The term "embarrassment of riches" comes to mind …
In nearly 67 years of living, I've hardly been a stranger to embarrassment. And, except for the monetary kind, I've also enjoyed plenty of the type of riches that really count: love; friendship; decent health; modest levels of achievement and recognition.
But seldom have so many desirable things landed in my lap in such a short amount of time as I've experienced in this transitional span closing out 2014 and starting 2015.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. The pattern for most of my life, though, has been that things tend to go sort of good for a while and then not so good for a while. So a big chunk of Really Good makes me a little nervous about what might be coming around the corner …
Nevertheless, I will welcome the good and savor it for as long as it lasts.
Here's what I'm talking about:
As previously covered here, the exciting new Adult Western series, BLAZE! (created by Steve Mertz), kicked off at the beginning of this week with the launch of three simultaneous titles (BLAZE! by Stephen Mertz; BLAZE! THE DEADLY GUNS by Robert J. Randisi; and BLAZE! BITTER VALLEY by some character named Dundee). The initial releases were only in eBook form – now, as of today, all three are also available in print editions. As I've stated here and in several other places, I'm mighty proud to be part of this. With the series slated to proceed on a schedule of releasing a new title (by a variety of authors) every two months, I'm betting it will be around for a long run and provide a lot of entertainment to a lot of readers.
Available today, THE LAWYER: STAY OF EXECUTION is the first in a new hardboiled Western series based on characters created David Cranmer (aka Edward A. Grainger). The Lawyer first appeared in a powerful short story by Cranmer/Grainger featured in Thomas Pluck's charity anthology PROTECTORS (to benefit Protect.org) – which is also included as an addendum to this new release.
Once an ambitious, successful attorney with a wife and two children, J.D. Miller came home from court one day to find his entire family butchered, their barely recognizable remains left in charred ruins … Rising out of the ashes like a phoenix, The Lawyer was born. Now he roams the West on a revenge trail to hunt down and deliver his own harsh justice on the savages who wiped out his loved ones … Initially available in eBook form, print edition to follow soon.
Finally, also launched today, HANNIBAL FOR HIRE is my second volume of previously published Joe Hannibal novels (And Flesh And Blood So Cheap; The Fight In The Dog; and The Day After Yesterday) --- a "boxed set" collection if you will, available at an incredibly generous meant to introduce/re-introduce readers to Hannibal. Joe's appearances over 30-plus years have been widespread and somewhat sketchy, receiving nice critical attention but never really connecting with a wide readership.
Volume III (HANNIBAL AT RISK) will be available shortly … and a brand new Hannibal novel will be coming out by spring.
In closing, I feel I should acknowledge (without seeming boastful, I hope) that my sales in the Western genre over the past couple months have really escalated … at least based on my personal expectations measured against past performance. Late last fall, I revised, re-packaged, re-priced, and re-launched several existing titles (along with some new ones) under my own Bil-Em-Ri Media. The response has been very gratifying.
I'm proud (and again not meaning to be boastful) to say that as of this writing I have six books on Amazon's Top 100, most of them in the top 50.
I want to convey that I am very, very grateful to the readers responsible for this. I hope you enjoyed the reading experience. For those of you who did, I promise to do my darnedest to keep putting out more work that you'll like … I hope you spread the word, and I hope there are a lot more of you out there.