Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pulpsmith #1 on sale now!

This is a new series I'm doing for the Kindle under the name Moses Crawford.  I've always wanted to do a series about a pulp writer back in the 1930s, and now I'm getting the chance.

I'm also looking for a few reviewers, so if you're interested contact me and lemme know.  I'll be glad to send out ebooks.

Fantastic cover is by Keith Birdsong.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Keith Birdsong New Cover

Keith Birdsong created this cover yesterday for my buddy Paul Bishop.  I really wanted Paul to hate this one because I love it.  I don't know what Paul's story is about, but I started thinking about a robot Elvis set in the 1950s.  I'm probably going to have to write the story one day.

Keith has been doing a lot of ebook covers lately and he continues to surprise and delight.

Cowboys and Aliens Today!

In theaters today.  My wife isn't interested in the film, but the 13 year old and I will be going.

In the meantime, I found this YouTube clip on my buddy Bill Crider's blog and had to share.

Take The Money And Run Coming August 2nd!

My buddy Paul Bishop stars in a new television show that comes out on August 2.  It's a reality based program created by Jerry Bruckheimer.  For more information, here's a link to a recent interview with Paul.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Caught my eye.

Writing Seminar for the Public Library: FREE!!!!

On August 20, a Saturday -- so you won't have to look it up under calendar, I'll be part of a writing seminar hosted by the Pioneer Library system in Norman, Oklahoma.  Other speakers include New York Times bestseller William Bernhardt, novelist Rilla Askew, and songwriter/poet Nathan Brown.

Here's the press release:

William Bernhardt will be focusing on characterization and plotting techniques, discussing the importance of conflict, pacing and adding layers of conflict to enrich a story.  Mr. Bernhardt’s presentation will be from 9-11:30am at Mainsite Contemporary Art in downtown Norman.

Nathan Brown will present on “How to Build Infrastructure for Poetry and Song”, dealing with how to construct frames and framework that one can hang lyrics and stanzas on so that they make sense to the reader/listener.  In addition, he will touch on material generation and performance issues.  His presentation will be from 9-11:30am at the Performing Arts Studio in downtown Norman.

Rilla Askew will focusing on writing about place, with an emphasis on Oklahoma as a rich source for fiction and creative non-fiction.  Her presentation will be from 12:30-3:00pm at Mainsite Contemporary Art in downtown Norman.

Mel Odom’s presentation will discuss the potential of the e-book market, the emerging digital reader base, and walk the audience through the steps to put up an e-book on the Kindle and the Nook.  Marketing methods through social networking will be covered.  Mr. Odom’s presentation will be from 3:15-5:00pm at Mainsite Contemporary Art in downtown Norman.

Contact the Pioneer Library System for more info.

Anne Harris <>

Have Questions About That New Person In Your Life?

Hold on! It's a new world, filled with Romance, Love and Adventure--but make sure you explore those tender wonders with the right companion. Background Checks for Lovers is a manual for making sure the person at your front door is really the "one".

Background Checks for Lovers has step-by-step directions to find and use industry-tested resources to check the background of the one person you must trust. Most background checks can be done online, at home, for free, without raising any questions or issues, other than asking yourself this one question: "Did I find the right one?"

With Background Checks for Lovers, you can learn the same steps private investigators, investigative journalists and other professionals use to make sure your answer is "Yes!"

A friend of min wrote this, so if you're wondering about your new romance (or even an old one), check it out.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New Kindle Series

I make no bones about the fact that my roots are in the pulps.  I loved Doc Savage and the Shadow and the Spider when I was growing up.  Tracked down every one I could find.  I've told people all my life that I was simply born in the wrong time.  I want to write EVERYTHING.  Back then you could.  Writers went from a science fiction pulp story in the morning to a Western range romance in the afternoon, and then finished off the evening with a story they hoped to sell to Weird Tales.

This is my first foray into writing about pulp writers.  It's 1935 and a young, nameless pulp writer who churns out the Lincoln Landry, Space Ranger pulp tales for the science fiction pulps wants to develop a few stories for Black Mask Magazine, which was then home to Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

He pairs up with a tough New York police detective named Jim McLane and the action simply turns to pure pulp.  Short chapters, action, and dialogue propel the story through to the end with a twist.

