I’m back!! Did you miss me? 🙂 I’m happy to announce that we are all moved into our new home. Most of the boxes are unpacked and the house is organized. Kim and I are… More
As we were driving back from Deadwood in our motorhome, doing our best to dodge the endless deer that enjoyed roaming the highways of South Dakota, my wife and I were talking about how much we have enjoyed the Wild Deadwood Reads Book Event. This was the third year we attended, working in a family vacation, as well as participating in as many of the author events as we could. From the Author-Reader Meet and Greet, the breakfast before the signing, to the signing event and the book excerpt reading at Wild Bill Bar; the weekend was wall to wall fun. Mix in the family adventures we went on, with my inlaws along for the trip, and we were rarely bored. Below are a few pictures, including one of all of the authors participating. Next years event is already in the planning, though the dates are up in the air right now. If you’re an author or a reader, I suggest checking out this event. You’ll have a great time.
During the event, there was a raffle for baskets and gifts provided by the authors, with all the proceeds to the tickets purchased for the raffle going to the Wild Horse Sanctuary in South Dakota. Instead of a basket, I went a different route, providing a wooden train bird feeder built by my father-in-law, which was stuffed with three of my books, a Jarvis Mann t-shirt, some fedora shaped soaps and a bookmark my daughter made. It turned out being the top prize sought after, having the most raffle tickets placed in the drawing. The winner as you see below was Kiri, posing with model/actor Michael Wayne Foster, who announced all the winners. Thanks to her and everyone else at the event for participating, as we raised $1200 for the sanctuary.
From Deadwood we move onto the cover for Dead Man Code. The story of a murdered computer engineer led to a simple cover design I had in mind from the beginning. Being a computer tech myself, this book took some of my knowledge of the information sharing world we live in and turned it into a murder mystery. Complete with a fictional Silicon Valley tech company, Russian mobsters and Chinese government agents, facing off with my PI Jarvis Mann. My previous designer was out on maternity leave when it was time to create the cover. After an extensive search, I found a new graphic artist, who has been my cover designer ever since, as well as designing my rweir.net website. Mia with Happi Anarky took what I was looking for and created it with little effort. I wanted computer binary code in green, with a magnifying glass, a little blood, and a handgun. This was actually one of the simplest cover designs we did, with only a small tweak needed, as she nailed it. Here is the final cover:
Dead Man Code was released October 18, 2016 to excellent reviews, many of them 5-Star:
I fell in love with Jarvis with the first book that I read and now I am anxious to get into his next adventures. I love that he will go to no ends to find out “who did it” and he covers all of his bases. Randy hit a grand slam with this! – Peggy Clayton
Jarvis is hired by a widow who suspects that her husband was murdered. Not wanting to step on any police toes, brings his to the attention of the Russian mob and Chinese government. This is a well written story which is filled with action, twists, and is a thrilling read – Wendy Livingstone
This is the fifth book in the Jarvis Mann Detective series and I firmly believe that each one keeps getting better. This book shows how an author takes an awesome main character, adds in plenty of thrills, danger, and enough suspense that you will find yourself lost in the book until the final word is read – Laura Furuta
Be sure to check out Dead Man Code on Amazon. It’s available as an eBook, in Paperback or on Kindle Unlimited. If you want a signed paperback, reach out to me directly and we can work out getting you a copy to add to your reading collection.
This week I’m headed to Georgetown Colorado, for GeoCon. This is the third year of the event, held in this former silver mining camp, now a lively historical summer tourist center west of Denver. I will be selling my books, along with several other authors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (June 28th, 29th, and 30th) at the Georgetown Heritage Center in the Northeast Classroom. Then Saturday evening I will be attending a Networking Dinner at Coopers on the Creek in Georgetown from 5:30 to 8:00PM. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by my table and say hello. I’ll be the author in the Jarvis Mann t-shirt!!
One more new Prolific Works giveaway for you to check out this month. Into the Woods Mystery & Crime Group Giveaway has 39 mystery/crime books free to download, including my short story, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. To check it out, use this link.
After a busy month of June, my life will be quieter in July (maybe!), allowing me to get back to the next book I’m working on. I’m still keeping the details secret for now, but I’m excited about this new project, so be sure to keep reading future newsletters for more information I’ll be doling out.
That is all for this month. Next month I’ll have more news and talk about the cover design of The Front Range Butcher, and include a few covers that didn’t make the cut. If you enjoy my work be sure to share with other friends and family. If they sign-up for the newsletter I will send them a free eBook of Tracking A Shadow as a bonus. Thanks again and have a wonderful rest of your week!
After what we wish was a final blast of winter in late May here in Colorado, we are hoping spring sticks around for good, as the flowers and trees are blooming, though they took a beating from this last wet snowstorm. One of the wonderful flowers in our yard we enjoy is the Rocky Mountain Columbine, which was in full-color last week, as you can see by this picture. They are a hardy plant, so we hope they bounce back after getting squashed by four inches of damp snow.
I’m going to jump ahead one book this month when reminiscing about books covers, as I have exciting news, which I will outline later. The cover for The Case of the Invisible Souls was one of the less challenging covers we designed. Souls was a holiday story about a homeless veteran coming to Jarvis for help about an issue with other homeless in the area disappearing for an unknown reason. I gave my daughter, Dakota a quick outline of my thoughts on the cover and she drew a basic idea which we sent off to my cover designer. Though it’s faint, hopefully you can make out what she drew:
A simple basic drawing which my designer worked with. From this came a series of covers, two of which I decided against.
I liked both of these, making it a tough choice. But in the end I decided on this cover:
The Christmas tree in the background and the homeless man lying at the foot of the steps made for the right image I wanted to convey. The Case of the Invisible Souls was released June 24th, 2017 to excellent reviews and eventually reached #1 on one of Amazon’s Bestseller lists. Here are a few of the 5-Star Reviews.
