Curse you James Patterson.

I’ve wrote in past newsletters about the new database that we are working on for all the authors and all the new features it will bring to the site.

This requires converting each author over to the new system. Most authors don’t take too long. Someone like Gillian Flynn with 3 standalones and a novella? Literally 30 seconds of work. A Louise Penny with 1 series and 16 books? Maybe about 1-2 minutes.

James Patterson? Oh about 4 hours.

That was a combination of dealing with all the bookshots, all his novels co-authored with other authors etc. Plus just dealing with lots of confusion in regard to the way he lists his own novels. The Lake House is a sequel to When The Wind Blows – it even says it on the book cover – yet James lists them both as standalones.

Just little things like that. There were so many issues and also so many new authors that I had to add to the system just to get the books co-authors flagged correctly.

Like many people, I’ve probably drank a few too many beers and wines during the pandemic. Hard not to. I decided in October to cut back – however you better believe I cracked a beer when I finished that monstrosity. And it may have been the best beer I’ve ever had!

It’s funny though as it has me a little bit interested in reading JP books again. I used to love his novels – particularly the Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club series. I started getting turned off them though and I, Alex Cross was the last Patterson book I ever “read”.

I didn’t even really read it – I knew going in that a “beloved family member” had been murdered and that it was going to be personal based on the book description. A few chapters in it was revealed that this “beloved family member” was a niece that had never been mentioned in even one of the previous fourteen books and that was it for me. The straw that broke the camels back.

Here’s a question for the audiobook fans out there and maybe I can compile it into a list – any suggestions on a “first audiobook to listen to/read”? Reason I am asking is I’m a runner and while I love running, sometimes long distance runs can be a tad boring. I have podcasts to entertain me however a friend who runs half marathons often said he listens to audiobooks during it and it makes the time go very fast. I’d like to give that a try.

I read the new Mitch Rapp book, Total Power. Loved it! Kyle Mills continues to impress. What I really enjoyed about this book is it wasn’t about a terrorist organization planning something nefarious and the hero having to race around the clock to stop them – the terrorist attack actually happens!

The entire US power grid gets attacked and shut down by terrorists plunging the country into darkness and so Rapp & co are dealing with that as they try to track down the bad guys and get the power restored. It was so refreshing seeing the attack actually take place like that. Also one of those books that really make you think about life under those scary circumstances.

Against my better judgment, I have started the Amos Decker / Memory Man series by David Baldacci. This is one of the more popular series from newsletter subscribers so if I have a miserable time – it’s on you!

It’s not that I don’t like Baldacci or anything – he used to be one of my favourite authors. The problem is he seems like one of those authors who are better off sticking to standalone novels.

His standalone novels are phenomenal. I still go back and read books like The Winner, Saving Faith and Total Control every few years. The problem is when he starts attempting a book series.

I’ve read the majority of his book series and the problem always seems to be the same; the first book is great and then it goes downhill fast. The most recent one was the Will Robie series.

That was one I read last year. I loved the first book in the series. I think I enjoyed the second book. I remember having a lot of issues with the third book but persevered. The fourth book in the series is sitting at 6% read on my Kindle and will never change. King/Maxwell and the Camel Club series are others that suffered a similar fate.

That fourth Robie book in particular – ugh. I checked my log and it was back in 2018 I read that but the bad taste in my mouth is still there. It was like randomly overnight he decided to just switch to writing for young adults. Such a disappointment and I hope the Decker series doesn’t follow a similar route.

So far I am really enjoying it but that doesn’t surprise me. It’s later in the series where we will see the true test. I only gave this series a chance due to your e-mails – so many people praising and recommending the series even when it is 6 books in. So we shall see how it goes. I trust you guys! Only halfway through Memory Man right now but it’s the type of series I’ll likely binge.

Each month we give away 5 prizes to 5 random subscribers of $25 each in the form of Amazon gift certificates. To win all you have to do is be a subscriber. Nothing more! When we go to hit “Publish” we take a list of all of our subscribers, throw them into a random draw and those are the winners.

Our winners this month are:

Villa from Fontana, CA
Lyn from Simpsonville, KY
Donna from Lacey, WA
Karen from Saline, MI
Bev from Brampton, ON Canada

All of you have been e-mailed. If you don’t see anything, check your junk folder or contact me.


Book Recommendations:

In this section I give 3 random book recommendations when it’s the mid-month newsletter, and 4-5 recommendations for the monthly newsletter. They can be old books, they can be new. But either way – I recommend you read them if the type of genre they are in appeals to you. Feel free to e-mail suggestions to as many of the suggestions each month are from our readers. If you wish to add a description for the book around the same size as the ones below that’d be great too!

Carolina Arbors Murder Books by Hugo Uyttenhove
This is one I am recommending because a reader, Hollins, e-mailed me about these books and the work behind it and I just found it really cool.

He lives in a 55+ community that has a mystery book club and one of the members there – Hugo – is a published author. He has all the members of that community contribute one chapter to a book, and then they publish it. They are about murders that take place within their community.

