Posts Tagged ‘New Releases’

Supreme Giveaway

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

[Note from Nate: This just in — M.A.C. is on The Huffington Post with a new article (and a very cool video list): “The Case of the Aging Sleuths and the Dying Detectives.”]

Supreme Justice

Yes, the time has come to offer up a dozen advance reading copies of SUPREME JUSTICE, the political thriller Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer will be publishing in June…I mean, July…I mean…

Okay, here’s the deal as I understand it. Members of Amazon Prime will have the opportunity to select SUPREME JUSTICE from an offering of four new novels on Kindle, a month before official publication. Prime members can pick one book free and order any others of the four at a vastly reduced price. I’m very lucky to have SUPREME JUSTICE selected for this program, because books in it have tended to do very well. It sort of jump-starts them.

What this means is a couple of things. First, if you’re in Amazon Prime, you can get the book on Kindle as early as June 1. (If you aren’t, you have to wait till July 1, when “real” books become available.) It also means that reviews for SUPREME JUSTICE can appear as early as June 1, if you’ve received one of these twelve advance reading copies.

All I ask is that you post a review at Amazon if you are one of the dozen getting these ARC’s. Reviews elsewhere and on blogs are also appreciated. These tend to go quickly. [Note from Nate: And they’re gone! Thanks for your support!]

This will likely be the last of these giveaways this year. I know some people have the idea that I write a novel a month or something, but the reality is closer to four novels a year, which I admit is a fair amount. But keep in mind a number of these books are collaborations. I work from Spillane manuscripts on the Hammer novels, and with Barb on the ANTIQUES mysteries. SUPREME JUSTICE is a collaboration with Matthew Clemens, although his name isn’t on the cover (he gets a full page credit inside, however).

But because each of these books is for a different publisher, they put them out when they feel like it…and now and then a cluster of novels comes out. ANTIQUES CON, KING OF THE WEEDS and SUPREME JUSTICE are within a couple of months of each other, and THE WRONG QUARRY wasn’t that long ago, either. This tends to discourage reviewers at places like Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal from reviewing all of them.

That’s one of the reasons why I have started this effort to get advance copies into the hands of readers who might post Amazon and other reviews for the books. Amazon reviews are important, as I’ve said before, because the number of reviews impacts how the books are viewed (and sold) there. Speaking of which, if you received advance copies of ANTIQUES CON and KING OF THE WEEDS and haven’t reviewed them yet, please do. Positive reviews are appreciated but not mandatory.

Also, if you are one of the unfortunate souls who don’t get a free copy and (choke!) have to actually buy one, I would be grateful to you for posting reviews, as well. I know I’m a broken record (remember those?) on this subject, but reviewing my books and those of any author whose work you enjoy is very important in this publishing environment. I talk not just of Amazon but Barnes & Noble and your own blogs.

SUPREME JUSTICE is a rare political thriller from me, although there many be more if this does well. Matt and I have a trilogy in mind for these characters, ex-Secret Service agent Joe Reeder and FBI agent Patti Rogers. We hope to do a thriller based around each branch of government. This one, obviously, is about the Supreme Court.

Advance reviews have been mostly very good, but I am sensing that my perceived liberal politics may be hurting the novel with some readers. This surprises me, because Matt and I strove mightily to keep that out of it; to hit the ball right down the center. Reeder is a sort of JFK liberal, but he spends the book trying to protect conservative justices. Where some conservative readers/reviewers appear to be having trouble comes from the novel depicting an America a few years hence in which Roe V. Wade has been overturned and the Patriot Act expanded. This was intended much less as a political statement than a plot motivation, setting up an America where something extreme might be attempted to reconfigure the Supreme Court.

First and foremost, SUPREME JUSTICE is a thriller with a modern-day Holmes at its center, and politics is the backdrop, not the point of the yarn. Now and then I get slammed over Mike Hammer’s right-wing politics from the other side of the aisle, and a writer can get whiplash that way. My politics are probably what you’d describe as center left. I say to my friends farther right and left than me: lighten up. These are just stories. And if they make you think a little bit, well, that’s just a mint on the hotel pillow, isn’t it?

* * *

KING OF THE WEEDS continues to get some lovely reviews, like this one from Swiftly Tilting Planet.

City of Films has a nice KING OF THE WEEDS review, too.

So does Geek Hard.

And Geek Hard also interviewed me on their podcast last week.

Two weeks in a row (!) The Daily Kos “Monday Murder Mystery” reviewer has looked at one of the Disaster novels. This time it’s THE HINDENBURG MURDERS, and the reviewer likes that one, too.

Finally, a brief but nice THE WRONG QUARRY review has trailed in here (you have to scroll down a bit).

M.A.C.

New Mike Hammer Novel Out Today

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
King of the Weeds Hardcover
Hardcover:

E-book:

King of the Weeds Audio
Audio MP3 CD:

KING OF THE WEEDS, the sixth Spillane/Collins Mike Hammer novel, is available now. Those of you who received advance copies can post Amazon reviews now. (Thanks to those of you advance ANTIQUES CON readers who’ve gotten around to posting Amazon reviews.)

