Report from (the) Grave
A Message From Jonathan Grave

Dear readers, 

Ordinarily, this space is reserved for members of my team to talk about what we do and how we do it, but not this time.  In fact this edition of Dispatches doesn't have much  to do with me or my team at all.  This edition is all about my buddy John Gilstrap, who has some interesting things going on and wanted to share them with you.  My team and I will be back in a month or so.  Until then, please try to show Gilstrap some respect.  He works hard and he means well.  JG

Nick of Time: The book that almost wasn't
Dear friends and fans, 
This year, Kensington will be publishing two books with my name on the spine. Friendly Fire, book #8 in the Jonathan Grave series, will have its usual July slot, and I'll talk more about that as the time gets closer, but for now, I want to concentrate on my stand-alone thriller titled Nick of Time.

The Nick of the title is Nicki Janssen, a 17-year-old girl who will soon die unless she can find a donor for a bilateral  heart-lung transplant. After months of waiting and countless nights in the hospital, she's had it. If she's going to die, she's going to do some living first. Without telling anyone, she re-establishes contact with Brad Ward, her crush since she was 12 years old, and together they head out on an adventure that goes terribly awry. The one detail that Brad never shared with her is the fact that he's an escaped convict wanted for murder.

Nick of Time is set in 1999 because that's when I wrote it. That was the absolute bottom of my literary career when, after making millions in advances on books that didn't sell very well, I literally could not give my fiction away. In what I think is a remarkable irony, my fiction career was rescued by my only nonfiction book, Six Minutes to Freedom, which sold surprisingly well and introduced me to the people and circumstances that eventually became Jonathan Grave's world.

I've always associated my books with the time of my life when they were written, so for years, I never so much as looked at the Nick of Time manuscript. It hurt. Then, about eight months ago, I stumbled upon the final draft and I gave it a look. Once I started reading, I was hooked till the end. It had been long enough that the story still surprised me with its twists and turns, and when I got to the end, I thought (with all modesty, of course), Wow, that's really a good story. I even choked up at the end, just as readers are supposed to.
I brought the book to my editor at Kensington, and she loved it, so now, after more than a decade (and a fair amount of rewriting), the story will get an audience. I don't know if it makes sense to others, but that fact alone feels like a triumph to me.

What's better, Kensington is taking a new and experimental approach to the novel's release. Beginning next March, the eBook version will be released in five parts, each a week or two apart. The installments are titled, Time to Run, Time to Hide, Time to Steal, Time to Die, and Time to Live. Then, next October, the entire book will be released as a lead title in its paper version.

And fans of Nathan's Run, my first published novel, will be happy to know that our old pals Nathan Bailey and Warren Michaels make appearances in both of this year's books.


NEW: Get a Jonathan Grave Challenge Coin While Doing a Good Deed

Jonathan Grave has been offering to trade challenge coins with fans and friends for quite a while now.  I've heard from many fans who would like to have a coin, but who do not have a coin to trade.  More than a few have offered to pay, but that's really not how it is done.


I am pleased to announce a solution that will not only bring a coin to your mailbox, but will do a good deed at the same time.  We have joined forces with the US Navy SEAL Legacy Foundation to send a Jonathan Grave Challenge coin free of charge to anyone who makes a $20.00 donation to this wonderful cause.  Just follow the link, make your donation, and I will send you your coin.


Of course, coin-for-coin trading is still an option.  If you have a coin you'd like to trade, send an email to and we'll take care of the rest.

I Hope You Can Join Me for Some Once-in-a-lifetime Training
Every now and then, the stars align to create an opportunity so special that you know it will likely never happen again.  For people interested in learning secrets to self-defense, taught by the recognized masters in their fields, The Evolution of Shooting presents a once-in-a-lifetime training opportunity.  Imagine five days of instruction from the best of the best:  

Rob Leatham, a 26-time USPSA national champion, 8-time IPSC world champion, and winner of dozens of other international awards, will teach people like you and me to develop and fine-tune pistol skills.  The emphasis will be on faster target acquisition and on trigger control.
Steve Tarani , an internationally-recognized expert in both ballistic and non-ballistic weapons will teach us how to use edged and impact weapons to immobilize attackers. I've received training from Steve in the past, and I can attest that he is very, very good at what he does.  His portion of the Evolution of Shooting course will emphasize improvised weaponry and edged weapon skills.
Chris White, retired US Navy SEAL team chief and senior evaluator for all West Coast SEAL platoons at the Naval Special Warfare Center, will teach the finer points of carbine handling and tactics.  Chris's emphasis will include close quarter tactics that are most relevant to home defense.
The details of the course are fully explained on the website for the Evolution of Shooting, and it's worth your time to give it a visit. The fee for the course is all-inclusive, including everything but travel to and from the famed Gunsight Academy in Arizona, where the course will be taught.  That means room and board, ammunition, snacks, staff and top notch training.  The whole nine yards.  There'll also be carbine giveaways, optics giveaways, and a world-class swag bag for every student from such sponsors as 5.11 Tactical, Aimpoint, Devil Dog Arms, Safariland, and others. 
April 10 can't get here fast enough for me.  This course, if you'll forgive the pun, is going to be a blast.  And I hope that some of you will be able to join me, especially those who write or are attempting to write stories that feature guns and battlefield tactics.  There is no teacher as valuable as experience, and The Evolution of Shooting is designed specifically for people like you and me.  There is no obstacle course to run, though there will be long days on the firing line.  There's even a place for beginners, so long as you've handled a gun in the past and you know that the end with the hole in it is the dangerous one.
Beyond the research value of the course, however, there's also enormous practical value.  Firearms sales and concealed carry permit applications have skyrocketed in the past few years.  A wise man once told me that anyone who chooses to carry a gun for protection owes it to the world to spend at least as much on training as he does on hardware.  The choice to carry a weapon implies an awareness of need and a willingness to use it.  On behalf of all innocents in the vicinity of any bad guy you engage, I pray that you're well-trained and have a keen eye.  An intensive five days of expert training is a hell of a lot more effective than a few hours self-taught on the range.
Plus, it'll be fun.  There are only 40 slots for the class, so if you're interested in joining me, act quickly and register .   I hope to see you in April! 

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