Monday, May 27, 2013


Hi folks,

My good friend, author B.R. Stateham has just come out with his latest novel in the Turner and Frank series.

 My buddy, B.R. Stateham. My question to him is: Where do you find someone old enough to remember how to cut a flat-top? I mean, besides me?

Here's the skinny on BR's newest:

Turner Hahn and Frank Morales Are Back

Homicide detectives Turner Hahn and Frank Morales are back on duty in their new novel, Guilt of Innocence.

The two are investigating a couple of murders which pushes them to the limits of their wits. One case involves the death of a very successful corporate lawyer. A high priced corporate lawyer who happens to be married to a woman who heads the largest cosmetics firm in the country. How the murder took place is perplexing enough. But as more bodies begin to drop Turner and Frank soon realize they are facing a maniacal mastermind who may very well be smarter than both of them combined.

Twists and turns, dead ends and red herrings . . . with an ending that will truly be surprising. This case has it all. And this is only case number one!

Case number two involves the disappearance of a young girl fifteen years earlier. A Cold Case File. Except it is not a cold case any longer. The girl has returned. And now lies on a cold metal table in the morgue. Someone has gone out of their way to make the homicide look like a suicide. Apparently a crime syndicate is frantic to make sure neither Turner nor Frank find out the facts surrounding the girl's disappearance fifteen years earlier. A hit man is in town grimly eliminating everyone who may have known the girl. A hit man with orders to possibly rub out Turner and Frank as well.

And again the real killer is someone whom no one would have ever suspected.

Turner and Frank are at their best. Dry wit, interesting characters, lots of action, vivid imagery, and two genuine classic mysteries. All of it can be found in Guilt of Innocence. Find it anywhere ebooks are sold.

B.R. Stateham is a sixty-four-year old curmudgeon who writes genre fiction. (What makes him a curmudgeon is wandering all over town trying to find someone who can cut a flat-top...) With an antiquarian's body yet with the mind of a fourteen-year-old boy, the author's imagination still wanders down dark alleys and mean streets looking for a dangerous rendezvous (or an old, old barber...) or dons a Federation uniform and straps on his waist a 20 megawatt laser blaster to go out and hunt Martian grave robbers.

These are great reads! Hope you folks check this one and the others in this series out.

Blue skies,

P.S. Gotta give a shout-out to another good friend, Richard Godwin, who just gave an interview to the BBC for his forthcoming brilliant novel, ONE LOST SUMMER, which I'll be reviewing here the day it comes out. Check it out HERE.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Hi folks,

Just wanted to let people know that my Young Adult thriller, MIRROR, MIRROR is on sale for a limited time for 99 cents.

I wrote this initially as a present for then pre-teen daughter, Britney, and years later thought it might be publishable when she told me that she couldn't look into a mirror for more than a few seconds for a few years after reading it. It's kind of a different YA than many today--no sex, no vampires, no zombies...

Me and Britney... when both of us were a few years younger...

Blue skies,

Friday, May 17, 2013


Hi folks,

Well, I’ve had a few days to recuperate from my two recent trips, the one to Boise and the last one to Scottsdale, Arizona.

I love Arizona! Especially when I get to see my best friend, Tom Rough, and our star writer and great friend, Maegan Beaumont. Maegan was the reason I got to go to Scottsdale. Her first novel, CARVED IN DARKNESS, has just been released and her official book launch took place at the famous Poisoned Pen Bookstore.  And, her husband Joe flew me out there to surprise her and the others in our online class who were going to be there, and that’s why I had to keep it secret where I was going.


Only problem is, it turns out it’s impossible for Joe to keep a secret from Maegan! She got it out of him fairly quickly, but we were all able to keep it a secret from our online writing class members, many of whom made it to the bookstore for her talk and signing. Among them were Mary Edelson who came all the way from Virginia and Holly Love who flew in from Denver.

Maegan enjoyed a SRO crowd. She shared the podium with two other writers, but she was clearly the star of the show. In fact, when their talk was over, and the three writers sat down to sign their books, her line was the entire length of the store. I felt kind of sorry for the other two writers who had to sit there and watch her sign book after book! I’ve been in that situation and it’s not fun!

 Maegan giving her talk at the Poisoned Pen Bookstore launch of Carved in Darkness
 Maegan signing books with two other writers
Maegan looking... "goofy"...

Artist's depiction of Maegan's parents having her sign her book for them... KIDDING! They're very, very proud of her.

Joe and Maegan. Thank you so much for flying me out to Arizona, Joe!

