What Am I Up To These Days?

With the launch of my latest novel, Ten Years Gone, already three weeks in the past, I figured this would be a good time for an update.

I’ve been working hard on a number of writing-related matters over the past few weeks. Let me share some of them with you.

My main project at the moment is the fourth novel in the Adam Lapid series. I’m nearing 60,000 words in this one, and it’s shaping up to be a hell of a story. I like the characters, I like the drama, and the action is great too. I think this will be my most tense and exciting novel so far.

When will I be done with it?

That’s a hard question to answer. My two boys are about to begin their summer holiday so I expect my production speed to take a nosedive. We’re also moving to a new apartment, which means a lot of hassle and time that could have been used for writing being channeled toward other things.

If these were ordinary days,  I would likely have finished the first draft in a month. Then a few weeks of editing, cover design, and formatting — say another month — and the book would have been done. But as these are not ordinary days, I cannot make a prediction. But I am working on the story as fast as I can.

I’ve also started a second project, this one a standalone crime novel, not featuring Adam Lapid. I can’t say too much about it yet save that the main character is a young woman who finds herself in deep trouble and has to dig deep within herself to reach a solution. I’ve practically finished chapter one, and so far I’m loving it.

Besides writing, I’m also exploring various marketing methods to try to reach new readers and to boost sales. These are early days in that respect, and at the moment I don’t have much to report. It’s the beginning of a long education process. It’s tiring, and I’d rather be writing, but it does have its moments.

That’s it for me. Now back to writing that Adam Lapid novel.

Last thing, if you’re on Goodreads, check out my page. You can check out ratings and reviews for my books there and send me a message with any question or feedback that you might have. See you there.


The Dead Sister is on Sale

Book 2 in the Adam Lapid mysteries series, The Dead Sister, is now on sale for a measly $.99 on Amazon.com. This is a limited time sale. It will last for just seven days. The book is also available for £.99 on Amazon.co.uk. And if you’re a Kindle Unlimited user, you can download it for free and read it.

The Dead Sister tells a story of the murder of a young woman, a case that the Tel Aviv police are reluctant to investigate rigorously. Adam Lapid is hired by the victim’s brother who wants him to find the killer, but not to tell the police who it is. The brother wants to exact his revenge personally on whoever killed his sister.

Adam Lapid launches an investigation into the murder, an investigation that quickly plunges him into a dark underworld of crime and debauchery. Along the way, Adam will meet an irresistible woman and will have to do battle with a crafty and sinister killer.

The villain in this novel is quite willing to kill again and again in order to evade capture. Adam Lapid will need to marshal all his strength and ingenuity in order to prevail.

The Dead Sister has a 4+ rating on both Amazon and Goodreads. It is not a long read but it is a complete murder mystery that you can enjoy even if you haven’t read book 1 in the series, Ten Years Gone.

So if you’re looking for a new and exciting mystery to read this week, pick up a copy of The Dead SDister at this rock bottom price and enjoy a well-written, engrossing murder mystery with one of the most exciting private detective characters in the genre.


Ten Years Gone is Live

At long last, Ten Years Gone, book 1 of the Adam Lapid Mysteries series, is live on Amazon.

This is the third published novel featuring Adam Lapid, but it takes place first in the internal chronology of the series. However, each novel in the Adam Lapid series is a standalone mystery so people read them in any order.

In Ten Years Gone, Adam Lapid is hired by Henrietta Ackerland, a Jewish woman who has just arrived in Israel (in 1949), after masquerading as a Christian German throughout the war.

In 1939, Henrietta made a terrible decision: her husband had been arrested by the Nazis and she had a baby son that she feared for. A woman she knew by the name of Esther was about to leave Germany for the Land of Israel. Henrietta prevailed upon her to take her son, Willie, along with her.

Henrietta planned to follow shortly but managed to get to Israel only ten years later. During that time, she’d had no word from Esther or Willie. She now wants Adam Lapid to find them.

Naturally, things get complicated in a hurry.

If you’re looking for a historical mystery with many emotional twists and turns, check out Ten Years Gone. It is also available on Kindle Unlimited for the next 90 days.


Publication of Ten Years Gone Moved Up

I’m happy to announce that the publication of the new Adam Lapid mystery, Ten Years Gone, has been moved up to July 14. The original release date was set for August 4, but I saw no reason to keep readers waiting that long, so I decided to release the book three weeks ahead of time.

Ten Years Gone is the third published novel in the Adam Lapid mysteries series, but it is the first book in internal chronological order, as it takes place before The Dead Sister and The Auschwitz Violinist, the other two books in the series.

Each book in the series features some of the same characters, including, of course, Adam Lapid, but they can be read in virtually any order since each novel is a new and separate mystery.

