Friday 16 December 2016

American Giveaway Extravaganza

Winterlong, the third book in the Carter Blake series (aka The Time to Kill in the UK) is being published in the USA on February 7 2017, and you can preorder it in gorgeous hardcover right now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indiebound.

If you can't wait that long, you can enter the Goodreads giveaway right now to win a copy. My American publisher Pegasus is celebrating the new book by giving away copies of the first two books in the series at the same time. All you have to do is register for the giveaway before January 16th.

To enter, just click on the cover to go to the giveaway (enter individually for each book).
This is open to readers with a US address only, but I'll be running a UK giveaway very soon, so watch this space. If you want to kept in the loop for news and competitions, remember to join the Readers Club.

Good luck!
Win an exclusive advance copy of Winterlong

Sunday 11 December 2016

What I've been up to, and what's happening with the next book, anyway?


Apologies for my lack of blogging lately, but I've been making up for it in other areas.

Getting out and about for one. I just completed the final date on a tour of WHSmith stores in central Scotland, taking in Hamilton, East Kilbride, Glasgow, Ayr, Livingston and Stirling. 

 It was a really fun experience getting out and chatting to people, some of whom I was even able to persuade to buy a book. Big thanks to the team at Smiths for organising everything and making me feel very welcome at every stop.

I also made a couple of other appearances, one at East Kilbride Library for Book Week Scotland, which was great, plus a talk to my old primary school (pictured below). Speaking to sixty ten-year-olds was hands down the most terrifying experience of my writing career to date, but it was also awesome. I didn't have to persuade them of the benefits of reading books and writing their own stories, because most of them were already doing both. Fantastic questions, too. 

What else...?

I got copies of the large print edition of The Samaritan delivered in hardback - another great job from Magna Books:

The Time to Kill picked up another nice review from Crime Review:

"In Blake we have a hero with questionable motives but one that is fundamentally likeable...The Time To Kill is an exhilarating and absorbing thriller making good use of fast-paced action, scenes of tension and convincing characters."

I guested on a couple of great blogs: a Q&A on From First Page to Last and Seven days in the book world for Cool Books, where I talk about everything I've read over a week. 

I put the finishing touches to the copyedit of the fourth Carter Blake book, which at the time of writing is still going to be called Don't Look For Me (preorder now! It's out 20th April in the UK). It's a change of pace from the epic scale of the last one, and I had a lot of fun writing it. I just hope everyone else will enjoy reading it.

I appeared at Noir at the Bar in Carlisle with an excellent lineup of crime writers including Jay Stringer, Matt Hilton and GJ Brown. If you're not familiar with the format, the title basically says it all: crime writers reading short pieces in a bar. 

This one took place in the Old Fire Station in Carlisle, which was a great venue. I decided at the last moment to read a really old story of mine called A Living. It seemed to go down okay, but for me the real pleasure was watching the other writers do their thing. 

Oh yes, and the only other minor part of news is... 

I've started work on the fifth Carter Blake book. 

Although I work mostly on computer, I've got into a tradition whereby I write the first chapter of a new book longhand in a pub. And that's just what I did last week. 

Wish me luck...

Monday 7 November 2016

Winterlong - American Giveaway

If you're in the United States and would like to win an advance copy of Winterlong (aka The Time to Kill) my American publisher Pegasus Books is running a Goodreads giveaway to win one of three copies.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is click on this link and register for the giveaway by December 3.

Saturday 22 October 2016

The Problems of Being a Writer

To paraphrase Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas, as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a writer. 

That’s why I’m always surprised when people ask me when I decided I wanted to write for a living. It’s like asking when I decided I was right-handed, or liked cheese, or that The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. I just don’t recall a time where these things weren’t part of me. The upside of that was that, unlike a lot of people, I always knew what my dream job was. The downside, as I was frequently reminded, was that it was statistically unlikely I would achieve my ambition. 

I always knew I would eventually write a novel. The hard part was actually knuckling down and writing the damn thing. I was under no illusions that it’s tough to get published, but I knew that writing a book was definitely something I wanted do at some point. If it ended up sitting in the bottom of a drawer for the rest of my life, so be it, at least I would have achieved something.

So I was delighted when I not only completed a novel – The Killing Season – but was signed up by a major publisher. Even better: they wanted more books, so the second, The Samaritan, was published in 2015, and the third, The Time to Kill (Winterlong in the USA), is out now. 

