Mark Rollins Adventures

Where is My Next Book?

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Due to my knee replacement, I have made zero progress on my next book. Pain and pain medications are not compatible with creative writing.

I have been, however, taking advantage of my convalescence to listen to a lot of books on Audible. A fun one was Fannie Flagg’s The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion. Better than the book itself, was listening to Fannie Flagg’s vocal interpretation of the characters as she narrated the story.

I also read the first of fifteen of Margaret Coel’s mysteries that take place in the Arapaho Wind River Reservation. And, I have listened to six of R. Allen Chappell’s books set in the Navajo Nation.

Coel’s and Chappell’s mysteries are wonderful examples of using strong geographical and cultural canvases to tell their stories. In several books, Coal successfully takes a bit of Arapaho history and uses it as kernel for a completing fictitious story. The little bit of real life at the story’s center makes her mysteries even more believable.

I have not spend all my time on mysteries. For book research I read Skunk Works by Ben R. Rich, Bogeys and Bandits by Robert Gant, Viper Pilot by Dan Hampton, TopGun Days by Dave Bio Baranek, Operation Overflight by Gentry and Powers

I already have the story for book seven, my next book, in my head. When I finally start putting it into the computer, it will be a better story because of time I have spent with Flagg, Coel, Chappell, and others.

Writers don’t just write; they read!  They read a lot.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Knee Replacement Recovery

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At this point, I can honestly say my new knee is great. The problem is all the old stuff that connects to the new knee. 

Recovery from knee replacement is harder than I expected. Progress is not linear. There is no straight line to “better.”

After a few weeks of rehab and continuous improvement, I started to have terrible pain when my patella, or kneecap, stopped tracking correctly. It seems the muscles on the lateral side of my leg were overpowering those on the medial side pulling the patella to the left where it had no place to go. That took several weeks of therapy with an Electronic Muscle Stimulator to get under control. Things were on the mend again and then I developed iliopsoas bursitis. Iliopsoas bursitis is an inflammatory response in the bursa located under the iliopsoas muscles (hip flexor muscles). The iliopsoas muscle is a group of two muscles located toward the front of the inner hip. The result is pain and a lot of it when lifting the foot or leg—so much so that range of motion becomes extremely limited.  Forget stairs—you just can’t do it!

Right now, I’m giving therapy a rest. That seems to be the treatment—if it hurts don’t do it!

I saw the surgeon a week ago to hear something they don’t tell you until after the surgery. “It takes about year to fully recover.”  Whatever happened to “We'll have you up and walking in no time.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

 

Have you missed me?

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Believe me, when I say I would rather have been anywhere other than where I was.   I was in the hospital—double pneumonia.

It all started innocently enough.  It is spring time in Tennessee, so my primary doctor concluded that I had a touch of a cold along with a heavy dose of allergy. Then he packed his bag and left for a medical conference in Brazil!  Things only got worse from there. Intense coughing and difficulty breathing.

I had opted for a concierge doctor in hopes that such an arrangement meant improved access and medical attention.  With my concierge doc off in Brazil, I called his office and told the assistant I was coming in anyway, and that I needed one of the other doctors in the group to see me.  I do have to say they shuffled schedules as needed.  The backup doctor got to me without much of a wait—took blood samples and a chess x-ray. Since I had difficulty breathing and some leg swelling, the substitute doctor apparently decided my problem was heart related. He concluded the coughing was due to excess fluids. The first step was to reduce the fluids to stop the coughing, and then they would arrange for a heart workup. The doctor prescribed some “water pills” to reduce fluids and sent me home.

The uncontrollable coughing continued, and I was no longer able to sleep.  After two days, I called the doctor and reported that I was still having trouble breathing and could not stop coughing.  Their answer was go to emergency room.  I did, and the emergency room staff was top touch.  They did a CT scan shortly after I arrived and determined I had double pneumonia. Finally, with the correct diagnoses I started getting the treatment I required.

Am I over it now?  No, I’m out of the hospital but weak and still short of breath.  I think it is going to take quite a while before I’m anywhere close to well!

Of course, I will certainly follow up with the heart specialist. I suppose it is possible that some heart problem may have contributed to the onset of pneumonia.  I hope that isn’t the case. My ticker seems to be ticking away just as it always has.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion, A Mark Rollins Adventure


 Published by I-65 North, Inc.

I Live to Write Another Day

Time to go home again.

