Monday, January 30, 2012

THE BITCH getting rave reviews!

Hi folks,

I just saw two new reviews of THE BITCH on Amazon and I’m beaming from ear-to-ear! I have to share these! They’re both from bestselling writers and not easy to impress critics. I’m friends with Nigel Bird, but even so he won’t provide anything but his honest assessment of anyone’s work, whether he’s friends with them or not. The other one, is by a writer whose work I read and really enjoy, Allan Leverone, but don’t know personally. This one hit me right out of the blue. It’s just extremely gratifying when your peers and people you respect like what you’re doing. Means the world!

The novel earlier received wonderful reviews from some of the best writers out there—folks like Paul D. Brazill, Anthony Neil Smith, Tom Pluck and Carl Brush, and these last two are the icing on the cake.

Here they are:

5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and unforgettable, January 28, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bitch (Kindle Edition)
Jake Bishop is a two-time loser, a B&E specialist who is down to his last shot at life. One more conviction and he'll be sent away for good as part of Michigan's three strikes and you're out habitual offender law, or The Bitch, as it's known to the cons.

But Jake has no intention of ever seeing the inside of a prison cell again. He learned a trade - hairdressing - while on the inside and discovered he's got a talent for it. Using hard work and a little luck, Jake turns his newly discovered talent into steady employment and eventually the opportunity to open his own shop.

Jake is determined to turn his life around, and he's doing it. His wife is pregnant with their first child, his shop will be opening in just a few weeks. Things couldn't be going better.

Until he receives a call from his from his old prison cellmate, Walker Joy, that is. Walker is fresh out of the can, and Jake owes Walker big-time, thanks to an incident that occurred in prison. The ex-con is planning a big score. He needs Jake's help and has come to collect on the debt.

One last job.

And that's how it starts. Things go rapidly downhill from there for Jake Bishop, who is forced to walk a razor-thin line he hoped never to walk again, knowing that getting caught would mean the end of his family, his freedom, his life.

I finished reading THE BITCH last night and haven't stopped thinking about it since. Les Edgerton has written a rare crime novel, making a sympathetic character out of a guy most people would cross the street to avoid if they saw coming the other direction.

THE BITCH isn't for everyone. If you prefer your crime fiction sanitized, suitable for all viewers, you're probably going to want to stay away from this particular novel. It's violent and gritty and profane. It's also incredibly human and even, at times, tender, as we watch in open-mouthed horror a guy forced into a course of action that can only end one way - badly.

I'm a pretty easy grader when I review books. I write novels, and I know how much blood, sweat and tears go into the process, so I don't often have a whole lot to say about any book that's openly negative. But a book like THE BITCH makes me question my reviewing process because it's so head-and-shoulders above most other fiction.

I love noir fiction precisely because it's so real. I consider Tom Piccirilli the master of modern noir, and I'm here to say Les Edgerton has vaulted himself to a position right behind Piccirilli with THE BITCH. I give this book five stars, only because I can't give it six. Or seven.

It's just that good.

5.0 out of 5 stars bitching, January 28, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bitch (Kindle Edition)
In baseball it's 3 strikes and you're out, for ex-con, Jake, 3 strikes and he's in. For life. And ain't that The Bitch?
Jake's been inside. Twice. One more conviction and he's going away for good.
Fortunately for Jake, he's sick of prison life and has decided to go straight.
He's been to college to better himself and has even built a reputation as a hair-stylist that's good enough for him to set up his own salon. I love this incongruity - big, bad Jake with his blood-stained hands chopping away at a perm.
And he's met a woman too. Paris. Beautiful, sexy, smart and about to have Jake's baby. Looks like he's hit the jackpot, no?
Thing is, Jake doesn't know his stories. Paris was the guy who did it for Troy. A name like that and maybe he should have sensed that his bed-of-roses might be full of thorns.
`It all began with a phone call.'
The first thorn appears in the form of Walker Joy, one-time cellmate and saviour.
Walker's in big trouble. He owes big money to big crooks. One job will see him safe. All he needs is a break in man.
Of course, Jake's not having any of it. He knows which side his bread is buttered.
Problem is Walker has a few aces up his sleeve and Jake knows he's screwed. It's enough to drive an alcoholic to drink. Really.
From there on in the story unfolds. Jake is reeled in like a prize-fish on the end of the line, all the while knowing that he's got a hook right up his behind. He's not a bad bloke, you see. Or at least his heart's in the right place. Circumstance has him by the short-and-curlies and no matter how he examines the angles, he's lined up for the corner pocket.
At every point of the story where a ray of hope appears, the world conspires against him and as every chapter comes to a close, the need to read on grows stronger.
It's a well-told tale. I found it hard not to feel for Jake. If it were a film or a play, it would be the kind that would have you shouting out for him to get the hell out of there. `He's behind yer!' and `He's still behind yer!'
On the whole, the plot is very much in the present and is all the more uncomfortable for that. It's punctuated by prison stories and tales from Jake's past that should possibly have made me think less of the man; instead it had the opposite effect.
Well paced, engaging and very entertaining, it's like one of the small diamonds in the collection Jake is aiming to steal.
The ending is perfectly weighted. Sits on top of the story like the bowler hat on a dapper gent, a hat that needs to be doffed every time Les Edgerton approaches.
Well done, sir.

