Wow, I had my fingies and toeses crosses when I began work on Jasmine three months ago. I was pretty unsure about what I was doing, or if I could pull it off at all. First, I wasn’t sure if a spin-off from the Harry Starke series would be accepted by his fans, and there must be many thousands of them because between Amazon and Goodreads, the series has garnered more than 3200 positive reviews. Second, as many of you know, because I’ve been wittering on about it for months, I didn’t feel comfortable writing 1st person female. It now seems I was able to pull that off too. Third, I intended the Gazzara series to be short reads – still novels but quite a bit shorter that anything else I’ve done in the past. That worked too: I’ve had dozens of emails telling me that they love the shorter reads. So that’s good.
All of that means that the readers, so far, have spoken: Jasmine is a hit. 49 reviews in the U.S. at an average 4.9 stars, and 10 in the U.K. all 5 stars, wow,. Thank you one and all. All good stuff, right? Yes, but… Nah, no buts. I just gotta work harder, and smarter, in the future. Right now, I’m in the middle of writing Hoodwinked, Number 12 in the Harry Starke series, and it should be available by the end of October, which leaves just enough time to write one more book this year. Kate? Harry? I dunno yet. We’ll see.
Hoodwinked is different from all the previous Harry Starke books. First, it deals with only one murder. Second, instead of Harry and Kate working together, it pits them against each other. Tim also plays a significant part in the story, must to his fans’ delight, I’m sure. The solution is also quite a surprise; it was even for me. I’m having fun writing it. Here’s the teaser:
Isla Tansy Mortenson-Lane was a noted local neurosurgeon, wife of local veterinarian Jim Lane, and one of Chattanooga’s movers and shakers… That is until she was found dead on her own property. Did she fall off her horse? Was she thrown? Was she murdered? And if she was murdered, by whom, and how, and why? Why does Lt. Kate Gazzara not want Harry Starke anywhere near the case? Lots of questions and no answers. Harry Starke is back on the job, and his long-time friend, Jim Lane, is in big trouble. To get him out of it, he must find answers to all of those questions and, as usual… there’s a twist in the tale.
Now folks here in Cleveland, TN, and in Chattanooga, know there is a Jim Lane here, and that he is a vet. You should know that I’m using his name with his full knowledge and permission, although the one in my story is a purely fictional character. Thank you, Jim. And all of my fur babies thank you too.
Harry has, for me, been a blessing. My friends say there’s a lot of me in Harry and, to an extent, that’s true. No, not what you think, although I do lead a second life through him while I’m writing the books. But then, I lived every second of the great Civil War battles I wrote about in earlier times. No, I’m not Harry in any way, shape or form – it’s all wishful think, folks, all wishful thinking. Even so, he has indeed been a blessing for me. He’s boosted me into the Top 1% of Amazon’s U.S. Author rankings, and there I’ve stayed for the past eight months, and he’s been a number 1 best seller in four of the most competitive mystery categories on Amazon. Who would ever have thunk it? Yeah, the spelling is intended ?
So, what’s next? More of the same, I think. Three or four more Harry’s next year and at least a couple of Kate Gazzara novels.
That’s all for now, except to say a heartfelt thank you to all my – Harry’s – loyal readers. Thank you, my friends.