Friday, December 31, 2010

"United We Fall": Do Some Damage X-MAS Noir Story

I have a Christmas themed crime story "United We Fall" on display over at the Do Some Damage site. If you want, you can give it a read HERE 

The Twilight Zone Marathon starts at 8:00 AM today. Can't wait. I love TZ and Rod Serling is brilliant.

Big party to go to tonight to end the year and most importantly, I hope everyone has a a tremendous 2011 ahead of them. It will be interesting to see where we are all this time next year.

Thanks to all the great friends and writers I have had the pleasure of meeting in 2010 and I hope our numbers keep growing,



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Beat on The Street

Lot's happening out there. Here are a few.

The Christmas Noir Flash Challenge continues until Jan 3rd over at Do Some Damage HERE
Some new stories as part of the ongoing 600 -700 word challenge are up at A Twist of Noir HERE

Let's not forget about the Fairy Tale Crime Story Contest. Deadline is Jan 14. Details HERE

After reading John McFetridge's "Let It Ride", as a paying customer, I posted this review on Barnes & Noble's site.

"I bought "Let It Ride" for my nook after reading some of the author's short fiction, which I enjoyed very much. I'm gving it a 5 star rating in the catagory of crime/suspense fiction. I have read many novels in the genre in 2010 and "Let it Ride" was the most entertaining of the lot. If Mel Torme is the Velvet Fog, then John McFetridge is the Velvet Pen, because his writing style, especially with dialogue, is so smooth. It's one of those rare novel's that are almost cinematic in style and storyline. I thought it would make a terrific movie, the whole time I was reading it. I have never been to Canada before, but after reading "Let it Ride", I feel like I have been there. It was a wild, exciting, dangerous trip, and I'll going to check out the author's other novels now."

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My 10 or so Best Novels Read in 2010

Joining the list-mania, here are some novels I read in 2010 that you might find are worth a look.  Have a great holiday everyone!!!

The Ghosts of Belfast: Stuart Neville
Gerry Fegan, a former IRA hit man haunted by the ghosts of the 12 people he killed, realizes the only way these specters will give him rest is to systematically assassinate the men who gave him his orders.

Ravens: George Dawes Green
Shaw takes the family “hostage” by telling them that Romeo is driving around their small city, ready to murder their loved ones if they don’t support the ruse that Shaw is due half the families 318 million in lottery winnings.

Speed Queen: Stewart O'Nan
Narrator Marjorie Standiford waits on Oklahoma's death row for her role in the infamous "Sonic" drive-in killings. America's "King of Horror" (a never-named Stephen King) buys the rights to Marjorie's story, and she is given a tape recorder and more than 100 questions to answer in the hours before her death.

Zombie: Joyce Carol Oates
Meet Quentin P. He is the most believable and thoroughly terrifying sexual psychopath and killer ever to be brought to life in fiction
Old Dogs: Donna Moore
La Contessa Letitzia di Ponzo and her sister Signora Teodora Grisiola are actually Letty and Dora, a pair of ex-hookers turned con-artists who’ve decided to steal a pair of gold, jewel-encrusted Tibetan shih tzu dog statuettes from a Glasgow museum, if they can avoid the Australian hitman with his sights on a very different future for them.

Resurrection Man: Eoin McNamee
The setting is Belfast in the 1980s; the Resurrection Men are a gang of four led by Victor Kelly, a Protestant drawn into the sectarian violence. Victor is a ruthless killer; his M.O. is the knife across the throat.

Divorcing Jack: Colin Bateman
When Dan Starkey returns to the apartment of his new conquest, Margaret McBride, after going out for pizza, he finds the young brunette riddled with bullets. Starkey is pursued by several parties, including an IRA contingent with a reputation for mayhem and violence.

Boyo's: Richard Marinick
Set in and around  the South Boston working-class Irish-American enclave, the story focuses on Jack "Wacko" Curran, a rising young player in the criminal underworld. Curran and his coked-out brother, Kevin, work for mob boss Marty Fallon, wholesaling drugs to a network of area dealers. Jack dreams of replacing Fallon and figures that the bankroll from the armored-car heist he's planning will put him on his way.

Dead I Well May Be: Adrian McKinty
a brutal tale of revenge starring a young illegal immigrant from Ireland who chooses a criminal career in New York over unemployment in Belfast.

The Big-O: Declan Burke
Frank is a self-important but inept plastic surgeon who wants to have his ex-wife, Madge, snatched so that he can collect a half-million in ransom.

Hard Man: Allan Guthrie
After taking a beating, the men of the Baxter family--dad Jacob and sons Roger and Flash--look for help protecting the pregnant May, Roger and Flash's sister, from her psychopathic husband, Wallace.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Beat On The Street

PD Bazill, as only he can, offers up his list of the 5 best cime stories of 2010 over at Chris Rhatigan's blog HERE

Thanks to Nigel Bird,  I found about a pretty cool story challenge that is going on over at the Things I'd Rather Be Doing Blog. I knew all those Fractured Fairlytale cartoons I use to watch as a kid would payoff someday. Find out the details HERE

Declan Burke is offering the opportunity to win some free crime fiction over at Crime Always Pays HERE and while you're there, be sure to check out the post regarding the Literary vs Genre fiction pissing contest, where heavy hitters Stuart Neville and John Connolly joined the fun HERE

On a more cerebral note, Seana Graham has a nice post on some recon she did regarding where she lived as a child. Well worth a look HERE

And finally, a special round of well wishes go out to Dave Barber's dad, who's had some challenging health issues lately. Dave's a top guy and you can let him, as many already have,  know he's not alone HERE

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

He Don't Pop His Zits, He Shaves Them Off.