I'm putting it up on Kindle now, and it should be pubbed by the end of the week.  I'm excited about this one.

Cover is by Keith Birdsong.

Wrath of Khan by Keith Birdsong

For more of Keith's art, go here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keith Birdsong's Blog

I got my buddy Keith Birdsong to start blogging.  He's slowly stepping into the 21st century, which is surprising for the guy most people know as THE Star Trek book cover artist.
Step over to his site and take a peek.

Jack Reacher: Second Son

This is interesting in a couple ways.  First, because it's going to be a digital only short story -- no paper.  And second, it stars Lee Child's traveling soldier-of-fortune as a 13 year old.  I'm picking this one up immediately when it comes out in August.

Looks like the cover is still up in the air as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Alien Series Caught My Eye


Johnny Depp To Play Carl Kolchak

Johnny Depp is certainly one of the busiest guys in Hollywood.  With the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise under his belt, and the Thin Man franchise just starting up, it's interesting that he would accept the role of Carl Kolchak in The Night Stalker.  Depp is a fantastic actor, though.  I can't wait to see how he works the hat.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Stands A Shadow by Col Buchanan

Caught my eye.

Alphas -- Syfy's Newest Original Series

I really wanted to be blown away by this new series.  That didn't happen.  The show is associated with Gail Berman, who is known for the X-Men franchise as well as other pop culture television shows.  The advertising led me to believe that I was going to be treated with something like the X-Men.

I watched the pilot episode and kept expecting it to get better.  I love David Straithairn.  The guy can do anything in my opinion, but only if you give him something worthwhile to do.  He plays the Professor X to this little team of misfits.  But he's more guidance counselor than general, and his need to placate and protect his team comes across as a little...well, obsessive.

I watch the show and I still don't know exactly how the Alphas got together, and we don't get much of their back stories either.  I guess that's some of what is going to be built into this first season.

Malik Yoba plays Bill Harken, the brute of the team.  If you need doors knocked down, he's your guy.  He's also an FBI agent but I'm not sure what capacity that is in now.  He has the ability to trigger a fight-or-flight reaction in his body that gives some super strength, super speed, and some resistance to pain.  He's also not very likable.  Part of that is supposed to be the character, but the pilot episode gave no real reason to like him at all.

Laura Mennell plays Nina Theroux, the former bad girl with mind control abilities who hasn't quite abandoned all of her bad girl ways.  She could be interesting as the series progresses, but I didn't really see it in this first episode.  I have hopes.

Ryan Cartwright plays Gary Bell, a twentysomething with Asperger's Syndrome who is able to tap into electromagnetic fields (television, the internet, etc) with just his mind.  The power seems kind of cool but it's also kind of a one trick pony.  Once you've seen it, you've seen it.  He's another character that I really don't care for.  He's just a likable.  There's nothing in him to cling to or root for.

Azita Ghanizada stars as Rachel Pirzad, a young woman who is able to hyper-accentuate one sense at a time.  So if she is using her sense of smell, she is deaf and blind, as well as possibly numb and unable to taste anything she eats.  Of course, in this first episode she is sent into an apartment by herself to get clues and the bad guy doubles back.  Since she's using one of her other senses, she can't hear her phone ring to warn her.  Let me offer some advice: don't have her alone, EVER, while she's using her powers.  Everyone else was sitting back in the van.  Didn't make sense to me.  And again, there's nothing in her character that makes me want to get to know her better.  At this point she's a doormat for her father and other people around her.

Warren Christie plays Cameron Hicks, a guy with uncanny aiming ability.  But he's something of a loose cannon.  He can bounce bullets around to hit his targets, and probably throw things with unerring accuracy as well, but that's going to get old fast.

The first episode revealed that there is a group of evil Alphas out there lurking around.  Kind of like the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants from the X-Men.  But that's about all.  I don't know what they're going to do for further development in the series, and if all these guys do is ride around in a van together to fight some kind of crime, the series is going to get tedious.  There were no laughs, and there should have been.  There is no real amazement, and there should have been.

I'm going to tune into the next episode to see what happens and hope for the best.