Also available will be Stacy Keach’s audio reading of the novel, pictured here. I haven’t heard this yet but will be listening to it very soon – hearing perhaps the most famous screen Mike Hammer read these new Mike Hammer books is a very special treat for me.

As you probably know, the Edgar-nominated Mike Hammer short story, “So Long Chief,” did not win. The MWA has always had a tough time with Mike Hammer and Mickey Spillane (don’t get me started), so I am not surprised. That’s why I didn’t attend the banquet.

Instead, I stayed home and finished another Hammer story for the same magazine (The Strand), “Fallout,” which deals with Mike Hammer and Pat Chamber getting rockily back on friendly footing after the events of THE GIRL HUNTERS. This the sixth Mike Hammer short story I have developed from shorter Hammer fragments in Mickey’s files. That leaves one left to do. These seven stories, plus “Grave Matters” (a Hammer story I originally wrote as a “Mike Danger” with Mickey’s input) would round out what I hope will be an eventual collection. What’s nice about the fragments is that they are the start of Spillane stories, and nobody every wrote better beginnings in fiction than Mickey.

J. Kingston Pierce of the essential blog The Rap Sheet several years ago did the definitive in-depth interview with me. He has returned with a similarly in-depth follow-up on the occasion of the publication of KING OF THE WEEDS. It’s in the two parts. The first part, which is entirely Hammer-centric, appears at the Kirkus web site.

Part two, which is much wider-ranging, appears at the Rap Sheet.

Here’s a brief but very nice KING OF THE WEEDS review at Singular Points.

The American Airlines in-flight magazine has done an overview of continuations of mystery and thriller characters, including Mike Hammer and a quote from me.

And here’s a better-late-than-never one of THE FIRST QUARRY.

* * *

I had my first band job of the year Saturday night. Crusin’ played for a plus-40 Singles Dance, a perfect crowd for us, and a nice crowd danced every song and applauded after every song, too.

This is part of a “hiatus” year for the band due to our drummer, Steve Kundel, having school age kids who generated lots of concerts, sports events and other literal fun and games that require something once known as “parenting.”

In addition, we were worn down by a fairly rigorous schedule for a bunch of guys with real jobs (if, in my case, writing can be called that). We played 24 times last year. This year I have scheduled five. And no bars.

It felt very good to be with the guys again and out there performing once more. I strongly considered hanging it up at the end of last year, but couldn’t face the thought of having live rock ‘n’ roll performing a thing of my past. All of us – with the exception of our young (44) drummer – are reeling in the years, and the rigor of the last five steady years of playing is best behind us. The playing itself is physically demanding – I refuse to sit down while playing keyboards – and the loading of the equipment remains a delight, if by “delight” you mean waking up the next morning in screaming lower-back pain.

I do think fulltime writers like me need to have some outside activity, and I don’t mean mall-walking. It’s nice to get out in the world and see what’s happening – even if it does include a geezer who comes up to the stage and wonders aloud, “Don’t you people do any waltzes?”

That’s right, girls, he’s single….

M.A.C.

New Mike Hammer Mini-Book Plus Quarry Raves

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

My friend Otto Penzler, who published the first three Spillane/Collins “Mike Hammer” novels at Harcourt, asked me to develop a bibliophile novella for him. He has a series of these small books that are sold exclusively through his Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan. The story, called “It’s in the Book,” has Mike Hammer searching for…a book. I think it’s one of best the short stories I’ve developed from Mickey’s shorter Hammer fragments, and you can order it here for $4.95.

There’s also a signed limited hardcover edition for $100, for the more demented among you. You can find it at the Mysterious Bookshop website.

Courtesy of Iowa-based stand-up comic Dwayne Clark (he’s terrific) comes this screen cap of Chris Christie. No political point here, just bragging on how a certain title of mine has gotten into the language.

Road to Contrition

The WRONG QUARRY reviews, mostly raves, keep rolling in. Very good response to this one. It’s been interesting and a little odd to have all this discussion of what is from my perspective the previous Quarry novel while I am working on the current one. It’s especially odd because a lot of the reviews focus on the “list” approach of WRONG QUARRY, whereas QUARRY’S CHOICE takes place while Quarry is still working for the Broker. When he’s a hitman killing citizens and not a hitman killing other hitmen.

One reviewer, generally a fan of my work, has trouble with Quarry himself. That he talks to the reader. That he seems fairly normal. That he is a killer. I get this, and always knew the character would not work for all of my readers. Going back to the character’s creation in the early ‘70s, Quarry is perhaps the first series protagonist with PTSD. He is us, post-Vietnam – numb, less human while still recognizably human. The arc of almost any Quarry novel is the character starting as a cold killer, meeting a good woman, and becoming something more like who he’d been pre-Vietnam. But faced at the conclusion with a decision that could be answered any number of ways (one of them violence), he will always choose violence. Like America, that war ruined him.

