Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The New Inspector Zhang Short Story

I have just published the latest Inspector Zhang short story - Inspector Zhang and the Island of the Dead.

It's set on the island of Sentosa, which I've visited several times. It's full of fun places, including the Universal Studious.   It's another locked room mystery, where Inspector Zhang is called to a murder scene where a doctor has been stabbed in a locked room. I had great fun writing it, though I have been struggling with the flu for the past couple of days.  Even dosed up on Lemsip Max Cold and Flu tablets I was still able to work!

You can buy Inspector Zhang and the Island of the Dead for the Kindle in the UK - HERE

And you can buy it on the Kindle in the US - HERE

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spider Shepherd Short Stories

The four Spider Shepherd short stories that I published on Amazon and Smashwords are doing amazingly well - all four are in the Top 10 of the War category in the Kindle store in the UK.

If you want too read them, it's probably best to start with Natural Selection which explains how Shepherd got his nickname during the jungle phase of SAS selection.

You can buy it in the US Kindle store BY CLICKING HERE

And in the UK Kindle store BY CLICKING HERE

At present I'm working on the brand new full-length Spider Shepherd novel, the 11th, which will probably be called White Knight. Hopefully it'll be on the shelves in the summer of next year!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rough Diamonds - the new Spider Shepherd SAS short story

I have just put a new Spider Shepherd SAS short story on the Kindle and Smashwords. The story is Rough Diamonds, an action-packed tale drawn from Spider's SAS days in war-torn Sierra Leone.

I had great fun writing it - the SAS stories give me a chance to show where Spider came from and what made him the man he is. It also gives me a chance to introduce other characters who will reappear in later books.  There is a terrific MI6 operative - Jonathan Parker - in Rough Diamonds and he will be in the next Spider novel.

You can buy Rough Diamonds in the UK - HERE

And in the US - HERE

I'm going to take a short break from writing Spider Shepherd short stories as I have to start work on the new Spider Shepherd full length novel.  Though I am working on a Jack Nightingale short story as we speak!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Lastnight is done and dusted!

Lastnight - the fifth Jack Nightingale novel - is done and dusted. I signed off on the line edit yesterday which means it's now off to the printers! There was surprisingly little to do edit-wise, a few hours work at most. I'm always surprised at professional writers who have to spend weeks rewriting. I figure it's much better to get it right the first time and so I am constantly self-editing in my head as I write. I quite often delete a paragraph I've just written if I feel it wasn't right. I've never seen the point of saying that a book is finished but that it's a first draft. "And now the real work starts" is a common refrain from writers after the first draft is done, but me, I'd rather get it right the first time!

The story was fun to write - even though it has a pretty gory plot line with lots of Goths being murdered in London. And it was great to research, I spent quite a lot of time in Goth hangouts in London and have become a serious fan of a bar called Garlic and Shots in Soho. You can visit their website HERE

The cover was designed several months ago, and I like it a lot.

Lastnight is the first of my books to be edited by Oliver Johnson, who also edits John Grisham in the UK. He lives south of the river which is helpful and he spotted several errors I'd made in describing Clapham! Who knew that the windmill had gone from the Common? Well, Oliver did!  

Publication is set for January 16. I'm about to write a Jack Nightingale short story which I hope will be fun. Then I'm getting started on the new Spider Shepherd book. Busy, busy, busy!

Lastnight is already available on pre-order on Amazon - YOU CAN PRE-ORDER HERE

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lastnight is done - well the first draft, anyway!

I have just this minute written the final words of Lastnight, the fifth Jack Nightingale novel.

I'm exhausted but very happy because I think it's very, very good!

It came in at a whisker under 95,000 words, which is pretty much as I anticipated. I always knew the ending would work because I wrote that first, more than two months ago!

Like all books it's not completely done as it still has to be edited, but the plot is so tight I can't see there's much scope for changing things around. And yes, there's blood. A lot of blood....

Anyway, I'm off to celebrate with a few drinks. Then I have a Spider Shepherd book to write.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Three FREE Spider Shepherd SAS Short Stories

I'm offering the boxed set of three Spider Shepherd SAS short stories for free over the next three days.

The three short stories are Friendly Fire (where Shepherd is sent on a dangerous mission to a Taliban stronghold on the trail of the most wanted man in the world), Dead Drop (where Shepherd puts his life on the line to help a 12-year-old Afghan boy) and Kill Zone (where Shepherd pursues a murderous Taliban assassin).

