Tuesday, April 26, 2011


To celebrate the release of Carte Blanche, the new James Bond book by Jeffery Deaver, on 26 May 2011, publisher Hodder & Stoughton has partnered with Bentley Motors to create an exclusive Bentley special edition: the ultimate luxury edition of the highly anticipated new James Bond adventure. The 500 limited edition copies are available for pre-order from today, Tuesday 26 April 2011, exactly a month before publication date. Huge worldwide demand is anticipated for this new special edition after Bentley’s collaborative bespoke book for the previous Bond novel, Devil May Care by Sebastian Faulks, sold out within days.

Ian Fleming always admired the stately beauty of the Bentley and, as a result, James Bond owned three Bentleys over the course of the 14 original Bond novels. In Carte Blanche, award-winning thriller writer Jeffery Deaver reunites Bond with this classic marque. In this contemporary adventure, the agent will be behind the wheel of the beautifully sculpted and sophisticated new Bentley Continental GT.

The design team at Bentley worked closely with Hodder & Stoughton to capture the spirit of Bond and Bentley. A team of seven designers submitted proposals for the edition and the final design came from Bentley Senior Designer Brett Boydell. He comments: “As a designer it doesn’t get much better than a brief of ‘Carte Blanche’! The design features radical concepts that we feel reflect the name of the book, the ideas inherent in the Bond legacy, and the design principles we are passionate about.”

This special edition links the legendary hero with the iconic automobile in the most spectacular way. Each copy of the special edition is custom-produced to Bentley’s exacting standards and arrives inside a stunning metal case. The result is a striking and unique collector’s item. The special edition is strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide at a price of £1,000 each. They will be available to pre-order worldwide through www.007carteblanchebentley.com. The editions will be delivered after publication date.

The Design:

The case of the Bentley special edition is inspired by the deserts of Dubai – one of the exotic locations Bond finds himself in within the new novel – and the new Bentley Continental GT, Bond’s car of choice in the book.

Like the exterior of the GT, the case is made from polished aluminum, giving it a seamless and aerodynamic shape. More sculpture than car, it evokes the GT’s signature outline, its metal skin making it look like the car has risen from the desert sand. To ensure the finished case meets Bentley’s renowned standards of quality, an automotive supplier was employed to create the case to automotive standards using a specially commissioned machine.

In deference to the title Carte Blanche, the book itself is bound in white Nappa leather, the same outstanding grade of leather used in a Bentley’s interior, mimicking the interior of the GT with its contrast of white leather trim and Pillar Box red edging. The title, author’s name and the familiar wings of the Bentley logo are carefully embossed into the front and foil-blocked onto the spine. The text is printed in two colours, black and red, on sumptuous ivory paper, with endpapers of a matching red leather. The pages are expertly cut and trimmed to reflect the handcrafted techniques of the Bentley construction process. As with the other details of the special edition, the colours are carefully selected from the Bentley range. The book sits on a base of black anodised aluminium, chosen not to mark the white leather.

In one last twist, playing on the idea of an agent being given Carte Blanche, is one of the most dramatic features of the design: a die-cut bullet hole that pierces pages of the book. Hidden within the pages is a single polished 9mm bullet, individually marked with a number distinct to each copy, making the edition truly unique.

Brett Boydell adds: “Bond destroys as well as he creates and saves. It was this element I needed to convey in my design. The reader has the excitement of finding the bullet housed in the centre of the pages with the text positioned so that the reading experience is undisturbed. I hope they find the book as exciting to hold and look at as the unfolding drama itself.”


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Henry Cavill auditions for role of James Bond in 2005

While this is a blog devoted to the literary James Bond, every once in a while a bit of film Bond whatnot comes my way that I can't help but share (and, frankly, film stuff helps drive traffic to the site). This is one of those whatnots.

Henry Cavill auditions for the role of James Bond in 2005

This is a 100% authentic photo of Henry Cavill in 2005 auditioning for the role of James Bond in Casino Royale. The scene he is reading here is the casino banter between Bond and Xenia Onatopp from GoldenEye. While Cavill was only 22 when he shot this test, he looks damn good, and when I see this I can't help but think about Jeffery Deaver's new, younger 007 in Carte Blanche.

Of course, Cavill lost out to Daniel Craig and the rest is history. But no need to cry a river for Cavill. He was recently been cast as Superman in the upcoming Warner Bros. film, The Man of Steel.