Another question I often get: how does the reality compare to the fantasy? 

The single biggest surprise for me about becoming a published author is the fact that, against all odds, it’s even better than I’d dared to hope. I had been braced for some level of disappointment, having my illusions shattered, all the usual stuff, but so far it hasn’t happened. 

What’s the biggest buzz? No contest: it has to be walking into a bookshop or library and seeing a real-live book that I wrote on the shelves alongside so many of my literary heroes.  

Other cool experiences: meeting fellow crime writers and finding them to be a thoroughly nice bunch. Working with skilled editors and proof-readers and designers and marketing people to make sure the book is as great as it possibly can be when it hits the shelves. Lovely reviews from readers, bloggers and national newspapers. Seeing a new cover design for the first time. Doing interviews. Meeting readers who love the books and are desperate to know what happens next.

The downsides? They do exist, but they pretty much all fall into the category of First World Problems. I don’t have time to say yes to everything I want to do, for example. There are a few projects I would love to start that I haven’t been able to fit in around writing the books, working a day job, being a parent, and occasionally sleeping. The biggest single downside has been the realisation that you never really get to the point where a book is perfect, you just stop editing it. 

But whenever things threaten to get on top of me, I take a step back and remember: these are all incredibly good problems to have. Because I’m doing what I always wanted to do, from as far back as I can remember. 

Saturday 15 October 2016

Public service announcement: two titles, one book

If you've been wondering why I have two books coming out in the space of six months, the answer is I don't. Unfortunately, I'm just not that fast. The Time to Kill and Winterlong are in fact the same novel.

While it's not the first time one of my books has different titles in different territories... is the first time it's happened between English language editions.

What I really want to avoid is people accidentally buying the book twice, because cover and title aside, they are exactly the same book. Of course, if you're fully aware of that, I have no objection to anyone buying these or indeed any of my books twice.

So in the UK, the third Carter Blake novel is titled The Time to Kill. It's available right now in trade paperback and ebook, and will be published by Orion in mass market paperback on February 9 2017 - you can preorder on Amazon now with the price guarantee.

Over in the USA, my publisher Pegasus loved the original title and have decided to stick with it, so Winterlong will be hitting the shelves on February 7 2017 - again, you can preorder the hardcover edition right now.

The other news is I'm aiming to be in New York City for US publication day, and I'm going to try to get around some American bookstores for the first time. Stay tuned for more details...

Monday 3 October 2016

Two extremely cool covers I didn't know existed

It's always nice to see new editions of the books, but I stumbled across the American large print covers on Amazon recently. I hadn't seen either of these, and they're both absolutely beautiful.

I also love the way American covers always point out it's A NOVEL just in case you're confused.

Just thought I would share.

Thursday 29 September 2016

Competition - win an audiobook

Competition time!

I'm giving away a copy of the audiobook of The Samaritan on CD (read by the fantastic Eric Meyers) to a lucky member of the Mason Cross Readers Club. This competition is open worldwide, and to new and existing members of the readers club.

All you have to do is sign up using the handy form below by midnight GMT on Monday 31st October (one of my favourite days of the year). The winner will be randomly selected from the list and contacted for a mailing address.

Join the Mason Cross Readers Club

Joining the readers club is a good idea anyway - you get a heads-up when a new book is published, plus exclusives and competitions like this one. No spam guaranteed, and you can unsubscribe any time with one click.

Good luck!

Monday 26 September 2016

Bloody Scotland 2016

Some pics from Bloody Scotland 2016 I've been meaning to post...

As usual, it was a great weekend, and I think this could have been the best year yet. It was nice to spend time with fellow authors, meet readers and bloggers and see some great panels.

Event highlights included Ian Rankin, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville and Craig Robertson and many more. One of the best things about the weekend was finally getting to see Mark Billingham and My Darling Clementine's performance of The Other Half - a mixture of spoken word and music. As a fan of both crime and country music it was right up my street.

My own panel was a hell of a lot of fun. (Not) Born in the USA featured myself, Steve Cavanagh and GJ Brown being interrogated by Catriona Macpherson about being Brits who set our thrillers stateside. We covered a lot of ground, from how much of ourselves is in our characters, to the impact the presidential election could have on telling stories in the US, to the logic behind picking pseudonyms at the start of the alphabet.

Looking forward to next year already - big thanks to the team at Bloody Scotland who make it run so smoothly.

