New Releases List

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Golden Griffin Release (The Dark Citadel #3)

I'm excited to announce the release of the third book in the Dark Citadel series. I think readers of the series will really enjoy it. Book four should be out next year.

Also, my faithful Nook readers, here it is on B&N.

If you aren't yet caught up, the first book is currently free to introduce new readers to the series.

Free on Nook, too!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Golden Griffin

I'm wrapping up the final chapter on The Golden Griffin this weekend. My cover artist should be producing something in the next few days. To my loyal readers of The Dark Citadel series, thank you for being patient. It's coming, I promise.

As to why this book has taken so long, the answer is complicated. I had written pretty much an entire draft, but it took a dark and unsatisfying turn and I didn't know how to work my way out of it. Then, as I took a break to work on other stuff, including the books that people were paying me to write (The Righteous series), and other stuff with more commercial potential and/or were bugging me to come out.

By the time I came back to the Dark Citadel series this spring, what I'd written had gone cold. I had to reimagine some things. Ultimately, I decided that some of what I'd written could be saved, some junked, and some moved on to the next volume. Meanwhile, I brought the focus of the book in a little tighter. I think my readers will like it, and I feel like I'm on a much stronger path going forward.

I'm also hoping with the third volume that sales of the series will pick up a little. There's no question that better sales will make it easier to write the next chapter of the saga sooner. Otherwise, I have to spend more time working on stories that help pay the bills.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

9 Killer Thrillers

I had the good fortune to be invited to include a book in a bundle of novels by some of the bestselling thriller authors in the business. I'm delighted to have my novel The Devil's Deep included in the collection. It joins fantastic company.

Amazingly, 9 Killer Thrillers has been released at an initial price of 99¢, which is almost theft, considering there are nine books in the collection.

Another writer pointed out some amazing stuff about the collection:

• Praise from the likes of Janet Evanovich, Stan Pottinger and Lisa Gardner
• Thousands of reviews and average ratings of 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 stars, even one at a whopping 4.7
• Hundreds of thousands of copies of each already in distribution
• Bestseller rankings as high as #1
• Sustained Top 100 author rankings

Here are the books in the 9 Killer Thrillers collection:

Russell Blake – King of Swords
Michael Wallace – The Devil’s Deep
CJ Lyons – Snakeskin
MJ Rose – The Halo Effect
Melissa Foster – Traces of Kara
John L. Betcher – The 19th Element
Claude Bouchard – Vigilante
Luke Romyn – Corpus Christi
Nick Russell – Big Lake

This is a great chance to scoop up some bestselling novels on the cheap. These are the links for the various bookstores. Again, the whole collection is only 99¢!

For the Kindle.
For the Nook.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

An Interview with David Gaughran

I recently completed an interview on David Gaughran's popular indie blog that you might find interesting. In it I confess that I am not (ehem!) the world's best blogger.
You can read part one here.
And part two here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Wolves of Paris Release

The Wolves of Paris is finally live. It's one of my favorite books and I hope you'll check it out.

It's the winter of 1450 and Paris is in a panic. A pack of ravenous wolves is loose in the city, feasting on human flesh. Lorenzo Boccaccio is summoned by a Dominican inquisitor who claims that Lorenzo's business agent is tied to the sorcery behind the wolf attacks. He demands that Lorenzo and his brother Marco help him root out the evil.

Rivals in business and love, the brothers make for a reluctant partnership. Even so, they are confident the wolves are a natural phenomenon, not men or demons traveling in wolf form.

But events soon prove that the monks and peasants are right. These are no ordinary wolves. And if they are not defeated, the city's filthy alleys will be awash in blood.

Monday, August 26, 2013

On the Lam

I got back late last night from a wonderful weekend in Seattle as the guest of my publisher, Thomas & Mercer. There were more than sixty writers there and T&M really spared no expense in making us feel welcome. The highlight of the weekend for me was dinner in an atrium attached to the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum with the Space Needle right overhead. The combination of the great food, the gorgeous setting, and the wonderful company of writers and editors made for one of the most memorable meals of my life. Other highlights of the weekend include a harbor cruise and a wonderful Argentine steak house, where our little group ate in a wine cellar.

But really, the best thing about the weekend was the opportunity to meet so many of my fellow mystery and thriller writers, as well as the people who actually work on the Righteous Series at T&M. I met David Downing, my developmental editor, and Megan Jacobson, who was the first one to offer me a contract after having read my book. That was pretty special to me. In addition, I really liked several of the other T&M employees who I had the chance to get to know in real life for the first time, including Jacque, Danielle, and Terry. Really, everyone I met with the company was great.

