Ho-ho-ho for the holidays

Holiday shopping is upon us again, and there's no better remedy than my Christmas novella, "Sanity Clause."

Bumbling private eye Bubba Mabry is hired to keep an eye on the Santas at an Albuquerque mall. This is harder than it sounds because Santa Claus has always given Bubba the creeps. Plus, he must suffer through mobs of greedy shoppers, shrieking children and Christmas Muzak.

When one of the mall Santas is killed, Bubba must solve the murder to salvage his shaky reputation.

"Sanity Clause" is one of Bubba's funniest adventures. I originally wrote it for an anthology of Christmas mysteries called "The Last Noel," but it's now available as an e-book for only 99 cents. How's that for an electronic stocking stuffer?


Cannabis, crime and THE BIG WINK

My crime novel THE BIG WINK is looking more and more like a snapshot of history. On Tuesday, the City Council in Redding, CA, voted to ban medical marijuana dispensaries, effective Dec. 1.

I wrote THE BIG WINK while we were living in Redding in 2009. It was a wild time in Northern California, with everyone jumping on the medical marijuana bandwagon while the feds looked the other way. Thirty dispensaries opened in the city, and thousands of people got medical recommendations that allowed them to legally smoke pot. Everyone, it seemed, was scrambling around, trying to find a way to cash in on the Green Wave.

Perfect setting for a crime novel. Into this mix, I introduced a crew of robbers led by hardened local criminal Ray Bunch. My fictional gang knocked over half a dozen dispensaries, stealing cash and weed that could be resold on the street. But during one hold-up, a prominent banker gets shot. Suddenly, the news media, the cops and advocates on all sides of the cannabis issue are focused on Redding and the robberies.

I'm very proud of THE BIG WINK. I think it's one of my best novels, and it's garnered five-star reviews. But soon it may no longer reflect the real world. If the City Council's ban holds up against the lawsuits to come, the dispensaries will disappear and potheads (and legitimate medical users) will go back to buying off the street.

Read the news story here. And, please, read The BIG WINK. Only $2.99 on Kindle, Smashwords and other e-book platforms.


Whoa, it's NaNoWriMo

Good luck to all of you who are participating in National Novel-Writing Month, and keep on cranking out those words. Remember, you can always fix them later. When is National Novel-Editing Month?

I've never done NaNoWriMo, though I'm coincidentally working on a new novel as it gets under way. I started writing a new Bubba Mabry novel, PARTY DOLL, on Oct. 13 and, after some stops and starts, I'm up to 12,500 words. NaNoWriMo participants try to do 50,000 words during the month of November. That would be a good goal for me, too, but we'll see how it goes.

It's been a lot of years since I wrote the last Bubba Mabry adventure, MONKEY MAN, which came out in 2006. But Bubba's "voice" isn't that different from my own, and I've found it pretty easy to slip back into his skin. In PARTY DOLL, he's searching for a missing stripper who goes by the stage name Joy Forever. Because this is a Bubba book, things go horribly wrong. . .

I'm planning to publish PARTY DOLL as an e-book. Look for it sometime early in 2012. In the meantime, the other Bubba Mabry stories are available for 99 cents each on Kindle, Smashwords, Nook, etc. Enjoy!