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New Age Noir: #1 Scorpio Rising, #2 Felonious Monk

8 Feb

thumb_SRThe long-awaited sequel to Scorpio Rising, #1 in the New Age Noir series by Alan Annand, is coming soon.

In Scorpio Rising, criminal profiler Axel Crowe investigates the killing of a New York heiress, and discovers her death is linked to two other murders on the same day: a dot-com millionaire in San Francisco, and the team leader of a CIA counter-terrorist project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A finder of wayward people and stolen possessions, the enigmatic Crowe profiles subjects in a distinctly unique manner – using astrology, palmistry and other esoteric techniques. Facts are gross, but the truth is subtle, Crowe’s guru used to say. And although the truth behind this three-way conspiracy lies buried in the past, Crowe is relentless until he uncovers it.

The reviews thus far:

Scorpio Rising does for astrology what The Da Vinci Code did for art history.” ~ Suite101 Book Reviews

Scorpio Rising by Alan Annand, the first of his New Age Noir series, is a gripping murder mystery with a Hitchcockian twist.” ~ The Mountain Astrologer

“Annand is a terrific mystery writer who weaves a convincing working knowledge of a metaphysician’s world view into each page.” ~ Steven Forrest

“Axel Crowe, the brilliant investigator of Annand’s Scorpio Rising, is Agent 007 for the New Age noir set.” ~ Astrology Toronto

“Annand has done a masterful job in creating a whole new type of hero – astrologer as detective.” ~ North American Jyotish Newsletter

“Incredible power as a poet in prose – in the style of Hammett and Hemingway – to describe places and people.” ~ Michael Lutin

“If you like detective stories featuring astrology and palmistry, this is a terrific read that will keep you flipping the pages.” ~ NCGR Newsletter

“Scorpio Rising is an engaging mystery with a momentum that sends you rushing to the end.” ~ Horoscope Guide

“A fascinating murder mystery, and a wonderful book for anyone with even a little knowledge of astrology and palmistry to enjoy!” ~ Ray Merriman

“For those with a mystical blend and more than a touch of Scorpio darkness, you’re in for a treat.” ~ Dell Horoscope

winged helmet

For more on these reviews, see Scorpio Rising on Pinterest. 

Because Mercury retrograde doesn’t always spell disaster, Scorpio Rising will be available for the whole of February and March as well, for an introductory price of only $0.99, after which the price will return to $2.99. 

The ebook is available at Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, KoboSmashwords and Sony.

The second installment in the New Age Noir series will be released on April 6, 2014. Pre-orders are now available at Apple, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

thumb_FMIn Felonious Monk, a  reporter is found dead on a Vermont ashram. Summoned by an old friend who runs the retreat, astrologer Axel Crowe barely has time to assess the situation before the police arrest his friend for murder.

Believing him innocent, Crowe suspects instead a mysterious devotee who may be ex-CIA, and the beautiful Thai woman who accompanied him to the retreat. But when Crowe follows them to New York, the woman disappears and the man threatens to make Crowe disappear.

In exchange for NYPD help, Crowe agrees to take a look at a cold case file – the Riverside Rapist – who killed eight Asian women over 12 years. The timing of the murders intrigues Crowe, who sees in it an astrological signature of the killer.

Coincidence or not, the cold case overlaps some of the stories the reporter was working on – sex trafficking, heroin smuggling and the theft of religious antiquities  – all from Southeast Asia. None of it hangs together until Crowe goes to Thailand, and then it all makes perfect, horrible, sense.

Note: You can subscribe to future posts by clicking the [+ Follow] button in the lower right corner of this page.

