Monday, December 15, 2014

TWISTED SECONDS OF FATE



One of the greatest things about being a writer is there are times a wonderful surprise comes your way….

Back in August of 2014 - more or less - I received an email from “Ashton Broukes” who read one of my novels and contacted me through my website.  It was obvious the writer had actually read the book from comments made here and there, and genuinely enjoyed it.

We began a random correspondence. Gradually, the correspondence turned into a series of questions and answers about The Publishing Business, the Writing Business, the Writing Process, etc. etc.etc. Personally, I was flattered to have anyone think I had any sort of genuine knowledge or answers to it all, and I replied as honestly as I could. The correspondence continued over the fall of 2014 here and there, no pattern or predictability to it.

Then came the email I had a hunch was coming: would I please read the first three chapters of TWISTED SECONDS OF FATE?

Being a firm believer in “We’re all in this together,” I agreed. The chapters came through email the next morning, but I could not get to them until that weekend.

To put it politely, I was almost knocked out of my chair. The writing was clean and crisp, no nonsense, not a wasted word. I was instantly swept into the story, the opening line alone “DNA doesn’t lie” grabbing me and not letting go. I wrote back as soon as I could and asked if the book was finished and - like Oliver - “could I please have some more?”

Silence. No reply. No response. Nothing for a couple of weeks. I started to think possibly I had said something wrong or done something to offend.

Early one Friday morning (VERY early, like 430am early; insomnia does have some benefits) I checked email, and there was a message from Ashton that read, “You asked for this… remember that…” and a Smiley Face. Attached was the entire manuscript.

I promptly downloaded it to my Kindle, and opened it up.

Fortunately, the manuscript came in on a Friday, so I could spend the entire weekend reading it.

Brock Russell and Kate Monroe are two of the most engaging characters I have run across in a long time. Their stories begin separately yet intertwine in a very believable way, but there is a sense of foreboding in every scene. From that point forward, it’s a headlong rush into some very thoughtful and well-written ruminations on ‘family’ and what makes a family or does not make one, action scenes that rival anything by Ian Fleming or Alistair MacLean, and a shattering climax that I dare anyone - anyone - to read without their hands shaking with excitement, fear, or both.

This is an amazing novel. As I sat here writing this blog about it, I realized something critical that led to my unabashed enjoyment: I do not know who Ashton Broukes is.

That gave me a tremendous advantage as a reader, a nearly priceless gift.

Face it, if you buy the new James Patterson, you know his hero is going to be pushed to extremes no human being should ever have to face. If you buy the new Janet Evanovich, you know it’s going to be funny and clever and some groan out loud jokes. If you buy the new Michael Connelly, you know you’ll go down some dark paths and learn the tremendous difference there is between Justice and the Law. If you buy the new Christie Craig, you know you’ll laugh out loud but everything will work out happily ever after by the end of the book. If it’s the new Lee Child, you know Jack Reacher is going to whoop someone’s butt. If you read the new Elaine Viets, you'll learn some things about jobs you never thought about and have a heck of a good time doing so.

A friend once summed up my own writing as, “It’s simple: you always have a Good Guy, a Bad Guy, a Girl, and a Gun.” (Yes, I’ll admit it… and accept it as the compliment it was intended to be.)

I do not know if Ashton is male or female, single or married, childless or has ten children. Dogs? Cats? Fish? No idea. We never engaged in any sort of personal details.

I have no idea where s/he may live, or what real life is like. Ashton could be a twenty-two year old housewife in Brooklyn or a sixty-nine year old retired CIA agent living under an assumed name. I don’t know if Ashton likes ice cream and Las Vegas and listens to Sinatra or prefers yogurt, Melbourne, and Thrash Metal music.

No idea.

Nada, Zip, Zilch. Goose Egg.

In short, I know nothing.

No preconceived notions. No expectations. None of “Okay, I know I’ll like this.”

This one, coming in through the Internet - the Millennial version of ‘over the transom' - from someone I have no idea about - delivered a refreshing and intense reading experience that I have not personally had since I was around 21 and read SALEM’S LOT by Stephen King for the first time.

And that, ultimately, is all I can really say about it.

TWISTED SECONDS OF FATE by Ashton Broukes.

Buy it. Read it. Savor it. Enjoy it.