Don't know why, but today's blog post title popped into my head at the gym yesterday. It was a line from an episode of one of my favorite 70's crime shows,  Baretta, that has always stuck with me. Anyway.....

As the end of the year approaches there are lots of lists everywhere. You know, "the best of" type of things.  Normally, I don't put much, if any, value in such things, but when the lists are offered up by like minded, respected writers, of course I'm going to pay attention and learn something. If you're serious about writing, you might want to do the same. So..

Chris Rhatigan is posting the top five stories of 2010 as told to him by a bunch of different crime writers HERE

At the the Crimefactory magazine blog, you can check out the Best of Whatever feature HERE

Don't forget this weekend's deadline for the Do Dome Damage 2010 Christmas Noir Challenge. Details HERE

Some fab new stories are up for the Twist of Noir 600-700 challenge HERE

As always, there are some new tales over at Killers, Thriller-n-Chillers HERE

And to wrap things up, hard hitting writer Julie Lewthwaite has a really cool story, "Let's Dance" at her blog HERE

Saturday, December 11, 2010

"Let It Ride" by John McFetridge

I'm currently reading John McFetridge's latest offering, "Let it Ride" and I am really, really digging it. I'll be posting a review when I finish it and so far, I'd say it is the best crime novel I have read this year, by far. If anyone is interested, it's available in print and ebook at all the usual outlets.

I downloaded mine from B&N for my nook at a reasonable price. John, is an author who seems to have embraced the electronic format, makes good use of it, and even offers some of his shorter pieces for free on Smashwords and other sites, which is how I found out about him.

* Update 12/13: Today, over at John's blog he posted some exciting news regarding the availabilty of the ebook version of his novel "Dirty Sweet". Details HERE

Friday, December 10, 2010

Interview with Cathy Stucker at Selling Books

Been a few posts this week about my novel and I try not overload the blog with to much self promotion, but when you send in answers to Q&A opportunities, you never know when they will be posted to the websites or blogs you submitted them to. One I did for Cathy Stucker over at the Selling Books website and had some different questions was put up today. If you want, you can view it out HERE as well as check out her site, which has all sorts of excellent info for writers.

Whether you are self published or have a deal with a traditional publisher, the fact is that you will have to do your part to get the word out about your novel, so part of the reason I do this is to let others know what opportunities are out there.

Thanks to Col Bury's post today, I leaned that even if you have an agent and a contract with a publisher, nothing is guaranteed ( No worries, it's not Col, he's linking you to another blog with the story). Read and learn about it HERE

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Smashwords Books Reviewed Interview

Over at the Smashwords Books Reviewed blog, host, hardworking author, and top notch gent Neil Crabtree posted an interview he did with me. He's a busy guy, but somehow finds the time to help out his fellow writers.  If you care to take a peek, you can do so HERE

Now, I need to begrudgingly pry myself away from watching Valley Girl, where The Plimsouls are making the most of their Rickenbackers doing A Million Miles Away, and get cracking on finishing my story for Do Some Damage

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Richard Godwin Interviews Jason Michel

The thing I love about blogs, at least the ones I follow, is that most times, one good blog post leads to another and then some.

Thanks to Paul Brazill's POST I found out about Jason Michel, who turned me on to Richard Godwin's blog, where he just happens to have a tremendous  interview with Jason HERE

Of course I knew of Paul (who doesn't these days) and Richard, who's novel Apostle Rising, looks awesome and I'm purchasing as part of Erin Cole's way cool December Promotion, but finding out about Jason and his writing was a real treat. Check out all of the above, if at all possible.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mindjacker is #1 Bestseller on Smashwords

Last week I advertised a promotion on variuos discussion forums, including Nookboards, KindleBoards, eBook Gab, and Absolute Write, where you could download the ebook version of "Mindjacker" for free from Smashwords using a coupon code. The promotion ended last night and when I checked this morning it was # 3 on the bestselller list. This morning, I extended the free down load offer to December 12th and it has moved to # 1.

Like most serious, realistic writers, I am not in this for the money, just a "love of the game" and establishing a readership. If anyone would like to take advatage of the offer:

Here is the link and be sure to enter the NEW coupon code ZX83E to download for free.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chris Rhatigan's Top 5 in 2010 Bonanza

Over at Chris Rhatigan's ( a fine crime writer I must say) blog, he's running a feature where he's asking other mucho talented crime writers for a list of the 5 top crime shorts they read in 2010.  AJ Hayes provided the Weds list and Nigel Bird is showing now. Not only are there links to the 5 awesome stories, but also insightful comentary from the the writer providing the selection.

You can get the lowdown HERE

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Over at one of my fav sites, DO SOME DAMAGE they have just announced a great opportunity to have your writing displayed on their site and a chance to win some swag. Basically, it's a Christmas themed crime story with a 600 -1000 word count.

I have been thinking about a new short, but nothing gives me a kick in the arse like a challenge or a contest. It's the competitor in me and the word count is a nice relief from the 80,000 I'm working on now.

All the details can be found HERE

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Erin Cole's Holiday Book Blog Catalog

Writers and twisted sisters Erin Cole and Jodi Macarthur, who I have been lucky enough to find out about, are doing something very cool and generous for their fellow writers. They are promoting novels and collections during December by showcasing them on Erin's blog. It is done very professionally and looks tremendous. In the interest of full disclosure, my novel 'Mindjacker" is featured, but believe me, there is something for everyone, and I'm going to buy at least two, maybe more.  A huge thank you to Erin & Jodi!!

You can check it all out HERE