THE BITCH is getting some smash reviews and I’m chuffed! I’m really proud of this book. Hope you get it if you haven’t yet and I really hope you enjoy the crap out of it.

Blue skies,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

New reviews of THE BITCH and an interview

HI folks,

I wanted to share with you a review that just came out today from noir-master, Nigel Bird, for my novel, THE BITCH. To use Paul D. Brazill's excellent term--I'm chuffed! Thank you so much, Nigel!

And, then there's another wonderful post on it from Anne Gallagher at:

Also, I did an interview with writer Karen Lenfestey yesterday and you can read it on her blogsite at

There's even a photo of an ugly dude and of Karen... She asked me what coffee shop I wanted to meet at and I told her my son Mike's Starbucks where he works... She was going to take the photo inside and Mike told us Starbucks would sue us if we took photos inside their premises. Nice, Mike...

Blue skies,

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You have got to read this...

Hi folks,

The brilliant writer, Paul D. Brazill (whom I'm pleased as a monkey in a vat of bananas to also call my friend), knows I'm a big Gordon Ramsey fan. Which is why he sent me this link to a story concerning Mr. Ramsey's double, a dwarf who appears... er... appeared in porn movies. I'm still laughing... Check it out.

So sad...

I'm sending flowers... miniature, or tea roses...

Blue skies,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update--JUST LIKE THAT sales are booming!

Hi folks,

Well, it's happening... Sales for JUST LIKE THAT are going through the roof! Got up today and checked on the Amazon rankings and here's where it stood, two days after the freebie promo. Whenever a book goes below 1,000 in the rankings, that's  major stuff! It's also impacting my other novels' sales as they're all going up as well. And, it's all thanks to you guys! I'm going to take you all out for a beer or coffee! THANK YOU!

And, please tell your friends about it--it would be so great to get into the top ten...

Product Details

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hi folks,

Deals all over the place! Bare Knuckles Press, publisher of THE BITCH has just offered a one-week special on it at a mere 99 cents! This… is a deal! Dare I say—a SUPER DEAL??!!  While I’d like to be modest and unassuming… well, I’d like to appear as such anyway… this is the best book I’ve yet published in my opinion. I’m very, very proud of it. So, I hope you all glom onto a copy and see why I think so and if you agree. Also, some pretty fair country writers have chimed in with terrific blurbs that agree with that assessment. Click here to take advantage of the offer!

THE BITCH won the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll Award for Best Thriller of 2011!

The freebie promo for JUST LIKE THAT was a smashing success! Over 14,000 copies were downloaded in just two days to Kindles and it stayed at #1 in Literary Fiction for both days. But, the proof that it was successful was that after it went back to its regular price, it remained high in the sales rankings. It looks like I’ve got some new readers and that’s what we were after. Thank you to everyone who helped me get the word out and got their own copies as well. Hope you’ll like the read enough to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If you haven’t gotten a copy, you can here for only $2.99.

It’s been an exhilarating week! What us writer-types visualize during the many long hours we sit hunched over our ‘puters. Makes us appreciate our readers!