I love the fact that this author brings to light the plight of our forgotten hero’s that gave for us only to be forgotten and cast aside like garbage. It brings to mind that instead of sticking your nose in the air and thinking that the homeless brought it on themselves that there may be more to the story than meets the eye – Charleann Davis
Wasn’t sure what to expect with this being a shorter book than Mr. Weir has been producing, but wow shouldn’t of had doubt as this book packed an eye-opener punch I didn’t see coming. This book sheds light on homelessness and soldiers struggles when they return home from war. Definitely recommend for all those who need a reality check – Soph
This story is a powerful short story that you will fall in love with. The author’s writing style and attention to detail with Jarvis Mann makes this story what it is. The secondary characters are true to life and connectable. They help make the story flow together and it wouldn’t be the same without them. This story will pull you in from the first word until the very last. The journey that Jarvis will take you on, will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat. You won’t want to miss this journey with him! – Bobbi Jo Wagner
A little background on this book. I had just begun writing the story when I was in a motorcycle accident, which laid me up for several months. After the release of the previous book, Dead Man Code (the book I skipped and will talk about next month) I wanted to get something out quickly since I’d lost a fair amount of time recovering from my injuries. I rushed out Souls for release, as it had been 8 months between books. Though I was proud of the story, I went back earlier this year and did a rewrite. The story grew from 16k to 23k words in length, with two new chapters. I also ran it through my newest editor/proofreader, fixing some of the issues, while adding more depth to the story. This I believe improved the book greatly, making it a novella now, instead of a short story. If you have read the book in the past, I’d suggest reading it again as I feel it has improved, with even more emotion and action added to the plot. If you haven’t read it, I’d be thrilled if you add it to your reading list. The Case of the Invisible Souls is available on eBook, Kindle Unlimited and now for the first time in Paperback. With the paperback being only $6.99 on Amazon. Or a signed copy can be purchased directly from me for $5.00, plus shipping in the US. And I will have this book at all future events I attend. As a bonus, the paperback also includes the first Jarvis Mann short story, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card also available in paperback for the first time. Both Amazon Bestselling #1 stories available for one low price, in a 100-page book.
For those who already own the ebook version of Souls, once again I can’t get Amazon to push out the new version automatically, for they say the changes were minor, which has been a source of frustration for me. Plus they don’t make requesting the new version easy for my readers. To get the new version you must go through these steps:
Go to this web address:
In the Search Your Content Field, Type in the book title
Under Actions for the book click the button to reveal options
On Deliver To click Others
Click the drop-down on selected Devices and check the box of all the Kindle devices you want to update
Note there is a limit of 5 at one time you can check
Then click Deliver. You should shortly get the updated version on your Kindle device or app
The way you can tell you have the newest version is the title of the book now says, The Case of the Invisible Souls, A Jarvis Mann Detective Novella. There are also 12 chapters now instead of 10. If you have any issues getting the new version don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I’ll do my best to assist.
In June I have a big author signing I will be attending. The Wild Deadwood Reads event will have over 50 authors and is being held in the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel. This will be the third year I’ve attended, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of my author friends and meeting voracious readers looking for new books. If you’re in the area join us for the author book sale and signing on June 8th from 10AM-3PM. Cost for readers is free. There are lots of other events over the three days, so be sure to check them out via the Wild Deadwood Reads website via this link.
If you have a few minutes check out an article I wrote during the research and writing of The Front Range Butcher. Getting into the Head of a Serial Killer covers the humorous and serious emotions I went through when developing my psychological thriller. It was published on the San Fransisco Book Review website, which you can check out via this link.
No new Prolific Words giveaways this month, but one is still running until the end of the year. Discover New Mystery Series has 50 books in all, including The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. Check it out via this link.
Another plug for the latest book in the Jarvis Mann PI series, Mann in the Crossfire. Here are a couple of wonderful new reviews recently posted:
The book was freaking amazing. This book will definitely keep you at the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. The twist and turns in this book just wow. I would love to read a follow up story after the dust settles for Mr. Mann and his his crew – Adrianne L Adams
Mann in the Crossfire . . . is a book that excites the senses and challenges assumptions about law and order. At times nasty, at times endearing, this book will not let down readers in search of adventure into the underworld, a place where normalcy stands on its head and danger lurks around every corner – Surfs Up Writers’ Bookshelves
Enjoy this latest Jarvis Mann PI adventure. Available on Amazon, in ebook, Kindle Unlimited, or in paperback. Or it can be purchased directly from me. Just contact me via my email address and we can work out the details.
This will wrap up my newsletter for this month. Be sure to stop by my website to find my books, and lists of my events. If you read one of my books, please leave a review on Amazon and Goodreads, as it helps out the book when it comes to rankings, especially on Amazon. I hope everyone enjoys the warmer days ahead and have a wonderful rest of your week.
April 10th was National Siblings Day here in the US. Anyone with a sibling knows of the complicated bond you can have. To say it can be a love/hate relationship in many cases can’t be overstated. This was the basis of my book Blood Brothers, as Jarvis goes back to his hometown to help his brother Flynn out of a serious jam, one he doesn’t want his help with in the beginning. While writing the book I had a clear vision of what I wanted for the cover, desiring to capture the range of emotions born from this sibling rivalry. During the process, we had several designs, a few of which didn’t make the cut. Here are two of them:
These covers didn’t jump out at me, the faces older than I wanted. They appeared to me to be twenty-something men. And the way that they were looking at each other didn’t work as well. I wanted a happy picture of two boys, with another element added to break the happiness feel. From there we got these cover proofs:
The picture of the boys I liked, they were the right age. But each of these covers had an element I didn’t like. The first picture I didn’t care for the font used on the author name. And the placement of the word Brothers didn’t work. The second picture, again I didn’t like the picture frame and the bullet hole many didn’t like as well for an odd reason, which I won’t detail here. The third picture, again the bullet hole and the fonts didn’t work, not popping out from the page. From here I decided to take elements from all three, which got me to the final cover.
Here is where I was truly satisfied. The picture of a happy time of two brothers, with the glass cracked, suggesting a rift in the relationship. The handgun lying next to it, smoke rising as if it had been shot, implying the danger both would encounter. The imagery was spot on for what I wanted to convey about the book and the story told. Blood Brothers was released December 29, 2015, to excellent reviews. Jarvis going back home to help his brother, and the backstory of Jarvis growing up, providing answers of how he became the man he was. Pick it up on Amazon, either in eBook, Paperback or read it on Kindle Unlimited. Here are a couple of those 5-Star reviews:
In this book you truly see the difference in Mr Weir’s writing from when he started. Although I enjoyed all the other books, this one had me on the edge of my seat. I love seeing writers develop and hone their skills.