I have another three Spider short stories ready to go - one set while he was on SAS selection and two set in Sierra Leone.  I'll publish those as soon as I've finished writing the fifth Jack Nightingale book - Lastnight.

You can get the boxed set in the UK by clicking HERE

And for the Kindle in the US by clicking HERE

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Price cuts for Midnight and Nightmare - now just £2.99

After a great deal of prodding, my publisher has agreed to drop the price of Midnight and Nightmare - books two and three in the Jack Nightingale series - to just £2.99.

I think that's a fair price to pay for an eBook that has been professionally published. I hear readers complain all the time that it isn't fair that eBooks are more expensive than paperbacks.  It has to be said that part of the reason for the price disparity is that the Government charges VAT on eBooks but not on paperbacks, which has always seemed crazy to me.  But I think it is unreasonable to expect readers to pay more than £5 for an eBook, especially one that has been in print for a few years.

Anyway, Midnight and Nightmare are now just £2.99 in the UK.  If sales pick up I hope to persuade Hodder and Stoughton to reduce the price of more of my backlist.


And if you haven't read the Jack Nightingale series, now is a great time to start because the first book in the series - Nightfall - is just 99p!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

True Colours is a bestseller - it's official.

True Colours entered the Sunday Times bestseller list last week - debuting at Number 8!

I was so pleased to see True Colours doing so well - I think it's one of my best books.  I'm looking forward to starting the 11th Spider Shepherd novel.

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Genuine Haunted House

I've written several stories featuring Jack Nightingale, supernatural detective.  And I'm working on a story where he visits a haunted house.

Haunted houses are a staple of supernatural fiction.

But I have visited a genuine haunted house. It's not an old creepy mansion, the type you'll see at the Jack Nightingale website -

It was built in 1995.  It's lovely, with superb sea views, with pristine wood floors and an Aga cooker in the kitchen.  But no one has ever lived there. And only one man ever spent a night there - he left the next day swearing that he would never return.

The house was built on the site of an old cottage and some of the original stone was used. It really is a fabulous house.  But very few tradesman would work on the house for more than a few days. They would quit and swear never to come back. Once it was built, every one who visits describes the same thing.  Rooms will suddenly go very very cold and it will feel as if there is someone there. And there is often a strong smell of a woman's perfume.  But worse than that is the intense feeling of dread, that something bad will happen.

The garden is overgrown and the front door is covered with cobwebs.  But inside there is surprisingly little dust, and the windows are clean. It was completed in 1995. And has remained empty since that day.  The owner carried out some research on the original house and discovered that three skeletons were once discovered in a well on the site. That well was covered up but is now thought to be under where the kitchen is now. The skeletons were of a man, his wife and their daughter, and were thought to have been murdered.

There is some furniture inside. But no one has ever lived there. And by all accounts no one ever will. The owner is often approached and asked if he will sell the house. He won't. He knows any sale will end in grief.

I took the above picture through a window. I do wonder about trying to spend the night there myself but I have a nagging fear that if I did, whatever spirits there are might follow me home.

Sounds like a job for Jack Nightingale!

If you prefer fictional supernatural stories, my publisher Hodder and Stoughton have cut the UK eBook price of Nightfall, the first Jack Nightingale novel, to just 99p!  You can buy it here -

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lastnight - the fifth Jack Nightingale book

This week I started writing the new Jack Nightingale supernatural thriller - the fifth in the series.  I have a plot that involves a lot of Goths being murdered. And I already have a killer ending for it.  A clue? How about this? At one point Proserpine says to Nightingale - "You'll need meat, Nightingale. Don't forget the meat".

As always my publisher Hodder and Stoughton is ahead of the game and has already done the cover.

If all goes to plan it'll be on the shelves next February.  It's a tremendous show of faith on the part of my publisher - I know some writers who turn in books not knowing whether their editor will accept them or not. Hodder have enough faith in me to design a cover and organise a print run without even seeing the first chapter.  That's a lot of pressure, too, but I find that having a cover designed and a publication date set does tend to make me work harder, though it does mean I have less time to devote to Twitter and literary festivals!  Okay, enough banter, I have a novel to write!   :-)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My New Short Story

My latest short story, The Ladyboy Lover, is set in Thailand, a country I am very familiar with.  I have written several short stories set in the Land of Smiles.  At one point I called the series 'erotic' but in fact there is very little in the way of sex in the tales.  Now I tend to call them 'Stephen Leather short stories'.