So now I'm back to working on Righteous #7. I have a deadline in the near-ish future, and right now all I have is a (solid, thankfully) first draft. Time to buckle down and get to work.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Devil's Cauldron

I'm pretty excited to finally get The Devil's Cauldron out there. I've known for a while that I would write this book, but a few other things had to come into place first. When I had a space opened this spring to write the third book in the Devil's Deep series I grabbed it. I'm really happy about how it turned out and hope my readers enjoy it as well.

I hope you'll take a look when you get a chance.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Interview About the Righteous Series

Joanna Penn posted a video interview with me that you may find interesting. We mainly talked about The Righteous series, but also a little bit about my background, the writing process, and various subjects of interest to writers and readers.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Writing and Pub Update

I've had a few emails lately asking what's going on with the writing, the publication schedule, etc. Always nice to see that people care and are excited to see what comes next. Briefly:

1. The Devil's Cauldron is done and will be released on July 15. I'm really happy how this turned out. I flamed out on a project this spring (see below), and my confidence was a bit shaky going into this. I think the third book in the Devil's Deep series is as strong as anything before it.

2. The Bone Cage is dead (or at least on life support). This was my spring project, and I got about 200 pages into it when I realized that I'd gone off the rails somewhere. It was a modern telling of The Count of Monte Cristo with a female protagonist and seemed to be going fine. Then, crash. I don't know how to fix it, so I've put it aside for now.

3. The Wolves of Paris is seeking a home. This is a novel surrounding the true events of a pack of ravenous wolves that infiltrated the city walls of Paris in the frigid winter of 1450. It's some of the best writing I've ever done and my agent really wanted to try it with a few editors, who are considering it now. One way or another this will find its way into the hands of my readers, who will love it.

4. The Righteous #6, The Gates of Babylon, is finished and available for pre-order. The release date is February, but there's a chance that people on my mailing list will get a chance for some sneak peek reads, so sign up for the list if you haven't yet.

That's the part that's certain. Here is the speculative, near-term stuff.

5. I'm just starting Righteous #7, Hell's Fortress. I have a publisher deadline of October 1 to deliver the manuscript, so it's time to get cranking. Right now, the book amounts to a bunch of notes, but no actual story yet.

6. Because there's a bit of a wait between Destroying Angel and The Gates of Babylon, I'm thinking about taking this other story idea I have and releasing it separate from the main series sometime this fall. Call it Righteous 5.5. It's the aftermath of the Kimball doomsday cult and the stories of a few of its survivors.

7. After that, I would like to write a sequel to Wolf Hook, tentatively called The Empire of the Wolf. I also have thoughts of turning The Wolves of Paris into a trilogy, with the other two books called The Wolves of Florence, and The Wolves of Dalmatia. By spring I need to work on the final book of The Righteous series, called Final Sanctuary. I also have an idea for a fourth book in the Devil's Deep series, but since these books all stand alone, when and if this happens will not keep people hanging.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Devil's Cauldron pt. 2

I received my final cover yesterday from the talented Damonza. It captures both the atmosphere of the book and the horror of locked-in syndrome. The book is still several weeks out from release, but I hope to post the blurb here shortly. I'm excited about how it's turning out.

The next project to tackle is The Righteous #7, Hell's Fortress. I've been brainstorming my plot and hope to start work in a few weeks.

We have just about finalized the cover for #6 (still waiting for the final decision by the publisher), but The Gates of Babylon has survived the gauntlet of copy edits and is available for pre-order.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Devil's Cauldron

After the Righteous series, I get more requests for more books in The Devil's Deep universe than anything I have written. I've had the bones of an idea for a third book for several months now, but it hadn't quite come together and so I kept working on other projects while I let what Stephen King calls the Boys in the Basement continue to work around with the idea.

This past week the angle came to me. It involved a woman suffering from locked-in syndrome, Wes's sometimes-institutionalized brother Eric, and the concealment of a family crime. I sat down at the computer and typed a few thoughts and within about ten minutes the rest of the plot came together.

I've got to finish the current work in progress first, but it looks like all the elements are there for me to write Devil's Deep #3, which I'm going to call The Devil's Cauldron.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Wolf Hook - New Historical Thriller

My new historical thriller is out and I hope you'll consider taking a look. See the blurb below. It's a full-length novel, but I'm running a few ads to kick off the release and so it will be priced at 99¢ for the first three days before it goes to its regular price.

