Day one of my novel’s release was a complete blessing. I started the day off in a warm bed with a good roof. My loyal dog was guarding the door to my bedroom, keeping an eye on the joint. I had fresh donuts from P.J. Murphy’s, hot coffee, and a bit of fun watching a Ray Milland movie. I love Ray Milland.
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The contractor showed up on time and began work. I’m telling you folks, hiring a friend is always risky. But he’s an Armor Bearer at my church, a great guy, and there’ll be pictures when it’s all done.
Computer upgrades (bought a new one, souping it up before it goes live) went well, and my wife was at my side.
Throughout the day friends checked in. Other authors posted amazing reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and the various book sites.
My Amazon rankings went up by a factor of 10 in the space of one day.
I finished the day with my wife and three of our oldest friends. It was in honor of this good woman who has stood by me in this journey. A tough journey. A journey she helped edit and kibbitz on. A journey that included travelling to writer’s conferences and meetings where I hung out with a group of vital, beautiful, brainy women who write books. She allowed me to fly in two different bombers from WWII in order to research an upcoming book. And, most importantly, she sat quietly while I did the audio book. That, by the way, generally takes 5-6 takes of parts of it to get it right. Some chapters needed a lot of editing. And you have to play it back each time you change it to make sure it was all right and the sound levels were good.
My wife comforted me when anguish set in. Encouraged me when things were hard. Suggested better turns of phrase. Trusted me to be faithful when surrounded by the women mentioned above. Let me spend way more than I should have to fly around in 70 year old airplanes. And she turned off the horrible clicking noise on her tablet while I recorded my audio book (just kidding, dear).
She is the best. I love her dearly. I need her.
Finally, you kind of figure you’ll get a lot of reviews from your beta readers, your mom, and your friends. I also got one from a reader who heard about me on the Ace of Spades HQ blog. Never met the man. No reason he should be nice to me. His review blew me away. It is exactly what I hoped my book would do for a reader. I hit my target. I am blessed.
I am way ahead in this game due to God and my wife. The amazing review is posted below. Thank you, Robert Cairo – you made my day.
This novel had been recommended on the “Ace of Spades HQ” blog and decided to spring for a copy. I’m glad that I did; I found Courtemanche’s writing style to be clear and gripping. The hero of the story is Bobby Kurtz, a retired 50+ Cold Warrior with a “Santa Claus” physique who inadvertently foils a terrorist attack on the Catholic church, Saint Agnes. Kurtz ends up being recruited by Homeland Security due to his previous experience as Navy intelligence Arab linguist.
The novel mostly alternates between the viewpoints of Kurtz and one of the Muslim terrorist leaders, Hassan al Deen. The parts with Kurtz have the feel of a police procedural as Kurtz and his co-workers in Homeland Security try to locate the rest of the terrorist cell that attack Saint Agnes. The parts with Hassan are also interesting and give a picture into what motivates him. In the end, the good guys mostly win but the novel closes with a cliff-hanger and I hope we read more about Bobby Kurtz.
The author’s own military background shows through in the details; he is obviously a guy that has “been there and done that.” The characters are more than cardboard cut-outs and Courtemanche has a knack for painting a thumbnail sketch of a character’s background in a concise manner. There is some graphic violence but he doesn’t dwell on it.
The only thing that initially detracted from my enjoyment of the story were a number of coincidences that advanced the story. However, I came to conclusion that Courtemanche was showing the Hand of God at times by having the right people in the right place. Kurtz (and Courtemanche) are religious but the religious themes are dealt with lightly and from the perspective of a happy believer; however, you don’t need to be a believer to enjoy the novel.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is now available. Just click this link to find all the options! (I recommend the autographed copy. It’s cheaper than from the big stores, I scribble in it, and you get it mailed within 5 days. We all win.
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