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Welcome, Faithful Readers!

(To all other visitors: "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here...")

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A Note To New Readers. . .

If you've come to this "author's website"—intentionally, or by happy accident, or perhaps under duress from one of my loyal corps of Faithful Readers— you've likely realized (or have been warned) that this website is a relatively accurate reflection of an oft-tormented, oft-bemused, oft-charitably-described-as-"eclectic" writer's psyche.

This writer's psyche —mine, that is— at least. (Alas!)


Like most people who write for a living, I'm a meat-hunter— by both nature and circumstance. For that reason alone, <sigh!> expect the not-infrequent plea-'n-pitch for you to "buy my books."

(For another excellent reason, my publishers insist that I hawk The Product. Frequently. Incessantly, even.)

But please: don't let that stop you from enjoying this website. (Or —more importantly— from buying my books.)

Still, I hope you'll also excuse such side-trips into crass commercialism... primarily, because they make me blush...

... but also, because I trust that you'll see them for what they are: the fast-forward-through-'em PBS-style pledge drives that pay the freight. (See above: "But please: don't let that stop you etc.")


In return for your patience, you'll receive what I hope is other content that you'll find entertaining, amusing... or even (occasionally) edifying. Clicking on the links (at left, on the menu; but also throughout the text on these pages, usually in various shades of blue) will take you there.

So (buy my books!) welcome to the Official Earl Merkel Website (buy my books!), where I hope new readers will become Faithful Readers (buy my books!) as we sidle along in our Ongoing Adventure here, together.

Ahem. We now rejoin our regular programming, eternally in progress...


New Content!

It’s Not About (That) Flag, Folks. It’s About Us

Commentary & Op-Ed Opinion By Earl Merkel

June 25, 2015

(Click HERE to read)

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Amazon Publishes A New Release Of VIRGINS AND MARTYRS!

Rated "Starred" / "Highly Recommended" By The Library Journal;

A NewAmazon E-Book Featuring Aria Quynn!

VIRGINS AND MARTYRS - A Spanish Bay / Aria Quynn Thriller is available NOW for purchase as an Amazon e-book original!

WARNING: Aria Quynn is a very strong woman character; avoid V&M if that description is some sort of a "trigger warning" for you.

<chuckle> On the other hand, if you are "triggered" by such things, you're probably not one of my corps of Faithful Readers anyway.

It also means you likely should see a competent therapist, because strong women —in life, as well as in fiction— exist to be cherished and admired.

And as you may know, Lt. Quynn is a major supporting character in the debut installment of my new Faulk Carpenter Thriller series, itself titled THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES, which is also set in the deceptively tranquil sun-and-sugar-sands of Spanish Bay in Northwest Florida. In the new Faulk Carpenter book, she has not attended any anger-management sessions either.

To read more about Virgins And Martyrs —and to order the novel— click HERE to visit the Amazon site.

And here is the Library Journal's highly enthusiastic book review, published when the hardcover edition was released to the library marketplace:

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NEW Book... And A New Thriller Series!


Introducing A New Series, The Faulk Carpenter Thrillers.

Available NOW As An Amazon Exclusive E-Book Original!

NEWS FLASH: My new mystery-thriller THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES (the first in my new Faulk Carpenter thriller series) was published on May 27, 2015 as an Amazon e-book original.

...and I've promised the second Faulk Carpenter book (working-title'd "The Wrong Kind Of Girl") by fall of this year.

Whew: it's been a busy spring. My new thriller FALLOUT (the third installment in the Beck Casey series) was released April 7. <grin> Suddenly, I'm promoting two new books to the summer beach-reading public.

And now the folks at Amazon write to say that they will re-publish my VIRGINS AND MARTYRS (a "starred"/ "highly recommended" Library Journal selection when it was originally published a couple of years ago, featuring several of the characters who return in The Law Of Unintended Consequences) "sometime before the end of June."

So let me encourage you to hie yourself with all haste to pick up a copy of THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES while Amazon still has it priced at the special introductory $2.99. Click HERE to jump to the novel's page, where you can "Look Inside" for a sample of several chapters.

I think you'll like meeting Faulk Carpenter. This reviewer did... (Click HERE to read "5-Stars!" reviews by D.v. Bennett and Elisabeth Zguta.)

