The Longest Winter Available on Amazon and Smashwords!

The Longest Winter

      The Longest Winter, the fourth installment in the Detective Lincoln Munroe Series, is now available! You can currently pick it up from Amazon and Smashwords, however it will be available at all retailers within (hopefully) the next couple of days (I use Smashwords to distribute to Kobo, Nook and the iBookstore so there is a delay in publishing). I’ll update this with links as it becomes available at other retailers.

The Longest Winter – Amazon.com

The Longest Winter – Amazon.co.uk

The Longest Winter – Smashwords

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      When the bodies of two young boys are found and two other boys are abducted, Detective Kara Jameson finds herself transferred to Luxembourg to track down a vicious predator and rescue his captives before he kills again. With a new partner at her side, Kara must battle her own demons as the case pulls her away from one she could never forget – a case that Detective Lincoln Munroe has never stopped working.

      On leave from INTERPOL, Lincoln has only one focus: finding his missing wife. With the anniversary of her abduction fast approaching, Lincoln knows that time is running out. With every day that passes, the chances of finding her alive are fast approaching zero.

Long Time, No Updates

My dear readers,

I apologize for my absence from this website and my lack of updates. I have had a lot of people commenting and emailing about when the next book in the Lincoln Munroe series is coming (thank you for all your emails and comments, they are a delight to read). I am hard at work on it and the first draft is nearing completion. As of right now, I am aiming for an end of March/early April release (however as it approaches I’ll be able to narrow that down).

I’ll keep everyone posted with more updates as the release date approaches. As of right now, it’s called Book Four so stay tuned for an actual title. I’ve never had this much trouble coming up with a title before…

In other news, I am working on a new crime series with new characters, new settings and new investigative techniques. I won’t reveal too much at this time, but I will say that it will pair the police procedural with the medical mystery. I’m hoping to have the first book in the series out around June with a second one to follow in early autumn. This won’t be the end of Lincoln though, just a hiatus once all the loose ends are tied up in his world. I intend to revisit Lincoln and the others at a later date.

Thank you for reading my work and making this dream of mine a reality.

Yours in writing,

Harrison

Death By Degrees Available Now! [UPDATED AGAIN]

Death By Degrees

      Death By Degrees, the third installment in the Detective Lincoln Munroe Series, is now available! You can currently pick it up from Amazon and Smashwords, however it will be available at all retailers within (hopefully) the next twenty-four hours (I use Smashwords to distribute to Kobo, Nook and the iBookstore so there is a delay in publishing). I’ll update this with links as it becomes available at other retailers.

[UPDATE - 2013/08/24]Death By Degrees is now available wherever eBooks are sold! YAY! [END UPDATE]

As a hello to my new fans from the UK (Amazon finally price-matched A Dream of Death making it free in the UK as well), I’ve included both the links to Amazon and Amazon UK (so make sure you click the right one!).

Death By Degrees – Amazon.com

Death By Degrees – Amazon.co.uk

Death By Degrees – Smashwords

Death By Degrees – Barnes and Noble

Death By Degrees – Kobo

Death By Degrees – iTunes

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      A simple e-mail; short, sweet and to the point: a victim’s name, GPS coordinates, and the fact that the body will be found in a shallow grave. Addressed to Detective Lincoln Munroe, OPP Homicide, and signed with the killer’s name and address, the e-mail is found, with help from an unexpected source, to be one of sixty-four, all nearly identical and sent to police services around the world.

      Lincoln finds himself recruited by Interpol—along with a few of his coworkers—to track down an international serial killer who is convinced he’ll never be stopped and who will do anything to prove that he can’t be. In a global game of cat-and-mouse, one question remains: who’s hunting whom?

Read an eBook Week 2013

      That’s right, it’s that wonderful time of year!

      I have decided to support this wonderful endeavour, as a push to get people not only reading, but reading eBooks as well. (Really, I don’t care what you read or in what format you read it… just read! Doesn’t have to be written by me either!) So, to support this you can download ALL of my books for FREE via Smashwords using the coupon code RW100 at checkout for all of them.

