A Cold Binge

I’ve had a few mails about which books to read in what order.

Confession time – I turned to Goodreads to figure it out.

If we stick with Greenland and the Arctic, then thriller readers looking for a bit more action should definitely start with The Ice Star. It’s here that we meet Constable David Maratse for the first time. However, crime readers who are looking for an alternative – read “cold” – setting, should perhaps start with Seven Graves One Winter, although, and this is where it gets a little tricky, there are, currently, four short stories that are set prior to the events in Seven Graves One Winter, and The Ice Star for that matter.

Readers don’t need to read any of the short stories (Katabatic, Container, Tupilaq, or The Last Flight) to enjoy Seven Graves One Winter, nor do they need to read The Ice Star. But, the definitive reading order – as of July 2018 – would be this:

Of course, that’s not all the books – either planned or written.

Confused? Don’t be. Goodreads can help, and give you an idea if you even want to begin. 😉 ‘Cos it ain’t over yet.

Blink and you’ll miss it!

I couldn’t resist fiddling with the cover of Seven Graves, One Winter, mostly because I like the cover for Blood Floe. Does it make a difference? Nah, probably not, but I like it, but it really is a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Of course, if that’s the case, you’ll have to keep your eyes shut tight to miss the larger version of the cover. 😉

So what’s going on? Why the subtle(ish) changes in the cover, and why… just why? Well, book 2 in the Greenland Crime Series is so very nearly ready to be released or unleashed on the world. That’s why. 🙂

Blood Floe is still available at a crazy pre-order price here, on Amazon:

USAUKCanada, and Australia

Sifting through Blood

Constable (ret.) David Maratse can be a bit of a problem, and I thought I would take a moment to explain.

While Maratse does feature in the Arctic thriller The Ice Star, he also has his own series – two, in fact.

The Greenland Crime series, of which Blood Floe is book 2, are full-length crime novels.

The Arctic Shorts, of which The Last Flight is the fourth story in the series, are short stories set prior to the events in the Greenland Crime series. They are typically 15,000 words or a little over 50 pages each. The Arctic Shorts are crime with a Jack London-like feel. You’ve been warned. 😉

Both Blood Floe and The Last Flight are available for pre-order on Amazon.

Blood Floe USA, UK, Canada, and Australia

The Last Flight USAUKCanada and Australia

I hope that helps.

Cold Research

I write about a lot of things in my stories about which I have thankfully no experience, but there are some things I have done, and when I write about them I have a wealth of memories to inspire me. I had a team of dogs in Greenland, and, while it may have taken us a few years, we finally found our sledging mojo and made some tracks on the sea ice. We had plenty of misadventures too, but always got home safely, even in the dark.

The dogs were built for the Arctic, but I wasn’t. Every day was a learning curve. But I do miss it, and I miss my dogs. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a team again. Until then, I’ll keep writing.

January Updates

I have finished updating the webpage – for today at least. I will add content and generally fiddle with the pages through the course of the year. The main changes reflect a focus on writing and being an author. They include:

An EVENTS page with a calendar of dates when I will be speaking, reading, or just generally hanging out in person.

I have added a READS page, and I intend to mention some of the key polar books that have inspired me as a reader, writer, and adventurer (of sorts).

I have also tried to distinguish between works of FICTION and NONFICTION.

That’s it for now. I’ll leave you with a photo of Uummannaq in January. The yellow building in the centre is the hospital, and figures heavily in The Ice Star.

And… here’s a puppy!

Didn’t expect a puppy, did you? Well, I am really trying to sort out the website, so there’s a lot of pages coming and going, so why not a puppy?

This is Hidalgo. He grew up fast, but there was a time when he and his brother – Balto – were two fat things that couldn’t put their legs on the ground for all the milk they had been drinking from their mother – Simba.

Yeah, Simba was a girl, in a strange what-just-happened Disney throwback. In other words, I didn’t name her, but a Lion King loving Greenlander did. Balto was given his name by a girl in Denmark. Hidalgo – yeah, that one’s on me.

So, I’ll leave you with a puppy while I make more mischief here on the page.

Cute, isn’t he?

A Bloody New Year

It’s been a bloody year. I have lost count of the bodies I have buried in the mountains, pushed beneath the ice, incinerated in tents, impaled, drowned, and executed. Yeah, I’ve been busy.