Like the others you won’t be able to guess all the twists and turns. You will be cursing Jarvis though – Soph
I just love all of the Jarvis Mann books that I have read and that includes this one. At times I find myself gripping the arm of the chair while I am reading as I don’t want anything to happen to the main character. He really walks into your life and you would love to have him as a good friend as he would always have your back. R. Weir hit this one out of the park! – Peggy C
With last months release of Mann in the Crossfire, more fabulous reviews continue to come in which I will share:
I love the Jarvis Mann series because they are full of suspense, danger, mystery, action and adventure. Mr. Weir does a great job of creating a world of mystery that makes you feel like you are dropped right in the middle of the suspense and action. He also writes characters that are realistic – Shelly
Mann heads to San Diego on an investigation, and he faces more collective danger than he ever has before at the hands of a seedy criminal element. When he’s beaten down, is he truly out? This is a must read to see if Jarvis Mann can survive this ultimate challenge against a collective criminal evil. This is another 5-star suspenseful nail-biter from R.Weir – K-BRC
During these periods of recuperation, Jarvis’ existential angst is front and center. If I was a detective, his meaning of life ponderings should have clued me into what was coming, but I completely shocked by the surprising, albeit apropos, ending! I am looking forward to how this twist will affect Jarvis’s future and what author R. Weir has in store for his readers – Julie with A Book Junkie Reviews
Mann in the Crossfire, the 8th in the Jarvis Mann Detective series is now available on Amazon, in either eBook, Paperback or via Kindle Unlimited. Be sure to pick it up today to add to your hardboiled book collection.
This Saturday (April 27th) at 2PM I will be at the recently renovated Highlands Ranch Library for the Local Author Showcase, with 13 other local authors in the upstairs event hall. Each author gets 5 minutes to introduce themselves and talk about their book. Afterward, we will be selling our books for anyone interested in purchasing copies. Light refreshments will also be provided. This will be a wonderful time to meet new voracious readers and expose them to our work. If you’re in the area stop by and join the festivities.
I was able to squeeze in an extra event on April 12th & 13th, one my wife found online. This one was the Copperleaf Craft Fair in Centennial Colorado. It was a smaller event, but well attended, especially on Friday night when they were serving free food, wine and beer. I got to talk to lots of people, sell some books and get a few sign-ups. If you’re new to the newsletter, welcome. You can always read all my other newsletters via the blog tab on my website or go directly to it via this link.
There are more Prolific Works giveaways this month. The first was the Thrillers & Mystery Giveaway, with 51 total books including The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. All free to download here thru April 30th.
Next is Mysterious Crimes, with 49 books free to download. This giveaway runs until May 12th and can be found via this link.
And finally the Discover New Mystery Series! giveaway was extended, this one now running until December 31st. You’ll find 50 free books in all, which you can download via this link.
I will wrap up my newsletter this month, with a final plug. Be sure to check out the new release, Mann in the Crossfire, as well as all the other books in the Jarvis Mann Detective series. You can find them here on Amazon or you email me and we can work out sending the books directly to you. Have a wonderful rest of your week. Turn off the TV and find a great book to read.
Spring is here, with warm temperatures sprouting the buds on the trees and flowers in our yard. I know for many in the Midwest, the sudden warm-up came too quickly, causing the massive amount of snow they’ve received this last couple of months to melt, leading to horrible flooding. Being an Iowa native, I know flooding has become an all too common occurrence. I hope everyone recovers quickly and can enjoy the warmer weather without having a river running down their street or through their farmland.
With spring came Spring Break for my daughter, as she spent the last week at home with us. As you see by the picture below she joined me and my wife in Highlands Ranch for the Spring Bazaar at the Recreation Center in Eastridge on Saturday, helping with selling books, which I will talk about later in the newsletter. She made some cute bookmarks we were selling for the event, which were popular with the book buyers. She headed back on Sunday to begin the last two months of her first year in college, with summer plans around the corner.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since The Front Range Butcher was released. And the scintillating follow-up, Mann in the Crossfire is finally available to download onto your Kindle’s and read. It has been a long journey to get this 8th book in the Jarvis Mann PI series finished. Mostly because it’s a lengthy plot, tying up several story-lines that have built up through the years. Looking back when I started Tracking A Shadow, I never envisioned having eight books written in 5 years. Nor the journey I would take this tough, snarky, private eye on. It’s been a long, at times challenging but still satisfying adventure. Though it may not be the end for Jarvis, I will be putting him to rest for now, as I’ve started writing a new book, with new characters, which might also turn into a series, details of which I will slowly reveal in time. For now, I hope you enjoy this new book, as well as the others in the series, as much as I did envisioning this hard-boiled noir world Jarvis lived in.
More reviews are in for Mann in the Crossfire, and so far they have all been fabulous. I’ve included a few below to check out:
This was another excellent Mann story. Each of these books we learn to love Jarvis a little more. He’s tough, real, and brave as he swims the waters of gangs and criminals. This story was an action-packed, edge of your seat read. I loved it. I have been honored to read the whole Jarvis Mann P.I. series. And each book is better than the last. This one was packed with danger, conspiracies, and action around every corner. It was a truly awesome story. P.S. For fans of this series…The ending was amazing!!! – Stormi with Boundless Book Reviews
An on-the-edge of your seat read, a definite page-turner, until the very end – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews
This book is action packed, suspense filled, lots of intrigue and had a couple of moments that I thought Jarvis wasn’t going to make it out alive. There was even an “OMG” shout out loud from me when someone got shot that was just unbelievable to me. I was totally invested in this book. Totally awesome book! – Tina Todd Shobe
Pre-order pricing is over, the eBook now back to the regular price of $5.99. You can pick up the eBook or Paperback on Amazon. And if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited be sure to add it to your reading list, for Mann in the Crossfire is available, as are all the other books in the series via the Amazon book subscription service, other than The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card.