So whether or not you’ve already read one or both of the other novels, you can jump right in and read Ten Years Gone. I think the novel turned out very well, and I’ve gotten good feedback from early readers.

If you bought a copy of Ten Years Gone on pre-order, you will have it in your Kindle account this Friday. Let me know how you like it.


A Quick Update

With the publication of Ten Years Gone – Adam Lapid Series Prequel fast approaching (August 4, or earlier), I thought it would be a good time to give a quick update on what I’m working on now.

I’m about 20,000 words into a new Adam Lapid novel, title to be determined later. I’m writing this one by the seat of my pants, pretty much how I wrote two of the previous novels. After a shaky start, a new opening scene hit me like a lightning bolt. Once it did, I knew that I had the right beginning for the novel.

Having written that scene (it is actually a two-scene sequence), I spent a few days seamlessly connecting it to the other scenes I had already written. As it now stands, I have about a quarter of the novel written. Naturally, I can’t know for sure at this time that the book will be about 80,000 words long when it is completed, but that’s how it feels like to me.

I’m very happy with what I’ve written so far. It is shaping up to be a cracking story, one quite different from the previous three.

I’ve also got another project going, though this one is in the very early stages. It’s a standalone novel with a powerful female protagonist. It will likely be more violent and bloody than the Adam Lapid novels. I’ve started working on it using a voice recognition software called Dragon Naturally Speaking. I’ve read reports that some authors have managed to become much more productive by using this software, and I want to do the same.

I still need to get used to dictation. Once I do, I hope that I’ll be able to bring out more good books faster for all you readers.

That’s it for me. If you haven’t done so, check out my books here.



The Sussex Thought Police is Ever so Proud

It is one thing to enforce an unjust law reluctantly, it is quite another to brag about it on the Internet. Sadly, this is exactly what the Sussex Police Department in the United Kingdom decided to do on June 20 when it announced the imprisonment of a man who was arrested for posting what it deemed to be hateful posts on Facebook against Muslims.

Over the past few years, Britain has become notorious as a country that prosecutes people for expressing “hateful thoughts”. What constitutes a hateful thought is never articulated with any precision. It can mean anything and everything depending on the whim of the government, the local constabulary, and the ever-fickle public mood.

Democracy has always depended on one thing above all else and that is the ability of citizens to freely express their thoughts, even their ugly thoughts, in without fear of being harassed or imprisoned by their authorities. This is no longer the case in Britain.

It is quite ironic to see exactly how the Sussex Police Department expends its resources and time considering that the subject of police cuts has become a matter of wide discussion in Britain over the past few weeks as the country has been rocked by a number of terror attacks both committed by Muslims and committed against Muslims.

The question arises, what good would more police do if what they spend their time and energy on is chasing harmless citizens who post inflammatory remarks on Twitter or Facebook. One would think that it would be more useful and more helpful to pursue hate preachers who radicalize young Muslims into jihadists, but that does not seem to be the case.

On the contrary, it seems that the British government has decided to make it a priority to silence all criticism of immigration policies and of the various ideologies now prevalent in Britain. Once arresting a man for expressing a thought, however ugly, would have been unthinkable in Britain. Now it seems to be a point of pride as the bragging tweet by the Sussex Police Department clearly shows. They express more pride in arresting this man, so it seems, then they would any real criminal such as a thief, a robber, or someone who commits assault.

This man will now serve 20 months in prison for expressing his views. I’ve no idea what he posted, I don’t really care what he posted, and it is more than likely that I do not agree with what he posted. But I do believe in his right to post what he thinks and to do so without fear of persecution.

Britain is not alone in making laws that limit the scope of human expression. Such laws exist throughout Europe, in Canada, in Australia, and, I’m ashamed to say, in Israel as well. Only in the United States are people truly free to express their views, and this is only because over 200 years ago the Founding Fathers of the United States had the wisdom to enact the First Amendment to the Constitution. If people are to remain free in the West, it is high time for other countries to adopt a similar amendment to their constitutions or legal code.

Until they do, police officers and departments in these countries would be wise to not brag about enforcing laws against “hate thoughts”. By doing so, they reduce public trust in the police and increase resentment both against authority and against other sectors of the population.


Adam Lapid Reading Order

Now that the third novel in the Adam Lapid mysteries series is about to be published, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the order in which you should read the books.

Each book in the Adam Lapid series is a standalone mystery so you can read them in any order you wish. Some people read The Auschwitz Violinist first and then proceed to read The Dead Sister, and others read them in the opposite order.

While it is true that some of the characters appear in more than one of the books, I believe your enjoyment won’t suffer whether you begin the series with one book or the other.

