Monday, September 17, 2012

Last post here.

As you can tell, I haven't been posting here very frequently in the past few years. Much easier to maintain contact with readers in other ways. So, if you'd like to stay in touch, please do one of the following:

1. Friend me on Facebook. You can find me right here.

2. Sign up for my emailed newsletter. I send it out only two or three times a  year, so I won't be bothering you much. You can sign up here.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Buck Fever—free for Kindle for 3 days!

There are a lot of blogs and Facebook pages that alert you to free Kindle books. Here's a good one, and it includes a link for BUCK FEVER.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

My Very Latest Novel—And Other Big News

Wanted to let you know about my brand-new novel. No, I'm not talking about THE CHICKEN HANGER, which was published two months ago. (You already got a copy of that, right? Right?)

No, I'm talking about THE DRIVING LESSON, which was published yesterday in book ebook and print format. I wrote THE DRIVING LESSON with young adult readers in mind, but I think all ages will enjoy it. Here's a synopsis.

Charlie Dunbar had big plans for the summer break, but becoming a fugitive was nowhere on the list. Even more unexpected, his partner in crime is his own ailing grandfather. Now they're on the run, trying to make it across the country to see a special kind of doctor, while the world becomes mesmerized by their journey. They are the subject of heated debates on cable news channels. Thousands of people voice their support on Facebook fan pages. And Charlie's own parents appear on live TV to plead for him to come home safely. But Charlie isn't ready yet. He's determined to get his grandfather to Seattle. The only question is, will the police stop him first? Recommended for ages 13 to adult.

Here's the Kindle version. 

Here's the Nook version.

And here's the print version. 

Hope you like it.

Meanwhile, in other big news, I'm happy to tell you that the Blanco mysteries have been optioned to Warner Brothers Horizon Scripted Television for development as a cable TV series. (The books were represented by Mary Alice Kier and Anna Cottle at Cine/Lit Representation on behalf of the Jane Chelius Literary Agency). Still a lot of bridges to cross before you'd ever see your favorite Blanco characters on TV, so think good thoughts. If something big happens, you can count on me sharing it.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pixel of Ink

Friday, March 02, 2012

My latest book

It will be shipping any day now.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Do you own a Kindle or Nook, or are you planning to mug someone who does? Then you should know I'm in the process of releasing the first four Blanco County mysteries as ebooks for the low low price of $2.99. Here's the first one—FLAT CRAZY for the Nook.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

New Interview

Literary publicist Stephanie Barko is conducting a month-long series of interviews of Texas authors over on her blog. Today the interviewee is—wait for it—me. Check it out. Better yet, leave comments over there so I'll appear popular. You could even win a book. Yes, one of mine. Sorry. Here's the link:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spring of 2012

I knew that TCU Press would be publishing my next novel, THE CHICKEN HANGER, but I didn't know when. Now I know it will be in the spring of next year. When I know the exact date, I will post it here.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The LATEST latest...

You can see that I'm not blogging here much anymore. But I am on Facebook, so come on over there and friend me.

Here's a summary of where things stand:

Holy Moly was the finale in the Blanco County series. I'm not saying there will never be another one, but at this point, I'm not planning on it. If some publisher came along who simply couldn't live without another one, well, then things might be different.

I wrote a standalone—The Chicken Hanger—that will be published by TCU Press, although I don't know the exact date yet. Probably in the fall of 2011 or the spring of 2012. Watch for updates here.

Not long ago, I finished a manuscript for a young-adult novel. My agent is currently pitching that to important people who know about such things. If it finds a home, I will announce it here, there, and everywhere.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Remember a few months ago...

...when I said a publisher was interested in my latest manuscript? We finally have the details ironed out. TCU Press will be publishing THE CHICKEN HANGER, probably sometime late in 2011 or early in 2012.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Almost There.

The publisher and I are working out a few small details on the contract mentioned below, and after that, I'll share the details. Yes, it's moving s-l-o-w-l-y....