And while you're at it, pick up a copy of FALLOUT too. <wink> One can never have enough reading material on that beach, right? (Click HERE to jump to FALLOUT's info-and-ordering page.)

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The FALLOUT Movement Grows!

Huh. Y'know, I had wondered about that bulk order from the Hefner Mansion...

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George (below, with his lovely bride) is a very wise man: two copies in the household makes for far less marital discord.

I don't know if he's quite right to play Beck Casey...

...but the movie rights ARE up for sale, and I guess we could do worse...


...much, much worse...


...and much, much, much worse still...

"Da. Ve vill buy Russki-language rights... and suppress this book!!

Vile ve at it, shoot Moose and Squirrel, too!"

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Nonetheless, apparently we've become a popular beach read...


So as the Corona beer folks say, "Find Your Beach."

And take along a good thriller, too...

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Reform Thyself.

Order FALLOUT Today.

(IMHO, Mr. Luther nailed it here...)


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FALLOUT Is Released! Available NOW!!!

(Click HERE To Order!)

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NEW VIDEO: A Video Retrospective Of FALLOUT's Pre-Pub "Marketing."

What a long, strange "marketing campaign" it's been. This video shows just how long—and how strange— it was...

(Click HERE to view)

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With One Week Until FALLOUT Launch, We Storm Along...


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A Slight...Uh...'Complication'

In Our FALLOUT Promo Campaign...


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I'd Correct The 'Misunderstanding'...

But It IS 1.2 Billion Potential Readers.


Uh... a reporter apparently saw the earlier Papal Blurb (below) for FALLOUT...

...felt it was 'newsworthy'...

...and sent me an advance cover of his magazine, eerily dated the same day FALLOUT will be formally released.

Normally, authors congratulate themselves on the success of "marketing" campaigns. But I suspect I (somehow) got in over my head here...

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An Unexpected Papal 'Blurb'!!

This enthusiastic blurb was, I assure you, completely unsolicited.

But in all humility, wha'cha gonna do?

I mean, the guy's a fan.


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"So... MOO-O-O-OVE Your Tail, Charley!"

Yes, indeed. My novels are very big among my bovine reader-demographic...

POSTSCRIPT: <sigh> The Publishers ask that I remind everybody that FALLOUT is a thriller, not a bovine-oriented comedy.

So to get 'em off my back, here you are:



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WARNING: 'Graphic' Content, Only Somewhat 'Novel'...

I've been considering branching out into graphic novels —okay, what we used to call "comic books"— but my total inability to draw even a straight line seems a lethal liability.


So my friend and radio-interview guest Neil Gaiman need not fear: his Sandman graphic novels remain without competition from me.

For that matter, from anybody...


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FALLOUT—Y'Know: The New Beck Casey Thriller—Scheduled For Publication On April 7.

Pre-Ordering Open NOW!!!

Click HERE to link to the pre-order page)


Win A FREE Advance Copy Of FALLOUT!

Okay, so you didn't win last night's Powerball.

Your luck is due to change, right?

(Click on the link below, then click on "Win A FREE Copy Of FALLOUT."

You'll still have to keep your day-job, but you'll have something to read until the quitting-bell rings, eh?)

Click HERE to enter the contest

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Uh... Perhaps My Earlier Optimism Re: 'Civil Discourse Lives!' Was A Tad Optimistic...

Op-Ed Column, Commentary by Earl Merkel

November 1, 2014

(Click HERE to read)

Politically Speaking, Civil Discourse Lives!

(Available in bottles or on tap, too.)

Op-Ed Column, Commentary by Earl Merkel

September 11, 2014

(Click HERE to read)

The Day The Towers Fell, 13 Years Ago...

Op-Ed Column, Commentary by Earl Merkel

September 11, 2014

(Click HERE to read)

2013 Year Summary: Newsies, We Failed Our Country...

Op-Ed Column, Commentary by Earl Merkel

December 31, 2013

(Click HERE to read)

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(Earl Merkel is the author of FALLOUT (Diversion Books/NYC, 2015), FIRE OF THE PROPHET (Diversion Books, 2013), VIRGINS AND MARTYRS (Five Star Publishing), FINAL EPIDEMIC (Diversion Books - originally published by PenguinPutnam/NAL) and DIRTY FIRE (Diversion Books - originally published by PenguinPutnam/NAL.)

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The video book trailer for FALLOUT...