"How James Bond Destroyed My Husband"

Currently on eBay there is a listing for the October 1966 issue of Ladies Home Journal containing the article, "HOW JAMES BOND DESTROYED MY HUSBAND" by "Mrs. Ian Fleming." I haven't read this, but from what I know about Anne Fleming, this could be a corker! However, I'm too cheap to pay the Buy It Now of $39.99. Over to you.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

CARTE BLANCHE launch day event in London announced

Jeffrey Deaver has announced more details of his upcoming UK appearances to promote Carte Blanche, including details of the launch day event in London. All of these events require tickets.

Thursday 26 May: London JUST ANNOUNCED
Times+ Meet The Author! Meet Jeffery Deaver, who will be in conversation with Michael Binyon, foreign policy specialist, The Times. This special publication day talk will give insights into Deaver’s work and the world of Bond. There will be a Q&A and book signing. Tickets required. Book here or call 00 44 (0)871 620 4027. Time: 7.30pm. Location: Congress Centre, 23-28 Great Russell Street

Friday 27 May: Oxfordshire
Wonderful Abingdon-based independent bookshop Mostly Books will host a unique event with Jeffery at the very futuristic Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron science facility on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. Entry to the event is strictly by ticketed admission only, and tickets must be booked in advance. Contact the store. Time: 7:30pm. Location: Diamond Light Source, Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire.

Saturday 28 May: Hay-on-Wye, Wales
Jeffery will be in conversation with Stephanie Merritt at the Sky Arts Studio at the Hay Festival, discussing the new novel, his relationship with Ian Fleming and his iconic hero.
Time: 2:30pm. Location: in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Tickets are required.

Rundown of CARTE BLANCHE UK special editions

Thanks to reader Nick and MSE Books, we now have a rundown of exactly what UK editions will be available for Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche.

  • Normal hardback not signed - 9781444716474 at £19.99. Available everywhere.
  • First edition signed - 9781444708325 - 1000 copies at £19.99. Available at select booksellers.
  • Indies Edition - 9781444738216 - 1500 copies at £19.99. Will have a different colored cover, signed and numbered. Available at select independent booksellers.
  • Waterstones Edition - 9781444737073 - 750 copies at £100. Available exclusively at Waterstones (and Hatchards).
  • Bentley Edition - 9781444725056 - 300 copies at £1,000. Click for details.

Carte Blanche will released in the UK on May 26 and in the U.S. on June 14, 2011.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How about a little feedback?

Hello out there in the dark. Don't be shy. How about giving us a little feedback via our oh-so easy-to-use comments feature? I've switched off all the restrictions so you don't need to provide an email address or name, I've even turned off word verification (I can never make those darn things out anyway). At least lay a check mark in one of those little boxes below our stories and let me know if you like what I've posted...or not. Hey, it's possible the bigwigs might even see your pearls of wisdom.


Trailer for Ian Fleming movie, AGE OF HEROES

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New CARTE BLANCHE trailer released on official site

A slick new trailer for Jeffery Deaver's Carte Blanche has been released on the official website.

View at www.007carteblanche.co.uk

IFP reveals new CARTE BLANCHE U.S. cover art details

Ian Fleming Publications have posted their website new details about the U.S. Carte Blanche cover art design. According to the site, the cover will feature "glossy 007 logo with metallic silver embossed text on the cover and spine."

That's good news. I confess I'm not over the moon with this cover (and I am "A #1 Bond Fan Easy To Please"), but I do think it will look much better in the flesh, especially with these metallic accents.

IFP also teases that the official U.S. Carte Blanche website is coming soon. That's just more good news. I was starting to think we might not get a U.S. site.

Carte Blanche will be released in the U.S. on June 14, 2011.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Beware: CARTE BLANCHE markups begin

Currently there is a seller on eBay offering pre-orders on the Carte Blanche Limited Edition for £290 ($472). Of course, what the seller doesn't say is that the book is readily available for only £100 from the source: Hatchards (as I reported last week), and all he's doing is pre-ordering the book for his suckers...I mean, buyers.

Normally I wouldn't begrude someone turning a profit, but I think this markup is pretty egregious, and the seller is clearly taking advantage of how little information is out there about this special edition. But that's why we're here!