Shooter's Cross Review Expanded

Another new ebook series that I’m really enjoying is the Rancho Diablo series of westerns. The brainchild of three authors (James Reasoner, Mel Odom, and Bill Crider), the books tell the story of Sam Blaylock and his creation of the Texas ranch the books are named after. Three books are out so far, with plans for more, plus a spinoff series about some of the characters from the town’s backstory.

The first book, by Odom, dealt with Blaylock building the ranch. The second, by Reasoner, focused a bit more on Blaylock’s family, as well as darker elements from his past. I haven’t read the third one yet, but according to interviews, future books will focus on some of the other supporting cast members.

As a kid, I loved reading shared-world anthologies like Thieves’ World and Wild Cards. I loved the idea of a series of stories about a large cast of characters connected by their location. In a way, the Rancho Diablo series is reminiscent of that. Again, this is the sort of thing you couldn’t do in print: a series of shorter stories that don’t necessarily always feature the same central character. As a series of less expensive ebooks, there’s less financial risk on the part of the reader. Don’t particularly like this story? You’re out less than three bucks and maybe 90 minutes of your time.

Because there’s only three guys working on Rancho Diablo, they aren’t coming out as quickly as the Dead Man books. That’s fine; I’ve still got one to read before I’m caught up. After that, though, it’s going to be tough waiting between books.
Original post is here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meredith Fletcher Review

A push for fellow writer's new book.

From J. Mozingo:

Meredith Fletcher does it again ... another great read!

Wow! Amazing! Fletcher tells a story with a short time line that fills an entire novel, yet writes tight. Every word counts. No fluff anywhere. Strong, believable characters, equally matched, with understandable motivation. Appropriate push and pull angst, but not too much. Witty repartee. Explosive beginning. Fast pace. Tension at every turn. Solid story. All loose ends neatly tied.

Seamless writing with an economy of words takes the reader on a luxury ride.

In "Best Man for the Job" Meredith Fletcher gives readers the terse writing and fast pace of James Patterson books, but with greater emotional depth. A winning combination for this reader.

Transformers 3

I went to see this one earlier in the week with a buddy of mine.  After finally getting caught up with some of the writing, I took a couple days to see Keith Birdsong and hung out in Muskogee, Oklahoma.  It was his birthday and he wanted to go see Transformers 3.  I have to admit that I wasn't looking forward to seeing the movie.  The second movie was too long, too loud, and too confusing.  I didn't enjoy it at all.

Sadly, this movie hit me the same way.  Some of the graphics were really awesome, some of the gags were incredibly funny, and I really enjoyed hearing Leonard Nimoy as a character.  I still maintain that Shia LeBeouf is an immensely watchable star and will be a remarkable leading man in a few more years.

Despite LeBeouf's acting, there's just not much of a story for him to work with.  His role throughout this film kept getting minimized and maximized, and I was never really sure if he was going to matter during the resolution.  As it turned out, not much.

John Tuturro won my heart with several lines and with his scenery-chewing acting.  He didn't mind going over the top with his character or making fun of it at the same time.  I think I'd love to see a movie that focuses on this character tracking down some government conspiracy.  It would be a lot of fun.

One of the things that really bothered me about this movie as well was a separation between Witwicki (LeBeouf) and Bumblebee.  I think they should have been together more.  That relationship was one of the things that really work for me in the first movie, which I did enjoy.

The graphic designs and effects were absolutely amazing though.  I loved seeing all the computer graphic action on the screen, as well as how the Transformers changed shape throughout.

So much of the story seemed to be add-ons.  Witwicky's scenes with his parents, the whole episode with John Malkovich, and even the subplot with the romantic triangle could have been dropped.  However, that would have left Witwicky off the screen.  They should have just made him part of the team and involved with the situation from the beginning.  That lay there wouldn't have been so much time lost looping in all of these other elements so that Witwicky would have had the screen time he did.

A quick look at the box office indicates that this film scored another high success in movie dollars, even though it didn't score so high with moviegoers.  I would suspect there will be a Transformers 4 coming.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hawken! New Old West Comic Coming

I'm a big fan of Tim Truman's art.  I loved his run on Jonah Hex.

This was just announced at San Diego comic con.

Info here.