But don’t blame me if you sleep with the lights on for a while afterwards…

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

SPIDER'S KISS!

"Not since Roger Moore 'Sainted' his way across Europe has there been a hero as engaging as Nicholas White. This time, Nicholas is teamed up with a New Orleans detective - Merriault 'Missy' Duchane to investigate a horrible crime in The Big Easy. What they discover is horrendous, but it takes wit and cleverness to escape the villain's lair. Instead of rocket launchers or explosives, Nicholas uses his brain to devise a solution - as opposed to so many heroes who explode buildings - and save the day. Highly recommended, SPIDER'S KISS is not to be missed!" - J. Carson Black, author of HARD RETURN, the Laura Cardinal Series, and the forthcoming BLACK SPECTER


A portion of *every* sale will go to PROTECT



"SPIDER'S KISS" by Will Graham.

A horrendous crime has been committed in New Orleans, dredging up memories for DOJ Consultant Nicholas White better off left buried.... but when the evidence points to the New Orleans FBI office, Nicholas finds himself compelled to come out of semi-retirement to act.

Not knowing who to trust, Nicholas is teamed up with Lt. Merrieult Duchane - a woman with her own 'unusual' reputation in law enforcement - of the NOLA PD to quietly look into the matter.

Together they discover a crime of horrors unimaginable - a descent into a corner of Hell - that will take all their combined knowledge, wits, and teamwork if they hope to ever see another sunrise....

http://tinyurl.com/spiders-kiss


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

SPIDER'S TANGO


Way behind on blog posts, but... now available .99 cents!
SPIDER'S TANGO is now available on Kindle! Originally published in THRILLER 3: LOVE IS MURDER back in 2012, this is the Author's Preferred Text that now includes approximately 1,000 words that had to be edited for the anthology!

"It had my heart skipping beats even though I'd read it before... Nicholas is a hero worth rooting for!" - J. Carson Black, author of HARD RETURN, THE SHOP, the forthcoming SPECTER BLACK, and others

"It's fast, fun and full of suspense. Kudos!" - Patricia Smiley, author of the Tucker Sinclair series.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Blog Hop!

Stephen Campbell tagged me for a quick four question Blog Hop!  



Just what we need in the summertime, right??



What am I working on?


I've got a couple of projects cooking right now; one I cannot talk about (yet!), still working on VEGAS KNIGHTS, and developing a new outline for a modern day thriller


How does my work differ from others of its genre?


Wow, that is a tough question! I would hope that my own passion for the plot and characters comes through and sweeps the reader into the story.

Why do I write what I do?


I write what I like to read.... it really is that simple! I wish I had a better answer, but that is the base of it.

How does my writing process work?
Kind of a combination of plotting and no-plotting. I try and make at minimum a Ten Point List of things I want to have happen or read about, and then just take off with it. Sometimes the story heads off into a different direction, but that's okay. Part of the fun of it all is seeing how it all works out!

And now.... I'm passing the torch along to the terrific thriller writer J. Carson Black! Her newest FLIGHT 12 is sure to keep you awake all night!






Thursday, December 19, 2013

Authors on the Air - Book of the Year!


It was a genuine honor to learn SPIDER'S DANCE was one of the nominees for Book of the Year - 2013 by Authors on the Air Network!

The other nine nominees were:

Fire of the Prophet, Earl Merkel
Going Dark, James Hall
W is for Wasted, Sue Grafton
The Stone of David, Matt Doss
Sanctus, The Key & The Tower, Simon Toyne
The Survivor's Club, J Carson Black
Takedown, Brett Battles/Robert Gregory Browne
The Perfect Mortals, Reece Bridger
Lucky Bastard, Deborah Coonts.

Congratulations to Simon Toyne, author of 
SANCTUS, THE KEY, & THE TOWER!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Murders, Mysteries, and Mayhem!



Stephen Campbell interviewed me for his terrific show, MURDERS, MYSTERIES, AND MAYHEM

Air Date: 12/16/2013 at 1:00 CST! Come on over and join us! We talk about everything from Computer Forensics to my personal writing process to The Saint!

Here is the link:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

"Lucky" Spider!

"Amazing writing! [Your] craft is fabulous, the characters leap off the page, [and your] pacing is spot-on!" - Deborah Coonts, author of the "Lucky O'Toole Las Vegas Adventure" Series.