DIG TWO GRAVES (or my rampant fanboying of Eric Beetner continues)


So, at Bouchercon 2015 I picked up some books. Three of those books were by Eric Beetner, you remember him from the other day when I gushed like a schoolgirl over a box of kittens about RUMRUNNERS, his book from 280 Steps.

Well, I read DIG TWO GRAVES, his revenge noir novella from Snubnose Press. It was really freaking good. The main character, Val, is a scumbag, but he is strangely likable, stumbling his way through a half-assed plan to get back at the two folks he feels have set him up to go back to prison. Mayhem ensues as things keep going sideways on Val and he just can’t catch a break. You’ll read this book as quick as you can because you won’t be able to put it down.

Plus you get a back up short story that kicks a lot of ass as well.

Check out the trailer Eric made for it .

and BUY IT HERE RIGHT NOW

dig two graves

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THE POWER OF A SCANDAL (or my review of Jigsaw Youth)


Tiffany Scandal is a tuff chick.

I picked up her book JIGSAW YOUTH from Ladybox Books and read it quickly. It’s on the shorter side but it’s also just that damn compelling.

This is the story of Ella, a lesbian of Chicana descent, who finds her self both isolated and accepted. The story is disjointed, appearing in vignettes instead of a straight narrative and that adds depth to the texture of the story. This is a life and sometimes life can get messy.

It’s got a beauty to it and a power and by the end you feel as if you have shared something meaningful.

Full to the brim with emotion that paint a dark but not bleak portrait. The writing is both raw and delicate, somehow punching you in the gut and kissing you on the forehead.  Scandal’s voice is definitely noir, harkening to some of the tough guys in the genre, Bukowski, Thompson, and Carver would have had her in their drinking club, but her language and story have a literary heft to them that keeps you turning the pages.

I’ll be checking out more of her work and recommend you do as well.

jigsaw youth

BUY IT HERE RIGHT NOW.

 

GET GRAHAM YOST ON THE PHONE (or my review of RUMRUNNERS)


When Justified ended it left a hole in my world. I loved the Harlan County full of redneck outlaws and lawmen presented on there. Graham Yost, the showrunner, showed that he gets how to bring crime fiction to the small screen in a way that a lot of folks just don’t.

Well, I have discovered his next project.

RUMRUNNERS by Eric Beetner.

I’m an Eric Beetner fanboy and I have no problem admitting it. I love his writing and have yet to be disappointed in any of his work.  RUMRUNNERS is a great addition to his body of work.  This is a book about outlaw family doing outlaw things for family reasons. It’s got great characters and a plot as fast as a 1969 Roadrunner. It’s a crackerjack of a book.

It’s out through 280 Steps, a crime fiction publisher that’s burning up the roads with some great packaging on their books. Look at this cover.

cover - Rumrunners

And now read what some of the best crime writers are saying about it:

Smokey and the Bandit meets Justified and Fargo in this violent crime-family saga with a sense of humor.

“Buckle up…RUMRUNNERS is a fast and furious read.” -Samuel W. Gailey, author of Deep Winter Meet the McGraws.

They’re not criminals. They’re outlaws. They have made a living by driving anything and everything for the Stanleys, the criminal family who has been employing them for decades. It’s ended with Tucker. He’s gone straight, much to the disappointment of his father, Webb. When Webb vanishes after a job, and with him a truck load of drugs, the Stanleys want their drugs back or their money. With the help from his grandfather, Calvin-the original lead foot-Tucker is about to learn a whole lot about the family business in a crash course that might just get him killed.

“Rumrunners just never lets up. It’s a fuel-injected, mile-a-minute thrill ride. I had a blast.” -Grant Jerkins, author of A Very Simple Crime and Done In One

“Few contemporary writers do justice to the noir tradition the way Eric Beetner does. Others try to emulate and mimic; Beetner just takes the form and cuts his own jagged, raw and utterly readable path. RUMRUNNERS is the latest example of his great storytelling skills, and his uncompromising commitment to the dark, often violent truth at the center of the human heart.” -Gar Anthony Haywood, author of Assume Nothing, Cemetery Road and the Aaron Gunner series

“Beetner is an old school talent, a crime writer’s crime writer like Gil Brewer (although, in my humble opinion, he’s better than Brewer), who writes stuff that is fast and funny and dark all at once.” -Jake Hinkson, author of Hell On Church St. and The Big Ugly

 

And now go BUY IT RIGHT NOW

HERE WE GO, NEW SH!T (or getting off my a$$ and actually blogging)


I’ve been busy.