To whom I say, simply… THANK YOU!

Blue skies,

Monday, January 23, 2012


Hi folks,

Well, the results of the two-day promo for JUST LIKE THAT just came in. Over 14,000 people downloaded it! I just want to thank everybody who did from the bottom of my heart. And, it looks like the purpose of such a promo--to introduce people to my work and to lead to sales of my other books... is working well. We're already seeing healthy sales of all my other books! So, again... thank you! And, it looks as if the folks who didn't download the freebie are buying copies of it now as well.

Blue skies,

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We're #1!

Hi folks,

Well, okay... I'm not talking about the national football or basketball championship here, but still...

When I got up this morning, I checked to see how JUST LIKE THAT was doing after the first day of the freebie promotion... and was dazzled. At the time, it was at #17 in all Kindle sales and #1 in category sales (Literary Fiction). Well, not "sales" as it was free yesterday and today, but copies downloaded. My publisher just emailed me to tell me the numbers that were moved and yesterday over 8,000 people downloaded copies! Now... that's a bunch! Just wish I could have made some money on that! But, the whole point is to get my work out there and known a bit more and I'd say that mission is being accomplished and in spades. It looks as if the promo is working as sales of my other books enjoyed significant gains as well.

So, thank you, one and all who glommed onto a copy! If you haven't yet, be sure and take advantage of the promo and get your free copy. Also, it helps if you click on the "Like" button and if you could take the time to post a review (hopefully a good one...), that really helps also.

Hope that everyone who got a copy enjoys the read and will want to read more of my work.

Blue skies,

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Hi folks,


My publisher, StoneGate Ink is offering one of my recent novels, JUST LIKE THAT, as a free download for two days, this Saturday and Sunday. Get it at  Hope you get it and hope you enjoy the read. Although it’s fiction, about 80-85% is autobiographical. (The parts that are fiction are the events in which the statute of limitations haven’t expired…) It’s based on several road trips I combined into one and gives you a realistic glimpse into my time incarcerated in Pendleton. Cathy Johns, the assistant warden at the Angola (Louisiana) prison read it and said it was the “truest account of the criminal mind” she’d ever read. I guess it should be… after all, I was a criminal for a long time…

(Paperback copies are also available at the regular price of $12.97 and may be ordered from the Amazon site at

I’ve been blessed to have gotten great reviews and blurbs for this novel from some of the brightest stars in noir and crime writing. Our of 14 Amazon reviews, 11 gave it a 5-star rating, two a 4-star rating, and one a 3-star.

Amazon Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware: ADDICTIVE READING AHEAD, January 11, 2012
OK, so I started this book and couldn't stop. Edgerton's ability to haul the reader into the story and minds of his characters, in this case, the criminal mentality, left me helpless to set the book down and fiercely invested in this work of fiction that feels like fact. The odd thing was that I didn't have much sympathy with the character but felt mesmerized by the train wreck about to happen. With no experience of incarceration, I can't comment on that, but do know about surviving stressful, traumatic environments on a daily basis. There comes a point where emotions must be kept at a distance in order to function. Edgerton shows what it's like to be forced into institutionalized stress 24/7, the eventual moral nonchalance, and resultant urge/addiction to do something or anything to feel again. An exciting, scary read and window into recidivism.

5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Prison Novel Is in Top Form as Chester Himes' Writing, December 10, 2011
Les Edgerton's masterful JUST LIKE THAT is the same rich vein as the noir-miester Chester Himes' prison novel YESTERDAY WILL MAKE YOU CRY. Both authors drew upon their life experience as convicts to craft their visceral, powerful, and, most of all, honest narratives. The protagonist Jake Mayes' portrayal is based eighty percent on actual events. He's a complex man, hardboiled but racked with searing pain, especially over his femme fatale/lover Donna. I liked reading his colorful trip taken to New Orleans with his friend Bud where a strong bond is forged between the men. Hollywood and TV have gotten it all wrong about the modern U.S. prison culture. Read JUST LIKE THAT to get the real skinny. Mr. Edgerton doesn't pull any punches at debunking Tinsel Town's myths. The gritty details emerging in the inmates' daily existence behind bars will surprise you, page after page. This essential writing makes for a captivating crime fiction read.

