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DECEMBER 2014

holly Dear Folks,

Ah, it's that time of year again...

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And kids dressed up like Eskimos..."

Hang on a second. Let's just look at that song again.

First off, surely that should be "Chestnuts roasting over an open fire," and not directly on it, for all sorts of health and safety reasons. Have you ever seen the damage that hot chestnut shrapnel can do in a confined space? Well, I have, and so has my Uncle Ron, and if you want to know how that worked out for him, just ask him to show you his glass eye.

Secondly, "Jack Frost nipping at your nose" is technically frostbite, and there's nothing festive about frostbite. Again, just ask my Uncle Ron—a most unfortunate man—and he'll tell you why he can't have children.

"Yuletide carols being sung by a choir." Okay, I don't actually have any problem with that, although it seems a bit incongruous in the present company.

And finally, there's kids dressing up like Eskimos. Now I'm no expert on our Inuit brothers and sisters, but I understand that they have been known to engage in ritual spousal exchange, and if that's the kind of thing you're comfortable seeing your kids get up to, then my friends at Social Services would like to have a chat with you.

Now that's out of the way, we can start wishing one another a socially responsible Christmas, and a wife swapping-free New Year.

Museume of Literary Souls CAXTON and WOLF Stuff

Thanks to the booksellers and readers in the US and Mexico—especially to the members of Bouchercon, who voted "The Caxton Private Lending Library and Book Depository" (also known as "The Museum of Literary Souls") the winner of the 2014 Anthony Award for Best Short Story. It was a great honor, especially considering the quality of the other nominees. I'm grateful to the Mysterious Bookstore for making the story available in paperback form; you can also order it in e-format through Amazon, and it will be part of a second NOCTURNES collection later next year.

If I didn't visit your city, or you weren't able to make it to an event, signed copies of THE WOLF IN WINTER may still be available from these stores, with copies of its companion CD, "Ghosts."

EMPIRE: The Chronicles of the Invaders, Volume II

Empire EMPIRE, the second installment of The Chronicles of the Invaders by Jennifer Ridyard and myself, will go on sale in Ireland and the United Kingdom on the first day of the New Year. If your New Year's resolution is "buy more books by John Connolly," here's your opportunity to start things off right.

EMPIRE continues the story that began with CONQUEST, picking up with Syl Hellais, first of the Earth-born Illyri, in the sealed convent of the mysterious Nairene Sisterhood. Paul Kerr, a young leader of the human rebel forces, has been pressed into service as a member of the Illyri Brigades, fighting other conquered populations. What neither of them realizes, however, is the deadly conflict at the center of the Illyri leadership—a conflict that threatens the very fabric of the universe.

EMPIRE will be available in the US on February 24. No events are currently planned in either the UK or the US, but if that changes, we'll announce it on Facebook, Twitter, and the Chronicles website.

Meanwhile, autographed copies (signed by Jennie and me) can be ordered from our friends at Goldsboro Books in London, No Alibis in Belfast, The Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar, Dublin, and Alan Hanna's in Rathmines, Dublin.

A SONG OF SHADOWS

A SONG OF SHADOWS, the 14th Charlie Parker novel, will be published in Ireland and the UK on April 9, and sometime in late spring or early summer in the United States. Curious?

Grievously wounded private detective Charlie Parker investigates a case that has its origins in a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War.

Recovering from a near-fatal shooting, and tormented by memories of a world beyond this one, Parker has retreated to the small Maine town of Boreas to recover. There he befriends a widow named Ruth Winter and her young daughter, Amanda. But Ruth has her secrets. She is hiding from the past, and the forces that threaten her have their origins in the Second World War, in a town called Lubsko and a concentration camp unlike any other. Old atrocities are about to be unearthed, and old sinners will kill to hide their sins. Now Parker is about to risk his life to defend a woman he barely knows, one who fears him almost as much as she fears those who are coming for her.

His enemies believe him to be vulnerable. Fearful. Isolated.

But they are wrong. Parker is far from afraid, and far from alone.

For something is emerging from the shadows . . .


The UK edition of A SONG OF SHADOWS will include another CD of music, currently being assembled, and there will be a short tour, with events in Dublin, Belfast and a handful of cities in the United Kingdom. We'll announce those details in another month or two.

NOCTURNES, Part II

As I mentioned earlier, I'm assembling stories for a second volume of NOCTURNES, which will be published in September/October 2015. We'll give you more details next year.

Parker Backlist to Be Reissued

In 2015, both Hodder & Stoughton in the UK, and Emily Bestler Books/Atria in the US, will be reissuing the entire Parker backlist in spanking new covers, each with a new introduction from me. We hope to give you a look at all of the new UK designs early next year, with the US covers to follow shortly after, but here are the first four Parker titles in their revamped attire...

Empire

Artwork

While I was in Mexico City last month, I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of Humberto Cadena, who has been posting some splendid Parker-related illustrations to Facebook. A sampling of his work can be found below, and there's more at his own Facebook page. If any of you have similar work to share, please do, either on the John Connolly Facebook page or by email to contact@johnconnollybooks.com. Thanks!

Empire

ABC to XTC, The Holiday Edition

The annual Christmas edition of ABC to XTC, my radio show on RTE 2XM, will air online on Tuesday, December 23 and again on Saturday, December 27, and will be available through the RTE Player for four weeks after that. This year's program includes holiday and seasonal music from Nick Lowe, Kate Bush, Modern English and more.

And that, I think, is that. All that remains is for me to thank you for another year of kindness and support, and to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas, and a happy, peaceful and prosperous 2015.

John

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