That being said, you may wish to read the books in order, and in that case, there are two possible orders you may choose from. You may choose to read the books in the order in which they were published, or you may wish to read them in chronological order.

The first book I published was The Dead Sister, the second was The Auschwitz violinist, and the third is the upcoming Ten Years Gone. However, the internal chronological order of the books is different. Ten Years Gone takes place in the summer of 1949, The Dead Sister a few months afterward, and The Auschwitz Violinist occurs about a year after the conclusion of The Dead Sister.

Since Ten Years Gone is only available for pre-order, you may wish to order that and wait until you read it before you dive into The Dead Sister. But if you decide you can’t wait and you want to read my work right this minute, which would be a very wise decision on your part, you can read either The Dead Sister or The Auschwitz Violinist. Opinion is divided as to which of these two books is better, and I can’t quite make up my mind as well. My point is that you shouldn’t worry too much about which book you read first. Just pick whichever one seems the most interesting and dive right in. I’m sure you’ll have a good time.


Stay Classy, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has always been one of my favorite countries. A country that flogs people for the most minor offenses,  doesn’t allow women to drive and dresses them in what looks like black tents in the oppressive heat of Arabia, and helps propagate an extreme and repressive form of Islam all around the globe – what’s not to love?

Seriously, now, I think nothing of Saudi Arabia and expect even less. Still, their football team managed to surprise even me with their brazen display of contempt yesterday as they squared off against Australia.

The Australians decided to hold a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of last week’s attack in London. An attack that was perpetrated by Muslims in the name of Islam. You would think the Saudis would take the opportunity to show a kinder side of Islam, but no. They declared that a minute’s silence was against their culture (which is a lie) and proceeded to prance around as the audience and Australian team maintained their vigil.

Only one Saudi player saw fit to stand still as the host team grieved. Kudos to him. I hope he is not punished for his display of humanity.

It would have been appropriate had the Australian team refused to play the Saudis and had them ejected from Australia without ceremony at the earliest possible moment. At least they beat them 3-2. I suppose that’s something.


May Will Not Last Past June

The UK elections projections are in and, if they are borne out by the actual results, the Tories (Conservatives) have won 318 seats out of 650, less than a majority. They are the biggest party by far, but they will need to form a coalition or run a minority government.

The results are a disaster for Brexit supporters, British nationalists, those who oppose the unfettered immigration of practically everyone to Britain, and for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

As I explained in a previous post, it was not enough for May to lead the Tories to victory. She had to enhance their slim majority in Parliament, for that was the reason she called for these early elections. She failed to do that, lost her majority completely, and in fact may end up seeing a Labour party, with the most extreme leader in its history, become the ruling party of Britain.

This is a catastrophe for the Tories, and, personally, for May. She’s the winner on paper, but I doubt she will last for long in her post. Soon, once the dust settles, the Tories will likely choose another leader to replace her. The flamboyant Boris Johnson, perhaps.

Given the long history of British parliamentary politics, it is likely that a prime minister whose term ended in a greater humiliation that Theresa May’s ends up doing will be found, but I doubt that there would be many such examples.

These elections will likely go down as one of the most disastrous and unnecessary acts of Sepuku in British, and perhaps even world history.


How to Win an Election and Lose Your Job

When British Prime Minister Theresa May declared a snap election on 18 April 2017, she was ahead by double digits in the polls over the main opposition party, Labour. Her goal was to win a bigger Tory majority in Parliament to allow her to govern more effectively, without having to woo or cajole every single Tory member to support her policies. (At the moment, the Tories hold 330 seats of the 650 seats in Parliament.)

But elections are unpredictable beasts, as Hillary Clinton learned the hard way. Now, with two days left to the election, the gap between the Tories and Labour had narrowed drastically. Some polls say the Tories still hold a comfortable lead, while others say their lead is razor thin. It appears that some polling companies are using new methodologies, hoping to better capture the outcome of this election, after having failed to predict the previous UK election and the recent American one, so the results may surprise everyone.

What is clear is that what was at first unthinkable, that the Tories would either lose the election or have to form a coalition government with other parties because they would fail to win a clear majority themselves, is now not unlikely. It is also possible that the Tories will emerge victorious, but with even a slimmer majority than the one they now hold.

In either such scenario, Theresa May will likely have to resign.

Theresa May took a gamble when she called for these elections. She ran a shoddy campaign. She proved an uncharismatic, lackluster leader. She will be blamed should the Tories come out of these elections worse off than they were when they entered them.

Winning the election will not be enough for her to retain her job. She declared these elections to enhance her party’s majority in Parliament. If she fails, even while winning, she will face inter-party pressure to resign, and will likely surrender to it.

So Theresa May may win the forthcoming elections, and end up losing her job while doing so. We’ll know in two days.