And I suck.

Between the two you have had no new content here.

Well, I aims to change that. I’m coming back. Mostly this is going to continue being my place to ramble but also my place to tell you about the books and comics I’m reading.

I read a LOT.

Mostly crime fic, horror, sci fi, and urban fantasy….but you never know what I’ll be delving into here. Could be erotica, could be poetry, could be literary. You just never know.

So I will be sharing all that goodness with y’all.

Writers: Go To Conventions (a guest post by Matthew W. Quinn)


Yes it’s been a minute. Here is a guest post by my friend Matt. Listen up. He’s got good advice here. (JRT)

 

By Matthew W. Quinn

One lesson I’ve learned in the years I’ve been writing professionally is attending conventions is a really, really good idea. Since I live in Atlanta, I’ve been blessed to have conventions like DragonCon, AnachroCon, and JordanCon (although I’ve never been to that one) easily accessible.

Firstly, conventions are good places to do business. I didn’t even know the BattleTech science-fiction franchise even still existed, but I ran into the staff of Catalyst Game Labs — the current holder of the property — at the 2008 DragonCon. I spent the subsequent year writing a short story entitled “Skirmish at the Vale’s Edge” for the site BattleCorps based on something I read in an old Clan Wolf sourcebook and submitted it to them just before the 2009 convention. I let the staff know I’d done this and soon afterward they wrote me to tell me they’d purchased the story. It’s still up there, and it’s now the canonical account of the Battle of Jallington Vale.

At a later DragonCon (either 2011 or 2012), I met representatives of another small press and received permission to send them my secondary-world fantasy/steampunk novel Battle for the Wastelands. I submitted in March 2013 and after not hearing back for some time, queried the company’s representative at the 2013 convention. I eventually received a rejection that November — they said it had good writing, but wasn’t for them. Although this wasn’t an acceptance, it was still feedback and a contact made for future projects.

More recently, I volunteered at the 2015 World Horror Conference. There I met representatives of two small presses, one dedicated to science fiction, fantasy, and horror and the other “bizarro.” I got the go-ahead to submit my teen Lovecraftian horror novel The Thing in the Woods and a rather strange tale involving little people. I’ve already submitted the former; I’ll submit the latter once I finish it.

Secondly, one can learn a whole lot about the craft of writing from panels. I found panels at DragonCon 2013 so informative on topics like pulp writing and putting together anthologies and collections that I ended up blogging about them. At the 2011 DragonCon I attended a panel on characterization taught by none other than Michael Stackpole. Another panel, with S.M. Stirling, provided some valuable advice about short stories and the most profitable use of one’s time. DragonCon 2010 gave me enough material for multiple blog posts. AnachroCon, though much smaller, taught me some valuable information about Norse culture and the state of Lovecraftian media.

Finally, conventions are a good place to sell your wares. James and I have a mutual friend named J.H. Glaze who’s very, very good at moving his product at conventions. I’ve purchased books at the World Horror Conference and DragonCon. If you’ve got books to sell, try to get a table either by yourself or with other writers to share the load.

-Matthew W. Quinn is a freelance writer, editor, and soon to be holder of an M.A. in World History from Georgia State University. Check out his speculative fiction here and follow him on Twitter here.

NEW DEACON CHALK BOOK! (or no clever title on this one, just getting the word out)


HARK! all Loyals and True Believers the wait is over!

Now you can have an ALL NEW DEACON BOOK! (sorta)

Please welcome to the family SPECIAL FEATURES: A Deacon Chalk Short Story Collection

Look at it! I MADE that shit. Took the photo, did the layout, that's all MINE!

Look at it! I MADE that shit. Took the photo, did the layout, that’s all MINE!

Okay, let me explain. I look at the three novellas and three novels in the Deacon Chalk series so far as the first season of a really kick ass urban fantasy television show. Like the most kick ass show that ever was.

THAT THING AT THE ZOO, BLOOD AND BULLETS, SPIDER’S LULLABY, BLOOD AND SILVER, CIRCUS OF BLOOD, and BLOOD AND MAGICK.  If you read straight through from the first you get one long story arc. This is the special features disc of that dvd set. (hence the clever title lol) Inside you will find short stories that happen around and between the published titles including DOLLY an all new, never before seen novelette that shows Deacon when he first started monster hunting. It’s Deacon: Year One.
You also get bonus material, character interviews, an essay, some special treats, a cut scene from BLOOD AND MAGICK, and a wrap up story set after BLOOD AND MAGICK that puts an elegant bow on the whole first season.

