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A Well-Launched Novel!

The perfect book launch week — complete with signings at Powell’s and Annie Bloom’s — was capped off this weekend by a review of GUN METAL HEART by Joe Hartlaub at

UnknownBookreporter has been amazingly good to me through all four thriller novels from St. Martin’s Press. I am more than grateful to Founder and President Carol Fitzgerald, and her whole terrific crew. Their support has been a godsend.

In this review, Bookreporter says, “Daria has hijacked Haynes’s creative attention, but in the best possible ways, returning as a primary protagonist in ICE COLD KILL and now for another go-around in the newly published and wonderfully titled GUN METAL HEART, which leaves her scrambling to defeat a virtually unbeatable weapon.”

Joe Hartlaub also calls it, “…arguably Haynes’s most fully realized book to date.”

From one long-standing newspaper reporter to the good folks at Bookreporter: Thank you!


Daria Gibron, star of CRASHERS, BREAKING POINT and ICE COLD KILL, is back.

Daria, a freelance operative with a long and deadly history, has been hiding out in rural Italy, avoiding the enemies she’s made in the CIA, the Israeli government and Western law enforcement agencies. An old colleague tracks her down and seeks her help protecting an aerospace engineer from the White Scorpions, a Serbian mercenary group.

GUN METALMeanwhile, a small group of disgraced CIA agents have been waiting for their chance to exact revenge on the person they blame for their discharge — Daria Gibron.

Soon Daria is in the thick of both fights, squaring off against enemies from all sides and facing the threat of stolen military technology that can lay waste to entire cities.

The chase takes her from Italy to the former Yugoslavia. With the help of John Broom, a congressional aide, Daria has to thwart her old foes, take on new ones, and face perhaps her greatest challenge yet: Veronica, a mercenary with whom she is so evenly matched, they might as well be opposite sides of the same coin.

With the odds against her, Daria is in the worst danger of her life. And she couldn’t be having more fun.

“A high-voltage, high-body-count thrill ride!” – Publishers Weekly


Minotaur Books

First Reviews are in for GUN METAL HEART!



In Haynes’s brisk, darkly humorous sequel to Ice Cold Kill (2013), Diego, a Mexican bodyguard, asks an old colleague of his, Israeli ex-spy Daria Gibron, for help. Now an independent operative, Daria has been lying low in an Italian village far from the eye of various GUN METALinternational espionage and crime organizations. Diego suspects that members of a Serbian paramilitary group, the White Scorpions, have seized his fellow bodyguard, Vince. Diego and Vince were protecting Italian engineer Gabriella Incantada, the inventor of a military-grade avionic control device. Meanwhile, Minister Dragan Petrovic, a Serb official, has hired a stunning but lethal blonde known as Major Arcana to get Gabriella’s device for him. With some under the radar assistance from senatorial adviser John Broom, Daria—“a hand grenade in high heels”—embarks on a series of explosive deeds of derring-do across Europe in this high voltage, high-body-count thrill ride. Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 06/27/2014 | Release date: 08/19/2014


All Hail the Cain!

Terrific review of Portlander Chelsea Cain’s newest thriller, LET ME GO.


This is part of the Gretchen Lowell series, which is one of the hottest franchises in the thriller genre. Chelsea is published by St. Martin’s Press, same as yours truly.

Yea, Chelsea!

The Warp and Weft of Re-Write

So here are the mechanics of re-writes. At least: the re-writes as they are practiced by my editor, Keith Kahla of St. Martin’s Press.

I wrote the 400-page manuscript and shipped it off to Keith. He sent back edits. I input most of them. He read everything, then sent back more edits. In this case, 22 pages of edits.

I ran into a friend last Thursday. I was sitting in a corridor, nursing a coffee and juggling the 22 pages. “Whoa,” my friend said. “Kicking your ass, much?”


But in a good way.

Here’s an example of the edits I get:

“Page 207: Consider building this [paragraph] up and adding more here? Perhaps, make it clear up-front that this is the French military? In any case, fill out the details in this scene, providing more physical description — not just of the gunship but of the people inside it — in order to ground the reader more.”

With luck, when you read the novel — OK, OK, if you read the novel — you won’t ever notice this paragraph on page 207. It’s not terribly pivotal. It’s one of dozens and dozens of paragraphs that Keith thinks is great but could be better. Cleaner. Tighter.

I read each individual note. I pace, I bounce a tennis ball off the floor (don’t ask; old habit), I mull, then I sit and  figure out how to improve the paragraph.

Then I move to the next note: “Page 208: In think the reference to Sarajevo is ….”

This is the reason I love re-writes. It’s this micro-level of attention. It’s like weaving a tapestry. The overall image is all-important, sure, but with an editor like Keith Kahla, every warp and weft is worth making good.

On we go.

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