(click HERE to view it on YouTube)

NOTE: For full impact, view videos as "full screen" with audio on "MAX."




The FINAL EPIDEMIC video book trailer!


(click HERE to view it on YouTube)


The FIRE OF THE PROPHET video book trailer!

(click HERE to view it on YouTube)

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A Disclaimer For All Content Herein...

"Yeah: what he said. That's my story too, and I'm sticking to it..."

— Earl Merkel


A Explanation For All Content Herein...

Still, it's better than having your editor say "My DOG wouldn't eat your manuscript!"

(* * GOOGLE SEARCH KEYWORDS: earl merkel • editors • editors and kindly excuses for long editing 'delays' • humor • taste • tastes funny • tastes funny not as in 'humorous' • "thanks for your submission but it does not meet our current needs" * *)

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Earl's Radio Show VIDEO:

• View the rather humorous video "trailer" for "The Book, With Earl Merkel" radio show!

(Click here to watch it!)

(Click HERE to listen to a recent "The Book, With Earl Merkel" radio show)

(To hear additional episodes, search on that site's "On-Demand Episodes" list)

NOTE: Earl's show is on <ahem> temporary broadcasting hiatus... at least until he completes the now-overdue manuscript of his current work-in-progress, the upcoming Beck Casey thriller,


(Formerly working-titled "Prophet And Eagle," now wisely re-titled by my publisher.)

Publication is set for April 7, 2015

Keep checking this page for updates on both the book's promotions & events.

We'll also update Faithful Readers & Listeners on the radio show's hiatus!


• Radio Interview Of "Earl The Author" On "Book Talk With Ginger Dawn"

(Click here to listen!)


• A Sampling Of Book Reviews for FIRE OF THE PROPHET!

(Click here to read them!)


• "Dorothy Parker's Martini Countdown"

(Click here to read it!)

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Sage Observations (& Occasional Rantings)

From our "Every Dog Has His Day" -archives: Times have changed since the imfamous National Lampoon cover in 1973; today, the extortion notes are being written —and the gun held— by a different paw entirely.

Turnabout is, truly, fair play— but I already hear the chorus-from-critics:

"Fire away, Fido..."

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It's true: all readers, at least initially, DO judge a book by its cover.

So do authors.

I haven't always been thrilled by mine— but oddly, like most authors, I've come to channel my inner Prof. Henry Higgins... humming, when I see them on a bookstore shelf,"I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face."

It's not unlike running into your first girlfriend at a high school reunion...

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But speaking of covers, this one (from my new publisher, Diversion Books) roughly parallels showing off your current, smokin' hot Significant Other at that same reunion...

Of course, a truly shameless alumnus might be tempted to emulate that now-aged sexual showman, Hugh Hefner, and channel his own Inner Hedonist.

Not I, of course; never.

But if I did, my high school reunion chums might be treated to this Tempting Trio of fresh-faced escorts:

I have to admit, tho-- it would provide a whole new context to the phrase, "ecstacy between the covers..."

(For more on the books, click here)

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Yeah, we write.

And we write Rough Drafts; really, REALLY rough. Mess with us, and you'll get to meet Club Member Alice.

She's hell on typos, man...

But seriously, folks: I'm considering founding a combined "outlaw motorcycle club & writers' group," and offering franchises in cities around the country. At left (above) are our (proposed) "colors"-- of course, with "YOUR CITY HERE" as the bottom "rocker" ...a temporary expedient, until somebody in your locality antes up the franchise fee.

Motorcycle ownership is not mandatory --I think I can borrow a Vespa, but otherwise I'll be the outlaw low-life on the Schwinn-- but all Prospects should probably have written SOMEthing.

(We'll settle for you writing that franchise check, okay?)

As an incentive, members will be able to choose their own club-monikers.

Myself, I haven't decided between "Viper" or "First-Draft."

Send your own alias-choice along with your application (and that check, dammit).

First five applicants will receive a free "ORIGINAL" -member patch.

And a glue-on three-day-growth beard-wig— or a ready-to-wear merkin, should either your needs or your preferences tend toward that option...

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Great— just what I need: a mob of giggling, homicidal maniacs looking for a rafter over which to toss the noose...

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Suggested Additional Reading:

"Who The Heck Is This Guy??!?"

(Or just return to top of this page, and "click" on our other featured pages, in menu at left)