Damn right.

Some of this material has been published on the interwebs, but all of it has all been polished and a lot of it is new and all of it falls in a line. Plus it will look awesome on your book shelf.

More Deacon is coming. I promise. You will see some short stories, some novellas and a full novel soon because the second season is about to start and let me tell you something, I am upping the ante. You thought the series was wild before, well now it’s going completely off the rails!!!!!!!!!! THIS is the series with more balls than any other urban fantasy series out there and shit’s about to get buck.

But until that happens, buy this.

Here’s the BIG ASS BUY LINK FOR AMAZON which is where you can get it in print and kindle format.

Here is the BIG ASS BUY LINK FOR B&N where you can get it for your nook.

And while you are at it look over at my two other indie published titles:

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS

I drew the art for this as well as doing the layout!

I drew the art for this as well as doing the layout!

Lovecraftian horror at the edge of space! Scary sci fi with a terrific character.

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS AMAZON LINK

THAT WAY LIES MADNESS B&N LINK

and

HIRED GUN

I took the photo and did the layout for this!

I took the photo and did the layout for this!

My crime fiction short story collection. It’s gritty and dark and awesomely violent.

HIRED GUN AMAZON LINK

HIRED GUN B&N LINK

And thank you for all your loving support. It means the world to me and I love you very much.

ARMAND ROSAMILIA MEET THE LOYALS AND TRUE BELIEVERS: LOYALS AND TRUE BELIEVERS MEET ARMAND ROSAMILIA


Y’all know I like to bring new folks to your attention. Here’s a fella that is hella nice and writes some truly kick ass zombie fiction. I mean Armand is truly out on the edge. He’s got a new one out and here he is to let you know a bit about the flavor of the story.

And the best way to support my guests is to buy their shizzle. Go look around Armand’s website, check out his amazon page, or just click the link below to go straight to the book! If you want crazy zombie action you will not be disappointed.

Without further ado:

Miami Spy Games

Miami Becomes A Character

Armand Rosamilia

As hard as it is to believe, Miami is where Miami Spy Games is set. I know, crazy! As with most of my stories, I take great care in choosing the perfect setting for a story, whether it is horror, thriller, erotica… you get the idea.

My challenge with Miami Spy Games was being handed the location when I took the job of writing the ‘episodes’. I live in Florida, but I also live about six hours north of Miami. It wasn’t like I could take a quick drive down, scope out the area, and begin writing. But once I started putting the basic story together, I realized Miami was a huge part of the plot.

It’s where the action is, obviously, but it also sets the tone. When you talk about the seedier sections of Miami, someone living in the area needs to know it is authentic, and readers all over the world need to feel like they know Opa-Locka. When I mention South Beach, everyone immediately thinks of gorgeous sun-kissed women wearing thong bikinis. (I know I do!), but I also wanted to show other parts of the area like the hotels and restaurants, so the reader got a better feel for it.

I was also able to talk to two people who are close to me that grew up in Miami: Kim Murphy and Steven Brack. They offered ideas for locations, told me about certain buildings and streets I used, and gave me some Miami tidbits I added into the story.

Time and time again, I had to research Miami maps and photos and areas like The Setai Hotel, Miamarina, Miami Zoo, Miami International Airport, and so many other spots. It’s amazing how much these places colored the story and felt like another character as I wrote, making sure to catch all the little nuances of each location and have it play off the living characters.

I hope I’ve done justice to Miami, and hope I can continue to play in their backyard with even more Miami Spy Games stories in the future.

If you have any questions about the Miami Spy Games series, I’d love to hear them: armandrosamilia@gmail.com

Armand Rosamilia

Miami Spy Games on Amazon Kindle only $3.99!

ARMAND’S AMAZON PAGE        and       ARMAND’S WEBSITE

MSG Coverl_287066a27262fda7b8d8f16177e5be35


I GOT A NEW OFFICE (oh hell yeah)


Yep. The Daughter moved out and I have turned her room into my office. I miss her, but I do like having a place with a big monitor and no internet to write in. Her bed is still there because, thankfully, she does come home to visit and we need a place where guests could, theoretically, stay overnight.

Now we are having a writer’s group Halloween party soon, so I will will post up a full on video tour of the office then, but for now I want to show you my desk.


