This is it. Today is the day. Seven years after I sat down and wrote the first words of what would become Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, I am now finally sharing the entire book with the world. Finally, you all get to join John Smith on his journey.
Punk-rock vampires, sports-obsessed goblins, insane demigods, exiled queens, and one much-beloved Toyota Corolla… It all starts here, and I’m hoping you all enjoy the book (and eventually the entire seven-book series) as much as I do.
As ever when releasing a book, I’m equal parts excited and worried. Excited to share a new world with all of you. Worried that this will be the book that finally convinces the populace at large that I am a danger and must be hunted down and done away with in as public a fashion as possible. Something with bonfires, perhaps?
(Worry is rarely rational.)
Every book is different. With See These Bones, I was worried that the language would turn some readers off1, and that Damian, the book’s broken and angry protagonist, would be a hard-sell. With Investigation, Mediation, Vindication, I worry that the world isn’t ready for my sense of humor, that a (much) lighter plot won’t resonate, or that when things get weird, they’ll get just a bit too weird for some readers. I even worry that the atypical urban fantasy cover will doom the book before it can even get started.
But worry is just fear in more comfortable clothing. If I’ve learned anything from this publishing journey, it’s that there’s a time to listen to fear, and there’s a time to press that Publish button and see what happens.
I did my part! Now it’s in your hands. Or will be. Soon. I hope.
Please note: The promised paperback version is coming… in fact, I pressed the publish button several days ago, but it still hasn’t cleared Amazon’s review process. A lot of Amazon’s KDP-related processes are taking much longer than usual these days.
So far, advance reviews have been great, and people seem to appreciate this lighthearted take on urban fantasy. Maybe there’s value in releasing a humorous book in the middle of a global pandemic?
To date, I’ve had ten advance reviews. Seven have been 5-star, one was 4.5 stars, one was 4 stars, and one was 3 stars. Even the 3-star review was fairly positive, so I can’t complain.
Here are a few snippets:
“Tullbane continues to show why he is a name to watch for in the world of urban fantasy – Investigation, Mediation, Vindication is markedly different from his other series (The Murder of Crows) but carries the same energy of humor, action and worldbuilding that made See These Bones so great. His characters feel so real and fleshed out, with each able to act as independent actors, rather than just plot devices.”- Reid Edwards
“There was something delightfully Joss Wheedon-esque about this action-packed urban fantasy novel, and I felt at home at once in author Chris Tullbane’s humor and set up. John Smith is quite literally an everyman character, his endearing nature and total lack of knowledge making him a perfectly naïve foil to the supernatural exploits at play.” – K.C. Finn
“Thoroughly enjoyable urban fantasy that I devoured in a day. I particularly liked that the main protagonist wasn’t some beefed-up superman with underlying emotional issues (seriously, the whole ‘you killed my father, prepare to die’ trope is getting old).” – Debbie H.
“Urban fantasy involving paranormal investigation, up there with the Dresden Files. Great world building and lots of unique and inspired characters that you want to know more about.” – Netgalley Reviewer 633998
“The dialogue in this book is just top. Love how they flow, how differently each character responds to John. They all feel so individual. Amazing.” – Tayler, Rebel Scribe (beware of spoilers!)
“[John’s] not charming, not handsome and not careful which makes his actions fun and most of what’s going on his head is super funny. ” – Dharshani R, (who also has a Youtube review!)
“…a delightful mash-up, pulling threads from various genres to bring to life a unique urban fantasy that blends vampires, magic, adventure, and comedy. The tone is primarily comedic, drawn out from John’s playful personality that takes even the most chaotic and at times violent moments and makes them humorous” – Liz Konkel
“There is never a dull moment in these pages. This is the type of book I would definitely pick up to read again and again.” – Jessica Barbosa
“This story was right in line with what I was looking for in terms of a humorous urban fantasy story. It started a little funnier than I expected but then that calmed down a bit as the story went on and the tension increased, but it kept that little sense of humor I love when reading.” – Brian M
When I released See These Bones, I thought it appropriate to also provide some content/trigger warnings to potential readers, as that book can be a lot to take at some points. Investigation, Mediation, Vindication has far fewer areas of possible concern, but I wanted to do the same for it anyway. This is a general and non-spoilery overview of possibly sensitive material found in the book:
Death, Blood, and Violence
While this is a humorous book, things do get real at certain points. There is both violence and death. The depictions are rarely graphic, but be forewarned. As can be expected from any book featuring vampires2, blood also has its role.
The book contains sexual situations and suggestive dialogue. These situations are largely played for humorous effect, but none of the characters in the book are monks. As one reviewer put it, “John is an idiot, he says some seriously stupid stuff and falls in love with every woman he meets but I’ll call him a loveable idiot. He just seems so normal…”
This book’s characters come from many walks of life, and represent different ethnicities, nationalities, races, and sexual orientations. In this day and age, I’d hope that diversity wouldn’t require a content warning, but it is what it is!
As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Investigation, Mediation, Vindication has far fewer expletives than See These Bones3. Even so, there is still profanity, most of it coming from the mind of John Smith himself. I don’t think it would be enough to merit an R-rating, even if movies were still being released theatrically, but you never know.
If any of the above throws up a red flag for you, please think twice about reading Investigation, Mediation, Vindication. Check out the sample chapters to decide for yourself if the book is right for you. My goal with every book is to entertain… I’d genuinely much rather you not read something4 that I write than be made upset by it.
And now I’m going to go unplug and wait for the release day dust to settle. I hope you enjoy the book! If you like it, please leave a review! And if this is your first exposure to my work, and you find yourself wanting something a little bit more serious and a lot darker, I have good news! See These Bones is always free-to-read on Kindle Unlimited, and I’ll be running a one-week $1.99 price promotion on the ebook version starting Friday!
Have a fantastic May and (if you celebrate it) Memorial Day weekend!
Investigation, Mediation, Vindication is available now in digital and print formats!