Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seconds to Midnight--First Look

The clock is ticking (pardon the play on words) toward the 3-7-17 release of my next Donovan Nash thriller, Seconds to Midnight.  The cover art is finished and the actual book begins to come together. This is a very cool time for me as the project moves from idea, to word document, to this visual confirmation that it's going to be an actual hardcover book.  Even for the seventh time, it's both exhilarating and deeply gratifying.   Enjoy this first look:

While on a routine Eco-Watch flight above northern Canada to study one of the most powerful solar flares in history, Donovan Nash and Michael Ross narrowly miss colliding with another aircraft—a Boeing 737 that’s not supposed to be there.  With the mysterious 737 trailing smoke, Donovan and Michael watch as the stricken aircraft makes an emergency landing on a frozen lake.
As the Boeing breaks through the ice and begins to sink, a figure escapes into the frigid water and manages to climb up onto the ice.  Donovan reaches the lone survivor and discovers it’s a young woman. Just before she blacks out, she whispers a dire warning, “Don’t let them know I’m alive—they’ll kill everyone.”
 Seconds to Midnight plunges Donovan Nash and the Eco-Watch team into a fight for their lives.  While Donovan searches for answers at the bottom of a frozen lake in Canada, his wife, Lauren, runs from operatives embedded in the top levels of the Russian Government.  With communication in the Northern Hemisphere crippled by the massive solar storm, Donovan, Michael, and Lauren battle for each second, as the clock ticks toward a possible Armageddon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

You've been warned...

.99 cent summer beach read madness!

It's been four months since Pegasus Down was launched, and I'm happy to report that the e-Book title will go on sale for Kindle, Nook, and iTunes platforms, June 30th, through July 7th. Yes, only .99 cents.

Now when I say beach read, I mean that as a euphemism for any relaxing place you might want to read a novel.  In this case however, it does not translate to reading on the plane headed for vacation.  Consider it a friendly suggestion.  Give the cover a quick glance, what with all that lightning, and the radar scope superimposed over Europe--just know the cool artwork is no accident--it's a preview.  Just saying, now enjoy.

Since Pegasus Down was launched, there have been some of the best reviews ever for a Donovan Nash thriller.  Below are some of my favorites:


“The sixth and latest novel in the simply outstanding 'Donovan Nash' series, "Pegasus Down" is another superbly crafted action/adventure suspense thriller from the pen of Philip Donlay and once again confirms him to be a master of the genre.”  --Midwest Book Review

 “I'm sure that, as I read, at times I forgot to breathe. Pegasus Down is the thriller of the year.”  –Book Loons

 “Philip Donlay’s Pegasus Down, the sixth book in his Donovan Nash series, is an action-packed thrill ride from the opening scene."  –Forward Reviews
Have a great summer and read books!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Summer to do list:

Hello all--

I just finished the Spring portion of the Pegasus Down book tour, and I want to thank all of the people who made this year the best yet.  You're wonderful!  Hopefully I'll see everyone again next year.  As I start my summer, here are a few pictures that turned up in my travels.

A photo from the 2016 book tour

 A photo of my very first book signing (2004)

I wish these things could be planned better, but summer will find me on an operating table in Minneapolis getting various body parts repaired.  So while everyone else throws on shorts and heads outside, I'll be muttering bad words and hobbling to physical therapy.  

Two years ago it was my knee.  This year it's my shoulder, my right shoulder to be specific. You know, the one I fly fish with, drive my stick shift car with, the one that seems to come in handy for just about everything.  So this summer's list now goes something like this:

Shoulder surgery
Write a new Donovan Nash Thriller

Yes, writing will be done this summer.   I just finished a round of edits for next years thriller: Seconds to Midnight, (March 7th, 2017) and I must say I'm particularly proud of this one.  In true Donovan Nash fashion, STM has the potential to keep the reader up far past their bedtime.  Oh, and as usual, I dare you to read it on a plane. 

So, as I convalesce in Montana, sipping a cool beverage (left handed), rest assured I'll be working on the next Donovan Nash thriller.  More to follow.

Everyone have a safe summer, read books!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Some days it's really fun to be a novelist...

Pegasus Down has been out for a week now and many cool things have happened, but this review from Ron Watson with Foreword Reviews, instantly made it to the top shelf of cool.   A keen observer of not only what's happening in terms of the story, Mr. Watson also took the trouble of pointing out some of the techniques and style choices I employ so my readers have a positive experience.  It's a great review from a first class reviewer, and I wanted to share. 


Foreword Reviews

A Donovan Nash Thriller

Reviewed by

Sharp dialogue and capable protagonists make for a compelling espionage novel.
Philip Donlay’s Pegasus Down, the sixth book in his Donovan Nash series, is an action-packed thrill ride from the opening scene. This enthralling story follows Donovan Nash as he dashes to Eastern Europe to save his wife, the novel’s other point-of-view protagonist, Dr. Laura McKenna.

The opening scenes present McKenna on a CIA-led extraction in Europe. The clandestine mission is off the books, which escalates the tension and action when her plane crashes. With McKenna’s whereabouts unknown, Nash springs into action for a rescue mission. The full implications of this mission are not known, but eventually Nash learns the seriousness of his wife’s mission: a terrorist group has acquired a stealth aircraft with the ability to deliver a nuclear device.