The Ladyboy Lover is about a guy who falls in love with a ladyboy - or katoey as they're called in Thailand.  All goes well until he decides that what he needs to make the perfect family is a baby.

Thriller writer Jeremy Duns was good enough to tweet about the story to his thousands of followers.

'I love Stephen Leather,' said Jeremy Duns. 'He rocks. Ladyboys are best.'

It seems that Jeremy Duns is a fan of my self-published short stories and refers to them as 'erotic masterpieces' in another tweet!

You can buy The Ladyboy Lover for the Kindle in the UK BY CLICKING HERE

And you can buy it in the US BY CLICKING HERE

You can read more about my books at

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three Terrific FREE Short Stories By Stephen Leather

Today my publisher Hodder and Stoughton are releasing three FREE short stories of mine. How cool is that?

The anthology is called Spider's Web and two of the stories feature undercover cop Dan "Spider" Shepherd. The third is a stand-alone short story about a retired serial killer. I had terrific fun writing them and I'm more than happy to share them with my readers for free.

Also included is the first chapter of the new Spider novel - True Colours - which will be published next month.  True Colours is the 10th Spider Shepherd book and I'll shortly be starting the 11th. I don't have a title yet, but I think it'll start with FULL.  FULL THROTTLE, maybe. We shall see!  :-)

Anyway, you can download a free copy of Spider's Web for the Kindle in the UK BY CLICKING HERE


Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Nightingale Experiment

My new Jack Nightingale book, Nightshade, is out in paperback in June.  It was published as a hardback and as an eBook on April 25.

By way of an experiment, my publisher Hodder and Stoughton has agreed to cut the price of the eBook of the first in the series, Nightfall, to just 99p.  Yes, less than a quid!

I think that's an amazing deal.  It only applies to the UK as Nightfall is published in the US by Amazon's imprint 47 North.

Hodder have also agreed to cut the price of books two and three, so for the next three weeks at least the Midnight eBook will be priced at £2.99 and the Nightmare eBook at £3.99.

It's very much an experiment and if it works I hope to persuade them to continue to sell them at the special low price.

You can buy Nightfall on the Kindle in the UK for 99p     BY CLICKING HERE

Here's the synopsis of Nightfall, the first book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural thriller series. 'You're going to hell, Jack Nightingale': They are words that ended his career as a police negotiator. Now Jack's a struggling private detective - and the chilling words come back to haunt him.

Nightingale's life is turned upside down the day that he inherits a mansion with a priceless library; it comes from a man who claims to be his father, and it comes with a warning. That Nightingale's soul was sold at birth and a devil will come to claim it on his thirty-third birthday - just three weeks away.

Jack doesn't believe in Hell, probably doesn't believe in Heaven either. But when people close to him start to die horribly, he is led to the inescapable conclusion that real evil may be at work. And that if he doesn't find a way out he'll be damned in hell for eternity.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Nightshade Is Published Today!

Nightshade - the fourth book in the Jack Nightingale supernatural detective series - is published today!

I think it's the best yet!  It starts with Nightingale investigating a spree killing at a school in Northumberland, which looks like it might have a Satanic motive.

You can buy it in the UK by clicking HERE

I am self-publishing Nightshade in the US as an eBook on Kindle, using a different cover.

You can buy it in the US by clicking HERE

I'm shortly going to be starting on the fifth book, which I think will be called Lastnight.  But first I want to try my hand at a few Jack Nightingale short stories.  Watch this space!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NIghtshade Is Out Next Week

The new Jack Nightingale book - Nightshade - is out next week.

Photo courtesy of the amazing Ellen Grogan!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Jack Nightingale eBook Boxed Set

I'm a big fan of boxed sets, especially where eBooks are concerned, so I'm over the moon that Hodder and Stoughton are releasing the three Jack Nightingale novels in a single eBook download.

Nightfall, Midnight and Nightmare were always intended as a trilogy, though I have already written book number four - Nightshade - which will be published in April.

It's great to see them in a boxed set at just £9.49, well below the price of buying the three books separately.  YOU CAN BUY THE BOXED SET FOR THE KINDLE HERE

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New eBook Boxed Sets From Hodder

Hodder and Stoughton are releasing boxed sets of my Spider Shepherd eBooks at the bargain price of £9.99 for three books.  That's one heck of a deal.

Hard Landing is already on sale at the bargain price of 49p.  Now Hodder is selling a boxed set of the Soft Target, Cold Kill and Hot Blood eBooks for just £9.99.  CLICK HERE TO BUY IT

Three more Spider Shepherd eBooks - Dead Men, Live Fire and Fair Game - are available in another boxed set, also for £9.99.  That's a great price for three full-length novels.

