Monday, January 31, 2011


The mother of all winter storms is presently hammering Oklahoma, and we're in the center of it.  School has already been cancelled.  I'm just hoping to keep warm and the computer going.  Should be pretty in the morning!

Pics will follow!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sean Phillips Blogs!

I'm a fan of Sean Phillips's artwork.  He's been working with Ed Brubaker on Criminal, Incognito, and Sleeper, all titles I've enjoyed immensely for the art and the story.

I didn't know until today that he had a blog.  So I signed up to see what he's gonna share.

Thanks to Paul Bishop for letting me know about this.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One I'll Be Picking Up

Double win!  The cover totally rocks and the premise sounds intriguing!

Synopsis:  In the depths of night, customs officers board a galley in a harbor and overpower its guards. In the hold they find oil and silver, and a naked boy chained to the bulkhead. Stunningly beautiful but half-starved, the boy has no name. The officers break the boy's chains to rescue him, but he escapes.

Venice is at the height of its power. In theory Duke Marco commands. But Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They command the seas, tax the colonies, and, like those in power before them, fear assassins better than their own.

In a side chapel, Marco's fifteen-year old cousin prays for deliverance from her forced marriage. It is her bad fortune to be there when Mamluk pirates break in to steal a chalice, but it is the Mamluks' good luck - they kidnap her.

In the gardens beside the chapel, Atilo, the Duke's chief assassin, prepares to kill his latest victim. Having cut the man's throat, he turns back, having heard a noise, and finds a boy crouched over the dying man, drinking blood from the wound. The speed with which the boy dodges a dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo. And the assassin knows he has to find the boy.

Not to kill him, but because he's finally found what he thought he would never find. Someone fit to be his apprentice.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Carina Press is an independent publishing arm of Harlequin Books. I've been watching their website for a while and gotten curious about the books they've published. This cover and premise caught my eye and I ordered it from Amazon. Carina looks like a place for good books, but none will comfortably fit within the lines presently being published by Harlequin.


After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation's border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.

Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen's assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever's reluctant ally.

As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands—if death doesn't find them first...

Heavy Rain Movie Adaptation Underway

Don't know what the thinking in Hollywood is here, but they're going to make a movie of this game.  Loved the game's overall plot and story pacing, but once you solve it there's no way to make the ending a surprise again.  That kind of limits the replay value, but it's a beautiful game to simply watch.

However, I've heard that they've got a sequel in the works.  And now a movie.  Stories are crossing over into all kinds of venues, then making their way back to traditional forms.

With the Mature rating, the game was a strictly enforced 17+ purchase.  Definitely gonna be an R rating at the theater too.  Still, it would be interesting to see how the game and movie vision are the same/different.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fairly Legal

The cute star caught my eye and I plugged the series info into the DVR.  I liked the way she winked, and I liked the conceit of the series -- a mediator working on bringing legal battles to an amicable close.

I watched my first episode tonight and enjoyed it.  Unfortunately, it was the second show because something malfunctioned with the DVR last week.  I enjoyed the episode a lot and found it quite touching, but I'd already figured out how it was going to end because my mind is still locked into creative mode with deadlines looming.

Also, I'm still uncertain if this is a drama or comedy or romance or family oriented.  Too many irons in the fire, I think.

There's also supposed to be a big romance between our heroine and the D. A.  For me, the chemistry isn't there.  I also think the guy is dumber than a box of rocks and too inflexible.  Got no points from me, though the actor has been good in other things I've seen.

The cliffhanger at the end of the scene is kind of cheesey, but I'm coming back next week to see what's going to happen.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thar Be Pirates

Yesterday my buddy Bill Crider blogged about Cutthroat Island being a forgotten movie. Not by me. I still love this one and have decided I'm going to have to show it and the one below to my son. He's 13 and I can now totally corrupt his idea of heroes. These guys don't have to have super powers to man up. And Geena Davis is gorgeous in this film, as well as independent.

Tommy Lee Jones was relatively unknown when Nate and Hayes  came out,, but boy did he explode onto the screen later.  I saw this one about the time I watched The River Rat (which I wish would be released on DVD).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hobo Sapien

A few years ago in one of my adult writing classes, I had the great and good fortune to meet Wayne Iverson, certainly one of the most interesting people I've ever met.  At times in his life, he's been a freight train riding hobo, a zen buddhist monk, a teacher, a city planner, a truck driver, and went to university at Yale.  He's also from Minnesota, where my wife is from, and which is a state that seems to grow interesting people by the bushelful.

When I was talking with Wayne, he didn't really want to write fiction but he wanted to write something.  After listening to his history, I suggested he write an article on "catching out," hopping a train without benefit of a ticket.  :)

That article started something, a need to write, a need to explain, and a desire to teach compassion.  Now, years later, Wayne showed up in my office and handed me a copy of his book.

If you want something different, something that offers you looks at things off the beaten path, or to take a look at everyday things with new eyes, Hobo Sapien is the book for you.  It's been compared to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Congrats, Wayne!