Saturday 24 September 2016

Q&A with Magna Large Print Books

This is a Q&A with me published on the Facebook page of my large print publisher Magna Books.

Magna published The Killing Season in large print last year, and The Samaritan is coming out on November 1st.

Mason Cross is the author of the Carter Blake thriller series, which began with The Killing Season. Recently described as a ‘bestseller in the making’, Cross’s second book, The Samaritan, was picked for the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club earlier this year. His third book in the series, The Time to Kill, came out in the summer and will be available in large print in November and in audio next April. Mason lives in Glasgow with his wife and three children and juggles his writing with a day job in IT.

1. Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a writer?
I always loved writing stories at school, and I was lucky that my parents and teachers were always really encouraging. As a kid I wrote science fiction and action stories, and some Choose Your Own Adventure style stories, which I would print out and sell at school. After university I remembered how much I loved writing anything that wasn't an essay and, inspired by Stephen King's On Writing, began writing short stories and submitting them to magazines and competitions. I piled up a heap of rejections and eventually managed to get published in a couple of places. I also uploaded some of my work to HarperCollins's Authonomy website, and was surprised when I was contacted by the top-flight agent Luigi Bonomi, who had read some of my work online. He signed me up and gave me some great advice, and a couple of years on I landed a book deal with Orion. It's scary to think how much luck is involved, but it demonstrates the importance of getting your work out there.

2. Have you always written thrillers and crime stories or did you start off with a different genre?

I've always leaned towards crime and noir, although I did write a few horror stories when I was younger. For me, mystery is an essential element of any story, and crime and thrillers seem to be the most natural structures for exploring that. That said, if I had an idea that would work for a different genre, I would certainly pursue it.

3. On an average day, how much time do you spend writing? Is it difficult to juggle writing with your day job in IT?

Most of the writers I know have a day job and/or kids, and I have both. It just means that discipline is even more important: I have to make sure I hit a certain number of words in the time I have available, which is usually night-time after my three children have gone to bed. When I'm writing I'll try to fit in some words whenever I have downtime: during lunch, on trains, whatever. It helps that I'm using a different part of my brain than I do at work, so it doesn't feel like one long working day.

4. What do you find are the best and the worst things about writing?

I love starting work on a fresh book when the possibilities are infinite and you're excited to explore a new story and characters. The worst thing is the midpoint crisis, which almost every writer I know experiences, when you can't see how you're going to finish this thing and start to doubt your abilities. I hate that part, but you just have to grit your teeth and fight through to the other side.

5. Your novels are set in the United States, have you ever lived there? How do you do the research for your books?

I've never lived in the States, but I've visited a few times and spent time in LA, San Francisco and New York. Like most people, I do a lot of research online: the internet is a fantastic resource for everything from the geography and history of a particular place to sunrise and sunset times, to the intricate details of cyber terrorism. I'm also lucky to have American friends who will read early drafts, highlight any mistakes and give me invaluable local knowledge.

6. Are you planning to write any thrillers set in Scotland?

I have a half-finished psychological thriller set in Glasgow that I keep meaning to go back to. It's different from the Carter Blake books - more influenced by Hitchcock and Ira Levin. I'd love to have the time to finish it, so I can find out how it ends.

7. Do you know how your stories are going to end before you start writing them?

Sort of. I write a reasonably full outline of about four pages. That gives me enough idea of the plot to get going, but I always make big changes along the way. The ending always comes out differently from how I had planned - I need to have written the rest of the book first to be able to work out the ending.

8. What’s the best writing advice anyone’s ever given you?

Write every day, but don't overdo it. Hearing about authors committing to writing two thousand words a day used to really put me off, until someone suggested I try to hit 500 a day. 500 words is a manageable amount: it doesn't seem too daunting, you can do it in half an hour or less, and if you do that every day, in six months you'll have the first draft of a novel.

Interview by Nicky Solloway at Magna Large Print Books.

Thursday 8 September 2016

Goodreads Giveaway - The Samaritan

Time for another giveaway - if you'd like to win a signed copy of UK paperback edition of Richard and Judy Book Club selection The Samaritan, all you have to do is register for the giveaway on Goodreads using the handy button below.

This is open to everyone in the world - all you have to lose is a couple of clicks.

Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Samaritan by Mason Cross

The Samaritan

by Mason Cross

Giveaway ends September 18, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

P.S. - watch this space for another giveaway soon.

