Is it News of the Weird, or just Weird News?

An anonymous reader who asked not to be mentioned by name (Hi Anonymous!) sent me a question that I have to say is peculiar.

Back in the day Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell inked a deal to coauthor a book together. It appeared, disappeared, and reappeared from Publishers Marketplace. Anonymous read the sample chapter online at Evanovich’s site earlier this year, liked it, and went back to look for the promised chapter two on July 1 – but it’s gone.

Speaking of disappear, only this time, no reappear:

Not only the excerpt, but all mention of the book is gone, save for a mention in a newsletter and a reference here and there. First anonymous wondered if she was crazy, but no, there were definitely plenty of mentions of the book last time anonymous visited So anonymous went hunting.

If you type “no chance” into a Google search, there’s remnants of quite a few pages – but they’re all 404s. Meanwhile, Cannell used to have it on his news page, home page and appearances page – those mentions are gone, too. There is still a page for the book on his site, and you can download an excerpt from his site but the majority of the references are also gone. Mentions of the book that appear in Google searches of Cannell’s site aren’t there when the actual page is accessed. Very odd, noted anonymous.

Amazon still has the book listed with a release date of October 2, and Cannell still has a page about the book itself, but over in Gone.

So what’s up with that? Anyone got any info for Anonymous? Is this a product of Evanovich’s August 1 site redesign launch, or is something up with the book? 


News, The Link-O-Lator

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    plaatsch says:

    Absolutely no idea, but I was looking at the amazon page and under “author biography” it doesn’t mention Evanovich.

  2. 2
    Jenny says:

    There’s still some info up on the book if you look on the latest Plum newsletter on page 2.  It talks a little bit about the book.

  3. 3
    iffygenia says:

    You know about Google’s cache, right?  It’s why they say what goes on Google stays on Google.

    When you get a Google result like that, click on the “Cached” link.  I get cached results for 3 pages:

    No Chance

    In case you haven’t heard Janet has teamed up with long-time friend Stephen Cannell to write a new series of adventure novels where the stakes are high, and the action fast.

    Captain Scurvy’s No Chance Book Report

    “Thar be rumors afloat about a man going by the name of Benjamin Cannon. Six feet tall he is, with charms no woman can resist. The tales goes that he’s wanted for crimes committed in other ports.

    Last he was seen, he was lounging ‘bout in his underwear, wearing the patience of a young lass named Sidney Picket. She be getting involved in things not good. Draggin him with her; deep into corruption, international intrigue and piracy.

    Mark my words. Thar be trouble in the waters ahead.”

    No Chance Cover

    No Chance jacket cover

    From New York Times bestselling authors Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell comes the first book in a new series of high-stakes novels…

    The O.C.-Orange County, California. Land of luxury yachts, exotic cars, seaside estates, and extravagant dreams. Also home to Benjamin Cannon and Sidney Picket.

    Cannon is six feet of ex-Special Forces muscle and boy-next-door charm. With his DIA career in the can and no pension in his future, Cannon is spending some time living on the Texas Goose, a 230-foot yacht owned by oil tycoon Quentin Gosling. He’s sorting out life’s priorities, attending the local community college.

    Okay, so an art history class isn’t the most ambitious move, but it’s ambition nonetheless. Only thing is it doesn’t register as ambition to Picket, the no-nonsense ex-Naval officer captaining the Goose. To her, it seems a lot like goofing off-even if she finds Cannon more than a little attractive.

    Cannon arrives in Newport Beach shortly after Quentin’s brand-new 60-foot Warwick sloop has gone missing. Soon Cannon is up to his ears with Sidney Picket in a fast-paced plot of corruption, international intrigue, and piracy. Plus some cussing, killing, foreplay, and emotional justice, not to mention a whole lot of fun and a kick-ass ending.

    This is not just another coauthored book. Janet Evanovich and Stephen J. Cannell, the minds that created Stephanie Plum and Jim Rockford, team up to create a book of hard-hitting action, compelling characters, and unique humor. Hot damn, skipper, we love it when a plan comes together.

