I have lots of exciting news to share!
Several wonderful writers have read Sandblast and loved it. They have been kind enough to share their reviews with me, and allowed me to share them with the world. They’ll be used in the marketing campaign, and they’ll be printed on the book cover, back and inside. You can get an advance look at them below.
But first, a few other tidbits. The cover copy for Sandblast is just about done, and I’ll share that with you in my next email. I hope to have the cover artwork in the coming weeks from the team at Kensington Publishing. I put in some ideas at the beginning of the process, and left it to the experts to make something incredible that people will want to buy. Believe me, I’m super eager to see it.
I also understand that Sandblast will be available for pre-orders soon. Don’t worry, if you’re on this list, you’ll know! Save your pennies. It’s only $9.99 for the paperback, $9.49 for the eBook. You’ll receive your books on the official publication date in late March or early April.
Finally, you may know I also wrote a play, Murder at the Butcher’s. Well, I’m thrilled to tell you I just got confirmation that it will have its world premiere run this November, produced by The Playgroup, LLC, a local professional theater company where I’ve done some workshops.
The hugely talented and energetic Teresa Biber LoMonte will direct. Recalling the first time she heard a reading from Murder at the Butcher’s, Teresa said, “I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. I love every page of this script. It's going to bring the house down every night.”
So, if you’re in, or want to visit, my area, mark your calendars for November 22, 23 and 24. And no, it’s not Thanksgiving. That’s the following weekend. I’ll unveil the hilarious poster for the play in my next newsletter.
Murder at the Butcher’s is completely different from Sandblast. It’s a farce, a murder mystery spoof, in which Benny Benjamin, Brooklyn Butcher finds a body in his walk-in fridge, and then it disappears. As we say in the farce business, mayhem ensues. The performances will be at the Willow Theatre in Boca Raton. I’ll let you know when tickets go on sale.
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All my best,
Advance Praise for Sandblast
“Al Pessin escorts you through thrills and chaos, writing with the sure hand of authority. This guy knows his stuff.”
-- Richard Castle, New York Times bestselling author of the Nikki Heat thrillers. “Richard Castle” was the pen name of Tom Straw, a great guy I met this year at Sleuthfest, the writing festival organized by Mystery Writers of America Florida Chapter, where I am a member. Tom is an award-winning TV writer, and now writes novels under his own byline.
“Sandblast is tense, believable and relevant. Pessin calls on his years in the Pentagon and White House press corps for the keen details that bring this tale to life. There's a high emotional content here, too, as we follow the almost impossible quest of a likable and massively outgunned hero.
--T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Good Guy. Jeff was one of the main speakers at this year’s Sleuthfest. I recently read Full Measure, his very relevant and excellent 2014 novel about a soldier returning home to economic and family problems, compounded by his own need to readjust to civilian life.
"Sandblast is the definition of a terrific military thriller--straightforward, precise and devastating. This timely, realistic story--with its authentic and knowing voice, and courageous main characters-- propels readers to the peak of white-knuckled brinksmanship, and will be awarded top marks by fans of Alex Berensen and Vince Flynn."
--Hank Phillippi Ryan, winner of the Mary Higgins Clark, Anthony, and (five times!) Agatha Awards. Author of the current nail-biter Trust Me, and the forthcoming Murder List, as well as five Jane Ryland Thrillers, the Charlotte McNally series and more. Hank is tireless, holding down a reporting job with Boston’s Channel Seven while speaking to groups nationwide about Trust Me, writing The Murder List and helping other authors, like me.
“In Sandblast, Al Pessin has crafted a taut action-thriller that really pulls you in. You’ll feel like you’re right beside the main character, on an increasingly perilous journey filled with impossible choices that threaten to change him at his very core. The plot is highly original, and I felt like I was there. It’s a great book.”
-- Henry V. O'Neil, author of The Sim War Series. “Henry V. O’Neil” is the pen name of Vince O’Neil, whom I met at Sleuthfest last year. He’s a West Point grad and army vet. He writes military science fiction under his pen name, and mystery, horror and sci-fi under his real name. Vince also provided some great insider tips for the (many) military parts of Sandblast.
"So exciting, and so terrifyingly realistic, you won’t be able to put it down. If you like complex international thrillers, keep Al Pessin on your short list of must-read authors."
-- D.J. Niko, international bestselling author of The Sarah Weston Chronicles. Lots of pen names here. This is Daphne Nikolopoulos, a friend here in South Florida, who is devoted to being an author who helps authors. She’s a frequent speaker at conferences and at our local book store, and a great supporter of her fellow-writers. Her series features a female sort of Indiana Jones character, who travels the world solving mysteries through archeology, history, and lots of grit.
"Sandblast is an aptly titled nail-biter of a thriller that opens at a pulse-rattling pace and only ratchets upwards from there. Al Pessin not only knows how to tell a story, but his journalistic background imbues this tale of an Afghan-American Army officer infiltrating a terrorist organization with compelling authority."
--Les Standiford, author of Water to the Angels, founding director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida International University. Les gave a great talk at Sleuthfest this year about writing his book Last Train to Paradise, the fascinating true story of the building of the railroad from Miami to Key West, much of it over open ocean.