This is from my earlier visit, but I wanted to show a couple more of our class who were also at Maegan's signing but whose photos I didn't get then. Pictured above are Kristen (who was there, Carson (who couldn't make it), me, Susanna (she was there), Maegan and Linda (who were both there.

We had a great visit! After the signing, we went to a party hosted by Maegan’s best friend—who I kept calling “Val” after the best friend of her protagonist in Carved, who, as it turns out, was modeled after her real best friend whose name I forgot… Val is what she’ll forever be known to me as. Really cool party. A bunch of Maegan’s family came up from New Mexico and I got to meet her mom and dad. Also got to meet Maegan and Joe’s kids, who were really cool kids. I especially was excited to meet her daughter Jaime and Jaime was the first person to read my YA MIRROR,MIRROR 
 and gave it a rave review on Amazon.

Jaime Beaumont--you rock!

The next day a bunch of us hung out all day. First, we had lunch at the restaurant where the Arizona writers in our online writing class meet once a month to cuss me out and then we went to a resort hotel where Mary and Holly were staying and just hung out by the pool and had… adult beverages. Just kicked back and bonded over… you guessed it… adult beverages…

L to R: Holly, Linda, me, Mary and Maegan. Joe took the photo.

Stayed with my best bud, Tom Rough  and his gorgeous wife Lisa and equally gorgeous daughter Nicola, and had a BALL! I love Tom and his family. They’re coming to Indiana the first of the month for Tom’s grandfather’s 99th birthday and I can’t wait to see them again.

Lisa, Nicola and Tom Rough--Tom's my bestest friend. I had two best friends--Tom and Cort McMeel and sadly, Cort's not with us any longer.

On my last day in town, Mother’s Day, I went to lunch with Tom and his family and got to meet his parents and it became clear why Tom is such a cool guy. Both his mom and dad are just fantastic people and I’m so glad I got to meet and to know them.

And, then, finally, I climbed aboard the red-eye back home and landed back in Ft. Wayne early Monday morning.

We’ve got several members of our writing group who’ve either just finished their novels or are about to so I hope I can get to go again to each of their booksignings.

I’m glad to be back home—I really missed my “eye-candy” Mary, but give me a week or two to rest up and I’ll be raring to go again!

Eye Candy... My fantastic wife Mary who stayed home to work while I partied...

Blue skies,

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


I doubt the term “philosophical crime novel” is something writers that write about crime writers sling about much, but the phrase is definitely and defiantly apropos of Les Edgerton’s THE RAPIST. The book is most assuredly a crime novel and so readers shouldn’t be frightened away by a description that makes it sound dangerously like a tome and frighteningly unlike a book, say, a highly readable but mightily singular piece of crime fiction. While THE RAPIST belongs on the shelf next to Dostoyevsky and the like, it also sits snugly and comfortably besides the gritty, bleak likes of Jim Thompson. Take some Thompson, a generous cupful, mix it with the brutal, barren cynicism of Jerzy Kosinski, then run it through a filter of Camus, finishing with a big chunk of Nietzsche’s attitude. Yeah, it’s got “existentialist” written all over it and flirts dangerously with the blurry line betwixt sociopathology and the mind of the ubermensch. Again, I’m scaring you. This is a lean crime novel, vastly more readable than the cumbersome Dostoyevsky. It’s all told directly to you from the central and, with fleeting exceptions, the only character, the rapist himself. The reader gets an unsettling time spent inside the head of a sociopath. It’s a heady experience. While the prose does at times try too hard to be proper and arrogant, THE RAPIST is a cunningly written piece of brain-shock prose. There’s even twist at the end, but it’s unlike any twist you’ve ever encountered in a strictly traditional crime novel. That I can promise you. That, and a terrific read.

142 pp.


Blue skies,

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

IDAHO WRITERS AND READERS RENDEZVOUS--Had a great time--wish you were there!

Hi folks,

Well, I’ve been back two days now from the Idaho Writers and Readers Rendezvous in Boise and am about fully recovered… and tomorrow I have to jump on another plane for another literary event which I’m really excited about… and can’t reveal just yet what it’s about.

