Category Archives: Blog

Writer’s Digest: 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far

Chuck Sambuchino over at Writer’s Digest just posted an article by me in his very cool 7 Things I’ve Learned So Far. Leave a comment on that post within the next 2 weeks for a chance to win a paperback of my first Mystery/Thriller novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS.

It’s also Release Day for A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS!  Very exciting. Go grab a copy from Amazon and tell all your reading friends!

If you missed any of the recent interviews or reviews, you can check them out here.

Thanks for all your support!

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

Tons of new interviews and reviews this week

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

My publisher DarkFuse is releasing my first Crime novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS this week! You can buy it in Kindle or paperback here!

There is a ton of news to share about it this week.

The latest things are an interview in the International Thriller Writer’s magazine The Big Thrill. Thanks to George Ebey.

I was also interviewed by Michael Parker for Crime Fiction Lover.

And Michael Parker just reviewed ABM for Crime Fiction Lover.

And Frank Errington just reviewed ABM here.

My buddy, fantastic fantasist Mercedes Yardley, just posted my guest post “Why You Should Read Widely,” on her website. Check it, share it, leave a comment, for a chance to win a paperback copy of ABM, and a shot at the grand prize!

And Josef Hernandez at The Minneapolis Books Examiner (who called ABM: “One of the best books of the Year,”) also just did a post about August book releases and said, “If you only have time to read one book in August, make it ABM…” or something like that. You can check it out here.

I self-published my first Supernatural Thriller as Julian Vaughn. It’s called Earthly Things, and I believe those who dig The Lovely Bones, will find it similar yet completely different. You can buy it on Kindle here. I’m working on the paperback but have to get the proof copies in the mail before I finalize and make them for sale. Spread the word, baby.

Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn cover.jpg (2)

I feel like I’m forgetting some things, too. Just so much going on right now. Thanks for all your support!

New Interview at Crime Fiction Lover

Michael Parker interviewed me for the fantastic Crime Fiction Lover. It was a blast and I was able to share some insider info on my first Crime novel A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS. Plus I talk about some of my heroes, like Tom Piccirilli, John D. MacDonald, Joe Lansdale, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, John Connolly, and Lee Child.

Check out the interview here.

Feel free to leave a comment over there, and share the link.

Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn now available

Earthly Things by Julian Vaughn cover.jpg (2)

Quick jacket copy:

Sensitive fourteen-year-old Dexter Bestwick is at the park with his girlfriend Jamie when his father murders him for stealing something from his locked room. Still around after his death to witness the ensuing damages, he aches to protect his first, young love from being a victim. Yet he’s afraid the eternal light will grow brighter and claim him, and that Jamie will soon suffer the same fate…

Earthly Things is a touching and fast-paced supernatural mystery that will appeal to fans of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

I just self-published this title since I have a hard time waiting for a book to sell to a publisher when it could be out there, read, and about to be read.  So, here it is. I really dig this story and hope lots of you do too.

You can buy it on Kindle here.

And if you need it in another digital format, you can grab it off Smashwords.

You can also add  it on Goodreads, and feel free to leave a review.

Thanks to anybody who checks it out, and to those who spread the word about it. I appreciate all your support!

Building Your Fan Base guest post on BookDen

ABM Tour badge by jen

Go visit the guest post on BookDen where I share my thoughts on “Building a Fan Base.”

Leave a comment and share the link for a chance to win a paperback copy of A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, and the grand prize!

You can also enter to win by following the links on this page! The more posts you share the better your chances of winning one of fourteen paperbacks and the grand prize. Go you!

We’re less than two weeks away from release now. You can preorder my first Crime novel on Amazon here.

Thanks for all the support!

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

It’s Only Death (Book Cover release!)

DarkFuse is releasing my second Crime novel (IT’S ONLY DEATH) in January! Here is the book cover. What do you think? I love it and can’t wait until everybody can read it and hold the paperback and hardcover too. :D

its_only_death (2) book cover

And we’re counting down for the release of A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS. Three weeks! How exciting! Make sure to buy a copy and review it and pass it along. And take part in the blog tour + giveaway!

One of the Best Novels of the Year

A Beautiful Madness novel cover

Josef Hernandez at the Minneapolis Books Examiner just reviewed my first Crime novel (A Beautiful Madness) and called it: “One of the best novels of the year…”

So true. I agree with him and think it should be made into a film. Check out the review here.

