Hi there! Just a quick update to my fans who have been following progress with the great RIDDLE contest taking place over the summer within BRUGES BLOOD.
With the chance to win a prize of $50 by unravelling the mystery and being entered into the prize draw, I was expecting a deluge of sleuths...but no...I may have overestimated your sleuthyness...or the heat of the summer worldwide.
So I am axing the cut off date which was previously the end of August and leaving it running until I have a collection of super sleuths clamouring for a result. I’m also seriously thinking about making this a "thing" in each book. I am progressing with VENICE BLOOD, BRUGES BLOOD II, and a new venture BOOM!
BOOM! Is set in the world of 80s television and follows a technician in the Sound Department, a sort of Robin Hood figure who corrects the misuse of power and exacts revenge on those who abuse it. It’s a darkly comic look at a time when #metoowas just a glimmer on the horizon.
Good luck with the riddle and enjoy your heatwave!
UPDATE...on the great BRUGES BLOOD mystery solving comp. It occurs to me that perhaps the timescale isn’t kind enough for those of you who aren’t speed readers on holiday :) . So the closing date for solutions will be extended until the end of August...GOOD LUCK ALL.
SUMMER IS HERE and with it the holiday opportunity for book reading!
And to add a little spice into the experience I’d like to launch a competition based on my most recent publication BRUGES BLOOD. So here’s the deal. Within the book is a mysterious postcard left by Chandler’s father which contains one of the many puzzles he loved to challenge Chandler with.
For the month of July I will be offering a prize of $50 to one lucky winner, who will be drawn from an electronic hat by a friendly robot.
But first of course you have to solve the mystery :) No more clues. All you Sherlocks, Poirots and Columbos out there (Other sleuths are available) get to work. Just buy a copy of BRUGES BLOOD, Kindle or paperback, and get reading.
The puzzle will be obvious...the solution not so much. Send all of your solutions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will announce the winner on August 1st and PAYPAL the winnings to you the same day.
Just wanted to update my faithful followers with the latest red hot news to come my way! LOUISIANA BLOOD is a FINALIST in the SCREENCRAFT CINEMATIC BOOK CONTEST. It was always my plan to reverse engineer the book into a film, and this is the first step in that journey.
WATCH THIS SPACE!
Just a quick post to thank all of you for the support you have given in the past. I hope my American friends had a Happy Thanksgiving and my other followers are looking forwards to Christmas and Holiday celebrations over the next few weeks. I would like to send you all the first chapter of the second in the series following on from Louisiana Blood...BRUGES BLOOD. It’s a few minutes to read and I love first impressions if any of you have the time to give it a quick read. Enjoy!
Officer Ward Johansson slowly made his way down the dank stone stairs that led into the dusty catacombs beneath the police station. The large box of files in his arms threatening to slip free with every cautious step. The Kartuizerinnenstraat station was based in what had once been a convent back in the 16th century. Ward flicked the light on with his elbow and dumped the box onto an old steel table in the middle of the first room.
There had been a lot of rain as they headed towards Christmas, and the grey waters of the canal that ran past the convent lapped less than a meter below the dirt encrusted windows. The suns pale light filtered through the dust motes that swirled up as he dropped the files onto the table. Ward looked around the dank space and whirled his arms around to work up some heat and drive the chill from his bones. He had made the move from Brussels in the hope of becoming a big fish in the smaller pool afforded by the City of Bruges.
Newly married, and with the recent news that his wife Mari was pregnant, he needed to get on the promotion ladder to cover all the baby and school expenses headed his way. He looked at his watch. He’d promised Mari they would have an evening in, just the two of them while they still could. She’d promised to cook Stoofvlees, his favourite dish. A traditional Flemish stew made with beef broth and beer. He studied the watch. It was a big fat G-shock. Mari had bought it for him when he joined the force. She’d seen some Special forces guys wearing them when they were on duty at Brussels railway station shortly after the terrorist attacks. She told him he needed to look tough out on the streets, and fumbling for his mobile to tell the time wasn’t a good look. Mari was a sweet girl and he was looking forwards to getting home to be with her that evening.
He moved the files around, arranging them in chronological order along the surface of the table. During the Procession of the Holy blood extra officers had been drafted in and space in the main office had been at a premium. But that was months ago and now they were headed towards Christmas and there was more space available in the station. He’d been involved in the Holy Blood procession once when he was a child, and remembered his excitement at seeing the trumpets, the men waving fronds and the sight of a donkey.
He’d enjoyed the carnival atmosphere but had no idea of the significance of the parade until many years later. The belief that a reliquary containing a sample of Christs Blood became liquid on Ascension Day pulled in thousands of tourists each year. He could remember how annoyed his parents had got when, as a small child, he demanded proof of the miracle. Looking back, it was probably the first signs of what was to become his journey into the police force.
He heard a distant thumping from further down in the catacombs. His boss, Detective Inspector Jochum Hoog was practising on his drums. It seemed that anything with a rhythm was of interest to him. If he wasn’t out learning a new dance, he was banging away on his battered old drum kit.
He looked at the pile of files spread out in front of him. Chief Pieters had given him what he called ‘an opportunity’ that turned out to be a massive pile of old cases that had remained unsolved over the years.