Until the book is sold out, get your Carte Blanche Limited Edition direct from Hachards for £100 (I've pre-ordered mine). After that, it's every collector for himself.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HMSS interviews Jeffrey Deaver

The superb HMSS Weblog has scored an interview with Bond author Jeffrey Deaver, who discusses what we can expect in his highly anticipated new James Bond thriller, Carte Blanche.

"This book as every other book of mine will have an emotional content to it. A thriller does no good if you do not feel the book in your heart. And you do not feel it in your heart if the characters are cliched or cardboard. I have created sympathetic characters on the good side that have faults, and I have created villains who are to me unique. I have not ever seen any characters like the villains I have created, and yet that resonate with some truth. They will not be cliches. They will be horrific and yet there will be a reason why they are horrific."

CLICK HERE to read the full interview at HMSS.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gardner books also getting eBook release

More good news about the upcoming re-release of the John Gardner James Bond novels. According to the Orion website, the first five Gardner titles, which are due to be released as hardcovers in June and July, will also see publication as eBooks.

Visit my new page Gardner Renewed for information, release dates, and links to all the John Gardner reprints from Orion and Pegasus.

CARTE BLANCHE audiobook cover

We have some more Carte Blanche cover art to show off today. This time it's the cover for the unabridged UK audiobook from Hodder & Stoughton that will be released along with the hardcover on May 26, 2011.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Link: New book BOND ON BOND to be published in 2012

Graham Rye's OO7 Magazine Online reports that a new book by Sir Roger Moore (my personal favorite 007) will be published in September 2012 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Bond film franchise.

Click the headline for all the details at OO7 Magazine Online.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

First CARTE BLANCHE plot teaser!

The first Carte Blanche plot teaser has appeared on the website of U.S. publisher Simon & Schuster and on Amazon. It's getting exciting!

“The face of war is changing. The other side doesn’t play by the rules much anymore. There’s thinking, in some circles, that we need to play by a different set of rules too . . .”

James Bond, in his early thirties and already a veteran of the Afghan War, has been recruited to a new organization. Conceived in the post-9/11 world, it operates independent of MI5, MI6 and the Ministry of Defense, its very existence deniable. Its aim: To protect the Realm, by any means necessary.

A Night Action alert calls James Bond away from dinner with a beautiful woman. Headquarters has decrypted an electronic whisper about an attack scheduled for later in the week: Casualties estimated in the thousands, British interests adversely affected.

And Agent 007 has been given carte blanche.

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver will be published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK on May 26, 2011, and by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. on June 14, 2011.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Confirmed! CARTE BLANCHE has a new cover

I've now confirmed that the mysterious red letter artwork that has been appearing online is, indeed, the new UK cover art for Carte Blanche. I like it! Here's a nice juicy high res version for you to enjoy.

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver will be published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK on May 26, 2011, and by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. on June 14, 2011.

Thanks to Alice at Coleman Getty.

CASINO ROYALE published 58 years ago today

It was 58 years ago today on April 13, 1953, that British publisher Jonathan Cape released Ian Fleming’s first novel, Casino Royale, which introduced the world to secret agent James Bond 007. Happy birthday, James.

Casino Royale first edition from my own collection

First look at the By Royal Command U.S. paperback

Here’s a first look at the U.S. paperback edition of Charlie Higson’s By Royal Command, due for release on May 10, 2011.

No extras or surprises inside, just another good quality paperback from Disney Books that fits in nicely with their other releases. Cover art is the same artwork by Owen Richardson that was used on the hardcover last year, but with a quote from The New York Times Book Review added below Charlie’s name.

The By Royal Command U.S. paperback can be pre-ordered now at Amazon.com.

Monday, April 11, 2011

New CARTE BLANCHE cover art?

Lately this image of new Carte Blanche cover art has been appearing online. First it showed up at the end of the book trailer, now it has appeared on Jeffery Deaver's official website. The new art has the same smoke motif, but it features red type face, the 007 logo, and says "The New James Bond Novel" instead of "A James Bond Novel."

New artwork (left) and the artwork revealed in January (right)

I'm trying to confirm whether this is, indeed, new art for the UK edition. Stand by.

UPDATE: While I haven't yet been able to get official confirmation from any of the powers-that-be, both Amazon and the Hodder websites have swapped out the grey cover for this new red one, so it's starting to look pretty good that this is the new cover.

UPDATE 2: Confirmed! Carte Blanche has a new cover

First Jeffery Deaver CARTE BLANCHE book tour details

Jeffery Deaver has posted on his official website the first details of his upcoming Carte Blanche book tour.

