Special Offer!

Like all good authors, I ordered a ton of copies of my new book when it came out and guess what? Now I have to store all these books! Maybe you can help me store some of them…On YOUR bookshelf.

I’m offering a deal on an autographed copy of Take the Bai Road. For just $15, I’ll send you an autographed copy of the book. That covers the cost of the book and shipping. I’ll even inscribe it with a message to you or a loved one if you’re hoping to give it to someone as a gift.

This offer will only last while I have books to sell, so get cracking. Just send me an email to erikamitchellbooks@gmail.com with your mailing address and I’ll send you my PayPal info. Easy as that.

You guys, please help me find a place for these books. Trust me, they’ll look GREAT at your house :)

Onward, I Say!

Wow. I mean, right? Whoosh. Welcome to the other side of the book launch. It probably just looked like a lot (maybe too many) social media posts from your side, but over here it was like spinning ten plates with two hands. Except for yesterday. Everything leading up to yesterday was spinning plates. Yesterday? Actual launch day? That was something different.

As opposed to the frantic pace of promotion and marketing, yesterday was a nice, quiet retreat into Revisions Land on BAI TREASON.

What’s that? you cry. You cheated on TAKE THE BAI ROAD on its birthday?!

Not really. I’d just done everything I could do to spread the word about TAKE THE BAI ROAD, and the only thing left to do was let it happen (or not happen) and figure out what’s next. For me? What’s next is BAI TREASON, which is shaping up to be twisty and unexpected and fun in all the right ways.

I’m channeling Edna Mode from The Incredibles, darling, and there isn’t anything you can do about it.

I’ve always wondered if launching something is the same for movie stars as it is for authors. You work on this massive creative endeavor for months, then it’s out of your hands getting cleaned up and polished, and then, right when you’ve started working on something else, you’re supposed to get all excited to talk about this project you finished working on ages ago.

That’s not to say I’m not stoked about TAKE THE BAI ROAD. I totally am. It’s a fun book and I don’t even feel bad charging people money for it because it’s worth a few bucks and will definitely spice up your summer reading time (I recommend reading this one with a nice, cold beer under a shady tree when it’s really hot outside). I’m all for the Bai Road, so to speak, I’m just trying to make sure I don’t drown in promoting one project at the expense of doing what I love (writing a new project).

So here’s to TAKE THE BAI ROAD, which you can find here (among other places). May it find a happy place among the literal and digital bookshelves of the people who purchase, borrow, steal, and are gifted it.

Now onward, I say! To a mystery! To Ukraine! To BAI TREASON!

Behold, My Newest Baby!

Not many of you will remember this, but once upon a time I was a mommy blogger. I got my start in blogging by venting about my intolerable boss on an old Blogspot blog, and eventually moved up to the WordPress big leagues where I currently (happily) reside.

When I had the first of my two children, I shared pictures and tales from the new mother trenches. Doing so was a ton of fun, but when I was published for the first time I realized I’d really rather keep my children’s privacy in mind so I stopped posting baby pictures and started posting book covers, instead.

Posting book covers is as close as I come to publicly sharing photos of my progeny, and the two are not as different as you might think. For example:

  • Both a child and a new novel take WAY longer to produce than you’d like.
  • They both require research and intellectual flexibility.
  • I’ve been sleepless with worry over the fates of both my children and my books.
  • I’m inordinately proud of my kids and my books. They’re my best offerings to the world.
  • They all make me laugh when I’m least expecting it.

So to that end, will you please help me welcome my newest addition? Weighing in at 832 KB and a length of 242 pages, please welcome TAKE THE BAI ROAD to the book family, born today on July 5, 2017.

What can you expect if you buy this book? Well, in this way kids and books are different because I can tell you exactly what to expect from my book whereas my kids? Giant, goofy question marks.

TAKE THE BAI ROAD puts smartass Chinese-American spy Bai Hsu on the trail of the elusive Ghost Cartel, a shadowy organization moving product through cartel-controlled Mexican trade routes. It’s his most dangerous mission to date, pitting him against warring cartels without cover, resources, or backup. It’s an assignment that will test him, make him question himself, and put him at risk of losing everything that’s ever mattered to him.

According to Kirkus Reviews, ““Mitchell’s winning tale…is constantly in motion, taking Bai from one perilous predicament to the next…Fast-paced, invigorating, and entertaining.” (Click here for the full review, it’s awesome.)

Jeff Ayers, who reviewed the book for Suspense Magazine, had this to say: “What makes this series so pleasurable to read is Bai himself, his somewhat snarky attitude and self doubt make him more than the mere superhero jumping into the chaos to save the day.”

If you’d like to read a sample chapter before you buy, please click here.

If you’re sold, you can purchase your copy of TAKE THE BAI ROAD at any of these fine online retailers:

Thank you for supporting my writing by reading my work. I hope TAKE THE BAI ROAD gives you many enjoyable hours of entertainment!

Would You Look at the Size of this To-Do List?

Things have been quiet on the blog front lately because I’ve been living it up in southern California with my family. I limited myself to just checking in on emails sporadically because I knew July was coming soon and I’d need a break before things went into warp-speed.