As I mentioned, I was at the Spring Bazaar last Saturday, a busy 8-hour event where I got to meet some new readers, along with a few old friends who stopped by. For those of you who signed up for the newsletter, welcome!! You should have received an email about getting your free eBook. If you don’t see the email check your spam folder. And you can email me directly via this email address and I’ll make arrangement to get the book sent to you. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to talk and buy books. It was an enjoyable day.
One new Prolific works giveaway has begun, with The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card featured along with 38 other books you can download for free. The Thrillers & Mystery Giveaway has 38 books to check out via this link, the giveaway running thru April 8th.
One of the thrilling aspects of being an author is being recognized for your work. I recently received a cool Poison Cup trophy from the Crime Masters of America in recognition for my Jarvis Mann PI series. Thanks to them for shipping it to me, as it’s sitting in my home office where I write as a reminder to keep plugging away.
A final plug to pick up a copy of my latest book, Mann in the Crossfire. And if you haven’t read all the books in the series, be sure to check them out via my Amazon Author Page or on my website. If you’re a fan of Mystery, Detective, Suspense and Thriller books, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I will be back again next month continuing my cover design series, this time going over the process in creating Blood Brothers. And I’ll have more news about the new book and author events coming this summer. Thanks again and be sure to curl up with a good book to brighten your day!
An extra email this month, reminding you that the release date of the eBook version of the latest Jarvis Mann PI book, Mann in the Crossfire, is less than two weeks away (3/25). And you can get the eBook for the special price of $2.99 until after release day, when it will be sold for $5.99. A half-price deal on a 417-page mystery thriller which will keep you guessing, as you’ll see by some early reviews I’ve posted below. Order your copy today via this link.
This follow-up to The Front Range Butcher, finds Jarvis flying back and forth between Southern California and Denver, working a couple of cases fraught with excitement and danger. A former associate is murdered leading to a discovery putting Jarvis in constant jeopardy. You can check out the first chapter of the book via this link.
Mann in the Crossfire is the first book I’ve written, where I’m telling people it’s important to read another book first, in this case, The Front Range Butcher. One of the major story-lines in Butcher, which went unresolved, continues in Crossfire and will leave some readers confused if they haven’t read Butcher. For those of you who haven’t read it, you can check out The Front Range Butcher via this link and read a preview at this link. Reviews have been fabulous, averaging 4.7 stars on Amazon and Goodreads. Here are a couple of 5-star examples:
The Front Range Butcher by R. Weir a five-star read that will keep you up front. This is another installment in the Jarvis Mann detective series and what a great character the detective is. – Sara Oxton
Wow this book certainly made up for the shortness of the previous one. It was packed to the brim full of action and drama. By the middle of the book I thought I had solved it, boy was I wrong and I loved that. This book has so many twists and turns you won’t see coming, and features many of the characters I’ve fallen in love with. – Sophie Ruthven
There is so much danger in this story, and twists while enjoying the wittiness and snarkiness of Jarvis … Pick up a copy and join the chase … – Jana
Speaking of reviews, Mann in the Crossfire went out to several advance reviewers and the reaction has been universally wonderful. Here are some snippets from those early 5-star reviews:
This latest installment of the Jarvis Mann Series is heart-pounding, gut-wrenching, and riveting from beginning to end. If you like detective novels with noir elements in a contemporary setting, this is a must-have! – Charity with On My Kindle Reviews
R Weir always keeps us in suspense and at the edge of our seats with this series! I can never put this series down and this was the best one yet! – Chrissy Dyer
If you prefer physical books as opposed to ebooks, Mann in the Crossfire is already available to purchase on paperback through Amazon via this link for $16.99. Here is the full paperback book cover:
You can also purchase the book direct and get it signed by me, for $12 plus the cost of shipping. Most shipping in the US via USPS costs around $4. Contact me at this email address if you’re interested and we can handle the payment via Paypal. This is for US based people only, unless you want to pay the exorbitant cost of me shipping it to another country. If you do, don’t hesitate to contact me and we can work out the details.
I had a wonderful time at the Smoky Hill Spring Craft Fair. It was a busy 6 hours with a lot of people checking out my books. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to talk and purchase books. I had numerous new sign-ups for this newsletter from the event, so welcome to all of you.
A reminder my next event is March 23rd at the Recreation Center at Eastridge in Highlands Ranch Colorado for their Spring Bazaar. The event runs from 9AM-5PM. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by and say hello. I will have all of my books for sale, including the new release Mann in the Crossfire, with some other free goodies to giveaway including some handmade soaps made by my wife and daughter in the shape of fedora’s and baseball caps, each with various natural oils added. A little something extra for those who stop by and say hello.
A couple more Prolific Works giveaways to announce, both of which had The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card as a free ebook to download. The first Longing for Spring includes 66 total books covering various genres: Mystery, Paranormal, Crime, Romance, Historical, Young/New Adult, Woman’s & Humor. Hurry as it ends March 15th. You can check it out via this link.
Next is the Crime Fitted for March giveaway, with 77 total books in the Crime, Mystery and Thriller genres. It runs until March 31st and you can access the books via this link.
Speaking of The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card, here is a YouTube video by Tin Minute Book Reviews where Tineil reviews the short story, commenting Jarvis Mann PI would make an interesting TV show. The review starts at around the 7:30 mark in the video. You can access it via this link on their YouTube Channel.
Thanks again for reading my newsletter and passing it on to anyone interested in learning more about my books. Be sure to get your eBook pre-order in for Mann in the Crossfire before release day (3/25) for that special low price of $2.99. My next newsletter will be out on or shortly after release day, with more information about the book and reviews to share. Thanks and have a wonderful and healthy week.
It’s hard to believe another month has passed, as I’ve been busy gearing up for the release of the next Jarvis Mann PI book, which I will talk about later in the newsletter. For an indie author, there is so much prep work involved. Not only getting the text of the book correct but formatting for both eBook and paperback, which is challenging especially on the paperback side with Amazon taking over Createspace. Then you have to plan on how to market to get the word out. This is the 8th book in the series, so I’ve had a lot of experience, but there is still much to remember getting everything lined up for the release. Both exciting and stressful at the same time.
