Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great editorial review

Great review in the online Washington Independent Review of Books. Author and former journalist Lawrence De Maria praises the book not only as a highly readable spy thriller but as a history lesson for this vexed part of the world:
Delamaide’s prose is uniformly entertaining. If it was his intention to pluck 21st-century American readers from their living rooms and deposit them in the mysterious and dangerous souks of the Middle East ― and give them 500 years of history lessons to boot ― he has succeeded admirably.
Read the entire review on the WIRoB website.

The Washington Independent Review of Books was launched earlier this year by a writers' group in the national capital to fill the book review gap left by the closing of the Washington Post Book World and other stand-alone newspaper reviews. It has published hundreds of book reviews plus many author interviews, podcasts, blogs and other features.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Kindle Author Interview

David Wisehart recently interviewed Darrell Delamaide, author of The Grand Mirage, in his series of Kindle Author Interviews. You can read the full interview at Wisehart's blog. Here are some excerpts:

DAVID WISEHART: What can you tell us about The Grand Mirage?
DARRELL DELAMAIDE: The first time I encountered the Baghdad Railway, oddly enough, was in a history of Deutsche Bank, the big German bank I covered as a financial journalist. The bank was instrumental in getting it built because the Kaiser wanted a direct land link between Berlin and the Persian Gulf. Britain opposed it because they feared war was on the way and didn’t want India to be vulnerable. What a story, I thought, full of adventure and intrigue. It’s the story I set out to tell in The Grand Mirage. I also thought it would be a great way to conjure up an exotic Middle East that has vanished in history and yet forms part of our Western imagination, from Scherezade to Lawrence of Arabia....

DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal reader?
DARRELL DELAMAIDE: My ideal reader is anyone who will enjoy this book. It may be older readers who thrilled to the first Indiana Jones movie – which incredibly came out 30 years ago. But it may be younger readers who read Outside magazine and who would love the adventure of taking a caravan from Constantinople to Baghdad in 1910. One woman reader told me she liked the heroine, an Armenian poet, so much, she would like to see a sequel devoted to her. I like to think of my book as the thinking man’s or woman’s thriller – literary, intelligent, and vastly entertaining....

DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire you?
DARRELL DELAMAIDE: I gravitated more or less naturally to the thriller genre, so in general I find a lot of inspiration there. John Le Carré is the master, though I find his characters bleak. British writers seem to have a better feel for the deep Anglo-Saxon roots of the English language. Rennie Airth (River of Darkness) and Robert Goddard (Into the Blue), who are popular in Britain but not too well known here, are particularly good in that regard. Alan Furst (Kingdom of Shadows), though an American, has lived abroad and had his early success in Britain as well. Again, I find his characters a little hard to warm up to, but he is a wizard at creating atmosphere. Among American writers, Joseph Kanon (The Good German) has also written some very fine historical thrillers....

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

'Couldn't put it down'

This is the heading on Paula Butturini's 5-star Amazon review of The Grand Mirage:
Darrell Delamaide's The Grand Mirage is a wonderful read. I simply did not want to put it down. Though inundated with things I absolutely had to accomplish over the weekend, I found myself, between endless chores, sneaking back to my computer again and again to read just one more chapter. Both historical thriller and spy novel, The Grand Mirage outlines the geo-political intrigues surrounding the construction of the Baghdad Railway during the run-up to World War I in a corner of the world still seething with unrest over its most precious commodity -- oil. Delamaide's scholar/spy hero charms...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A new fan of The Grand Mirage

From James Bruno, Kindle bestselling author of Permanent Interests and Tribe:
The Grand Mirage is an evocative tale in the rich tradition of Kipling and George MacDonald Fraser. Like a desert sirocco, it will sweep you away into an era whose echoes still reverberate and a region that dominates today's headlines. The stakes are high, the characters are unforgettable and the plot moves with the indomitable force of the Berlin-to-Baghdad railway, which occupies center place in this story of intrigue, espionage and forbidden love….As you lose yourself in his story, you feel you are there: 1910, the Middle East. The colors, the smells, the dress, the vernacular are all there in perfect symmetry. The Grand Mirage clearly lends itself to a series and I eagerly await the next adventure of Lord Leighton.”

The Grand Mirage goes abroad

One of the wonders of digital publishing is that you get global distribution of your book. The barriers that used to exist to acquiring English books abroad (I know, I lived abroad for many years) have disappeared.

The Grand Mirage is immediately available as an ebook on Amazon in the UK, Germany, and now France. Through the distribution channels of Ingrams/Lightning Source, it will eventually be available as a paperback in the UK, Canada, Spain (!), Australia and New Zealand, and in ebook format in those markets as well.

The novel features a British hero, a German villain, and a story of the vanished Middle East that has universal appeal, so it's great that readers in these markets have a chance to acquire it quickly and easily.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Praise for The Grand Mirage

Early comments are in:
From James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer: A Life in Politics, Print, and Power:
“Delamaide has woven a masterful combination of spy story and historical novel. Every page entertains while building a massive canvas on which a spine-tingling game of intrigue is played out among the various European powers seeking to control this all-important passage across the Middle East on the eve of World War I. This is not merely an espionage tale. Its plot, central character--the beguiling Lord Leighton--and atmosphere combine for a deeply satisfying tale of intrigue on a grand scale.”

From John Marks, author of Fangland and The Wall:
“In his melding of historical detail and crackerjack thriller plot, Delamaide outdoes the modern master of the form, Alan Furst, blasting through cliches about the Great Game and opening a curtain on a vital but little-known episode in the evolution of the modern Middle East. Do not miss it!”

From John Tagliabue, correspondent for The New York Times:
“This is a well-told yarn about intrigues in the Middle East just before World War I, when the Ottoman and German Empires were building the Baghdad Railway….Though dealing with events a century ago, there’s an extraordinary relevance to the story today: struggle among great powers for control of the region, its oil and its transportation, the backlash of local populations, all continue to permeate international politics every much as it did then.”

From Nicholas Kralev, former diplomatic correspondent for Washington Times:
“The story will intrigue you, educate you and entertain you, all at the same time….Very pleasant, intelligent and quick read.”

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The paperback is available!

The Grand Mirage is now available in paperback as well as a Kindle and Nook ebook. You can order it from Amazon and Barnes & Noble online, or ask for it at your favorite bookstore (ISBN: 978-0-9839958-0-7).

Buy it now, tell your friends!

The Grand Mirage has it all – adventure, romance, intrigue. British Orientalist Lord Leighton is sent to Constantinople in 1910 to thwart the Kaiser’s effort to establish a land link between Berlin and the Persian Gulf with the Baghdad Railway. The action comes at the zenith of the imperial age, with Europe on the brink of war. The Grand Mirage combines the period atmosphere of Alan Furst with the consummate intrigue of Eric Ambler and the rugged sense of adventure of Wilbur Smith.

If you like thrillers, this is the book for you. Even if you don’t normally read thrillers, you may find this surprisingly entertaining.

If you do like it, share your enthusiasm by making a comment on Amazon, so that other readers will be encouraged to buy it!