I understand that readers who like Mallory or Heller (or the ANTIQUES series!) may find Quarry a hard go. The books are black comedies, and he is not a hero in the traditional sense. He’s not even an anti-hero in the traditional sense. I like it when readers are disturbed or uncomfortable with him and his behavior. When in 1972 I showed the first two chapters of QUARRY to my workshop class at the University of Iowa, many students objected to Quarry killing a man dispassionately in chapter one and screwing a woman dispassionately in chapter two. I just smiled and said, “That was the point – bang bang.”

Also, there are Quarry fans who don’t like Heller and really don’t like Mallory (and would probably puke reading an ANTIQUES novel). I’m okay with that. You don’t have to like everything on the restaurant’s menu. But do keep in mind that I primarily write melodrama, and that I don’t necessarily approve of everything that my protagonists do. Do you really think Mike Hammer and I vote for the same candidates?

Well, that’s unfair. Mike Hammer doesn’t vote.

Not even for Chris Christie.

* * *

Let me share some of these mostly incredible WRONG QUARRY reviews, starting with this rave from Book Reporter.

Another nice one can be seen at the Eloquent Page, though I hardly agree with the reviewer that Quarry is depicted as “a real man’s man, all booze, violence and broads.” Mostly he drinks Cokes, and he doesn’t really think about women in those terms. Violence – okay, you got me there.

As a guy who never served in the military, I love it when a military.com reviewer digs Quarry. (Quarry was, as I mentioned, in part based on my late friend Jon McRae, who served many tours in Vietnam as a Marine.)

The Mystery People folks chose THE WRONG QUARRY as one of their three picks for January.

Here’s a cool one from Nerd Like You. I love it when nerds like my stuff – I was one before it became cool.

Here’s a very intelligent write-up from Mystery Maven.

And another great one from Terry Ambrose.

Geek Hard finds THE WRONG QUARRY righteous.

This brief, positive review prefers Heller and Mallory to Quarry, and recommends Mallory as the place to start with my work. As I mentioned above, I can see that a Mallory fan might struggle with Quarry.

And Nerds of a Feather likes THE WRONG QUARRY, too.

The mixed review I discussed above can be seen here. You have to admire a balanced approach like this – so easy these days to write a rave or a pan.

Finally, on a non-Quarry note, here’s a scan of a BATMAN story courtesy of current fans who like my work on that feature. Bless you, my children!

M.A.C.

Right Time for “The Wrong Quarry”

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Today is the pub date for THE WRONG QUARRY. So you should be able to find it in your local brick-and-mortar bookstore, and it’s certainly available on line from the usual suspects.

This also means that those of you who received one of the fourteen advance copies I sent out can now post your review at Amazon (they don’t let advance reviews go up unless written by certain approved reviewers). And your reviews are encouraged at Barnes and Noble, Goodreads and other sites.

I can’t emphasize enough how important the Amazon reviews are, even those of a line or two. WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER has 80 reviews and that constantly increasing stream of reviews keeps the book selling. It has done considerably better, which may surprise you, than the new Heller, ASK NOT, which has only 21 reviews. Please support all of the books you like (not just mine) with Amazon and other reviews. It’s a textbook grassroots way of helping out the authors you enjoy.

Also available, or will be soon, is an audio book of THE WRONG QUARRY. I just found out the delightful news that Dan John Miller (the voice of Nate Heller) has read THE WRONG QUARRY. This is from Audible, and is a download only. Audible has also done the first five QUARRY novels, as well, although with another reader. I haven’t heard any of these yet, but Barb and I will be listening to them over this year on various car trips to Chicago, Des Moines and St. Louis. Dan John Miller is my preferred reader for all my work. (He did a great job on WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER as well as the Mallorys and several of the “disaster” series.)

I am deep into QUARRY’S CHOICE. It’s a little odd to have so many people talking to me about THE WRONG QUARRY while I am so immersed in CHOICE, which is a change of pace – not a “list” novel, it follows Quarry on a job he’s doing for the Broker. It takes place about a year after THE FIRST QUARRY.

The reviews thus far for THE WRONG QUARRY have been stellar, I am pleased to say.

One of the powerhouses among book review sites, Bookgasm, has posted this terrific WRONG QUARRY review.

Criminal Element has a wonderful WRONG QUARRY review from Doreen Sheridan.

It’s always a thrill when a writer you respect reviews a book of yours favorably. Here is the great Ed Gorman – who has been reading Quarry from the start – with some very insightful commentary on WRONG QUARRY.

Nerdspan likes THE WRONG QUARRY, too.

The much-respected (and deservedly so) UK reviewer Mike Carlson has offered up one of the best and smartest discussions of WRONG QUARRY.

Here’s another cool UK review of WRONG QUARRY.

And here’s a fun one from Curiosity of a Social Misfit, very good but with some typos anyway missing words.

On another note, I am somewhat melancholy at shutting Crusin’ down as a regularly performing bar band. As I’ve said, we are not breaking up, and are accepting event bookings. But the reality is, we are moving from twenty-plus gigs a year to probably three or four.

So there were odd resonances when the Des Moines Register called me – as an Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame member – for my reactions to the passing of Phil Evelry of the Everly Brothers of Shenandoah, Iowa. My comments are toward the end of the article. The concert I mention is one I attended with the late Paul Thomas, my longtime musical collaborator.

M.A.C.