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Hopefully the Franklin birds have moved on to find another sucker with a bird feeder and an unlimited budget for bird welfare. I leave behind well fed birds of Sanibel who actually work for their food.

Sanibel Island is known for its shells which were mysteriously missing this year. I understand that the missing shells are the result of result of unintended consequences from the September 2017 big one—Irma. Apparently, Irma cleaned out the crustacean beds lying off Sanibel’s shores. That wasn’t something anyone was expecting. Sounds like something our government might have been in charge of. Congress is the master of unintended consequences.

Had a great time in the Sun except for adding a two-inch gash in the top of my head. Just as I was raising up, getting something out of the car trunk, the trunk lid decided to come down. The local doctor put things right, and I live to write another day.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion: a Mark Rollins Adventure. Published by I-65 North, Inc.

End to Amazon's Exclusive Rights & Other Updates

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Until two weeks ago, Amazon had the exclusive right to market the eBook edition of my latest Mark Rollins mystery, Diversion. That exclusive period ended January 21, 2018. The eBook edition is now available for Barnes & Noble’s Nook, and the ePub edition is available from most eBook retailers and online book services including Smashwords. Within days it should become available, like my other five books, in Apple’s iBooks.

Speaking of iBooks, if you are among the many people who use The Language of Excellence as a management guide, download the book on your iPhone for an easy to use and always available reference tool.

Work is also underway for an audio edition of Diversion. I had the opportunity on January 28th, to listen to some of the completed chapters. I was impressed with the clarity and professionalism of the reader’s voice. If you prefer to listen to your books as your drive, you’ll be happy to know that within a few weeks Diversion with join The Claret Murders on Audible. Depending on demand, I may add the other three Mark Rollins mysters to Audible. 

On January 23th, I spoke at the breakfast meeting of the Exchange Club in Brentwood. The topic was my book, Diversion. Of course, that also included discussing the opioid crisis. Diversion is a fictional story, but that doesn’t mean that the opioid problem isn’t real. I was recently interviewed for the website Serious Reading. One of the interview questions was “How realistic are your books?” – and this was my answer. "I particularly like the disclaimer that my lawyers came up with. It has been on the copyright page of every one of my novels.

This is a work of fiction. While some of the names, character, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination and some are real, the events depicted herein are entirely fictitious and should not be considered real or factual.

That is a completely accurate description of my mysteries. They deal with real places, real events, and conditions to tell a fictional story. The Claret Murders uses the real-life Nashville flood as its canvas. Diversion uses the opioid crisis as the backdrop for its story.” 

Diversion is now available in eBook, paperback and hard cover editions soon to be follow by an audio version. ForewordClarion Reviews recently gave the book three stars and wrote,

This dramatic thriller reveals many dark truths about the opioid crisis. Fueled by a murder mystery and a missing girl, Tom Collins's page-turning thriller Diversion explores the opioid crisis and illegal drugs through myriad plotlines.... The book's many antagonists add intrigue and excitement. Lena and Carlos, two drug-dealing crime lords in Florida's pill mill enterprise, are crooked and manipulative, and their scheming creates constant uncertainty as to what will happen next. Tom Lewis and Rocco, two other corrupt adversaries, are sleazy and dishonest, and their role in the story results in astonishing developments." ForewordClarion Reviews

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion: a Mark Rollins Adventure.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

SeriousReading.com

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The web site seriousreading.com publishes interviews of authors like yours truly, i.e., Interview of author Tom Collins. It also includes an author's blog were participating authors post articles. What makes seriousreading.com different from other book sites? This is how they answer that question:

 

"On Serious Reading, we do one thing: read, review and recommend books for tens of thousands of reading enthusiasts:

  •  We have over 150,000 subscribers, fans and followers.
  • We deliver catalog recommendations to over 5,000 bookstores and libraries.
  • We send thousands of recommendations to readers looking for their next read."

Here is sample from their interview of me: 
Question: "Have you ever written a character based on the real you in some part?"
Answer: "My wife complains that there is too much of me in the character Mark Rollins. Make no mistake, Rollins is a fictional character, but what makes for realistic fiction is a dollop of realism. Rollins is my main actor, and it was natural for me to build him on a framework I knew well. Thus, he lives in the surrounding where I live. He frequents the same restaurants. He likes the same food, drinks the same wine, etc., and that makes it much easier for me to write stories that ring true."

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For Amazon go to www.amazon.com/Tom-Collins. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. For the new adventure novel on Amazon go to Diversion: a Mark Rollins Adventure.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.