This one is just going to be members of the Mason Cross Readers Club, which you can sign up for in a couple of clicks right here:

Join the Mason Cross Readers Club

Saturday 3 September 2016

WHSmith signing tour

I'm pleased to announce that I'm going to be doing a mini-signing tour of WHSmith stores in central Scotland over the next couple of months. The tour is focusing on The Samaritan, because The Time to Kill isn't out in paperback until next year.

WHS has been a big supporter of me (not least through the Richard and Judy Book Club promotion), so I'm looking forward to doing my first actual book tour with them.

You can see full details of these events both on the WHSmith Events blog and my website, but here are the dates. If one of the stores is near you, come along and say hello!


Thursday 1 September 2016

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered the competition to win a signed first edition trade paperback copy of The Killing Season by signing up to the Mason Cross Readers Club!

The competition is now closed and the randomly selected winner is David Barr! Congratulations, David, and thanks for signing up.

If you missed out on the competition, you can still sign up to the Readers Club using the handy form below. I'll only email you when there's something interesting to say (new book coming out, competition, possibly some exclusive content in the not-too-distant-future), and you can unsubscribe at any time with one click. Go on, you know you want to...

Monday 29 August 2016

O Samaritano

O Samaritano is available now!

This is the Portuguese translation of The Samaritan, published by Editora 20/20's imprint Topseller. I loved their Killing Season cover (scroll down to see it) and this one is just as good.

As always, the blurb is below, followed by Google's stab at translating into English. Portuguese readers can buy a copy here.

Sobre a obra:

Após uma noite de tempestade, em Los Angeles, a detetive Jessica Allen é chamada ao local onde houve um deslizamento de terras. O motivo? Uma descoberta macabra: foi encontrado o corpo de uma jovem cujo pescoço foi degolado com um corte invulgar. No mesmo dia, são descobertos perto daquele local outros dois corpos mutilados de maneira semelhante. A detetive descobre que se trata da obra de um assassino que opera há mais de dez anos, sem nunca ter sido apanhado. É conhecido como o «Samaritano » e captura jovens desamparadas, cujos carros avariaram, deixando-as paradas e sozinhas na estrada. É então que Carter Blake aparece para oferecer os seus serviços a esta investigação policial. O secretismo em volta das suas verdadeiras intenções leva a detetive a desconfiar dele. Mas quando o Samaritano prossegue com uma escalada de assassínios, os dois terão de se unir para o deter de uma vez por todas…

Sobre autor:

Nasceu em Glasgow, na Escócia, em 1979.
Licenciou-se em Línguas e fez uma pós-graduação em Tecnologias de Informação, o que lhe permitiu descobrir que tem muito mais êxito com as palavras do que com os computadores.
O Caçador é o seu romance de estreia, da série Carter Blake. O 2.º volume, O Samaritano – que a Topseller também publicará –, foi selecionado para o Richard and Judy Book Club, um selo de qualidade.


About the work:

After a stormy night in Los Angeles, Detective Jessica Allen is called to where there was a landslide. The reason? A gruesome discovery: the body of a young man was found whose neck was beheaded with an unusual cut. On the same day, they are discovered near that place two mutilated bodies in a similar way. The detective discovers that it is the work of a killer who has been operating for over ten years, without ever being caught. It is known as the "Samaritan" and capture disadvantaged young people, whose cars avariaram, leaving the charts and on the road alone. It is then that Carter Blake appears to offer its services to this police investigation. Secrecy around their true intentions leads the detective to distrust him. But when the Samaritan continues with a murder climbing, the two must come together to stop him once and for all ...

About the author:

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1979. He graduated in Languages ​​and has a graduate degree in Information Technology, which allowed him to find that you have much more success with words than with computers.  The Hunter is his debut novel, Carter Blake series. The 2nd volume, The Samaritan - that Topseller also publish - was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club, a seal of quality.

O Cacador (The Killing Season) is also available.

Sunday 28 August 2016

Top 10 Locations to Set an Action Thriller

 As it's summer, it's a good time to repost some articles and lists I've done elsewhere on The Internets.

Our first delivery of eco-conscious recycled material this year comes from Foyles, who asked me earlier this year for my top 10 locations in which to set a thriller. It was good timing as I had just finished edits on The Time to Kill, which sprawls across two different time periods, three countries and about half a dozen US states.

Here's what I came up with:

Thriller-writing has something in common with house-buying: location, location, location.

