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The Note – Latest News

I have some good news to share.

In celebration of The Note being in the Hot New Release chart – right now it’s #5 in the United States, and here in the UK, it’s sandwiched between Ragnar Jonasson and Val McDermid – I’m dropping the price to 99cents/99pence until the end of May.

In the twenty-one days since its release, The Note has done phenomenally well, and readers like you have loved the story enough to give some quite spectacular reviews*. People have taken this little book to their hearts, and I’d like to see the momentum continue by offering it for as little as possible to those who’ve yet to experience it.

The Note is exclusive to Amazon.

To grab your copy in the US, click here.

To grab your copy in the UK, click here.

To grab your copy everywhere else, click here.

If you’ve already read and enjoyed The Note, please do me a huge favour and leave your review. The number of reviews and the overall rating really makes a huge difference; if it comes to Amazon’s attention, they’ll help with advertising and marketing, and of course it’ll help other potential readers take a closer look too.

If you’ve left your review in your home country, thank you, but would you be kind enough to copy it across to Amazon’s UK site?

Please click here to leave your review.

The Note has 96 reviews in the UK (average 4.8). Let’s see if we can break the 100 barrier. How about the 120 barrier? We can do this with your help.

In the last email, I said I would give away a paperback copy to two people who’d been kind enough to leave a comment on any Amazon site. I’m extending it until the beginning of June to give people more chance. And I’ll be giving away three copies, not two – chosen at random.

*Here’s a selection of some of the latest reviews.

  • Despite being only a short story, this is one of the most enjoyable crime thrillers I have read. Lots of suspense and humour from Eddie’s point of view, and nice twists at the end.
  • A very clever play with words combined with complex but believable characters kept me enraptured from start to finish.
  • Loved it, it’s use of a mixed ensemble of characters even down to grammar correction, had me spellbound but laughing simultaneously. Thoroughly enjoyable and recommend to all
  • I am not usually a fan of short stories, just as you are getting into them, they are over. This one is different, the compelling storyline immediately drags you in and hits you with twist after twist, and with the dark humour of Eddie Collins thrown in, you will not be able to put it down! This is easily the best short story I have read and would recommend it to anyone, The climax is quite brilliant!
  • Loved this short story!! It was full of twist and turns and heart pounding action. I love any story that makes your adrenaline start racing and The Note did this to me. Andrew Barrett is an amazing writer and anyone who likes a book you can’t put down this one is for you.

There are dozens and dozens more. Please hop over to your local Amazon store here and take a look.

That’s all from me for now. I’ll be back again in a week or two, and I’ll share with you news of how The Note has progressed. I sincerely hope it will be good news, and I know with your help it can be.

I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine, happiness, and reading.


Price Drops and News

We got drenched at Whitby yesterday, but it didn’t stop us building sandcastles on the deserted beach. Today is beautiful though so I envisage a squelch through the mud in our local woodland.

I have a few items of news for you today that might make for a great weekend if you’re struggling for something to read.

For the first and possibly the last time, I’m promoting CSI Eddie Collins’s first two books simultaneously. So you can get hold of The Third Rule and Black by Rose for 99cents/99pence each at Amazon, Kobo, B&N, and iBooks. That’s a 600-page epic and a detailed 5-star read for less than the price of a coffee. I should point out that this offer won’t be available for long, and it’s unlikely I’ll run it again.

You can get your copies here…

The Third Rule at Amazon US

The Third Rule at Amazon UK

The Third Rule at Amazon worldwide

The Third Rule at all other retailers

Black by Rose at Amazon US

Black by Rose at Amazon UK

Black by Rose at Amazon worldwide

Black by Rose at all other retailers

I also want to thank you for your support in launching Eddie’s new short story, The Note. In just over two weeks, it has 108 reviews in the US, and 91 in the UK, both with a staggering 4.8 average.

It blazed a trail right into the top of the Hot New Release chart in the UK and the US on the day it was launched, 5th May. And it’s still in that chart today. It has some wonderful reviews too and has really struck a chord with readers worldwide.