Other early reviews have been pretty sweet too. Here are a few snippets…

Fast paced and riveting… Delivers a mesmerizing, heart wrenching tale… Read more at Literary Mayhem

Once The Wolverine’s story unraveled, the book become scientifically impossible to put aside… Read more at Dangerous Dan’s Blog

…an exceptional novel… Read more at The Crime Scene

If you’d like the chance to win one of fourteen free paperback copies of ABM, join the blog tour + giveaway. Simply leave a comment on a guest post and share it, and you’re entered. Winners will be drawn at the end of August and the prizes mailed and the grand prize winner announced, too. Good stuff. Here are the posts that are live so far:

(End of May) Kickoff on my website/So, You Want to Write

(June 4th): Author Les Edgerton/First Ideas (Are They Worth Writing?)

(June 5th)Shock Totem Publications/Ways to Measure Success

(June 14th) 5 Things I Learned Writing A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS

(June 19th): Peter Schwotzer of Literary Mayhem/The Subconscious

(June 23rd): Author Lucas Magnum/Interview

(July 1st): Author Gef Fox/Interview

(July 6th): Author Mark Gunnells/Handling Rejection

As always, thanks for your support! Treat yourself and others well.

Preorder on Amazon here.

Free story: The Year the Leaves Fell Early

Sometimes I have no idea where a story comes from. This one (about 1300 words) just popped in my head tonight so I wrote it really quick. It’s probably from my fear of dying young, before I can love all I must and learn all I can.

 

The Year the Leaves Fell Early

By

Lee Thompson

 

The leaves have fallen early and they scrape the sidewalk, driven by a heartless wind.

The doctor tells you the life you’ve had is about over. On the optimistic side you have one year left. It doesn’t seem real, sitting there, his hand on your shoulder and your family out there somewhere living their lives, and you knowing that you can’t tell a soul because you don’t want them to weep for you, for what you had, and what could never last, for what you can’t sustain, and for what you and they will miss.

You never realized it before, but who you are will transform into who you were…

The unknown is right there, at the end of an exhalation, cold against your fingertips, pressing softly against your eyelids. And every day its worse, the fear, and the pain, but you can’t tell them, the ones who always said you had a great laugh, a killer smile. You were a good father, a loving brother, a sometimes troublesome son. And they don’t know. They won’t know until you’re too weak to share that laugh, or smile that smile, and you won’t be much of a father then, or a brother, or a troublesome son, because it just takes too much energy to simply endure the last few hours, reminiscing, wishing, accepting…

As the months pass, your family grows irritable; they think that you’re mad at them. They think you’re depressed and in one of your foul moods. Your sister calls to complain, but only because she’s worried. She thinks you’re hitting the bottle too hard. She thinks you’ll drink yourself to death…

And you think: If only that was all I had to worry about

And your mother, bless her heart, loves you despite your distance. She knows something is wrong, but she also knows you’ll get past it, like you always have. But you can hear the breeze growing stronger, and the branches rattling with a strange kind of music, and you think: Not this time, Mom

You want to hug her, but every time you get close to her you start weeping and you have to flee your parents’ house because they can’t see you like this, and they stand there in the door, dumbfounded, worried that you’re losing your mind as the autumn sunset burns against your fleeing outline and the wind shakes more leaves loose.

The concrete feels solid beneath your feet as you stumble away, but it too will crumble one day, the way your health has, and like your bones it’ll become dust, and what then? Who will remember the path they walked in their youth?

Who will remember that you had walked it alone in that final dusk, with the stars your only companions, with the winter wind only a month or two away and your hands stuffed deep in your pockets, your chin tucked tight to your chest as you remember what the doctor said?

One year max.

It’s like a sentence, only you don’t want parole, and you don’t want the freedom of eternity if it means losing all you have worked so hard to attain and care for…

And it lives inside you, the darkness, and it’s taking you from all that mattered and all that could matter, and it’s not fair at all. You had big plans. You were writing so hard, bleeding on the page, weren’t you? And you can’t tell them you’re dying because all you have left are the words to get you by: a note, a letter, a story, a goodbye.

I love you, all of you, you whisper on that cold morning you feel the change.

Your year is almost up, and it’s gone by so quickly, and you’ve done so little of what you’ve wanted to do with your life.

