One Step Closer to an Award

One Step Closer to an Award

This week I received an email from Chanticleer Book Reviews telling me that STRAIGHT RIVER is a FINALIST for their 2019 CLUE Book Awards for Suspense & Thriller Fiction. So I’m one step closer to an award that has many more “steps” than most awards I’m aware of. First, there’s getting through the slush pile to the LONG LIST. Next comes the SHORTLIST. That’s followed by the SEMI-FINALISTS. And for this year, apparently due to the high number of outstanding entries, Chanticleer added a FINALIST level to their judging criteria.

Cover of Straight RiverCLUE Finalist badge

What I find slightly humorous is their definition of Semi-finalists and Finalists. Going in, I was thinking “Beauty Pageant” numbers such as ten semi-finalists and then say, five finalists before a winner is crowned. But Chanticleer decided, perhaps due to the huge number of entries, to expand those numbers. I was one of THIRTY-TWO Semi-finalists. and now I’m one of TWENTY-ONE Finalists. Assuming that most of these books are also well-written, that’s pretty long odds for anyone to win the overall award. Of course, I’m honored to have made it this far, but I won’t hold my breath for the announcement of the FIRST PLACE winner at their awards banquet on September 5, 2020. A five percent chance of winning is still closer to the odds of winning a lottery than it is betting on the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby.

Father’s Day Shopping Tips

Looking for a special gift for that special father in your life? How about a signed copy of an acclaimed mystery-thriller by a Minnesota author set in Minnesota locales? I refer of course, to my two books, Straight River and Castle Danger. If you’re not sure if either or both is the right gift, here’s a list of the kinds of readers who might be interested in my books.

Readers who like:

  1. Unique, regular guy anti-heroes. Matt Lanier is a musician (unique) who’s thrust into a situation he never wanted to be in (stop a conspiracy). His life ruined by the conspirators to the point where all he cares about is surviving from day-to-day.
  2. Minnesota settings. Small town farm; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Duluth, the North Shore, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
  3. Music. Each book has a soundtrack–music that Matt hears in his head or is listening to at key points in the story. I’ve compiled playlists on YouTube that readers can access.
  4. Outdoors. In addition to being a professional musician, Matt worked at a canoe outfitters for several years. He’s an experienced camper and canoeist. Of necessity, he becomes a hermit and survives almost a year on a remote lake in the Boundary Waters. He hunts and fishes for food, fights off wolves, bears, and other predators; builds a shelter to protect himself in the brutally cold Minnesota winter, and does it all by himself.
  5. Conspiracy stories. This one features a real estate tycoon, powerful and corrupt politicians and law enforcement, and goons for hire who view murder as just another part of the job.
  6. A little romance. Matt’s a good looking guy who hoped to reunite with his beautiful, talented ex-wife in Straight River. Then he’s thrust into the troubled life of the woman who saved him from death in Castle Danger. She’s got a sordid past that drives her to excel at her job and being a mother to her son. But she’s almost too beautiful and sexy for her own good.
  7. Fast-paced reads. I write lean, mean prose, and don’t waste your time with endless unimportant details or dialogue that is merely chit-chat to fill a page. I try to immerse you in the story on page one and hold you to the end. And it’s not just me bragging. Many of my readers’ reviews mention “page-turner,” “fast pace,” “plot twists,” “tension,” etc.

You can also buy the new anthology, Cooked to Death, Vol, V: Restaurant in Peace,  that published my short story, “Killer Fish Tacos.” It’s a cozy-style mystery with an attached recipe along with thirteen other diverse crime-related food stories and recipes by Minnesota authors.

If you act now, you can purchase any of my books direct from my website store for TWENTY DOLLARS ($20).  I’ll sign it and send it to you for FREE. That’s right, no shipping charges to send it anywhere in the United States. Unfortunately, overseas shipping costs are prohibitively expensive for this offer. I send your order via USPS Media Mail. If you order this weekend, you should receive your order in time for Father’s Day. Click on the button below to order your books now.

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