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Good News

I received some great news this morning about my seventh manuscript, which my agent and I have been pitching for a while. It has found a home. Of course, I'm one of those guys who thinks disaster will strike at any moment, so I won't share the details just yet. But as soon as I sign the forthcoming publishing contract, I will spill the beans.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Where Things Stand

The question I get most often is: When is the next book coming out?

Well, first, thanks for asking. I do appreciate the interest.

Here's the situation: I'm continuing to pitch my most recently completed manuscript. Right now it's in the hands of a publisher who seems interested. I hope to hear back soon, but these things can take quite some time.

Meanwhile, I recently started a new manuscript. This is not a Blanco County mystery, nor is the one mentioned above. That series ended with Holy Moly. I suppose it's possible that I might write another Blanco County mystery someday, but I don't have any immediate plans to do that.

That's the latest. If anything changes, you can bet I'll post it here.

Thanks for reading. As always, Red says, "Howdy."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The black market in white-tailed deer.

Black deer trade poses health threat for whitetail population.
By Ben Rehder
It’s a humid summer evening in central Texas, and a man we’ll call Cal is about to make an illegal purchase. As a result, his anxiety level is high. His palms are damp, his heart is racing and his mouth is dry.

The item in this particular transaction isn’t a bale of marijuana or a stolen laptop, or even a crate of bootleg CDs. It’s an 11-point white-tailed buck with highly desirable drop-tine antlers off each main beam.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It appears some people aren't as thankful as they claim to be.

This is from a CNN website poll...

Holiday Gift Idea

A few months ago, I sold a signed complete set of the Blanco mysteries on eBay. Boy, did I feel like a proud entrepreneurial capitalist. It went well.

Recently I got my hands on another new copy of Buck Fever (a remainder, actually), so I'm selling another full set on eBay.

I'll sign 'em however you want.

Funny and accurate.

Click for a larger version (I think.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

I joined Facebook.

Come be my friend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What's wrong with this ad?

Friday, August 14, 2009

I never knew it was this easy.

Like most authors, I'm always looking for new ways to get the word out about my books--and increase sales.

Fortunately, I receive Publishers Lunch, which is sort of an insider's look at the publishing industry. They sell ad space across the top of the email, and today's ad says:

Authors - Want To Make Your Book An Instant Bestseller?

Discover how on free telephone seminar Tuesday, August 18th

Want to find out how one author made her book an,
Barnes & Noble and New York Times Bestseller? Join us Tuesday,
August 18th for a free telephone seminar and discover the ingenious,
yet simple "bestseller blueprint" you can use to sell more books in
a week than most authors sell all year. It works for all types of
books and costs almost nothing to implement. On the call, you'll
hear from four authors who've used it to make their books bestsellers
and one who sold $184,256.00 of copies at zero cost!


That sounds great. I will be a famous bestselling author in no time, I'm sure.

Some people might think phrases like "instant bestseller" and "costs almost nothing" would be warning signs, but not me!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

If I were writing another Blanco County novel....

Police: Man used deer antlers in north Austin fight

11:39 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 Staff

A man faces aggravated assault charges in connection with an incident using an unusual weapon.

According to an arrest affidavit, Randy Keith Carlson, 43, is accused of attacking another man with deer antlers.

Witnesses reported that Carlson and another man were arguing when Carlson began attacking the other man with the antlers on Monday afternoon. The fight ended when an officer pulled up on the scene on Rutland Drive.

According to court documents, the ends of the antlers had been sharpened.

Bond was set at $25,000.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Good signing in Junction

I haven't been doing many events this year, but I had a good time speaking with folks at the Kimble County Library in Junction nine days ago. They laughed at my lame jokes and asked plenty of good questions. Plus...cookies. Cookies are always a bonus.