I wasn’t going to give notice of its price increase, but I think it only fair, especially since we have an influx of new members to the Reader’s Group recently.

Without doubt this has been one of the best book launches I’ve ever had, and the book wouldn’t have been so very popular without your help, thank you!

The Note is exclusive to Amazon and is available in Kindle Unlimited.

If you don’t already have The Note in ebook, now is your chance to add this to your weekend reading list while it’s still less than a dollar/pound, and see why a top 50 reviewer is calling The Note one of the most enjoyable crime thrillers he has read.

The Note at Amazon US

The Note at Amazon UK

The Note at Amazon worldwide

Have you heard of The Kindle Storyteller? It’s a competition run in the UK by Amazon and is open to newly published stories until 19th May. I’ve entered The Note but it could do with your help to get it recognised by the judges.

Reviews play a very important part and so I’d ask that if you’ve read The Note could you please leave a review here and just scroll to ‘Write a customer review’. It doesn’t have to be a long review, just a line or two, and will make all the difference.

If you’re kind enough to leave a comment on any of the Amazon sites after having read The Note, you will be entered into a draw to win one of two signed paperback copies. I’ll publish the winning comments (drawn by Ellie, my two-year-old daughter) in the next newsletter and will ask the winners to get in touch by email with their postal address within two weeks from the date of the newsletter. Good luck, and a sincere thanks for your support.

Last month was very special for me. I was awarded a Long Service medal by West Yorkshire Police for 20 years’ as a CSI (it’s actually 21 years now!). I never thought I’d make it this far, and if I’m honest it doesn’t seem 20 years since I joined up – that’s how much this career eats away at life. It’s been a tremendously rewarding time, and I feel very proud to work for UK law enforcement.

I’ve been trying to find a photograph of my first days in the service, but it looks like my computer ate them all!




A little late to update you about October’s news, but better late…

Anyway, the ‘old gal’, A Long Time Dead, has sat comfortably inside the top 100 since it went free in September, and so far it’s never been outside the top 10 in Crime and Police Procedurals. DeadSpine (Custom)She’s also gone on to collect her 70th review, and is somewhere approaching the 25,000 downloads marker; doing well on Apple as well as on Amazon. All this makes my little heart skip. But following on from that is the news that Stealing Elgar (my favourite of Roger’s trilogy) is doing rather well too, as is the final instalment, No More Tears.

In all honesty, I thought this trilogy had run out of steam, (A Long Time Dead was written 20 years ago). Even one of the latest reviews said it ‘was dated but still a good yarn’. But I’m happy to report than even though crime scene examination has come a very long way since 1997, the stories are still good enough to entertain – and really, that’s the whole point.BBRspine (Medium)

Because of the success of that first trilogy, I’ve rather neglected thettrfrontcover29-9-16 current crop of Eddie Collins books. But it’s wonderful to see that they’re doing okay all by themselves, in particular The Third Rule, which regularly grazes inside the top 100. At some point in the very near future, I must run a promo on them and see if they’d benefit from a little exposure.

And that leads me nicely onto the current project, entitled Ledston Luck. It’s on the third edit. And once I’ve finished that, I’ll fire it out to readers for their opinions. And then I have to formulate a release strategy (be quiet at the back there!). As I’ve mentioned before, I also have a very exciting Eddie short story to back up the novel – like a support group at a gig – that I can release before, or even afterwards, to help bolster sales and get people talking about Eddie Collins.portcullis-transparent

That’s all for now. If I think of anything else you might be interested in, I’ll be right back. As always, if you have any questions for me, please get in touch; I love to chat!

Guest Blog by Eddie Collins

This might be a bad idea, but I thought I’d move over and give Eddie Collins a go on my keyboard. Aside from leaving cigarette ash all over it, he produced this…

So I’ve been asked to write a guest post for some author guy, Bandy Arrett, or something.