My Smashwords Profile with Links to All Books

      Get them now, because when Read an eBook Week ends, so will the deal!

      Yours in writing,

      Harrison

A Dream of Death in the iBookstore’s “Breakout Books”

      That’s right! Apple’s US store has now started the “Breakout Books” section that has been in their UK and Australian stores and A Dream of Death is one of the debut titles. With seventy books to start (fifty-four from fellow Smashwords-distributed authors) this is a great program that highlights the work of independently published authors. It is an honour to have my book alongside some of the top indie authors, including some of the authors that made me realize that independent publishing was the way to go.

      Click on the link to head to the iBookstore’s “Breakout Books” (this may only work if you are already set up in iTunes for the US store). There are a lot of great books available and if you have downloaded A Dream of Death already but don’t have it on your iDevice, feel free to download it again for the low, low price of FREE. Head here to find all of my books available on the iBookstore.

      The NY Times also had an article on Apple’s program that can be found here. Unfortunately none of the authors are named in the article, but the publicity is amazing.

      And last but certainly not least, Smashwords founder Mark Coker has written a blog post regarding the program that can be found here or just head to smashwords.com and take a look around. I’d like to take a moment here to give a big thank you both to Mark Coker and to the staff at Apple. After receiving an e-mail from Mark about my book being included I couldn’t find it in the Breakout Books section. I sent Mark an e-mail and in less than an hour had a reply from him with the reply he had received from Apple: my book had been missed and would be added in at the next update (which happened less than an hour later). Customer service like that is hard to find these days and shows the professionalism and care that Smashwords gives its authors. Thanks, Mark.

      And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to download, buy, read, recommend, review, etc. my books. It’s almost been a year since I published A Dream of Death (although things didn’t take off until June/July 2012) and I never expected the response I’ve received. It’s been a wild ride and I’m sure it’ll only get wilder. Thank you all for your support. All I can say is I have some pretty amazing readers!

      And stay tuned for information on Death by Degrees, the third installment in the Lincoln Munroe series. I’m hoping for a May or June release… fingers crossed.

      All the best,

      Harrison

Captcha System (or not…)

      Hello all,

      Due to being inundated with spam comments I tried to shut down commenting on the website until I found a suitable anti-spam plug-in. Apparently, WordPress didn’t want me to shut it down so they just kept coming. So I’ve added in a simple to use (but hopefully not for spambots) captcha system. Hopefully this works without aggravating the people I want to hear from! EDIT: Captcha system didn’t work, gone to a spam bot blocker. Fingers crossed.

      Thanks,

      –Harrison

Full Fathom Five – The Homicide Files — Available Wherever eBooks are Sold!

      Well, it has been a long time. I apologize for my absence but I return bearing a new work of fiction for your reading enjoyment. Also, I want to thank everyone who has been reading/buying my books. I never expected such a response to my work so quickly, and although the majority has been from free downloads, it’s still an amazing feeling. I may not be close to retiring yet and becoming a full-time writer, but that hope is there. Thank you.

      On to the good stuff: Full Fathom Five, the first installment in The Homicide Files (a series of novellas featuring Detective Lincoln Munroe), is now available on Amazon and Smashwords, and will soon be available on Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Kobo and the iBookstore (just have to wait for Smashwords to send it over and for them to make it live – hopefully won’t be long).

Full Fathom Five – Amazon

Full Fathom Five – Smashwords

Full Fathom Five – Barnes and Noble

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Full Fathom Five

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      Breaking in a new partner is the least of Detective Lincoln Munroe’s worries – the body of a scuba diver has been found in a century-old shipwreck under a hundred feet of cold, treacherous water. When all signs point to murder, Lincoln is forced to dust off his scuba gear and investigate a crime scene like no other.

      Full Fathom Five is the first installment in a series of novellas featuring Detective Lincoln Munroe that will take place prior to the events of A Dream of Death. The events begin approximately three years prior to the events of A Dream of Death and subsequent installments will continue chronologically from that point to A Dream of Death.