After the release of Tracking A Shadow, I began working on my next book. As I’ve detailed previously, this new adventure for PI Jarvis Mann, had several titles through the writing process, where I finally settled on, Twice As Fatal. Like the title, the book went through several covers at first, as I wasn’t exactly certain what I wanted. Using the same designer as I did with Tracking A Shadow, many of the initial cover drafts were met with unhappiness from those I asked. My first round of covers was too cluttered in many people’s eyes. Here are a couple of examples:
These covers were from rounds one and two in the process. Part of the issue might have been I wasn’t conveying what I wanted properly. There were two cases, one of which involving a college football player, the other a cheating husband leading to a murder. Grasping at straws we went into a third and fourth round. I was starting to think I wasn’t going to come up with something that worked, as you can see by these covers.
Still I wasn’t happy. And then a friend of mine, who was a graphic designer stepped in with some ideas. She found some pictures on the web, and through those pieces came about several more covers until I finally settled on the final one.
In this cover, I was conveying a simple image; the football field with a cracked helmet and blood drops on a football under the stadium lights, with the bullet holes and smoke in the word “Fatal”. It was a tough process but finally the cover was complete and Twice As Fatal was released on May 29th, 2015, reaching Amazon Top 10 Bestseller status. The reviews were great, as I upped the suspense, weaving the two cases Jarvis was working into one explosive conclusion. Here are three of the 5-Star reviews it received:
“Best Detective Novel of the Year!!
“Both of the cases that Jarvis accepts have unexpected twists and turns that will keep you guessing”
“This story is so fast and furious that you have to remember to tell yourself to breath”
As promised the eBook cover for the 8th book in the series, Mann in the Crossfire was revealed on my website, Facebook and Twitter. If you missed out here it is:
Mann in the Crossfire is available right now for the low pre-order price of $2.99 via Amazon for the ebook. This price is good until the release date of March 25th, when it will go to the regular price of $5.99. Here is the synopsis of the story:
Is this the end for PI Jarvis Mann?
A surprising murder of an associate
Sends Jarvis on a trip to San Diego to investigate
A trail of clues direct him to a gang member who wants him eliminated
While a local detective agency is hot on his tail with nefarious plans of their own
Battered and beaten, Jarvis battles to forge on, tracking the evidence
Directing him to a dangerous discovery that he may not be able to fight his way out of
Desperate for backup, with nowhere else to turn
He enlists lethal foes to render essential aid
Will these illicit associations spell the end of his career and possibly his life…
For Jarvis is truly a Mann in the Crossfire.
Mann in the Crossfire is also available on Paperback and via Kindle Unlimited. If you read The Front Range Butcher, this book is a must read, as the two stories are closely tied together, continuing one of the major story-lines in Butcher. If you prefer a paperback, it is available to purchase now on Amazon for $16.99. If you live in the Denver area or would like a signed paperback copy shipped to you, contact me directly via email and we can work out pricing as I’ll have copies to sell in about a week.
As I promised I have the first chapter for Mann in the Crossfire for you to check out. It’s too large to put in the newsletter, so here is a link to it on my website for you to get a taste of what this latest book is about. I believe I’ve set the proper mood for this exciting 417-page book. Let me know what you think.
I have two events in March I will be attending. The first is the Smoky Hill Spring Craft Fair, at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora from 9AM-3PM on March 9th. This is a busy event, with lots of other crafters selling their wares. Be sure to stop on by as I’ll be in the West Gym. I hope to have paperback copies of Mann in the Crossfire, as well as the other 5 paperback books in the series on sale.
And I will be at the Spring Craft Bazaar in Highlands Ranch Colorado on March 23rd from 9AM-5PM. This is being held at the Eastridge Rec Center with 125 different crafters selling their products. This will be the first year I’ve done this event, so I’m looking forward to meeting new book reading fans and introducing them to PI Jarvis Mann.
I had a great time at the Elizabeth Public Library in early February, Thanks to Chelsea for arranging the event. I got to meet some wonderful people there, talking about books and reading in general, while selling a few books to some new fans.
Prolific Works time again, where you can discover new authors and download for free eBooks in the Mystery/Thriller genre, with each one featuring my short story, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. First is the Private Investigator ~ Thriller / Mystery / Crime giveaway, with 33 books in all, running until March 21st. Check it out via this link.
It’s cold out–download a Mystery giveaway runs until February 28th, and includes 37 books to check out via this link.
And then finally there is the Discover New Mystery Series! giveaway with 51 total books to choose from running until March 30th. Access this giveaway via this link.
I will wrap up this newsletter with a final plug for the new book, Mann in the Crossfire. Be sure to order the eBook now at the lower pre-order price of $2.99. On the release date the book rises to $5.99. Thanks so much for reading and sharing my newsletter with other friends and family who enjoy a good mystery/detective story. And don’t forget to leave a review for any books you read. Indie Authors love when you take a few minutes to do this. Everyone have a wonderful week!!
Winter finally came a knocking here in Colorado, after a warm and dry last couple of months. Chilly temps and snow have made January feel like…January normally does. We even had our first decent sized snowstorm of the year, with about 8 inches, though it was more of the wet spring like the snow we normally get in March and April.
After six weeks of winter break, our daughter Dakota is back hard at work at the University of Wyoming. While at home she learned she made the Freshman Honor Roll after the first semester, which they say only a small percentage of freshman accomplish. We are proud of her, though she knows this next semester she’ll be challenged even more, with Calculus on her schedule! Though she does love math and is looking forward to it.
Last month I talked about being unhappy with the original Bubble Gum cover, recently updating it, with a much more dynamic cover that is getting lots of positive feedback. For the next book in the Jarvis Mann PI series, Tracking A Shadow, I had strong ideas of how I wanted it to look. Since the cover is what people see first, I wanted to provide an eye-catching first impression for the first novel in the series. After some research, I came up with a book designer who I worked with for this project, Victoria Robinson. I knew I wanted a somewhat menacing cover, keeping with the storyline of a woman being stalked, but leaving the culprit in the shadows since we don’t know who the stalker is until late in the story. Going through the process, she created several options off of the idea I provided of what I was looking for and we worked from there. I will share a couple of covers that didn’t make the grade, but actually, I thought weren’t bad. Here they are:
There were a couple different versions of the first one, most of which I liked quite a bit. The second one had a black & white noir feel to it, which also was appealing. Tough choices on both, but not quite as good as the final cover.
