So I was surprised to learn yesterday that the book written by my not-so-secret alter ego – STAY AT HOME DEAD by Jeffrey Allen – was chosen as one of Amazon’s 100 Books For $3.99 Or Less July campaign.  Right now, you can download it for $2.99.  That is great news for people who might enjoy a cozy, wacky mystery about a stay at home dad in small town Texas that features dead bodies in mini-vans, an Elvis look alike and a midget.  (Seriously.  The book has all that and MORE!)

But do you know who that’s not good news for?

The people who don’t know I wrote it.

“What?” you say.  “You just said it’s a not-so-secret alter ego.  How is that even remotely possible?”

Excellent question, Reader Person.

But here’s how that’s remotely possible:  for six months, the wrong bio has been attached to the book.  I’ve written about it before – it’s the bio of some award-winning ballroom dancer.  It was great for a few laughs when it first happened – lots of jokes about me not being able to dance and such – and more than a few people thought it was a fake bio that was created to go with the fake name.  But I’ll be honest:  it’s completely irritating at this point.  Irritating because I’ve contacted everyone I could think of who might be able to fix this and apparently it is the most insurmountable task on the planet because no one’s been able to fix it.  Irritating because my readership for the Noah books and Joe books is SIGNIFICANTLY larger and most are completely unaware about this other series I write.  Irritating because I really LOVE Stay At Home Dead (and the sequel, POPPED OFF, that’s coming in September) but it’s been maddening to attempt to promote because of the resulting confusion.

So I’ll repeat my mantra of the last six months:  Yes, I wrote Stay At Home Dead.  Yes, I really, really love the book.  Yes, I write under the pseudonym Jeffrey Allen.  (We used the pseudonym simply because the book is so different than the other mysteries I write and we didn’t want to confuse people.  Irony.)  No, I am not the ballroom dancer guy – he is, apparently, a real guy who has written numerous books about ballroom dancing.  No, I was not trying to trick anyone.  No, I didn’t write the bio.  (I actually wrote the normal bio that was supposed to be attached to the book – that included my real name – but somehow got lost in the ether.)  No, I can’t explain it.

If anyone knows anyone in the bio-fixing business, feel free to send me their contact info.

DRIFT AWAY is drifting upward…

Posted: June 27, 2012 in Books

So as of right this moment, DRIFT AWAY is currently the #1 most downloaded free Hard-Boiled Mystery book at Amazon.  Overall, it’s the #9 most downloaded free book in all of Amazonland.

That’s awesome.  Thank you to those that downloaded and shared with your friends.

And if you’d find a few more people to tell today, I’d appreciate it.

Because remember when THREAD OF HOPE hit #1 at Amazon?

That was all kinds of awesome and I’d love to see the same happen with a Noah book.  Because then I can get started on the NEXT Noah book.  Because I’ve got a seriously awesome idea for that one.

So tell a friend.  Send them the link to this post.  Point them to Amazon.  Ask them to download the book.  For free.

Because Who Needs Money?

Posted: June 26, 2012 in Books

Today is June 26th.  Tomorrow is June 27th.

DRIFT AWAY will be free for download over at Amazon for your Kindle and Kindle Apps both days.

Free.  No money.  Nada.

Go get it.

The Story Behind The Setting

Posted: June 19, 2012 in Books

Why Florida?

Originally, I had planned for DRIFT AWAY to take place on Australia’s Gold Coast.  I thought that might make a nice hiding spot for a guy who is trying to hide.  I knew Noah was on a beach somewhere, looking up at a lost boy.  I didn’t know much beyond that.

The novel itself had stalled out, though.  It wasn’t under contract.  I wasn’t sure it would ever get written.  There was no reason to think much more about it.

Then late last summer, Beth and I spent a week on Fort Walton Beach at this fantastic place.  And she turned to me at the beginning of the trip and said “I can totally see Noah here.”

As usual, she was right.  It made sense.  The logistics of getting Noah to Australia seemed far-fetched (not to mention the fact I’ve never been there and would probably look like a bigger fool than normal trying to make it sound like I knew the place) and I wanted his hiding to feel real.  I wanted readers to say “Yeah.  I could see him going there.”  It felt like a place he could get to and stay awhile.