Think of some of the standout scenes in classic thriller fiction and movies. The sweeping Scottish Highlands in The Thirty-Nine Steps. The murky lawless zone of the off-shore casino in Farewell, My Lovely. The mountain-top base in the Alps in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The towering glass and steel Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard.

A twisting plot and compelling characters are important, but an evocative location can effortlessly add drama to any scene. With that in mind, here are ten of my picks for great thriller backdrops.

  1. The wilderness (particularly when the climate is inhospitable)

    A great way to pile on some extra suspense is to place the action in a wild, isolated location that’s as much of a threat to the protagonists as the villains are. In my book, The Time to Kill (Winterlong in the US), freelance manhunter Carter Blake finds himself alone and unarmed in the middle of rural Minnesota in the middle of a blizzard. He’d be in trouble even without the men with guns and hunting dogs on his trail.
  2. A bustling metropolis

    New York, Paris, London and Hong Kong are some obvious examples, but there are many more to choose from. Hubs that draw all sorts of people from around the world, home to millions upon millions of people and as many unique stories. It’s not just the mass of diverse humanity; the urban playground provides multiple opportunities for thrilling setups, from super-highways to narrow backalleys; from dingy subways to open rooftops.

  3. A small town in the middle of nowhere

    The incongruity of a sleepy little town and the threat or reality of violence is a classic setup used in a lot of thrillers, and most westerns. Isolated outposts of humanity are vulnerable to external threat, or the town itself can be part of the menace. Lee Child makes use of the understated sinisterness of small, closed communities in several of the Jack Reacher books.
  4. An abandoned post-industrial site
    Aged, dilapidated factories always make for an atmospheric backdrop to the action. I’m a big fan of photographs taken by urban explorers in disused factories and subway stations. Something about a cavernous space built for teeming masses, and now surrendered to the ravages of nature makes the characters seem all the more isolated and vulnerable.
  5. Anywhere in Russia

    Place a thriller anywhere in Russia and it immediately benefits from the residual menace of decades of Cold War spy thrillers from Fleming to Le Carré. To Western eyes, it’s still a slightly mysterious, authoritarian society, with ample scope for spy games and government-sponsored skulduggery.
  6. A confined location

    Whether it’s a cruise ship, an underground bunker, or (as in JS Law’s excellent Tenacity) a nuclear submarine, a closed, confined location is the ideal setting for claustrophobic thrills. It’s equally good for a ‘locked room’ mystery on a slightly larger scale. If the characters are cooped up together with no way to escape, the tension will ratchet up, along with the whodunit possibilities.
  7. A war zone

    A backdrop of a vast, nation-spanning conflict can be an excellent way to throw a smaller story into relief. The threat doesn’t come from one direction, it’s all around.
  8. A large crowd

    There’s nothing like a big political rally or a stadium rock concert being threatened by an evildoer to raise the stakes. With so many faces in the crowd, the threat could come from anywhere. Even from a giant blimp, in the case of Thomas Harris’s first novel Black Sunday.
  9. A train

    This actually combines a lot of the above techniques, which is probably why trains pop up more frequently in thrillers than any other form of mass transit. A train can take you deep into the wilderness. It’s a mobile confined location between stations. The killer can hide among the crowd of passengers. It’s frequently difficult to get a phone signal or internet connection. And the ticket collectors often act like throwback Soviet secret police…
  10. A phone blackspot

    If there’s one thing that makes a modern thriller novelist’s life difficult, it’s the fact that virtually any human on the planet can immediately summon help using a handy device that fits into their pocket. Putting the lead character somewhere they can’t call 999 (or 911) is a great way to emphasise their isolation and give them (rather than the writer) an extra problem.
So that's my personal favourite thriller settings, at the time of writing at least. What are yours?

Thursday 25 August 2016

Encounters, Bloody Scotland and some great reviews

It's not long now until the gore-drenched staple of the literary year that is Bloody Scotland - my event is on Sunday 11 September and I'm appearing with Steve Cavanagh and GJ Brown on a fake Americans panel, which should be a lot of fun. Book tickets here, and you can win signed books from all of us by retweeting this link:

I'm pleased to say I'm back at the fantastic Encounters Festival this year on 26 October at Coatbridge Library. Find out more about how to get your free tickets on the festival website, and check out lots of other great author events including fellow crime peeps Marnie Riches, Matt Bendoris, Sophie Hannah, Martina Cole, Theresa Talbot and Tim Weaver.