Review of The Scorpion Nest and an Interview With the Author

      It all began a short time ago when I had a brilliant idea for some free advertising. Fellow indie author and friend Guy Harrison had recently released The Scorpion Nest and I had recently released my novella. The idea was simple, I review yours, you review mine, we each answer a couple of questions and there you have it. There was one key factor: it had to be an honest review, no phony five-stars.

      And so shall the review begin. Anyone who says they don’t judge a book (or ebook) by the cover is lying. As an independent author myself, I know that it is imperative that the cover art be well done. A shoddy cover suggests one thing: the author didn’t care enough to bother. This is definitely not a shoddy cover – it’s fantastic. Cover art is an investment, there is no doubt about that, and since The Scorpion Nest is a free download via Smashwords in a number of formats, and on Amazon for Kindle for $0.99 (Amazon is slow on the price-matching), it is an investment that may never be returned. That shows professionalism and dedication to the craft.

      On to the story itself. Guy has done what many authors (including myself) have done: include an excerpt from another work. But the excerpt came before the short story I wanted to read. I’m not a fan of flipping through virtual pages to get to the ‘meat and potatoes’, and this was a lot of flips. I prefer to see the excerpts and “Coming Soons” at the end of the book.

      Once we make it to The Scorpion Nest, it opens with a “you had me at hello” moment, set in 1962 Arizona. I love the 50′s and early 60′s – the music, the (likely idealized view of) courtship, the fashions – and so having the story begin with a young couple listening to Buddy Holly in the car, while the male party attempts to court his lady friend made me a happy reader. But of course, the semi-idyllic beginning doesn’t last long thanks to a meteor crashing into the ground not far from where they were parked. In typical horror movie fashion, the young man decides to exercise his right to bravado and approaches the impact site.

      The story skips ahead to 2012 and a new couple, Joel and Sonnet (love the name). After our first scorpion, we learn that the couple have recently built their dream home in Arizona. Guy does a great job of building the suspense slowly and showing the terror that Sonnet feels at having scorpions in her home as well as Joel’s somewhat feigned lack of concern. I felt for Joel and Sonnet. There are luckily no scorpions in Canada… at least not that I know of. Creepy little buggers.

      Guy has clearly done his research into scorpions. And from the interview questions below you’ll be treated to the reasoning as to why. Let’s just say it wasn’t all for this story. We are treated to an education into scorpion physiology and behaviour without ever feeling like it is being forced upon the reader. Too often writers hone in on a topic and it turns into a Bubba moment, fifteen pages talking about shrimp. Guy’s factoids are spaced out, slipped into the dialogue and subtle. And creepy. (I retain the right to overuse the word ‘creepy’.)

      I found myself on Wikipedia after finishing the story to fact check, hoping that certain things weren’t true. But alas, scorpions really do flouresce under a UV light. And as the tension builds, both between Sonnet and Joel, and between the two of them and the scorpions, Guy drops what I felt was the creepiest scene by far. It involves an empty room in the house, Sonnet’s UV flashlight and… well, the room isn’t exactly empty.

      This is not your standard ‘creature-feature’. With some science fiction elements woven through the story, things definitely aren’t always what they seem. As the suspense is reaching the boiling point, the issues between Sonnet and Joel coming to a head, and the scorpions still doing their creepy thing, the story takes a major turn. And it’s a turn that I’m really not sure what to think of. I found that the twist came very quickly, so quickly that I had to do the reading equivalent of a double-take. I backed up a page and reread the part to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I hadn’t.

      I like twists. A lot. I’m probably one of the few people who loved M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village. I like getting to the end of a movie or book and saying, “what the bleep just happened?”, then rereading or rewatching it to see if I can pick out the little hints along the way. But I wasn’t a fan of this twist. We’re then taken to the attic of the house where we’re treated to a big surprise and the chance to see Joel’s athletic prowess in action.

      The ‘epilogue’ to the story (not labelled as such) is brilliant and wraps up the subplot between Joel and Sonnet, and just makes for a fabulous ending. Joel’s last line of dialogue made me laugh diabolically (inside, of course).