We spent one afternoon driving around the local neighborhoods, looking at the streets, the homes, the people, just to get a sense of what it was like to live there if you weren’t a tourist.  We ate amazing hamburgers at Tops, the walk-up place attached to a car wash that’s mentioned in the book.  (They were so good we went twice.)  And every morning, we’d watch the guys set up the umbrellas and chairs on the beach for the tourists to rent.  It seemed like a job he’d be doing in order to make some cash.

So I started writing it again in our condo that week.  I sat on the couch in our living room and stared at the Gulf while I typed.  Thought about the story while we sat on the beach.  We hashed out the details of the plot over the course of the week.  It all came together.  Right place, right time.

So that’s why Florida.

You can read more about Fort Walton Beach and Noah’s time there in DRIFT AWAY.

DRIFT AWAY Is Out.

Posted: June 18, 2012 in Books

So for those of you who haven’t been able to sleep, waiting for the fourth novel in the Noah Braddock series, I have good news.  You can finally sleep.

It’s now available for those of you with Kindles and Kindle Apps.  For those that prefer a hard copy, those are on the way, too – just need a few more days for those to become available.  (Also – THREAD OF HOPE will also finally be available in paper.)

Don’t believe me? Well, I got me a dollar that says if you click on this pretty little picture down below (or right here), you are gonna find yourself a book called DRIFT AWAY, the fourth novel in the Noah Braddock series, written by me.

Go ahead.

YOU OWE ME A DOLLAR!

So now you’re asking what it’s about.  Here’s the fancy schmancy description:

Forced to leave San Diego after his life is destroyed by tragedy, Noah is hiding and trying to heal on the Florida Panhandle. Paralyzed by fear and the pain of loss, he’s isolated himself and given up everything that meant anything to him. When a young boy comes to him on the beach, unable to find his mother, Noah is pulled into both of their troubled lives. As he reluctantly works to protect them from local thugs, he must confront the memories that continue to haunt him. Those memories come to life when shadowy figures from his past show up in Florida. While he grapples with this, a new threat emerges that will forever change the lives of the boy and his mother and compels Noah to make a choice – keep running or face the consequences of his shattered life. 

Picking up where the critically acclaimed LIQUID SMOKE left off, DRIFT AWAY exposes a new Braddock – introspective, lost, confused…but not yet broken.

Whoa.  That sounds kinda cool.  Here’s what I’d tell you in my own words:

I took some risks with LIQUID SMOKE.  I’m not going to give away anything for those that haven’t read it, but I sorta blew the series up to some degree.  At the very least, I changed the course of the series and certainly changed Noah’s life.  The fallout from that story required a different kind of book to follow it.  So while DRIFT AWAY is a Noah book, Noah is different in it.  Quiet.  Introspective.  Worried.  Scared.  And a whole lot of other things.  He’s not running around trying to solve some complicated mystery.  It was a hard book to write because I couldn’t just shove a gun in his hand and have him fix things.  More than anything, he’s trying to fix himself.  (Don’t worry, though.  I do shove a gun in his hand a couple of times.)

So there you go.  It’s out and waiting to be read.  If you read it, I’d be greatly appreciative if you’d leave a review for it somewhere – Amazon, Goodreads, my front door, wherever.

Oh, and those shadowy figures referred to up above?  If you haven’t grabbed a copy of OUT OF TIME, you might want to.  A couple of those shadowy figures are from the Noah short story in that collection.  (And, uh, you didn’t hear it from me, but you might be able to get that collection REALLY cheap in the next day or so.  Keep your eyes open.)

Thank you to everyone who continues to ask for more Noah books.  I’m glad he’s carved out a place in your reading world.

And before you ask…yes, there’ll be another Noah book.

Sooner than you think…

Hi. I’m The New Cover.

Posted: June 10, 2012 in Books

#70 Ain’t Gonna Get It Done

Posted: May 26, 2012 in Books

So despite all of your valiant attempts, OUT OF TIME only made it to #70 on the free download list.  I cried for a day and I think I’m finally ready to let it go.  Maybe.

Thank you to all of those who downloaded and helped to spread the word to your friends and enemies.

And our deal was that if it made it all the way to #1, then I would tell you the title of the new Noah book and post the first chapter.

But it didn’t make it that far and a deal’s a deal.

So I’m sorry that I can’t post the first chapter of the new Noah book or tell you that it’s called DRIFT AWAY.  I really wanted to.

Maybe next time.

What?