Where are the Books?

Hello readers!

It’s mid-April (happy spring, btw), and the books are still not published. So, Jack, where are the books?

It’s a good question, but I have a really good excuse. There is an old adage in indie publishing. It goes something like this:

The best way to market your book is to write another one.

There is another, similar mantra that goes something like this:

Newbie Indie Writer: “Ok, I’m done with my book! Now what do I do?”

Sage Indie Writer with Many Published Books: “Write another one!”

While I was waiting for the final edit of The Russian Assassin to complete the editing process, I started writing Max Austin #2, tentatively called First Kill. About a week ago, I submitted a 90,000 word manuscript for that book to my editor for the first part of the editing process – the structural edit. I edit my books in three steps. First is the structural edit, which examines the elements of story, pacing, character development, plot, and generally makes sure that the story works. The second and third bits of editing are what you’d expect – line editing and proof reading.Cherry Blossoms

Because the books in The Russian Assassin series are so closely tied together, I want to ensure that the transition between book one and book two are tight. There are story lines that continue between the two books, so I decided to hold off on publishing in case I have to make any minor revisions to book one in order to support story lines in book two.

What does that mean for timing?

Good question. I expect to get the manuscript for the structural edit of First Kill back from my editor this week or next. If things go according to plan, that means I should be in a position to publish The Russian Assassin and Cat & Mouse as early as April 30th.

I’m as excited as you are, dear reader, so rest assured the books will be available very soon.

Thanks for reading,


March 15, 2016

Cat and Mouse, by Jack ArborHard to believe it’s the middle of March already. I’ve finalized the cover design of Cat & Mouse – see if you can spot the subtle differences between the final (to the left) and the version I posted on February 26th (below).

In other news, I’m still working on getting the final edits into both The Russian Assassin and Cat & Mouse. At the moment, I’m balancing time between my day job, these edits, preparing the website and my email funnel to do the launch of both books, as well as continuing to hammer out Max Austin, draft one, book two. I have an April 3rd deadline to get this story over to the editor and that is my primary goal.

I’m also working on two other side-projects at the moment. Both are in their infancy:

  1. A new series staring a badass heroine. The series will be faster-paced and more action-packed than the Max Austin stories. Each book will be more of a self-contained story than the Max Austin series. Where Max generally lives and works in Europe and North America, this new series will take place primarily in Asia. This concept is further along than #2 below, and I expect the first book will be out before the end of the year.
  2. A mystery series. Mysteries were the first stories I ever read. I started with Encyclopedia Brown, grew up with the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, then graduated to Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple before reading every Sherlock Holmes and Nero Wolf book available. I’ve seen every Law & Order episode. My mystery series will lean toward the Cozy category, and will dramatically depart from the violent nature of my other writing. However, it will not contain any mystery solving animals. It’s a passion project for me – more on this later.


March 7, 2016

Thought I’d put up the draft versions of my back-cover blurbs for both The Russian Assassin and Cat & Mouse.  Feel free to let me know your feedback!

The Russian Assassin – Max Austin, Book One

The Russian Assassin by Jack Arbor

You can’t go home again…

Max, a former KGB assassin, is content with the life he’s created for himself in Paris. When he’s called home to Minsk for a family emergency, Max finds himself suddenly running for his life, desperate to uncover secrets about his father’s past to save his family.

Max’s sister Arina and nephew Alex become pawns in a game that started a generation ago. As Max races from the alleyways of Minsk to the posh neighborhoods of Zurich, and ultimately to the gritty streets of Prague, he must confront his past and come to terms with his future to preserve his family name.

The Russian Assassin is a tight, fast-paced adventure, staring Jack Arbor’s stoic hero, the ex-KGB assassin-for-hire, Max Austin. Book one of the series forces Max to choose between himself and his family, a choice that will have consequences for generations to come.

Cat & Mouse – A Max Austin Novella

Cat and Mouse, by Jack Arbor

Max, a former KGB assassin, is living a comfortable life in Paris. When not pursuing his trade, he passes his time managing a jazz club in the City of Light. To make ends meet, he freelances by offering his services to help rid the earth of the world’s worst criminals.

Max is enjoying his ritual post-job vodka when he meets a stunning woman; a haunting visage of his former fiancé. Suddenly, he finds himself the object of an assassination plot in his beloved city of Paris. Fighting for his life, Max must overcome his own demons to stay alive.

February 26, 2016

Happy Friday everyone!Cat & Mouse, a Max Austin Novella

I have to say that I’m super excited today. I got the proofs of both The Russian Assassin – the full length novel – and Cat & Mouse – a novella – back from my editor yesterday. That means I’m close to being ready to publish both stories.

The image to the right is a design concept for the cover of Cat & Mouse. I’m still working on it, but wanted to put it up. I think I’m going to change the title, but otherwise I think it’s close.

My weekend is going to be spent getting ready to publish The Russian Assassin as well as continuing the first draft of Max’s second story.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


February 18, 2016

Oh my, where has the time gone? Middle of February, and so much to update on. Let’s see, where to begin…The Russian Assassin, book one, staring Max Austin

My first novel, The Russian Assassin, Max Austin number one, is at the editor for a final polish and due back TODAY! I know. I’m excited too. I also have a 20,000 word novella, tentatively titled Cat & Mouse, at the editor for a final polish. That is also due back TODAY!! If all goes to plan, both stories should be published by end of February.

I’m pretty happy with how the novella came out. It’s a prequel to the first Max Austin novel and he gets into some high jinx in his hometown of Paris. I think you’ll enjoy it. I’ll be giving the novella away to anyone who joins my email list – if you’re so inclined, you can signup in the footer and I’ll send it to you for free when it’s ready.

I am also busy banging out the first draft of Max Austin number two – because I know everyone will want to know what happens next, and before you can know, I have to know. As of today, I’m 58,221 words into a draft that will end up at about 92,000 words. In editing, that will get cut down to 85,000 words. I have a date with the editor for this draft the first week of April. The book should come out mid-summer.

What else? I’m concepting a new series staring a young, brash, female lead. The series will take place in the same ‘world’ as the Max Austin series, but the settings will be primarily in Asia. Each story will tackle a global issue and will be faster paced and more action packed than the Max Austin series.

Other than that, my wife and I moved to Philadelphia in December, and that took up a huge amount of my energy. I’m just now recovering, and getting back into the flow of things. Hopefully getting settled will lead to more creativity and more consistent production.

The Website Is Live!

Hi everyone. Jack here. It’s finally happened. The new website is ALIVE!

After a lot of work, and some great development from my favorite wordpress developer, the site is finally ready to go.

A quick note about the site and it’s intended purpose. My focus right now is almost entirely on writing great fiction, and so I will not be blogging per-se. That’s why I’m calling this section ‘Updates.’ At some point in the future, I may blog, but until I have enough great stories to make my fans happy, I’m focusing my energy on writing fiction.

So what is this part of the site about?

Read More


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