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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Book A Change of Direction for Gordon Kirkland

The following is the text of a press release going out tonight:

Award-winning Canadian author and humorist Gordon Kirkland’s seventh book was released today (April 12, 2011). He has taken his innate sense of humor and combined it with a love for a good mystery to create Crossbow. The resulting novel is best described as marriage between Fargo and the darker passages of the Old Testament.

Someone is killing the residents of a small Kansas town. Although the victims appear to have been randomly chosen, the killer has, in fact, decided that they must die for biblical transgressions he believes they have committed. Among the first to be slain is the County Sherriff, leaving two deputies to try to solve the case before the killer can achieve his ultimate goal of wiping what he sees as "Gomorrah on the high prairie" off the map, once and for all.

The deputies are far from seasoned police professionals. Dave Simmons, the senior of the two, is doing his best to improve by learning new police techniques. He'd like to bring geographic profiling to the department, but a serious impediment to that goal is his propensity to get lost whenever he gets behind the wheel of his police cruiser. Chuck Wilson the other deputy would like to be a police dog handler. Unfortunately, the County cannot afford a properly trained police dog, so he is trying to make do with Duke, his own Springer Spaniel, a dog with an intelligence quotient just slightly lower than the average head of cabbage.

Added to the mix is a missing romance author who arrived in town to interview the first murder victim just before his death, an ambitious small town newspaper reporter who gets her leads across the pillow from the junior deputy, and the grieving father of one of the victims. Just as it seems that the case has been solved, the deputies learn that the killer was not acting alone, and that other, seemingly upstanding citizens of the town, had set the whole process in motion. As the evidence unfolds it becomes obvious that the case is going to hit the deputies much closer to home than they could have imagined.

Crossbow was started during the taping of the Canadian television series, The 3-Day Novel, in which Kirkland and 11 other writers were given the challenge of each completing a novel in 72 hours. He managed to write a 30,000-word first draft during the taping of the series, with less than a total of five hours of sleep, thanks in part to the children’s bunk beds the participants were provided. All the while, the cast were constantly followed by a camera crew filming everything from the writing process, to personal hygiene activities. The series aired in the fall of 2009.

Several years earlier, celebrated mystery novelist Ridley Pearson encouraged Kirkland to try his hand at fiction after the success their mutual friend Dave Barry had with Big Trouble. Kirkland’s other writing kept the idea on the back burner for several years. Pearson says, "Not only is Gordon accomplished in his field, but he is funny! I don't know if you have ever tried being funny on paper, but it is one of life's miracles. Gordon should probably be sainted. But don't take my word for it; just read him."

Kirkland is joining other independent authors in an initiative established by fellow author J. A. Konrath. If at any time in the next two months the e-book version of Crossbow is rated among Amazon’s top 500 books for their Kindle e-reader, he will donate $500 to First Books, a non-profit organization that provides access to new books for children in need. To date, First Book has distributed more than 80 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada.

For more information about Crossbow or any of Kirkland’s other books, visit

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Gordon Kirkland At Large

Writings and Wramblings from the Wandering and Wondering Mind of Gordon Kirkland