The implication was that if he could clear up some of the backlog it would serve him in good stead when the next Detective attachment came up. Looking at the amount of cases Ward had a suspicion that the chief had given him the task just to keep him occupied. He went over to one of the leaded windows and wiped a circle of dust clear from one of the glass panes. Outside the streets were busy with tourists and queues for the canal boat tours. Ducks and swans bobbed along the water of the canal and the tour guides patter was audible across the water. He went back to the files on the table and began flicking through them.
They were mostly petty thefts, assaults, house burglaries, pickpocketing and the odd car-jacking. Ward sighed. None of the cases would produce a big enough splash to raise his profile and improve his chances of promotion, even if he could solve them.
He moved to the next row of files. Outside he could hear the low throb of an approaching canal boat. The boatman’s tourist patter barely audible above the water slapping against the ancient stone walls of the station. He flicked through another file, and something caught his eye. A tourist had reported that his son had been offered drugs in the Market at the skating rink. He skimmed through some more files and found three other reports, all logged during the Christmas season. There was no real evidence, other than the dealer wore a scarf and bobble hat and had long blonde hair. Ward smiled. This ticked the boxes. Drugs, children at risk and more than one complaint.
He moved the four files into a neat pile and rubbed his eyes. The flickering fluorescent combined with the deep throb of the approaching boat’s engine was giving him a headache.
He heard a dull thud and a woman’s scream. Seconds later something smashed through the window, sending bricks tumbling into the room. He just had time to register the prow of a canal boat before the water enveloped him, sweeping him across the floor, and slamming him into the stone wall. He lay there stunned as the water poured in. Heard the roar of the boat’s engine as the driver threw it into reverse… tearing free from the gaping hole. With the obstruction removed another surge of water slammed into him and he was swept under the surface. The lights went out and now he was pinned under something heavy, holding his breath as he fought to free himself. His air started to run out and his vision began to dim. As he began to black out he saw something that resembled a body drift past. Sodden sheets of paper swirled around past his face, clutching at him in a mocking embrace.And then it all went dark.
just a little treat for you all...and a request for some feedback. Below is the new front cover, and a prospective blurb for the back cover. Feel free to comment on both, and if anybody fancies being a beta reader feel free to let me know.
With the Ripper conspiracy laid to rest, and the Louisiana Torso case closed; Sherriff Duke Lanoix and Detective Chandler Travis were enjoying some downtime with their respective partners.
But then Travis receives a call from Belgian Detective Jochum Hoog. A headless torso with eerie similarities to their recent investigation turns up in a canal within the medieval city of Bruges.
With a booming tourist industry to protect, and the threat of more victims, the Belgium authorities wanted the case closed. And fast!
Within hours Duke, Roxie and Travis are headed for Belgium. But as the body count grows their search leads them beneath the streets of Bruges where the investigation becomes personal…with devastating results.
It’s that time of year again...the mince pies have been scoffed and the brandy quaffed, now all that’s left to do is catch up on the backlog of goodwill for 2018.
Hopefully by now all you lovely people that purchased LOUISIANA BLOOD will have received a digital or paperback. If anybody has not, please let me know.
In that vein, can I ask you all for a small favour? REVIEWS. I’m starting to plan the marketing campaign and good reviews are one of the most important planks in the bridge from obscurity to notoriety.
If you have read or are reading the book please take a few seconds to nip over to Amazon and post a review. Hundreds of you were kind enough to launch the book into the ether, now I need some reviews to help land it in the press and boost it up the ranks of the mighty Amazon. No algorithms were harmed in the construction of this update :) Thank you for all your support.
POST REVIEWS HERE
Ho Ho Ho,
Festive greetings Ripperists!
A sack-full of salutations to the many followers that financied the publishing of LOUISIANA BLOOD. By now I hope you have received your digital downloads and for those of you who sprung for paperbacks as well you should have received a shiny new copy.
If anybody has not yet received a digital or hardcopy of the book please let me know and I will rectify the situation.
As I have over 300 followers it is possible that some of you have not yet ordered a copy for your own pleasure…some of you may, even at this late hour be scratching your heads for a suitable last minute Christmas present for a difficult to please family member, or an Ipad wielding youngster. Well, your search is over.
What could be more fun than reading the INKSHARE’S NO 1 alternate history mystery book of the year!
Imagine Mission Impossible meets the Prestige and you’ll be in the right ballpark.
I welcome any feedback from readers good or bad. I’m already well into the follow up BRUGES BLOOD and planning VENICE BLOOD, so hoping to build a loyal following while learning from my readers what they enjoyed most about the series.
You can purchase a copy through Inkshares here:
Or on Amazon here:
Hi there Ripperists,
It seems an age since the last update, but fear not, the book is having its final edit with my fabulous editor Sarah Caughie and then it’s off to INKSHARES. I’ve been watching other books in the throes of publishing from the sidelines, and one thing is obvious. Publishing a book isn’t as swift as an arcing blade. But nonetheless, it will be published swifter than human gestation. There is a cure for tardiness tho’… Simply send your email to me at email@example.com with the heading Louisiana Blood Beta Reviewer and I will send you a directors cut of the novel via PDF, or if I get up to speed a Mobi or whatever file is trending. You can then thank me dear readers by leaving a review on Amazon.com. or Amazon.co.uk, Barnes and Noble and Goodreads when my book is published. You will of course still get a paperback or download if you ordered them in the future. Thank you all for your support and your patience! Mike Donald