One couple—Dale and Connie Copeland—drove all the way from Hearne, which is about 190 miles from Junction. They sent me this photo yesterday. Thanks, Copelands!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A couple of my recent hummingbird photos

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What I've been reading.

Father of Jack asked what I've been reading lately. The truth is, I haven't been reading quite as much as I usually do, and that's probably tied to not writing as much as I usually do. The two are often linked.

Anyway, I've read...

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, by Stieg Larsson, which was good, albeit a little slow at first. I kept going and ultimately enjoyed it.

The first few chapters of THE LIGHTNING THIEF, by Rick Riordan, just to see what the hubbub is about. It's not the sort of book I'd normally read, but I can understand why kids are loving that series.

SWAN PEAK, by James Lee Burke, which is another solid addition to the Robicheaux series, although, honestly, I think that series is reaching its limits.

FEELERS, by Brian Wiprud, which is very unique and a lot of fun. Go pick that one up.

There are others, but I can't remember what they are right now, which is a review unto itself.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Introducing the Blanco County General Store!

You've probably noticed that I haven't been posting much around here lately. The truth is, I'm a little burned out on it. So I'm going to take a break for an undetermined amount of time. Before I do that however, I wanted to mention this....

Not long ago, at a book club, a reader asked if I was doing anything to commemorate the end of the Blanco County series. Well, I hadn't even thought about it. Considering that the paperback of Holy Moly will be released in a few months, I figured I'd better get on the stick. 

So I'm proud to announce the grand opening of the Blanco County General Store (also known as the web storefront where Ben shamelessly hawks questionable merchandise). I've attached a couple of examples of the shirts available on the site. 

Check it out by clicking here.

Again, thanks for all your support over the years. My agent is currently pitching the standalone novel I wrote last year. When I have news on that front, you can bet you'll hear it here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The 2009 Edgar® Award Nominees are...
Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, its Nominees for the 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television and film published or produced in 2008. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 63rd Gala Banquet, April 30, 2009 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.


Missing by Karin Alvtegen (Felony & Mayhem Press)
Blue Heaven by C.J. Box (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Sins of the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno (Simon & Schuster - Scribner)
The Price of Blood by Declan Hughes (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Night Following by Morag Joss (Random House – Delacorte Press)
Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (Simon & Schuster)


The Kind One by Tom Epperson (Five Star, div of Cengage)
Sweetsmoke by David Fuller (Hyperion)
The Foreigner by Francie Lin (Picador)
Calumet City by Charlie Newton (Simon & Schuster - Touchstone)
A Cure for Night by Justin Peacock (Random House - Doubleday)


The Prince of Bagram by Alex Carr (Random House Trade)
Money Shot by Christa Faust (Hard Case Crime)
Enemy Combatant by Ed Gaffney (Random House - Dell)
China Lake by Meg Gardiner (New American Library – Obsidian Mysteries)
The Cold Spot by Tom Piccirilli (Random House - Bantam)


For The Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb and the Murder that Shocked Chicago by Simon Baatz (HarperCollins)
American Lightning: Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century by Howard Blum (Crown Publishers)
Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost It To The Revolution by T.J. English (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
The Man Who Made Vermeers: Unvarnishing the Legend of Master Forger Hans van Meegeren by Jonathan Lopez (Harcourt)
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale (Walker & Company)


African American Mystery Writers: A Historical and Thematic Study by Frankie Y. Bailey (McFarland & Company)
Hard-Boiled Sentimentality: The Secret History of American Crime Stories by Leonard Cassuto (Columbia University Press)
Scene of the Crime: The Importance of Place in Crime and Mystery Fiction by David Geherin (McFarland & Company)
The Rise of True Crime by Jean Murley (Greenwood Publishing – Praeger)
Edgar Allan Poe: An Illustrated Companion to His Tell-Tale Stories by Dr. Harry Lee Poe (Sterling Publishing – Metro Books)