Then there were some that I didn’t like at all. Here are two of them:
As you can see both of these were too graphic for what I was looking for. This wasn’t a horror book, but a mystery/private detective novel in the classic sense. Which lead me to the cover I have today:
The sultry client, with the shadowy figure in the background looking menacing. A little bit Hitchcockian in the style. Feedback was positive on the cover and the book. Being the first full novel in the series, Tracking A Shadow hit the top ten on a couple of Amazon’s bestseller lists. And is available on Amazon in ebook, paperback and on Kindle Unlimited. Check it out and find out why reviewers proclaimed:
“Tracking a Shadow is part classic private investigator novel and part contemporary mystery”
“This was a humorous suspenseful tale about sex, money, power and greed”
“A remarkable plot sidelined with superlative characters contribute to the ambiguous shadow”
I’ve been hard at work finishing the editing of the next Jarvis Mann PI book, Mann in the Crossfire. Over the next week, I’ll be slowly revealing the new cover for the book on my website, Facebook and Twitter. Below you’ll see the first reveal. Not sure if you can make out much, but we’ll unblur sections at a time. Be sure to watch for it and let me know what you think. I’m pretty jazzed about this cover!
Continuing to talk about covers, I’ve heard from Amazon KDP support that they don’t consider my newly designed cover change of The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card, as being significant enough for the update to be pushed out automatically. I argued with them that a cover change is as big a change as you can have for a book, but they won’t budge. So if you received Bubble Gum before the release of the new cover, you have to manually request this update through your Amazon Account. Here are the instructions they sent me on how to do this:
Go to this link on your Amazon page. In the search window type the same of the book, in this situation The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. Under Action click the box with the ellipsis. Next to “Deliver To” click “Others”. Click the drop-down under “Devices Selected” and check the box of all the Kindle devices you want updated, and then click Deliver.
To be honest I’ve had varying success in getting this to work. Sometimes I’ve had to delete the book first from the device and then do these steps. Even then it hasn’t always worked. Unfortunately, according to Amazon, this is the only way to get the newer version, which is a bit aggravating. I’ll continue to pester their support to correct the problem. Hopefully, they will make this process easier for future updates.
On Monday, February 4th I will be at the Elizabeth Library in Elizabeth Colorado for an Author Talks At Your Library session, where I will talk with guests about myself, my books, Jarvis and answer questions. Afterward, I will be meeting with people interested in buying any of my paperbacks. This will run from 6PM to 8PM. With any luck, we’ll have good weather for this event and a large turnout. If you live in the area be sure to stop on in.
There are several more Prolific Works giveaways this month, with The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card and other Mystery/Thriller/Suspense books free to download. The Cozy-est Mysteries runs until January 31st and includes 37 books in all. Click this link. Next, there’s the Criminally Good Reads Giveaway with 38 books running until February 6th. Check it out via this link. Then the Discover New Mystery Series which runs until March 30th, with all 51 books being the first book in a series. Try this link to see all the books available for free. Then there’s the Winter Giveaway with 18 books available until January 31st via this link. And then finally the Thriller & Mystery Giveaway which also ends on January 31st and features 82 books. Use this link to access them. Hurry up and check out all of these free books to add to your eReaders, as several expire soon.
I will wrap up this newsletter for now. Next month I will again talk about covers, this time for Twice As Fatal and share some that didn’t make the final cut. And I will have more news about the next Jarvis Mann PI book, including a preview of this exciting new Detective Mystery Thriller. Thanks again for reading and be sure to share the newsletter with your friends. Have a wonderful rest of your week!
Christmas and New Year’s has come and gone, and we in the Weir family are no worse for the wear. Our daughter Dakota came home from college for the holidays, a long 6 week break for her, which she is enjoying. We’re all happy she is home, especially our dog Emma who has been running down to the basement while she’s been gone, searching for her. I hope everyone got to rip open lots of wrapping paper and popped a cork or two on a bottle of bubbly, before returning to the day to day grind.
2018 was a great year for me when it came to my books. I released The Front Range Butcher to wonderful reviews and sales, got to meet lot’s of current and future fans at various events while selling lots of paperbacks. Thanks to everyone who supported me this past year by purchasing my books. And a big shout out to my family, especially my wife Kim, for supporting me on my author journey. I expect 2019 to be even better!
Over the next few newsletters, I’m going to discuss the covers for my books and how I work through the design process. From the contest I ran last year, I asked readers about what they look for when searching for new books. Book covers was a common answer, the design luring them into checking out the blurb, especially for a writer whose works they’ve not read. For my first short story in the Jarvis Mann Detective series, I had to be conservative on costs and a friend offered to design the cover for free. Being my first book, I wasn’t certain what I wanted in a cover that fit the story of Jarvis helping a young man track down a stolen baseball card. When the cover first was made, she had a picture of her nephew in a baseball uniform blowing a bubble. Early reactions to the cover, with his dirty face, were negative, thinking the boy looked as if he’d been beaten up. I got her to remove the dirt from his face, and the cover was finished. Released in 2014, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card got good reviews, but many didn’t like the cover. Over time I saw this as an issue, especially as the series grew, even though the book did reach number 1 twice on a couple of Amazon short story bestseller lists. After much internal debate on what I wanted, I recently sent an idea to my current graphic designer on making a whole new cover. With her skills, she created a wonderful design, that is one of the best covers I’ve ever put out and I’m revealing now.
What do you think? In my mind, this captures the story perfectly and makes for a great beginning in the Jarvis Mann series. And the ebook is still free on all major ebook retailers via this universal link. If you already have the ebook, you should get an updated version including the cover to download to your ebook readers. And as a bonus, you will get the first two chapters of the first novel in the series, Tracking A Shadow, to read and decide if you want to explore more of Jarvis’ adventures.