Until then, remember, Mercury retrograde isn’t all bad.

~~~~~

Up here in the polar vortex…

9 Jan

stone colder cdn - editAA

FREE for a limited time only at Amazon, Apple, Barnes&Noble, Smashwords and Sony:

mystery thriller AL-QUEBECA by Alan Annand
Female cop investigates Montreal hit and run, discovers terror cell.
http://www.sextile.com

 mini_AQ

HARM’S WAY: This 99-cent book is terrible!

14 Dec

AA & halloween handsAs a writer of mystery suspense, I try to be edgy. For the most part, it’s a juggling act – being the wild man I know myself to be versus the decent guy that my editor (wife) wants me to be.

All of my books cultivate an atmosphere of moral jeopardy, sex and violence. Most of the time, despite my editor, I manage to work in enough action, intrigue, mystery and suspense to keep readers flipping the pages, looking for more jeopardy, sex and violence.

Rarely do I get the kind of off-the-scale reaction I’ve secretly being craving, like this recent review on Barnes & Noble of my mystery/thriller HARM’S WAY:

“This book is terrible! It touched on every low-life, criminal thing in the world. Lying, cheating, stealing, kidnapping, rape, torture, murder, porn, snuff films, drugs, Mafia. I probably missed some, but if it’s bad, it was covered in this book.”

Okay, you had me with low-life.

Finally, someone has seen my inner wild man and damned him with faint praise. Well, maybe not so much praise as outright condemnation. But as some Hollywood agent said, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

Sadly, the condemnation of HARM’S WAY isn’t universal. Other B&N reviewers haven’t been quite so astute as the one above, and have mistakenly seen this book as an exciting and page-turning romp.

Some of them said: “Get comfortable, you’ll be up all night reading. Once you start you can’t put it down. Exciting, keeps you on the edge of your seat. Fast-paced suspense, interesting, plenty of twists and turns. Highly recommended.”

To date, there’ve been 19 reviews on B&N, averaging 4.5 stars. Clearly, I’m doing something wrong here, because most people are completely missing the point – that I am a low-life crime writer who wants to corrupt readers.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harms-way-alan-annand/1106579631

Meanwhile, the crowd at Amazon and Apple are obviously reading the book backwards, because their reviews are also far too complimentary. On Amazon, 20 reviews average 4.0 stars, while at Apple, 46 reviews average 4.5.

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One-liners from Amazon: “One of the best reads in a long time. Everything you want in a story: suspense, action, strong characters, sex, romance and a great storyline. All the twists and turns in the plot make it a page-turner you can’t put down. Hot action keeps you on the edge. A great mystery and detective book.

http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harms-way/id471751935

So the jury’s still out. But did I not plan and execute the narration of multiple heinous crimes? Did I not portray men and women in acts of degradation and violence purely for my own gratification? Did I not kill their children – Innocence, Grace and Hope?

Why don’t more readers hate this book? Am I not edgy?

Read HARM’S WAY and cast your vote.

HARM’S WAY by Alan Annand: Top 10 in hard-boiled mystery!

12 Dec

thumb_HWFor the past three months, HARM’S WAY has been in Amazon’s Top Ten category for hard-boiled mystery thrillers.

Originally published by St.Martin’s Press in 1992 , I extensively rewrote this book for re-issue as an ebook in 2011.

Lee Harms, investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-and-off-again love affair with confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves up a witch’s brew of trouble.

Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a troubled redhead, stir in two kilos of cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist’s notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of a crime family whose son dies in a midnight bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature keep it bubbling.

As dangerous as it gets, Harms must rely on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a troubled past. But when criminals kidnap his own ten-year-old daughter, he plunges into their underworld to rescue her from harm’s way.

Upon its initial release, here were some of the reviews at the time:

“For Canadian writers setting hard-boiled stories in Canada, the closest thing yet to a US-style private eye is Montreal investigator Lee Harms in Harm’s Way by Alan Annand.” ~ Rara-Avis Reviews

Harm’s Way is a solid P.I. thriller, a nastier-than-you’d-expect slab of pornography, cocaine, gangsters, incest, madness, torture and vengeance.” ~ Thrilling Detective

“Energy, superior punch-‘em out sequences, and humor.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Underneath the New Age trappings, divorced ex-cop Harms is plenty hard-boiled, using fists, guns and sheer wit to escape the many tight spots here.” ~ Publisher’s Weekly

In its latest reincarnation, HARM’S WAY has garnered 20 reviews on Amazon averaging 4.0 stars. http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

On Barnes & Noble, there are 18 reviews averaging 4.2 stars. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/harms-way-alan-annand/1106579631

And on Apple iTunes, there are 46 reviews averaging 4.5 stars. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/harms-way/id471751935

More good news: just in time for Christmas, HARM’S WAY is now priced at only $0.99 for the ebook edition.

And for anyone who still enjoys a physical book (now just $7.65), see Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-Alan-Annand/dp/0986920622

~~~~~~~~~

You’re all right now…

15 Oct

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See more original eCards at http://pinterest.com/alanannand/ecards/

 

The world’s most interesting astrologer: the Great Significator

12 Oct

great_significator

See more original eCards at http://pinterest.com/alanannand/worlds-most-interesting-astrologer/

 

Procrastination is an art…

26 Sep

Procrastination

See more original eCards at http://pinterest.com/alanannand/ecards/

 

Harm’s Way enters Top 10 in hard-boiled mystery at Amazon

6 Sep

thumb_HW

It’s a mini-milestone! HARM’S WAY has just entered the Top 10 in Amazon’s hard-boiled mystery category. Originally published by St. Martin’s Press in 1992, I revised it extensively in 2012 (see backstory here) and republished it with Amazon and Smashwords.