2017 was a veritable writing roller-coaster, starting with the launch of The Ice Star, the story featuring Konstabel Fenna Brongaard of the Danish Sirius Sledge Patrol. There was a time, back in 2015, when it was unlikely she was ever going to be published. I was quite happy for her story never to be told.

Ever.

But after two months on the Yukon River, paddling from Canada into Alaska, I took a chance on Fenna, tidied up the mess of chapters while on a ferry cruising past glaciers in Prince William Sound, drafted yet another draft, edited her story for the umpteenth time, and finally decided to just be done with her in January last year.

It was the best thing I ever did.

Twelve months later, and Fenna’s story has spawned two more books in The Greenland Trilogy, with plans for another two follow-on series, the first of which should be released this April. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that Fenna will return in Blood Spoor, the first book in The Canadian Quartet.

Fenna’s story gave me other characters to work with and develop. Constable David Maratse turned up in two short stories: Katabatic and Container, and will soon return in a third called Tupilaq, before launching his own series with Seven Graves, One Winter. Whereas Fenna takes a Jason Bourne-like approach to solving conspiracies, Maratse will focus on solving crimes with a more methodical and sombre approach. His story picks up where Fenna’s ended in The Shaman’s House.

The Ice Star introduced another character in the form of RCMP Inspector Nicklas Fischer. He also gets his own series in 2018. The first book returns to a time when he was a sergeant, before he started his shadowy career that set him on a collision course with Fenna. It should come out in time for the summer.

I hope then that readers might find something of interest within the course of 2018. The likelihood of more blood and bullets is high, and, so long as the body count makes sense to the story, I’ll be sure to let Fenna pull the trigger. As for Nicklas and Maratse’s approach to solving crimes and exposing cover-ups, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Here’s wishing all of you the best for 2018, and thanks for making 2017 a great year for Fenna and me.

Chris

Going International!

A while ago I suggested that I needed an Australian character in the third book of The Greenland Trilogy. He’s arrived, and his name is Rhys Thomas. The Americans are represented too, as are the Canadians – again. But The Shaman’s House starts in Greenland, of course. There are more Greenlanders than in the previous books, as we spend more time in the populated areas – places I have lived, and visited. The closer I get to releasing The Shaman’s House, the more personal I realise the book has become. The story is pure fiction – adrenaline fueled – but the locations, and some of the anecdotes – sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction and a real source of inspiration.

Everything is made up, or used fictitiously, but I did enjoy writing my old house into the story!

Curious to read about where I lived? The final installment in the Greenland Trilogy is now available for pre-order at a special price.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Puncture Wounds

Today I was bitten by a dog.

It’s been a while.

It was the neighbour’s dog, and, well, what’s a puncture wound or two between friends? But I have thought about it since. I thought I did everything right. I had gloves on, I removed one, and when the dog approached – barking, I stood still and let him sniff and lick my fingers.

So far so good.

I let him lead me to his master. I followed. Only when I was done talking, and started walking back off the property, did the little bugger sneak up and bite me behind the knee.

Puncture wound.

Singular.

The last time was a full on scrap, out on the sea ice, with dogs at the end of ganglines, fur, teeth, and claw. In my inferior wisdom and with a colossal lack of judgement, I waded in – empty-handed. But, I now have a wonderful tattoo on my right arm – Vitus’ teeth in a half crescent.

Puncture wounds.

Plural.

It’s Written in the Stars

It’s not all blood and guts, Arctic inspiration can lead to other stories too, though no less dramatic. In my first book for younger readers – aged 9 and up – I am going back to Alaska, as Jayla Cooper and her friends, Watson and Cherry, do their very best to save the world from The Starlighter.

It’s a race against time with plenty of obstacles in the shape of busy fathers, FBI Agents, scientists, politicians, and the President of the United States herself – no, not Clinton. But, ultimately, it is the story of a tough 12-year-old who just wants to be “useful” when her dad buries himself in his work to get over the loss of his wife, Jayla’s mother.

Enter The Starlighter, in the form of a strange alignment of stars in the night sky, and, all of a sudden, Jayla’s world is spinning to a frightening end. It’s up to Jayla to save the world, as she tries to reconnect with her father with a little help from the spirit of her mother.

Too fantastical for you?

I understand.

Fortunately, there’s plenty more action on the way at the end of the year in the third and final installment of The Greenland Trilogy, when Fenna returns in The Shaman’s House.

But, if you’re curious, The Starlighter will be available at a special pre-order price on Amazon.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Until then, there’s words to be written, drafts to be edited, and books to be published.