4.0 out of 5 stars Just Like That, October 8, 2011
If Thelma and Louise had stayed at the bar they might have met up with the characters in Just Like That. I never dreamed I'd be rooting for protaganists who, in real life, I would studiouly avoid. Les opens up the seedier side of life with grit and humor.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

5.0 out of 5 stars Les near his best, September 29, 2011
I loved this book. The narrative bounces along with its own in-built energy, like the engine in a 1964 Mustang that refuses to stop even after you've switched it off and trousered the key. Les throws a lot of the writing book out the window in this one, followed by large parts of the grammar primer, and yet, the voice comes across as curiously erudite. The word "if" is noticeably absent all over the place, as in "You're smart, you try and become invisible." For anyone that needs to know what prison in the USA is really like, this book is Prison USA 101. A minor gripe I had with the book was a couple of passages where he repeated himself. The one serious gripe I had was the way the narrative was set aside every now and then to educate the reader on Tinseltown prison movie BS. I would have preferred to draw my own conclusions on that score.

Still a five star book with a strong, throbbing storyline and an angry voice telling it. I learned a lot about the criminal mind. Robbers rob for the adrenaline rush much more than the financial rewards - who knew? I also learned a few new words along the way. As you'd expect from a master of the arts of noir writing, there were some wonderful turns of phrase, like "...his face as white as an Eskimo's ass" and " were going to go back and sit in your f***ing cell and give names to your toes"

As I drew near the end of the book I was gutted, but consoled by the fact that I have another of his books waiting on my kindle.

3.0 out of 5 stars More a prison story than a road-trip tale, September 25, 2011
By Cliff Hardy (Sydney NSW Australia) - See all my reviews
This book was promoted as a story about two ex-cons going on a road trip, well that's true in part. Most of the story deals with the prison time of the lead character, Jake Mayes, both before and after the road trip. The book is semi-autobiographical with author Les Edgerton also spending a fair chunk of his life behind bars. This gives Just Like That an incredibly authentic feel and through Jake Mayes you get a terrific insight into the workings of the criminal mind. Bad habits, bad girls and bad choices all are portrayed with a sense that trouble is not too far away and the randomness of the violence is astounding. The story is well written and moves along at a nice clip. While Jake Mayes is certainly someone you wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of you also get a good feel for the reason he is like he is, and why he is where he is.

5.0 out of 5 stars BLAM!, September 15, 2011
By Paul D Brazill (Bydgoszcz, Poland) - See all my reviews
JUST LIKE THAT has it all. Great dialogue, whipcrack scenes and meaty characters haul you along on a harboiled crime road-trip worthy of the Elmore Leonard and Joe R Lansdale. A shot to the heart as well as the head, JUST LIKE THAT is highly recommended.

4.0 out of 5 stars Uneasy time, August 22, 2011
Les Edgerton takes incidents from his own early life and commits them to (electronic) paper with an honesty and integrity that you come across all too rarely. Just Like That starts as a buddy book & ends as a jailhouse book, the two sides weighted almost equally. It barely let's up with the action as Jake, Les' alter-ego, goes from one bad choice to another and ends up back in Pendleton jail for the failed robbery of a bar. A nasty, to put it mildly, encounter with another inmate colours the rest of the book from here as the daily grind and desperation of jail life unfolds and ends in murder.

What stood out for me was the writing style - it's written in a conversational first person tone that really draws you in and keeps you reading even though some of the events descibed are really grim. Must be the years behind the barbers chair that have honed that kind of storytelling style. Obvious comparisons here to the work of Eddie Bunker as they both cover similar terrain but Mr Edgerton throws in a welcome sense of black humour without smoothing the edges too much.

Will be checking out the rest of Mr Edgertons output (he has at least 3 more novels & a short story collection out soon)as this one hit the spot. Enjoy

5.0 stars out of 5 stars
This book riveted me to my seat. Mr. Edgerton is a writer who really captures not only the details of the inner workings of a criminal mind; but the whole world of prisons and a crime spree road trip across parts of urban and rural America. My husband is really the crime fiction buff in the family, and I'm more of the Keruoac "On the Road" fan. But Mr. Edgerton's writing really had a powerful prose style that makes the reading experience a "literary" one...albeit with more violence and bloodshed than "On the Road." But I must admit I could not stop turning the pages of JUST LIKE THAT. I'm glad this was recommeded to me and I plan on reading more of this author's original and exciting work.

