News

New Release

Dear Readers,

After I finished proofreading the Advanced Reading Copy for Tools of the Trade, the debut novel in my Chip Hale Handyman Mystery series, and returned it to my new publisher, she released the Kindle version on December 22. It’ll be free for 90 days on Kindle Unlimited, and $2.99 for all others, which is about the price of a Starbucks cup of coffee. It will most certainly stimulate you far longer than a cup of joe and, considering the number of years I’ve spent writing and trying to get published, is cheap at twice the price. The paperback should be released soon.

For those of you who have already read it there is no reason for you to do so again, unless you just want to refresh your memory before the second mystery facing Chip Hale and his granddaughters is published. I wish I could give you some idea of when that will be, but all I can say is that my publisher has it and loves it. So, as soon as I know, you’ll know. The main thing is Dingbat Publishing has picked up the series and there will not be another long gap between books.

I deeply appreciate your patience while I tried to find another publisher. The first one took 28 years and I’m very thankful this one only took three. During that time I completed the fourth book in the series. I also finished a stage play and another book outside the series. But it’s a damn tough racket and the only thing to do after leaving my last publisher was to keep on writing. Thomas Edison’s quote on success has motivated me throughout my writing journey: “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

When I stop to realize that less than one percent of writers ever find a traditional publisher in the first place, and I’ve found two… well, that in itself is a huge success. I’m just glad I never gave up and I sincerely hope that you will also be glad after reading the books in my handyman series. If so, please tell your family and friends about them. Thank you.     

We have a new publisher!

Dear Readers,

Good news! I’ve just signed a contract with Dingbat Publishing to reissue the first book in my Chip Hale Handyman Mystery series. While it feels sort of like a second first date, it also feels like one with a future. I am also delighted not to have to resort to self-publishing because, for me, there is just no validation in it. Although Dingbat Publishing “doesn’t take itself too seriously,” you’ll find a lot of great authors and quality entertainment on their website.

I realize that it’s been three years since Tools of the Trade was released the first time and that it’s been out of print since 2018, but the only changes to the second printing besides the publisher will be to the cover. During the past two years I found it extremely frustrating querying hundreds of agents and publishers, all of whom were opposed to bringing out a series that had previously debuted by another publisher – regardless how good it might have been. Nevertheless, I hope you will understand that I’ve invested too much time and effort in the series to just cast it aside and begin writing a new and different series when only the first book was ever released.

Now, I’m not going to ask those of you who have previously purchased Tools of the Trade to do so again because that just wouldn’t be fair. However, I would like to ask, if you haven’t done so already, to encourage your friends and relatives to read it when it comes out this autumn. It’s important that they’re up to speed when the second book, Trademark of Murder, is published. I’d also ask that you to encourage them to purchase one with the new cover as I wouldn’t want my previous publisher making money that he isn’t obligated to share with me. I may not be a starving artist, but I did write the book and had good reasons for separating from him.

I don’t have a timeframe for the second book’s release, but I can tell you that my new publisher loved it. So, if you enjoyed the characters in Tools of the Trade, I think you’ll really enjoy Trademark of Murder. I’ve completed the third book in the series entitled, Trade Secrets, and have almost finished the fourth with a working title of, Tricks of the Trade. I should have finished it long before now, but the efforts involved finding another publisher has negatively impacted my creative writing. Nevertheless, I’ll be sure to keep you posted when they’ll be coming out.

Thanks for the great reviews you’ve posted on Amazon and your patience in waiting for me to find another publisher to continue the series.  

Handyman mystery series temporarily out of print

Dear Readers,

I’ve always heard, “The time to look for a job is when you already have one.” However, sometimes that isn’t possible and this just happens to be one of those sometimes. Many of you have been asking when the second book in my Chip Hale Handyman Mystery series will be coming out. Unfortunately, that’s difficult to say since my publisher and I have parted ways before it was released. It was totally my decision and I now find myself in the difficult position of finding another publisher to continue the series. I am excited and hopeful about my prospects, but have no idea just how long that will take and, at this point, all I can do is keep you posted on my progress.

Thus far I have completed three books in the series and am about two-fifths the way finished writing the fourth. It’s difficult to judge the length because I don’t write from an outline. Nevertheless, I feel blessed that my stories unfold and entertain me about the same way they do for you, only a little more – no, make that a lot more slowly, taking anywhere between six-months to a year to complete. There are many aspects that factor into the writing process including editor demands, publisher deadlines, shameless self-promotion efforts, and life in general. Fortunately, only life in general has any impact at the moment.

The fact that my first book is now out-of-print doesn’t negate my efforts at shameless self-promotion because it just isn’t smart to allow that entertaining story to slip from your memory banks before a new publisher can resurrect the series. And, as soon as that happens I will let you know.

Thanks for your understanding,

Bruce Rolfe