Just such a cool concept and to make it even better – profits from this go to the local middle school library and NC food bank. As soon as I heard this story, I knew I had to get Hugo listed on the site and recommended in the newsletter.

Check out the Carolina Arbors Murder books.

The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

I mentioned that I like to read certain types of books this month due to Halloween – Lynn wrote in to suggest this one saying it is her favourite book for the season.

It’s Stephen Kings’ own take on a fairy tale and is different from his usual horror fiction; it’s more within the epic fantasy genre. I haven’t read it yet but from asking around I’ve been told “just don’t go into it expecting the usual Stephen King horror and you’ll enjoy it. I’ll certainly give it a try for sure and thanks to Lynn for the recommendation.

Check out The Eye of the Dragon and more on our Stephen King page.

River Universe by Michael Richan

This one is currently on our sister site but will be added to OOB shortly.

Michael writes multiple separate series such as The River series and The Downwinders series however they all tie together and take place within the same universe. I always find that really cool and we’ve got a complete list of the “River Universe Reading Order” so you know how to read it all and not miss a thing.

If you’re looking for horror fiction this month, this is a series you certainly need to check out!

Enola Holmes Series by Nancy Springer
I recently watched the Enola Holmes movie on Netflix at the advice of my 13-year-old daughter who loved it – consider my surprise when she then informed me that it was based on a series of books. You’d think that’d be the sort of thing that I would know!

Coincidentally, shortly after that, one of our readers, Shannon, e-mailed me to recommend this series. It’s a young adult series with 6 books in it. There are also graphic novel adaptations if you would prefer that.

I know that the entire series is going on the Christmas gift list for my daughter this year!

Top “Clean” Series

I asked our Facebook followers to recommend book series or books that are clean reads – they don’t use profanity or it is very limited.

(This list of series is copied ad verbatim. If any series below has profanity within it my apologies – I did my best to check on each one. Authors who aren’t linked aren’t on our site yet but will be given the highest priority to add.)

New Author Spotlight: Katrine Engberg

This month we are featuring the Danish author Katrine Engberg.

In 2020 Katrine released The Tenant which is a suspense novel about two Copenhagen police detectives attempting to solve a murder and stop a killer.

This was an extremely popular book and was on many lists such as the O, The Oprah Magazine Pick Up Now list.

If you’ve read it we have even better news – a sequel has now been announced in English and will be coming out in January. There are 5 books in Danish so far in the series so expect more soon.

Get in on the ground floor – check out The Tenant today. Click here.

Your Thoughts:

This month I am asking: if you could write one book in a series, or work with an author on a book, who would it be?

This is a combination of Andrew Child taking over the Lee Child series, and the suggestion by Sam. Sam wrote:

If you could co-author anything with anybody, what would it be? “Anything” and “anybody” are completely unqualified. You may choose an existing series and say you’d want to co-author a Mitch Rapp novel with Kyle Mills. Or even Vince Flynn for that matter. Or, you may have a totally original idea and think “I’d really like to work with Neil Gaiman on this one”. Maybe there’s an existing stand-alone novel that you thought of a great sequel to. Possibly you came up with an idea for an off-shoot of an existing franchise. Go ahead and include a little blurb on what your concept is as well. It’s “anything” with “anybody”, dead or alive, already running series or completely new concept. You have complete creative liberty.

I know right off the bat – I’d love to write a book in the Jack Reacher series. I’ve read every one multiple times and while they’re not all home runs – in the latter novels you can really feel that Lee Child is just having pure FUN writing the character.

I know I’d like to have that same fun. Reacher is one of the more fun characters out there and he’s at the point where even ridiculous situations end up coming off realistic purely due to his legacy over the years.

I’d love to write additional books in the series that I grew up with. I know last year when I read all of the Five Finder-Outers series by Enid Blyton, I started thinking of modern day storylines you could do with them. Oh what gadgets would Fatty get his hands on in 2020?

As for an author specifically to co-write with? There’s a couple. Stephen King is incredibly creative and is someone I would love to write with to see his process etc. I would also have to go with Linwood Barclay. Linwood is one of the best mystery writers there is and his ability to throw in big twists that make complete sense is unmatched. It’d be really fun coming up with a mystery with him inside the Promise Falls universe and seeing how the twists come about.

What about you? Who would you co-author with or what book series would you like to write a book in?

E-mail us your feedback to or just reply to this e-mail, and we’ll pick the best comments and feature it in next months newsletter. Five people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

What about you? What memorable books are there from your youth? And if you want to go down memory lane check out the May 2018 mailbag.

E-mail us your feedback to or just reply to this e-mail, and we’ll pick the best comments and feature it in next month’s newsletter. Five people will also randomly win a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.

Order of Books » Newsletter » October 2020 Mid-Month Newsletter

One Response to “October 2020 Mid-Month Newsletter”

  1. Stu in NC: 4 years ago

    I’d love to co-write or write a John Corey book with Nelson DeMille. On another note, completely with you on Baldacci. (Though I did like the Camel Club series till the last book and a half of so). On another – another note, Longmire series being “clean” would be so were it not for Moretti !!


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