Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Fathomless Abyss

This is the first of a fun anthology project I'm doing with a friend of mine who's also an editor.  For more info, click here.

This was a fun book I got to do for Fantasy Flight Games.  For an interview with me about the book, click here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Black Dog Books Has A Sale Going On!

Black Dog Books has a host of pulp reprints as well as critical essays on the pulp market and characters.  The sale will continue through Christmas.

To visit the site, go here.


Click here.

Dr. Berlin has created a powerful time-travel device with the ability to predict the future and retrodict the past. He swipes his own creation from The Company and disappears into history. The Company's time-cop Simon Rip and the sexy, brilliant Dr. Serena Ludwig join together to track Berlin and return the device. Their pursuit will take them back to the ice age and forward to the end of time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deal of the Day: Max Allan Collins' CHICAGO LIGHTNING!

If you've enjoyed the Nate Heller stories, or are a new reader, you can't beat this deal.  Great period piece detective stories from a master.

THE DEAD MAN: KILL THEM ALL Is Out Now For Only 99 Cents!

6th book in the daring new series, THE DEAD MAN.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New Rancho Diablo Novel!

My buddy James Reasoner wrote this one, and it's a lot of fun.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

FIGHT CARD Books Debut

When I was a kid, I had a soft spot for tough guys.  I loved them in the movies, on television, and the guys I met in real life.  Okay, maybe I still have a soft spot for them.  That's one of the reasons I loved all the Spenser books Robert B. Parker wrote.

A few years ago, I had a chance to write a boxing novella for an editor, something I'd always wanted to try.  That one had a supernatural element to it, but the boxing was clean and the 1950s atmosphere was strong, at least in my opinion.  I also loved the first-person voice I came up with for the character and I enjoyed sinking into the world.

At any rate, I released the short story on Kindle and it caught the attention of Paul Bishop, a career LAPD detective, who -- like me -- grew up on pulps, Gold Medal novels, and the idea of tough guys.  We ended up talking about the story, about our mutual loves and wistfully wishing that someone still wrote stories like that.  The more we talked, the more we realized we wanted to do that.  BTW, Paul is a bestselling writer and a television star as well (Take The Money And Run).

So we decided we would write those stories.  We set them back in the 1950s.  My character, Mickey Flynn, is a merchant marine sailor who's tough as nails.  Paul's character is Patrick Flynn, an LAPD detective on Chief Parker's infamous Hat Squad.  The brothers grew up in an orphanage in Chicago where they were taught the "sweet science" by Father Tim.  The orphanage is nicknamed Our Lady of the Glass Jaw.

Once other writers found out what we were doing, a few of them wanted on board and we gladly let them.  (There were a lot of orphans that went through Our Lady of the Glass Jaw!)  Next up is Eric Beetner's Split Decision, and that will be out in December.

These beautiful covers are by Keith Birdsong.

Paul and I had a lot of fun with these first two books, and we're already planning the next round for our characters.  So if you like tough guys, boxing, noir, crime stories, and pulps, I hope you'll find something in these books that you like.  Let us know.

For the Nook version, click here.

About The Cutman:  Havana, Cuba. 1954.

Mickey Flynn is an ex-Korean War vet turned merchant marine. He was born in the ghettos of Chicago and raised in an orphanage with his younger brother, Patrick. He was one of several young men who received an education from the nuns at St. Vincent's.

But he was also taught the "sweet science" by Father Tim, a Golden Gloves boxer and retired police officer who only knew one way to bring a troubled boy to manhood. Father Tim worked with his young charges, taught them how to jab and punch and throw a hook that seemed to come out of nowhere. When the young men left St. Vincent's (Our Lady of the Glass Jaw), they were changed, fit and ready to take on the troubles the encountered around the world, no matter where they found them.

Now Mick's in Havana, working on WIDE BERTHA, his ship. After surviving a fierce storm at sea, the last thing Mick and the crew need to do is get crossways with the Italian organized crime flooding Havana, but it doesn't take much to put him in the cross hairs of a vengeful mob boss working for Lucky Luciano.

Unable to get free of bad luck and unfortunate circumstance, Mick ends up in the ring in an illegal boxing match fighting a human killing machine.

For the Nook version, click here.

About Felony Fists:  Los Angeles 1954

Patrick “Felony” Flynn has been fighting all his life. Learning the “sweet science” from Father Tim the fighting priest at St. Vincent’s, the Chicago orphanage where Pat and his older brother Mickey were raised, Pat has battled his way around the world – first with the Navy and now with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Legendary LAPD chief William Parker is on a rampage to clean up both the department and the city. His elite crew of detectives known as The Hat Squad is his blunt instrument – dedicated, honest, and fearless. Promotion from patrol to detective is Pat’s goal, but he also yearns to be one of the elite.

And his fists are going to give him the chance.

Gangster Mickey Cohen runs LA’s rackets, and murderous heavyweight Solomon King is Cohen’s key to taking over the fight game. Chief Parker wants wants Patrick “Felony” Flynn to stop him – a tall order for middleweight ship’s champion with no professional record.

Leading with his chin, and with his partner, LA’s first black detective Tombstone Jones, covering his back, Patrick Flynn and his Felony Fists are about to fight for his future, the future of the department, and the future of Los Angeles.

CRYSTAL BONES by C. Aubrey Hall

Review here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

American Horror Story

This is now officially one of the weirdest shows I've ever seen on television.  We're six episodes into this thing and I can't help feeling that I'm drawn to it more out of watching a train wreck in slow motion than in any character or plot development.

One thing about American Horror Story, stuff happens.  Constantly.  And part of that is because not only are they telling the story of the people in the present day (though I'm starting to wonder if we're going to find out at the end of the season that the family we're watching is just another set of ghosts), but they're reaching back to the 1920s for unresolved plot lines there.

So, yeah, stuff is happening.  All the time.  You can't really miss an episode because characters die -- and come back even though they've been buried under a gazebo.  Alliances between the characters are constantly shifting too, and stuff you thought you knew isn't true, or it's way different than you initially thought.

However, there isn't a redeeming character in the show.  At first I was drawn in by Vivien Harmon's character (Connie Britton) because she'd been the poor wife that had been cheated on.  But she's become fairly distasteful to me because she's lost all depth (even before she ate the brain this week).  I wanted to feel for Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott), but he's beginning to be a wimp.  Violet (Taissa Farmiga) started to become the character that I wanted to champion, but now she's curling up into a fetal ball.

I'm more drawn in by the puzzles, who all the ghosts are and how they got there.  And then there has to be a malevolent force that trapped them all there.  I want to know about that too.

But the series was greenlighted for a second season, so I don't know how soon we'll get all those answers.  I don't want the pacing to slow down because there isn't much else here.  Shock me, puzzle me, and make me wonder.

A friend told me that this series is the Dark Shadows of this generation, and I think that hits the nail squarely on the head.


Review here.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Oklahoma Earthquake Update!

Again tonight.  Weather guy said between the tornado, thunderstorm, and earthquake -- it's no surprise your house is shaking!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Caught My Eye

BATMAN #1 Review

I can now purchase comics directly through my iPad.  Totally cool.  Look for more reviews soon.  I can finally find them when I look for them, and they're with me on the go whenever I have a few minutes waiting to pick up my son from school, etc.

Review here.

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta

Review here.

Coming Tonight On AMC After WALKING DEAD

I love the premise of the show, an ex-Confederate soldier who hires on with the Transcontinental Railroad as security while hunting the men who killed his wife.  Looks gritty and violent.  Maybe TV Westerns are coming back?  JUSTIFIED with Tim Oliphant is only a step away from a true Western itself, and my son and I love that show.