Tuesday, October 30, 2012


After a young saloon girl is murdered in cold blood, Sam Black and the hands of Rancho Diablo find themselves caught in a lethal crossfire in the streets of Shooter's Cross.


A Seed on the Wind is the first part of Cat Rambo’s lyrical exploration of the bottomless world of the Fathomless Abyss.

When the people of a million worlds and a million times fall into the Abyss, they bring with them not only the better angels of their natures, but their worst. And there are some who find solace in a fantasy within a fantasy, a dream within a dream … what usually becomes a nightmare within a nightmare, a hell within a hell…

When the slightest misplaced step can send you falling forever and ever, there can be a compulsion to get high, and stay that way. And Bill has come in to a little bit of money, and a lot of lost time. And he discovers that in an impossible place that goes forever downward, the deepest abyss may be in his own heart.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Just found this and I'm gonna save it up for a chill autumn night for a time when I want goose bumps and to be scared of the things outside in the dark.
In an exquisitely chilling debut novel, four children unravel the mystery of a family curse — and a ghostly creature known in folklore as Long Lankin.

When Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their elderly aunt in the isolated village of Byers Guerdon, they receive a less-than-warm welcome. Auntie Ida is eccentric and rigid, and the girls are desperate to go back to London. But what they don’t know is that their aunt’s life was devastated the last time two young sisters were at Guerdon Hall, and she is determined to protect her nieces from an evil that has lain hidden for years. Along with Roger and Peter, two village boys, Cora must uncover the horrifying truth that has held Bryers Guerdon in its dark grip for centuries — before it’s too late for little Mimi. Riveting and intensely atmospheric, this stunning debut will hold readers in its spell long after the last page is turned.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cover Art

Hands down, cover art sells books.  The better the cover art, the more a book sells.  The downside is that it also raises reader expectations.  I've picked up some books that have had outstanding cover art, only to be seriously disappointed.
I know some writers who seriously wished they could have picked their book cover artists.  Cover artists don't much care, to an extent.  They get paid a flat raid in this business.  But I'm sure there have been some artists who got really embarrassed over some of the books they've been on.
But I digress.  I love the cover above.  It's a basic black and white shot of an interesting, aggressive female in a spooky fog-shrouded forest.  Love the big tree with added copy stuck on it.  And that's interesting because if the copy hadn't been there, the tree would have balanced the woman out and been distracting.  We the copy on it, we kind of ignore the tree because the copy pushes it back into the background once you've digested the message.
Then there's the mixs of colors (orange and green) which don't always go well together on book covers, but in this case serve to bring that "dead" looking forest to life a little by warming up the page.
I like the author and picked up the book based on past reads, but that cover would have sold me even if this had been someone new.

New Fight Card Novel Out Now

San Francisco 1951

Conall O’Quinn grew up at St. Vincent’s Asylum For Boys, a Chicago orphanage where he learned the sweet science of boxing from Father Tim, the battling priest. After a stint in the Army, Conall finds work on the docks of San Francisco – a place where his fists make him the dock champion. Soon, however, he gets on the bad side of a union boss and is set up for a dock side brawl designed to knockout his fighting career. When Conall comes out on top, things go from bad to worse when he is framed for the docks going up in flames.

Along with Benson, his best friend and trainer, Conall heads for the hills in search of a lost treasure in the vicinity of a mine controlled by the union boss. However, where Conall goes trouble follows and he is quickly embroiled in a heated grudge match between fist-happy miners and lumberjacks.

Championing the miners in an all out slugfest, Conall is about to find out there is more to fighting than just swinging fists … giant, hammer-fisted lumberjacks, the mine owner’s beautiful daughter, union flunkies, and mob thugs all want a piece of him … and when the opening bell rings, the entire world appears to be against him …


Saturday, October 20, 2012


When I moved from Texas to New York to take my chances as a yarnspinner for the pulps, I knew I was entering into a whole new world. As the author of the LINCOLN LANDRY, SPACE RANGER tales for the science fiction pulps, I know a thing or two about new worlds.

But what I wanted most of all was to get a story in BLACK MASK magazine, the same pulp that launched the careers of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, to name a few.

In order to do that, I pulled in a few favors. Who knew the chief of police was a Lincoln Landry fan? Once I found out, though, I had him hook me up with his best homicide detective: Jim McLane, a tough no-nonsense cop that Hammett and Chandler might have admired.

Together, McLane and I sort through murders in the Big Apple in 1935. I didn't know I was going to learn so much, or that the price would be so high. But between McLane and me, we generally get to the bottom of murder, blackmail, and kidnappings.

Thursday, October 18, 2012



Covers That Sell Me

The first cover was okay, but the second cover sealed the deal.

Arrow Hits Target!