I have no idea what to write about, so I’ll just launch in to the question most people ask me: “Why are you such a prick?”

In my defence, I have to say that I’m more of a people person than most ‘people’ out there – you just ask my author, Randy Ferret. He’ll tell you that I have a rare insight into what drives most people, and that insight suggests it is greed. They want to befriend you so they can get something from you, they want to befriend you so they’ll have someone to blame when things go wrong, or someone to shout at when they mess up. Here’s a lesson for you – I’m not that someone, so stay the hell away, I don’t want to be your friend.


And anyway, if I am really a prick, is that because all I see each and every day is the utter fuck-up people make of their lives? Of course, it’s not always their fault; sometimes they just befriended the wrong person – see above for instructions on why friendship isn’t a good idea.

zombie-1423927_1920My day is literally full of arseholes, right from the people who are shit at the job and so go on to be supervisors or management, to others who think they would be good at what I do and try to inflict their opinions on what I should do at crime scenes. Listen, Noddy, bugger off and annoy someone else. One of your friends, maybe?

I only feel sorry for a certain kind of arsehole though. They’re the ones who become victims through no fault of their own. Sometimes, no matter how big a body-swerve they give people, they end up being the crime scene I have to examine. They’re the ones I work for; they’re the ones I pull out all the stops for, cut through all the red tape bullshit for. Lesson two for you: don’t get in my way when I’m trying to help one of these people. Hitting the concrete on your arse is liable to play havoc with your piles.

The person I blame the most for all this turmoil that I have to wade through is none other than the biggest arsehole of them all: Cranberry Parrot, so-called crime writer.


He takes great delight in not only making me deal with grief all day long – I never get invited to anything nice, always there is death and mutilation to cope with – but he also has full backstage access to the rest of my life. And what does he do with it, this writer, this Flangecake Faggot? He torments me by killing my family, he turns me to drink (and I had a hell of a battle getting him to relent and bring me back to sobriety), he punishes my colleagues (not that I’m keen on them anyway), and then he punishes me by hooking me up with Defective Inspector Benson, who has as much idea about doing things right as a defence barrister.

You think you have a lot to deal with? Try being at the beck and call of him for a few hours and see how straight and true you are at the end of it all. You’ll need a season ticket for the local nuthouse – but at least you get your own piss-stained chair and no one wants to be your friend, so it has its plusses.

And finally, to answer the question. I’m such a prick because I have a black life, courtesy of all the trouble I’m forced to live through. But at least I still manage to keep my sense of humour; it usually comes in the form of sarcasm, and I just love taking the piss out of people – it’s something of a hobby for me, and I’ve become quite good at it.carrot-1512079_1920

Anyway, my writer, whatisname, Spangly Carrot, is busy putting me through hell again. I get into big bother with them upstairs in his latest ‘story’ (I use the term loosely), and he kills lots of people in it; some deserve killing, others not so much, but he doesn’t seem to care. He waves his scythe and expects everyone else pick up the pieces – namely me! This time, towards the end, you have to wonder if I’ll even make it out the other side this time. I’ve been quite lucky in the past, but this time…


Why couldn’t I have been taken on by another writer? Someone with a bit of empathy. I might apply to Stephen Edger or Ed James, or Steven Dunne, or Oliver Tidy, see if they’ve got a spot for me.

Well, erm, thanks for that, Eddie. Would it help if I gave you a love interest?



Shorts in July

Forgive me, reader, for it has been almost a month since my last blog post.

And likewise, that’s roughly how long I’ve been away from any meaningful interaction on social media. I still checked in every now and then, but for the most part, when I got the chance, I always went straight to the story rather than Facebook.

But it’s been a rather productive month.

I’ve managed to finish a short story for Eddie fans, so far entitled The Note – but that’s likely to change, you know what I’m like.

