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Dean Koontz announces new novel, ASHLEY BELL

Dean Koontz announced today that his next novel, ASHLEY BELL, will arrive January 2016!

Here’s a taste of what this new thriller will be about:

Who is Ashley Bell?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz comes the must-read thriller of the year, perfect for readers of dark psychological suspense and modern classics of mystery and adventure. Brilliantly paced, with an exhilarating heroine and a twisting, ingenious storyline, Ashley Bell is a new milestone in literary suspense from the long-acclaimed master.

Dean on SAINT ODD, the finale in the Odd Thomas series

Well, here we are at the last Odd Thomas novel. I think the old Beatles lyric goes “…the long and winding road leads me straight to your door.” That is true of Odd’s 8-book journey, which in SAINT ODD will take him to the door of Stormy Llewellyn’s apartment in Pico Mundo, where for a while he lived after her death. With this book, I feel as if I’m saying good-bye to the brother I never had. Thank all of you for staying with Odd (and me) on this long and winding road. You have written me tens of thousands of snail-mail letters about him, and it so often heartened me to read that you had the same deep yet hard to describe connection with him that I had. When I delivered the first manuscript, there were some in my professional life who said that the lead character in such a series had to be a seven-foot-tall mesomorph packing the biggest guns available, always sure of himself, dealing death without a second thought. It was said that after Stormy’s death, he would have to get a new squeeze right away. As it turns out, dear readers, you have proved that a character with honor can be as interesting as one with mountains of muscle, that a character who is anguished by the need to kill can be as appealing as one who pulls the trigger with no second thought, that sometimes hot sex isn’t as compelling  as a commitment to vows and enduring love, that it’s all right for a hero to be quirky. If quirky wasn’t acceptable, you would never have heard of Odd Thomas–or of me.

May all of you become fully smooth and blue. (Yes, the meaning of those words, first heard in DEEPLY ODD, will be explained by the end of Odd’s journey.)

– Dean

NEW blog post from Dean on writing and narrating introductions for the new John D. MacDonald audiobook collection!

JOHN D. MACDONALD, MY ABSURD VOICE, AND A WONDERFUL DOG NAMED RHU

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a recording studio to read short introductions that I had done for the Audible audiobook versions of eight John D. MacDonald novels. The late John D was arguably the greatest author of popular fiction in the 20th century; and his work is better than most of what passes for “literary” fiction. If I had to name two novelist heroes, Dickens and John D would make that short list. Therefore, being asked to write those introductions and read them in front of a microphone was not a chore; it was an honor.

I’ve often heard it said that everyone, upon hearing a recording of his voice, thinks he sounds absurd. I don’t believe this can be true. When James Earl Jones listens to himself as Darth Vader or in any of the many TV commercials that he has done, I’m sure he doesn’t obsess over the idea that he sounds like Donald Duck. I, on the other hand, do indeed sound like Donald Duck doing an imitation of Miss Piggy. The recording experience would have been an embarrassment if I didn’t trust the people at the studio to electronically enhance my voice to make me sound as eloquent and seductive as Cary Grant.

I’m pretty sure they can do that. In fact, after meeting their dog, I think they could do just about anything to which they put their minds. He’s a gangly, 60-pound mixed breed with an adorable face, rescued through the auspices of Best Friends, in Utah. His name is Rhubarb, Rhu for short, and though he is afflicted with a condition that makes it impossible for him to support himself on his own legs, he’s as happy as any dog that can run full tilt. His owners–parents, guardians, take your pick–have devised a wheeled cart in which Rhu is slung, legs dangling, paws protected by rubber booties. When they take him for a walk, he paddles his legs as if convinced that he is propelling himself, and his joy is palpable. Check him out at lifewithrhu.com.

One of the great things about John D. MacDonald’s suspenseful and often dark fiction is that it properly celebrates the virtues that make civilization possible and eschews the nihilism that lies at the heart of so many contemporary novels. Furthermore, in every MacDonald story, there are moments of quiet grace that reveal the human heart redeemed and the world as it was meant to be. In his body of work, there are no recording-studio owners with a dog like Rhu; but if he had ever met them, he would eventually have written characters based on them, for his books are rich with the details of real life, alive with the diversity of human experience, in the service of a philosophical point of view that celebrates truth and comes down solidly on the side of goodness, kindness.

Check out DEAD LOW TIDE, CAPE FEAR, A FLASH OF GREEN, A KEY TO THE SUITE, SLAM THE BIG DOOR, and other John D. MacDonald novels available from Audible as audiobooks. I have no doubt that you’ll be glad you did.

– Dean

Click here to learn more about the collection!

SAINT ODD is coming…

…January 13, 2015!

The end is his beginning.

Odd Thomas is back where it all started . . . because the time has come to finish it. Since he left his simple life in the small town of Pico Mundo, California, his journey has taken him to places strange and wonderful, mysterious and terrifying. Across the land, in the company of mortals and spirits alike, he has known kindness and cruelty, felt love and loss, saved lives and taken them—as he’s borne witness to humanity’s greatest good and darkest evil. Again and again, he has gone where he must and done what he had to do—for better or worse—with his courage and devotion sorely tested, and his soul forever changed. Every triumph has been hard won. Each sacrifice has taken its toll.

Now, whatever destiny drives him has finally steered his steps home, where those he cares for most surround him, the memory of his tragically lost true love haunts him, and one last challenge—vast and dreadful—awaits him. For Odd Thomas, born to serve a purpose far greater than himself, the wandering is done. Only the reckoning remains.

Learn more about SAINT ODD!

THE CITY is now available in hardcover, ebook, and audio!

Happy pub day to Dean! THE CITY is now available in hardcover, ebook, and audio!

It’s not where we live, it’s the people we live for.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences. Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes.

The unforgettable saga of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family, and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him, The City is a novel that speaks to everyone, a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, it’s a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

Click here to start reading THE CITY.

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