(In fiction, we call that “raising a story question” and they’re intended to create tension for the reader and help make the novel a page-turner... I’ll talk about it when I return, so stay tuned…)

I arrived in Boise, already tired from running to make connections in Chicago. I have fairly severe COPD, so it’s not just a stroll for me…

My host and benefactor (he paid for me to come to Boise), one of my publishers, Aaron Patterson, picked me up at the airport. It was the first time we’d met in person, and for some reason I had it in mind that Aaron was 6’5”. When this midget at 6”1” showed up, I didn’t recognize him… Expecting a basketball player, I was shocked to meet a jockey… Well, maybe not quite a jockey, but not 6’5” either…
StoneGate Ink publisher, Aaron Patterson

But, height-challenged as he was, Aaron turned out to be one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He’s also a superb and hugely-successful publisher and I’ve three of my books with him—JUST LIKE THAT, THE PERFECT CRIME and MIRROR, MIRROR. (There’s a new one that will be forthcoming soon.) Aaron has gone far and above what most publishers do. He’s gotten my work out in print, ebook format, and audio. He’s also extremely successful with his books and authors and after hanging out with him for three days, it’s easy to see why. He genuinely cares about the folks he publishes. As does his chief lieutenant, Kate Copsey. Here’s a photo of the three of us at the reading I did on Thursday night at Bruce Delaney’s Rediscovered Books bookstore.

 Aaron Patterson, me, and Aaron's CEO, Kate Copsey at the Rediscovered Books Bookstore before my reading in Boise.

We drove to his gorgeous house and I unpacked a bit and then we hit it to downtown Boise to the Boise Centre where the event was taking place and checked in. Met the director of the Rendezvous, Doug Copsey (who just happened to be the uncle of the aforementioned Kate Copsey). Grabbed an adult beverage and something to eat and then we were off to my reading. I got to meet my cyber-friend, Bri Clark, and some other delightful folks. One was a lady I know just by her first name--Karen--and she was truly delightful.
Me and Bri Clark at the Rediscovered Books reading.

Afterwards, Kate, Aaron and I went out to grab a bite to eat and… you know… adult beverages…

The next day, the Rendezvous began in earnest. Doug Copsey set it up right. I’ve been to lots of writing conferences where you don’t have five seconds to yourself, but he created a schedule where all of the presenters had plenty of time to just mingle and meet and greet and attend other presenter’s talks and it was terrific. I presented my first talk in the afternoon when I was delighted to see a full room for my talk on story beginnings. Great crowd, great questions, great responses. Got some wonderful, positive feedback from many of the attendees. They put me in the Snake Room, which many of the girls I dated pre-getting married, would agree to have been fantastic type-casting…

BTW, the folks in Idaho are just the nicest, most gracious, smartest people you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting. Plus, I LOVE their general politics! I could move there and feel at home instantly. They’re fiercely independent and like me, abhor a nanny state. The rugged individualist still exists, boobies, and they’re in Idaho in bunches. These folks just don’t abide b.s. But, they’re polite about it and not in your face, strident. Kind of refreshing. Kind of REALLY REFRESHING! I’ll tell you a bit later about a small incident at bestselling author C.J. Box’s talk the last night that will illustrate what I’m talking about here.

That morning, I went to Aaron’s presentation on Ebooks: The New Landscape of Publishing which was directly in Aaron’s wheelhouse. He’s one of the most successful ebook publishers out there. I mean… hugely successful. Then, in the afternoon and before my presentation, I got to sit in on author John Rember’s talk on Writing Violence. John had attended my reading the night before and we hit it off immediately. Along with Aaron and a couple of other folks, he became my “new best friend.” He reminded me so much—both with his personality and his writing—of another “new best friend” Jerry Dennis who I’d met at Yellow Springs for the Antioch University conference I was privileged to be a presenter at earlier, and the first thing I did when I returned home was to introduce them via email to each other. I hope it’s the start of a beautiful friendship for each of them. I got to sit in on the end of another of my “new best friends,” screenwriter Lance Thompson for his talk on Adapting Story to the Screen. Wonderful presentation!

Gave my talk and then mingled. I met so many wonderful writers and readers and I won’t be able to remember all of their names, alas. One guy I met and talked to quite a bit was a truly terrific guy, Clay Morgan, who runs the BSU Story Initiative. We had a lot in common. He’s married to a former astronaut and I was stationed at Cape Canaveral at the NASA complex back in the early sixties and we had stories to swap. I also met a wonderful woman, Amanda Turner, who was one of the organizers and just a delightful person. She joined us at lunch on Saturday. They have a deal where folks can eat dinner with one of the presenters and she was part of our merry little group. I met another lady and I’m so sorry I didn’t write her name down, but we hit it off immediately as she’d graduated from St. Mary’s College in South Bend and her husband from Notre Dame and since I’m a lifelong Irish fan, we hit it off immediately. Also at our lunch, was writer Gabriel Cardoso, who’s writing a really cool book, and writer Rick Just, who became another of my “new best friends.” The next day, Rick and I had a manuscript consultation and I was pretty useless to him as the only crit I could give him was on one line. If I was Rick, I’d demand a refund…