You can buy it HERE

And next month Hodder will be releasing a boxed set of the three Mike Cramer novels - The Chinaman, The Long Shot and The Double Tap.

You can buy it here, for just £5.99  - CLICK HERE TO BUY  That's a bargain!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spider Short Stories Riding High

My two Spider Shepherd short stories are riding high in the Amazon charts - both of them are now in the top 5 in the War category.

I'm planning a third short story as we speak - set in the days when he was an SAS trooper in Afghanistan, several years before he became an undercover cop.

Kill Zone tells the story of how Spider got shot in Afghanistan - you can buy it HERE

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Take Two Still Riding High In The eBook Charts

My self-published eBook Take Two - a full-length crime novel about a soap opera star who witnesses a gangland killing - is still in the UK eBook Bestseller Top 10.

According to the Bookseller magazine, Take Two was at Number 9 last week in the UK eBook bestseller list.  Pretty good going when the majority of eBooks in the list are being sold at 20p, less than a third of the price of Take Two.

You can buy Take Two BY CLICKING HERE

Meanwhile I'm hard at work on the tenth Spider Shepherd story - True Colours. I'm supposed to be done by the end of May and I'm on target!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Take Two Makes The Bookseller Top 10 List

Take Two is number 7 in the Bookseller magazine Top 10 eBook bestseller list this week, which is nice!

Take Two has been in the UK Kindle Top 10 for two weeks now, which is good going considering the number of 20p novels that are out there.

The 20p promotion is a weird one and no one seems sure just how long it will continue.  It's great news for the writers involved as they are seeing sales of about 2,000 copies a day. And they are getting full royalties, which means that some of them have earned close to £300,000 during the promotion!

One thing is for sure - if it hadn't been for the 20p books, Take Two would have got much higher in the charts.

But as I have had a lot of success selling cheap eBooks, I can't really complain when some one else sells their books cheaper!

Anyway, it's great news for readers. And that's what's important!

You can buy Take Two for the Kindle in the UK HERE

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My New Spider Shepherd Short Story

I've just released my new Spider Shepherd short story - Kill Zone.

It's set in Afghanistan in 2002 and is about the time that he got shot. I'm well pleased with it - it's action all the way and gave me the chance to tell a war story which was terrific fun.  There are some old friends in the story including Major Alan Gannon and Geordie Mitchell, who appear in several of the Spider Shepherd books

In many ways Kill Zone is the prequel to the new Spider Shepherd novel that I'm writing now. It's called True Colours and much of what happens in that book is influenced by what happened to Shepherd back in 2002.

You can download Kill Zone for the Kindle - HERE

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Take Two Gets Into The UK KIndle TOP 10

My crime thriller Take Two just nudged into the UK Kindle Top 10 today.  I'm well pleased because it's much harder to break into the Top 10 than it used to be. A couple of years ago I had three books in the Top 3 in the UK Kindle list - a feat matehed only by Stieg Larsson.  Because of the way Amazon now calculates its rankings that is almost impossible to achieve these days.

Most of the books in the UK Kindle Top 10 are at the ridiculously low price of 20p and Amazon won't let me price match that so I don't expect to get into the Top 3 again. But I'm over the moon to have made the Top 10.

You can buy Take Two at Amazon in the UK HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Take Two - my new crime thriller

I've started the new year with a bang - by releasing a new 92,000 word crime thriller.  The book is Take Two and it's now available on Kindle and Smashwords.

It's about a soap opera star who witnesses a gangland killing. Carolyn Castle is one of the most famous faces in the UK, but she realises that her fame could be the death of her.  The killer is charismatic gangster Warwick Richards and he's more than capable of killing again to protect his secret. But does he know that Carolyn saw him commit the murder?

I had great fun writing it. Two of my books - The Stretch and The Bombmaker - were filmed for Sky One and I was closely involved in all stages of their production so I was able to use a lot of that background in Take Two.

You can buy Take Two in the UK  HERE

And in the US  HERE

Friday, January 11, 2013

Stephen Leather - The New Spider Shepherd?

Sadly not, though I love the idea of Stephen Leather as Spider!  My friend Joe Lumley put together this mock cover and I think it's brilliant.  I love the title, too!  But the next Spider book will be True Colours and that's definitely not me on the cover!  Spider is younger, fitter and better looking than me, obviously!