I hope you’ll all forgive me this week if I do a little catching up with myself. It’s been a busy few months and I wanted to let you know that I haven’t been entirely idle during that time.
This year is passing so quickly, and the final month of the year is just about upon us. I’ve no idea what happened to most of it—it sped by in something of a blur.
Still, the latest in the Charlie Fox series—DIE EASY: Charlie Fox book ten—is out there in digital form, complete with a guest excerpt from the first in a new series by bestselling author Joel Goldman—STONE COLD. The US/Canadian edition of DIE EASY is due in January.
‘Sean didn’t remember finding out that I wasn’t to blame for ruining both our careers—that I’d nearly died for him. He certainly didn’t know that I’d killed for him.’
In the sweating heat of Louisiana, former Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, faces her toughest challenge yet.
Professionally, she’s at the top of her game, but her personal life is in ruins. Her lover, bodyguard Sean Meyer, has woken from a gunshot-induced coma with his memory in tatters. It seems that piecing back together the relationship they shared is proving harder for him than relearning the intricacies of the close-protection business.
Working with Sean again was never going to be easy for Charlie, either, but a celebrity fundraising event in aid of still-ravaged areas of New Orleans should have been the ideal opportunity for them both to take things nice and slow.
Until, that is, they find themselves thrust into the middle of a war zone.
When an ambitious robbery explodes into a deadly hostage situation, the motive may be far more complex than simple greed. Somebody has a major score to settle and Sean is part of the reason. Only trouble is, he doesn’t remember why.
And when Charlie finds herself facing a nightmare from her own past, she realises she can’t rely on Sean to watch her back. This time, she’s got to fight it out on her own.
One thing’s for sure—no matter how overwhelming the odds stacked against her, Charlie Fox is never going to die easy …
I’ve also just put together the first three Charlie Fox crime thrillers into a special e-boxed set—A TRIPLE SHOT of Charlie Fox, so you get KILLER INSTINCT, RIOT ACT and HARD KNOCKS, complete with a bonus standalone short story, Last Right.
And, following on from that, I’ve put together the second three books—FIRST DROP, ROAD KILL and SECOND SHOT—into another e-boxed set called ANOTHER ROUND of Charlie Fox, which also comes with a bonus standalone short, Tell Me.
And, of course, both Last Right and Tell Me are now available as individual downloads, alongside another standalone short story, The Night Butterflies.
On top of that, I’ve reverted US rights to SECOND SHOT: Charlie Fox book six, and that’s now out with a guest excerpt from LOST RIVER by highly acclaimed British crime writer, Stephen Booth.
‘Take it from me, getting yourself shot hurts like hell.’
When the latest assignment of ex-Special Forces soldier turned bodyguard, Charlie Fox, ends in a bloody shoot-out in a frozen New England forest she’s left fighting for her life, with her client dead.
Simone had just become a lottery millionairess but she never lived long enough to enjoy her new-found riches. Charlie was just supposed to be keeping Simone’s troublesome ex-boyfriend at bay and helping track down the father Simone had never really known.
But Simone’s former SAS father has secrets in his past that are coming back and haunt him. Did Simone’s money tempt him into engineering her death? And what happens now to Simone’s baby daughter, Ella?
With Simone gone, Ella’s safety is Charlie’s main concern. She’s determined, despite her injuries, not to let anything happen to the child. Even if this time Charlie’s in no state to protect anyone―least of all herself.
Is that enough for now? Well … no, actually.
I’m currently working on edits for a standalone crime thriller, THE BLOOD WHISPERER. No links up for that yet, but I can let you have a sneak peek at the cover and the jacket copy.
They took everything she had, but not everything she was …
Six years ago, London crime-scene investigator Kelly Jacks woke next to the butchered body of a man with the knife in her hands and no memory of what happened.
She trusted the evidence to prove her innocent.
Now released after serving five years for involuntary manslaughter, Kelly must try to piece her life back together. Shunned by former colleagues and friends, the only work she can get is with the crime-scene cleaning firm run by her old mentor.
But old habits die hard.
Sent to eradicate all trace of the apparent suicide of Matthew Lytton’s wife at their country home, she draws unwelcome parallels with the past. The police are satisfied, but Kelly isn’t so sure. She wants to trust Matthew, but is he out to find the truth or to silence the one person who can expose a more deadly plan?