That night we went out and I made the mistake of eating some steamed clams. Had a toss-and-turn night of mild food poisoning that I won’t soon forget… My wife Mary reminded me that I’d had the same thing happen earlier in the year when I was at Bouchercon, and suggested mildly in her somewhat inimitable (read: sarcastic) way, that maybe I should avoid seafood when on the road or in places where I couldn’t see a beach… Point taken, Mary…

I screwed up the next day with the food poisoning episode. I planned on putting a waste basket up by me at the podium when I began the talk on THELMA and LOUISE, telling the audience what had happened the night before, and that I was putting the waste basket there in the event of… you know… a ralphing incident. But, I forgot to. I’d planned at the end to tell everybody that I’d just presented a graphic example of a story question. That I knew everybody, even while listening to me, had part of their attention focused on the wastebasket, wondering when I was going to toss my cookies (or clams, as the case might be), and that was what story questions do—create tension on the page while reading the narrative… but, alas, I simply forgot and I know I missed my chance to create some writer’s lore and maybe beget an article in the Glorious Writing Times Magazine about how clever a teacher I was. Wish I could do that over…

Met some other great folks. Joanne Pence, for one. Had a great conversation with her and unfortunately wasn’t able to attend her talk.

Had a consultation with Rick Just and another writer, Sherry Horton, who was ex-Navy like myself. She has a terrific idea for a novel and I got to see her first pages. Met Cameron Morfit at lunch on Thursday and was stoked. He’s a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine and had some terrific stories to tell.

And then, I got to meet C.J. Box, the headliner. A couple of weeks before the Rendezvous, I decided to pick up one of his books so I’d be familiar with his work. Just the polite thing to do, y’know? Well, today I’m finishing up the tenth of Mr. Box’s novels… He’s that good. Brilliant writer, huge bestseller, and now I know why. He gave the keynote speech of the event and it was a corker. During his talk, during the Q and A, a guy stood up and asked if there were any gunfights in his books.

Well, since he’s got an entire series centered around protagonist Game Warden Joe Pickett and his best bud, super warrior Nate Romanowski who always carries the world’s biggest handgun… and enjoys using it… this seems to have been a question that could only be posed by someone who had never read Box or, if he did, simply wanted to get his political stance on record… The guy asked if Box had any gunfights in his novels and he wanted to know as he was against guns because they killed folks. Guns just walk into rooms and shoot people, I guess… I confess I’m curious what this fella thinks about violent video games that desensitize kids into being able to kill, but that’s something for another forum…

Me, I probably would have engaged in a bit of an argument with the guy, but Mr. Box handled it deftly and without pissing anyone (even this guy) off. He simply said, “Well, my character, Joe Pickett is a game warden and the books are thrillers with lots of truly bad guys, so… yeah, there are gunfights.” He added, “You didn’t think they fought each other with beanbags, did you?” The room erupted and the situation not only was defused, it was never fused.

It was just a wonderful experience, every single moment! Hope they’ll have me back at some future date.

If I neglected to mention any of the wonderful folks I met, I’m truly sorry and only have my Halfzeimer’s to blame. If I didn’t remember your name, please know that I remember your face and the talks we had. There was a group of people who continually manned the desk to answer questions, direct people, etc., and I regret I didn’t get their names. They were so danged helpful and nice, too!

One last mention for Bruce Delaney who owns the Rediscovered Books bookstore along with his wife. Not only did they host my reading, but they were at the Rendezvous every hour of the event, with a table set up with all of our books. I don’t think they got five minutes during the whole time to take a break. And they sold some books! Bruce told me he’d had to recorder my Hooked book four times and they still ran out. I know that first-hand. On the second day, I was signing books and this lady came up for me to sign a copy of Hooked, and she said she’d just “stolen it.” Literally. She said it was the last one and another lady had it in her hand, and set it down to dig in her purse for a pen and something distracted her and she turned her head and this lady had snatched it up. Now, this is a woman who could clearly write a thriller from the bad guys’ pov. I’m just sayin’…

If any of you ever get the chance to attend the annual Idaho Readers and Writers Rendezvous… GO! You won’t be sorry.

And, you know what? The entire time I was there I never ate a single Idaho potato! I think I’ll have to go back and see what they’re like. I hear they’re tasty…

Blue skies,

Gotta include a photo of my lovely wife, Mary, whom I usually just call "Eye Candy" and who always offers me great advice, like "Don't eat seafood on the road" albeit too late...