"A Sleep Not Unlike Death" - Hardcore Hardboiled by Sean Chercover (Kensington Publishing)
"Skin and Bones" – Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine by David Edgerley Gates (Dell Magazines)
"Scratch of a Woman" - Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman (HarperCollins – William Morrow)
"La Vie en Rose" - Paris Noir by Dominique Mainard (Akashic Books
"Skinhead Central" - The Blue Religion by T. Jefferson Parker (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)


The Postcard by Tony Abbott (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Enigma: A Magical Mystery by Graeme Base (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff (Random House Children's Books – Wendy Lamb Books)
The Witches of Dredmoore Hollow by Riford McKenzie (Marshall Cavendish Children's Books)
Cemetary Street by Brenda Seabrooke (Holiday House)


Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd (Random House Children's Books – David Fickling Books)
The Big Splash by Jack D. Ferraiolo (Harry N. Abrams Books – Amulet Books)
Paper Towns by John Green (Penguin Young Readers Group – Dutton Children's Books)
Getting the Girl by Susan Juby (HarperCollins Children's Books - HarperTeen)
Torn to Pieces by Margo McDonnell (Random House Children's Books – Delacorte Books for Young Readers)


The Ballad of Emmett Till by Ifa Bayeza (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the story by Robert Lewis Stevenson (Arizona Theatre Company)
Cell by Judy Klass (International Mystery Writers' Festival)


"Streetwise" – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Paul Grellong (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
"Prayer of the Bone" – Wire in the Blood, Teleplay by Patrick Harbinson (BBC America)
"Signature" – Law & Order: SVU, Teleplay by Judith McCreary (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
"You May Now Kill the Bride" – CSI: Miami, Teleplay by Barry O'Brien (CBS)
"Burn Card" – Law & Order, Teleplay by David Wilcox (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)


The Bank Job, Screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais (Lionsgate)
Burn After Reading, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (Focus Features)
In Bruges, Screenplay by Martin McDonagh (Focus Features)
Tell No One, Screenplay by Guillaume Canet, based on the book by Harlan Coben (Music Box Films)
Transsiberian, Screenplay by Brad Anderson & Will Conroy (First Look International)


"Buckner's Error" - Queens Noir by Joseph Guglielmelli (Akashic Books)


James Lee Burke
Sue Grafton


Edgar Allan Poe Society, Baltimore, Maryland
Poe House, Baltimore, Maryland


Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Killer's Wife by Bill Floyd (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer (Random House - Doubleday)
A Song for You by Betsy Thornton (St. Martin's Minotaur)
The Fault Tree by Louise Ure (St. Martin's Minotaur)

# # # #

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Just another day in Iran.
TEHRAN — Two men convicted of adultery were stoned to death in northeastern Iran last month, but a third convicted man managed to escape, judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said. The stoning took place in the city of Mashhad in late December, he said. Typically in such cases, a man is buried up to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her neck. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the person dies. If the person manages to escape from the hole, he or she will remain free under Islamic law. "Given that the third person managed to pull himself out of the hole, the verdict was not carried out," Jamshidi said.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Article

Some of you know that I bought a new point-and-shoot camera last summer, and I loved it, and I kept babbling about it on this blog. Well, I took that enthusiasm and wrote a magazine article instead, and you can read it here in Texas Parks & Wildlife.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Why is sausage news always amusing?

I don't know, but it is...
Woman charged with stealing soap and sausages
By Isadora Vail | Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 10:30 AM

A woman was arrested and charged Monday with stealing several packages of soap and a pack of sausages from a store, according to an arrest affidavit.

Etta Ellison, 49, was seen putting a package of sausages, two packs of Dove soap, and a pack of Jergens soap in her purse by a cashier at the City Market on Airport Boulevard, according to the affidavit.

The cashier said Ellison put the items in her purse and left the store without paying, the affidavit states. The items total $10.94. Because Ellison has two prior theft convictions, according to the affidavit, this charge is a state jail felony that is punishable up to two years in a state jail if convicted.