Kelly quickly finds herself plunged into the nightmare of being branded a killer once again. On the run from police, Russian thugs and local gangsters, she is fast running out of options.
But Kelly acquired a whole set of new survival skills on the inside. Now she must use everything she knows to evade capture and stay alive long enough to clear her name.
Right, I think that’s enough for now, so I’m going to shut up … in a moment.
Before I go, however, I’d just like to thank my wonderful webmaster for the total revamp of my site. If you haven’t had a look, I’d value your opinion. Just click on my name at the top of this blog.
Also, I need to give much kudos to my extremely talented cover designer, Jane Hudson at NuDesign, who’s come up with all these stunning new images.
My grateful thanks go to our Alexandra Sokoloff for her wonderful mention on her last blog. I’d already done my Next Big Thing blog, so here’s my take on it.
A big thank you to Cheryll Rawling for a wonderful interview on her excellent blog site, CrimeWarp.
Tomorrow is also my last day as Author of the Month on CrimeSquad.com. Thanks to Graham Smith for that one!
And don’t forget David Corbett’s upcoming writing courses—Character Spines & Story Lines at Book Passage this weekend, and his online course in January. It would, as they say, be a crime to miss them.
This week’s Word of the Week is gormless, a lovely word that has certain lights-on-nobody-at-home connotations. It actually comes from an old English dialect noun gaum meaning attention or understanding, and also a dolt, but can also function as a verb meaning to behave stupidly. The most common spelling in modern times is gormless. I love the idea that one can have gorm—it’s a bit like using ruth instead of always ruthless, or to be ept instead of always inept.
I so admire your energy, ability, and productivity, Zoë. I hope to focus on the e-book/epublishing angle in the new year. You're my inspiration!
Hmm… I'm going to New Orleans in two weeks… I should really take the new Charlie with me, shouldn't I? Can't wait to read!
Thank you Pari, although I've been suffering from so much sloth of late that I feel a fraud accepting such praise.
Any help or advice I can offer, please just ask.
Damn, girl. Kicking ass and taking names you are.
Well, if you do I hope you enjoy it, Alex. I hope I've captured something of the flavour of the place without intending to write a travelogue. Always a tricky balance to maintain.
Can't wait to read the sequel to HUNTRESS MOON, too …
Zoe, all on order. I will get the box sets for c'mas presents, just in time, don't you think? Considering your year, this is all wonderfully productive.
My question for you is when are you coming to New Orleans? After all this work, I think you need some fun so keep my house in mind.
I thought you said you'd been busy!
Good post Zoe. You are getting more and more prolific by the day. Can't wait to read Blood Whisperer.
Thanks, Dusty. Too much time spending with Master Yoda have you been?
It was partly your own forays into indie 'digital originals' (phrase © Rob Gregory Browne) that inspired me to give it a whirl.
Thank you, Allison!
I would LOVE to go back to New Orleans. I thought it was a fantastic, fascinating place. And I haven't forgotten your kind invitation.
And thank you again for the info you very kindly gave me when I was writing DIE EASY. You are mentioned in the Acknowledgements and still have my grateful appreciation 🙂
Thank you. I think I've finally got a handle on the edits for TBW, and I'm looking forward to getting stuck back into it.
This is so cool, Zoë! You're one of the most gormful people I know–plus you provide excellent things to read.
I've been promised DIE EASY for a slightly belated Christmas gift from my SIL (and threatened with imminent death if I jump the gun) and I can't wait for BLOOD WHISPERER!
Gormful, huh? That's the nicest thing anybody's said to me all day!
Hope DIE EASY proves worth waiting for and a suitable pressie … no pressure there, then :))
Right, back to work on THE BLOOD WHISPERER …
I agree with Allison — given teh year you've had, this is beyond productive. It's damn near mind-blowing. Congratulations not just on the effort but the continuing excellence in quality. It's really a superb series and you seem to have no limits in finding new elements to explore. Truly astonishing — and humbling.
You've put me to shame, Zoe! Feeling totally unproductive now 🙂 What an amazing year you've had.
Congrats again and I can't wait to get back to Charlie. Book 2 is on my Kindle just waiting for me to stop research-reading YA stuff 🙂
Bless you. After your comments about blurbs yesterday, should I ask if I can quote you on that? <big grin>
Hope your course this weekend goes well, and the online course, too!
I'd feel far more productive if I'd finished both sets of current edits, but I'm getting there!
How's your foray into YA going?