Jeff Mariotte

Busy, Busy, Busy

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This week O’Meara’s Gold, the first book in my Cody Cavanaugh Western novel trilogy came out from Wolfpack Publishing. I’ve been trying to promote it here and there, along with continuing to promote 2021’s release Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta. They’re both Western novels, but B&G is a historical epic about a real person, and OG is pure Western adventure.

It’s what I think of as a nontraditional “traditional” Western. It features a hero who travels with a crate of books so he always has something to read, a ranch owned and run by women as a sanctuary for women who need one, and a stable hand born into slavery but raised by Cherokee Freedmen, who dons buckskins when he’s expecting trouble. Not your granddaddy’s Western, in other words–but one he might have enjoyed anyway.

The second and third Cody books, The McKittrick Ransom and Passage to Pedregosa, are available for preorder anywhere books are sold online. They’re loaded with action, suspense and humor. I think of these as books for people who love Westerns and people who didn’t know they could love Westerns. I hope you’ll give them a try.

In addition to that (and the 40+ hour a week day job), I’ve been polishing/revising The Squad, the first novel in my Major Crimes Squad: Phoenix police-procedural trilogy, also for Wolfpack, which I’ll be turning in to my editor on Tuesday. This one introduces Detective Russ Temple (don’t call him Rusty, he hates that), who grew up on his family’s Phoenix ranch as it was being subdivided out of existence. With a career as a rancher foreclosed to him, a near-tragedy shifted his sights to law enforcement, and 9/11 shifted them even further. He became a special agent in the US Army CID, and eventually returned to Phoenix, where he lives on the ranch’s remaining 12 acres with his horse Topper, his burro Moose, and his dog Yogi, along with a bunch of chickens. Think Yellowstone crossed with Longmire, but in the cactus-studded urban setting of America’s fifth largest city.

In other words, not your granddaddy’s police procedural, either.

And I also had editorial notes to address on my forthcoming Tarzan novella, Tarzan and the Forest of Stone. That should be out by late spring/early summer, and of course I’ll reveal more as it gets closer.

For the last 12 months, I’ve written a novel every three months, and a couple of shorter things besides. That’s the fastest pace I’ve kept up in the 20+ years of my novel-writing career. If I didn’t have the day job, it wouldn’t necessarily be a strain–I’ve always been a prolific writer. But with the day job, it’s a bit much. That said, I’m not done, because I still have two more MCS: Phoenix books to go, at the same pace, and some other stuff I’ve already committed to.

And of course, I’m hoping both series do well, because I’d love to write more books in each. But that’s not up to me, it’s up to you. Please buy (the ebooks are cheap!), read, and review.

As always, you have my thanks for reading my work!

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