Thursday 26 May: London
To mark the night of publication of Carte Blanche, Jeffery Deaver will be giving his first public talk at a central London location. Full details will be released shortly so watch this space

Friday 27 May: Oxfordshire
Wonderful Abingdon-based independent bookshop Mostly Books will host a unique event with Jeffery at the very futuristic Diamond Light Source, the UK's national synchrotron science facility on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.
Time: 7:30pm.
Location: Diamond Light Source, Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire

Saturday 28 May: Hay-on-Wye, Wales
Jeffery will be in conversation with Stephanie Merritt at the Sky Arts Studio at the Hay Festival, discussing the new novel, his relationship with Ian Fleming and his iconic hero.
Time: 2:30pm.
Location: in the Brecon Beacons National Park

June 15-24, 2011, USA Tour for Carte Blanche
Details to come.

July 13-22, 2011, Australia and New Zealand Tour for Carte Blanche
Details to come.

September 2011, Italy Tour
Details to come.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hatchards offering CARTE BLANCHE limited edition

Hatchards Books in London is offering a Limited Signed & Boxed Version of Jeffery Deaver's upcoming James Bond novel, Carte Blanche. The book can be pre-ordered now on the Hatchards website or by calling 020 7439 9921 and asking to speak to their Hardback Fiction Department. The book is limited to 750 copies and costs £100.

Thanks to Nick for the alert.

Link: Ian Fleming and Agatha Christie lead list of UK's top-earning crimewriters

Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, has beaten Agatha Christie to the title of most successful – and highest earning – British crime writer of all time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Watch the new CARTE BLANCHE trailer!

SilverFin Graphic Novel nominated for 2011 Eisner Award

SilverFin: The Graphic Novel by Charlie Higson and Kev Walker has been nominated for a 2011 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the category of Best Adaptation from Another Work.

Named for acclaimed comics creator Will Eisner, the awards are in their 23rd year of highlighting the best publications and creators in comics and graphic novels. The nominees, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, reflect the wide range of material being published in comics and graphic novel form today.

SilverFin: The Graphic Novel was first released in the UK in 2008. Paperback and hardcover editions where released in the U.S. last year by Disney/Hyperion Books.

Congrats to all involved!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Link: Dutch Carte Blanche cover art

Dutch fansite James Bond Nederland has scored an exclusive first look at the Dutch edition of Jeffery Dever's, Carte Blanche. But you'll have to go to their site to see it, so just click the headline and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

CONFIRMED: New Gardner paperbacks to include Licence To Kill and GoldenEye

Great news! Ian Fleming Publications has confirmed that the Orion paperback reprints of the John Gardner James Bond novels will include his two novelizations, Licence To Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995).

Original UK paperback editions of Licence To Kill and GoldenEye

CLICK HERE for more information on the upcoming John Gardner James Bond reprints in both the UK an U.S.

Australia and New Zealand will get Carte Blanche May 26

Jeffrey Deaver has announced on his Facebook page that CARTE BLANCHE will be released in Australia and New Zealand on May 26, the same day as the UK release. The U.S. will get the new Bond book on June 14.

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Gardner paperbacks hit Amazon...including Licence To Kill!

Several of the new Orion paperback editions of John Gardner's James Bond novels have appeared for pre-order on Amazon.co.uk. A big surprise is that John Gardner's 1989 novelization of the film Licence To Kill is listed among them!

IFP announced last week that "all fourteen" John Gardner books would be reprinted, meaning his original work. But Gardner also penned two novelizations, Licence To Kill (1989) and GoldenEye (1995), and while not confirmed, it certainly appears at least LTK will be included in the set. It's logicial that GoldenEye will be released as well, but so far the Amazon listings only go up to 1990s Brokenclaw.

These new paperbacks will feature all new cover art. Here's the release schedule as it currently shows on Amazon (but know this is subject to change):

February 4, 2012:
Licence Renewed
For Special Services

May 19, 2012:
Role of Honour

August 2, 2012:
Nobody Lives For Ever
No Deals, Mr. Bond

November 8, 2012:
Win Lose or Die

January 3, 2013:
Licence To Kill

CLICK HERE for more information on the upcoming John Gardner James Bond reprints in both the UK an U.S.

UPDATE: Licence To Kill and GoldenEye now confirmed.