    A Cannon and Picket Novel
    by Janet Evanovich
    Stephen J. Cannell
    Stephen Cannell’s Site:

    Probable Price: U.S. $26.99 /CAN. $36.95
    Page Count: 320
    ISBN-10: 0446582557

    Grand Central Publishing

    Pages 1-10

    Chapter One

    Sidney Picket always ironed her underwear. It didn’t take long because there wasn’t a whole lot to iron. Little scraps of silk and lace that almost always emerged from the washer-dryer wrinkle free. Sidney ironed the scraps no matter because life is difficult enough without starting your day in less than perfect underwear. After all, you never know when you could be in a car crash or meet Mr. Right. And if either of those things should happen a girl wants her lime green thong to be ready.

    Two weeks ago Sidney was promoted to captain of The Texas Goose, a 200-foot giga yacht owned by billionaire Texas oilman Quentin Gosling, known coast-to-coast, far and wide and in People magazine as The Q. She’d celebrated with a champagne toast and wished herself luck. Unfortunately, she hadn’t specified what sort of luck, good or bad, and twenty-four hours later Sidney learned Benjamin Cannon, an ex-commando with enough negative PR to qualify for the Marine corps rat brigade, was going to be living on board her ship as The Q’s special guest… indefinitely.

    Cannon was scheduled to momentarily drop out of the sky, not by parachute or divine intervention, but on The Q’s private plane. And Sidney was waiting to greet him, determined to treat him in a professional and accommodating manner. No matter that he was a freeloading, macho, nut case.

    Standing in the ladies room of the private jet center at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport, Sidney examined her reflection in the mirror. She was wearing her dress whites, and the pristine white shirt was wrinkled. The shirt had been perfect when she left the ship, but the seatbelt on the ride to the airport had caused a wrinkle. Sidney tugged at the bottom of the shirt, but the wrinkle held fast. Like Cannon, an annoying blemish in the otherwise excellent complexion of her life.

    She exited the ladies room and walked across the marble floor, toward the huge front windows of the jet center. MillionAir. That’s what the owners called it. Both clever and horrible all at the same time. The name always dragged a grimace out of Sidney. As did the staff, dressed to look like Ritz Carlton bellhops complete with fringed shoulder boards, crisp blue uniforms and a strange, superior, yet here-to-please attitude.

    Sidney pulled up next to Montana Blackmore, also in dress whites. Everyone called her Blackie, and at six foot she was half a head taller than Sidney. Her ivory skin was decorated with gothic tattoos. Her not quite shoulder length black hair was electric with energy all its own, a couple watts short of feral jungle woman. She was thirty-seven. She’d graduated at the top of her U.S. Merchant Marine Academy class, and at graduation Blackie had vowed never to live on land. Maybe a few days in Vegas, but that was it.

    Blackie looked over. “Are you perfect now?”

    Sidney blew out a sigh. “I can’t help it. I was born with the neat gene.” And when you were saddled with a name like Sid Picket you learned early not to look stupid or sloppy.

    The Q’s blue and white Boeing Business Jet made its final turn off the base leg at the end of the field. Slightly smaller that a 737, it was designed to carry forty people, but The Q had completely redesigned the interior.

    “Have you seen the bedroom on that sucker,” Blackie said, echoing Sidney’s thoughts. “Steam shower in the bathroom and a full make-up table with three sided lighted mirrors.”

    Blackie paused while they both considered the largely unused make-up table. It was unused because Felicity Gosling had filed for divorce before The Q even took delivery of the plane.

    “I wouldn’t want to be married to The Q,” Blackie said. “But I wouldn’t mind having the make-up table.”

    With full flaps and wheels extended, the jet began a graceful drop, until it left about four pounds of chirping rubber on the main runway

    The hard body from the baggage shed walked to the window and stood beside Sidney. “You’re looking good, Ms. Picket,” he said. “Looks like you’ve been doing Iron Man workouts.”