Speaking of library events, I've updated my Live Literature page over at Scottish Book Trust. If you live in Scotland, your library can book me to come and talk through this excellent scheme, so let them know about it if you would like me to visit a library near you.

As always, check the Events page on my website for new dates.

You still have until Sunday to win a signed copy of The Killing Season - all you have to do to be in with a chance is sign up to the Mason Cross Readers Club:

Join the Mason Cross Readers Club

* indicates required

The Time to Kill seems to be doing pretty well, and I suddenly seem to have a big backlog of lovely reviews to link to. See below for a taste, click through to read the full reviews:

Grab This Book says:

An action adventure (and a chase story) across the USA which kept me gripped as I read. A five star thrill-fest.

Adventures in Crime Fiction Land was lukewarm about The Samaritan but finds The Time to Kill more to his liking:

The Time to Kill is a roller coaster ride of tension, a great read that touches on geo-political issues and the war on terrorism while delivering a darn good yarn. On the basis of this and book 1 (book 2 just not being my cup of tea, though as I say, there was nothing wrong with the writing) Mason Cross is certainly somebody who's writing I will watch out for.

Meanwhile, The Crime Warp comes up with a brand new suggestion of who could play Carter Blake in the movie:

Action packed and sensitive - a James Bond type book for the 2000's (Maybe if Idris Elba doesn't get the 007 role he could play Carter Blake?- just saying).

Tweet me, Idris, we'll do lunch.

Going down under, Readings picks The Time to Kill for its best new crime reads in August:

I really love picking up a special-ops-type thriller like Cross’s The Time to Kill – they’re always so supremely satisfying. Someone’s usually died in a dramatic, sneaky fashion by the end of the prologue, there’s usually travel to all kinds of international countries (or at least their bars/hotel rooms/abandoned warehouses), the main character knows how to handle themselves, someone gets their comeuppance, people slam phones down in anger – you get it, and you love it too.

Stuff says:

If you've come across either of his first two thrillers, you will know this writer is a keeper. If not, put him on your list.

Also in the Antipodes, the radio station Newstalk ZB's resident book reviewer gives Blake's latest adventure a big thumbs up. Fans of Kiwi accents like myself will want to listen to the link in full:

The story starts to really race and it's very cleverly constructed with a dual narrative ... people that like Lee Child and Jack Reacher would probably really enjoy this.

The Morning Star calls it "a superior example of the chase thriller" and goes on to say:

[Blake's] former employers are coming after him, the truce he made with them when he left no longer in force. But they trained him well and he’s not going to be easy to kill. There’s all the set-piece action you could hope for.

If those reviews make you want to read more, the novel is available from all good bookshops - go here to buy in your chosen format. If you enjoy it, taking a moment to write an Amazon or Goodreads reviews is a big help.

That's all for now... see you in Stirling?

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Competition - win a signed first edition of The Killing Season

Want to win a signed first edition of the UK trade paperback version of The Killing Season?

It's the first novel in the Carter Blake series. Blake has to stop a lethal sniper rampaging across the Midwest. People who have said nice things about the book include Lee Child, Lisa Gardner and even one William Jefferson Clinton.

All you have to do to win a copy is sign up to my mailing list between today and midnight UK time (7pm EDT) on Sunday 28 August 2016.

It couldn't be easier - submit your name and email address below, then click on the confirmation email and you're on the list.

I only send an update when I have something interesting to report (like a new book coming out) so you don't have to worry about being bombarded with spam. That conjures up an interesting image, doesn't it?

The lucky winner will be selected at random and contacted by email to let them know they've won and to get a mailing address.

The competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world.

I'll sign it (and personalise it if you want) and post it to you, wherever you may be.

And just while I have your attention, I'd like to draw your attention to some upcoming events:

11 August - Hillhouse Library, Hamilton
6:00pm | Hillhouse Road, Hamilton, ML3 9TX
Free event - contact the library on 01698 710400 for tickets.

16 August - The Ben Cleuch Centre, Tillicoultry
7:00pm | Park St, Tillicoultry, FK13 6AG
Contact Clackmannanshire Libraries on 01259 452262 for tickets.

11 September - Bloody Scotland, Stirling
1:30pm | The Golden Lion Hotel, 8-10 King Street, Stirling, FK8 1DQ
Tickets £7.50/£6.50, available from the festival website.

