Tag Archives: Last Exit in New Jersey

A nice little surprise from BigAl’s Books and Pals…

Lately, I’ve found the more I avoid the Interwebs, the more I get done. And trust me, I’ve been busy, which explains why my appearances online, either in posts, FB, or anywhere else for that matter, have been brief, not to mention few and far between. Here in presently gloomy, blustery NJ, winds are whipping rain sideways — just the sort of weather I find delightfully motivating, and I’ve been hard at work at my own usual plotting, scheming, and mayhem. But around this time of the afternoon I usually pause for some tea and a quick glance on the web, and I was pleasantly surprised to find a very nice review for Last Exit  from BigAl’s Books and Pals pop up in my Google alert. While I may quietly chuckle at some of the scathing remarks Last Exit has gathered on Amazon, I’ll admit, I much prefer reading an intelligent, well-written review from a reader who seemed to appreciate that the story didn’t follow typical genre conventions and formulas.

Thanks, BigAl. I’m glad you enjoyed my book.

Mayhem and balls!

Andrew Donaldson of The Times in Johannesburg, South Africa, had something concise and very nice to say about Last Exit:


‘Last Exit in New Jersey’, by CE Grundler (Thomas & Mercer), R175

BRASH and antisocial, you’re going to love 20-year-old Hazel Moran, the heroine of Grundler’s debut. She drives trucks and sails boats but needs help with the people skills – especially when bad guys come looking for a relative about a missing trailer. Offbeat, darkly humorous fare with mayhem and balls.

Where did it go?

I unpublished Last Exit yesterday.

It was a strange feeling. Sales were starting to spike, both on the old edition and the pre-order March 6th edition, apparently fueled by Advance Read Copies currently out for review. It wasn’t something I had to do – it was my idea, and Jacque at Thomas & Mercer assured me that until the new edition was released I could keep selling the old one. But I felt that at this point, if an early buzz is building based on responses to the new edition, it was time to pull the original.

Getting closer…

I’d been looking forward to February, knowing that things would start to kick into high gear. And sure enough, just as I’m plotting and scheming my way into the start of book three, Evacuation Route, advance read copies, cover designs and release dates are coming in for the last two books. So here they are.

The very polished and re-edited edition of Last Exit in New Jersey will officially re-launch on March 6, 2012, and No Wake Zone is set for release on May 8, 2012.

Thomas & Mercer wanted to give Last Exit a new, grittier, more hard-boiled cover that hinted to the nautical angle of the story, and to keep a consistent look with both books. And while I was fond of my cover, with the actual Parkway sign for the title and hood of my old Dodge on the Parkway at 3 a.m., I think their design is a better match for the story.

Yesterday I received four concepts for No Wake Zone’s cover, and one really jumped out at me. I suggested a minor change that they are currently addressing, and I should have a finalized cover in the coming days, and we’ve finalized the promo text as well. So for all of you wondering just what happens after the conclusion of Last Exit, here’s a hint:

Hazel Moran, the tough truck-driving amateur sleuth introduced in C.E. Grundler’s debut novel, Last Exit in New Jersey, returns in this dark and twisting sequel.

Seven years ago, someone destroyed Jake Stevenson’s dreams when they murdered his fiancée, Helen Matthews and her family. Since then, tracking down the one responsible – finding them and making them pay — has consumed his life. Stevenson thinks the truth behind the killer’s identity and motive might still lie in the most elusive place – buried within the mind of a semi-mad man. But Stevenson may have found the means to access Hammon’s suppressed memories, and cleverly he draws Hazel into his hunt. Can she trust Stevenson, or does he have a hidden agenda? Hazel has her suspicions — but she has her own reasons for playing along.

Hammon and Annabel also question Stevenson’s motives. To protect Hazel from becoming the next casualty of a forgotten history now repeating itself, they must retrace a treacherous path of deceit and murder. But Annabel thinks Hammon is going about everything entirely wrong, and she’s decided it’s her turn to start calling the shots, whether Hammon likes it or not. And when, again, someone very close to Hazel dies, she’s pushed to the edge. The facts all point to suicide, but Hazel isn’t buying that. She’s determined to prove it was murder, and she’s closing in on answers, only to find someone is changing the questions. No one she trusts will hear her out; they’re all certain she’s in denial and becoming potentially unstable. But when has presenting a serious threat to herself and others ever stopped Hazel?

As her hunt travels from New Jersey to a Manhattan rave and a vacant construction site outside LaGuardia Airport, it’ll take all of her tough, fearless, no-nonsense smarts to navigate a complex and dangerous trail of clues. How far will some people go to hide the truth? And how far will she go for vengeance?

Author C.E. Grundler signs a two-book deal with Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint

Yes, kind readers, it’s true. Last Exit In New Jersey and No Wake Zone will be published in Spring 2012 under the Thomas & Mercer imprint. I would like to thank everyone out there who has helped me reach this point, from those of you who have to deal with me first hand as I walk around plotting murders to the growing number of readers who have enjoyed my story. I do wish to apologize; you’ll all have to wait just a bit longer for No Wake Zone. I originally planned to have it out by late fall of 2011, but my publisher (wow, did I just say that?!) will be putting the professional polish on both books for a Spring 2012 launch.

Being that it’s Thursday, you can find a bit more on this subject over at Write on the Water.

Pulp fiction!

last exit paperbacks
Yes, it’s official. Due to repeated requests, Last Exit In New Jersey is now available in PRINT! At last, all 250 pages of murder and mayhem neatly bound up in a beautiful full color cover, and no batteries required!

What Exit???

What's your exit

It seems Last Exit In New Jersey is all over the internet this morning. A while back I set my web-browser’s home page to display the Google results for any mentions of “Last Exit In New Jersey” within the last 24 hours. It gives me a handy snapshot of my online presence and alerts me if anyone is mentioning my book, as well as providing directions to local events and a certain funeral home in Fort Lee, but that’s what I get for using a prominent New Jersey road-sign as my book’s title. And as I went online this morning there it was:

“Last Exit in New Jersey: book explores the literary possibilities of the state”

Apparently NorthJersey.com was running an article about MY BOOK! They were running it in the Arts & Entertainment section.  Even better, this same article was being posted on some other Jersey related sites, such as The Sopranos.Com and New Jersey Gambling News.

Wow. Someone did an article about my book and I didn’t even know it. As Annabel would say, “How cool is that?” Pretty cool, indeed. But… wait a minute. That’s not my book.

The article is, in fact, about a book edited by Joe Vallese and Alicia A. Beale, entitled What’s Your Exit? A Literary Detour Through New Jersey. The book is a collection of contemporary fiction, poetry, and essays from forty-nine writers inspired by the Garden State.

What's Your Exit

Hmmm. Let’s see. I think I see the confusion here. Both books do have the words “Exit” and “New Jersey” in the title. Both are Jersey-centric, and both would likely appeal to similar audiences. But What’s Your Exit is an anthology celebrating the fine contemporary literature of our state, while Last Exit is a modern thriller done in a classic, hard-boiled noir style. Clearly two entirely different books.

So, for those of you who may be trying looking to find What’s Your Exit, they are located here on Amazon and they have an interesting blog as well at: http://nj.wordriot.org/ And if you are looking for the Last Exit In New Jersey, you can find it HERE.

last exit in njI should hope that the above links will help sort out any confusion between my book and What’s Your Exit. I can only imagine how I’d feel having an article run about my book with a headline that makes it sound like an entirely different but similar title. Who knows? Maybe the papers will do an article about Last Exit In New Jersey, and they can even title it “What’s Your Exit?” That only seems fair.