Editor Phil Athans Writing/Selling Fantasy Webinar

My good buddy Phil Athans, and my editor at Wizards of the Coast, has got a webinar coming out Thursday, July 21 at 1:00-2:30 pm EDT.

If you're interested in learning from someone who's edited some of the best authors in the business (including R. A. Salvatore), here's a chance to get some advice and insights.

Tune in at the Writer's Digest site here.

And at some point we're gonna tell you about:

New Sherlock Holmes Movie Poster and Trailer

Sherlock Holmes is holding a Broomtail Mauser?  Now that is seriously cool!!!

One of the sexiest guns ever made and a constant in pulp fiction.

Info for gun enthusiasts here.

White Collar Theme

This is an interesting twist in fan/television relationships.  White Collar, now in its third season, has initiated a new theme .  Apparently not everyone is in love with it.  So now the studio is giving fans a chance to vote for the new theme or the old one.

Either way, my wife and I love the show, and this year is really good.

Info here.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Caught My Eye

Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina's soul, but Catarina doesn't want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen's hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven's frontline of defense between Earth and Hell. When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina's wrath isn't so easy to escape!

Retro Captain America Poster

According to the story, this poster was done for fun for the cast and crew of the movie but has since escaped into the wilds of the internet.  Personally, I think this is the one the studio should have gone with.  Has a nostalgic feel to it that I love.

Wake of the Red Mistress

The cover to this one actually caught my eye some time ago, and I liked the premise.  But I just don't have room in my house for paper books anymore.  When I found out it was available as an ebook, I snapped it up at once.

Sister Shinara of the Yulinites is on a ship that is attacked by Aurzia- the Red Mistress. When the pirate’s men are going to kill Shinara and the five novices in her care the sister makes a deal with the pirate queen to lead her to a ‘great treasure’ in a distance monastery.

Meanwhile near that monastery young monk Zak has been slipping out of the monastery to have an affair with a noblewoman using a magic talisman but he haunted by the memory of Shinara.

The Red Mistress leads her brigands on a cross-country trek to loot the monastery with Shinara in tow and a strange bond develops between them.

When they reach the monastery in a storm of fire and blood a reckoning is due. The three; the monk, the pirate and the nun are on a collision course where love, hate and fear are a heady and overwhelming mix!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Captain America Movie

The Howling Commandos look cool.

And I believe this is Bucky Barnes.

Greg Rucka Writing The Punisher

Can't wait to see this series.  Art looks awesome.

Interview here.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Interview With Paul Bishop

Top cop turns television star.  Interview here.

Paul Bishop -- Manhunter

In real life, Paul Bishop is an expert interrogator.  In the new Jerry Bruckheimer show, Take the Money and Run, he continues that role -- busting people on the run with a cool $100,000.

From what I've seen of the show so far, it looks really cool.  It debuts in August on ABC.

And he's an excellent writer!


Cover And Premise Caught My Eye

Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...
In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.

In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all...

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Death Notice by Alicia M. Dean

New from my friend Alicia Dean!  On the Kindle and the Nook.

A killer has something to say—and he’s using her obituary column to get his point across...
When columnist Monroe Donovan receives an obituary notice with a date of death two days in the future, she dismisses it as a typo. Then, a second incorrect obituary comes in, and a woman whose name matches the name of the deceased is murdered—on the date listed in the obituary. Now, Monroe realizes that something much more sinister is happening. A serial killer is trying to communicate with her.

She turns to Detective Lane Brody for help, but her attraction to him is complicating her already complicated life. And when the killer turns out to have a disturbing connection to Monroe, complications turn deadly.

No Outside Underwear or Hot Pants for New DC Comics JLA

I still prefer my Wonder Woman in hot pants.  *sigh*  And now nobody else wears underwear on the outside either.

Urban Fantasy Series

Loved the covers, loved the titles.  Picked them both up on Kindle.  Impulse buys are TOO easy electronically and undermines the collector OCD in me.

Caught My Eye

Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh is head of the Rule 34 Squad, monitoring the Internet to determine whether people are engaging in harmless fantasies or illegal activities. Three ex-con spammers have been murdered, and Liz must uncover the link between them before these homicides go viral.

HardCase Crime News

Coming soon!