Kindle Link: Wolf Hook

Jim Heydrich is the Canadian-born nephew of one of the most feared men in the Gestapo. When his family returns to Germany just before the war, Jim arrives in the Third Reich as a young, sensitive theater student, both protected by and encumbered by his famous relation. Resisting an invitation to join the Nazis, he instead finds himself a member of an English-language theater troupe working in Occupied Europe. Unbeknownst to Jim, the leaders of the theater troupe, Nigel Burnside and his sister Margaret, are not the English fascists they appear, but members of the British Secret Service, using the theater troupe to recruit spies from among the Anglophile German officers who come to their productions.

Disillusioned with both sides of the war, Jim is trying to defect to neutral Ireland when he stumbles into one of Nigel and Margaret’s most closely held secrets—a Hungarian physicist they are smuggling out of Europe. While trying to extricate himself from this unwelcome knowledge, he both manages to draw the attention of the Gestapo and to convince the British Secret Service that he is a Nazi spy, a threat to their plans who must be eliminated.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Destroying Angel Release Date

Today is the official release day of the fifth book in The Righteous Series, Destroying Angel. It has been a long journey for Eliza, Jacob, Miriam, David, Fernie, and all the other people of Blister Creek. This is their final showdown with the Kimball clan.

Thank you to my readers for all of your support and I hope you enjoy this one as much as the other four.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Child Lost, Writer Found

When I was eight, I got lost in the Fiery Furnace while hunting lizards. Caught in the maze of fins, spires, hoodoos, and other weird sandstone formations in Arches National Park, I realized I’d taken a wrong turn and backtracked, only to come upon a gorge scoured in the slickrock that I hadn’t crossed. I followed a set of footprints in the sand, which vanished, and then scrambled up a sandstone fin, hoping to catch a glimpse of the edge of the maze. It didn’t work. Everything I tried seemed to take me deeper into the labyrinth. The search party found me three hours later, thirsty and dehydrated. I don’t remember being particularly frightened.

That incident in the Fiery Furnace lingered in my memory and emerged twenty-five years later when I started to write The Righteous, the first book in my series set in the polygamist enclave of Blister Creek, Utah. There is a sandstone labyrinth called Witch’s Warts in Blister Creek that serves as a secret entry in and out of the valley, as well as a focal point of violence and other weirdness. It is a strange, otherworldly landscape, and I’ve had readers write to ask me if such a place could be real.

The wilderness of southern Utah may be an alien place to most of my readers, but to me, it sends me to my childhood and makes me think about my father. He would take me into the desert armed with a guidebook of roadside geology to dig up trilobites and fossilized shark teeth or to look for geodes—hollow, spherical stones packed with crystals. We went to a ghost town in a dry canyon once and returned with 19th century medicine bottles turned lavender in the sun. On another occasion, we camped on the desolate edge of a sand dune wasteland and listened to a murder mystery that came in and out of focus from a distant AM station. The stars were so bright under the thin desert atmosphere that it felt like I was clinging to the skin of the earth as it hurtled through the universe.

The desert was a cornucopia of cool stuff to discover: arrowheads and potsherds, topaz and other valuable crystals, and of course snakes and lizards. My brother and I once cornered a Gila monster that hissed and lunged as we tried to figure out how to get the venomous lizard into a can. It disappeared when we ran back to camp to get our father. Mom was relieved; we already kept a rattlesnake in a locked cage in the shed.

I’ve seen zillions of rattlesnakes and scorpions—have you ever watched a death match between a scorpion and a dozen angry soldier ants?—and that stuff doesn’t frighten me. Sandstone cliffs with thousand foot drops like Angel’s Landing or Dead Horse Point? Yes, that’s scary stuff. Of course, I don’t take foolish risks like I did as a boy, but whenever I’m back in the desert I find myself thinking about how I’d get food, water, and shelter if I were lost.

The same thoughts come to my mind whenever I revisit the polygamist community of Blister Creek. The desert wilderness is a good place to drag characters if you want their struggles to play out against a beautiful, deadly canvas, where civilization remains distant and weak. And it’s a good place to dig up memories of my own childhood, stir them up with pure imagination, and set them loose on the world.

Michael is the author of the top five Wall Street Journal bestseller The Righteous. The latest installment, Destroying Angel, will be released by Thomas & Mercer in March, 2013.

note: this essay originally appeared on Martha's Bookshelf book blog.