There hasn’t been anything brave, or noble, nothing much memorable at all, but you loved deeply, and that should be enough, shouldn’t it?

To some it is, but for you it’s not, because if you only had another month, another week, another day, you could show them that your life was part of their lives, and it mattered, it all matters if you care enough, and maybe if you care enough you can carry part of it with you, and maybe if you care enough part of you will remain behind…

But nothing matters anymore expect for what begins and what ends.

You had love and you enjoyed it, and it was over in the blink of an eye, wasn’t it? It lasted but a moment in time, like the smile they all loved, like your confidence, and your dreams, and your immortality.

And you’ve grown weaker this past month, can barely move the last week, but you love more than you ever loved.

Your little sister is there and she wants to know what’s happening. She keeps a cool cloth on your forehead and thinks it’s only a fever since she doesn’t know, can’t comprehend what’s happening, but she is watchful. And hopeful. And you want to make her suffering less.

And your brother is there too, distant, and he thinks that you’re doing all of this for attention, and you want to reach out to both of them until the door opens and you see your parents leading her in, your lover, your soulmate, and she knows, she’s part of you, and as you die, she dies with you…

But you want her to come with you, because you’re alone down there in the deepest part of you, and you’re afraid. You don’t want to leave yet. There is so much still to do. So much still to experience, so many mistakes yet to make and learn from, so many lives you could have an impact on and that could teach you more about yourself and your place in the world…

It’s a waste, you think, looking up at her.

She stands by your bed. She looks down into your eyes.

She holds your hand and she tells you, “It’s okay…”

Yet it’s not okay, nothing can ever be okay again, and as much as you love her for who she is and for her strength, you hate her for letting go so easily. You see your daughter in the doorway, five years old, too young to watch and learn something like this, yet her face is impassive, unyielding, and you think that beyond her you see a shadow filling the doorway…

Your whimper is loud in the room, on the soft bed, surrounded by sad faces. Your body has wasted away and they can’t understand why you won’t eat, and maybe they think that there is a corruption you’re atoning for, and you know, you can see in their eyes that they know you’ll pull through this and life will carry on as it always has. You will have the opportunities you crave, the passion to mine, the joys to share, the heartaches which bring people close and are so quickly forgotten…

But they’re only there for a time, and you’re only there for a time, and you have not done enough for yourself, or for them, and only she knows, and she lets you go, releases your hand, orders you to sleep, and those you love look on, confused and afraid…

Yet she’s not afraid, and you wish you could have her strength, but in the darkness there is no room for strength, there is only the warmth fleeing, and then the coldness, and the whispers you hear over your corpse, and the music that plays far off, and the tears drying on reddened cheeks, and in the doorway the child marked by the growing shadow.

So you look away, out the window, and you can see the leaves falling early, drying up, curling in on themselves right before your eyes, and you whisper from the abyss, I love you… But no one hears, no one moves for a moment…

The leaves have fallen early and they scrape the sidewalk, driven by the heartless wind, a doorway to an everlasting winter… and then those surrounding you cry and they embrace and you watch and you listen from outside the glass, trapped in the larger and uncaring world, invisible, a part of the dying foliage.

 

ABM Blog Tour Stop with Gef Fox (Interview + Giveaway)

ABM Tour badge by jen

All right, my upcoming release is back on Amazon’s Top 100 Bestseller List. Neat! Thanks to everybody who has pre-ordered!

Anyway, the wonderful chap Gef Fox interviewed me about my first Crime novel, A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS, over on his website. Check it out. Leave a comment there for a chance to win a paperback copy of the novel. Thanks to Gef for the interview!

Follow the Blog Tour + Giveaway links via this page.

Add it on Goodreads.

Preorder it here.

I’m expecting lots of great reviews since I’m awesome (and you’re awesome too. I only communicate with awesome people). The first couple that came in have said:

Fast paced and riveting… Delivers a mesmerizing, heart wrenching tale… Read more at Literary Mayhem

Once The Wolverine’s story unraveled, the book become scientifically impossible to put aside… Read more at Dangerous Dan’s Blog

…an exceptional novel… Read more at The Crime Scene

Thanks for all the support! I have lots of great things in store for the rest of the year and I’m happy you’re taking part in it. Go after what you want.

A Beautiful Madness novel cover