Since December of last year I’ve offered it FREE on Smashwords to allow people to sample my writing, and thus promote my three other mystery thrillers. During this period, Amazon has toggled the price of Harm’s Way back and forth between free and $0.99. To date, there’ve been almost 15,000 downloads.

So if you like a very fast-paced mystery with a dose of hard-boiled action and dialog, and you don’t get your knickers in a knot over the occasional references to astrology (see that other story here), then scoop up a copy sooner than later.

Have a great day. As for me, I’m celebrating over breakfast with mimosas and — what else? — hard-boiled eggs !

~~~

HARM’S WAY

Montreal investigator with astrologer girlfriend searches for politician’s runaway daughter, only to become embroiled in a plot of corruption, decadence, greed and murder. 

(digital $0.99, paper $8.99) 

http://www.amazon.com/Harms-Way-ebook/dp/B005LVXIA2

Warning: This novel contains trace amounts of astrology!

19 May

thumb_HWThe other day I was browsing through some recent Amazon reviews of my hard-boiled mystery thriller Harm’s Way. It was originally published years ago under a pseudonym at St. Martin’s Press, but I rewrote it in 2011 and self-published it under my own name, eventually offering it free in 2013 to pique interest in my other mystery/thrillers.

In one review the reader complained that Montreal wasn’t Los Angeles and I wasn’t Raymond Chandler. Although I’d suspected the latter already, I was still pleased he’d correctly identified a writer whose style I’d emulated in writing the novel.

The reader went on to grumble, however, that the novel contained too much cat, as well as too much astrology. Just to paint the big picture, my private investigator owned a cat which was savaged by a rogue Doberman in the first chapter, thus requiring the attentions of a lady vet with whom my hero subsequently became, um, intimately involved.

As for the astrology, my hero had a longstanding astrologer lady friend with whom he occasionally sought counsel. In the novel, astrology was discussed in two scenes totalling less than 1400 words; in a novel of approximately 80,000 words, that’s roughly 1.7%.

Although little more than a page and a half every hundred pages, it was obviously too much – constituting a near-toxic dose for my reader, whose belief system was apparently so challenged by those few pages that he fell into a fever of intolerance, almost shutting down his reading experience.

In all fairness, perhaps he does suffer from allergies – probably to cats, but maybe also to open-mindedness. There’s a lot of that going around. Even among some of my own friends, who know I’ve been a professional astrologer for 30 years, there’s this attitude: Practice astrology all you want with the kooks you call your clients, but when it comes to writing novels, please don’t inflict that nonsense on the rest of us.

Luckily, I’m still amused by the ignorance of people ever ready to criticize things they know nothing about. Ironically, many of astrology’s harshest critics never read any serious books on the subject, nor consulted professional astrologers. Everyone wants the easy route, and clearly it’s less effort to develop an uninformed opinion than an informed one. As Sir Isaac Newton chided a fellow scientist critical of Newton’s interest in astrology, Newton said, “Sir, I have studied the subject. You have not.”

Anyway, that review got me thinking… Do we now live in an age where the public’s attitude toward astrology is as virulent as its allergy to peanuts, shellfish and soy? Do I need a consumer label on my book covers, saying: “Warning! This novel contains trace amounts of astrology. Those of a fragile mind are cautioned to browse elsewhere less you catch a New Age virus.

thumb_SRGood thing this particular reader hadn’t discovered my New Age noir mystery thriller Scorpio Rising, whose content dedicated to astrology, palmistry and other esoteric subjects runs to 10%. If he’d read that, he might have died of anaphylactic shock, and I’d be facing a lawsuit.

~~~

Alan Annand is an astrologer (Dipl-FAS, Dipl-ACVA) based in Toronto. He is also the author of several mystery thrillers, and some of his novels feature shockingly-realistic depictions of major and minor characters who are also astrologers.

Al-Quebeca: word cloud

30 Apr

Al-Quebeca_60

AL-QUEBECA

Mystery thriller, eBook $2.99, paper $11.50

Montreal homicide detective Sophie Gillette, still mourning the death of her brother during covert ops in Afghanistan, investigates a fatal hit-and-run, uncovering a terrorist plot to assassinate an American governor, disable New England’s electrical grid, and kill 10,000 hockey fans.

Kindle or paperback version:

www.amazon.com/Al-Quebeca-ebook/dp/B00CHQOY8O

Any other digital format:

www.smashwords.com/books/view/309140

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