What’s happening in July? you ask. Oh, just a  few things:

  • TAKE THE BAI ROAD is coming out July 5, 2017. (It’s actually available for pre-order already on Kobo! Click here to put cartels, conspiracy, and chaos into your summer reading rotation). Cue much promotion and marketing.
  • CLOSE TO THE BONES anthology is coming out July 15, 2017. The story I wrote for it, The Spy Who Came in From the East Coast, takes place after the events of TAKE THE BAI ROAD and deals with what happens when Bai goes home for the first time since he started working for the CIA. You’ll get to meet his family, learn what his actual name is, and see what happens when a spy tries to be a good son. The rest of the stories in this collection are a worthy addition to any beach reads list. Cue much promotion and marketing.
  • ThrillerFest in NYC, baby!!! I’m leaving July 10 for the East Coast, where I’ll be hanging out with friends, family, and fellow authors while I roam New York City and try not to faint from the heat and humidity.
  • BAI TREASON is in progress, and my goal is to finish revisions on it before the end of the summer (which really means I have to finish it in July, because August is crazy busy).

None of this mattered while I was on a beach watching my kids play in the waves, but now I’m home and WOULD YOU LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THIS TO-DO LIST?!

Would you do me a favor, oh faithful reader? Please buy my book and take it with you to a peaceful, shady location. Put your feet up, sip a cold beverage, and read my stories. It’ll make me really happy to know that somewhere, someone is relaxing with the stories I’ve put so much work into.

Wish me luck, friends. It’s been nice knowing you!

The Exploding Envelope Series: CIA Headquarters

Leading up to the release of Take the Bai Road, and the re-release of Bai Tide, I’ve started a blog series about various espionage terms. Today’s installment? An exploration of CIA Headquarters, which are actually pretty cool.

You know what’s annoying? The CIA won’t give authors a tour of their building. Wait. Scratch that. They will, if you’re a major headline-type author (I happen to know that several of the instructors at the 2014 ThrillerFest I went to got to go on a tour after the conference), but regular schmoes need not apply. I’ve asked the CIA’s entertainment liaison, just to confirm I’m not a big enough deal, yet. That’s a good goal, right, guys? To be a big enough deal as a writer to merit a tour of CIA Headquarters?

Anyway, the CIA’s Headquarters in Langley, Virginia are pretty cool. Not much of Bai Tide takes place there, but parts of Blood Money do, as do parts of Take the Bai Road. Here’s what you need to know about one of the more secretive workplaces in the country.

This is the Old Headquarters Building (or OHB for those in the know). It’s a feat of 1950’s architecture, the designers of which worked off DCI Allen Dulles’ vision of a college-like campus for officers to work in. It contains a whopping 1,400,000 square feet of space.

I’ve had to use a little creative license to imagine how that space is utilized. The CIA is understandably cagey about the layout of their building, but they do share some aspects of it. Like this awesome tile inlay on the lobby floor:

This seal is made of granite and measures sixteen feet across. The symbology of the seal is as follows: Eagle (Our national bird, it stands for strength and alertness) Sixteen-point star (Represents the convergence of intelligence data from around the world that all meets at a central point) Shield (Defense)

This is the Memorial Wall, which is on the north wall of the OHB lobby. Each of the 125 stars represents an intelligence officer who gave his or her life in service of the U.S., The criteria for inclusion on the wall is strict: “Inclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of an inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee’s Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards.”

That book you see in the middle of the Memorial Wall? It’s the CIA Book of Honor. It lists the names of 91 officers who died in service, and 34 stars to represent the lives of those whose identities must, even in death, remain a secret. Can you imagine passing this every day on your way in to work?

Also in the OHB is the CIA Library. It’s extensive, and makes a prominent appearance in Take the Bai Road. Imagine every research tool you’d need to understand or investigate something from a different part of the world and you’ll find it in there.

The OHB is also home to several thoughtful memorials, a portrait gallery of directors past, a gallery of U.S. presidents, a museum filled with important items from the CIA’s storied past, and an art collection. It’s massive, and from what I’ve read, each new employee gets a tour their first day.

Now this is the New Headquarters Building, or NHB. By the 1980’s the CIA was bursting at the seams so they built this. It is two six-story office towers built into a hillside behind the OHB and the entrance is actually on the fourth floor.

They weren’t kidding about the college campus. The entire Headquarters property occupies 258 acres of land, and much of it is landscaped like this.

This is just one of many art installations on the CIA campus. It’s called Kryptos. Found at the entrance of the NHB, it contains complicated codes that apparently still have not fully been cracked.

Believe it or not, there actually is a Starbucks in CIA Headquarters. The first chapter of Take the Bai Road takes place there, as a matter of fact. Don’t believe me? Read this article on “Store Number 1.”

If you want more, the CIA’s website has a photo tour of their headquarters that’s a lot of fun. Feel free to take a look and let me know what captured your interest!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, be sure to order a copy of one of my books for more in-depth looks at the fascinating world of espionage!