Tag Archive | Cool Hand

Friday is here! Cool Hand …

Has been sent to the Amazon servers!

I will send it to Kobo soon, and I will post a link in a comment below as soon as I see it come up on either site.

Amazon say they take ‘up to 12 hours’, but it varies.



Cool Hand – Friday release

The last round of editing is still going on…

But I feel confident. Friday 6th March. (2015).

Here’s the temporary cover, and the first page. The book has grown another 3,000 words.

Cool Hand Cover


“Sometimes, nothing can be a real cool hand.”

Paul Newman as Luke Jackson in Cool Hand Luke.

Chapter 1


“If you don’t believe your whole life has been a path leading to this one point, you’re not focused enough.”

That had been Top, while I was training in Ops 4-10.

But he’d also said: “You’re every second of training we’ve hardwired into you. Focus on the big picture and your instincts will handle the rest.”

What happened if my instincts led me down the wrong path?


It was just after midnight. I was burrowed into a thick layer of snow, peering through a gap in a field of winter wheat, scoping out the hideout of the last remaining Matlal Athanate in Denver. Or rather, an hour east of Denver in a remote location on the high plains—one reason why the place had been so tough to find.

In fact, I wasn’t the one who’d found it. It was Nick Gray, the skinwalker, who’d sent me the intel. I was grateful, but also wary. He’d already gone above and beyond the terms of his original contract in helping me rescue Emily Schumacher from Dr. Noble. In my current exhausted, foggy state, I couldn’t even remember what I’d promised him if he could hunt down the remaining Matlal. Anything he wanted, probably. With a bonus of extra ‘anything’ if we managed to rescue the toru—their blood slaves.


Cool Hand update

Just to reiterate what I scribbled in a comment on another post – I have reached the end of Cool Hand!

I’m reading back through it today and I have a short list of maybe-edits to think about.

Tomorrow the draft will go to Lauren. Unfortunately, I missed my slot with her (by some distance) and she’s currently working on something else. She says she thinks she should be able to do the final edits starting on Wednesday. The bulk of the book has been edited already, so this shouldn’t be a huge problem.

I’m currently estimating that the book will be on Amazon on the 26th February.

It is currently 59 chapters and 132k words long, so longer than SoH and a little shorter than HT.

Many threads get tied up. Some new ones get started. 🙂


Update for mid December


I have pressed the button on the audio version of Sleight of Hand!


ACX takes anything between 1 and 3 weeks to get it to market.


Kimberly has done an amazing job – it’s not till you listen that you realize how difficult scenes like the Sunday lunch and the visit to Rooks Hospital are.



Writing is going okay, but it’s all editing at the moment, so no forward movement in the percentage completion figures at the moment. Cool Hand will be there in January.

Sales are the usual December bleh.   Trumpf im Armel (German HT) is ticking along, and so is Wild Card.

I haven’t done a recommend for ages. This is an oddball…

  •  It’s written by a newbie writer who takes liberties with grammar…
  • The book is self-published…
  • The story is set in Denver…
  • It involves an ex-military PI…
  • The plot is multi-threaded…
  • The setting is gritty…
  • The hero is a hard case with a soft heart.

However, it’s about a guy called Sebastian Parks rather than Amber Farrell. The banter is very jock.

Author Kellen Burden‘s debut book Flash Bang is well done. Do *always* check the sample first – the style is ‘original’.





Update schedule for Cool Hand

I promised an update on Cool Hand.

Well, the bad news is that I’ve had a poor week. My editor has pointed out problems in key scenes in the middle, and I’ve spent the week on them without being able to resolve them to my satisfaction. The book has to be right and these important chapters are not yet up to the quality I want.

This has an effect on the schedule. I’ll post again next weekend, but at the moment, I’m thinking the publication date is going to have to slip and that might be as far as January.

I’m very disappointed in myself. As Amber would say – no excuses. My apologies and I’ll keep you posted.


July round-up


Well, mixed news.

First, a short message in my bad German for my newest readers:

Ich werde eine Nachricht in Deutsch zu versuchen.
Der Verkauf von “Die verborgene Hand” in den ersten zwei Monaten waren 57 und 332.
Das ist spannend!
Der Verkauf von “Sleight of Hand” in Amerika in den ersten zwei Monaten waren 50 und 357.
Deutschland ist dicht hinter, Amerika ist ein viel größeres Land.
Ich habe 3 Kundenrezensionen, alle 5 Sterne. Danke!
Die Frage, die sie fragen: “Wann ‘Hidden Trump’ werde übersetzt werden?”
Peter arbeitet jetzt, und ich werde den Entwurf an Haike im September zu senden.
Ich hoffe, dass Sie in der Lage, ‘Hidden Trump “im Oktober zu kaufen.
Vielen Dank für Ihre Geduld!

