Posts filed under: Thriller

Best Selling Author!

The Devil on Chardonnay, the second thriller in the Boyd Chailland series has been in the top 25 on Amazon’s bestseller list for Kindle eBooks for the past month in the Thriller/Financial category, and in the top 100 in Thriller/Political and Thriller/Conspiracy, and Thriller/Medical categories. The Other Pilot, the first story in that series has followed along in those same categories (except Medical). For a few hours the first week in September they were #2 and #3.

So, am I getting rich? Hardly; at $0.99 for an eBook, I make about 30 cents. It’s not about the money, anyway. My sister tells me I’m a celebrity in my home town, and the Chailland family thinks I’m pretty special. Reviewers not related to me by blood or marriage have been mostly enthusiastic about my work. Some of those reviewers have done hundreds of Amazon reviews, and they like my stuff. That’s a good feeling.

How long did it take to become a best selling author? I came up with the premise for The Other Pilot in 1972, started writing it in 1990, and it was published in 2012. I started The Devil on Chardonnay in 1993 and it was published in 2013. It takes awhile to write a book. I may be catching on, though, because the next one in the Boyd Chailland series, The Mingrelian, is 90 pages into the first draft.

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Fraud!

Fraud; I love it. Fiction depends on it, and genre fiction elevates fraud to art. All best selling fiction is about fraud. Oh the thrill of the swindle, the tension of the false identity, the smug comfort of well laundered money! Conspiracies aren’t about conspiracy, they’re about FRAUD. Why conspire to break the law if there isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the plot? And, the bigger the pot of gold, the more fun it is. We all know there are people out there flaunting the law, gaming the system, cashing in on some cleaver shortcut, and we all want to know how they’re doing it. That’s my genre. I’ve been a passionate student of fraud for 35 years. I’ve studied the masters; Bernie Kornfeld, Robert Vesco, the Butcher Brothers, the Penn Square/Continental Illinois Bank failure, Marc Rich, Bernie Madoff, and dozens more. I mine the tiny details of smuggling, money laundering, stock manipulation, and class action litigation to find the stories, characters, and techniques that will keep readers up at night.

After fraud comes schadenfreude, the second essential element of fiction. Schadenfreude is the pleasure we feel when the bad guy gets it in the end. It’s a universal emotion; enjoying the suffering of others. Cheap genre fiction; that schlock that hack writers churn out, is nothing more than a heinous crime and a bad end for the perp. We writers should do more. Readers deserve to learn something, even in genre fiction. Not so they’ll do it, because good fraud is very hard to pull off, but because people enjoy knowing.

Today two of my books were at #2 and #3 on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List in the financial thriller category. The Other Pilot and The Devil on Chardonnay are geopolitical action thrillers; but they’re basically telling a tale of FRAUD. The next book, The Mingrelian is about spies, money laundering, embargoes, and Iran’s nuclear weapons program. I’t will be finished soon.

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Book Review: Pacific Glory: A Novel

P.T. Deutermann is a Naval Academy grad who commanded a destroyer and has written several successful thriller novels, so when he writes of the surface navy in the Pacific during World War II, you expect a lot. This is a thrilling story about three Annapolis grads from the Class of ’32, and Glory, the navy nurse they all loved. That may sound like the setup for a romance novel, and there is some personal drama, but this is war as real as you can get from the printed page.

Told as a flashback by a retired officer to his stepson, the tale begins with the changing of the Officer of the Deck at the beginning of the midwatch on a heavy cruiser off Guadalcanal in August, 1942. If you know your history you get goosebumps right there. Within minutes that ship is sinking, and our primary protagonist, Lieutenant Marsh Vincent barely escapes going down with her. The details, from a personal perspective, as Japanese cruisers and destroyers clobber the ship, and the sights and sounds of her sinking remain with me yet.

One of the friends, husband of Glory, the navy nurse, has gone down with the Arizona before the story starts. The third friend is a dive bomber pilot; brash, fearless, and flawed, who sinks a Japanese carrier at Midway. We live through Guadalcanal, Midway, and the savage but little known naval battle at Samar. Marsh and McCarty are there when the Yamato, the largest battleship ever built, attacks a group of small escort carriers providing air support for the American landing in the Philippines.

The tale jumps between action in the Pacific and recovery back at Pearl Harbor. I stayed up way past my bedtime to finish the last 100 pages. You will too.