Yep. I got my Boondock Saints Poster, one of three Frank Frazetta prints, a bunch of books from Conan to Mack Bolan, Wally Wood’s PANELS THAT ALWAYS WORK print, a rosary, a framed hotrod magazine, a crapton of action figures, and my Conan comic screen saver on my big piss off monitor.

I love it.

Here’s a closer shot of how it looks when I look up from the monitor while writing and a list of the figures you see.

From the left:

Hellboy vinyl statue, some zombie viking figure that I am sure is a McFarlane toy, Svadun and Belit (Queen of the Black Coast) from the Conan action figure line from McFarlane with Viking Spawn looking down from above (I have had that figure for near twenty years!),  Conan himself with a big ass hammer, Cthulhu all gnarly looking, Ash with chainsaw and boomstick in the upper corner, and finally My Little Cthulhu with screaming victims.

This is where I go to send wordcount to Valhalla.

DON’T DO THE CRIME IF YOU CAN’T DO THE TIME (writing crime fiction)


Most everybody knows I have two great loves in reading. I may dally around in other places, chatting up other genres, dabbling here and there with my reader eye wandering, but at the end of the day I come back to two kinds of books.

Urban Fantasy and Crime.

Now, my love for urban fantasy is well known. It’s open and unabashed. I write an urban fantasy series. (Deacon Chalk, badass Occult Bounty Hunter) I have plans to write him for 20 books or so and have a ton of story ideas just waiting to be written.

My next book, hopefully will be a crime book. I have one that is gestating, building into a nice little crime fetus.  So here are the things I have in my head:

A young man hits the road in his dead daddy’s sweet ’69 Chevelle. He is out to find himself. All he has is the car, his memories of his dad, a little money in his pocket from a recent score, and time on his hands.

A young girl on the run from a screw up of a dad and the mess he has put her in. All she has is a need to stay safe, a desire to try and get her daddy straightened out, and a duffel bag full of trouble.

 

 

 

 

They cross paths on a Long Hard Road Outta Town and wind up running for their lives from a cold-blooded sonnuva bitch named Dude Ray. He wants his stuff back and someone has to pay.

Sometimes it takes walking through the fire to find out who you really are.

 

 

It’s shaping up to be a fun little book. A chase novel that’s a bit of a cross between Justified and No Country For Old Men with a boss hotrod and more guns. Lots of small town, Southern wackiness. Plus there’s a lot of subtext with Cowboy’s search for manhood. My good friend Faith Hunter made an introduction to a very good agent who specializes in mysteries, so I am getting this project together for a proposal to him. Fingers crossed y’all.

Speaking of crime, how damn good is Justified? Seriously, if you are not watching this show then shame on you.

Start now. Go buy season 1 and 2 on dvd and get rolling.

I am burning through the 4th Reacher book by Lee Childs.

It is really good.

Tom Piccirilli has a new one coming out that looks awesome as always.

And I began Drama City by George Pelecanos, so far I am really enjoying it.

Plus there is a Marcus Sakey book on my shelf calling my name.

Until next time.

Stay gold Ponyboy. Stay gold.

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE OF ILL-REPUTE (or a guest blog by Anthony Elmore)


Alright Loyals and True Believers one of the new things I am doing around here is to invite some of my writerly friends over to guest. You get a bit of fresh meat for the marketplace and a possibility to find a new writer you like.

This time around is Anthony Elmore, author of FARTING IN CHURCH. A collection of humorous anecdotes. (There is a buy link below) Anthony is a member of my writing group. Enjoy his visit.

Many thanks to James Tuck for letting me borrow his stage for a sec. As a former Hollywood screenwriter living in Roswell, I have created over 108 screenplays, 13 teleplays and a five-part miniseries based on the life of Zachary Taylor called Curdled Destiny. Below is a treatment I wrote a year before a We Bought a Zoo debuted, starring Matt Damon, basking in his kids n’ critters chapter of his career, to be followed by cameos on WB sitcoms.

“We Bought a House of Ill Repute”

An Original Screenplay Concept by Anthony Ray Elmore

Logline: When life hands you lemons, open a lemonade stand. When life hands you 10 grizzled, middle aged “professional women”, open your heart.

Recently divorced, remarried, and subsequently widowed father, NORMAN SMITH is mourning the loss of his estranged wife who died during a colonic mishap. He has indulged his three children, 16 year old rebellious teenager LEAH, his 10 year old science geek STEVE and three year old in a 20 year old body NICK. Steve gets in trouble with Homeland Security when he hacks into top-secret military drones and makes them buzz the White House.