    “Just like always,” Sidney said. “What’s the word?”

    “Word is you can pull the Hummer through the field gate.”

    The name on the hard body’s tag said Doug, but Sidney thought of him as Curly. A mental reference to the fact that his head was shaved as smooth as a billiard ball. He was a young guy with lots of cheesy chest hair and his shirt unbuttoned halfway to his navel to give all the tittering beach bunnies a better look at his awesome pecs. Another Studly-Do-Right working Orange County’s target rich supply of wealthy female desperados. Cripes, Sid thought, where do these creepy guys come from? It was like someone tilted the country, and they all rolled to Orange County.

    “I think he likes you,” Blackie said, checking out Curly’s departing tight ass. “You should take him for a test drive. He looks eager to please. And God knows you haven’t got any one else on the hook.”

    Sidney did an eye-roll. “The guy’s a professional gigolo. And even if he wasn’t, he’s not part of my life’s plan.”

    Sidney’s plan had started to come together when she was promoted from second mate to captain. The plan was actually detailed on two lists. Career, a top two hundred finish in the Hawaiian Iron Man, and diving off Thailand were all on Sidney’s primary list of desired accomplishments. More domestic accomplishments like marriage and a family fell into a largely ignored secondary list.

    “Your plan sucks,” Blackie said. “You need some fun in your life. And you can’t plan fun. Like last week, I was walking down the street, and I said to myself, Blackie what you need is some fun. And the next thing I knew I had a nipple ring. I didn’t plan to get a nipple ring …it just happened. Fun is like a nipple ring. It just happens.”

    “I have lots of fun in my life. I have fun all the time.” Sidney retrieved the car keys from her pocket and turned toward the exit. “Just not today. Today I have multiple problems.”

    “What besides bad boy Ben?”

    “The Q bought a sixty foot Warwick sloop a couple weeks ago, and it’s dropped off the radar. Roger was bringing it up from Cabo San Lucas. He called in yesterday, and now I can’t reach him. I called the Coasties, and they can’t reach him either. And then there’s Buster. He’s missing too.”

    “Gee, big surprise there. Buster is always missing,” Blackie said.

    They pushed through the double glass doors of the jet center and crossed the lot to The Q’s yellow Hummer pickup.

    “This car is as subtle as a table server at Hooters,” Blackie said, sliding onto the passenger seat. “It’s a perfect fit for Orange County.”

    Sidney had chosen the Hummer from The Q’s twenty-vehicle car collection because it had a big flatbed. Besides Ben Cannon, Sidney was also picking up engine parts for The Q’s ship.

    She pulled onto the field, parked and watched from the front seat as the Boeing Jet taxied toward her. It was a big bastard. Wide, with two huge commercial-sized nacelles—rich guy talk for a jet engine. She could barely hear over the screaming, whistling racket. The ramp captain finally waved his red wands, directing the plane to the spot he wanted, then crossed them and the pilots shut down both engines. Silence.

    The hydraulic door opened and the pilot, Lyle Avery, came down the boarding ladder steps. Sixty-five and soft spoken, he moved toward the Hummer.

    Sidney thought Avery was perfectly named. Not only did his name suit him, but it was a four-point-oh name for a pilot. Behind Avery was the new co-pilot. Bill-something.

    Avery approached the Hummer, leaned in through the open window and smiled. “Howdy, ladies. How’s it feel to finally be in charge of that big floating hotel, Sidney?”

    “Great, Lyle. We’re kickin’ ass and shinin’ brass.”

    Sidney watched the open hatch of the plane for Quentin’s guest to appear. Nothing. What on earth was he doing in there? “So where’s our big deal?” she finally asked Lyle.


    “Commander Benjamin Cannon?”

    “Didn’t you get the message? Cannon left a voicemail in The Q’s New York office. He was going to get out here on his own. Personal business of some kind. It sounded to me like he was going to meet you here at the airport.”