I saw the trailer for this one at The Green Hornet.  It strikes me as something Phillip K. Dick would have done with the mind-altering pills.  Of course, some scientists insist that we're actually using all of our brains, not just 10 percent or the 20 percent mentioned in this trailer.  But I like the conceit, the action seems good, and Bradley Cooper has gotten to be one of my favorite actors.  Loved him in The Hangover and was really rooting for him to be Green Lantern.  After seeing Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, though, I'm sold and anxiously awaiting that movie.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Top Suspense Group

If you start feeling overwhelmed by all the offerings for your new Kindle, check out Top Suspense Group, a coalition of bestselling mystery and suspense authors.  They've got a showcase of their work and quick links to get copies for the Kindle or the Nook.

Authors include Max Allan Collins, Lee Goldberg, Ed Gorman, Paul Levine, Dave Zelterserman, Bill Crider, Joel Goldman, Vicki Hendricks, and Harry Shannon.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Voyages of Jaelik Tarlsson Begin!

I put this one up on Amazon last year and I'd made a truly horrible cover for it.  No one seemed to see it and only a handful bought it.  I love the book and the characters and wanted to see if I could make the overall package more attractive.  Keith Birdsong did this stunning cover.

I have more adventures planned for Jaelik and his crew as they track down deadly weapons across a dangerous world.

Fight Card

As I mentioned a few days ago, Paul Bishop and I are going to be writing a new straight-to-ebook fight series set in the 1950s.  We've got the first cover planned, but we have two versions and were looking for some feedback as far as which image has more "pop."

Comments are welcome.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Joe Lansdale

Joe Lansdale is an East Texas writer with an imagination beyond belief, and he's a friend.  I got to meet Joe the first time back in 1992 and have read many of his books.  I love his crime stuff, and I think most mystery readers will, but they're edgy and sarcastic and guilty pleasures.

He's going to be one of the writers for the new Muholland Books imprint from Little, Brown and Company.  Today he released a guest post on that blog that I enjoyed immensely.  Joe and I both come from small-town and modest roots, so we can lock into each other's stories with a word or a look because we've both been there.

Go.  Enjoy.  Pick up one of Joe's books if you've a mind to.  The Hap and Leonard blue collar detective/suspense novels are my favorites, but he's done some award-winning writing all the way around.

One of his latest efforts is "Dread Island," a novella in Classics Mutilated that gives a Cthulu twist to Huck Finn.

And I'm eagerly awaiting the new Hap and Leonard novel coming out in March.

A New Tarzan of the Apes?

I've missed Tarzan.  Grew up with him in my formative years and spent summers climbing through trees to be just like him.  You know, back in the old days when kids actually went outside and imagined adventures instead of renting them for video games.

Now it looks like they're redoing the old series for young adults.  I've got mixed feelings about the concept but I'll probably pick it up and read it.  I felt the same way about the Disney Tarzan but I checked my reluctance at the door and went in and enjoyed the movie, and the sequel.

Still, I can't imagine a fiesty fourteen year old Jane Porter who's basically a nerd.  And I knew all I needed to know of Tarzan's younger years through

FREE! for Kindles

So I'm kind of gobsmacked over the whole idea.  But if I had the opportunity to write Tarzan, I'd jump at it.  There's something about the idea of a jungle lord that is just immensely appealing to me.  Hanging in trees, swatting down bad guys, discovering lost cities as old as time.  Ah, that was the life.

I grew up on the old Whitman classics of the Tarzan reprints.

And the Sunday Comics drawn by Russ Manning.

And as you notice from the link above, several of the early Tarzan novels are all free for the Kindle.  Go.  Enjoy.  Those stories, though dated and politically incorrect by today's standards, are some of the good old stuff.

Thanks and a hat tip to Bill Crider and his blog.

For the Nook!

It took a week of waiting to see everything come through, but the following ebooks are now available for the Nook at Barnes and Noble.  Click the titles below the covers to go there.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Night of the Necromancer!

I'm really stoked about this.  Two of my college students at the University of Oklahoma wrote their first book.  It's eighty thousand words of action and zombie mayhem.  It starts, appropriately enough, during Dead Week at college and opens into a night of sheer terror for our college age heroes.

Kyle West and Jelani Sims worked on this project for two years and have delivered a thrillfest of action, gore, and horror in a choose-your-own-adventure format.  They feel it can be read alone, or in a group aloud as the group votes to make choices.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I took a break last night to go see THE GREEN HORNET.  Within ten minutes, I checked my brain and my taste for nostalgia.  Seth Rogen's version of the radio/pulp hero was pretty offensive to a purist, but probably okay for the twenty-something beer crowd unfamiliar with the radio and television show.  My 13 year old liked it for the most part, and I thought the car was way cool.  However, I was really disappointed.  In a time when superhero movies are getting really cool, this happens.  TRUE GRIT came on like gangbusters and THE GREEN HORNET seems to be floundering.