After being released from Guantanamo, Norman is at the end of his rope with his children’s behavior. On his way to his architecture firm, Norman spots a rundown Victorian home with a “For Sale” sign in the yard. He enters the home and finds a mysterious Norman Friedman like Real Estate agent who says the home is for sale at a bargain price, but it is “as is.” The home has red velvet walls and antique furniture, and a lingering scent of L’Air du Temps and petroleum jelly. Norman signs the papers but before the ink is dry, the Real Estate Agent has disappeared. Norman hears a ghostly voice saying, “As Is.”

Norman believes having his kids work on the fixer upper will build character and help the family heal. He packs his reluctant children into his perfectly restored 1987 Ford Taurus and drives them to their new home. He is surprised to see ten scantily clad women, smoking, retching and lounging around the parlor. “We have a customer,” MAXINE, the madam, says. I dawns on Norman that he has bought a brothel.

Norman quits his job and has to make a living, so he runs the brothel while trying to hide the fact that his children are living amongst fallen women. He makes Maxine and the nine other girls to agree to keep the business, noise and body fluids on the down low. His cover story to his children is that women run a chiropractor clinic and the shouts of ecstasy are men having their adjustments. Nick observes that the men look very relaxed and wants a treatment himself. Norman sends him to bet at 5pm and we don’t see him till the finale.

Nosey DETECTIVE RIVERS comes knocking and suspects that a brothel exists on the property. Norman explains that this was a chiropractor clinic and Rivers asks for a neck adjustment. Norman asks MARY, whose specialty is ‘discipline,’ to work him over. Later, Norman says he feels much better and has worked through some of his aggression issues and his estrangement from his father.

Leah comes home late, even by brothel standards, and NORMAN confronts her. He has Maxine have a girl-to-girl talk with Leah about the dangers of boys and premarital sex, which is like having Ted Nugent speak at a Quaker Pacifist rally. Leah apologizes for her behavior and Norman asks Maxine what she said to her. Maxine told her she was a dirty skank and girls who put out before 18 end up prostitutes.

Steve is having trouble with jocks at school and confides in WILMA, the tough as a denim prophylactic African American prostitute. Steve teaches him how to make a shiv out of the pointy end of the protractor. Instead, Steve, who has figured out he’s living in a brothel, make a hepatitis culture out of disused condom and spikes the football team’s water cooler. In a hilarious scene, the entire defensive line’s skin turns yellow and suffers renal failure. Bully problem solved.

A tax collector comes knocking at the brothel and says Norman owes $56,949.35 in back taxes. If he doesn’t pay, the house will be auctioned and the girls would be forced onto the streets to service truckers and church decons. To save the house, he assembles the family and the eight remaining girls (NICOLE tragically dies while performing the dangerous Fresno Ferris Wheel with a client) to have the biggest “Whore-down” ever.

In a montage scene, set to the music of eclectic Christian Techno Power Pop band Machines of Loving Praise, the family cleans the house while the children hand out flyers to all homely, morbidly obese men in town. That evening, men pour in and the girls are working hard, turning tricks like Chris Angel during a mascara drought. Suddenly, Detective Rivers shows up, so Norman warns the girls and they pretend they’re doing physical therapy. Rivers walks in on DANNI with a client. Norman makes up story that the client was bit by a wolf spider in the groin area and Danni was trying to extract the poison. Rivers believes them, and drinks.

Norman travels with the girls to the tax office, but the taxman says he owes extra late charges. Norman is $350 short. Norman offers one of the girl’s services, but the taxman asks for one of the most dangerous acts of all – The Belgian Bismarck. The only woman limber and experienced enough to do it is Maxine. Maxine has lost faith in herself, so Norman gives an inspiration speech, citing material from Teddy Roosevelt, Gandhi and a couple of Amy Grant songs. Everybody slow claps as Maxine goes into the taxman’s office. Moments later, the taxman’s cries of ecstasy shatters his office window. Maxine exits the office, snaps her dislocated femur into place followed by the exultant taxman. The taxman ‘looses’ the tax bill and Norman and the girls can keep the money.

Norman and his family learn the value of believing in themselves and that love is important and some other fluffy shit families love.

And there you have it! Thanks for swinging by Anthony. See you next meeting.

To pick up FARTING IN CHURCH go here: GO HERE TO BUY!

Anthony Elmore

The book.

And check out Anthony’s blog if you like what he had to say!

The blog is HERE!