RUMOR: Carte Blanche super special edition in the works?

Classify this one firmly in the rumor category (and apologies if I'm just spreading a false rumor -- Carte Blanche news has been scant and I'm getting antsy), but a member of the Absolutely James Bond forums recently went in search of information about any upcoming Carte Blanche special editions and has posted this intriguing nugget:

"I asked at my local bookshop a couple of weeks ago. They didn't know for sure, but suspected that a version - possibly signed by a JB actor - might appear for about £1,000. They also seemed to think that something like that was more likely to end up with one of the "chain" bookshops, such as Waterstones, rather than a local independent book seller."

We all remember that Sebastian Faulks' Devil May Care had several special editions, including the spectacular Bentley Limited Edition which sold for $1,500, so a super special edition of Carte Blanche would not be out of the question.

Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver will be released in the UK on May 26 and in the U.S. on June 14, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


In April of 1981 James Bond returned in John Gardner's License Renewed. The book was first published in the U.S. by Merek (a division of Putnam). It would be published in May in the UK by Jonathan Cape. The novel saw James Bond updated and transported, un-aged into the 1980s. It became a New York Times Bestseller and spawned a series of 14 original books by Gardner (click here for details on new reprints of all 14 books).

License Renewed proved that James Bond could have a literary life beyond his creator, Ian Fleming. That legacy continues today with the soon-to-be-released Carte Blanche by Jeffery Deaver. But today we look back and remember the first James Bond continuation novel and novelist to launch a successful new series. It was Gardner, John Gardner, and the book was...

The James Bond novels by John Gardner:

  • Licence Renewed (1981)
  • For Special Services (1982)
  • Icebreaker (1983)
  • Role of Honor (1984)
  • Nobody Lives Forever (1986)
  • No Deals, Mr. Bond (1987)
  • Scorpius (1988)
  • Win Lose or Die (1989)
  • Licence To Kill (1989) - novelization
  • Brokenclaw (1990)
  • The Man From Barbarossa (1991)
  • Death Is Forever (1992)
  • Never Send Flowers (1993)
  • SeaFire (1994)
  • GoldenEye (1995) - novelization
  • Cold Fall (1996)

Friday, April 1, 2011

The return of Charlie Higson

Looks like taking a break has put Charlie Higson back in the mood to talk about James Bond. Charlie recently gave a terrific interview to the blog ARRRG! in which he talks exclusively about 007. There's some really wonderful stuff here that I've never heard before. A sampling:

"It was understood from quite early on that I wasn’t going to try to ape Fleming’s style. I was going to tell the same type of story that he told, using the same types of character, the same structure and occasionally some of the same vocabulary. When you look closely at his books these things jump out at you. He loved, for instance, to use the word crouching to describe things like mountains, and for some reason he was obsessed with the colour violet, so, really for my own amusement, I used some of his vocab in my books. I knew, though, that I couldn’t copy Fleming’s style, and it is that style which in many ways gives the books their immense readability and their charm and character. Bond is fairly basic and blunt, there’s not a lot of depth to him, all the character of the books comes from Fleming’s narrative voice. “That smoky Fleet Street drawl” as it has been described, and so in some ways Bond takes on the character of Fleming. I wanted my books to be Charlie Higson books in the spirit of Fleming but not the style. It would have been too hard to maintain over five books, and might have alienated kids. I wanted my books to speak to a contemporary young reader and I wrote them in my normal style – stripped back, ‘hard-boiled’, unfussy – which I think works well for kids. That being said, they were James Bond books and I knew they had to have the all the adventure and the romance of James Bond, so, to get me in the mood, I played a lot of John Barry music when I was writing. It really helps with a nice action sequence."

Click to read the entire interview at ARRRG!

Charlie also recently tackled the controversy over Hollywood's plans to reboot Agatha Christie's Miss Marple in the guise of...Jennifer Garner? Charlie gets a great joke off in the this one -- made all the more funny because it's absolutely true. Give that a listen at the BBC News website.

Charlie is currently finishing up the second draft of his new Enemy series book, The Fear (cover right). It's due for release in September and can be pre-ordered on Amazon.co.uk.

The paperback edition of his second book, The Dead, will be released in the UK next week. The U.S. edition of The Dead will hit stores in hardcover on June 14 (same day as Carte Blanche).

Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any immediate plans for him to pen more Young Bond novels.

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