And here's some news coverage with more pics.

Hat tip to Bill Crider.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Shooter's Cross Review

Another great review from an Amazon reader, A. Kaplan "Penelopecat":

Sam Blaylock comes to the town of Shooter's Cross, TX, and buys a plot of land with the intent of setting up a ranch for him and his family. He gathers a crew together and starts to build something special. In the process, he makes both friends and enemies in the town of Shooter's Cross.

This short novel, the first installment of the Rancho Diablo series, showcases just the sort of thing I'm enjoying in the new ebook revolution. Because the authors are able to publish frequent, shorter installments, each book can focus on the job at hand. In this case, that job is to introduce the main players of the series, and their location. It's a classic western, with a tough cowboy trying to retire from a violent former life and start a new, peaceful one for himself and his family. Along the way, he has to contend with difficulties from the land, and from greedy bad guys trying to take that peaceful life away from him.

It's a great setup for a series, and a decent story in its own right. Readers will find a sense of closure at the end of the story, but also hunger to know what happens next. The prose is very visual and detailed, while still clear and unpretentious. The characters are well-drawn, each with their distinct voices.

If I have one complaint, it's that Sam is a bit too perfect. He's a great gunfighter, engineer, card sharp, scout, etc. However, this is only the first book in the series. Hopefully, his character will become a little more fleshed-out as the series progresses.

And I'll definitely be along to see that progress. This first installment has me hooked, and I'm ecstatic that I don't have to wait any time at all for the next one.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Paul Bishop Has A New Fey Croaker Ebook Out

The third Detective Fey Croaker L.A.P.D. novel.

Paul Bishop is one of Los Angeles's most respected cops. For over thirty five years, he has played hardball on the streets for one of the toughest police departments in America. As a result, he brings the kind of authenticity to his Fey Croaker novels only an insider could achieve.

When Croaker: Tequila Mockingbird opens with a blistering start, the murder of a highly decorated detective assigned to the L.A.P.D.'s clandestine Anti-Terrorist Division appears to be an open-and-shut case of domestic violence turned deadly.

However, nothing is what it seems – as Fey Croaker discovers after the chief of police removes responsibility for the investigation from the department's elite Robbery-Homicide Division and assigns it to her. But the price of truth is high – maybe even higher than Fey can pay.

Struggling to overcome her personal demons, especially the death of her lover, Fey and her appealing crew – the dynamic Arch Hammersmith and Rhonda Lawless (a.k.a. Hammer and Nails), Brindle Jones, Abraham Benjamin Cohen (a.k.a. Alphabet), and Fey's second-in-command Monk Lawson – are turned into human targets as they race to stop a south-of-the-border terrorist from striking at the very heart of Los Angeles.

Riveting in its plausibility, Croaker: Tequila Mockingbird, confirms Paul Bishop's place among the best of the police thriller writers and shows Fey Croaker and her team at the top of their form.


"Prime Suspect meets Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct with a brilliant twist of L.A. citrus. "
— Mystery Magazine

"Paul Bishop has a flair for creating police who are very good and very bad and very human."
– Los Angeles Times Book Review

"The closest equivalent to Joe Wambaugh yet. "
— The Los Angeles Times


A thirty-five year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, Paul has twice been honored as Detective of the Year. Aside from his numerous novels, he has written scripts for episodic television and feature films. As a nationally recognized interrogator, he appears regularly on the hit ABC reality series Take The Money And Run.

James Reasoner's Dead Man Book

The tale of the Dead Man continues!

Matt Cahill finds himself trapped atop a blood-red mesa in the desolate American Southwest when an archeological dig goes terribly, dangerously wrong, awakening an ancient evil with an insatiable hunger. Now Matt, armed only with his trusty ax, must somehow escape...rescue a handful of terrified innocents... and prevent a slaughter of epic proportions.


* A sample chapter from KILL THEM ALL by Harry Shannon, Book #6 in the DEAD MAN saga

* An excerpt from UNDER OUTLAW FLAGS by James Reasoner

Don't miss the previous Books in the DEAD MAN series:

FACE OF EVIL by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
RING OF KNIVES by James Daniels
HELL IN HEAVEN by Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin
THE DEAD WOMAN by David McAfee