5.0 stars out of 5 stars
I read Just Like That a week ago, but still don't feel I can adequately articulate how the novel moved me. As a female who mostly reads women authors with female leads, I felt a tad strange about my immediate fascination for Jake. This con was unlike anyone I knew personally or read about in other novels, and the idea of rash criminal behavior without provocation sent a chill through me. Still, night after night I broke promises to myself to read only three or four chapters. With a story that seemed surreal in its unfamiliar setting, lingo baffling as hell, yet as much fun as learning a foreign language, and testosterone practically seeping through my Kindle, I couldn't believe how easily I'd been hooked. Les did what all writers hope to do; kept this reader thinking about events and characters from the book for days. God knows I never want to find myself inside a place so dreary and dangerous, however I'm suddenly Jonesin' to read about modern day life inside a female prison.

5.0 out of 5 stars Edgerton slams another one home with Just Like That., August 16, 2011
By Karen L. Wells "Karen L. Wells" (Boca Raton, FL United States) - See all my reviews
Take a walk--no--take a run on the wild side with Les Edgerton and buckle up before you start reading his high-octane novel, Just Like That. Be sure to allow enough time to finish it in one sitting--it's a can not put down novel based mostly on Edgerton's own life experiences (85%) --it is gusty, gritty and authentic. One wonders while reading what 85% of the novel is real and true? Just Like That gives the reader a lot to think about days after finishing the book. Tell a friend.

5.0 out of 5 stars
Wow, I just love the way Les writes! The title "Just Like That" is brilliant and will resonate with you on every page and upon completion of the book. The story is very raw with absolute clarity told through the criminal mind. I now look and see some folks in a completely different way. The book title "Just Like That" just became my new favorite colloquialism.

5.0 out of 5 stars
We start with a picaresque tale of a couple of ex-cons hitting the road and end with the un-picaresque tale of buddies back in the pen. For visceral excitement, JUST LIKE THAT is nothing short of Elmore Leonard. For True Crime Fiction--well there's nothing to compare it to. You'll not only get involved on an elemental level with the real-life con characters and their real-life criminal action, but you'll learn why everything you've seen on the small or the big screen about criminals, courts, and penitentiaries is as about as genuine as a politician's smile. An exciting read and a handbook to the inside conveyed in first-rate writing. Spell that w-i-n-n-e-r.

5.0 out of 5 stars A must read and watch out - Les is going for it on this one., August 14, 2011
The great thing about Just Like That is the language. The feel. Les Edgerton is a master of words. Like Albert Camus, he describes a killing in short, simple language that carries a blow to the mind. This is a creation of visual travel. Read Just Like That and you may wonder if you wake up to the sound of bars locking shut. Read on. Go Go Go!

5.0 out of 5 stars A writer at the top of his game, August 9, 2011
By Eddie Vega (Brooklyn, NY) - See all my reviews
Ex-felon Les Edgerton knows the internal workings of the criminal mind, and with lean muscular prose he has written a book about it. While there are many qualities that make this book worth reading -- certainly the writing itself, which is excellent throughout, and the plot which moves with the kick of a 45 cal. bullet, -- what I most appreciated was its effort in coming to terms with the most perplexing of evils, those spur of the moment just-like-that crimes not motivated by necessity or reason but by some primal source that gives the lie to the perfectibility of mankind.

Hope lots of you take advantage of the two-day freebie! If you like it, I’d really appreciate your posting a short review on Amazon and if you hit the “Like” button, I’m told that helps also. Also, if you enjoy the read, please check out my other titles, including THE PERFECT CRIME and THE BITCH. Coming soon is my collection of short stories, GUMBO YA-YA, from Snubnose Press.

Blue skies,

P.S. Check out Helen Ginger’s interview on Inspiration Forum. She graciously gives me several shout-outs for which I’m grateful. You can read it at