      Overall, Guy’s writing is solid and descriptive. When the suspense builds, the sentences shorten and become sharper. When the pace is slower, the descriptions are longer and more detailed, the dialogue restful with an omnipresent tinge of suspense. And the dialogue shines. Guy is a talented writer and it shows. The dialogue is realistic, written as it would be spoken and changing given the situation. The characters are well-developed as is the dynamic between Joel and Sonnet. To achieve this in the span of only a few thousand words takes skill.

      Guy did an excellent job with this story, making me think twice about going anywhere with scorpions or at least taking a UV flashlight with me. And that is, I would say, what Guy was trying to achieve. I would have liked to see the final pre-’epilogue’ scene fleshed out a little more. It wouldn’t have detracted from the suspense and it would have made what was an unusual and out-of-the-blue twist a little easier to read and accept. The 1962 prologue set the stage for the sci-fi elements, but by the time the twist came Guy had done such a good job getting me wrapped up in the scorpions that what happened in the 60′s wasn’t fresh in my mind. I believe that if Guy had slowed the pace just a bit before the twist, threw in a few more lines to remind the reader of the opening scene (without forcefeeding), the transition from ‘creature-feature’ to ‘oh-my-gawd’ would have been smoother.

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      1. The first question that will likely be on the minds of readers of The Scorpion Nest (and for me as someone who has never seen a scorpion that wasn’t in a cage or encased in resin as a paperweight)… why scorpions?

      Well, my wife and I moved to Arizona a little over two years ago. Me being from the east coast and her being from the midwest, neither of us had ever seen a scorpion until we bought our house (this, after spending an entire year in an Arizona apartment and never seeing one). If I’m being honest, the little critters give me the creeps. For my wife, it’s even worse. And there are so many things you have to remember when living in Arizona, such as never leaving your shoes on the floor, that I feel like scorpions are a phenomena in and of themselves.

      That said, I got the idea last summer to write a story about scorpions. I knew I didn’t want it to be a full-fledged novel, nor did I want it to be a screenplay. But I thought the idea of writing a story about scorpions would be fun and, perhaps, unique. Unfortunately, it’s the one story I’ve written that my wife won’t read.

      2. As a screenwriter as well, have you considered adapting The Scorpion Nest for the screen? Perhaps you could do for scorpions what Arachnophobia did for spiders.

      That thought had crossed my mind and perhaps I will somewhere down the road. But I think that if I were to adapt anything for the screen, it would be my Agents of Change series as I feel that it is the deeper story of the two.

      3. The Scorpion Nest isn’t the standard ‘creature feature’, instead you’ve woven in threads of science fiction. Along with your debut novel, Agents of Change, and it’s forthcoming sequel, Agents of Chaos, what is it about the science fiction genre that appeals to you?

      I’ve always been a fan of sci-fi, I think. Even when I don’t mean to write sci-fi, my stories always kind of gravitate towards that. I think the greatest thing about the sci-fi genre is that, it’s the writer’s world and he or she can use science (or advanced technology) to explain how things work in that world. It’s funny because I was never a science guy in school, I was more of an English and history kid, but I guess my imagination is filled with all kinds of technological advances.

      4. What’s next for you after Agents of Chaos?

      After Chaos comes the third and final installment in the Agents of Change series. After that, I have a couple ideas I’d like to explore.

      One would be a bit of a modern take on an old English literature classic (which shall remain nameless for the time being). It will be more along the lines of what we consider to be dystopian fiction and, (and you may find this particularly interesting) it would take place solely in Canada. The second thing I’d like to do is bring my action/suspense style to the young adult genre. This, of course, will probably require a pseudonym, as I wouldn’t dare mix teenagers in with the more adult audience of my current books. Then again, as we now know, the young adult genre has evolved and is voraciously consumed by teens and adults alike.

Review of My Life In Darkness and Me Being Interviewed

      A fellow indie author and friend, Guy Harrison, has reviewed my novella, My Life In Darkness, and posted a few interview questions he asked of me. The review is very well-written and definitely worth a read to get some insight into the novella for those who have yet to download it (remember, it’s free).

      So head on over to Guy’s site and do some reading!

Read the Review and Interview Here