Speaking of Tracking A Shadow, I decided to make this ebook exclusive on Amazon, which is true of all the other books, other than Bubble Gum. This means it is now available on Kindle Unlimited for those who subscribe to this service. This was a tough decision, but I wasn’t selling many copies of Tracking A Shadow on any of the other retailers, and I do get a lot of Kindle Unlimited reads on all of my other books. Be sure to check out Tracking A Shadow on Amazon, in either eBook, Paperback or on Kindle Unlimited.
If you recall last month I ran a 99 cent promo for my latest novel, The Front Range Butcher. Sales were wonderful, as the book cracked the top ten on Amazon’s Hard-boiled bestseller list, as well as top 20 on two others. If you were one of those who purchased The Front Range Butcher and has read it, be sure to let me know what you thought. Posting a review on Amazon, Goodreads and BookBub would be appreciated. Reviews are figured into book ranking algorithms, especially on Amazon. If you have some Amazon gift card money, you can pick up The Front Range Butcher and the other books in the Jarvis Mann PI series on Amazon. Here is my Amazon Author link with a list of all the books.
I had a wonderful time at all of the holiday craft fairs and sold a bunch of paperback books. The best part is talking with book lovers and telling them about my characters and stories. I plan on doing many other events in 2019, some here in Colorado including a couple at local libraries and a few others around the country. On the right side of the newsletter, you will always see a list of upcoming events I have scheduled. If you are aware of other events or maybe are hosting an author event, I would love to hear about them. Drop me an email and I will see if it fits my schedule.
I have some new changes to the website, as my cover designer, who also designed my website, created some new banners which are now live. Along with that, she has completed the cover for the next Jarvis Mann book, Mann in the Crossfire, the story still in the hands of my editor. We’re looking at a release first quarter of 2019 and I will have more news on this book, the book blurb and some teasers on the covers in future newsletters.
With the new year comes more Prolific Works giveaways of free Mystery/Thriller/Suspense ebooks. The Cozy-est Mysteries is still running, with 37 books in all, including The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. The giveaway runs until Jan 31st, so check it out via this link.
Criminally Good Reads – Mystery & Thriller Giveaway begins Jan 6th and runs until Feb 6th, with 26 books for you to check out and download for free. Access those books via this link.
That is all for this month. Next month I should have more news on the next book and I’ll talk about the cover design process I went through for Tracking A Shadow, including a couple of covers that didn’t make the final cut. Thanks again for reading this newsletter and my books. Be sure to spread the word with your reading friends. Have a joyous rest of your week and a prosperous 2019!!
The holiday season is upon us, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals over, though the battle to get your holiday dollars continues. Did everyone survive without going too far into debt? Our family does a lot of online shopping these days, not wanting to deal with the crushing crowds. We did stop by a couple of stores on Friday and Saturday, to get a few presents not easily found online. Much of our Xmas shopping is now completed, which is fun until the bill comes due. Have you finished your holiday shopping or are you one who likes to wait until the last minute?
If you still have presents to purchase, don’t forget about the book lovers amongst your friends and family. Look for those gems out there in the indie author world. The Patterson’s and Rowling’s of the world aren’t starving artists, with their multi-million dollar advances. Indie authors make small profits on their books, many times a dollar or two for each sale, after spending endless hours writing and editing, then having to shell out money for cover designs, editors/proofreaders and paying for the marketing of their books. To truly break even they must sell in volume. If you love an indie author, buy their books, tell all your friends, shout out about them via social media and leave reviews, especially on Amazon. Word of mouth can build those sales and make for a happy holiday for the struggling indie author.
Speaking of which, if you enjoyed my work please take a minute to do all I mentioned above about my Jarvis Mann PI series. All of my books are fairly priced, a bargain compared to the big authors via the major publishers. There are 7 books in the series, the first free on all major eBook retailers. And the second free for those who sign-up for my newsletter. While the rest run from $2.99 to $5.99. Check out all of my books on Amazon or via my website. If you’d like a signed copy of any of my paperbacks, contact me and we can work out a fair deal where I can ship them to you or to a friend. A book signed by the author makes a wonderful gift.
Speaking of pennies on the dollar, the ebook version of my latest novel, The Front Range Butcher, will be 99 cents from (today) November 30th until the end of day December 6th. That is right, I said 99 cents for the ebook which is normally priced at $5.99. My version of a Black Friday deal which will last for seven days. A dollar well spent to read a riveting mystery thriller, one where reviewers proclaim:
“WOW! R. Weir as brought his characters to life in this story.”
“R. Weir has outdone himself with his newest novel”
“This is an action novel like none I have read”
“The mystery was masterfully written”
Get The Front Range Butcher via this link for 99 cents only from November 30th thru the end of day December 6th. And be sure to share this outstanding deal with all your friends.
A quick reminder on the final two Craft Fairs I will be doing these next two weeks. The first is at Grandview High School in Aurora Colorado on December 1st from 9AM-3PM. Be sure to stop by and say hello as I will have all of my paperbacks available to purchase and to sign.
Then on December 8th, I will be at Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver for their 30th annual TJ’s 2018 Art Fest & Book Sale which runs from 9AM-4PM. This will be the first year at this event and I hope to meet lots of eager readers looking for gifts for the holiday. As bonus, there will be several other local area authors at this event selling and signing their books.
Speaking of bargains on ebooks, I have more Prolific Works giveaways to tell you about. First, there is the Forgotten Files Mystery & Thriller Group Giveaway with 34 books in all, including my first Jarvis Mann PI novel, Tracking A Shadow. These free books will be available until December 9th. You can check all the choices via this link.
Next is the Mystery Thriller Holiday Reads with 45 books available, again including Tracking A Shadow. This giveaway begins today, November 30th and ends on December 31st. Check out all the books via this link.
And finally, if you are a fan of cozy mysteries, you can check out The Cozy-est Mysteries giveaway with 52 free books, including my first Jarvis Mann PI short story, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. The giveaway is live now and runs through December 31st. Check out the stories via this link.