    No one had given Sidney the message. Not the New York office and not Benjamin Cannon. How Cannon managed his transportation was his business, but miscommunication was not how Sidney ran her well-oiled ship. For sure not on her trial watch.

    “Uh oh,” Blackie whispered to Sidney. “I know that look on your face. This could get ugly. Your forehead is wrinkled up in a frown, and we all know how you hate wrinkles.”

    Sidney cut her eyes to Blackie.

    “Well you do,” Blackie said.

    “I know I’m a little anal about wrinkles,” Sidney said. “And thank you for not mentioning the wrinkle in my shirt.”

    Blackie squinted at the shirt. “I don’t see a wrinkle.”

    Sidney pointed it out. “Here.”

    “That’s not a wrinkle,” Blackie said. “It’s a crease.”

    “It’s a wrinkle.”

    “Hey Lyle,” Blackie said. “Is this a wrinkle or a crease?”

    “It’s a crinkle,” Lyle said. “I’ll get these crates loaded into the back of the Hummer.

    Ten minutes later Sidney secured the last crate. She hauled herself up behind the wheel, and Blackie climbed into the back so she could keep an eye on her machine parts. Sidney wheeled the Hummer around and approached the exit to the airfield. A taxi pulled up on the other side of the gate, and Sidney and Blackie watched through the wire fence as the back door opened and a tall, perfectly proportioned guy got out of the cab and turned to pay the driver. He was wearing a loose T-shirt that showed cut arms and wide, muscled shoulders. His hips were slim and his ass was perfect. His faded jeans were ragged at the hem, breaking on ratty sneakers.

    “Whoa,” Blackie said, leaning forward. “Is that him? This guy is hot.”

    Sidney had to agree. And he wasn’t hot in a creepy way like Curly. Benjamin Cannon was built from the best in the gene pool. Sidney’s hands-on romantic experience was on the skimpy side, but she knew hot when she saw it. She also knew trouble when she saw it. And this was trouble. Cannon was the lollipop that gets stuck in your hair. Good looking and good for you are two different things.

    “That’s him,” Sidney said. “He was all over network news when he rescued The Q and single-handedly created an entire international incident.”

    “Do you know anything about him?”

    “I had a Navy friend pull Cannon’s Service Action Report. He’s a University of Texas and Oxford graduate who spent ten years in the black, working for the spooks at the Defense Intelligence Agency, doing God only knows what. According to my contacts at the Pentagon, Cannon told his DIA handlers he was planning to hang out on the Texas Goose for a while and take courses at Orange Coast College.”

    * * *

    Ben Cannon walked around to the back of the cab and retrieved a Special Forces service-issued modular, lightweight, load-carrying equipment pack from the trunk. Every time he lifted the damn thing it depressed him. All his earthly possessions in one cubed out backpack. Seemed at his age, he should have accumulated more. In his other hand he carried a little leather doctor’s bag. He looked through the closed gate at the woman sitting at the wheel of the yellow Hummer and thought she had to be his escort to the boat. Her eyes were narrow, and her hands had a death grip on the top of the steering wheel. Cannon once took a course at Quantico on non-verbal communication, but he didn’t need it to read this one. A disgruntled woman, especially a beautiful one, was something that registered on every guy’s radar. The gate to the Tarmac finally opened, the Hummer rolled through, stopped at idle, and the driver got out.

    Cannon lugged the backpack and the doctor’s bag over, and extended his hand to the woman waiting beside the Hummer. “Ben Cannon,” he said, giving her his best sixteen-pearl chick defroster smile, adding the extra eye twinkle to guarantee results. A technique he’d been using on pretty girls with spectacular results since high school.

    Nothing. No reaction. The chick defroster bombed. Cannon couldn’t believe it. Did she actually frown?

    “Nice to meet you,” she said, taking his hand with a firm but brief grip. Minimum smile. Silky but not especially friendly voice. “I’m from The Texas Goose. I’m your transportation.”