I have a To Do list on my desktop; among ‘Make a Will’, ‘Tidy Up’, ‘Feed Baby’, and other such messages, there is ‘Start Mailchimp’. I’ve been wondering about trying to gather together enough interest to begin issuing email shots to people. Everyone seems to rave about having an email list, but being one of those unfortunates who has very limited spare time, I wonder if the effort is worth it. Add to that my utter ineptitude with technology and you’ve got a pretty good recipe for disaster. I’d also be stuck for things to impart: who wants to know the progress of a novel (‘ooh, another 492 words this evening’, or worse: ‘no words this evening. Again.’). Exactly! No one.

I am however, considering asking if people would be interested in beta reading the short story. And when I finally release it, they could order a free copy and then perhaps leave a review. Would this work? Would it propel the story into the public gaze? Who knows, but it’s got to be worth a shot.

And yes, despite July being too hot to write in, I’ve managed to hitch up the word count of the current novel to a little over 33 thousand – roughly double what it was at the beginning of the month.

I can’t wait to finish this story, not least because I really like it (there are some pretty cool characters in there!), but because I’m quite keen to get on with a new story – a non-Eddie story! It’s still crime, but Eddie is nowhere to be seen. He’ll be glad of the time off.

Oh, nearly forgot. A young lady called Betsy Freeman Reavley has asked authors for a short story to go into an anthology she’s assembling for Christmas time. I had a root around and managed to find one that’s suitable. I wrote Any Old Iron a couple of years ago, not really expecting anything to come of it, and certainly not intending to publish it anywhere, but it seems to fit the bill perfectly. It’s not a police thing, and has a definite slant towards horror. So I might polish it up a little and sent it on its way.

A Roundup…

birthday-cake-380178_1920This month I turned 50 years old. In truth it doesn’t feel any different to being 49, and it doesn’t feel any different to being 36 either. Remember in The Matrix how Neo discovered his Residual Self Image (the way you think of yourself, and probably the way you’ll look and behave if you ever come back to haunt the living)? Well mine is a slightly scruffy 36 year-old arsehole. So despite climbing inside another decade, I still look at the holes in my jeans and smile.matrix

When I was a nipper, I contracted arthritis (I was bored one weekend and thought, why not?), but luckily it burned itself out, leaving a bit of a twisted body, and a very humble mind. But only last week I learned it’s on its way back, so I’m in for a bit of a ride but I know I’m in good hands thanks to wonderful staff of the NHS – they are all superstars!

The Third Rule got another great review, taking the tally to a mind-blowing 43. TTR1spine3.6.16I know, steady yourselves! I suppose that sounds like sarcasm masking disappointment, but actually I am thrilled. 41 of those ratings are solid 4 and 5 star reviews. Gotta be happy about that.

And while on the subject of stats – something I don’t spend a lot of time analysing (okay, I don’t spend any time analysing them), I’m one rating away from 400 on Goodreads! That’s overwhelming you stop and think about, and something I feel quite proud of. And my average is still 4.29, which is quite good – squeak!

This month also saw the 4000th visitor to my humble website. I’m not a technical expert, and this thing is slightly creaky around the edges and I guess it’ll never win Website of the Year, but I enjoy tinkering with it every now and then, and I really enjoy the comments that my mumblings occasionally get. If you’re reading this, I sincerely thank you for indulging me.

Last month, I finished creating the new covers for my back-catalogue, and enjoyed the experience overall. I say overall because I did pull BBRspineout rather a lot of hair during the process. But never mind, they’re done, and I think they look far more startling than the old covers, and have already attracted many more sales than in previous months, so that’s good!

TheLiftFrontCover27.5.16 (Medium)And lastly, before you nod off, I’m putting the finishing touches to a brand new Eddie Collins short story. The working title is The Note and it’s another first person adventure, seeing as that format in The Lift went down rather well. I think I’ll keep this format too for any future short stories – I kind of like the foray from third person, feels more immediate, and lets us crawl through Eddie’s mind and find out what makes him tick. notes-514998_1920In The Note we find out that he’s not as brave as you might think. I’m not saying he’s a wimp, but he’s definitely no superhero!