So, from that you can gather that I’m happy with the take-off of sales of the translation in Germany. The numbers come quite close to the first two months of sales in America, but I will be amazed if that continues! America has about 4 times the potential readers, but I did see somewhere that German readers individually read more books on average. We’ll see.

In the USA, Amazon’s new initiative (Kindle Unlimited) was always going to hit sales and rating, as my books are not in the scheme. I’ve kept them out (but see below) because I would need to make them exclusive to Amazon.
Having said that, there are no disasters, just a slowing down. And summer has been a slow season for my books before.


I passed 20,000 for Sleight of Hand!

Raw Deal 19,614
Sleight of Hand 20,076
Hidden Trump 14,455
Wild Card 5,362
Die verborgene Hand 389


I’ve taken Raw Deal off Kobo and put it into the Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited schemes. There hasn’t been any response from new readers yet. I didn’t really want to do this, because I wanted to keep Raw Deal free for anyone who emails me, but I need to test out the KU scheme. Since the payment for a KU borrow is the same regardless of the length of the book, it seemed a better return to use RD for this.

I still have a pre-prequel on the back burner, comprising Amber’s last mission for Ops 4-10 and her first failed job as a trainee accountant back in Denver. I guess when that’s done, it’ll be the freebie that I offer for anyone who emails me about the series.

On that, I have hatched a plan with other writers to do an anthology which would be marketed initially in the same way, i.e. free, but only available if you email us. More in due course.

I’ve also been reluctant to play with pricing on existing books, and I’m going to change that this month as well. Sleight of Hand will be available at a lower price for a couple of weeks this month, and that’s to co-ordinate with a Book Gorilla mailing. Last year, while I was on holiday, Book Gorilla put Raw Deal on one of their mailings (without asking/telling me). At approximately that time, I had a surge of 5,000 downloads. I can’t get Book Gorilla to confirm how many were due to them. That’s frustrating. They know this because when you click on a book from their email and it takes you to Amazon, they get a cut from your purchase, so they have the data.


Bian’s Tale 1, Reach of Lies, is on the back burner. I know what needs to be fixed, but I’m letting it stew a bit. Instead, I’ve been concentrating on Bite Back 4, Cool Hand. I wish I could say that has resulted in a huge leap forward, but it hasn’t. Writing has been slow. I will say that writing from Amber’s POV feels good, and I believe the quality of Cool Hand is right up there with the others. As always, I’ve written the start and the end and I’m working out the messy middle. 🙂

The audio book is coming along. I’ve only heard a couple of chapters so far, but I’m excited. Kimberly has pointed out to me that Amber’s favorite gun manufacturer is called Heckler and Coke in the USA. I’ve always used the German pronunciation Koch, which is like Scottish Loch, and which is most definitely not Lock. I should really put a link in here… so here’s a Scottish guy whose upset that you don’t know how  to pronounce Loch :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRiWBRS3OC8


Books I’ve completed this month that I’ve enjoyed.
Jacqueline Carey’s Santa Olivia. Urban Fantasy / SciFi with young heroine and adult themes.
James Corey’s Leviathan Wakes. SciFi collaboration between two authors. Real page-turner space opera.
Madeleine Robins’ The Sleeping Partner (3rd book of Sarah Tolerance, best read in order). Regency female ‘private detective’.
Leigh Lane’s Jane the Hippy Vampire. Just a wacky vampire novella, great fun, but also asks an interesting question.

A host of others that I’m dipping into. I’ll do real reviews in due course.


Most of you also have a look at the Bite Back and personal Facebook pages, so you’ll have heard by now that my daughter has been cast to play Lady Nymeria in season 5 of Game of Thrones. If you’ve heard before, my apologies, but please indulge a proud dad. Lady Nymeria is the second eldest daughter of Oberon Martell who died in a fight with Sir Gregor last season. Her special weapon is a bullwhip, and Jessica’s been practicing on our drive.

Jessica’s currently in Belfast rehearsing and filming. During the summer, she’ll also be on-site in Spain, and we’ll be going out to see her there. She’s been issued with her armour which she said is ‘fantastic’, and has met her screen sisters this week. HBO has a trailer of the three of them and other new season 5 castings on their site.

She also has a smaller part in another major film and she’s finishing writing a book (Epic Fantasy about dragons)! I’ll keep you posted.