00 P.M., April 3, 2022. List updates hourly and is subject to change.
Steals and Deals
In the interest of providing more value to readers, I’m changing up “Steals & Deals” this quarter. Recently, I became aware of a relatively new website called BookSirens that functions much like NetGalley. It is a community where publishers can connect with readers, reviewers, librarians, and the media by offering eAdvance Reader’s Copies of their books. The publishers hope to get feedback prior to publication and published reviews afterward from those who download and read the free advance reader’s copies. Recently, I listed Darker Angels on the site.
BookSirens has a new and interesting feature they call “Bundles.” BookSirens bundles together a selection of books of complimentary genres with the aim of driving more reader interest in books listed on the website. Any reader can download and read these books for FREE, although registration with the BookSirens website as a reader is required. But signing up is both easy and costs nothing. So, if you enjoy getting an unlimited supply of the newest free books to load on your favorite electronic reading device, BookSirens may be a dream come true. BookSirens does expect you to post a review on the books you download, but rating a book and writing a few sentences about a book takes only a few minutes of your time. You can rate and post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads, or BookBub. It’s your choice and you need only post a review on one of the websites.
Below is the April 2022 Bundle that includes Darker Angels. So if you would like to read it free, or any other of the books in the bundle that appeal to you, click on the button below, sign up, and start reading FREE.
Hope everyone is having an enjoyable spring wherever you call home. Look for the next newsletter sometime this summer. Until then, happy trails, pardners.