The story, which uses alternating points of view from Nash and McKenna for much of the narrative, is no damsel-in-distress tale. McKenna deftly demonstrates this early in the novel. She’s a strong, intuitive, and compelling heroine. She just happens to have a husband who makes a perfect partner in action.

Nash is written as a dynamic and absorbing yet troubled hero. He has a hidden past that only his inner circle knows, and this creates a conflict that drives our hero and carries great emotional beats throughout the story. While there is the overarching conflict of the rescue mission and its fallout, the story really sets its hooks early with Nash’s emotional turmoil.

Donlay’s writing is crisp and direct. Every sentence serves its purpose, propelling the plot forward while aptly sharing relevant points from previous Nash adventures. The point-of-view characters offer unique perspectives, which combined make for well-developed one-two narrative punch. Furthermore, Donlay writes sharp, natural dialogue. While it’s peppered with jargon, the dialogue is neither burdensome nor difficult to grasp. Donlay, a pilot himself, layers context to clarify what might otherwise be arduous language.

Fans who love espionage, action, or thrillers will find great entertainment in this book. Being familiar with previous Donovan Nash novels is not a requirement for enjoying Pegasus Down. Donlay weaves important aspects of previous adventures into this tale, helping it stand alone within the Donovan Nash series.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Coming 3-1-16, Pegasus Down

I've always wanted to write a thriller using my travels in Europe as the backdrop.  As foreign locations tend to be complicated, I was excited when, two years ago, I finally formed the outline for the story.  

Summer before last, I sat down to start writing the novel that would become Pegasus Down.  I wrote, rewrote, cursed, paced, (with a limp, after having knee surgery)  Many months later, the book was finally written, and ready to venture out into the world. 

I handed it over to my agent, who worked her magic on the first round of edits, and then we sent it to my publisher.  From that point on, only a handful of people read the book.  More edits are made, the rough edges smoothed, the cover art created, and the book is scheduled for release.  It takes another year, a very long year in my mind, as the first to typically read my finished novel are the reviewers.  In the case of Pegasus Down, here's what they've had to say: 

I'm pleased, and I hope you will be as well.  Spread the word, and know that the next Donovan Nash thriller will come out in March of 2017.  I'm halfway home on that one.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Whew. Fifty and no more counting!

Hello all--

In the mid 1990's, I landed in Anchorage Alaska, and that event marked the 49th state that I'd visited. I only had one more to go--which was Hawaii.  I wasn't concerned, I flew jets for a living, and it seems everyone wanted to go to Hawaii, so it would happen, and probably sooner than later.  The years passed, and each time I flew over an ocean it was the Atlantic. The total number of countries reached 40, and my state total was still stuck at 49.  Then, in 2008, I was forced to quit flying.

One Monday morning not long ago, I was thinking about my travels, and what was left on my life to-do-list.  On impulse, I booked a trip to Maui.  I'm here now, writing this from my room overlooking the ocean, and it's pretty cool.  I can't do all the things I would have done ten, or fifteen years ago, my skeleton seems most unhappy these days, but it's still an amazing place.  Also, the sunset pictured below happens outside my balcony each evening, and coincides perfectly with happy hour.  Better late than never, and who knows, maybe Donovan Nash will return to the islands once I leave?   


In other news, I received an email from my publisher informing me that not long ago, Code Black was #55 on Amazon, which makes me a best selling novelist.

Pegasus Down is officially posted on my website: and is available for pre-order with most retailers.  Order early, it makes everyone in my world happy, especially me. A gift certificate stocking stuffer perhaps?

I'm also putting together the 2016 book tour, if you have any suggestions let me know--I'll see what I can do.

Last but not least, I want everyone to have a great holiday season, cherish the people you love, and please, be kind to one another and travel safe. 


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Category Five--coming to a bookstore near you.

Hello all--

November is shaping up to be an exciting month!  On the 10th, my first novel, Category Five, will once again be back in print.  It's an amazing feeling to still have demand for a book that first came out in 2004.  A year ago I wrote about the origins of the story, and last spring I went back and read it again for the first time in over ten years.  I have to say, it held up well.  The foundation for the Donovan Nash series began with solid footing, and still continues today.  As always, thank you for being a part of the journey, and please enjoy this book again.

In the Atlantic Ocean, hurricane Helena is gathering strength, becoming the most powerful storm in recorded history. As Helena bears down on Bermuda, Donovan Nash, along with other members of the scientific research organization Eco-Watch, are called to fly in and extract key government people who have been studying Helena. For Donovan Nash, the routine mission turns deadly when an attempt is made on the life of the lead scientist. A woman from the past, Dr. Lauren McKenna, is suddenly thrust back into his life. With 300 mph winds and waves over 90 feet, Helena marches relentlessly for the vulnerable east coast of the United States. In a bold attempt to diffuse the power of the hurricane, Eco-Watch is called upon to conduct a final flight above the massive fury, where the jet suffers a catastrophic engine failure. Now the only option is to maneuver the crippled airplane into the calm of Helena's eye.