    “Sorry if I kept you waiting, but I saw the plane landing, so it can’t have been too long. I hope you’re not angry.”

    “Not at all, Commander.”

    “I’m not a commander anymore,” Cannon said, keeping the smile going. “How ‘bout just Ben.”

    “Okay, Ben it is. I’m Sidney.”

    They stood there for a beat, and Cannon was thinking she was even better up close. Trim, athletic body with short, highlighted, auburn hair and jade eyes the remarkable color of blue-green, barrier reef water… with tiny daggers being thrown from them. Just his type. But then just his type covered a wide range of women.

    NO CHANCE Chapter One, Part Two coming July 1!

  4. 4
    iffygenia says:

    Oh.  Now I see you’d already found the excerpt.

    “men75”… how did it know?

  5. 5

    I was flipping through my Costco newsletter in a haze of fatigue yesterday and the article on her mentioned an upcoming Series with Cannell.  That’s the July 2007 newsletter, so I guess by the time it went to print the series was still on.

  6. 6
    Megan says:

    I bet you could ask Alex at janet @  She’s nice and if anybody has the latest scoop- it’d be her. megan

  7. 7
    taybug says:

    I was going to make some snide and funny comment about calling in CSI on the case, but who needs them when you have iffygenia on your research team! Iffygenia is an iffin’genious at searching the interwebs.

  8. 8
    Jenifer says:

    I did read the second part of the excerpt on July 1, but yep, it appears to all be gone now too.  It seems Alex has been extremely busy lately – I know there was a book tour for the release of Lean Mean Thirteen, but the “Ask Janet and Alex” page hasn’t been updated in about a month (usually 2-3 times per week), so I’m guessing an emailed question to Alex might not get answered for a while.  Hopefully we’ll know something more on August 1 if not before.  I was looking forward to that book (well, two books really, since the second in the series was scheduled for next year).

    Then again, her co-authored book with Leanne Banks (Hot Stuff, April 2007) was supposed to have been the first of a series, and is now listed as a single title, so maybe the co-authoring stuff isn’t going as well as planned?

    Here’s to hoping everything is fine in Evanovich-land, and that the disappearance of the book is just a fluke due to site restructuring.

  9. 9
    Charlene says:

    Probable Price: U.S. $26.99 /CAN. $36.95

    Are they serious? First of all, $36.95 for a BOOK? Second of all, have they not heard that the Canadian dollar is almost at par?

    $36.95 for a book: My God.

  10. 10
    Jepad says:

    I know what you mean, Charlene.  Although, have you seen the price tag of the latest Harry Potter? 34.99 American.  Scholastic really is determine to get every last dollar out of that series.

  11. 11
    Kerry Allen says:

    The new Harry is 784 pages, which is a big honkin’ book, hence the $35 list. B&N online and Amazon, at least, are selling it at $20, though, so there’s no reason to pay that much for it.

  12. 12
    Kerry Allen says:

    I stand corrected. That’s only 50 pages more than Goblet, hardly worth a $10 jack in cover price. Maybe they get a tax break on what they lose from retailers selling it at a cut rate…

  13. 13
    Arethusa says:

    The new HP is going for $45 CAD but of course most of the retailers are slashing that down, some in half.

    But do you know what’s really strange? Linda Howard has a Silhouette paranormal out. Something about Dante and wizards and raintree people. Wtf?

  14. 14
    Jepad says:

    Arethusa, I’d avoid that Raintree book.  As a word of caution. 

    True, Kerry, the retailers are slashing the price considerably, but still… It does strike me a touch excessive.

  15. 15
    J-me says:

    The Linda Howard book was VERY good.  Just finished the third book (3 books, 3 authors) and it was worth the money for them.

    “normal66”-who are we kidding.

  16. 16
    --E says:

    The Canaflationary Zone* has been shrinking for the past few years, but US publishers won’t put the prices at par because they still harbor hopes that someday the US dollar might rebound. It’s much easier to maintain jacked prices than to re-hike them later.

