31 January 2015 by Published in: Uncategorized 13 comments

I just learned that my work is available in 666 libraries in the U.S.

Proving as clearly as anything that Mr. Satan is everywhere.

That’s kind of neat, though, I guess. I mean, now I don’t feel like a complete unknown outside some of the more questionable watering holes in the lesser Mexican area.

Another thing that makes me feel I’m making progress in this writing thing is that my second co-authored novel with the legendary Clive Cussler is now up for pre-order: The Solomon Curse. Releases in September.

The last one hit the #2 position on the NY Times list its second week out. Not a terrible showing. Seems to have sold a few copies, too, so all good. And my novella in Steven Konkoly’s The Perseid Collapse Kindle world, Deadly Calm, will go live on Feb. 3rd, which will no doubt put me over the top. For those who enjoy my balls to the wall action romps, it’s a good example of how I roll. It turned out well, and I believe it’s a worthwhile entrant into the whole Kindle world thing. Worth checking out.

What does it all mean? Beats me. I’m still writing every day, putting in more than full time hours, clocking 4-6 miles on the treadmill desk, which is the bomb, and a must-have for full time desk monkeys. There was another study published the other day that says sitting kills. So it’s not just a matter of trying to cram in exercise when you don’t have the time – it’s a matter of life and death. I’m completely happy with mine, and will get another in a heartbeat whenever this one burns out.

Beyond that, what the hell happened to January? I mean, it was just here, and now it’s gone. Seems like that’s happening a lot lately – time gets away from me, and soon it’s another year under the belt and deeper in debt.

Things in my neck of the woods are returning to normal now post-Hurricane Odile, although crime in La Paz is off the hook since the storm – they’ve been averaging a shooting per day there as two factions of the same cartel battle it out for the meth trade in the barrios. It’s a hundred miles from me, so I’m not that worried, although that’s only a couple hours drive, so too damn close for comfort. Given a population of 350K or so in La Paz, at 350 intentional homicides per year, which is about one a day, the ratio per 100K population would be…100. To put that into perspective, the ratio in the U.S. is about 5, and that includes trouble spots like DC, Detroit, etc. etc. Same in Argentina. Chile, actually lower, more like 4. Canada, even lower. Mainland Mexico, about 20-something. 100 is insanely dangerous. As in, worse than anywhere else in Mexico, dangerous.

The year before, the ratio for Southern Baja was about a 2 or so. My, the times they are a changing. Of course, those being gunned down are the ones that need killing – drug dealers. But it’s just a matter of time until there’s collateral damage. It’s a bad situation, and one the local media has studiously ignored, I believe because the government doesn’t want to scare away the tourists. But I also believe that if they don’t get that shit under control stat, it’s going to be common knowledge, and then buh bye tourist dollars – most Americans won’t differentiate between La Paz and Los Cabos when reading travel advisories for Baja, even though it’s like not visiting La Jolla in San Diego because the drive-byes in South Central LA are off the hook. To Gringos, it’s all kind of one and the same – Baja California Sur. And if it’s killing fields “there” the tourists won’t come. The irony being that the Cabo and San Jose del Cabo areas are about as safe as ever.

That’s all I’ve got. I’m working my fingers to nubs so that my readership can remain entertained, and won’t have to start dating other authors to get titillation. I’ve got the following scheduled now with my editor for 2015: JET – Ops Files, Terror Alert, for late March (just went on pre-order yesterday, I believe, with a temp cover that will be replaced next week). An Assassin novel for May. JET #9 for June.  Another JET – Ops Files end of Sept or October. And JET #10 for Xmas. And possibly BLACK #5 for Sept – remains to be seen how inspired I feel. Oh, and also possibly the first installment in a new series in Sept. – one I think will be frigging huge – an action adventure yarn that’s part treasure hunt, part conspiracy yarn, with some of the most memorable characters I’ve yet created.

