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Hello Mystery Readers,

Fall is rapidly approaching and with it the release of my second John Santana police procedural entitled, “The Black Minute”. The publication party is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th, from 12:00 until 2:00 p.m. at the wonderful Once Upon A Crime bookstore at 604 W. 26th St. in Minneapolis. (612) 870-3785. Refreshments will be served. I’m hoping all of you who live in the area can come.

If you can’t make it to the publication party, please check my website at for other signings and events. I’ll be visiting bookstores in Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Mexico, with more events pending in North and South Dakota and Iowa. I want to thank my terrific publicist, Karen Villanueva, for her dedication and persistence.

You can also view a video trailer for “The Black Minute” and read an excerpt from the novel on my website. Just click on the video trailer link or excerpt link on my Home page. Thanks to Curtis and the staff at Ghostwriter Extraordinaire for putting the video trailer together.

If you’d like a chance to win a free, signed copy of “The Black Minute” visit the Goodreads website at Once you’re there, you’ll see that each book listed has a giveaway end date. Just scroll down the page until you come to October 15th and “The Black Minute” book cover. Then click the “Enter to Win” button. Goodreads will randomly draw five winners after October 15th and I will mail you a free, signed copy.

My wife, Martha, and I traveled to Colombia this summer for her mother’s 90th birthday party. Between the celebration and visiting with family, I traveled to Bogotá, Armenia, Pereira, and Manizales, while researching locales and scenes for the third John Santana novel, tentatively entitled, “Bad Weeds Never Die”.

I’ve been working hard on the “Bad Weeds” manuscript, writing between 500 to 1,000 words a day, and it is half finished. My goal is to have the draft completed in November. In the third novel, readers will be introduced to a number of new characters and will learn more about Santana's childhood in Colombia and about his father.

Once again, I want to thank all of you for your support and emails. It's definitely a thrill to hear from readers in Minnesota and from those of you in cities and towns across the country. Writing a novel is a solitary undertaking that takes months to finish. I know that not all writers like publicity tours and book signings, but once the manuscript is finished and ready for publication, I enjoy having the opportunity to finally get out and meet readers.

In that regard, I'm looking forward to seeing many of you soon.


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Christopher Valen
387 Bluebird Alcove
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125

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