26 October - Encounters Festival, Coatbridge
7:00pm | Coatbridge Library, Buchanan Centre, 126 Main Street, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, ML5 3BJ
Free event - visit the festival website for tickets.

Okay, good luck!

Wednesday 3 August 2016

De Samaritaan - Dutch edition

De Samaritaan is out in the Netherlands today from Luithingh-Sijthoff - go here to buy! For editions in other languages, check out my website.

Blurb as follows in Dutch, Google translate effort below that:

De samaritaan    - Mason Cross 

De samaritaan van Mason Cross is het tweede boek over manhunter Carter Blake. Voor de lezers van Lee Childs serie over Jack Reacher.

Een sadistische seriemoordenaar aast op alleen reizende vrouwen met autopech. De pers heeft hem al 'de Samaritaan' gedoopt, maar zonder aanwijzingen en sporen komt het politieonderzoek al snel tot stilstand.

Dan komt Carter Blake in beeld, die de donkere gave heeft om de volgende stappen van de Samaritaan te voorspellen. FBI-agent Jessica Allen en haar collega's zijn echter achterdochtig, want hun nieuwe bondgenoot heeft verdacht veel overeenkomsten met de man die ze zoeken...

'Tot de verbeelding sprekende personages, spannend plot, strakke stijl en flink tempo. Wat wil een mens nog meer?' Vrij Nederland Detective en Thrillergids

'Een bloedspannende thriller vol spanning, avontuur, corruptie, complotten en een vleugje romantiek.' De Telegraaf


The Mason Cross Samaritan is the second book about Manhunter Carter Blake.  For readers of Lee Childs series about Jack Reacher.

A sadistic serial killer preys on women traveling alone with car trouble.  The press him 'Samaritan' baptized, but without evidence and traces is the police investigation quickly to a halt.

Dan Carter Blake comes into the picture, which has the dark ability to predict the next steps of the Samaritan.  FBI agent Jessica Allen and her colleagues, however, are suspicious, because their new ally has suspicious similarities with the man they are looking for ...

"Until imaginative characters, exciting plot, sleek style and fast pace.  What does a man want more?"  Quite Netherlands Detective and Thriller Guide

"A very exciting thriller full of suspense, adventure, corruption, collusion and a touch of romance."  The Telegraph

Sunday 31 July 2016

Winterlong - US cover

As I mentioned recently The Time to Kill, the third Carter Blake book, is being published in America under its original name: Winterlong.

I had a sneak preview from my publishers a few weeks ago, but as it's now live on Amazon US, I can proudly reveal the US cover for Winterlong

What do you think? I love it! Can't wait to see a physical copy.

Winterlong is published in the United States on February 7, 2017, and you can pre-order the hardcover right now.

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Friday 22 July 2016

*Meaningful pause* I have a train to catch.

I've boarded a train bound for Harrogate, and am looking forward to my first trip to the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. I'll be hosting a table at the author dinner on Saturday, and generally mingling all weekend, so if you're headed to Yorkshire, I hope to see you there.

In the meantime, here's a few more cuttings - click through to read the full reviews and check out these fine blogs.

Hopefully my journey will be less eventful than the one Carter Blake takes in The Time to Kill...

Douglas Skelton posts his review along with notices for Matt Bendoris and TF Muir:

"The previous two books in the series gave us little hints to Blake’s past, nothing much, just little nods and winks, but this time it comes raging back to haunt him. If the past is a foreign country, Blake’s past is one the government would not advise travellers to visit ... I’m a sucker for thrillers on trains. From ‘The Lady Vanishes’ through to ‘Breakheart Pass’ and, my personal favourite, ‘Narrow Margin’, there’s nothing more exciting than riding the rail and pitting your hero against the bad guys. And Cross does it incredibly well."

Civilian Reader reviews the first two books in the series - can't wait to hear the verdict on the third:

"Put simply, The Samaritan is superb. My favourite new thriller series, long may it continue! A must-read for all fans of thrillers and gripping fiction. Both of these novels are very highly recommended."

Lastly, Crime Thriller Girl selects The Time to Kill as one of her top 10 summer reads - be sure to check out the rest of the top 10!

"THE TIME TO KILL is an adrenaline rush from the first page to the last. Packed with stunning set-piece action sequences, and an emotional punch as you discover more of the rather mysterious Blake’s backstory, this cinematic action thriller is like reading Reacher crossed with Bourne plus added fabulousness."