In the meantime, I saw a trailer for what is either going to be one of the coolest movies this year or one of the biggest duds.  I saw the 3-D cardboard cutout in the theater lobby and was blown away.  Then the trailer sealed the deal.  On March 25, I'm there.

It's got lumbering mechs with assault weapons.  Girls with guns.

I mean, how cool does this look?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Looking for Reviewers

I'm offering at least 10 free ecopies of this novella to interested reviewers.  I had a blast writing it and am looking forward to doing more stories.

The copies are readable on computer and should download easily onto Kindles.

If you'd like one, please email me here.

Fight Card

I met Paul Bishop through the internet and similar interests.  That seems to happen a lot these days.  Paul is a kindred spirit in the world of storytelling.  We happen to be about the same age and grew up on the same kinds of fiction and heroes.

After thirty-four years with the LAPD, Paul is currently heading up the Mission Division Special Assaults Unit, focusing on sex crimes, which is a tough beat.  He's twice been named Detective of the Year.  He's one of the good guys.

After a few emails and a phone call, we came up with FIGHT CARD, an idea for some ebook-based properties dealing with 1950s boxing stories.  You can get more information here, and watch as we develop the backstory and the characters, if you like, at this site.

As for the cover above, I found it on Paul's other block, Knuckles and Gloves, and fell in love with it.  Yeah, that's gonna leave a mark!

We're hoping to have our first story out by summer.  It'll be under the name Jack Tunney and will be up on Kindle and Nook.

Monday, January 17, 2011


Just got my copies of this puppy and I'm giving away five FREE copies to bloggers willing to review it on their sites and on Amazon.

Send me your email address and your blogsite listing here to enter the drawing.

BTW, the big lizard our hero is riding is named Daisy, and her buffalo mentor is named Stampede.

New James Bond Book Title Released!

The title and cover for the new James Bond novel by Jeffrey Deaver just broke a few hours ago.  Notice the watermark on this image.  I got it from MI6.  Of course, this isn't the real British spy agency, but I thought it was cool just the same.

This isn't going to be the James Bond we've known for so many years.  This is going to be a new, younger Bond, a man who was blooded in recent wars and went on into spycraft.  It's going to release in May and you can pre-order now.

I'm seriously stoked and happy to see this coming.  Thankfully, news of a new James Bond movie getting inked just got released as well.

Thanks to Paul Bishop for the head's up.

More info at Carte Blanche.

Ken Bruen Serial Novel Coming This Week!

Muholland Books is a new mystery/suspense imprint from publisher Little, Brown and Company.  Starting last year, the imprint starting nabbing all the best writers of those genres they could.  The list is impressive and I'm looking forward to seeing what they do with it.  I'm especially looking forward to the new Lawrence Block book coming out later this year.

Starting this week, though, Muholland is doing something really gutsy:  Offering a serial novel in weekly installments starting January 19.  Black Lens has been written by Ken Bruen, a bestselling author of noir and hardboiled fiction.

Here's the link.

Ken Bruen

The Muholland site also offers free weekly short stories, which I did not know about until today, but will be checking out now.  One of the true bonuses is the fact that you can subscribe to the short stories and get them delivered!  I subscribed immediately.

Here's the link for that.

They have archives, so I've got a lot of reading to do, and I'm looking forward to the first installment of Black Lens.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

L. A. Noire Coming in Spring 2011

Although saving the world as a DC superhero is intensely interesting to me (as soon as I get to devote myself to that!), another game has hit my radar and I'm really looking forward to it.

This one is from Rockstar Games, known for their immersive atmospheres and big storytelling.  It's set in 1940s L. A. and my little pulp heart is just beside itself waiting to get a heater in my hand and start rattling doorknobs to chase down the bad guys.

The game looks like it offers a cinematic buffet of styles and angles, from black and white to full color.

There's a lot of attention to detail and I've read that the modeling efforts (character as well as environment) were intensive.  It shows.

This game is supposed to blur the line between movies and games, until the experience of playing/viewing reaches a whole new level.  From the looks of things, the potential is definitely there.

I love the attention to detail.  Look at how the shadows fall across the ground in this scene.

There's gonna be a lot of violent action in this one, folks, and you even have to tell the website that you're of age to view adult material.

I love the oppressive feel of the shadows and the alleys.  In the end, you're gonna be up against some really bad people, and only your skills will keep you alive.

I can't wait.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Most Beautiful Game I've Ever Seen!

I just picked up DC Online yesterday.  It came out on Tuesday.  This game has been heavily hyped for two years.  I saw the first trailers at ComicCon and couldn't wait.

Now I'm still waiting.  I have a deadline to hit and can't play.  I saw the opening cut scenes of the game and they absolutely took my breath away.  Nothing is ever going to match this game for a long, long time in sheer beauty.

And there's the whole length and breadth of the DC Comics Universe to throw at players.  52 big worlds!

My son isn't having to wait, and he's got a 3-day weekend.  He's off saving the world.

He frequently informing me about the coolness factors of the game, about all the heroes he's seeing.

He kills me (just a little bit) with each update.  *sigh*  I should have been a kid now.