    We should note that books published in Canada to begin with don’t have significantly cheaper prices than US books shipped north. We should also note that there are additional headaches with shipping books over the border than selling them domestically. I’m not saying that justifies the price-hike, but the reality is that it costs more to sell a book in Canada than in the US, if the book is shipping from the US.

    As for the price on the last HP book… We call that Capitalism, duh. Fair market value is whatever people are willing to pay. Just like cigarettes and crack.

    Kerry Allen, the publisher doesn’t eat the discount the booksellers give. The bookseller pays approx. half the cover price to the publisher (not counting returns).

    A 40% discount off the cover price means a hefty chunk off the seller’s profit, but they’re going to move millions of copies! All it takes is for one seller to be willing to drop the price and make up the money in volume sales, and then the others must follow suit.


    *Canaflationary Zone: a sniglet referring to the pricing on books that sell in both the US and Canada.

  17. 17
    Melissa says:

    I read the Raintree book by Linda Howard.  I didn’t like it.

    She took one of my hot buttons and pushed it dead on.  It was like a flashback to the uber-alpha males of the 80’s romances.  Ugh!

    The second book was much better, and I’m looking forward to reading the third.  But the first book is NOT finding a home on my bookshelf, sorry to say.

  18. 18
    Arethusa says:

    I just can’t grasp the fact that Linda Howard wrote a paranormal. My entire romance world has turned upside down and I’m confused. (I haven’t read a category romance since…well since I went through Jennifer Crusie’s backlist like a reader possessed but besides that not for ages and ages. So it’s safe to say I won’t be trying out any Raintree man flesh.)

    As far as profits I know that the general consensus from indie stores is that they *aren’t* going to make any from the Harry Potter books because of the massive discounting. It will literally only be those who can move millions of copies that will see any dollar signs; I wouldn’t be surprised if it were places like Walmart and not Borders that will win on that end.

  19. 19
    Josie says:

    You think the Canaflationary zone is bad? Check out some recent pricing in Australia…
    The Raintree books? $15 (approx $13US).
    Last Betsy book by MJD? $48 (approx $41US)
    The last Sookie Stackhouse? $50(approx $43US!). I ordered this one from Amazon in US dollars including delivery to Australia and it was still $20 cheaper.
    It’s just outrageous…

  20. 20
    Poison Ivy says:

    PW just mentioned the Cannell/Evanovich pairing this week. So maybe whatever is up, no one has the word yet.

  21. 21
    wordworm says:

    what is this…gals rambling on about people i never heard but(t)  ….Janet Evanovich i do know-and love. c’mon Stephanie Plum is a JERSEY GIRL-any Springsteen fans out there…she wants to be tough but lord, those Bad Guys are REALLY BAD and she hates it when her cars blow up…i don’t care if Ms. Janet writes a series with Mr. Cannell or not. you can’t tell me that the Stephanie’s romps with Joe Morelli and—- Ranger….are not HOT!!!!

  22. 22

    I read the entire Raintree series mostly because it bugged the hell out of me not to have an ENDING to the first book.  Dante hit my “you’re a fucking bastard” button too, but I managed to work past it.  Second book was MUCH better, I agree.  The hero was so much more heroic, and someone I could actually imagine falling for.

    The third… well, I usually read a book per night.  Every night.  I’ll pick it up when my kids go to bed at 9 and finish it before I go to bed at or around midnight.  So keep that in mind when I say it took me a week to finish the 3rd one.  For me, that’s a long, hard struggle.  Hell, I read three books in between bouts with Raintree: Sanctuary!  So my opinion boils down to, good idea for the series, but the author who wrote the 2nd one (too lazy to look it up) should’ve done them all.

  23. 23
    Melissa says:

    So my opinion boils down to, good idea for the series, but the author who wrote the 2nd one (too lazy to look it up) should’ve done them all.

    Linda Winstead Jones wrote the second book in the series.  I finally read book 3 today, and agree that hers was the best.

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