So there will be plenty more opportunities for crap buying in 2015 – a veritable plethora of crap. But do check out Deadly Calm when it goes live on Tuesday. It’s dirt cheap, reads really well, is my first shot at dystopian/prepper fiction, and is a fun romp that floors the throttle from the first chapter. Remains to be seen whether the bloodthirsty cannibal pandas make it past the final edits. I hope they keep them in. We’ll see.



  1. Sat 31st Jan 2015 at 11:18 pm

    Hey you keep your head down & keep the writing going – I ‘m looking to get 6 books out this year too so we both got a hectic one – lets hope its all good – peace.

  2. Sat 31st Jan 2015 at 11:38 pm

    I just got caught up and have read everything you’ve written. Well, until Tuesday, that is. I look forward to reading the new one.

    666 libraries, huh? Creepy. Makes me think of The Omen.

  3. Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Second to last paragraph, third to last line – ‘and’ should be ‘an’. I won’t bill you for my editing services since I’m still buzzing from copious quantities of fine wines consumed at my dad’s 80th birthday party last evening. 🙂

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 2:30 pm


      Congrats on the 80th. I mean, you didn’t have to do anything – he kind of did all the heavy lifting to get there. But still.

  4. Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Oh. Just. Great. You’ve sold your soul to the devil and I’m heading to La Paz the end of this week. I have to walk 7 blocks from the bus stop to my B&B carrying my stupid backpack that screams American tourist.
    Any suggestions?

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 6:36 pm

      Julia: Take a cab. Seriously. That’s not the $3 you want to save. The town’s actively dangerous right now. I know where the bus station is, and they’ve had shootouts on the malecon, as well as in most of the colonias. Ixnay on the taking chances-ay.

      • Julia Barrett  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 6:56 pm

        Shit. Can I say shit here? Okay – will there be a taxi we can hail on the malecon? By the bus stop?

        • Russell Blake  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 7:09 pm

          If you mean by the station around the corner from the Burger King, yes, I’d think so. Worst case have someone at the station call one for you. They’ll gladly do so, I’d think. Best of luck. I mean, it’s probably safe, until it isn’t and the shooting starts. But I’d play it safe.

          • Julia Barrett  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 7:15 pm

            It may simply be a bus stop on the malecon. The owner of the B&B was quite cheery about the walk – keep the sea to your right, walk to Applebee’s, turn left, the B&B is just up the hill. Good signage. She’s a Brit.
            Seriously. I had heard vague rumors of this but I hadn’t thought about it until recently. I told my husband he has to walk behind me. And he said, oh yeah, sure, so I get shot. And I said, that’s right.
            Gol durn dang it! We’re only there one night before we head out for a week of whale watching.

  5. Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Oh, and congrats and can I wear my cowboy boots or will they be stolen off my feet?

    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 8:59 pm

      The issue isn’t one of petty theft, it’s that two rival cartel factions are shooting up the town and each other as they battle for domination. Basically, think Ciudad Juarez, right down to the decapitated bodies left strewn around every other day. Last Sunday, as an example, there were six different gun battles in and around La Paz. Most with AK-47s. Fully auto. So not a lot of discrimination in what they hit.

      I’ve found that virtually everyone involved in the tourist trade there, as well as in Los Cabos, lies or grossly distorts the extent of what’s going on, because their pocket books depend on it.

      But the intentional mortality rate in La Paz is now higher than anyplace I know of but Honduras, and active war zones. Hard to sugar coat that. The numbers tell all the story you need to know.

  6. Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 10:27 pm

    Russell, First time caller. Long time listener.

    Looking forward to your entry in the Perseid Collapse Kindle World. The cover looks killer and I’m sure the words inside will do it justice.

    Good luck with it.


    • Russell Blake  –  Sun 01st Feb 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Thanks for the kind words. Hope you’re right. We’ll know in two days. I rather like the way it turned out, but the reader’s the ultimate arbiter.


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