In my last two newsletters, I ran a contest, asking questions of readers on what they look for in a book and who their favorite authors are. From those responses I’ve picked 4 winners who I’ve emailed about receiving their prizes. Here are some of the answers I received to my questions:
I like books that catch me from the first page, has interesting characters and surprising endings.
What grabs me lots of times first is the cover, including the back copy. I like to know a little bit about the book before I start, but I don’t want a book report style critique of the story.
You have to have at least a little humor even in the grizzliest of stories. I tell everyone I have a warped sense of humor. I can find humor in the weirdest things. It breaks up the heaviness if the storyline.
I really like political/espionage thrillers. If I see a government building on the cover I look closer. Realism is important, a happy ending not so much.
Robert Heinlein is so good. Also I would include Jeremy Bates.
Currently reading the Rafferty’s Rules series which is making a comeback thanks to the son of the original author.
Thanks to winners Jeff, Debbie, Susan, Svetla and everyone else that emailed me their thoughts. It is always interesting what readers are looking for in their books. Be sure to reach out and let me know more about what you like and don’t like. Especially when it comes to my stories. Feedback is important to me when working on future projects.
I will wrap up this newsletter with a teaser about the next newsletter. I will have news about the next Jarvis Mann book, which is right now in my editor’s hands. Plus info on a new cover for my short story The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. This will start a series of newsletters for 2019, where I talk about the cover making process, my design idea’s for each book and how they evolve. I will even post a few covers that didn’t make the final cut. Thanks again for reading and sharing my newsletter with potential fans. Happy Holidays to everyone. Peace and happiness to you all.
With the change back to standard time comes colder weather, shorter days, and family holidays. And with it brings on holiday craft fairs where I get to talk with people looking for unique items for their family for the holiday season. I know from past events people are excited about giving a book to a voracious reader. Even better, knowing the author is local, getting to meet them and having them sign the book. Those moments make those craft fairs enjoyable for me. One on one with a potential new fan, telling them about Jarvis Mann and the adventures I’ve taken him on. Though eBooks are quite popular, many shoppers tell me they still love the feel of a real book in their hands when they read. Which is what I provide at these craft fairs, like the one I did last Saturday at Smoky Hill High School in Aurora Colorado. With over 200 vendors and huge crowds, it’s one of the largest fairs in the area. And with it came my biggest sales day yet for any event I’ve done, which was a lot of fun. I even had people returning who had bought a book the previous year, loving what they read, and wanting the rest of the series. Further down in the newsletter, I will talk about some of the other craft fairs I’ll be attending in November and December.
After the release of The Front Range Butcher, I quickly began working on the next chapter in Jarvis Mann series. I already knew where the book would take him, having teased at it in The Front Range Butcher. Jarvis is off to Southern California to find the murder of an associate of his, hired by Brandon Sparks, a construction mogul who dabbles in illegal activities, and someone who Jarvis has worked with before. Soon the case goes south, as Jarvis digs deep, to find, surprise surprise, all is not what it seems. With my detective paying a heaving price in the process. Mann in the Crossfire is the title of the next adventure, and is currently in the hands of my beta readers, as I await their feedback, which so far has been positive. Once I hear back, if all looks good, then off to my editor/proofreader, working towards the final version, for a likely release in early 2019. I will continue to update you in future newsletters on the progress.
Speaking of The Front Range Butcher, I received a wonderful review recently from fellow author Trey Stone. Here is a piece of that review:
Weir has put a huge amount of work into creating a huge, vivid world, the kind I’d expect from fantasy writers. In one sense, I feel like I know this world, as if I’ve gotten used to it, I understand it, even though this is the first Jarvis Mann book I read. There’s something familiar about it, in the way that it pulls you in.
Thanks to Trey for reading and reviewing, as he put a lot of meat into why he enjoyed the book where he says: “I’d absolutely recommend this book to anyone who’s a fan of the genre. You won’t be disappointed.” Go to his website via this link to check out the rest of the review. If you love serial killer books, with a psychological battle of wits between Jarvis and the suspected serial killer, be sure to check it out. It’s available on Amazon in eBook, paperback and via Kindle Unlimited subscription.
This month’s Prolific Works giveaways (formerly Instafreebie) features two of my books. The first, Murderous Intent Mustreads, contains the first Jarvis Mann novel, Tracking A Shadow, free to download, along with 51 other mystery/thriller books. This giveaway runs until December 31st. Check them out via this link and find some great ebooks to add to your eReader.
Next is The Cozy-est Mysteries giveaway, featuring the short story that started it all for Jarvis, The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card. It will be free along with 30 other cozy mystery stories until November 30th. Check them out via this link.
As I mentioned earlier, I have several craft fairs coming up. The next one will be at Cherokee Trails High School on November 10th from 9AM to 3PM. This will be the second year I’ve had a table, and last year I talked with a lot of people and sold a bunch of books. So I’m anticipating another big crowd at this event.
The next event will be at Grandview High School for their craft fair, on December 1st, from 9AM to 3PM. This will be my first year at Grandview, but I hear it’s a popular craft fair, with lots of vendors and people shopping for that perfect gift for a loved one. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who stops by. If you are in the area for either of these Fairs, be sure to look for my table.
In my last newsletter, I got some great responses to my question about what readers looked for in a book in the Mystery/Detective genre. Thanks to all who emailed me. In past newsletters, I’ve shared the authors who I’ve enjoyed reading through the years, along with the ones who inspired me to be an author. For this month I’m asking you which authors you enjoy reading? They can be well-known big publishing house authors, but I’d also like to hear about those not as well known ones you enjoy reading especially indie authors. This can be in any genre you cherish reading. Again I will pick one winner for a free signed paperback of their choice from my 5 novels but for US only entries. I will pick one or two winners from outside the US, giving them their choice from my 7 Jarvis Mann books in digital format. Send your favorite authors to my email address. Responses and the winners of both contests will be announced in next month’s newsletter.
I will sign off for now, as I need to get back to working on Mann in the Crossfire and make sure I’m prepared for the coming craft fairs. I hope everyone has a wonderful and loving family filled Thanksgiving. Be sure to stay warm and curl up to a good book.