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The Devil on Chardonnay published today!

DOC_Kindle_LayoutThe Devil on Chardonnay, the second novel in the Boyd Chailland series of geopolitical thrillers is published as a Kindle eBook on Amazon today!

Boyd Chailland evolved after his adventure in The Other Pilot. He took a beating in that tale, and he’s wary. Yet, he needs action; more action than just flying high performance fighters and training to be in the first wave in the next war. When General Ferguson shows up at Boyd’s wing commander’s office with a Top Secret assignment, he takes it without asking what it is. It’s an international thrill ride of bad actors and close calls.

Some people died on an isolated island in the Indian Ocean after developing a secret vaccine for the world’s most deadly virus; Ebola. Boyd is the team leader to find out who and why. What a team it is; Colonel Joe Smith, shy army pathologist and world expert on Ebola, Raybon Clive and Davann Goodman, disabled vets flying smuggled booze into Muslim Mombasa in an old seaplane, Pamela Prescott, lawyer and FBI agent with a drinking problem, and MacDonnald Wilde, paroled felon and con man.

The trail of death, betrayal, and bad intentions leads from jihadists in Africa to diamond brokers in Europe, to bankers in South Carolina, and finally to the century old sailing yacht Chardonnay and her owner, the notorious European merchant banker Michelle Meilland. Supported by Strategic Command’s Proliferation Security Initiative command center at Ft. Belvoir in suburban Washington, DC, Boyd is backed up by the authority and resources of the entire U.S. government, yet that’s not enough and when the chips are down, it’s just Boyd Chailland. The plot accelerates across the Atlantic in hurricane season as the forces of evil stay one jump ahead of America’s slow moving response to an action packed climax in the Azores.

This story has many heroes and villains; all well meaning, all flawed. But, there’s only one devil on Chardonnay.

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eBook of the Day! The Other Pilot featured on KindleNationDaily

The Other Pilot, the new action adventure by Ed Baldwin is the featured eBook of the day on KindleNationDaily.com.  KindleNationDaily is the blog for eBook readers that features reviews and commentary by authors and readers.  Go to http://bit.ly/1223RhA to see their reviews of The Other Pilot.

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Book club ideas

Road trip!  Author Ed Baldwin is planning a July promotional tour for his new book, The Devil on Chardonnay.  Put together a book group and let’s see if we can arrange a visit.  You provide a location and buy the books from Amazon in advance, to give members a chance to read it.  Ed will come to your location, read from his work, and sign the books.

If we can’t get together on the tour we could do it by Skype; not quite as exciting but still worth an evening.  Interested book clubs should contact me on the contact page of my web site.

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New Book Release 2013! See cover art for The Devil on Chardonnay

DOC_Kindle_LayoutNew Book Release 2013!  The cover art for The Devil on Chardonnay is just in today.  Cover artist Steve Meosky has been working for months on this picture.  The 120 foot wooden sailing yacht Chardonnay is approaching the spent volcano Pico in the Azores.  This unique ship, more than a century old and seen in this exotic locale, promises the reader an adventure.  We’re building a brand here, and the cover matches the style of The Other Pilot, the first adventure in the Capt. Boyd Chailland series.

In The Other Pilot Capt. Boyd Chailland is plucked from his life as a journeyman fighter pilot to serve on an Accident Investigation Board, and is caught up in an action packed thriller that features old and new aircraft, flying, fighting, investigation, and lots of flawed, interesting characters.  Just as he’s recovering he’s hurriedly called back to a black ops, off the books mission in The Devil on Chardonnay.  

This New Book Release 2013 announcement previews the next Boyd  Chailland adventure, with a publication date of June 15th.

A secret vaccine?  The chance to “spread a little sickness” attracts criminals and revolutionaries; but they’re the small players.  Something worse broke out of the Congo basin, and Strategic Command’s Capt. Boyd Chailland’s fight to get ahead of the trail of death leads to Chardonnay,  sailing yacht of the notorious European merchant banker Michelle Meilland as they cross the Atlantic in hurricane season.  A kaleidoscope of characters arise to test Boyd’s wits and stamina as he chases this constantly evolving threat from the Indian Ocean to  America, and finally to a breathtaking action climax in the Azores.

New Book Release 2013 June 15 publication date for The Devil on Chardonnay, watch for it!

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