Ring in the Dead

This week it has become clear to me that my fan base is divided into several very different parts. There are the people who do Facebook; the ones who visit the website; the ones who only read the blog on one of the various sites; some who are Twitter followers; and the few–the lucky few–who do all of the above. This week we sent out a new book announcement, but since it only went out to my e-mail list, some of you may have missed it.

But first an aside. That’s the wonder of writing a blog. I get to do asides with wild abandon.

For years, one of my favorite British comedies on television was ‘Allo, ‘Allo set in occupied France during World War II. The occupation of France certainly wasn’t funny, but the series was. It took place in Café René. The unlikely hero of the piece as well as the owner of the restaurant was a rounder named René who was always chasing after the good looking young women who made up his wait staff. The establishment was held together by his hardworking, long-suffering wife, an aging chanteuse, who would periodically warble an off-key song or two to entertain the customers. René’s mother-in-law, a bedridden old battle-axe, ruled the roost from her upstairs bedroom. Stowed under her bed was an illegal radio with which they communicated with the allies. A fair number of rescued British fliers often hid out under the mother-in-law’s bed as well.

At least once in every episode, a young woman wearing a trench coat, a leader of the Resistance, would show up to give the characters their marching orders. Each time she appeared, she would preface her remarks by saying, “Listen very carefully. I will say this only once.”

In this instance, and in case you are someone who is already on the mailing list or on Facebook, I will be saying it twice because this will be something you’ve already seen. And since I wrote the new book announcement to the best of my ability the first time, I’m not going to rewrite it. After all, what I’m really supposed to be working on this afternoon is Joanna Brady # 16. Yes, yes. I have started the next Joanna. Just don’t ask me for a title. I have NO idea.

So here goes:

Last year, after I finished writing Beaumont #21, Second Watch, and before I started writing Ali # 9, Moving Target, my HarperCollins editor asked me if I would write a novella featuring J.P. to go on sale prior to Second Watch.

For those who are curious about the difference between a short story, a novella and a novel, here’s a literary rule of thumb:

Short stories–5,000 words
Novellas–20,000 to 40,000 words
Novels–100,000 words, give or take 5,000 in either direction.*

My readers may find this difficult to believe, but my mind generally runs in a linear kind of way. Since I was writing Ring in the Dead AFTER I wrote Second Watch, the action in the novella takes place AFTER the action Second Watch. The problem with that is that Ring comes out first and Second comes out later. That means I’m forcing my readers to do a bit of literary time traveling (Is there any other kind?) since when they’re reading Ring, they will encounter characters and events in the past tense that they won’t meet or read about until September when Second Watch is released.

Ring in the Dead,  a J.P. Beaumont novella

Ring in the Dead, a J.P. Beaumont novella

Got it? That means when you meet, Milton “Pickles” Gurkey, Beau’s first homicide partner in Ring, don’t scratch your head and say, “I must be missing one book. I don’t remember reading about that guy before.” Trust me, you’re not and you will. Some people have decided they’re not into time travel. They’ve decided to BUY Ring in the Dead and then not actually READ it until after they read Second Watch. If that’s what floats your boat? More power to you.

So here’s the deal. Ring in the Dead, Beaumont #20.2, goes on sale in e-book format on 7/2/2013 @ $1.99. For those of you who are devoted dead tree style readers and who want to have something in paper to hold in your hands and have autographed, a Mass Market Paperback edition, ISBN: 9780062294821 will go on-sale 8/6/2013 @ $3.99.

And for those of you who want autographed bookmarks? You know the drill. Please send a business size SASE to me at P.O. Box 766, Bellevue, WA 98009. (The business size part is important because otherwise I have to fold the bookmarks or cut them in half!) Since we will be out of the country for a good part of July, don’t expect an instant turn-around on bookmarks.

This is the first time I’ve published a stand-alone novella, so this is all a bit new for us. If your usual bookstore doesn’t stock this item, encourage them to order it. Otherwise, feel free to contact the Seattle Mystery Bookshop because they will have copies available for me to sign once I return from our Scandinavian cruise. Their address is: staff@seattlemystery.com

11 thoughts on “Ring in the Dead

  1. Signing a Kindle: have you ever done so, or would you? I’ve pre-ordered the Kindle versions of both “Second Watch” and “Ring in the Dead”.
    Even if your answer is No-Hell-No, I’m still planning to attend your next signing in Bellingham.
    Toodles …

  2. This sounds interesting! I am one who does FB and website, no twitter. I will probably do the , buy this one but not read it till other comes out. Iwould get way too confused at my old age.
    Have a great cruise.
    Kathie B.

  3. …Orrrrrrrr buy “Ring in the Dead”, read it, then buy “Second Watch”, read it then re-read “Ring in the Dead” with new appreciation!

  4. Read it on the FB site, and ordered on my iPad. Using my laptop to read your Blog. Don’t do Twitter. Glad your on Facebook because I am not real good about viewing the Blog. When I do, I read them all and feel caught up with you life. Glad we will be getting another Beaumont, I have been missing him.

  5. I recently took a bookkeeping job in Pleasantville, NY and was delighted to see that they have a ‘Dawghouse’. If you’re ever in town, lunch is on me! 😀

  6. I love, love, love the Joanna Brady series. I am going to start the Beaumont series soon. How cool that you autograph bookmarks! I am going to send in a request. It would be an honor. Also, any chance that you will be in Georgia in the near or distant future? Would love for you to autograph a book for me.

    Keep writing, and I’ll keep reading.

  7. I must be missing something because I read “ring in the dead” before “second watch” and I was reading the exact same thing. Then I didn’t even get the entire book of “second chance” I only received the prologue and chapter one. Which is exactly what I got with “ring in the dead”. What gives? I used to be a fan of ja jance but feel fooled by what was delivered.

    • Dear Madeline,

      I’ve known for several days that there has been a problem with the iTunes download of Second Watch because two of my readers let me know and I IMMEDIATELY contacted New York. As of yesterday, I was told that the problem was corrected and both of them had successfully downloaded Second Watch after DELETING the first damaged copy. This is an Apple problem and I’m terribly sorry it happened.

      Please try this. If it doesn’t work, let me know.



  8. And here I was beating myself up for having somehow missed RITD and having skipped right to Second Watch. I like to read books in chronological order whenever possible. It’s certainly (usually) the easiest way to get to know a character.

    However, according to you, it turns out I have accidentally done myself a favor. I’m delighted! And sad. After RITD I will have officially come to the end of my 3 favorite series. For some reason Ali just did not grab me, but I guess I’m going to have to give her a 2nd chance while I await further adventures from Joanna, Beau, and the Walker family, as I’ve finally run out of options. I’m sure I will like her, once I get into her further.

    You do such an excellent job of writing as a man for JP. While reading the JP books, I can completely forget that the writer is a woman. Must be a wonderful feeling to write books. I’m always in awe.

    Keep up the great work, we all love it, and we love you for your excellent mind, for bringing up issues, and for giving us so much delightful entertainment.

    Thank you.

  9. So let me see if I have this right . RITD: Pickle’s tells have having a new partner, JP tells of finding the murders, Mel reads it and they celebrate New Years Eve. Then it goes into a preview of Second Watch? Sorry I am a little behind the times as I had to read all of Ali, then all of Joana, and now reading JP.

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