I gotta admit, I was really leery of this television show.  Oliver Queen (Green Arrow) has long been one of my favorite heroes.  After he got the makeover and the attitude adjustment in the 1970s by Denny O'Neill and Neal Adams.
Bleeding heart, social gadfly, serial romantic, Ollie was a lot to deal with for anybody.  He'd win me over, then break my heart.  The man never had an easy life.  His love life was a mess, his ward became a junkie (one of the first heroes to succumb in comics), and he didn't know if he wanted to rage against the machine or remake the machine in his own image.  He stepped over the line as a vigilante more than once and earned the ire of his family and his friends.
His death didn't get any easier.  Yeah, DC killed him to create Connor Hawke, the new Green Arrow -- and DC later destroyed him, and now he's been retconned completely out of existence in the New 52 brand.
To be fair, I think that Green Lantern's death was much worse.  He came back as the Spectre for a time, which was entirely weird.
The television show is a guilty pleasure.  My wife is even interested in it.  The series has set Ollie up as a Batman like vigilante, which stands to reason because Green Arrow was kind of like a Batman knockoff back in the day (Batmobile = ArrowCar, Batplane = ArrowPlane [get it?]).  But this version of Ollie is mean and tough and physically capable in hand-to-hand combat.  He's struggling with the whole dual identity thing, only it's taking shape right in front of our eyes.
Before Ollie supposedly "died" five years ago, he was an irresponsible playboy.  He took his girlfriend's sister out on a cruise for some illicit romance and got her killed.  See?  The showrunners are making sure Ollie's love life is screwed up.  Then he comes back from this island a changed man, no longer the playboy and now every ounce a man willing to put his life on the line.
It's a big change.  His body is covered in scars.  He's learned archery, martial arts, Russian, some kind of parkour/free running, and a whole new way of looking at life.  Instead of giving viewers an "origin" story, the series is parsing out the information in brief, tantalizing flashbacks in the middle of a cornucopia of plot problems and all-out action.
If you haven't caught the series yet, you should.  Do it now before the plotlines get more tricky and more advanced and you don't get to see the battlelines being drawn or the group of avengers come together.

My Buddy Bill Crider Has A New eBook Out There

"I can just imagine the questions in history," Fox said. "Who was our first of it, maybe the second one's too hard. But you get the idea!"

"Yeah," Burns said. "I get the idea."

Hartley Gorman College, in Pecan City, Texas, is hardly a bastion of serious scholarship. The little Baptist school is more interested in shielding its students from the evil influence of The World, The Flesh, and The Devil than in turning out future Nobelists. But its staff, by and large, is worthy of a more demanding institution; they are victims of a glutted market in Ph.D.s and they do the best they can. So it is they who are most upset at Dean Elmore's "secret plan" to award credit hours for "undirected study" by "independent scholars"—in plain words, to turn the school into a diploma mill.

Which may be why Dean Elmore, shortly after unveiling his plan, is found bludgeoned to death at his desk. It is certainly why, at his funeral, there is not a wet eye in the house.

Or so observes Carl Burns, Hartley Gorman professor of English literature, through whose eyes we see both the crime and the larger picture of this wacky denominational Texas school.

Those readers familiar with Bill Crider's books about Sheriff Dan Rhodes of Blacklin County, Texas, knows how wryly witty this author can be; here the humor is revved up a few notches, and the resulting account of Elmore's murder, Sheriff "Boss" Napier's investigation, Bums's well-meant meddling, and the people and doings at Hartley Gorman are the exactly-right mix of realism and wackiness to make the book a delight as well as a suspenseful mystery.

ABOUT BILL CRIDER : "I was born and brought up in Mexia (that's pronounced Muh-HAY-uh by the natives), Texas. The town's most famous former citizen is Anna Nicole Smith, whom my brother taught in biology class when she was in the ninth grade. I've always lived in small Texas towns, unless you count Austin as a large town. It wasn't so large when I lived there, though. I attended The University of Texas at Austin for many, many years. My wife (the lovely Judy) says that I would never have left grad school if she hadn't forced me to get out and get a real job. I eventually earned my Ph.D. there, writing a dissertation on the hardboiled detective novel, and thereby putting my mystery-reading habit to good use. Before that, I'd gotten my M.A. at the University of North Texas (in Denton), and afterward I taught English at Howard Payne University for twelve years. Then I moved to scenic Alvin, Texas, where until 2002 I was the Chair of the Division of English and Fine Arts. I retired in August 2002 to become a either a full-time writer or a part-time bum. Take your pick."

New Crime Television Show Coming

Man, I just really like the look of this one.  More info here.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Savage Blood by James Reasoner!

The Civil War took nearly everything from Brodie. A beautiful redhead named Eva took what was left. When she turned to him for help, he had every reason in the world to tell her to go to hell.

Instead he strapped on his gun and walked right into a blazing hell himself.

SAVAGE BLOOD is a brand-new hardboiled Western novella from James Reasoner, bestselling author of the Wind River series, the Judge Earl Stark series, and co-author of the Rancho Diablo series. It's 16,000 words of action and excitement from a master storyteller.