Friday, March 23, 2012

Upcoming Releases

Well, it's been since December since I've updated progress on forthcoming novels, so I thought I'd catch you all up. Please remember that everything is tentative and subject to change (and that the cover art here is just a placeholder. In some cases, I used it for the hard copy draft that I gave to readers for review. The "real" cover will be different, and much more professional).
BLOOD ON BLOOD is a gritty crime novel I wrote with Jim Wilsky. It is moving toward publication, possibly with a small press that I won't name yet. If that works out, and I really think it will, we're looking at a May/June publication. If not, perhaps a sooner, independent publication. But it is done and ready to rock and roll.

Half brothers Jerzy and Mick Sawyer are summoned to the prison where their father is dying. On his deathbed, he tells his sons about a diamond heist that he was part of and how some of those diamonds are still out there. He sets the two on a path of cooperation and competition to recover the jewels, each playing to his own strengths and against the other's weaknesses.

Jerzy is the quintessential career criminal, fresh out of a short bit and looking to get back into the action right away. Mick is the failed cop and tainted hero struggling to get by with a clean life that doesn't seem to ever pay off. Both men see this score as their ticket out. They have to work together, but the situation is, as one of the brothers observes, "part Hardy Boys, part Cain and Abel." Throw the sexy, myserious Ania into the mix and you have all the ingredients of a classic, hard boiled story set in the Chicago of today.

BLOOD ON BLOOD is written almost entirely in the first person. Chapters alternate back and forth between the two main characters. This format heightens the tension and highlights the two distinct voices of these characters (and both authors). BLOOD ON BLOOD is a gritty, dark novel of crime fiction.

AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE is currently being read by the last couple of my first readers. I have a few revisions to make to it already and will surely have more when those critiques come back as well...but it is probably 80% ready to go.  This one could go a couple of different routes to publication, so it could be out as early as April or as late as August. But it is coming, too.

Recently retired police detective Jack "Mac" McCrae is surprised by a visit from a young woman from his past. Rachel convinces him to help her unwind the mystery of an old photograph of her mother with a young child she believes is her sister...and possibly Mac's daughter. Mac goes with her to Cousins, Oregon, a small town ruled with an iron fist by Rachel's relatives, the Tate family. They run into dead end after dead end trying to find the little girl from twenty years ago that neither of them ever knew and both desperately want to connect with. Mac and Rachel must be tenacious and learn to rely upon each other to find the little girl in the picture.

SOME DEGREE OF MURDER is a novel I wrote with Colin Conway. It will get one more brush and shine pass from both of us before it is ready to go, probably in April sometime.

 This book is the story of two men searching for the murderer of fourteen year old Fawn Taylor. One is the detective assigned to solve the case, Detective John Tower. Tower is a cynical but still moral police officer. The other man is the young girl’s father, Virgil Kelley. Virgil is on the fringe of society and works for an organized crime boss in California.
Both men struggle to find the man who murdered Fawn, each employing his own means and methods. Can Detective Tower play by the rules and still find the murderer? Can Virgil Kelley find his daughter’s killer and still retain his stoic, selfish nature? Tower uses investigative techniques in his pursuit of the killer. Kelley, who has never met his daughter and only knows her through pictures her mother sent. He uses any means necessary to further his search. As their independent investigations move forward, both men encounter pimps, prostitutes, exotic dancers, outlaw bikers, other cops and eventually each other in an explosive endgame.
SOME DEGREE OF MURDER is told in the first person perspective of both characters, using alternating chapters (that's where I got the idea for this style of narrative for BLOOD ON BLOOD, actually).

I am also working on the first draft of LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP, the sequel to Waist Deep, but that one will roll out when it does, much like the fifth River City novel, PLACE OF WRATH AND TEARS.

What else?  Well...there's a novella brewing called CHISOLM'S DEBT, as well as an unnamed novella featuring Joe Bassen, the enforcer for Dominic Bracco in the River City world.

There are a couple of thins outside of the crime fiction world, too, but that's for another time and place.

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